Cinema Club: (Anime) I started watching Attack on Titan and I was wondering…

Holy Crap!  I can’t tell you how much I love the internet, new media, geek culture and just freaking kind people who take a minute to help a chump like me out.  Last week I asked for some assistance on finding an entry point into the world of Anime in hopes of expanding my Geek horizon.  I have always been intrigued by Japanese Animation but never knew where to start.  There are some tent poles in the genre, like Akira, but the overall universe seems infinite.  So, with the help of Netflix I created a poll of the available sci-fi anime movies and asked which ones people recommended.  A number of people responded and they all had the same sentiment.  None of them!  Instead, I received suggestions for several anime TV shows.  I noted all of them but one that seemed to dominate the feedback was Attack on Titan.  The title itself invoked an image of battles with monstrous beings, which is right up my alley.  Hence, I decided to start there and so far I’ve been able to get through two episodes. (Yes, one week to make it through 48 minutes of television.  Don’t judge me.)  If you follow this blog, you know that I constantly assert how I am always late to the party, but I am always appreciative that I am still able to get in when I finally do arrive.  This appears to be just another example.

attack_on_titanNow, I do have some questions/observations.  I would just like to take some time to recapture what I saw and maybe provoke some insight, answers, and/or debate.  Also, let it be known that what I am doing below is something that I do during movies; raise up questions about the plot/the characters/the story.  With that knowledge, you may not be shocked at the fact that no one will watch movies or TV with me anymore.  Their loss.  How are we going to grow if we don’t ask “why” sometime?  Anyway, here are some of my questions for the first two episodes of Attack on Titans.

Note: I know I could just go online and find out the answers to some of these questions myself, but growing up as a kid pre-internet, I yearn for the days when it was okay to ask questions, no matter how silly and obvious, and illicit a helpful or spirited or even a life changing response.

First, are Mikasa and Eren related?  I’m not following their lineage because I thought they were brother and sister but Eren seems more effected by his mom’s death than Mikasa does.  Also, Mikasa refers to the mother as “You’re mother” when speaking to Eren.  If they are not related, then why did Mikasa go to Eren’s house for a meal in episode one?  It seemed like they were all having dinner.  Is she an orphan? She doesn’t seem to be concerned about losing any loved ones?  Or did they already explain it and I missed something?  It’s very likely that’s the answer.

Is the big bad mamma-jamma who knocked down the wall in the first episode and then breaks through the gate in the second episode explained later on?  He seems to be much bigger, smarter and stronger than the others.  Is it really a Titan or something else?  If it’s a Titan, is it some sort of evolutionary thing?  I wonder how evolution would work with giants and would that explain why this one has exposed muscle.  Is it because there is a limitative factor when it comes to flesh that even evolution can’t conquer.  For example, only enough skin can be produced to cover creatures under 100 feet tall and once you hit over triple digits you are looking at some patchy spots.  I wonder if that affects Vitamin D intake from the sun.

Can we just take a second to reflect on the concept of humans being eaten like bugs?  That’s what these scenes remind me of.  Like the show Fear Factor, where people have to eat cockroaches and grubs and you expect goo to squirt out.  It happens in some of the scenes BUT not in every scene where someone gets munched on.  I am going to assume there was plenty of discussion amongst the creative team on the proper way the human body would react if eaten by a much larger human.  I also think a lot of pot was smoked or definitely large quantities of booze was involved.  And how do you explain your workday to your family when you get home at night?  “Ah, work was good.  Johnson figured out that if a femur is bitten in just the right way that the bone marrow could possibly shoot out and up the nose.  Man, that guy is good at figuring these things out.” Of course, three months later Johnson ends up in jail because he shows up to work wearing a human face as a mask and the creative meetings become very uncomfortable and less imaginative.

