I have to say this looks weird. I probably would not watch it if not for this project. I'm very picky when it comes to Manga and Anime. This show is on Netflix so I'll be giving it a try.
I think weird is a very accurate assessment! :)
I have been watching the Adult Swim cut. Up to episode 5.
Great show. I can see why this show has been popular the past year.
Attack on Titan (AoT) leads over its talky equivalent "Game of Thrones" (GoT).
The fourth season of GoT is coming to an end and the supernatural bad guys are sort-of close to the wall. The first episode of AoT ends with a flash of evil Shazam lighting and a hole being put into the wall.
Too bad Eren's precognition does not help at all.
The show does a good job of rounding out characters in a short period of time. Mikasa, Armin, Hannes.
You can tell right away that the colossal and armored types have their wits about them. You are left wondering why they only appear for a few minutes at a time and what heat and steam have to do with them disappearing.
Vacant-eyed smilies are just as scary as an intelligent opponent.
If I were them I would be firing the canons all day long. Least in the second episode they get some working. No good against the armored, but messed up a regular one.
Ditto to the guy on the internet who said the omni-directional gear lets you jump around like spider-man.
I missed something between episodes. How did Erin get the key to the cellar? Did Eren's father not finding him in the first year?
When debris landed on Eren's house I thought the cellar would be a red herring. Seems they will make it back there at some point. Was that needle going into Eren's eye? Just to make the audience cringe.
In reply to this post by Wayne
Did you watch the first two yet? Very curious to see what you think. We talked for over a half hour about these first two. The segment will air Friday.
I just watched the first two episode and wow do I hate Eren. What a whiny jerk. But he's a teenage boy so that's about right. It seems to me as if the people who appreciate the walls are analogous to conservatives. They appreciate the wall because it provides safety. Which is just a feel-good lie. There is no safety. Eren even calls these people cattle, for their willingness to be confined. The other side is people who resent the walls, resent being confined. Which at this point in their history is just plain foolish. They show quite graphically how real dangers are outside those walls. Really we have logical thinkers vs emotional thinkers, and Mikasa who seems have a grasp on both. I think that's why she's my favorite.
I agree that Eren comes off as really whiny early on, but as you said, he's a kid and I think that's a purposeful character choice. He does get less so into the next few episodes, but so far he's actually my least favorite character.
Episode 5-6. This is as far as Toonami has gotten.
Eren is not whiny so much as full of manly passion, which is a hallmark of hot-blooded males since the 70s giant robot shows.
I liked how quickly Eren figured out how important the colossal was to the titans.
Ha! I have not seen the guy who you thought was the main character die after a few episodes since the anime "Blassreiter."
A good death. It took a moment to recognize that part of Eren's leg was bitten off. Then a bit of his arm almost hits the screen.
The flashbacks were interesting. Hitting upon ideas you also see in recent YA dystopia novels. "The Chemical Garden," "Across the Universe," "City of Ember" and "The Hunger Games."
'Do not think about the outside world. Accept your boundaries.' And all that which it leads to.
Fat Bill Murray dictator, etc.
Even having your parents going "outside" and at least one not coming back.
I am having the Game of Throne thing where I cannot name all the characters. Someone needs to write the second screen app: "Who the Heck is this Guy?" proposed by the "Ryan and Ryan" podcast.
The woman who points out how useless Armin is by him being the only one left alive. Right on. Ideally you hope you would do better than that guy.
Mikasa, I think she is the only one leaving a trail of titans in her wake. Her superior asks 'what happened to you to make you so nonchalant about killing a titan?'
Poor Fritz and Hanna.
Mikasa. The last Japanese? Now Jerk Guy's fascination with her hair is more understandable. Sweet story of her always having the scarf. A story soaked in hot blooded murder.
Eren and Mikasa meeting for the first time. Nice way to handle a time jump. A happier end than what happens on "Game of Thrones."
Holy cow, those kids.
Could Sarah explain the use of the Praying Mantis as an icon of a dangerous hunter or force of nature? I have come across this before.
