Anime Vice News

ATTACK ON TITAN #7 - - Watch & Learn

Don't you need some voice-over to explain what he's feeling?

A while back, Sam and I did a Vice Pit on the tropes we most hated in anime. At the time, I didn’t share all of Mr. Weller’s distaste for incessant inner monologues. Screenwriting gurus wag their fingers a lot over the use of voice-overs on screen, but there are plenty of cases where that conceit just works splendidly, as far I’m concerned, so I find it to be an unnecessarily restrictive ‘rule.’

Episode 7 is not a case where the VO monologue works - - at all - - and oh boy, am I just dying to hear how Sam feels about his favorite new show now that it’s committed his cardinal anime sin.

There’s a lot to like about this installment, and plenty more to discuss (why is that one Titan attacking all the others? Why? WHY?!?!), but so much of the narrative was covered by this slush of Mikasa’s incredibly-redundant, audible navel-gazing. Is there a single sentiment she ever voices (read: spells out) about bravery, camaraderie or facing one’s fate which wasn’t already being adequately conveyed by her actions? You see her crash, you see her flail about and look like she’s giving up, you see her look to her allies, and then you see her stand up to resume the fight against these monsters. What’s not to get? I mean, she even goes on an in-the-moment monologue about all this stuff, too.

(Hell, even if they just kept the flashback dialogs with Eren in there, we’d still get the point just as much and it’d still be less intrusive).

I’d say I’m thankful that my most hated anime trope - - the Amnesiac Child Assassin - - hasn’t yet reared her dour face, but threats can strike so suddenly in this show that I honestly shouldn’t rule anything out, just yet. Why, it’d just serve me right if Eren came back as one, wouldn’t it?

Watch this episode, "The Tiny Blade: Battle of Trost District" here and decide for yourself, then read my write-up on the previous episode here.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
Lurkeroon June 7, 2013 at 6:51 a.m.

Mikasa is pretty much the amnesiac child assassin in my opinion. The difference between a typical amnesiac child assassin and Mikasa is that Mikasa's character exists for the sake of Eren instead of some shadow organization that trains children.

- Seemingly apathetic personality that only cares for one organization or person

- Impressive skills that excel past the abilities of everyone else that received the SAME training

- Constantly thinking about what it really means to be alive.

- Only goal is to do what the organization or person desires to do.

Right now I am not enjoying Mikasa's character. It makes little sense that she can take out titans while everyone else freezes at the sight of one or immediately gets swallowed. Thankfully the show as a whole is still enjoyable.

donoson June 7, 2013 at 9:06 a.m.

@Lurkero: I pretty much agree here, though I'm guessing there will eventually be some more coverage is Misaka's childhood explaining how she learned to fight (since she was already better at it than everyone else before the training montage).

As far as motivation goes.... yeah she doesn't really seem to have much. I'm hoping the writers plan to go somewhere with that beyond "she just really cares about Eren". Honestly I was glad to see her little breakdown in this episode and was hoping it would go further, maybe even to a heel turn.

metalsnakezeroon June 7, 2013 at 12:45 p.m.

The monologue stuff was probably from the manga where there wasn't any animation to show what the characters are going through and the studio felt they needed it for the anime to be faithful. That said I don't see it being too big of a issue as you guys make it out to be.

Mikasa isn't a amnesiac character, for one not losing her memories, but she has a lot of depth from being selfish for making sure Eren is safe but is willing to push people in to doing the right things despite the dangers and protecting others. Her willingness to keep living even if Eren is dead shows how strong her will power is.

rubberluffyon June 7, 2013 at 1:01 p.m.

@Lurkero said:

Mikasa is pretty much the amnesiac child assassin in my opinion. The difference between a typical amnesiac child assassin and Mikasa is that Mikasa's character exists for the sake of Eren instead of some shadow organization that trains children.

- Seemingly apathetic personality that only cares for one organization or person

- Impressive skills that excel past the abilities of everyone else that received the SAME training

- Constantly thinking about what it really means to be alive.

- Only goal is to do what the organization or person desires to do.

Right now I am not enjoying Mikasa's character. It makes little sense that she can take out titans while everyone else freezes at the sight of one or immediately gets swallowed. Thankfully the show as a whole is still enjoyable.

Mikasa does care about other people. She cares about Armin, she was upset when that guys cart was blocking the escape at the gate. But her main focus is Eren because she believes that she has a debt she can't repay. If it wasn't for Eren, she wouldn't be alive, and if he dies, than she's completely failed in what she believes she owes. But I really think the anime has kinda messed it up a bit in regards to her looks, because in the manga she ALWAYS looks kinda unemotional. Like someone who has been truly traumatized. This facade breaks a few times.

And in regards to your last paragraph, there's hints/theories that someone (namely Eren's dad) had been seeing her and maybe doing something to her. Plus, a character who shows up in episode 9 is much better than she is, coupling extreme skills with experience.

takashichea moderator on June 7, 2013 at 1:22 p.m.