Here’s something.  You have a 50 meter wall.  You have some wall guards.  Does nobody stand on the wall to see what the dealie is? I know, they start off by saying that nobody thinks the walls will ever be penetrated, a century of safety, yadda, yadda, yadda.  But, I find it hard that people just don’t go up there to look.  Who’s not up there taking in the forbidden land?  How aren’t there young lovers escaping to the wall for some privacy?  Hey, do you ever think anyone ever went to the top of the wall and tossed a coin over to see what would happen, like people do with pennies at the Empire State Building (which is over 306 meters tall by the way.)  I mean, wouldn’t it be the perfect spot to go drinking, if you were a wall guard and you didn’t want to be seen as a slacker?  Because if people did frequent the wall, then how was no one up top when the Titans attacked, screaming down a warning and giving people a heads up?  Or were there people up there and yelling 160 feet down into a crowded city a silly idea because no one would hear you anyway?  Either way, I would think there would be some sort of early warning system and if there was, man did it fail.

Hey, do you think these people had to deal with inbreeding issues?  Not necessarily for the humans.  I mean, yeah, it’s a much smaller population, so you have to assume after 100 years, there are some shared genes within the society.  But I also mean for the animals.  Were there any animals?  I am not sure if there were any cattle or chickens or other creatures that were being used for food or beasts of burden.  Because if there were then it would be more likely they would be forced into inbreeding in order to create more stock.  I wonder what kind of issues that caused.  Oh, and the crops.  Do you think they knew to rotate their crops so they wouldn’t deplete the resources in the soil?  Maybe that was part of the reason for the food shortage that was addressed in episode two.  They do have bread and beer, so they need to have enough yeast, sugar and flour.  I guess all they really need after that is some vegetables and they should be doing fine.  You know what, I am willing to concede to the idea that if these people had enough smarts 100 years ago to build a 50 meter wall, then they have their agricultural skills down pat.

Okay, enough of the questions. I will hopefully find more time to watch a few episodes this week.   Thanks to everyone who provided their feedback last week and if you managed to get through this entire post, I applaud you.


If you dare, you can find, check out other stories and posts at Monday Cinema Club, Bookworm TuesdayAnything Can Happen WednesdayThrowback Thursdayand  Friday’s Week in Review.

Also, If you want to stay updated with the going ons of our Adventure, you can:

About OxenTrot

During the day, I am a mild mannered desk jockey who helps to manage a large IT company.  At night, I am a family man, who is insanely in love with his wife and a proud daddy to an amazing girl.  But in the pre-dawn hours, as most everyone else is still asleep, I am my alter ego.  During that time, I am: OxenTrot. Ox was a call sign bestowed upon me while I was an active duty United States Marine, mainly in tribute to the fact that I was a major gym rat. After 5 years and three tours of duty, I reentered the civilian world.  My call sign was replaced by my actual name but the Ox still lived inside. As I began to adapt to my new life, I also began to take on new adventures, such as starting a family, getting a “big boy” job and taking on endurance sports.
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13 Responses to Cinema Club: (Anime) I started watching Attack on Titan and I was wondering…

  1. kdwalls0 says:

    Welcome to Attack on Titan. Be sure to hang on for the ride!

    Eren & Mikasa’s relationship gets explained a few episodes from where you are now, so you won’t have to wait long for that one.

    The colossal titan’s explanation will take a little while longer, but you seem pretty perceptive, so I think you’ll have a better idea of what’s going on soon enough. I think there are places for guards on top of the wall, but there’s a reason why everyone was caught off guard with the attack that has to do with the special abilities of this titan.

    If you get impatient, like I did, there’s a manga that you can read that is much farther along than the show currently is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OxenTrot says:

      Yippee! I am even more encouraged now that 1) I didn’t completely miss some key plot point and 2) they answer some questions that popped into my silly brain.

      You say there is a manga as well? Let me contain my ego and allow myself to ask…what is a “manga?” Is it like a graphic novel? I just thought manga was a type of anime.

      Many thanks for your feedback. To you I award an absence of bad luck for the next week. Use it wisely.

      Like

  2. madiantin says:

    -More info on Eren and Mikasa to come. Man, the episode where they explain it is awesome.

    -More info on bigger Titans to come. It’s not fully explained to my satisfaction though.

    -Wait til you hear the digestive process of the Titans. You’ll be all, “WTH?!” And “What’s the purpose of that?!”

