I’m Home…

Let’s get a few quips out of the way before we start with this week’s overview of the series…

  • Yes, it’s nowhere near as action-packed as the first episode, but that ain’t bad
  • Sasha is not a joke character, not after this episode
  • Why are we wasting an episode on Sasha and Connie? You’ll find out soon enough, anime watchers
  • It didn’t end where I wanted to, and yes, I’m referring to the manga, I read it, and if you didn’t, more power to you, but hey, I’ll do my best to not spoil anything…

OK, let’s get it.

Right away, we start with a simple recap of last week’s action, and Mike’s death is still significant as most of the characters don’t know he’s dead or how he died in the first place.

The news has just come in, and everyone’s ready to move, with Hange still studying the crystal structure that was left behind after the battle in Stohess. There’s no rest for the wicked, as Levi and co. decided to bring along Pastor Nick. The idea of torturing him to get him to talk comes up but is quickly cast aside. I wonder why…

(I like that little foreshadowing…)

Armin states out the obvious, that Titans have been protecting them from Titans, but we don’t fully understand why…more on that later…

Hange tells E.M.A that Pastor Nick has knowledge that’s essential to the survival of mankind but is refusing to talk, and their reaction is par for the course. Eren bursts out, but before he can make any kind of argument, his condition causes him to sit back down.

We see them taking off, and the story now shifts to the 104th, still on their mission to warn the surrounding villages of the invasion. Sasha goes off on her own to warn the villagers but finds the village is empty, with the exception of a little girl who won’t leave her mother as she is slowly consumed by a titan inside their homes. Sasha takes an ax to his neck, but she can’t slice the nape off in one blow, and the damage just heals back instantly. Unable to help the mother, she grabs the little girl and runs out, first attempting to take the horse, but eventually, running on foot.

I really can’t do this scene justice.

We all remember how Sasha gave up when she couldn’t kill that Titan in the first season, and in that scene, she was better armed.

Here, all she has is 4 arrows. No gear, no squad, and no hope of survival if she fails…

 

sasha faces the titan
I knew what was gonna happen, but it still gave me chills…

 

However, our little potato-muncher doesn’t back down. Doesn’t run away, and man, was that scene something, cause now she knows.

It’s easy to give up, give in when you got Mikasa or Annie or Reiner backing you up. Also, facing a titan that close for the first time, after everything that had gone down that day…

That’s enough to make anyone crack. I love how this situation is direr. She’s alone, and that little girl’s survival rests entirely on her. They don’t make a point to say this in the manga, at least I don’t remember if they do (please correct me if I’m wrong) but the anime is clear.

I love how this situation is direr. She’s alone, and that little girl’s survival rests entirely on her. They don’t make a point to say this in the manga, at least I don’t remember if they do (please correct me if I’m wrong) but the anime is clear.

This time, she has to fight.

It’s also interesting that, as she’s running away, we see her flashback to her time during training, where Ymir was making fun of her accent, we see her remember her dad… I bet you anime watchers were freaking out at this point. Death flags left and right… but that’s not what goes down. She knows she has to change, and she’s afraid, that was the whole point of the flashback with her dad, and the scene with Ymir and Krista. She’s different and is a little ashamed, but none of that matters right now.

She turns around and is face to face with that titan again. She takes aim and fires the first shot, clipping him in the neck, and you can see the fear in her face. The desperation. I love how the titans are a real threat no matter how many times you see them.  There’s no getting used to them and that alone makes for great tension. Fires again, and misses with her second shot.

Another thing to consider, she’s not like our other characters.

There’s no sense of devotion in Sasha. She is not in control of her emotions the way Mikasa is, or Annie was. She’s not filled with rage or the desire to be free.

Sasha’s motivation for joining the Scouts is entirely different.

As she stands there, she’s scared out of her freaking mind, but it’s not like before, cause she’s seen the terror of the titans, and she knows what inaction will cause, and so she fires a third shot and hits her mark. Emboldened by that, she decides to not risk it this time and goes for the shot.

 

right in the eye
BAM!!!

 

That was a maddening 10 seconds, as the titan had her, but she slipped through his grip, in the same manner she did with her dad years earlier.

I gotta say, I liked how she ran into her dad, and how he was proud of her, that’s something she needed, and it made me smile.

As I’m writing this, I’m reminded of all the people who said this episode was a waste of time. While we’re all entitled to our own opinions, I think the detractors are just dead wrong this time.

I don’t see it as a waste of time, it’s true that Sasha is a minor character, however, the mere fact that they’re focusing so much on her should be a sign that she might become important later on, and it was neat that the story focus on someone other than our trio and Levi.

I also think that a lot of people are just glossing over their scenes in this episode. Without giving away too much, the fact that Pastor Nick is holding something back widens the mystery, and that’s what we should be focusing on. He was willing to die rather than reveal his secrets. A man like that, a believer, they’re hard to break, and I’m curious to see just how they’re gonna break him, or if he’s eventually gonna tell them on his own the reason for the titans inside the walls… could there be more he’s not saying? How can you not have more questions? There was so much left unsaid in those small scenes, and all people can focus on is how potato girl gets a whole episode.

How can you not have more questions? There was so much left unsaid in those small scenes…. and all people can focus on is how potato girl gets a whole episode.

If they weren’t fans of that, they’re not gonna like what’s coming next. Attack on Titan is gonna expand, at least that’s the hints that we’re seeing throughout the two episodes we’ve gotten so far.

I go back to that intro, it’s cool and all, but if we don’t pay close attention, we can miss vital details that are gonna come into play this season, and I’m not saying that just cause I read the manga, the anime gives that away as well.

Krista and Ymir are featured prominently in the opening sequence, and so is the rest of the 104th.

The OVAs also focused on the rest of the 104th, Eren and co. were an afterthought, and why not? It’s nice to have a whole ensemble cast, with all of them fully realized as characters. When characters like that die, you feel those deaths, they’re meaningful, besides, it’s good story-telling to develop your characters anyway.

All I’m saying is, get ready, cause the story is not gonna swing back to our trio until much later in the series, possibly the end of this season, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that better of a series for it.

Closing thoughts…

  • I’m not sure just how fast the anime will blow through the manga chapters, but this may not end where we want it to (the manga readers will get that…)
  • Sasha is a badass, and a perfect example of what courage really is…
  • I liked her dad’s outfit
  • Hange is “best friends” with Pastor Nick
  • Why is Levi useless again, if he was able to use the ODMG to slice Eren out? That bugged me a bit
  • Those CG horses…
  • I liked how Mikasa was concerned for Eren (that’s not new), and how Eren didn’t rebuff her or push her aside (that was new, and it proves my point)
  • Connie’s fears were all but confirmed in this episode
  • What happened to the villagers?
  • How did that titan get in there with those little legs?

OK, that’s all for this one…

 

 

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