WARNING: Contains spoilers. Written from the POV of a manga reader, so anime-only viewers please beware.
They say there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes. I haven’t been through the former yet, which means I have to deal with the latter. I spent the entire weekend working on my income tax returns. In the past years the deadline for submission was on the 15th of March, but due to the pandemic it’s been extended for another month. Still, old habits die hard, and since I’ve been doing my tax returns in February each year I’m doing them in the same month this year, regardless of the extension. Talk about humans being creatures of habit.
Anyway, the good thing about finishing up this type of paperwork (well, online work as the case may be) early is that I don’t need to scramble when the deadline looms. Also, I really needed something to get my mind off the dreaded upcoming Chapter 137 of the SnK manga. In that sense this type of cumbersome, mind-numbing activity of filing tax returns kinda helped. Never thought I’d see a good use for it, ahaha!
Moving on to the latest anime episode, I liked it very much and wanted to post a ton of screenshots. I decided to ditch the flat-screen TV style of visuals and make a simpler, lighter template. That way I can put up a dozen images without compromising loading times.
Here are my favourite scenes:
Mikasa the Hair Puller
I don’t know why I love this scene so much. It shows Mikasa grabbing Sasha’s ponytail.
She’s supposed to be on watch duty but has fallen asleep instead. “Don’t nap, Sasha!” Mikasa admonishes her.
Jean looks on toward the port, not minding the girls. I’m always so stoked when I see Mikasa interacting with people other than Eren or Armin, as these moments are so rare I consider them very precious.
Hange Being Hange
Our super enthusiastic, ultra eager commander is in their element, welcoming the Marleyan scouts to the island with enough energy to lighten up the night sky.
I absolutely adore Hange in these scenes. Soldier, scientist, explorer, adventurer, inventor… all their myriad roles are on glorious display at this point in the story. Their oohing and aahing over the visitors’ high tech weapons made me want to cry. It’s such a Hange thing to do! And then I laughed at Levi kicking their foot under the table, warning them not to sound like an imbecile else the enemy will think they’re a bunch of ignoramuses. Ah, these Levihan interactions simply warm my heart! I love these two so very much.
Yelena putting a bullet through a comrade’s head was, I’m sure, quite shocking when seen for the first time in the anime. She’ll go on and do this same thing at another point in the story. Referred to as a デカい女 dekai onna (huge woman), I estimate she’s around 6 feet 6 inches tall or thereabouts. I mean, Jean’s over six feet tall already and Yelena towers over him. She kinda reminds me of Brienne in GoT, because of the height and blonde hair. But Brie was a good egg through and through, while Yelena is certifiably insane.
Bow Before Your Queen
Our Queen has finally made her first appearance this season! All hail her Royal Highness! I really, really missed this special gal.
- Me: Your Grace, please make more public appearances.
- Puppet Master Isayama: No.
- Me: *Weeps*
It was just lovely to see Historia, with her hair up and sitting next to Zackly. We see Pixys, we see Floch, we see Nile Dawk… everyone’s still alive! How nostalgic. Makes me want to cry, again. We manga readers know all of these soldiers will soon be dead. I love seeing them here decrying Zeke’s conditions for cooperation. In the end, they were right: Monkey Boy’s solution to the Eldian Problem is a real stinker.
No Hot Spring For Baby
Why oh why didn’t they voice out this scene??? I was dancing with anticipation, waiting for the smooth VAs to give life to the silly dreams of our babies. In the manga, Onyankopon talks about building a port, and our three stooges have no idea what that’s for. Connie thinks it’s a playground, while Sasha hopes it’s something edible.
And Jean? Our hottie has fantasies of a 混浴 konyoku (mixed male-female) public bath! We know exactly whose semi-naked body he wanted to see when he came up with this crazy idea xD Jean’s such a bawdy lad! Ugh, please just let him soak in a hot spring bath with his lady love already! xD
Anyhow, I blame the conservative, ultra prudish NHK channel for the animators’ decision not to voice this moment. Maybe it was too R-18 for the station’s puritanical sensibilities? Who’s at fault here, really? I don’t know, but I know I’m not happy 🙁
Aaaanyway, moving on to the most hilarious event in this episode: Nicolo finally meets the girl of his dreams. Doesn’t turn out the way them fairytales go: he’s scandalised by uncouth Sasha’s lack of good table manners. He hates being on this godforsaken island, he doesn’t want these devils to touch the food he’s made since he’s sure they have no sense of good taste whatsoever.
