This episode ended up providing some important backstory for some of the characters, although after a piece of information that’s revealed later in the episode, some of what we learn becomes a little suspect. But the flashback we see for Kenny the Ripper can be trusted, and it provides some information on both the Ackermanns and the Oriental clan. During this section, we also see a conversation taking place between Levi and Mikasa about the Ackermanns, and it was neat to see something that we saw back in the first season getting mentioned and tying in to their conversation.
But the section where we get the potentially suspect backstory was very well done in an animated form. While it was shocking and interesting enough in the original manga telling, being able to see it in motion made it even more shocking and impressive.
We also get to see what’s going on with Erwin and the Scouts now that the coup d’etat is over. That Zachary fellow is very sadistic, and is taking way too much pleasure in torturing his prisoners. There was also an important conversation between Pyxis and Erwin where it’s clear that while they are comrades in the coup, they may not necessarily be seeing the situation from the same perspective. While this is obviously from the original manga source material, I still have to comment that this is a very realistic portrayal. And I think it’s this realistic portrayal of human nature that makes the storytelling during this section of Attack on Titan, and that makes this a series that readers (for the manga) or viewers (for the anime) want to follow it and invest in caring for the characters.
Overall, this episode wasn’t terribly action oriented, but it didn’t need to be. There are enough revelations and intriguing character interactions to keep the audience interested in what’s happening. However, near the end of this episode, it appears the stage is being set for next one to be much more focused on the action. We’ll find out next week whether or not I’m right about this.
Additional posts about Attack on Titan: