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'Attack on Titan' Review: S3E2

AoT: The Hunt Continues

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Following the events of the last episode, Levi finds himself on the run from Kenny. This chapter quickly reveals that Kenny was once a mentor to Levi, before joining the Military Police. During the chase scene, Levi racks his brain to think of the reason why Kenny would join the MP, to no avail.

Soon after escaping his former mentor, Levi links back up with his squad, only to find that Eren and Historia have been captured. Luckily, the Scouts were able to capture a hostage of their own; a member of Kenny's MP squad. After a grueling interrogation, Levi's squad learns something that could drastically change the show's dynamic going forward.

Meanwhile, the members of Levi's squad discuss their current predicament. During their missions outside the walls, the Scouts only fought Titans. There was no moral dilemma surrounding the slaughter of giant, humanoid cannibals. Now, the Scouts are fighting other people, calling to question their reason for joining the Scouts.

A Series Highpoint

Kenny entering the bar.

Kenny entering the bar.

The animators for Attack on Titan should take a bow after their beautiful rendition of Levi's chase scene. Never in the series thus far have I seen motion captured so well. Fighting a more agile enemy, Levi needed to maneuver the city more quickly than he did outside the walls. Instead of avoiding the swats of 50' Titan's, he's fighting other people equipped with 3D Maneuvering Gear and projectile weapons.

This change in technique gave the writer(s) an excuse to show how bad-ass Levi is. Moving like an inhuman spectre, Levi was pushed to his absolute limit by Kenny during the chase, showing why he's considered the most formidable member of the Scout Division.

Sadly, the rapid pace of the show was abruptly halted toward the end of the chase scene as Levi was held up in a bar. It wasn't a very long scene, but I couldn't help but question whether or not it was necessary as the pace picked back up after it was over.

War is Hell

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In wake of their clash with the Military Police, the Scouts are given a moment to reflect on the fight. Some members of the squad are able to process what happened better than others. During their dialogue, Levi is able to give his teammates guidance, telling them his perspective on the matter. The conversation doesn't finish here, however, as members of the squad continue to discuss the matter later in the episode.

With all that happened in the series so far, it's hard to remember that the former cadets hadn't had any real experience fighting with other people. This episode brings up a conversation that questions the meaning of war from a soldier's perspective, one that I found incredibly interesting. Up until this point, the Scouts viewed themselves as protectors and nothing more. Now that they are at odds with a human enemy, what are they? Heroes or indiscriminate killers?

This far into the series, it's hard to believe the frequency in which the show can develop characters and introduce new ideas. The ability to question their actions make the Scouts feel more real, making it so much harder to process when someone falls in the line of duty.

The Verdict: Amazing

Attack on Titan shows that it has no trouble injecting new themes this far into the story. With a beautifully animated action sequence and tear-jerking character development, the only thing keeping this episode from being perfect is the dip in pace mid-way through the chase scene.

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© 2018 Jonathon Ellis