Can’t Look Into His Eyes
-Prelude to the Counterattack (pt 1)-
What we get with this first episode is largely dealing with humanities perception of an allied Titan. Rumors of Wall Maria spread to Wall Sina, some doubtful of the existence of this Titan while others are frightful of a repeat of the refuge situation of five years ago. On the other hand, those outside of Wall Sina are quick to look at this allied Titan as a sign of hope, marking the first time humanity has managed to hold its own. And beyond the citizens, we have the Military Police in the king’s service, wary of Eren’s possible allegiance not to Titankind, but rather against the Inner District of Wall Sina. It goes to show how much something like a human who can turn into a Titan can mean. Intelligence in a being of that size is screwed up, especially when it’s an enemy. The Recon Corps on the other hand see the immense value Eren can have for humanity, and wish to use him to his full extent. There are a lot of opinions going about there, and best of all, they’re all fairly reasonable considering everybody’s respective position in life. What’s more, it’s not dealt with large aplomb – these are the facts, and man does this make Eren’s future prospects in life very limited. Thankfully Titan-killer is still on the table.
Also, it’s good to see that they make it clear the Military Police and the Recon Corps are on two ends of the spectrum, in both goals as well as relations to each other. As far as it goes from the perspective of those who live in Wall Sina, the Recon Corps are the most eccentric of the eccentrics. Totally true in both theory and practice as we get hints of Recon Corps’ weirdness from the slightly off-kilter Hanji Zoe and smug people sniffer Mike Zacharias. Sadly, we don’t get much time to dwell on them, as Hanji declares it’s better than Eren enters the situation without foreknowledge of what’s going on. So, without further adieu began the trial to decide Eren’s immediate fate.
What we get is a court trial where we get to properly air out the propositions on what to do with our psychopathic teen Titan. As open as the court seems to be, it’s somewhat natural for a case as unusual as this. The Military Police want to get whatever information they can out of him, then to dispose of him as a martyr figure, while the Recon Corps believe that with his abilities they can retake Wall Maria Speaking of the wall, we even get the opinions of one of the wall cultists or Church of the Wall, who have in the past five years become an influential organization. These guys have essentially made defending the walls and adding fortifications and modifications to them bureaucratic hell. Fittingly? All these guys in the court who happen to enjoy living glare at the poor pastor. Religion is complicated.
More importantly, what’s key here is Erwin Smith’s proposition with what to do with Eren. Planning on retaking the Shigashina district, it’s the perfect situation to prove Eren’s use for mankind. Yet at the same time, it can prove how much danger Eren can bring as well. As it’s revealed, he has no recollection of attempting to slug Mikasa, an attempt which has left a visible scar on her face. What I do like about this sequence of events is the total acknowledgement that Eren and Mikasa have commited acts totally unthinkable for 9 years olds. These two are not 100% emotionally healthy by an stretch of the imagination, and this facet of them could prove a great risk for humanity. Thankfully this, as well as Eren’s lack of knowledge of the situation, leads to him speaking his mind. Which in turn leads to Levi and Erwin managing to convince the Supreme Commander of their plan. Since Eren truly is capable of causing so much damage, Levi is among the only people capable of dealing with such a threat and has a reputation to back it up.
Man. What a nice beating. They did the scene justice. That, along with the after “party” scene. Levi may be one of those hardcore characters, but he’s a got a sweet nuance to him that I dig.
So the trial ends in the momentary favor of the Recon Corps, from until the point their mission ends in success or failure. It’s a solid episode, maybe with a little too much filler exposition sounding talk between Erwin and Pixis, but Pixis is a rad enough dude to let it slide. Hopefully the extra week the recap episode managed to win the animators was enough to keep unfinished segments to a minimum. Regardless, now’s the proper start of the second cour of the show! Yeah, go humanity, you guys rock!