Monday, November 17, 2014

Attack on Titan Episode 22 Recap

Right off the bat, let’s start with some disclaimers. THIS IS NOT FOR CHILDREN, NOR THE SQUIMISH. I know, I know – you’re a paragon of steely resolve, your sinews are made from Wolverines cigar gristle and are Ford tough. Congratulations. HOWEVER, this is an anime that is brutal right out of the gate. That’s what makes it so interesting; this is a world where humanity is on its last leg and the audience is left on the edge of their seats hoping that SOMEBODY is going to survive.

Obviously major spoilers, we will be looking at the series in depth, poking at nooks and crannies and looking at characters and plot and why AoT has gained such insane popularity. There will be cursing, there will be blood. Some of the screen caps may be graphic (I will actually try to not and be too graphic with them, I don’t know who is looking at my blog).

Attack on Titan is unique and phenomenal storytelling which includes many elements; fantasy, mystery, politics, military campaigns, camaraderie, sacrifice and hope. If you can get past the brutal nature of the narrative its worth watching. All right, let’s get into it:

Attack on Titan Episode 22: The Vanquished/The 57th Expedition Part 6

Whew, take a deep breath. The last episode was harsh stuff; the Levi Squad was wiped out in an instant, brutally, without mercy and with much squishiness.

Eren lost his shit (understandably) and found out that fighting with rage is a surefire way to lose. And he lost.

Levi and Mikasa have arrived JUST in time to witness Eren’s abduction – will they make it in time?!

Wow, what every Titan fan has been waiting for; the two monsters of the Scouting Corps teaming up to bring down the most terrifying Titan encountered to date. Ohhh, let’s DO this thing!

The Female Titan is finally showing signs of fatigue and HOLY GOD can we talk about what a POWERHOUSE she is? It makes me wonder if she is an anomaly, even amongst her own kind or are other Titans just as psychotically strong, flexible, quick-minded and ruthless?

Levi and Mikasa hang back, discussing strategy and even if Eren is alive anymore. Mikasa, out of desperation, denial or all of the above, says YES he’s alive. The Female Titan clearly has a purpose with taking him and Levi agrees they need to get him back.

Mikasa has a moment of over-protective mama-bearNESS and chews out Levi for not safeguarding Eren more effectively.

Damn I love that girl. Levi doesn’t seem to really care but recognizes her as one of Eren’s comrades at the trial and uses her devotion to him to needle her into proactive action.

This sort of feeds into the belief that Levi is definitely an anti-hero. Using a high stress situation and her obvious emotional attachment to manipulate her into doing what he wants is, to say the least, slightly sketchy, even if it IS effective in a battle scenario.

Levi is going to take the high ground while Mikasa acts as a distraction.

Here we go; Levi closes the distance to the Female Titan and in a fraction of a second she tries to turn the table on him by throwing a wild haymaker that would have (SHOULD have) flattened him if he weren’t a super soldier.

If there was one scene in the entire series that I would recommend watching THIS IS IT. Hell, I think I might link it on here because that fight is breathtakingly stunning and terrifying.

Levi is a fucking MONSTER (all five feet of him) and rips her up like a goddamned can opener with a vendetta. You can’t even see him move, he’s so fast.

He makes it look so EASY, in moments he’s got her on the ropes and is TEARING the Female Titan apart.

Mikasa watches in astonishment BUT! Just as the Female Titan is backed against a tree she has the brilliant plan to ATTACK!! Unknowing how crafty the Female Titan is and how that’s exactly the same way the Levi Squad just got wiped out.

Mikasa very nearly becomes Titan fodder but Levi suspected something up and pushes Mikasa out of the way at the expense of his body; the force of the blow he warded off with his legs snaps, or fractures his ankle. He takes the moment to saw open the Female Titans jaw muscles and an icky, covered in goo Eren pops out like the grossest slot machine prize EVER.

I think Levi would agree with me.

Instead of attacking a wounded and worn down Female Titan Levi says, no, let’s get the hell out of here, we have Eren and Mikasa reluctantly agrees.

Eerily, as Levi looks back, the Female Titan lays slumped against the tree, tears rolling down her face.

Hmmmm.

This whole Female Titan debauticle raises even more questions about…well.. everything. How the Titans work, WHY they are wiping out humanity, how the power is structured behind the Walls. WHAT’S IN EREN’S BASEMENT!!?? Just, so many questions.

As for the rest of the episode, hmmm…. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but I feel as though these next scenes were added so I’m not really going to include them as canon.

The Scouting Corps retreat with the corpses they could find, including Levi’s Squad. Levi takes the Wings of Freedom patch from his comrades, to remember them, and I suppose in a show for the audience to make him seem more humane.

Again, I don’t know if this happened in the manga because I don’t remember it. It’s a nice little add-on but… no, Levi is still a very… morally ambiguous character. There is no escaping the fact that he’s someone who is used to killing.

The filler is very emotionally charged and brutal and frankly almost overblown to my eyes; in order to distract attacking Titans they dump the bodies to be devoured. Well, to wrap it up let’s just say ‘being a soldier sucks’.

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