Shingeki no Kyojin 02 — Retreat

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This episode did a great job at capturing the utter helplessness of the humans in the face of the giants. Actually I think it may have gone a little bit too far. At this rate, what is even the point of having an army? From what we saw they didn’t even damage a single giant.

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Still, this episode gives us a great sense of the despair and hopelessness of their goal, and also of the social and class systems of the world. A fifth of the population, sent out to die, just like that. I can sympathize with both the “we can’t do anything” people and those who want to go on a giant rampage.

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And now we have the roots of a quest for genocide. I want to say that this quest is misguided but I can’t. When it’s a species that lives by eating humans, what are you supposed to do?

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Also this has got to be the coolest Imouto ever.

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Something seems a bit off though. She took her mother’s advice to take care of her brother much too seriously, and acts nothing like a little kid. I gather that she is adopted or something, I bet she has some birth secret related to the father’s work. And what the hell is in the basement?

My crazy theory: the boy’s ancestors somehow created the giants. If the wall’s only been there a hundred years, how did humanity survive before that? (Note: If you’ve read the manga, please don’t spoil it for those of us that haven’t. But if not, speculate away!)

Also if I were in charge of building this enormous fortress I would have done things a bit differently. I would have built additional walls like so:

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Then a single breach wouldn’t require the abandonment of a majority of the humans’ arable land. Also you could still get on top of the breached walls and launch attacks on the giants from the rear.

Also tunnels. Seems like that would be the best way to escape. Use the giants’ size against them. It would require some excellent engineering for the tunnels not to cave in when the giants stepped on them though.

And note on the map that there are four roads leading away from the fortress. Where in the world do those roads lead to? That’s very curious.

15 thoughts on “Shingeki no Kyojin 02 — Retreat

  1. The total lack of compartementalisation is one thing that always kinda bugged me in the manga too. That and the design of the gates would make any Medieval fortress-builder worth his salt shake his head and mutter something about “damn n00bs”.
    Not that the way the military’s organised and manned makes too much sense either mind you…

    Also Mikasa is made of awesome and win even if she’s just a leeeeeetle bit psycho. 😀

    1. You’re right, he broke through that gate like it was nothing. Very poor design.

      I’m pretty sure the psycho part is what makes her so awesome. 🙂

      1. It’s not that the gate’s fundamentally weak, (though it is the weakest part of the wall, so that’s why it’s more susceptible to damage) it’s that the titan, was, er, a special one. I mean it’s not really a spoiler or anything, since we can all look and see that he’s different from the other titans. Also, note how hard his ‘armor’ is that not even cannons can penetrate the surface. I mean with that speed and that strength, it would reaaaaally cause a lot of damage. One can argue with me on this, but it’s a mystery why this titan decided to attack the weakest part of the wall, where most damage can be made, though it could be considered that he’s following the humans.

        I love Mikasa! She’s like a breather from those ‘heroines’ whose only goal was to be the love interest to the hero. She’s actually cool!

        1. The problem with the gates is that they’re plain too simple. I’ll give you that they probably weren’t originally designed with something like the “special” Titans in mind, but that’s no reason to not turn them into full-blown bastions with the passage going through what amounts to solid rock, preferably NOT in straight line, and made plain too small for any but the smallest Titans (since the biggest thing the *humans* need to move through it is a horse cart anyway…).
          Just in case.
          And then have another of the sort guarding the only exit from the walled-off enclosure the first one leads to…

          It’s not like they haven’t had ample time to be *thorough* about these things after all.

          1. Ah true, it makes sense. Given that this ‘special’ titan was like a surprise to them, the gate’s structure and their formation would be of no use. I guess a few more layers and more complex structure couldn’t hurt.

  2. Don’t expect too much of this series. The author was a new writer, and by chapter 40 it showed, after months of filler and no answers to certain fundamental riddles. I did love the first two episodes, but I don’t have high expectations and if you expect the internal logic of the world to hold up to rigor, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

    1. The fun part about riddles is puzzling them out! I’m not too concerned if the riddles aren’t answered quickly… (that said I haven’t read the manga so I don’t know what it was like to sit through the previous chapters of “filler”)

  3. You’re not going to like me for this… I hate Mikasa, I find her to be very immature. In the first episode she blurted out to their parents that Eren wanted to join the Recon Force, which was his business and his place to tell them when he was ready, not hers, which made her look like a brat. And she obviously prefers to use violence when there’s a problem instead of words, she treats Eren more like an object instead of a brother, or even a fellow human. Because he has different ideals, she regards him as inferior to her and forces him to do what she wants. There’s a difference between wanting to protect someone and wanting to change them into something else.

    1. I would kind of disagree on your opinion. I didn’t really like that she blurted out his intention to join the recon/scouting legion, but keep in mind that in their world, that legion was considered pointless, with only the unknown and possibly death awaiting. And I don’t know, Eren doesn’t really seem the type to be persuaded just with words, I mean look at his argument with Arman, even though Arman clearly has a point, he’s not in the right mind (with his mother and all) and only after Mikasa punched him (to calm him down) that he bothered to listen, to make sense of it all. And with him joining the military did she join as well, so I don’t really see how she’s forcing him to do what she wants, in fact she’s the follower.

      1. Yeah, Eren’s a stubborn brat, he needs someone to give him a good punch in the face. This is true love between brother and sister.

    2. You’re not going to like me for this… I hate Mikasa

      You’re right I hate you.

      Nah I’m just kidding, I kind of see where you’re coming from. So far it seems like what she’s done (i.e. trying to prevent him from killing himself) has seemed reasonable, but we’ll see what happens when she grows up.

  4. Excellent point w/ the tunnels! I had also thought that humans should look for some islands w/o giants as I doubt they are intelligent enough to construct boats or to swim.

    Would it be genocide to root out the giants? I doubt it. I’m not even sure if they are “living” in a scientific sense; they seem to be pure nightmare fuel. As long as the giants are a threat to humanity I think it’s fair to defend oneself. Perhaps humans could preserve a few of them on an island (like in a zoo).

    Mikasa is cool, indeed! Hope she’ll have some importance herself and will not just remain the hero’s imouto.

    1. Good point. Some giant moats could have helped as well. Also they could… you know… actually post some guards with weapons on the tops of the walls.

      I’m sure she’ll end up as more than just the main character’s imouto. So far she’s the most interesting character in the show.

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