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Captain_duck
Dec 3, 2005

I swear nice bushes!

Final season ep2 out. And in it the anime viewers see goddamn Pieck's human form for the first time. She is voiced by

https://myanimelist.net/people/9973/Manami_Numakura

Pieck fascinates me. The cart titan seems like such a useless thing at first sight but has been pivotal in a lot of moments. I just love to hate her.

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Beefstew
Oct 30, 2010

I told you that story so I could tell you this one...


Captain_duck posted:

Pieck fascinates me. The cart titan seems like such a useless thing at first sight but has been pivotal in a lot of moments. I just love to hate her.

How could you?

hatty
Feb 28, 2011




Pork Pro

Pieck is the best and most competent Marley warrior

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





hatty posted:

Pieck is the best and most competent Marley warrior

She's the only reason that Marley salvaged anything from their Paradis mission. You could even say she's what pieck performance looks like.

Beefstew
Oct 30, 2010

I told you that story so I could tell you this one...


chiasaur11 posted:

She's the only reason that Marley salvaged anything from their Paradis mission. You could even say she's what pieck performance looks like.

Pieck plays a mom for the warrior candidates.
Pieck cut off her own arm to make sure that Gabi didn't get crushed by her transformation.
Pieck operates for long periods of time in dangerous support roles.
Pieck forgets how to walk and has to crawl on all fours (gently caress you anime for not including that).
Pieck owns.

Zeke is the one I love to hate, just because he's such a despicable bastard. Pieck is just good.
Sad that she's almost definitely going to die next chapter.

Eeepies
May 29, 2013

No, that's Magic!


Pieck owns totally

No Wave
Sep 18, 2005

Yogg-Saron fan #1


I didn't even realize there were characters I still liked until you brought up Pieck. She's not gonna make it, is she.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





No Wave posted:

I didn't even realize there were characters I still liked until you brought up Pieck. She's not gonna make it, is she.

Her odds don't look great, no. Unlike most of the Alliance, she's not even Eren's friend, so he's not going to put in special effort to keep her safe in his rampage, and she just got caught when delivering explosives.

Not a guarantee she'll die, but things are bleak at the moment.

(But you still like Falco, right? I mean, Falco's a good kid.)

In It For The Tank
Feb 17, 2011

But I've yet to figure out a better way to spend my time.


Basically, if the next time we see Pieck she isn't being devoured alive, there is officially Something Else Going On™. Neither Eren nor Ymir have a reason to keep her alive if their only goal is to defend themselves/defeat the Alliance, and Pieck is currently restrained and surrounded by a horde of intelligent titans. She should be doomed. If she survives for any reason other than "Eren and/or Ymir want her to live", it would be a major blow to narrative credibility.

Already, the story has kind of hit a strange spot where it is impossible for the Alliance to win unless Isayama makes it happen. That is to say: Eren and Ymir have such an overwhelming advantage that their loss can only come about due to authorial fiat.

Right now, the conflict feels manufactured. Eren could have prevented all of this (by wiping his friends' memories or stealing their powers) but seemingly chose not to on principle, which has kind of left this fight feeling wholly unnecessary. I mean, it's cool and dramatic and stuff but it is only happening because Eren has let it happen.

If all his friends die and the series ends with Eren mourning their deaths, it will feel hollow because he could have saved them all (or at least, everyone except Mikasa and Levi, who are immune to the memory wipe). Even if the twist is that Eren chose to save his family (Historia and his probable child) over his friends, he could have just saved everyone. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say murdering his friends is worse than wiping their memories.

If Eren loses, it will feel even more hollow. I think we all understand that Reiner was projecting when he theorized that Eren wanted to be stopped, and that Eren is actually 100% committed to the Rumbling. In which case, if the Alliance somehow wins it is only possible because Eren will have blown an ∞-7 lead in the final quarter.

I suspect that there is another twist coming where we will learn it was necessary for the confrontation to happen. However, I cannot think of one that works with all the information we have.

For example, if the twist is that Ymir is controlling Eren, why would she allow the Alliance to fight? She should have no compulsion about robbing them of their powers and she seems to be earnestly trying to kill them (except Armin...) now.

Also, people have been theorizing that Eren is being controlled for years (by Zeke, by the Founder, by Kruger, by Yelena, by Grisha, by Ymir...), and every time it is shown that Eren is doing this all on his own. The only thing controlling Eren is himself (although I suppose one could argue he is controlled by fate/the predestination paradox/his future self).

Another possibility is that Eren wanted the confrontation to happen because he knows that Ymir is going to try to trample Paradis as well (i.e. she's fully genocidal) and wants the Alliance to stop her. However, this is basically just a remix of the dreaded "Lelouch ending" where Eren plans to be defeated for the greater good. Although, I suppose Eren could pull a fast one where he defeats Ymir with his friends help and then resumes the Rumbling of everything except Paradis.

Yet another idea Is that Eren trying to unite all nine shifters together in one body. But why? He already has the power of the Founder. According to Ksaver, the Founder can rewrite Eldians at DNA level at will. I don't see any benefit in uniting the nine.

I trust that Isayama has a plan, I just can't see what it is right now.

