By Jared Cyhowski / May 30th, 2013
Attack on Titan Ep. 8: Hearing the Heartbeat: The Battle for Trost (4)
It’s not too often that an anime series is able to supply a wild ride with each episode as it premieres, but Attack on Titan deserves that praise to a high extent. The first episode delivered this thrill and it has continued up through until now. I think it’s fair to say that it’s the season’s best anime in terms of overall thrill and content, not specific to any one element or generic theme. If you agree or disagree with me, please let me know in the comments so we can get a discussion going on what YOUR favorite series is this season.
Armin really stood out in this episode as a leader and general strategist. He’s a smart guy who definitely has his weak moments, but it’s because of him that everyone (well, mostly everyone) was able to survive and scale the walls. I’m curious to see what else he’ll bring to the table later on in the series as I feel like his ability to plan will come in handy once again.
Speaking of leaders, I will also mention Jean as picking up some strength. I know in the last episode he froze as his fellow comrades were consumed alive, but during this event he then capitalized. All of the titans were huddled over in their feast, so Jean comes up with the idea to move as fast as possible while they are distracted. It’s hard to say who else may have been lost in the venture to reach the supply building, but the majority got there okay. His frustration at those hiding in shock is understandable, and him punching a comrade was warranted in my opinion. Over and over he questions his safety and he reacts to each situation on hand with a jolt, and it’s interesting how Bertolt criticizes his weaknesses near the end of the episode. Even at the very end, when it’s revealed that Eren is the aberrant titan, Jean gives the order for them to leave and avoid the situation. Yet now Eren will be coming back in a leadership position and new tensions may arise.
I was not shocked that Eren turned out to be the aberrant titan that was fighting its own kind. This is mainly because this fact was unfortunately spoiled for me a few episodes ago, as spoilers for Attack on Titan are difficult to avoid. The series also gives a few strong suggestions that Eren was the titan because he saved Mikasa, would scream out shouts of anger, and he just looked different from the other titans. It felt heavily implied and I don’t think anyone was truly shocked by this. There may have been an element of surprise in that it was a back burner supposition, but hey, maybe there are people out there who really didn’t know?
I wonder what will come of this rather important narrative point as the series pushes into next week’s episode? It seems as if there will be a backlash against Eren because I would assume the others will see him as more of a threat. It will probably be like this until something happens and he becomes a titan again, saving the very people who accused him of being a monster instead of a hero. There are many questions left to be answered, such as how he was able to control a titan and if this ability is something that bends to his will or if it’s random.
I personally think this will all tie back to his father as I have mentioned before, but Gurisha’s whereabouts are still a mystery. It really makes me wonder more about the connections between the titans and human beings; I wonder how different they really are from one another? If Eren can control a titan, can the others do so as well? With such a strong power, there may be a chance for the series to inch closer to the truth we’ve been waiting for since the first few episodes: Why are the titans consuming humans and where did they come from to begin with? It might take a while for Attack on Titan to answer such questions, but maybe we will gather some answers in the next few episodes.
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