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ATTACK ON TITAN Catch-Up! - - Episodes #12-13

Watch & Learn! What could be the psychological secret behind the Rogue Titan's transformations?!

Anime Expo’s timing with July 4th always does a number on my schedule. I fell a little behind the Titan’s lumbering-but-still-swift feet over this past weekend; but falling behind at this exact moment wasn’t too bad, actually, because the latest episode is just a recap. Normally, I’d be rolling my eyes over an episode that didn’t have enough content to even warrant being labeled a full installment (the official numbering has it credited as #13.5, natch), but I could honestly use a little breather after all this breathless hustling.

Anyway, if we’re going to add any tropes to our database, there’s one that’s proven to be as telltale a sign of impending disaster as, say, a girl in a slasher flick walking up into a creaky attic. Last time, I was wryly amused by how almost an entire episode was devoted to these guardsmen just laying out the tactical specifics of how they'd use the Rogue Titan in the next episode. You just knew that was all being illustrated because the entire plan was destined to fall apart…

…and, sure enough, it did.

Of course, in contrast to this, the major plot point of Eren’s transformation has received a lot less explication. We know that Eren needs animosity to get properly huge. If he doesn’t have enough ill will swirling around, then he’ll turn into a gnarled and half-formed skeleton.

What we don’t know yet, though, is why the Rogue Titan sometimes seems to be under Eren’s direct, cognizant control and why, at other times, it’ll just go wild and attack his allies. Maybe it’s easy to just further the Hulk-analogy and guess that the Rogue is literally just a loose cannon of rage. All anybody can hope to do is just aim it in the right direction at the right time, and pray it doesn’t backfire.

However, there is the whole matter of the idyllic visions Eren has whilst incubating in the Rogue’s neck. This is anime, after all - - there probably is going to be some more involved psychological explanation.

My best guess, right now, is that the Rogue’s effectiveness is dependent on Eren having the right emotional cocktail when he transforms. Perhaps if Eren’s coming from a point of pure, primal desperation - - as he did in the one giant’s stomach - - then the Rogue is at his best. However, if he’s coming from a calmer place, or if he has to force the transformation by biting himself or something, then there’s going to be something malformed about the Rogue.

Continuing that train of thought, I wonder if the introduction of this elite Military Police unit is going to tie into that. Eren’s held the MP’s in a contempt that’s second only to his hatred for the Titans. Now that he’s actually standing with the embodiment of what's wrong with this whole system - - that the Gaurdsmen most qualified to slay Titans aren’t actually dispatched to fight the Titans - - I can see that stirring up all sorts of anger in him. Conversely, that could generate a better version of the Rogue. Couple that with the elite Guard force, and you'll actually have the most deadly threat to the Titans.

That is, of course, if all my conjecture here proves correct in the precise sequence I’ve proposed. This could all fly back into my face, certainly. We all know that TITAN just loves to throw plenty of curveballs to directly confound our expectations, no?

Go on and take a shot yourself then. What's your own crackpot theory to explain all this hugeness?

Watch "Wound" here and "Primal Desires" 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
metalsnakezeroon July 8, 2013 at 12:11 p.m.

Slow but surely you are piecing together the ideas that show up later on Tom. Good work.

Also I like to give you a thumbs up on accepting Eren transformation since a few people couldn't handle the ridiculous of it. Now prepare for some more.

Lurkeroon July 8, 2013 at 3:17 p.m.

I don't like how quickly Eren figured out how to transform - whether he has control over it or not. Biting his thumb? This isn't Naruto.

I also didn't like the sequence where the soldiers made themselves look even more incompetent. So far in the series Mikasa has been the one to kill 90% of the titans. Very few soldiers have shown the will or skills to take out a titan. It's very unbalanced writing and gives in to tropes I hoped Attack on Titan would avoid.

YotaruVegetaon July 8, 2013 at 5:06 p.m.

The comparisons to the Hulk stick even more, because (I think) Peter David wrote about the psychological issues that came into play with Banner turning into the hulk, and why he became Mr Fixit, Savage Hulk, Smart Hulk, etc.

zaldaron July 9, 2013 at 9:02 a.m.

@Lurkero: its a shonen so undoubtedly it will be closer to Naruto than either of us would like. Still it does confound expectations a little better...

takashichea moderator is online on July 17, 2013 at 5:11 p.m.

@Lurkero:

It was more on instinct. The others who are ahead in the manga told me that Eren will struggle in his Titans transformation later on.

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