Summer 2018 Grab Bag Week 9: Shingeki no Kyojin S3, Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes

This post seems a lot longer than I intended.

Shingeki no Kyojin S3 Episode 44

This whole royal blood business didn't end being as bad as I had remembered. I like a lot of the details in this episode that I didn't notice while reading the manga. Rod Reiss's grand scheme still makes no sense to me, which is probably what annoyed me the first time, but the rest of the episode was pretty solid.

The cruel irony of the anti-personnel weapons is actually quite a nice touch in this episode. Sure, the Military Police have guns, but the very weapons they use specifically for fighting humans give them the same vulnerability from behind that Titans have.

Another small detail that I really liked was how the individual characters reacted to fighting other humans. Hange is one of the more experienced characters in the series, and even she grimaces when killing humans, along with Connie and Jean. On the other hand, the characters that have had traumatic encounters with humans in the past are shown acting more comfortable with the fight, namely Sasha and Mikasa.

And one again, Levi has a truly epic fight.

Historia's character arc was mostly fine, as her interactions with Ymir inspire her to live her own life rather than being led by her father, regressing back how she was before. I still don't get what Rod Reiss was saying about "God", though. It's supposed to be a response to why the royal family has never eliminated Titans in 100 years of history, and it seems like a non sequitur. I guess it could just be saying that they liked the power of being "God", but doesn't that defeat his point?

Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes Episode 7

I know more episodes have come out, but I wanted to take time to talk about episode 7 in particular because it seemed to bring out a lot of the problems I have with the series. Episode 8 seemed to focus back on the romance between Holmes and Aoi, which I honestly think is where this series should spend its time.

I don't have a huge problem with Aoi winning the antique competition. It does show that she's learning as she goes, showing that she's competent on her own.

My main issue with the episode is Holmes's evaluation of Ensho's counterfeit. It's fine for Holmes to point out that the lighting is wrong, but his evaluation is completely based on a subjective feeling. I get that art is inherently subjective, but I would have preferred that a character like Holmes reference more objective features (such as color choice or maybe intensity) rather than purely referencing a feeling. At a later point, he even states that he has problems with relationships because he's too reliant on objective facts, so it's not just part of the re-imagining of the character.

The final revelation in the episode also doesn't really make much sense. I'm guessing this is partly a translation issue, but I really don't get what Holmes means when he says he only figured things out because of "knowledge he had". I would imagine that most deductions are based on his knowledge, and I don't see anything wrong with that.

Maybe he meant that he used his personal knowledge of Ensho as a person rather than just looking at the painting, but that's not really conveyed. Also, Ensho mentions that he finally understands why artists sign their work, which implies that he also left some kind of sign on the painting that Holmes missed. However, all of this stuff is largely left in the air without any real explanation.

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