Home > Episode by Episode > Check-out Station: Attack on Titan ep25

Check-out Station: Attack on Titan ep25

Oh the glory! I’ve pretty much loved everything this show has done since the beginning, pacing complaints be damned. It always seemed like the show was aware of the viewers eye upon it, which kinda explains why the show seems so melodramatic. So I thought it was a nice little bit of fanservice (intentional or otherwise) to see the crazed and pompous worshipers of the walls be included in last week’s ending scene, where we see Eren clobber Annie into a building. I laughed so hard and happily that it might have disturbed somebody if they were in the room with me.

Moving past my moment of morbid joy, the battle between Eren and Annie has kicked off in earnest. And the Recon Corps members in view do have their doubts about this whole plan now that it’s in motion before them. For starters, every moment this battle continues, piles of bodies are being thrown through the streets as people are trounced under foot, and buildings are demolished with the force of bombs.  There’s also the little annoying fact that Eren has never been a match for the Annie in any form.  But what choice do they have?  It’s already been shown that they’re no match for the female titan in even the best of circumstances.  It really is all up to Eren now.  But at least he’s still holding onto his faculties, for now.

Squaring off with Annie, Eren does wonder what the hell she’s thinking, what she wants, and especially what’s she fighting for.  After all, how could someone who has spent so much intimate time around their graduating class, around humans, take her stance?  How could she live among them, hoping to further the vendetta of the human titans all along?  Regardless, he can’t afford to stop and discuss things with her.  His job is not just to beat her to a pulp.  He’s got to rip an extremely strong, adept and smart woman out of her titan form alive.  And she’s a lot better than him.

Speaking of not having time, while the equivalent of two mountains are smashing into each other, ruining the entire city and killing scores and scores of people, Erwin is being held at gunpoint by the leader of the Military Police.  The jerk insists on punishing Erwin immediately and placing all blame on him.  but he’s a little too scared of the situation to do anything at the moment.  On the other hand, Erwin is as cool as a cucumber.  Even with a rifle pointed at his face, he’s more than willing to cooperate and even transfer command if need be.  He holds no fear of punishment, as it appears that his sense of duty, and hatred of the titans runs much deeper than his fear of a petty court martial.  The Military Police commander flinches at the idea of being responsible for the currently unfolding fiasco, and he decides it is best to put handcuffs on Erwin, but not stop him from leading this operation.  Instead, he gets his people mounted up to protect and evacuate the citizens.  Hmph!  At least he still remembers how to do his job.

As the brutal altercation between Eren and Annie comes to a close, we get flashbacks to some traumatic experience she must have had before arriving at the wall.  It’s enough to get her to show some emotion as she pounds Eren into submission and runs off to escape over the wall.  But the fight isn’t quite over yet, as Eren’s psychotic side is only now just rising to the surface.  And what we get is a red hot, extremely demonic looking titan form for Eren that has to be a sign of the end times.  From its broken state, it still manages to chase down Annie, tackle her to the ground and scare the sh*t out of everyone watching (including me)!  And as if the battle wasn’t already brutal and bloody enough, Eren’s psychotic titan form grabs Annie’s face with its one good hand and crushes it!  I imagine some people were killed from the blood splatter alone!  Somehow Annie is still able to knock Eren back and desperately claws her way up the wall.  Thankfully Mikasa is still around, and won’t stand to see the b*tch who tried to take her precious Eren escape.  In one of my favorite scenes of the series, she races Annie to the top of the wall and actually takes Annie down herself!  This leaves her once again exposed to Eren who hops right on top of her again.  It’s checkmate.  The only thing everyone is left wondering is whether Eren can control himself enough to spare her, or if he’ll just crush her right there.

Eren rips off the flesh on Annie’s back, exposing a crying girl in a mound of bloody flesh.  Things get a little crazy (or crazier) after that, as the two titans light up, and the crystallization effect that Annie used so many times to harden her body starts to fuse the two of their titan forms together.  Levi then makes a surprise cameo, cutting Eren free (I thought he was told to stay out of this operation) in time to spare him from Annie’s fate.  Her fate?  It appears that she’s permanently crystallized in that form, like a mosquito in amber (see: Jurassic Park).  There’s no breaking through.  And it’s very upsetting to Jean, and probably everyone involved in the operation.  So many dead, so much destruction, and they likely will never get a word from Annie now.

