Had I not been following the manga for a while now, I wouldn’t have thought things could get even more despair-ridden in Shingeki no Kyojin. If you didn’t think so, then don’t feel bad.
It’s all about Mikasa again. Unlike the previous episode where we learnt about her past and her attachment to Eren, this was a full display of her complete reliance on Eren and not just as a support system. If there’s one thing this episode made clear, it’s that without Eren there can be no Mikasa the Titan Killer but just another broken down girl running away from something – not just her past.
There’s a feeling of backtracking here. Mikasa established herself as an individual in the previous episode, only to be reduced to another female lead who needs the man around to get things done. It’s especially disappointing for her, since in other episodes she’s come off as the restraint on Eren’s out-of-control emotions and the strongest character of the bunch. Her mental strength was questionable, sure, but it crumbled so quickly and sharply because of Eren’s death. As understandable as it is, it does go a bit too far.
Mikasa’s breakdown may have ended up the central focus of the episode, but there were some new developments to keep the story moving. Namely, the appearance of a new titan who engaged in fist fights against other titans and avoided the humans. This new titan is actually modelled after the mangaka Hajime Isayama – revealed in recent interviews, prior to the airing of the episode – and has given us an interesting development.
What exactly is this Titan? We’ve heard about the ‘abnormals’ and that’s it. Little is known exactly what the abnormal is unless you read the manga, and that doesn’t help us in the slightest when venturing guesses at what this new titan is. Whatever he may be, his timing is pretty good seeing as how things can’t possibly get worse. Many of you may have thought that after Eren was eaten, but in all honesty Mikasa’s breakdown and the suicides of new recruits is the straw which broke the camel’s back. When you’re strongest and brightest is out for the count, things have really hit rock bottom.
So what’s next? Hope. Everything so far has only made the situation more desperate, and now it’s time for the humans to have a fighting chance. The mystery titan has started the fight for the humans, giving them their second wind. Despair has been the atmosphere since the beginning, and it’s about time for that to change.