Titan 14, Monogatari and Genshiken N 2

First, let me thank the people behind Shingeki no Kyojin for scheduling a recap episode on the week I had no time to watch. And I was happy to see that they start episode 14 right where they left off, with Eren in his cell and Levi approving of his rage.

Politics.  (and bad grammar)
Politics. (and bad grammar)

And now the series expands. Now that they’ve defended the wall they can afford to move out. At the same time, Eren’s power has become news, and various factions want to do various things with him, and politics begins to rear its head. The factions are all crude projections of different areas of society, the rich, the poor, the religious freaks, the paranoid police, etc. All it really does for the moment is make some dramatics in the courtroom scene, but I suspect the show will dig deeper later on.

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In the trial scene we have various factions state what they want to do with Eren, and by extension, what to do next in general. Only one faction has an answer that won’t kill Eren outright, the forces that go beyond the wall, and that’s what Eren wants to do anyway (wait, what about that basement?), but the show decides that the only way they can get Zacklay, the presiding judge and boss of everything military, to agree is to have Levi beat Eren to a pulp to prove that Eren can be controlled. I’m afraid I don’t get the logic. If Eren decides to go giant, and thus become stronger than everyone, he can do it anytime he wants, and he has no intention of doing so now. So was the beating a demonstration that Eren was in control? Or was it to suggest that Levi was in charge after Eren had just wrapped up an epic rant and looked ready to snap? Hell of a way to go about it. Well, it’ll be fun to see the oddballs that Eren gets to hang out with next are like.

A typical Monogatari statement.
A typical Monogatari statement.

In Monogatari 2 … still no Araragi. So the girls talk about him without talking about him. Which is to say, Senjougahara, sounding even more formal than usual, seems to be talking about Araragi, and Hanekawa’s relationship to him, even when she’s not. It gets mixed in with other, typical Monogatari subjects, like how adding titles to food gives them dignity, or the concept of sleeping on her father’s old mattress, or using his pillow, which probably doesn’t really bother either of them, especially “Electra Complex” Senjougahara. It gets a little more serious as Senjougahara’s motives come out later (no, her motives were not to frolic in the shower or in bed with Hanekawa–I think). She makes a spot-on observation about Hanekawa, that she accepts what is in front of her, liking everything, so that everything is the same to her. This was such a good thought I felt a little bad that Senjougahara then had to ask if Hanekawa therefore REALLY likes Araragi.

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The other story, and it’s hard to say which is more important right now, is resumed in an interlude, skipped scenes to the sleeping Hanekawa, where she transforms into everyone’s favorite cat girl and confronts the giant tiger, who says, hey, your master saw me, a tiger’s gotta do what a tiger’s gotta do. What happens next? Well, this show loves to skip scenes … I’m beginning to wonder. This episode had “skipped” scenes which we saw but Hanekawa didn’t, and of course we don’t know what goes on exactly when they skip a scene on us. I wonder if there are scenes that are skipped for both us the viewer and the characters, scenes which only the show knows about. I wonder if we’ll get to see them someday.

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Genshiken Nidaime 2, like the first episode, is mostly about Hato. Well, and Yajima’s trying to get her head wrapped around the concept of Hato. It isn’t like she’s against any of the things he does, she seems to tell herself, but to have this cross-dressing boy hanging out with them, in the flesh, challenges her more than she expected. It doesn’t help that Hato’s prettier, and her skin is smoother, than Yajima’s, so much so that she suspects Hato actually is a girl, and tries to peek up her skirt when he’s asleep, the comic climax to part one.

Only for Yajima.
Only for Yajima.

Some of this talk happens in the clubroom, where the team are drawing profiles for a circle publication, and much of the rest in Ogiue’s place as they help her with a deadline (oh, congrats Ogiue on your latest publication), where Yajima’s jealousy (Hato draws better than her, too) gets the better of her and we have a sort of explanation. It’s rather sad–not Hato’s story, though that’s sad, too–because of Yajima’s insistence that Hato doesn’t need to cross-dress any more, when we (and poor Yajima herself) know she’s saying it because Hato’s a better “girl” than her. How would she react if Hato dressed and identified as a guy? No clue. Anyway, it’s all much funnier than I’m describing it here, in fact, it’s another good episode all around, though I think it’s time to lay off Hato and have some fun with other characters for a change. Oh, and Kugayama finally shows up, completing the old team.

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