I was disappointed that when the teacher said 'We know next to nothing of the titans' origins' his next sentence was not "but we have the legend of Jack, who traveled to the titans' land."
Anyone who saw "Jack the Giant Slayer" can chime in. I know the first minutes are about a group of men who travel up the bean stalk and try to steal the giants' gold. Not only do they fail, but the giants fine they like the taste of men better than they like gold. The giants travel to earth and leave death in their wake.
I like how fast the soldiers adapt to the existence of new titans. One that can jump. One that can run fast in that toddler way. We also see one that looks grumpy.
I did a little poking around on Praying Mantis' in Japanese culture, and I found some interesting things. In Asian culture in general, they're seen as a being to emulate as they are on the top of the food chain, a great hunter. There are styles of Kung Fuu based off the insects mannerisms.
In Japan, its known as having many qualities needed in a warrior: Patience, Stealth, Calm but deadly focus, the ability to move quickly when it is time to move, and to stay utterly still when it is time to stay still. They never waste their movements. There's also some association with the Samurai class. This might be because Mantis' are known as great protectors of gardens from pest insects, and this may reflect the ideal of the samurai as a great protector.
My thought on the sight of one here in this show, may be that Mikasa is reflecting on seeing the calm, efficient protective predator as a catalyst into her own transformation into that exact thing.
Episodes 7 and 8
Eren "pilots" a Titan in full-on berserk mode. Disappointingly ordinary.
Glad Armin is good for something. That his planning is in a different way than Jean's. That he notices that Mikasa is not her usual composed self after learning Eren died.
Poor Jean, he did not get the chance to save Mikasa. I liked how he rated Mikasa's speech as being inadequate. And 'this is all your fault Eren!'
I like how they skipped over the part where Eren hides that he was in the Titan.
Maybe Matt can comment on military strategy and failures seen here. Between the supply chain failing and the lost of the will to fight.
I have questions.
The year number, 850 now. There was a new counting before the Titans showed up. Usually, a counting change comes after the era of the nation-state. What went on in the past? Is this another medieval world on a space station?
If the Titans do not get sustenance from eating people why do they come in different sizes?
I wonder if there are people in other Titans? Eren was in a different spot on the spine and certainly larger than the 10 cm wide spot the soldiers talk about.
Presumably, Eren Titan ability comes from experiments done by his father. In the English dub there was a part where Eren was being injected with something, Eren yelling at his father: "Stop it! Mom's death sent you over the edge!" Then Eren woke up in the staging area where survivors were in 845, with the cellar key, but before meeting his father again.
Does Eren assemble the Titan from earth the way the Alters call their objects in "S-Cry-ed?"
The relationships between people have been one-sided. You cannot have a love triangle or octagon if one out of three people or less is interested in romance.
Not sure where they going here.
In reply to this post by Bookgal1977
Thanks for that. I should think of praying mantises as apex predators of their domain. Just as starfish are the apex predators of their domain.
Hoshimaru's starfish in "Shadow Star Narutaru" (Dragons Eat Humans) makes sense now.
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It seems to me that the Titans are not a tool of nature restoring a balance, but a biological weapon of extermination.
Episode 9 was interesting. Eren's father did do something to Eren. Seems to be just to Eren. Gave Eren the cellar key and then wiped his memory. Not sure why the memory wipe was necessary. Presumably, something more unpleasant than being a half-Titan.
A good third of the episode was introducing the Captain Levi, crazy yahoo girl and the new mission of the survey squad. The new mission is to setup supplies to be used later in retaking Wall Maria and gather intelligence on the abnormal Titans. Titans do not eat human food so it is safe to place stashes in the Maria territory. Apparently, abnormals have not been seen in the last five years. My first impression of Levi was that he was a cold fish. Turns out he is pretty normal, just drawn creepy.
Was it done on purpose? It looked like three of the Titans were emaciated.
I am now playing Superman-Clark Kent. Who is unaccounted for when the colossal and armored Titans appear?