Like Rubber Luffy and MetalSnakeZero had said earlier:

I don't agree with the amnesiac child assassin for Mikasa. Mikasa is just protecting her family and honoring Eren's mother's last wishes. She doesn't want to lose any of her family members. She does show flaws. She has no amnesia. As for her abilities, it's all from training. There is no secret training or condition in her childhood. She was a normal, innocent girl scarred from losing her family members. There are folks who are on her level such as Annie Leonhardt. You will see a new character in episode 9 who is the top fighter of the military soon.

Edit:

The episode is gloomy with everyone giving up on themselves. I like the ray of hope and the determination that Mikasa had shown.

Marshal Victoryon June 7, 2013 at 1:50 p.m.

"why is that one Titan attacking all the others? Why? WHY?!?!"

You know that saying where people go.. "Come to the dark side. We have cookies!" .. well the other giants LIED!! They had no cookies.Moral of the story never lie to a giant about cookies.. ever!

Ok thats not really it.Tho the moral stands.Also i know but that would be telling.

Also voiced monologue can work in any story just as well as it does in a book or grafic novel.

takashichea moderator on June 7, 2013 at 2:18 p.m.

@Marshal Victory:

The Titans fighting each other was cool and came out of nowhere. It was weird.

Lurkeroon June 7, 2013 at 5:53 p.m.

@rubberluffy: @takashichea:

I may have been a little harsh about Mikasa not having her own emotions, but so far in the series Mikasa has done very little other than what Eren says. Mikasa's conviction to fight and survive seems like it comes from Eren rather than herself. It just feels to me that Mikasa is an extension of Eren's character with better fighting ability.

I disappoints me that so far in the anime Mikasa has been depicted as the only capable fighter. There could be some secret to her but as far as I know right now Mikasa was trained at the same level as everyone else. Why is she so much better and not afraid? I don't feel the writer is being fair here. Practically all the new recruits are afraid and incapable except Eren and Mikasa?

takashichea moderator on June 7, 2013 at 6:13 p.m.

@Lurkero:

Don't worry about that. You have an eye for finding flaws. I agree with that. Mikasa doesn't have much unique traits herself at this point in the story. I think they will do, but I'm not far into the manga. As for the recruits, they don't have something that drives them. Remember what Reiner Braun had said earlier, he admires Eren for having that drive to wipe out the Titans while the others become soldiers to avoid being in combat if they score the top ten ranking and get into the military police.

What Rubber Luffy said, there are better soldiers than Mikasa and Eren. Also, he says to keep an eye out for the doctor. I completely forgot about the doctor and his secrets.

rubberluffyon June 8, 2013 at 10:19 a.m.

@Lurkero said:

@rubberluffy: @takashichea:

I disappoints me that so far in the anime Mikasa has been depicted as the only capable fighter. There could be some secret to her but as far as I know right now Mikasa was trained at the same level as everyone else. Why is she so much better and not afraid? I don't feel the writer is being fair here. Practically all the new recruits are afraid and incapable except Eren and Mikasa?

Well, episode 6 kinda showed it, she's not at the same level as anyone else. Crushing a knife handle, breaking the floorboards with her lunge, even as a child. She's also a bit mentally broken, and she overcompensates with her extreme attachment to Eren, while overzealously believing his mantra of "fight or die". It's merely speculation, but not entirely baseless, that there's something special about her, beyond what a normal human is capable of, just based on what's been shown so far; discussions with her mother about their "clan" (with the manga showing Mikasa receiving a tattoo or something), Dr. Jaeger's visits to her specifically, even though he's a man who has no problem injecting his son with something suspicious (episode 2 flashback). A man who has also been missing for many years and has a secret in his basement.

This, coupled with here intense desire to not let Eren die, has seemingly created a super soldier, albiet one who is mentally fragile when it comes to the one who gave her a new chance at life.

No_name_here staff on June 10, 2013 at 1:46 a.m.

@Lurkero said:

Mikasa is pretty much the amnesiac child assassin in my opinion. The difference between a typical amnesiac child assassin and Mikasa is that Mikasa's character exists for the sake of Eren instead of some shadow organization that trains children.

- Seemingly apathetic personality that only cares for one organization or person

- Impressive skills that excel past the abilities of everyone else that received the SAME training

- Constantly thinking about what it really means to be alive.

- Only goal is to do what the organization or person desires to do.

Right now I am not enjoying Mikasa's character. It makes little sense that she can take out titans while everyone else freezes at the sight of one or immediately gets swallowed. Thankfully the show as a whole is still enjoyable.

You know, this comment really made me double-take and re-consider where my thoughts had been going. My hat's off to you, sir. You really got it. I know this has inspired a lively discussion, but you've totally hit why the reason this episode hit with me has been in line with things I've generally disliked about anime all along.

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