Monday, November 9, 2015

Attack On Titan: Junior High Episode #6 Review

So it was you who wrote the love letter?...

What They Say:
It's back-to-school for the cast of Attack on Titan as this spin-off gives us a glimpse into the average school year for each and every one of them. Instead of fearing for their lives, the characters are fearing for their lunches as the titans have a brand new appetite (One significantly less heartbreaking). Based on the manga, Attack on Titan: Junior High brings us familiar faces and memorable scenes in a lighthearted comedic format that is sure to bring a smile to your face. Will Eren and the others be able to survive the school year being right next door to a school for titans?

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
Ahh, junior high, where the first remnants of love begin to form in the minds of adolescents -- particularly the mind of our very own Jean Kirstein. At the beginning of this week's episode, Jean receives a love letter from an anonymous source as he is leaving school one morning. Stamped with a heart, the letter appears super girly and immediately sends Jean into a self-absorbed panic spiral in which he desperately tries to figure out who exactly wrote it. Could it be Sasha? No -- too girly. Mikasa? No -- too good to be true. Annie? No -- too...wait a minute.

After Annie is spotted dropping a second letter into Jean's locker, there is no other option as to who the secret admirer might be. This time, the letter asks Jean to come to the park after school. Jean reacts to this whole situation the same way any lovestruck teenage boy would -- by giving himself a combover and bathing in cologne. Equipped with his fool-proof man-plan, Jean makes his way to the park. And what do you know? Annie shows up just minutes later. After some more narcissistic dialogue from Jean, Annie reveals that she did write the letter. The thing is, she wrote it for a friend. (And then the ground starts to rumble). Oh look, here she comes!

Jean's secret admirer turns out to be a titan that fell in love with him the second he sacrificed his lunch in order to save his and Marco's life. In a mixed fit of shock and confusion, Jean tries to trick himself into believing his admirer isn't a titan at all, just a normal girl like everyone else. That doesn't last long, though, as he is crushed in the midst of his fiery new passion. Soon after, Jean cuts the cord on his new relationship and tells everyone that he can't date a girl that is, "Jus that huge".Titan girl doesn't like this and, once again, slaps Jean into the ground before running away in tears. I honestly don't know who to feel more sorry for.

This episode winds up once again utilizing subtle comedy to full effect in a multitude of ways. Whether it be Sasha turning into a cat and hissing at loud noises, more Franz/Hannah lovey-dovey stuff, or just the idea of Annie being friends with a titan, the laughs return in full-force here. Plus, it's always nice when Annie gets more screen time. If you throw in an extra argument between her and Mikasa, it's going to be pretty hard to not catch a glimpse of fun.

Best/Favorite Part:
Perhaps the most enjoyable section of this episode, at least for me, would have to be when Jean is playing different scenarios in his head for each possible secret admirer. It was nice receiving a visual of what possible relationships with the various AoT girls would be like, even if they were from the perspective of Jean. Personally, I would love to eat ramen with Sasha. I would even challenge her to a ramen-eating competition (Which I might even win depending on how hungry I am). Regardless, those various, brief moments were moments of innocent fanservice that catered to the whims of many different viewers instead of a select few. Things like that can be overlooked sometimes.

In Summary:
Having Jean as the focal point for this episode surely worked wonders as far as comedy goes. Nothing makes an episode more self-satirizing than throwing that guy in the driver's seat. With some help from the rest of the cast and some well-fitting dialogue from the writers, Jean carries this episode through to the end while easily avoiding any dull moments. The pattern of "Good episode followed by mediocre episode" has been broken and Attack on Titan: Junior High is back on the track to awesomeness. I'm hoping for more of the same next week.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Funimation

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