Shingeki no Kyoujin Episode 6: A Merciless World
What kind of jokes do cadavers make?
Summary: A secondary group of new graduates find Armin on their way to the front line. Armin has a panic attack and rappels away from the team, only to encounter a fellow corps member, who appears to trying to resuscitate the “not breathing” Franz. He realizes that his idealism had not prepared him for the battlefield, and that the existence of “hell” has not registered with him until now. Mikasa takes out a Titan as it approaches the evacuation gate, and discovers that the reason that evacuation had been taking so long was because the merchant had been blocking the gate with goods. She threatens him into moving the cart, and then splits off from the retreat support team to find Eren.
The most significant development would definitely be the insight into Mikasa’s past. One of the key parts of her background is that she one of the last people of Oriental descent. It is mentioned that her mother fled from the Orient when it fell, which means there is a very high chance that there are other walled cities out of Wall Maria, or used to, at one point. I suspect the city fell and and no other group knew about it/wanted to help. This is reflected in the different hair colours in the show, but since this is anime, hair colour very rarely denotes culture, unless you’re the only blonde “foreigner” trope in the entire show.
Armin has a freak out again at the beginning of the episode, but was able to report that his entire team was annihilated before running away. I don’t know if Armin just never thought of killing “real” Titans or is solely running on the juice of Eren’s bravado/rage. One of the worst ways that this show hits you is how little life is worth in the battlefield. I suspected that introducing the couple was just another way to hit home on how not to get attached on any character. :T (well, you can get attached, it’s just you’ll have horrible time getting through this show). They set up the scene, they make you feel for the characters, and 2 episodes later, they get ripped in half by titans. If Armin is going to be fighting any more titans, or just being another piece of dead-weight on a team, he’s going to have to figure out why he needs to fight, beyond just going outside to see the world.
The police corps in this case were relatively powerless, or chose to bow to the power of hierarchy in the evacuation. When the citizens turn to the police to take control of the situation, the officer in charge does nothing and cowers in front of the merchant. While we have always had the idealistic view of the corps fighting for a noble cause, we’re starting to see the corruption of the walls more. If the titans don’t cause their downfall, it will the humans themselves causing it.
This episode was very much about Mikasa, and how she came to be this way. In the flashback scene, Mikasa recalls when she first met Eren. Because she hit the point of “wanting to live” earlier than most other people, this might be why she is so much in control of her body. The definition of a “cruel world” dawns on her when she sees Eren being strangled by one of her captors- something she had always ignored before. The strong eat the weak, and humans are one of the few that can choose. I consider this a way of maturing, as she is forced to decide between life and death, and unlike Armin freezing up, she takes up the knife and fights.
Probably one of the more disturbing aspects of the story is how “old” Eren was when he rescued Mikasa, and how he did it. As a child, he took the captors by surprise, and went out of his way to save a girl he had never met before. To add to it the seemingly bizarre nature of the rescue, Eren uses the small knife and manages to take out two fully grown men using only the element of surprise and extremely accurate knife strikes to the heart. I don’t think he’s even killed anyone before, but this might be one of the reasons he’s one of the people who run towards danger rather than away from it. There are more important things than fear and doubt if there is a goal in mind – and he ignites this in Mikasa, though, hers is almost solely directed at only protecting Eren, in a roundabout way.
I think that Mikasa still maintains that shred of who she was as a child, despite her denial that it is something of the past. Perhaps dreaming of more that what you have is part of the childishness and folly of humans.
We’ll have to see how Mikasa reacts when she hears about what happened to Eren next episode, but I doubt she’ll collapse like a house of cards like Armin. There are a lot more people depending on her to fight, and it’s simply selfish to back out now.
Just let me enjoy my large dose of Mikasa for now. <3