Eren's berserker state wears off too late. 'I am going to kill more of you' comes out at the wrong time. That Weilman guys makes a good point about how you can't prove a negative, but orders the canon to blow up our heroes anyway. Over all he is not a great leader.
I wonder who that woman next to him is.
The episode ends with a creepy half skeleton sheltering Mikasa and Armin. I did not see a conversion of mass, the body just came out of nowhere. Bothers me a bit.
The conversation between Eren, Mikasa and Armin felt as long as it was.
Plan A - go on the run like Bruce Banner.
Plan B - Hellboy and the BPRD.
A mystery solved. When did Armin save Eren and Mikasa? When he sent Harris to Eren's house five years ago.
With that confidence boost he 99% talks his way out of their danger.
"Attack on Titan" has a lot about the poles of having no confidence and being totally confident. Nice that it also shows the ups and downs that people go through.
Outside of this show it has been noted that people who are confidant attract people to themselves. You may not be able put your finger on it.
I went to the attached class. Confidencemakeover.pdf
Pixis showed up from five episodes away. A total hero moment. He staged his timing?
A mystery getting solved - Eren shares that the cellar hold answers, maybe even a way to defeat the Titans. Pixis seems like a solid guy.
The show is making me slightly paranoid.
I'm happy to have found a more mature discussion of the show. Since the target audience is mid-teens/low 20s, this kind of discussion is more difficult to find.
I have already seen the show and I find myself enjoying the dub more. Overall, I feel the show has more impact dubbed.
The dub is also unique in how it's recorded. The prevalent difference is how dirty it is. You can hear the voices crack and the spit gather in their mouths as they scream or cry-the direction in the first episode is particularly heartbreaking. It's all very satisfying and quite similar to how the Japanese dub was recorded, as I've been told.
I got to see the first few episodes dubbed this weekend at Connecticon, and what Grizzly said struck me as well. The dub seems very organic. You can almost feel the sweat and spit.
Eren getting lost in an alternative version of the world is a standard anime staple.
Maybe the best example was "RahXephon's" Are you dreaming of the butterfly or is the butterfly dreaming of you?
Dang, I was liking Ian.
The 'Next Episode' bit. We were suppose to find Marco's death suspicious?
I laughed a lot during this episode.
First, Eren meets Levi's squad. All but Petra are oddballs, yet...
The guy who bites his tongue while riding a horse, he has killed the most titans on his own.
Then housecleaning. It is like they are in Japanese high school.
Then we spend almost the whole episode with Zoe Hanzi. Eren should worry about what prolonged fighting against titans does to the mind. Instead, he listens to everything Hanzi says. Tongue bitting guy said Eren should not had ask about her work.
So funny, the reactions of the other soldiers as Hanzi talks about cannibals and experimenting on other ways to kill titans.
Titans have been captured before? How soon before Eren asks about his Dad?
Somebody does not want titans studied. At least the leader is suspicious.
Titans are solar powered
Titans do not weigh as much as they should
The last two, on the heels of Armin noticing three flowers sprouting after after partially transformed. We are to conclude that the titans are homicidal plants? Joining Slavers and Triffids?
(If Slavers are new to you, imagine weaponized sunflowers. Whose petals are made to reflect sunlight, burning fields.)
What are people thinking of the new credits? I like the ending , but not the opening. Is the new opening suppose to sound like Centralist propaganda?
There was no action, however this was not a boring episode. Great storytelling here.
Jean's and the others joining the scouts. The speech Erwin Smith gave. 'Pretty much all of you are going to die.' 'The plan is to go into Eren's basement.' There is a plan afoot.
I am watching "Attack on Titan" but all I am hearing is "The Vampire Diaries's" - "Our plans never work!" and "Teen Wolf's" - "This is why I make the plans!"
Hi guys, found your podcast because of the Summer Watching Project, and loving the analysis and I'm getting caught up on your archive of other episodes, pre-AoT. As someone studying animation, this series really caught my eye, and I know WIT studio (branch of Production I.G.) has a limited budget per episode for AoT, but it's obvious to tell where they spend it, on the kickass 3DMG scenes.
