Shingeki No Kyojin: No Regrets

August 14, 2015

With the great success of the TV series, it is no doubt that there would be a second season. But while we wait for that to happen in 2016, fans in the mean time get to rejoice with a couple of OVA episodes that tell the historic meeting of the most beloved characters of the series. Sorry guys, it is not Mikasa. Instead, Shingeki No Kyojin: No Regrets is how the fan favourite characters of Levi and Erwin meet each other and become one of the strongest and most respected members of the Survey Corps.

Episode 1
Levi comes from the underground district and despite being the safest place ever from Titans, the area is abandoned and all those here are leftovers from the sealed Immigration Plan. I know this looks like the slums but what is so bad about that since there are no Titans? Well, sunlight doesn’t reach here and without sunlight, your legs start to rot. Geez, it’s like between the devil and the deep blue sea here, huh? Levi and his friend, Farlan Church are no better than the thugs next door. They have been targeting underground merchants and their job has become easier ever since they stole 3DMD and are very good in using them. Life is tough. Especially their friend, Jan whose legs are getting worse and the toll to the Stairways have increased. The Stairways are the only means for these people to head up to the surface for sunlight but even if they can pay their way out, without citizenship, they’ll be thrown back down shortly. One day, a girl named Isabel Magnolia seeks refuge in their house. Of course Levi wants her to get out since she is dirtying the place. They realize a few punks are looking for her since she tried to sneak past the toll without paying. The thugs confront Levi and they see Isabel. They want her handed over or else they’ll be charged as accomplice. The thug leader made the mistake of touching Levi and got his hands cut. Don’t ever touch him. He doesn’t like being dirtied. His men are smart. They know these guys are dangerous and retreat. Levi notices a small bird Isabel has been holding ever since. She thinks it got lost through some ducts and wanted to bring it back up. So that’s whys she tried to sneak out? As she is impressed with them, she wants to join them. What do you say, Levi? If she wants to stay, make sure she knows how to clean before learning to use 3DMD. I guess that means a yes! And so Isabel learns how to ‘fly’ with those guys and finally they find a big hole where the sunlight reaches to release the bird. Hey. Why didn’t she come here and do so in the first place? Unless you need 3DMD to reach it.

One day, a guy seeks them for a job request. They are not interested but he has already paid a ‘deposit’. Jan is being taken to hospital on the surface to get his legs treated. The trio have no choice but to follow him. At the top of the Stairways, some big shot tells them about the job. In addition to being paid a large sum of money upon their successful completion, they’ll be offer full citizenship. Tempting, eh? After confirming who this big shot is and Jan is really being treated in a first class hospital, it is time to get this job done. At first it looked like stealing something from those underground but the Military Police is soon hot on their trails. However Levi and co can tell something is off. Those moves aren’t from the Military Police. That wing emblem… Yup. Those guys are from the Survey Corps. Levi is going to test how good they are as they soar and dash through buildings till it turns into close quarter knife combat. Levi is forced to give up when he is cornered by Erwin and his friends are captured. Erwin questions them how did they get the 3DMD and learn how to use it. They remain silent. Till Levi is messed up did Jan admit they learn it themselves. Erwin finds it hard to believe so he makes a deal. He can let his crimes go unpunished but in exchange lend him his strength and join the Survey Corps. Or else they will be handed over to the Military Police and you know it isn’t going to be pleasant after all the crimes they have done. Levi agrees to join him.

Episode 2
Some of the Survey Corps guys are against Erwin’s decision to have criminals join their ranks since it will demoralize the troops. Erwin vouches for their 3DMD skills and the commander says Erwin’s groundbreaking new formation is most important now because it is not how to kill Titans best but how to avoid them. This should reduce their casualty rate. The trio are assigned to be under Flagon’s squad instead of Erwin because he is in charge of the formation. Flagon doesn’t like these punks a bit and tells them to clean up their dorm. I guess that is a taboo word for Levi. Farlan apologizes on his behalf and later reminds Levi not to pull off that kind of stunt. Remember why they are here. That big shot, Nicholas Lobov told them the Survey Corps will come after them and will have them achieve 2 things for him. Meanwhile the commander talks to Erwin about the sudden approval of the budget for the next expedition. Lobov was so against it but suddenly turned around. Did he use some indecent means to change his mind? He warns he is taking a dangerous path and can never come back out. Erwin recounts the first time he saw his comrades being eaten by Titans. It made him realize the fragility of humans. Wealth, power and noble ideas do not mean a thing if the Titans breach the walls. That is why he will do anything and everything to ensure the expedition and efforts to take back this world from Titans are not abandoned. All for the sake of mankind’s humanity.

