-Fall of Shigashina (Part 2)-
A solid follow-up to a fantastic start. But the real trials and tribulations start now for Attack on Titan.
If the first episode was a harrowing introduction, than this was by all means a decent continuation of that despair. In fact, that’s a large portion of all that this was, and for good reason. If Titans capable of breaking the walls the shielded mankind exist, despite a long period of time suggesting otherwise, then this hits just the right tones. And most of tones are different shades of bleak. For what is the first breach in safety in over a hundred years, no wonder. This is the defining event of the future of humanity. Not just humanity, but our main characters as well, shaping who they’ll grow up to be.
Of course, we’re also crushing the futures of all those who will no longer need them. From religious fanatics to even the most regular citizens, everybody gets their share of the gruesome feast. Well, gruesome in parts. The gore is certainly there, as wreckage and body parts little the streets, but the actual dismemberment and crushing is done off-screen. I can imagine that it’ll be appear uncut in official releases, but for now, leaving it up to our imagination is totally fine. The visceral elements aren’t entirely based off the actual act, but all the portions which make it up. Which is to say, the Titan’s do a bang-up job of being unnerving freaks. Besides having vaguely off facial and bodily features, the thing that translates surprisingly well into the animation is how unflinching these creatures are. Their casual manner of picking up shrieking people to gobble them right up, walking through buildings and cannon fire without changing their expression in the least. It’s these mannerisms, or rather the total lack of proper ones, that really sells the Titans in all their horror.
And there’s the appearance of the steam spewing musclebound hunk of a Titan. Its appearance was very brief in the manga, but the anime certainly made sure it left an impact here; the cannon balls showing no effect on it, the insane wind pressure billowing in its wake, and all the little people blasting off… again. It’s a good expansion of the original material, and it’s one of the small things that give me pretty major hopes for this adaptation. We also get this in the form of observing the aftermath of the attack, which brings to the forefront how to the wire people live inside the walls. Down to just two walls left, and food amounts not capable of feeding survivors, we witness how all but 100 or so of the survivors, are sent back as Titan fodder, under the guise of retaking the fallen wall. The scene is heavily extended, and largely for the best, demonstrating that a human threat exists alongside the Titan one, largely due to years and years of complacency. It’s good to see that the studio understands the source material, and is more than willing to expand on it when possible.
As for the three young kids, who with the aid of helpful adults manage to get to temporary safety in refuge boats, I can see why people aren’t all that sold on them yet. They have the makings of something bigger, but when all their major focus has been seen through the eyes of this one monumental event, as naive kids no less, we see them at their most angry, frustrated, and sad. Eren and his palpable hatred more than anything else. It’ll be cool to see how the anime handles them as they get introduced to the much larger cast at play. As a note here, the anime is going things through in a different order than the manga. As in, we’re getting to see the training period immediately, as opposed to later. And honestly, it makes total sense for the studio to approach it in this manner. Smoother progression suited for anime, while adapting the manga faithfully is the way to go. So, so far, we’re lookin’ at a flexible adaptation that I’m majorly banking on being quality stuff. Bring it on Wit, let’s what you got (⊙‿⊙✿)