No Wave
Sep 18, 2005

Yogg-Saron fan #1


Maybe it's as anime simple as Eren wanting his friends to defeat him so the rest of the world forgives them (but failing that, he makes the world "safe" for Eldians).

hatty
Feb 28, 2011




Pork Pro

Thatíd be kinda unsatisfying, Lelouch ending would be dull and predictable,

Ethiser
Dec 31, 2011



Iím pretty sure heíd love a Lelouch ending, but nothing heís seen with his Titan magic makes him believe it is even remotely possible.

Eej
Jun 17, 2007

HEAVYARMS


Eej posted:

Slamming the This Is God Emperor of Dune button every month this year and I see no signs of stopping

bees x1000
Jun 11, 2020

OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN


I think AoT deserves some credit for not being 'anime simple'. Biggest problems for me are still 1. the titan curse and 2. the world will never forgive the Eldians.

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

There was that one guy who was all "if we somehow survive this let's renounce racism forever"

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Flesnolk posted:

There was that one guy who was all "if we somehow survive this let's renounce racism forever"

Also, the rest of humanity's only hope is a bunch of Eldians. It's not enough to erase the history, but there's a chance at a fresh start. (Especially since Reiner is arguably the highest ranking living member of the Marleyian government. Funny what the apocalypse can do to the chain of command.)

If the Titan powers go away too, then it gives less reason for the old grudges to crop up again. It's not a perfect future forever, but if anything can get people to stop shooting at each other for a few years, it's this.

Caros
May 14, 2008



hatty posted:

That’d be kinda unsatisfying, Lelouch ending would be dull and predictable,

And dumb as gently caress. The idea that the rest of the world would treat them like hero's instead of doing everything in their power to turbo genocide them is a bit much.

The whole point of the God emperor or lelouch ending is that you can point at one person and go 'that is the problem', which doesn't work when the rest of the world was already incredibly bigoted against titans.

Beefstew
Oct 30, 2010

I told you that story so I could tell you this one...


I'm anticipating an ending where they stop Eren, and since Marley is pretty much hosed beyond repair, there's no immediate danger to Paradis, but it's unknown if conflict will flare up again in future generations, with some characters wondering if they did the right thing.

bees x1000
Jun 11, 2020

OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN


chiasaur11 posted:

Also, the rest of humanity's only hope is a bunch of Eldians. It's not enough to erase the history, but there's a chance at a fresh start. (Especially since Reiner is arguably the highest ranking living member of the Marleyian government. Funny what the apocalypse can do to the chain of command.)

If the Titan powers go away too, then it gives less reason for the old grudges to crop up again. It's not a perfect future forever, but if anything can get people to stop shooting at each other for a few years, it's this.

Y'really think a half-Rumble and becoming (even more) powerless would make the rest of the world chill out? As opposed to validating every fear they've ever had? That they'd even entertain the thought that the Eldians are suddenly not walking time bombs? It's a real mess of a situation.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Annie already explicitly brought up that even if they stopped Eren now and saved the rest of the world, Marley is gone and with that any hope for the Eldians achieving peace with the rest of humanity.

Because as much as Marley exploited them, it was also the nation at the forefront of scapegoating Paradis as a way to exculpate the rest.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





bees x1000 posted:

Y'really think a half-Rumble and becoming (even more) powerless would make the rest of the world chill out? As opposed to validating every fear they've ever had? That they'd even entertain the thought that the Eldians are suddenly not walking time bombs? It's a real mess of a situation.

They're not powerless, though.

Paradis took some damage from the Yeagerist revolt, but even after that they have the strongest remaining military by default due to their intact infrastructure.

I'm not saying this will be a smooth process, but if Eren is defeated, a lot of people will be witnesses to the Paradis military saving (what's left of) the world, with Reiner Braun, unquestioned Marleyian patriot right there in the middle of it. Combine that with Tybur's last speech marking Eren specifically as the Devil, with the much feared king being not-so-bad, and Paradis is going to have a chance at being less hated, especially if they're bringing humanitarian aid from a position of strength.

It's not like it erases 2,000 years of ethnic strife, but I think moving things down to "no active genocide attempts" is an attainable goal.

Terror Sweat
Mar 15, 2009



Eren should win IMO, he deserves it after all the hard work he put in

mightygerm
Jun 29, 2002





There was some speculation going around that eren didnít memory wipe or alter dna because he did not want to rob his friends of their freedom. If they chose to oppose him of their own free will, he would let them.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





mightygerm posted:

There was some speculation going around that eren didnít memory wipe or alter dna because he did not want to rob his friends of their freedom. If they chose to oppose him of their own free will, he would let them.

I mean, "speculation" is an odd way to put it when Eren outright said that was why he was letting them fight him in the chapter before last.

Dude loves freedom even more than he hated Titans.

Frionnel
May 7, 2010

Friends are what make testing worth it.

I had forgotten what a complete joy it is to follow the anime thread when a season is airing.

The Notorious ZSB
Apr 19, 2004

I SAID WE'RE NOT GONNA BE FUCKING SUCK THIS YEAR!!!


