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Attack on Titan Season 1, Episodes 3 & 4 Musings: The Kiddos Become Brave Young Soldiers… Sorta

Okay, I know my write-up for episodes one and two was hefty with serious moods and discussion on war and the displacement of people and refugees because of conflict. I honestly wasn’t planning on kicking things off with such an intense tone, but when I saw those segments, I was overcome with a rather powerful sense of emotion, and what I wrote was what flew out of my brain via my fingertips. My goal with future episodic shindigs is to not be as serious unless it’s absolutely unavoidable (i.e.: character deaths that make me angry).

Episode three starts off with the kiddoes in boot camp, taking place about five years (maybe two?) after the attack on Shiganshina, as they are working on becoming soldiers for the various sections of the military. Luckily nothing overtly evocative happens here, unless that emotion is humour from the influx of Sasha, Jean, and Eren memes that came out after the fact. Then, hell yes, it was very evocative.

As soon as some of the characters that I will grow to love and hate with equal measure started being introduced, all I could think was, “Holy shit, they are babies!!!” They are all so young and so green. Having some knowledge of what shall happen to a few of these folx is also heart-breaking. I want to put them into a protective turtle shell and keep them from their inevitable fates, regardless of what that entails. It actually reminded me a lot of the youthful idealism that we all have as teens; that sort of “We can do anything, we’re indestructible badasses” attitude. Ah… to be young and naïve.

Another thing that having prior knowledge did for my re-visit to this segment were the minor moments of foreshadowing that is given ahead of time. They seem like such inconsequential, aesthetic things, yet they serve a much higher purpose, which made me realise that Attack on Titan truly is a sadistic bastard with its audiences. The cruelty is beautifully fierce, and I’m excited to see how more foreshadowing moments shall be depicted in future episodes (how masochistic of me, oh myyy).

Relationship dynamics that will have my whole heart include: Mikasa and Sasha, Sasha and food, and Eren and his ego. Sasha and food because that represents every single person that I know, as well as me when it comes to sweets. Eren and his ego because when Handsome Sir Levi comes into the picture, it just gets even more entertaining. Lastly, Mikasa and Sasha because these three screen-grabs represent my whole ass relationship with Kheb. 🥰

Episode four basically gives a brief rundown of who the strongest players are and what the biggest weaknesses for our favourites may be. I love that it also took the time to showcase the struggles that everyone was having to certain degrees (not including Mikasa because she’s just a Goddess in her own right) during training, and how they justified their poor traits as being okay depending on the branch of the military they were going into.

I never understood why some people become soldiers. I tried to join the Air Force once but because of my shitty heart, it ended up falling through. Like many young twenty-somethings, I wanted to do something patriotic and to help the country I grew up in, even though it consistently spat me out like mouldy wasabi (does wasabi get mouldy?). Eren’s, Mikasa’s, and Armin’s motives are rather clear give how the show started. But then there are others that I can’t help but question their intent (granted I’m not supposed to know what they’re actually fighting for at this point, so I’ll pretend I don’t).

Annie is super fucking fierce and so fucking apathetic. I have always wondered what her purpose was for joining the ranks as she gives off a strong presence of not believing in the work that the soldiers do, yet also loathing humanity for their incessant need to “be saved” without doing a damn thing about it. A few others do it for the title, glory, and security of being locked away in the deepest centres of the all the walls, where their chances of encountering a titan are almost nil.

As I watched the kiddos graduate into soldiers and try to finalise their positions and departments, this thought just kept playing in my mind. More than a few discover a great sense of conviction due to Eren’s inspiring speech to kick ass (and chew bubble-gum), yet when the shit gets tough, what will happen to them then? It’s so easy to get swayed by momentary, emotional convictions that are spurned to ignition via lofty pep-talks of grandeur-laced bravery. Yet, when one is face-to-face with death itself, with the biggest and most traumatising fears they couldn’t possibly imagine, what happens to all that bravery and bullshit?

With the way that episode four ended, I can’t help but keep thinking these thoughts and, I won’t lie, it has me depressed because I feel I’m about to realise that some people merely ain’t cut out to be soldiers in a battle of doom and existential gloom. What will that reveal about their character as a human being? We judge, but doth we have the right to do so? Would we really behave differently if the positions were switched?

I’m looking forward to the next abundance of segments as it’s a long-ass arc of fighting to prevent the decimation of another city (my musings will be separated into three parts to accommodate). Things I’m excited about the most: Sexy Sir Levi, the animation that pretty much re-defined the modern-day anime medium, and the irony of Eren’s future blowing up to bitch-smack him. Oh yes… I relished it last time and I have no doubt that I shall again.

Attack on Titan Season 1, Eps. 1 & 2 Musings

Native: 進撃の巨人
Source: Manga by Hajime Isayama
Demographic: Shōnen
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic
Season: Spring 2013 (Season 1)
Episodes: 25
Studio(s): WIT Studio
Director: Tetsurō Araki
Content Warnings: Strong violence. Graphic blood, gore, and dismemberment including consumption of humans. Intense depiction of displacement and refugee experiences. Brief depiction of oppression and starvation, and alcohol consumption. Brief scene of physical violence against kids. Food consumption.
AniList: Shingeki no Kyojin
Streaming: CrunchyRoll, Funimation, Hulu, Netflix, Tubi, Adult Swim

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