    – Inbreeding issues are not tackled in either humans or animals. However, we do learn Mikasa is the last pure blood Asian (which is why whatsisname loves her hair – it’s so unusual). I think. Or maybe she’s the last Japanese. I forget.

    Here’s a question – HOW did they build those massive walls while being attacked by Titans. Must’ve taken years to build. So how was it possible?

    Liked by 1 person

    • OxenTrot says:

      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have not been able to watch another episode yet and I’m not saying my enthusiasm has been fading, but your feedback has just heighten my anticipation.
      – I can’t believe they are going to explain the digestive process of the Titans. Do they explain how they are able to digest bones? Because, as I discussed with my wife, if these Titans have similar digestive processes as human, then they are going to have a serious problem breaking down the calcium in the bones, hence causing possible impacted or even torn colons. (Note, I just researched the ability for humans to digest bones and it seems that, due to the first article I found on Google, humans are pretty good at digesting bones. You can read the synopsis at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/shrew-eating-scientists-show-humans-can-digest-bone-66337580/?no-ist.)
      – If Mikasa is a pure blood, then I would think she is inbred. No proof, but it’s like getting a purebred dog. They’re all inbred in order to guarantee the lineage. I will now be watching Mikasa with a critical eye to see if she shows signs of inbreeding. Bad hips. Bad asthma. An affinity for playing the banjo.
      – I was wondering the same thing about the walls. I have to assume they had an advanced method to build a wall about 25 meters really quick, because other than the mega-Titan, the normal ones seem to be less than 100 feet tall. But, if they had that technology, why did they stop there? Why not start throwing walls up around the Titans and trap them so they can’t breed? You know what, this is now going to sleep me up at night. I can accept inbred Japanese girls. I can accept the superior digestive properties of giants. But I cannot just dismissively accept the idea that these people were able to create epic walls as the Titans roamed free. Did they use magic? Was it aliens? Maybe time traveling Civil Engineers? Many possibilities, but just like Highlander, there can only be one true answer.
      Thank you again for your feedback, and to you I shall bestow 2 days of zero calories. Eat what you wish. Drink what you wish. No of it will affect your health. But be warned, just like the Gremlins, if you feed after the 48 hour mark, you risk the possibility of becoming a monster.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jen says:

    The contents of the bookshelves nearest the sitting area and glass drool-case at Comic Logic are manga: the book versions of Death Note, Dragonball Z, Full Metal Alchemist, etc.etc. Meanwhile, your description of Mikasa and Eren reminded me of the siblings in the original Last Airbender series that everyone in this area at work has watched and one of the guys in Newport News sounds like he should be in (add it to your list 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • OxenTrot says:

      Noted. I have heard plenty about Last Airbender, especially about M. Night Shyamalan’s attempt to make it into a theatric movie. I know the bookshelf you speak of at Comic Logic. They are thicker books, but stouter in stature. I now have a reason to peruse them and maybe find something to bring home.

      Like

      • madiantin says:

        Wait……….you haven’t seen Avatar – the last airbender??
        Ohhhh my gawsh! It’s awesome! Not the film, the animated series.
        Just wait til you get to the secret tunnel episode. The kids and I sing/quote that one all the time.

        “……..and diiiee.” 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • OxenTrot says:

        I know that the animated series is legit and that the film is…not as some had hoped. I may actually make this the next series I watch, after Attack on Titan. As you may have been able to tell, it takes a while for me to get through shows. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jen says:

    Holy Sally Jesse Raphael, those first 48 minutes were disturbing. So many questions. I’m listening to the openings from Escaflowne and Gatchaman to counter the heebie jeebies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OxenTrot says:

      Yeah, that’s part of the reason I took a break. No need to bing watch people getting eaten. A little Attack on Titan followed by a little Dr. Horrible soundtrack is a good mix for me.

      Like

  5. Uta no Prince Sama, before fujoshi merchandise filled every anime shop in Japan, there was Ouran High School Host Club, which secretly established an entire genre. Rose Bridges finds out how.

    Like

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