Home > Episode by Episode > Attack on Titan ep5: ten thousand terrified men

Attack on Titan ep5: ten thousand terrified men

I can’t imagine what it’s like to dive into certain doom.  I suppose the trick is to trick yourself into believing that you know you’ll come out safe, or to only think about a task at hand, and not the terror of failure.  After all, the terror they say is what kills you.  But I don’t know how I’d feel if I saw hundreds of grown men, even veterans quaking in fear.  Even as they give you orders, you can see them forcing back the terror.  You stand in line and here wimping, and whispers of the doom you’re supposedly walking into.  Even the people in front of you, you can’t see their faces, but you know there’s terror on them because you see their bodies shaking.  You hear the men in the ranks vomiting on their boots.  Yeah, the titans aren’t hear yet, but the terror is.

In a way, this attack on humanity is even scarier than the original.  It’s because the titans have rebuilt their reputation.  They’ve resown their terror into the hearts of humanity.  It’s pretty amazing to see Eren fight back what should be paralyzing fear, just to reach his goal of protecting humanity once and for all.  The colossus titan right in his face, like scaling an angry building he has to make his way to its neck.  Too bad the damn thing just disappears like it’s not really there at all.

So creepy!

Episode five is just a telling of a small portion of this significant battle.  As the titans begin to infiltrate the wall protecting humanity, it seems as if the humans only have more time to take in their own doom, not prepare.  After all, humanity wasn’t even able to stop the titans last time.  They only survived because the super titans could only mount two attacks.  But if that happens this time, that means they’d break in to the inner most sanctuary of humanity.  And from that point on there is no where safe left in the world.  We see the soldiers in all their terror (I know, I’ve already used that word a lot) come to terms with the fact that they’re going out there most likely to die and horrible death.  I think this hits most ironically for Eren’s boot camp rival Jean.  It seems he was just about to be transferred to the inner walls as he hoped, but he’s a day too slow.  And he’s quick to tell that to anyone who isn’t already crying or making their death march towards the titan assault.  It takes a good scolding from Eren of all people to help him comes to grips with the situation, and even see a positive side.  If Jean can survive this one day, he’ll still be able to go inside the inner walls.  That’s all he has left now after all.  Mikasa tries to give Eren the heads up that should things turn to crap on the battlefield, they can still find each other and retreat.  Unfortunately for Mikasa, she’s sent to the elite rear guard.  A place far away from where Eren is going.  He’s quick to scold her too for being selfish.  He’s fully committed to the assault on the titans, even with the fear in his eyes.

As Eren, Armin and their squad make their way towards the front where the vanguard is, they see no sight of that vanguard.  All they see are random titans roaming the area.  Eren is able to rally his squad before they freeze up at the sight of the titans.  And you can almost feel confidence coming from these soldiers.  After all, the titans are so big a plodding.  Why hasn’t the vanguard done a better job?  They simply need to maneuver to their vulnerable necks and hack them right?  They charge in only to see a g*ddamn titan leap through the area and catch one of the squad members in his mouth.  Have to say, that was pretty scary to watch.  I forgot they could do that.

The squad begins to freeze up as they see their comrade swallowed whole (I don’t quite remember that scene from the manga, but I could have swore it was much gorier).  This is the beginning of the chaos.  Eren swoops in ahead of everyone in an attempt to get revenge, but another titan seemingly leaps up out of nowhere and bites one of his legs off!  I gotta say, for action animation, that scene was amazing to see.  It was sudden, shocking and brutal.  What we thought was the story’s hero, clipped cleanly at the beginning of his first real battle, broken and bleeding to death on some roof.  The rest of the squad is picked apart by the converging titans, with Armin being the last to be swallowed up.  Through some miracle only achieved in Hollywood movies and shounen battle manga though, Eren is able to regain consciousness and save pull his best friend from the jaws of the titan, only to be eaten himself.

End of episode.  End of series.  F*ck you viewers!

Well, it’s the end of the episode anyway.  And though not a lot of material was covered, it was done in spectacular fashion.  The animation studio for this episode nailed the feel of the material in my opinion.  Even the flashbacks which covered material like classes on the titans, and Armin and Eren reading about the outside world felt weighty and important.  The animation as usual was stellar.  The music was well placed and on point.  Even when the BGM was blaring, it wasn’t distracting.  And that music cut off just as soon as it wasn’t needed anymore.  Thank you!

Praising this show aside, questions brought to mind in this episode are pretty obvious.  What the hell are the titans exactly?  Especially the super titans that just seem to appear with amazing power, and disappear like ghosts.  I’m not sure they even eat humans.  They just show up to f*ck up stuff and leave.  Even worse, they seem to exhibit at least some intelligence.  It’s bad enough that humanity knows little to nothing about the titans, let alone their origins.  The super titans will be the quick annihilation of humanity at this rate.  The regular titans themselves are more agile than I gave them credit for, too.  It’s absolutely terrifying to see that they will actually leap out and grab their food!  It makes you wonder how humanity even exists as it is now.  How did the humans stay alive long enough to construct these massive walls?  Where did the titans come from?  The show asks these questions, but any answers seem far away at this point.

The next really important question is what happens to the show with Eren Jaeger dead?  Do they pull some sort of last minute save, or is there some sort of miracle about to take place?  Either way, it’s hard to see Eren being an active player after losing two limbs in this fight, and that’s if some badass can manage to pull his body out of the belly of a titan.  Not to be too corny, but it’s almost a shame he doesn’t have some Fullmetal Alchemist tech on hand.  Those mechanical limbs are pretty useful.

Best of luck to the rest of the cast next week.  I have a feeling that these guys are going to have a very long day.

Further Reading:

  1. May 6, 2013 at 02:33

    Just a word of advice, from here on, DO NOT see the next episode preview, if you get what I mean. You’ll be seriously spoiled if you do that, being a manga reader, I can guarantee you that this episode was nothing as compared to what’s coming ahead!

    • May 7, 2013 at 15:04

      Actually, I am a bit of a manga reader. I already know the big reveal that comes during this battle, but I haven’t read much further. I just like to play ignorant, it helps keep me from accidentally giving away spoilers.

      That said, most anything past this battle is spoilers for me.

  2. May 6, 2013 at 08:47

    I don’t seem to be as hooked on this series as much as many other viewers are – there are several flaws that really stick out to me – but I felt this was a really strong episode, and by far the best one we’ve seen so far. I highly doubt we’ve seen the last of Eren, just because it’s so unusual to see the death of not only a main character but the main character so early on in any show, but big props to Shingeki no Kyojin if this does end up being the case.

    • May 7, 2013 at 15:15

      The way you feel about Shingeki no Kyojin, is the way I feel about Gargantia. Plus it’s easy for this show to get overhyped/oversold when you have rabid manga fans talking about it’s greatness from the moment it’s licensed until now.

      Now when it comes to Eren, I don’t like to give away plot points until I’m completely finished with a series. So we’ll leave it at that for now. 😉

  1. May 12, 2013 at 20:59

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