Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou
April 16, 2016
I know we are all excited for the second season of Shingeki No Kyojin to come. Even with that Levi and Erwin short origin story, it still wasn’t enough to whet our appetite. The wait continues to look very long. So what other better way than to distract us by turning our favourite heroes of the series into chibi form? Yup. That is what Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou is all about. Just like how that Haruhi series and even that Naruto character, Rock Lee had a chibi series spin-off of itself, it is time for this one to get its spin-off too. Before we get ready to deal with terrifying and horrifying Titans, might as well take a light hearted comedy stance of the characters in junior high. Don’t worry. Although there are lots of ‘eating’, there are none who will die. Trust me.
A typical Japanese setting. A setting where everyone dead is still alive. For now. Eren and Mikasa are running late for their first day at middle school. As typical as it gets, they bump into girls running with food. I guess Sasha wasn’t as cute as Krista so Eren didn’t compensate her watermelon like he did for Krista’s bread. Or is it watermelons are expensive? With so many accidental bumps, Mikasa also devices her plan to be bumped by him. But Connie got in the way and Eren is sent flying into the air. When they reach school, everything seems to be so large like as though they have shrunk. When stationery sets start falling on them and they realize a Titan is in the class, all hell breaks loose. Till Hannes brings them away to the right school. That school is for Titans. This is your middle school. Now everything here is the right size. Keith is the homeroom teacher of Eren’s class which features familiar faces. Eren and Jean get into a petty argument about being superior to each other and parodying the anime itself, Keith catches Sasha eating onigiri in class. Cheaper alternative to a watermelon? When everyone gathers outside for the opening ceremony, the Colossal Titan strikes! The wall breaks and many Titans stream in. And as usual, Thomas becomes the first to die again. But wait! It seems the Titans aren’t eating humans. They are eating their lunches! Yum! I suppose you would have figured out something fishy when Eren has been reminding us how much he hates Titans and wants revenge on them for taking away his precious which isn’t his mother who is very much alive right now. That precious stuff turns out to be his lunch. So when he gets into action to kill them, he realizes too late he didn’t have his 3DMD and flops. The Titan gets his lunch while Eren is left to regret he couldn’t savour his favourite cheese hamburger steak. It leaves everyone stunned. Crying over lunch is like crying over spoilt milk?
Eren and some of the guys have not joined any clubs. Keith tells them to do so by tomorrow or he will put them in whatever club he chooses. This means they have to get forms from Armin but that guy has never been to school as he is always out with a cold. As they buy food to visit him, they are attacked by another lunch-stealing Titan. Levi came to save the day and when Eren sees how cool he is, he wants to join whatever club he is in. However Levi leaves to tend to Armin’s grandpa who seems to be beating the futon the wrong way. Eren and Mikasa enter Armin’s room. He is afraid of cold and thus why his room is so hot. For some reason, Levi steals his favourite futon. Since he dropped his badge, this is the only clue they have to track him. They return to school to find the rest of their pals having bad experience with the clubs with joined. All Titan related problems. When Eren shows the badge, they think this must belong to a secret organization in the school and supposedly rumoured the strongest man in the world. It didn’t take long for them to find the secret hideout of the Survey Corps. Even busting their secret identity is dumb Oluo who denies everything so secret which just reveals the secrecy of everything. Like in true parody to the series, his argument with Eren has him accidentally bite his tongue. While Petra welcomes them in, Hange returns from a Titan expedition. She is ecstatic that more Titan-loving weirdoes would like to join this club. When Eren shows the badge, Hange knows a fast way to summon Levi. She has Eren throw a plastic bottle in the bin. Instantly Levi comes in and beats him up for throwing the wrong rubbish in the wrong bin. Levi took Armin’s futon because it was broken and sewed it back. It feels warmer now and his chronic sneezing stops. Eren wants to join this club and so do the rest (to avenge their lunches). Levi gives them a smack of approval. Welcome to the club. However the next day, Eren and some have been enlisted in the Wall Cleanup Club. Although they submitted their application, but bear in mind the Survey Corps is an unauthorized club so there was no way it was going to be accepted.
When Krista asks, Annie is going to reveal she loves cheese hamburger steak too but upon hearing how the rest are making fun of it, she is forced to lie that her favourite is some seaweed. Now she hates Eren and challenges him to dodgeball tomorrow. Jean is fired up for his team but to his dismay, it consists of weirdoes. From stupid Connie to glutton Sasha who can only dodge while she is eating and Mikasa completely useless and losing her capabilities at a steady rate since Eren is not around. Where is that guy anyway? He overslept! I think their team barely won. Then there is Annie’s team whose teammates are all at their freaking top form! OMFG! They’re playing them next! Jean is so screwed. Because Keith already warned if he found anybody slacking, he will send them to become Titan’s food, the rest try to disguise Jean as Eren to fool him. Annie is suspicious till the real Eren shows up. You’d expect that loving from Mikasa? A warning threat never to be late again! So when both teams are ready to fight, the match turns out this way. Eren rushes in but trips, Annie slams the ball hitting him, Mikasa saves the rebound, rinse and repeat. Till the final showdown between Annie and Mikasa, they’re going to collide and somehow Eren got in between them and bear the brunt of the collision. Poor guy. Eren asks Annie’s hatred towards him and she reveals the truth. With Eren and Annie making up, the crowd applauds but only Ymir is not impressed with the stupidity. As Eren and co eat lunch, he is devastated his only cheese hamburger steak accidentally drops on the ground. What a waste. Annie joins them and gives him her portion. Jealous Mikasa forces food down Eren’s throat and Annie joins in. You have guessed it like Armin. A love triangle may be brewing at this rate.
