C&C - Attack on Titan - "Midnight Sun" [6/29]

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Yojimbo

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Shahdaroba
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Wow. That was some gut wrenching stuff in the wake of catching up to the flash froward teaser from last season. It was still a relief Armin was the one to get the injection. So Mikasa's gonna be the next Armored Titan some day right? lol.

Had a feeling the Beast Titan guy might know something about Eren. But it was his father knew and claimed they were both brainwashed? Intriguing.

But yeah, I totally screamed "Dammit!" when Reiner cheated death yet again. Argh!
 
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Light Lucario

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In a Dream World
I thought that this episode was pretty good, despite my strong mixed feelings about it. The Beast Titan coming right in front of Erin was unexpected, especially when he said that Erin's father brainwashed him. It's still being more secretive for the shake of it, especially when they're getting closer to the basement, but it does make the audience wonder if that knowledge is going to do more harm than good for the Scouts.

Armin barely being alive was shocking, but also broke my suspension of disbelief, despite the setting of this series. Armin's entire body, or at least more than half of it, was burned to a crisp. His skin and hair were completely gone and the flames consuming him were blue right before he fell. He should be super dead instead of barely holding on. That probably wouldn't be that much of an issue if that attack didn't look so fatal. Erwin surviving on the other hand seemed a lot more believable. It wasn't a huge stretch for him to barely survive that impact since the rock landed on the side of his stomach and there was one soldier who survived seemingly unharmed too.

Erin of course wanted Armin to keep holding on and Mikasa was in shock over what happened, but she still made sure that they got the signal to kill Reiner. I liked the conflict that this situation created in-universe. They only had the power to bring back one person from the brink of death. Regardless of who they'd choose, it was going to have a big impact on the cast and humanity in general. Plus, both sides had pretty valid points. Erwin is their commander and Scouts would want to follow him. Armin has proven to be a smart Scout whose plans have helped them out countless times. It was pretty neat to finally have that flash forward at the end of the first half of the season explained. Levi would choose Erwin and that would obviously enrage both Erin and Mikasa.

I also liked seeing how desperate Mikasa was to save Armin. All three of the main leads are friends, but Mikasa has been almost entirely focused on just Erin for the past two seasons, so seeing her become emotional over another character like that was refreshing. Hange's speech was also pretty nice. She only survived that attack because someone else saved her and she has to deal with loss all the time as a Scout. Levi was able to save Erwin, but then he moved his arm away. Seeing that Erwin was dreaming of what led to his father's death made Levi rethink his decision, especially with Hange's speech in mind as well.

While I can understand why the choice would create conflict and tension within the cast, I knew immediately that Armin was going to be revived. Their choices were one of the main three leads of the series and a prominent supporting character. Attack on Titan has not been afraid to kill off prominent supporting characters, so that made the tension much weaker for me. To be fair, I'm pretty sure that Erwin would have asked Levi to revive Armin instead if he was conscious enough to make that decision. He wanted to learn what was in that basement and charging off to his death affected him a lot as well, but he also would have a huge case of survivor's guilt. Erwin's plan was a suicide mission and that led to almost everyone dying. He wouldn't want to be one of the few survivors with that in mind. Not to mention he was still consumed by the guilt of indirectly causing his father's death. Dreaming about it during his last few moments was rather telling. The Scouts also wouldn't really need Erwin as their demon leader when Levi could pretty much fit that role too. I assume he'll be the new leader of the Scouts at least.

It was still a hard decision, especially when Levi clearly wanted to bring back Erwin and their interactions during the course of the series gave off the impression that they respected each other, if not actually being friends. It just seemed like the outcome was too obvious. But giving Erwin the chance to rest and not be haunted by his guilt anymore was a fitting choice. Armin eating Berholdt was pretty unsettling though, especially when he wanted to avoid fighting in the first place. It was frustrating when Reiner and the Beast Titan escaped. I was hoping that at least one of them would be taken out, but they probably want to setup another confrontation with them down the road. Gaining the Colossal Titan's powers is also a pretty huge victory for the Scouts too. It was nice to see Armin and Misaka looking so relieved to see Armin back to life.

Overall, it was a pretty good episode. I still have mixed feelings on saving Armin. That was one of the few emotionally effective death scenes in the show and I still think it was a huge stretch at best that he survived long enough to become a Titan in the first place. They established this possibility within the previous episode and turning a human into a Titan didn't come out of nowhere either, but it just really cheapened Armin's death scene to undo it right away. It kind of makes me think that they did this primarily for shock value, which is what most of the death scenes in this series boil down to in my opinion.

To be fair, there are still ways for them to make this work without having Armin's revival feel completely cheap. Armin could also develop some serious survivor's guilt if he does learn about that they could have saved their commander instead of him. Being nearly burned to death would probably have some long lasting traumatic scars. Plus, Armin is going to have to control his Titan powers like Erin did and become a fighter, which definitely isn't one of his strengths. It might also not be too bad if they don't figure out a way to create more Titans. This was seemingly their only way to bring a character back from the brink of death and I completely forgot that they'd have to eat either Reiner or Berholdt in order to turn back into a human too. It still feels like a cheap way to avoid killing off one of the main leads, but future episodes could make it feel less so, especially when this will definitely be part of the aftermath of this mission.
 
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