With this episode, I find myself realising that I have a preference for Shingeki no Kyojin focusing on the military side of the story.
Admittedly, the military plot of the series was not something I was as aware of when reading the manga. Partly because the art work in the manga gives the series the dark feel, and little to no focus on the military plot, that is becoming a central pillar of the anime. To keep the military feel going strong, we got a new character to lead the charge: Commander Pixis.
As with all hierarchical military operations, you need a top man like Pixis. A type of character who does’t attract a lot of attention, but knows what to say at the right time. A character who speaks with sincerity and with the help of some animation – those close-ups of people shouting are becoming something of a regular fixture – gets the message across. Only fitting that the commander was there to get his troops in line, before the biggest moment of human retaliation. One thing that hasn’t changed with humans, especially soldiers, is the need to be led into battle which stands true for modern and ancient warfare, making Pixis all the more essential.
Now I’ve mentioned in previous posts that Shingeki no Kyojin had finally gotten to the part of humans retaliating, but we have yet to get to the main event. We’re still building up to it. Have been for the past few episodes and are now within spitting distance of “Normandy”. The big attack for humans to reclaim what’s theirs and to get one back at the titans will surely be an important point in the anime, just as soon as we reach it.
With the ongoing build-up, the gravity of this plans becomes more evident. Each episode brings with it more misfortune for humanity, which is now shown in the troops’ loss of morale. All the other battles have been for the sake of getting us to chaos, diminishing any shred of hope for the characters. What we have now is a situation where even turning back is an option. It’s the last hurrah for the military, thus making it the last conceivable hope for the humans made slightly more complicated by Eren’s lack of control – a detour had to be thrown in there for shonen regulation’s sake.
Things are still going at a slower pace, so we can expect another episode or two devoted to the resolution of operation Take Back Throst. Shingeki no Kyojin‘s pace is something you have to accept, and if you’re lucky you won’t be ticked off by it too many times. For this episode, there wasn’t that problem since we know the build-up exists for a reason. What comes next will likely be faster, given that it should be action-centric. A boost that I’ll welcome after a good number of weeks of taking it slow.