The Spider’s Thread

Witnessing despair unfolds in fiction has always been one of my guilty pleasures. It provides a sense of rushed growth, of emotional development, coated with the deception that it justifies such progress. That whatever misfortune happens, it justifies how the character came to be.

Probably because hardship and despair hit human instincts the hardest. Just like in Majestic Prince, the fear of death, the sign of trouble, triggers a person’s fight or flight instincts. No matter how rational you try to force yourself, suppressed urges fight back the hardest, against reason, against logic.

It also shows a character’s real worth. People who run their talk abandon ship at first sign of trouble. Not limited in anime but even in real life. Ever know of somebody who likes to brag, to make shit up, only to shrink and hide when the real trouble begins?

Challenges like that evaluate humans. Human nature verifies our existence and decides whether or not we are characters worthy of being a character.

And what these past two episode of Shingeki no Kyojin excel the most is such portrayal of character. Of human character.

It’s not just Mikasa’s fight or flight instincts or her SeeD mode, but how this episode emphasized on Mikasa’s strength as well as her weakness. The very weakness that she tried to bury underneath her overwhelming display of strength.

And not many series can do this so well nowadays. To portray a character in two episodes encompassing her whole identity as seen from different perspectives that merits a mix of admiration, of awe, of beauty, of ugliness, of disgust. The raw human nature portrayed under the pressure of an ideal and the realization of the destruction of one’s comfort zone.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Artemis
    May 22, 2013 @ 16:54:56

    To be honest, I’m starting to worry a bit about the overall pacing of the series. One minute we get big time skips that bypass years, and the next it takes a handful of episodes to cover just a couple of hours. I get that the writers want us to focus on the gritty horror of the situation, but there’s only so many wide-eyed characters staring off into the distance in shock and despair that I can handle for any single event. I get that this is traumatic – no need to keep milking that particular cow. More importantly, although I have nothing against either big time skips or slowing everything down to cover the minute-by-minute action, having both occur repeatedly is difficult to do without making things appear really inconsistent.
    On the whole, I’m still enjoying Shingeki no Kyojin but have trouble ignoring the flaws.

    Reply

  2. baka~
    May 26, 2013 @ 23:59:26

    So far, I think the series is doing well in emphasizing the “moments” in the episodes. Slowing everything down just to focus on one’s narrative of whatever their epiphany was is a good way of conveying the message to the viewer. of course, it does get tiring considering every character is almost saying the same thing but if we look back on their personalities, I find it justifiable. For instance, Misaka’s assessment and acceptance of “despair” may be different from Armin’s but they still mean the same thing to the viewers.

    Reply

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