As Eren recovers, Erwin is being questioned (interrogated) by the power-that-be on what exactly the whole point of this operation was, and if it was worth the price paid.  And in the end, he’s able to convince them to leave the Recon Corps intact, with him still at the helm.  After all, he has some very valid points.  They’ve learned a hell of a lot over the past few months.  And it’s very likely that there are other human titans running around even as they speak.  And the Recon Corps is the only group willing to even acknowledge that problem.  He’s a cold as ice brother.

The series closes appropriately with Eren and Mikasa talking.  Eren confesses that the battle with Annie felt really good to him.  He didn’t even mind the pain, or the thought of death.  Though he does remind Mikasa that he’s not like that now.  And Jean makes an interesting point while talking to Armin as they walk towards their part of the questioning.  He wonders if Eren’s victory over the titans is really a victory for humanity.  Though I think Armin, for all his intelligence, doesn’t care.  He sees those birds flying free, just as he hoped he’d be one day.

Oh, and this image.

Thanks a lot you trollish *ssholes!  Could you tease me any harder?!

End of series.

Man!  So much excitement from this series is still coursing through me!  I felt this show did an outstanding job of entertaining me.  And for all the hype leading up to this show, I couldn’t imagine how popular its become.  And I’m happy about it.  I feel like a show like this is helpful and important for anime as a whole.  I believe that diversity as a whole, is the key to all things.  So sure it’s great that anime as a whole is much more accepted now than it was fifteen years ago.  But I wish very good thing on this show because I want to see things like online streaming, physical disc sales and TV time for these shows to increase.  And I want to believe Attack on Titan is the key.  In a way, I want to think of it as this decade’s Fullmetal Alchemist.  That show really carried the mantle for quality, entertaining crossover anime.  It was clearly, distinctly anime in all ways, but still widely accepted and cool.  And I believe Attack on Titan has the right mix to fill its shoes.

But I better not get ahead of myself.  I want to talk a little about this series for its own merits before I say goodbye to it.

Attack on Titan succeeded most of all in being one thing every time it aired.  An event.  The combination of manga reader love, the concept and that awesome title pic that everyone loves to photoshop of the Collosus Titan peeking over the wall, while Eren stands on the ground in his little 3D Maneuver Gear is an awesome sight to behold.  And the anime took that boost and ran with it from the very beginning.  In the beginning, it managed to fill us in on the world just enough before throwing in the terrifying and creepy chaos that was the titan invasion.  It set the tone as a series that would be brutal, methodical and very dramatic.  And this was all long before Eren turned into a titan for the first time.  Everyone says a good start is important, that couldn’t be truer hear.

Something else this show also had going for it was its large cast of interesting and diverse characters.  Though Eren and Mikasa can seem simple-minded and one-dimensional at times, I find them very appropriate for this kind of show.  Attack on Titan loves to emphasize guts (in all its forms) and glory above all else.  So it’s appropriate that the two characters with the strongest wills be the leads.  And Armin rounds out the trio enough by being their opposite in many ways, cowardly (at first), smart and very friendly.  His qualities make the idea of Eren and Mikasa getting married and having kids kinda scary.  Could you imagine having an explosive father like Eren, and deadly mother like Mikasa?  I shudder at the thought.  Then there are the myriad of side characters, most everyone’s favorite being Levi himself.  The strong, but surprisingly not silent type.  He’d seem pretty at home in an anime with yakuza in it.  And then there’s his superior Erwin, who is the strong, mostly silent type.  You wonder what would make such a talented and clean-cut guy like him lead such a suicidal post.  The answer to that seems to be that there are some strong fires burning within him.  For one, he seems to have a burning sense of duty in him.  The second fire seems to be a seething hatred of the titans that I think may rival Eren’s.  The guy is a huge mystery right now.  And it’s to the point where I’m not even sure what he’s thinking half the time.  And then there’s possibly my favorite character of the show, Hanji.  She’s an interesting and delicious mix of intensity, insanity and intelligence.  There’s no one in the whole world as infatuated by titans as she is, though the fact that the three I’s that I mentioned also make her a mad scientist also makes her probably the last person they’d like to be stuck alone with.  While at first I found her to be incredibly creepy and off-putting, she’s actually a very logical, engaging and passionate person.  There’s still blood lust there, for sure.  But I have a lot of respect for her passion and professionalism.  It’s these reason why I’d nominate her for best overall character from this show.  I’m sure I’ve missed a slew of other interesting characters, but that should justify things enough.