I'll eventually get to the episodes, but having a house party not to long ago, I grew tired of movies I put on the television as sparkly eye candy in the background (like Prometheus), and a conversation sparked up about AoT, when asked about it, I described (as the hook to draw people in), I referred to as "picture soldiers with large exacto knifes swinging around a medieval city like spider-man, fighting giant, regenerating, man-eating zombies". Prometheus came out of my Blu-Ray player and AoT went in. Needless to say, about 5 of us started watching the first season on Blu-Ray, and about 12 hours later, there were about 25-30 of us lounging amongst the pizza boxes and empty beer bottles and soda cans (ah, the life of a college man, so lucky!), nailing blankets to the windows to help us forget that it's actually 3 in the afternoon and close to 30x 18-20'somethings couldn't walk away from the screen. That's when I knew AoT was a lot different then not just Anime I had watched prior, but entertainment media in general.
Anyways, I apologize for the long winded post, yeah I watched episodes 15-16, here where my initial reactions and questions I had after my first viewing.
Episode 15 "Special Operations Squad"
- Really like the new opening, not as strong as Guren No Yumiya, but the upbeat military theme almost seems a little satirical, kinda get a Starship Troopers vibe from it. (Note: having both songs on all my electronic devices, Jiyu No Tsubasa "Wings of Freedom" is a superior song from beginning to end then GNY, but that's just my opinion)
- Auroro bites his tongue, and almost bleeds out, sensing a running gag
-Petra looks like my last girlfriend, my heart aches, introduced to the SOS, back on Petra, she appears to be the youngest member of the SOS by quite a few years but she has 10+ more total kills then Aururo, Erd, and Gunther. Just found that interesting.
- To Levi, dust is a problem, reinforcing the OCD cleanliness, wow, how about an Adrian Monk/Captain Levi mashup? My brain just exploded!
- Some Levi Backstory, grew up as a thug in the Capital, Erwin hand picked him to join the Survey Corps.? Giving Levi dimensions, where he was a criminal in his youth, reformed into a master titan-killer, with an obsession for cleanliness and order. He's a badass, but respects his chain-of-command, so he's not John McClain or Liam Neeson. But he does have a particular set of skills though. (Couldn't resist making that reference)
- Mike the Sniffer and Com. Erwin Smith, conversation about plans for proving Eren's worth to the higher-ups. Mike asks why Erwin needs to "put on a mask" when they speak, essentially saying Erwin isn't being honest with him, and Erwin sincerely admits to it. (It's from the manga, it's not a spoiler, just a detail omitted from the episode, Mike Zacharius, is a captain and according to the Survey Corps, Mike is the second best titan-killer they have behind Levi, so I find it interesting Erwin would still lie to a high ranking member of the Corps in private like that)
- Hanji sighting! Eren's two choices: 1. Clean the gardens for Levi or 2. Experiments with Hanji, no choice 3?
- Eren gets Hanji started and Levi and his squad leave fairly quickly, they've probably heard these stories many times.
- Titan facts: Solar powered and their bodies are incredibly light, which doesn't make sense as they have bone structure, a full muscular system, and can crush sidewalks while running (titan running in Episode 6). Until I realize they're giant naked zombie, giants. I'm questioning the wrong facts!
- Hanji admits to fighting the titans out of hate but wanted a different path. Hanji would rather be consumed by his/her (cause Isayama keeps that ambiguous) fascination with them as opposed to shear rage, which is admirable and borderline lunacy in this particular world that's been constructed. Plus, the Sawney Bean story, short as it is, adds to history of this particular world, a story about the world before Titans existed.
- Eren looks tired, sorry dude but you opened the door there.
- Sawney and Bean are dead! Someone get Angela Lansbury in here, we have a mystery to solve. Guards spotted a soldier(s) using their 3DMG escaping the scene. Auroro acting tough and Petra's not having any of it. After hearing Hanji talk about the titans and all the work put into their capture and research, you can't help but sympathize.
- Erwin being a little shady at the end, with his words to Eren. Juxtaposed with his scene with Mike Zacharius earlier, we should be suspicious of what Erwin was asking there.?
