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Saturday, 20 May 2017

Attack on Titan S2E8: The Hunters


Attack on Titan
Series 2, Episode 8
The Hunters.



We are now officially two thirds of the way through this series. It feels like it's flown by, and the next four episodes are likely to fly by even quicker, especially as it doesn't seem likely that we'll get any more character focus episodes (well, unless Jean gets one).


This week's episode, however, is actually pretty slow-paced, even glacial. There's not a tremendous amount that actually happens, and unlike previous flashback sections, the flashbacks in this episode don't really serve any clear purpose -- they show us that Eren gets himself into situations he can't get out of, and needs Mikasa and Armin to bail him out, but we already knew all of that, so by the end of the episode, we know exactly as much as when we started it.

Picking up immediately after the last episode, this episode sees Reiner defeating and capturing Eren, before he and Bertholdt flee, with Eren and Ymir in tow. As Mikasa and Armin wait for Erwin to arrive with more soldiers and lifts to transport horses over the wall, they have flashbacks to an incident from their childhood, when Eren confronted a gang of bullies.

Quick, eveyone look dramatic.

I'm left without a huge amount to really say about this episode. It was nice to see Jean back, he's been sorely missed so far this series? I'm a sucker for 'soldier characters have to consider the awkward logistics of their work,' so Armin explaining to Mikasa that they needed to wait for lifts to arrive for the horses was nice. I even liked That One Guard Guy's speech about how he wants peaceful days to return.

Overall, though, this episode just didn't give me much to talk about. The flashback with Eren, showing a frenetic fight in Trost as Eren confronts some bullies, only for it to spiral out of control, was nice but doesn't actually give us any new insights into anything, because Eren being hotheaded and getting himself into fights, and Mikasa being hyper-skilled and getting him out of them -- that's all stuff we've seen before, many, many times. I'm pretty sure we've even see it in other flashbacks in the first series.

It feels very much like this episode could have been cut down to just a few scenes: The culmination of the battle between Eren and Reiner (which still confuses me -- Eren had Reiner in a headlock, and then Bertholdt falls on both of them and explodes into steam and lightning, and then suddenly Reiner is on top of Eren), Mikasa waking up and getting the Logistics Chat from Armin, Erwin's arrival and Zoe's plan, and Eren waking up with no arms.

Zero percent of his usual quantity of arms.

Speaking of, Eren was surprisingly chill about having no arms. Very zen. Even knowing that they'd grow back, in his position I'd be a lot more panicky.

All of which is about all I can say about this episode, so we'll leave this review off early for today. Next week, it looks like the Beast Titan is making another appearance, and Eren and Reiner will be having another confrontation, except this confrontation will involve words. Very exciting.

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