Another thing I loved about this show were its production values.  Whether it be lighting, the cinematography or the music, I always got the impression of an important big budget production.  Sure, like any TV anime it cut corners, but I never saw a huge downgrade in quality.  And when it came to key action set pieces, the show was always firing on all cylinders.  It not only made sure that the audience could follow the action, but it did it while still remaining visceral and creative.  The fight on the plains with the female titan possibly being the best example.  The set up to the confrontation was very clear, high quality and exciting.  The actual scuffle which lasted several episodes was just amazing.  It had very often fluid, expressive animation, the music was pounding, exciting and dramatic.  Everything in the show rose to the occasion with scale of events.  It was one of the more even and well thought out executions of both story and action driven productions I’ve seen in a TV anime.

As for complaints about the show, they are extremely small in my view.  And they reflect some of the fairer and more popular complaints about the show.  These complaints are the voice acting, and the pacing of the production.  For one, I’ve heard many complaints about how the characters are always screaming at each other in a really over dramatic fashion.  And I believe that’s fair to say, at least early on in the production.  The scene where Eren, Mikasa and Armin are cornered by their soldier breathren, who’ve heard about Eren turning into a titan, and the frady cat commander just wants to blow them up.  Pretty much every line of dialogue in that scene is screamed, it even seems like Eren, Mikasa and Armin are screaming at each other as they whiper what they’re gonna do next in some of the scenes.  That said, I say the screaming and yelling in most of the show is more than justified.  This is considering that they’re often flying through the air at high speeds, traveling quickly on horse, are fighting titans, or are just scared out of their damn minds.  Also, there’s a lot of yelling in the military.  There just is, don’t argue with that.

The other nagging complaint is the pacing.  I don’t see it, I don’t get it.  And what I did or do see is hardly that bad.  You can’t complain about characters always screaming at each other and being in combat (Trost arc), and then be mad when things slow down.  Some of the slow pace is to let thinks like intensity and tension soak into the scene.  Sometimes, it’s fair to say that it appears that the director and animators were feeling themselves a little bit, and just wanted to show off pretty scenery.  It’s all a common thing in anime that I’m willing to accpet.  I also have to mention I’m a veteran shounen battle anime watcher.  So years of watching Dragonball Z, Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Hunter X Hunter, Fairy Tail and Bakuman (HA!), have made me more than used to drawn out pacing.  Attack on Titan isn’t even a blip on my radar.

I think I’ve made my thoughts pretty clear on the series up to this point.  To me, it’s a strong contender for my anime of the year.  It’s opened up an exciting new world to me that brings back fond memories of watching such all-time favorites as Evangelion, Berserk, Fullmetal Alchemist and even Claymore.  It has its own spin on things, of course, and has left me both thoroughly satisfied and dissatisfied.  I’m quite satisfied with the effort put forth by this production, but I’m very dissatisfied with the fact that there aren’t any more new episodes to watch, maybe ever.  Given the show’s popularity, I think it’s very fair to assume they’ll give us more.  But I’m willing to wait for them to give a good manga only story.  I don’t want any “anime only” crap in this tightly woven production.  The manga is spectacular, and I’m glad to see that it didn’t see any significant changes in transition to animation.  The mangaka and the fans deserve to see the story told out in full in the best possible way, a full TV anime  And besides, this gives me plenty of time to speculate, if I don’t want to immediately pick up that gory manga again for awhile.  After all, that very last scene in episode 25 gives the unaware a whole new universe of speculation to think about.  But for now, I could not be happier with what I’ve seen.  See you guys around.  I’m going online to buy myself a Recon Corps hoodie.  Oh yeah!

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