Anime roundup 1/27/2022: The Real Story

Attack on Titan #78 – Despite everything, despite the Marleyans landing a good hit on the Beast Titan, despite desperate pleas to not sacrifice Falco, despite Gabi’s last-ditch attempt to be a hero for her country, Zeke and Eren finally meet and have a chance to put their plan into action. Eren validates his old friends’ faith in him by revealing that he was never really going to use his power to end the Eldians. But Zeke then gets to reveal that Eren doesn’t get a choice after all.

The place where the two of them have wound up is among the Paths, which supposedly connect all Eldians everywhere. Zeke’s previous experience of having his body rebuilt, his wait for Eren, and the presence of Ymir, the first Titan, all suggest that it’s a place that exists outside of time, and therefore could connect all Eldians everywhen as well. And that in turn finally suggests an explanation for two oddities.

One is that when Eren’s father Grisha had his one brief conversation with Eren Kruger, Grisha’s predecessor as the Attack Titan, Kruger mentioned Armin and Mikasa. Neither they nor Eren had been born yet, and even Kruger said immediately afterward that he didn’t know who they were. The other is that the title of the very first episode of this show (and of the source manga) was “To You, 2000 Years in the Future”. Eren says in this episode that the Titans have been around for 2000 years.

Plus, next week’s episode is called “Memories of the Future”, so there is definitely going to be some information travelling backward in time somehow.

Out on the battlefield, a whole group of characters has just been essentially killed off when the Beast Titan screamed. Falco will land on his feet, so to speak, because by eating Porco Galliard he will become the new Jaw Titan and be able to transform back to a human. But Commander Pixis and so many others have no way to return now.

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Ranking of Kings #14 – With the defenders at the castle being overwhelmed, the only thing that can save the day are sudden and unexpected reinforcements. And they arrive, in the form of Bojji and Kage, well mostly Bojji, ready to show off his new fighting skills. When all is said and done, his friends and family are much safer and he even has a new henchman in the bargain.

Hiling may have seen way too much crap today but she’s able to become a hero of the hour too, as she saves both Dorshe and Mitsumata from mortal wounds. In the process it’s shown that her power does respect some sort of conservation of energy; she has to recharge it with “potions”. Supply lines for those are undoubtedly going to become an issue at some point.

Other unexpectedly scientific moments pop up throughout this episode. There’s Despa explaining a bit of atomic theory in the flashback, Desha being able to command electricity, and the two of them communicating with something that functions very much like a walkie-talkie. Maybe it’s all going to turn out to be real magic and that the author just wanted magic to follow rules, but I’m starting to suspect again that there may be a high-tech underlay to this world.

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Sabikui Bisco #3 – As Bisco fights Pawoo and Milo works on Jabi, the audience is treated to a spectacular infodump about mushrooms and Rust. And then, even though he is seemingly fine, Jabi decides it’s time for Bisco to have a change of partner. Now both Bisco and Milo are racing the clock to save people they love.

The panic about mushrooms turns out to be a small misunderstanding about cause and effect: finding the two of them together made some people think the mushrooms were causing Rust, whereas the Mushroom Keepers know that the mushrooms are eating it. This may also turn out to apply to the legendary Rust Eater. Allegedly it was discovered because a Mushroom Keeper happened to die near it, but it could just as well be that a dead body is necessary for it to start growing. Perhaps the spores are being carried unknowingly by all Mushroom Keepers. Maybe it could even be the same thing that gives them their extraordinary strength.

Once out of the city and into the wilderness, Milo’s adventure starts for real as he and Bisco approach a legendary shrine… which appears to be sitting on a much bigger relative of their land crab. Trading the urban dystopia for more of this sort of thing would be an excellent choice.

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Tokyo 24th Ward #3 – Shūta, Ran, and Kōki think the worst they have to deal with on the day of the Gourmet Festival is underhanded competition tactics, but the day gets far more interesting when they all get another call from Asumi, warning them of a disaster that Hazard Cast has developed a blind spot to. Once again, they marshal their powers and try to save everyone, but this time they fail.

Even if Hazard Cast failed with the tornado specifically, you would think people would have noticed the kind of weather that brews tornados coming in. The storm seems to have arrived literally out of nowhere. Put that next to how contrived the entire train scenario was, and it is like there is an intelligent force deliberately arranging the situations to test RGB.

I think they’re living in a simulation, inside that glowing pillar that the lady who seems unconnected with anyone else in this story is monitoring. That’s the only thing that can explain their occasional superpowers at this point; if this was going to be about some pseudoscientific way that technology can hack the brain to push the body beyond the limits of physics, this show would have started explaining that by now.

So the question is, what’s the purpose of this simulation? Do the people of the 24th Ward exist in some sense outside of it, or are they all completely computer-generated? Is this someone’s experiment, or are the heroes being trained for a job of some sort relating to the real world?

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Wait, are we missing somebody? Yes, unfortunately, the next episode of Miss Kuroitsu From the Monster Development Department was delayed to January 29th. We’ll pick it up again next week.

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