Terror Sweat posted:

Eren should win IMO, he deserves it after all the hard work he put in

bees x1000
Jun 11, 2020

OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN


Trying to decide whether Armin's capture means he's going to get his chance to talk it out, or his gagging means he definitely won't.

Asuron
Nov 27, 2012


So the latest episode skipped over a lot of Reiner's flashback and I can't say I'm a fan of the decision.

We lost the desperation of them running to the Wall and we lose a lot of Reiner's terror at not being good enough to make the Warrior cut during the training he does with everyone else. I really don't understand the decision, because that flashback is crucial to understanding the other side of the conflict and what motivated them so fiercely to take the actions they did. A lot of what comes next loses its impact without that context.

It seems like they want to get straight to the action, but the parts here are incredibly important to getting the payoff of those action scenes.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Yeah should've been two episodes.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


Asuron posted:

So the latest episode skipped over a lot of Reiner's flashback and I can't say I'm a fan of the decision.

We lost the desperation of them running to the Wall and we lose a lot of Reiner's terror at not being good enough to make the Warrior cut during the training he does with everyone else. I really don't understand the decision, because that flashback is crucial to understanding the other side of the conflict and what motivated them so fiercely to take the actions they did. A lot of what comes next loses its impact without that context.

It seems like they want to get straight to the action, but the parts here are incredibly important to getting the payoff of those action scenes.

Yeah agreed.

DamnGlitch
Sep 2, 2004



Having read that section and not remembering any of it I canít say itíll be a big issue for most anime viewers.

Buzzsaw Roomba
Feb 13, 2012

Christ, what an asshole.


With only 16 episodes I don't see any way around a lot of material from the manga getting cut. Best case scenario is for the anime to hold up as its own thing despite that.

Asuron
Nov 27, 2012


DamnGlitch posted:

Having read that section and not remembering any of it I canít say itíll be a big issue for most anime viewers.

It's a big issue for the story though? You can't just cut out crucial elements out of Reiner's flashback and expect it to just work out smoothly, especially when the whole point of this part in the story is to help you understand their side of the conflict and contextualise their actions.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


It didn't omit any crucial elements though, the issue is more it pushed them through rapidly rather than giving them time to be digested.

But all the pieces are there.

Asuron
Nov 27, 2012


Conspiratiorist posted:

It didn't omit any crucial elements though, the issue is more it pushed them through rapidly rather than giving them time to be digested.

But all the pieces are there.

Hard disagree. I think those early training moments shape our understanding of why Reiner wants to be seen as a hero so much, because of how much he fails and how much is riding on him succeeding. His failing to be the best in any of the tests and his growing fear at being seen as worthless are really important to understanding why he thinks being seen as a hero is so important, which leads to him trying to justify the slaughter he eventually goes on to cause. It always explains his zealotry to the mission because it was the only thing he saw as worthwhile about himself.

Its kinda there in this episode but really glossed over at the start of the episode in a throw away line by Porco and it's done by the guy who is already hostile to him. It just really hurts the story and especially his character I think by not having it be shown.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Asuron posted:

Hard disagree. I think those early training moments shape our understanding of why Reiner wants to be seen as a hero so much, because of how much he fails and how much is riding on him succeeding. His failing to be the best in any of the tests and his growing fear at being seen as worthless are really important to understanding why he thinks being seen as a hero is so important, which leads to him trying to justify the slaughter he eventually goes on to cause. It always explains his zealotry to the mission because it was the only thing he saw as worthwhile about himself.

Its kinda there in this episode but really glossed over at the start of the episode in a throw away line by Porco and it's done by the guy who is already hostile to him. It just really hurts the story and especially his character I think by not having it be shown.

We get some quick shots later, and we see Reiner flash back to his own training when Eren's calling himself worthless.

Even if you only see the anime, you get the idea. It's on the rushed side, but considering how much this season is trying to cover, it does the job.

chiasaur11 fucked around with this message at 02:28 on Dec 21, 2020

Joke Miriam
Nov 17, 2019





I was a few months behind. Last chapter Iíd read was a few months ago, and closed with the gang saying ďweíre going to save the world.Ē


I just caught up.

Well....they tried, i guess...

Lamebot
Sep 8, 2005

ロボ顔菌~♡


Anime this week ends with Falco introducing Reiner to Eren's trap. Time for the big sad.

Sindai
Jan 24, 2007
i want to achieve immortality through not dying

The anime reminded me of how weird and ultimately surprisingly unimportant the whole Tybur family being the secret rulers of Marley thing was.

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In It For The Tank
Feb 17, 2011

But I've yet to figure out a better way to spend my time.


I think narratively its supposed to streamline the second invasion of Paradis. By making the Tyburs the secret rulers, Eren wipes out both the military and political leadership of Marley during the raid on Liberio. As a result, Magath becomes the de-facto leader of Marley when he assumes the rank of general and is able to launch the attack on Paradis just one month later. If there was a civil government with actual authority, it may have raised questions about how Magath was able to organize a full invasion so quickly.

Basically, it consolidates the political system of Marley into just one guy, so that when that guy dies, the reader understands that all hell breaks loose.

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