Look at this cutie
Eren, Mikasa, Sasha, Connie and Jean get in trouble with their strict teacher because they have not signed up for any clubs. Their punishment is to go retrieve Armin Arlert, who refuses to come to school because he hates the cold. En route, they are attacked by a Titan who steals their meat buns but are saved by Levi, an upperclassman and the “world’s strongest student”. Levi steals Armin’s futon, and the cold-stricken Armin, accompanied by his friends, vows to retrieve it.
The others have tried to join various clubs but failed because the Titans dominate every activity with their sheer size. After hearing a rumor that Levi is part of a secret club that fights Titans, Eren resolves to join. The “secret organization” is surprisingly easy to find (complete with posters advertising “join our secret organization”). At the headquarters of the secret club, called the Scouts, Eren and co. meet its strange members including accident-prone Oluo, cheery Petra and Hanji, whose one goal in life is to dissect a Titan and study its insides.
Levi, as enigmatic as always, reveals that the only reason he “stole” Armin’s futon was to fix a tear in it, as he cannot stand anything that is dirty or disorderly. The repaired futon gives Armin new resolve, and he decides to start attending school regularly. He allows the first years to join the Scouts, but to their dismay the Scouts are not an official club, so Professor Shadis also enrolls them in the undesirable “Wall Cleaning Club”.
This show continues to be quite the mixed bag for me. On the one hand, Episode 2 saw the students of Kyojin Chuugakkou in their first original story, the “rescue” of cold-hating Armin from his house. It was definitely an amusing segment, and Armin is adorable as always, especially his decision to continue wearing his futon to school. However, said story also served as a vehicle to introduce Levi, whose presence I had been quite nervous about, as he’s one of the show’s most beloved, and over-hyped, characters.
Levi was another example of how this show really does not make itself accessible to people who aren’t already intimately familiar with the Shingeki no Kyojin universe. Here, he’s basically boiled down into two character traits: he’s strong, and he loves cleaning. Levi’s love of cleaning is a huge fandom meme that is blown way out of proportion and overused here. I found that it quickly lost its humor. While Hanji “summoning” Levi by throwing noncombustible garbage in the combustibles bin as pretty funny (especially as someone who deals with Japan’s ridiculously strict waste disposal rules on a daily basis) the rest of the “Levi’s obsessed with cleanliness” jokes wore out their welcome pretty fast.
However, the episode being about Eren and co. joining the Survey Corps (I did like how they portrayed the Corps, as a ‘secret’ club that isn’t actually very secret) and introducing such characters as Hanji and Petra means that they’re moving through the show’s plot pretty quickly, leaving me with hope that Kyojin Chuugakkou will either include new material or “cover” events from later chapters of the manga. I’ll keep watching to see if the pacing improves, and continue blogging if I have time.
The inclusion of Armin and his cute story raised this episode above average for me, so it gets 3 Dios.
How to summon your Levi