Lasting Impression & Questions
- This episode is the character dump episode, much like episode 3, it's introducing us to characters that'll be crucial in this arc of the story and going forward, if they make it that far...(cue evil laughter). But this episode raises the stakes twice this episode, reminding us (in the Mike/Erwin convo) that Central is still keeping an eye on Eren, the Survey Corps are under a time limit to control him and prove his worth, as their victory at the trial is only temporary. And then with the Titan killings at episode's end, killing captive titans and then fleeing only reinforces my belief that whoever killed them didn't want Hanji to find something, and with 3DMG's involved its most likely an inside job. But the best part of this episode was even though we had many characters thrown at us (many with their own quirks, but if you survive long enough in the Corps with what they see and deal with on a daily basis, your probably not 100% alright anymore), most are memorable, but MOST of all, it feels organic, that these characters existed and has/had relationships, families, experiences, etc. before they appeared on screen. It doesn't feel like we're meeting potential redshirts, we're meeting real characters worth investing in (and I would love a spin-off, prequel type series just about the history and day to day operations of the Survey Corps prior to Eren showing up).
Q1. Are the titans plants, linked to plants, etc.?
- We had Armin recognized the flowers after Eren transformed to stop the cannonball. Now we discover titans are most likely solar powered and are abnormally light for their size. Because we don't know of their origins, they could be linked to nature. Maybe nature's way of fighting back? Instead of sending giant waves or killer ice storms in the movie 2012, it sends giant, naked, man-eating zombies.? Actually, they sounds like an M. Night Shamaylan movie, oh no not another!
Q2. Is there something going on between Petra and Levi?
- Don't know why, I just sensed something on her end maybe.? Petra seems well adept at killing titans, with a higher kill count then her other squad mates, and being much younger in appearance. (She appears to be in the 19-21 age range, Gunther and Erd look like their in their late-20's, and Auroro looks like he could be somewhere between late-30's and late 40's, I know Levi's canon manga age is around 33, so looks can be deceiving) So she's probably a good student. Here's some potential examples:
when we first meet Petra and Levi in Episode 9, after Levi gives his impassioned speech to a dying Corps member that Petra was aiding, Levi confides in Petra, asking what he said was enough and if that soldier heard everything. Petra with tears in her eyes said she thinks so and she said for Levi to look at the soldier's face, she said Levi gave him the best thing he could give someone, he gave him peace.
Beginning of ep 15, Auroro is being disrespectful to Eren, trying to intimidate him. Petra confronts him saying if Auroro is trying to imitate or mock Captain Levi's demeanor, then to stop it, and biting his tongue is what he deserves.
What really sparked this question was when Petra started talking about Levi's backstory. I'm sorry, but seeing who Levi has been in the little time we've met him, he isn't sharing much, if any personal information with anyone. We briefly saw him open up when talking with Petra and the dying soldier, but since that, he's doesn't like to share apparently. I find it odd that Petra would know this much about Levi. She also talks about all of Levi's imperfections but still with a smile on her face, that he's temperamental, unapproachable, etc., that he doesn't fit the legend soldiers have made him out to be as "humanity's best soldier". But that he's still a great man and cares greatly about those under his command. There's no hero-worship here, cause when you think of it, Petra scolds Auroro for trying to behave like Levi, he talks about how great Levi is, submits to Levi, and hell, he even has a haircut similar and has that half-sleepy, half-don't care look in his eyes Levi has. If anything, Auroro is a Levi Fanboy!
Q3. Who killed Sawney and Bean?
- Everyone's a suspect! Outside of Eren and Hanji, who we know their where-abouts, everyone else could be responsible. Because all the soldiers and Cadets have 3DMG's, all are capable of the crime, and it had to have been someone who was in Trost when the titans were captured and knew of their capture. The list is too long to go through but to sneak in and kill two restrained titans instead of trying to free them, etc. seems to paint this picture that whoever killed Sawney and Bean wanted to stop the Survey Corps from finding something.
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