Shingeki no Kyojin episode 16: Dying for Freedom

Shingeki no Kyojin open up the gate

This episode was a bit slow, but what can we do, we do need times between each mission and actions. While on its own this episode wasn’t particularly interesting or special, it definitively was really important on the whole since it helped us understand the new recruit better and why they joined even after all they have seen. It is one thing to have epic character, but everything would fall into pieces if we couldn’t relate to them in any way and if they never felt human. The new recruits didn’t even had a chance to choose their allegiance and one of them already died, it really goes to show that the world of Shingeki no Kyojin is just as the real world, it is harsh and terrifying and while some characters like Eren can get away with being super bad asses with no fear and who can transform into monsters, the rest of the crew are just regular humans who have their own lives and who are afraid to die.

Shingeki no Kyojin Jean choice

In this episode Jean demonstrated exactly what kind of struggle everyone was facing when they had to choose if they wanted to join the Recon corp or have a safer future in the garrison. It is easy to say that you want to save humanity and while you might know that the human race needs this for its future…you really wish someone else could die for you. No one wants to die, Jean was scared shitless about his choice of staying with the Recon corp and now not a month after he joins he will already be part of a group who will go outside the walls for a mission. Judging from the look of the previews for next episode that first mission won’t be an eventless one either, it seems that the commander’s prediction of losing a third of the recruit on it might have been an underestimation considering what we had a peak at. It is, after all, the first time we’ve seen a female Titan and it is also an interesting fact that the first intelligent titan witnessed is a woman, talk about gender stereotype.

Shingeki no Kyojin female titan

Now, one big change that occurred for me this episode wasn’t something I saw coming, but I started to feel a bit more distant towards Eren and Mikasa than I was before. It seems that since so much focus was put on Jean, I started identifying myself more with him than with the crazy mindset of Eren and Mikasa. If I were to go to battle I would certainly want to avoid dying at all cost, I would be scared for my life and I can perfectly understand why he would want a pretty good reason from Eren as to why he should risk his life for him. Overall I think I’ve grown even more fond of the other characters and therefore Eren lost some of his appeal.

Shingeki no Kyojin reason to fight

Overall a very calm episode, but a necessary one which really made us look back on some of the side character and make us realize that their world is just as cruel and difficult to live in as the title suggests.

ZeroGhj signing off

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