And then lovable Sasha starts crying, nay, bawling her eyes out at the supreme deliciousness of the food. She’s in heaven, she’s never tasted anything so fine in her life. Even Nicolo, pissed off as he is, cannot help but blush at her effusive praise coming straight from the heart (and the belly).
The camera lingering on Nicolo’s blushing face (see cover image) is pure gold. Ah, what a happy, refreshing, darling moment! I loved Nicolo straight away in the manga, but the anime makes me love him even more.
The blue skies, the colorful delectable cuisine, the sun-drenched landscape by the sea were so beautiful in this memory of Armin’s.
At the Cemetery
From these lighthearted, happy events we are brought to a place of grief. The animators made sure we didn’t get to see poor sweet Nicolo being abused by Eldian soldiers. Doesn’t this level of physical violence classify as PG-13? Isn’t the show being aired past midnight? What’s going on with all this censorship?
Anyway, Jean and Connie come to the rescue of the grieving chef. I was so relieved they voiced out this scene fully: Jean apologises to Nicolo, saying it was negligence on his part that got Sasha killed. As commanding officer, he takes responsibility for what happened, a far cry from his jerk leg reaction of blaming Eren in the previous episode.
Now, the reason I’m not mad at the animators, in fact, the reason I LOVE them is because of the frame below:
Aaaaaaahhhhh! A jeankasa frame! Be still, my shipping heart! Can you believe it? It was such a small panel in the manga, but they gave us this full screen thingy here in the anime. I LOVE YOU, MAPPA! I really do! You have no idea how much joy this moment has given me. I mean, we seldom see these two together in the same space. What a treat! What a glorious treat indeed!
The lovely Brauss family have come to pay their respects at their beloved daughter’s grave. We see Mr and Mrs Brauss, and their adopted daughter Kaia, a young girl Sasha saved once upon a time. Nicolo invites them to his restaurant, in which they agree to go as long as the food’s free.
In contrast to the clear blue skies and fluffy summer clouds of the tableaus along the port, this graveyard scene is in the appropriate somber tones. Thumbs up to the animators for the wonderful cinematography!
The Mental Battle Begins
Speaking of great cinematography, don’t you just love the lighting of this sunset scene featuring Captain Levi with the disappointed, open-mouthed Zeke? Our royal prince doesn’t like his new accomodations and he says it out loud.
I love the sharp exchange of words between these two, starting from that scene on the airship to the intimate space inside the carriage to this picture-perfect moment by the Forest of the Giant Trees.
We are back inside the dungeon, with Armin sitting cross-legged before the crystallised Annie. He’s narrating the story and speaks of his regrets. Eren would’ve done Liberio, with or without the Scouts’ help. Before he realised what was bound to happen it was already too late. He begs Annie to say something, but she’s mum.
The episode ends with Mikasa by Sasha’s graveyard muttering about having to fight in order to survive, while Eren is in prison hyping himself up: “Fight, fight.” He looks like a grey Incredible Hulk in the anime; I like his sleek manga look so much better. But I’m not complaining too much. It’s still our beloved Eren, and I like the way they made him look properly scary.
From Strength to Strength
All in all, another great episode. I loved seeing all the characters still alive, and even the tiny additions have been such a joy (See that little crab crawling up the rock in the opening sequence? Cute!). I might not have fulfilled my dream of seeing Jean talk about wanting a mixed bath, but at least they gave us a frame of him with that naughty look on his face, with his two friends on either side.
Cheers, MAPPA! Can’t wait for the next episode!
Thank you so much for reading! What did you think of this anime episode? Please take a moment to share a thought or two in the comment section below. xoxo – hana
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