Shingeki no Budget: Kuinaki Sentaku

I’m not the only one who feels the OVA looks cheap, am I? There’s something, I don’t know, cheap about it – and it’s entirely inexplicable considering the franchise has presumably generated enough money to fuel cinematic-level budget for the next fifty seasons or so. (Rough estimate; may not be accurate.)

It may be what feels like a reused frame of the notorious ‘cleaning Levi’ meme. It may be the reused opening and ending themes (I’ll be fair that ‘Jiyuu no Tsubasa’ is supposed to be Levi’s theme anyway, but) with nothing modified or new. It may also be that everything’s brown.

Let’s get this out of the way: why is it that the underground city not the preferred residence of the richest and most powerful? As far as I recall, at least in the anime we never see the eoten titans breaking through the ground, their damage seems to be purely horizontal. By all logic, the poorest and most oppressed should be stuck behind Wall Maria whereas the nobles or whatever should be living down below. Secondly, where do they get the power to fully illuminate the giant underground city 24/7? How is this place sustained? Was this stuff just made up for the prequel manga and OVA and the author didn’t really… think it through? (I’m aware the answer may just be found in the manga chapters taking place after the anime’s first season ends, but still.) Why are the buildings so high that 3D maneuver gear is feasible down there? Was this originally conceived as a bunker…?

Also, I know they have vitamin D deficiency but why is it their legs that go bad specifically? Is that a thing? God, whatever.

I’ve looked up credits for the Kuinaki Sentaku manga and while it lists Isayama as an author, it’s hard to say how much he contributes. The actual characterization and pacing certainly don’t feel all that much like the main series proper, though it might just be that I don’t find the idea of exploring Levi’s past all that compelling. We’ve got a cipher in Farlan and genki girl Isabel as a sort of Eren stand-in (in the sense of a young, brash newcomer) who immediately starts calling Levi her aniki. And… uh… hmm. There’s some… shady stuff afoot? Probably. I can’t even tell what exactly Levi and Farlan do for a living, stealing from the corrupt merchants and giving to the poor? Eh. The guy in the carriage up there is making Levi a deal, and then Erwin makes a counter-deal, I suppose.

There’s just not much to say really, is there. I guess if you find Levi and Erwin exceptionally compelling there’d be something here for you, but for me the OVA is mostly functional and watching it passes the time in a perfunctory sort of way. Like, hey, there’s a new piece of Attack on Titan media out, so let’s watch it for completion’s sake while waiting for the second season. Who knows, the next installment of the OVA might be better.

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