Levi remembers the 2 things Lobov wants them to do: 1) Obtain a scroll that Erwin possesses; 2) Kill Erwin. The newbies impress the rest with their exceptional skills. It’s like they’ve received military training before (but didn’t). Levi even impresses the non-believers with his unconventional way in holding the blades. It makes him faster and more effective in slicing the Titan’s neck. Farlan sneaks into Erwin’s quarters to find the scroll but could not find it. He thinks that he might be carrying it around with him. He thinks using the expedition to their advantage is the only way. Levi agrees to this idea but he will do it himself. Is he saying he has no confidence in his friends? Yes. Don’t give them that sh*t! He won’t move from his decision. So would they. Levi sees the clouded night sky. It is the same as underground. However they point out there is no ceiling compared to the endless sky. After bugging him about believing in them, he relents. And so the expedition is on the way and it is that flabbergasted look on their face when they head outside the walls the first time. They are told off to keep focus and stop fooling around in being over confident as they have never met a Titan before. They do not know how many good soldiers have been eaten. Speaking of Titans, here comes a few of them. Levi and his friends defy orders to go take down some of them. Wow. Their first kill. Impressive. But not Erwin. He tells them they are using too much gas on their 3DMD and should be conservative outside. Also, Levi is making many unnecessary moves. Is he beginning to have doubts? If so, that will be the end of him. That shock look on Levi’s face…

The weather turns for the worst as the heavy rain limits their visibility. This is when Levi wants to go in to deal with Erwin. Since it will be suspicious for all 3 of them to break formation, he’ll do it alone. Levi rides up till he stumbles upon a sea of fresh human corpses! He realizes too late from the footprints on the ground that the Titan passed him. He races back and when his horse trips, to his horror there is Isabel’s head! And Farlan is freshly devoured by the Titan. Shock turns to anger as Levi starts cutting up the Titan till it loses its head!!!!!!!! Mince meat!!! Erwin notes he is the only survivor in his squad. Levi gets mad and wants to kill him, revealing the reason he is here. Erwin then throws down the scroll. This is the fake one. The real one which contains Lobov’s crimes is already in Zacklay’s hands. Lobov is finished. Levi is stunned Erwin knew this all along. Words of his friends echo through his mind. Erwin leaves him with this advice: If he begins to regret, it will dull his future decisions and make others decide for you. If that happens, all that is left is for him to die. Each decision he makes holds meaning only by affecting your next decision. Erwin walks away, noticing Flagon’s corpse on the side. In the end, Levi never understood anything, even if he believed in his own strength or the decision of his friends. This man Erwin is looking up at something that he can’t even see. Whatever it is, he will not regret this decision as long as he lives.

No Turning Back!
It is without a doubt from start to finish that the double episodes do not disappoint. It is just so excellent and made me love the series even more. The only down point for this series is that is so freaking awesome that I have become impatient in wanting for the second season to be shown right now! Oh dear! It might be a few more months away but it seems like eternity! Don’t give me that go read the manga crap excuse! I want to see this anime!!! Back to this series… Fans who loved the original TV series are going to love this one too as it provides excellent insight and the past of Levi and how he turn out to be as we know him. I guess his obsessive compulsive disorder to be clean isn’t just a running joke, eh? His badass attitude may dangerously churn out more Levi fans screaming his name and swooning over him each time you see those mean slanted eyes. Then there is Erwin who is rising up the ranks of the Survey Corps with his unwavering and unparalleled vision for mankind. Leaders like him are rare and more so why he is so respected. Overall, everything in this little series is so awesome that I have no words to describe. Everything. The drama, the story, the pacing, the characters, even the same art style and music used, it is just perfect. Everything adds up and leads to where everything is right now. So do yourself a favour and watch this series if you haven’t already. Still not convinced? Then I hope that every decision you make, make sure you do not regret it. I can assure you will not if you watch this one. I know I didn’t.

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