Eren dreads going to do his first activity for the Wall Cleanup Club. The only member of the club, Riko forces them to get cleaning the area. After hearing how some girls call this cleaning lame, Jean wants to escape but not on Riko’s watch. Everyone is impressed at how she uses the 3DMD in which she uses it to scale walls for cleaning. Eren and Jean fight over to borrow and use it so Riko tells them off about taking responsibilities. They must do their duties of cleaning windows first if they want to have a chance of using this gear. When she checks on them later, the windows are so freaking shiny that it is blinding! As promised, she trains them to use the gear. Just like in the anime, Eren seems to be the only one who can’t balance himself unlike the rest who easily fly around with ease. If he cannot master the basics, he might be kicked out of the club. Because brains or abilities have nothing to do with it, Armin deduces the only possibility that the gear is broken. Riko is confident it is flawless and even bets to eat spaghetti through her nose upside down. You don’t say… Because she spots the gear is indeed broken! Then Hannes comes by to show Eren how it is done. The gear breaks and causes him to slam into the wall. He thinks he was drunk and Riko uses this as a cover up that he broke the gear. She goes back to fix it and the next day, Eren gets to use it flawlessly. Suddenly they have to hide when Titans rush into the area. They are vandalizing the wall with paint graffiti. I suppose this is the reason why the club was founded. Eren is so worked up that he rushes in to fight them. But since he didn’t have enough practice using 3DMD, he blunders greatly. The Titans get away scot free. It’s back to training for him.
You know Sasha did very badly for the tests when Keith blows his top and beats her up. She would love to have Eren tutor her but he’d rather visit the Survey Corps. Mikasa? Following Eren… Jean? Don’t want this proud bastard. Connie? This guy did worse because he got all zeroes! So I guess Armin is left, eh? Using food to substitute algebra in maths, Sasha seems to be quite motivated. Meanwhile Eren, Mikasa and Jean are at the Survey Corps and they are forced to hear Oluo lament about his bad scores while Petra wants him to quit acting like Levi. Then it turns out he scored 94 and that is bad because scoring perfect was the goal. So he just wants to brag? Petra punch + tongue biting folly. Hange thought she could get Levi to treat her food if her scores were higher. When she learns his is higher, she tries to change the subject for him to treat her. He tells her to go buy some squid with her measly 21 Yen. She’ll go harass her juniors then. When Levi enters the clubroom, he sees Eren and Jean tying her up for the rampage she is causing. The club members know what is coming when Hange seems interested to reveal why she is short of money. They run away and leave Eren and co wondering what the heck is going on. Hange brings them to a room where she is keeping a couple of Titans as specimen. She calls them Sonny and Bean while almost getting her head chewed off a couple of times. Levi sees this and now understands why she is poor. She spent her money to feed them. Hange thinks Levi felt pity and gave his food. Dog food? Those are for the Titans. She can go buy that squid with her own money. Ah, she just eats the dog food. Meanwhile, Sasha is doing well thanks to Armin. She is confident for the makeup test tomorrow and views Armin as a kind and smart person. But then again, he might be weak since he is afraid of the dark. Next day as she takes the test, her mind is so filled with food she cannot concentrate and flunk. What about Connie? He totally forgot about it.
What’s this? Jean finds a love letter in his shoe locker?! Because of that, he changes his hairstyle and puts on heavy cologne. He shows his pals but they wonder if it’s a prank since the letter is unsigned. Jean begins to wonder who it is from. Sasha? Is she capable of writing girly stuffs? But the thought of her breaking his wallet with her empty stomach is unfathomable. Hmm… Krista and Ymir aren’t bad too? With Riko and Petra in the picture, he starts fantasizing all the girls fighting over him! But could it be Mikasa? When Annie wants to talk to Jean, this sets a showdown between Mikasa and Annie as the tension rises. Jean thought he could be a gentleman and stop them but gets beaten up by them. Then Jean sees a love letter dropping from Annie’s pocket. Could it be? After school, Jean and co caught Annie putting the love letter in his shoe locker. It says to meet at the park after school. After happy guy rushes there, Annie is seen wanting to talk to the rest about the love letter. When Annie meets Jean, he misinterprets her shy ambiguous moves and proclaims he is willing to date her. He sounds like a jerk now. He thought she is going to kiss her but actually judo throws him. She thought of talking to him nicely as suggested by others but it seems he was pushing his luck too far. She reveals the letter is written by her friend. What friend? You mean this Titan lady is her friend?! OMFG! How are they friends? They go to the same cram school. Annie helped her write the letter. Flashback reveals when Jean and Marco tried to run away from this Titan lady, they threw their lunch and it seems she took it as a sign of love. I think Jean is so disappointed that he became broken and accepts this Titan as his girlfriend. But the sheer size difference means he gets pounded. Once he returns to reality and rejects her, the heart broken Titan smacks him and runs away in tears. I don’t know if this is Sasha’s way of cheering him up because she plays out a silly act of her food fighting over his love. So broken and even further broken when Jean fantasizes his food lovers fighting over him. Yeah, he’ll make them both his girlfriends.
Because Jean has been skipping his duties, Riko punishes all of them collectively to cleaning duties. Because of that, they end up late for the Survey Corps’ meeting and also get chided for their uniform violation. Another collective cleaning punishment? Although they have just started cleaning for 10 minutes, Levi is not amused at their slowpoke pace. Some rebel against his high and mighty attitude so it is decided that they will face off at the sports festival and the losing grade will have to clean the Titans’ building. While cuties Krista and Annie are acting as cheerleaders, the first bread race pits Sasha and Hange. However Hange ‘cheated’ by riding her Sonny and ate all the buns. Boo hoo. None for Sasha to eat. Jean is showing off using his 3DMD for the ball tossing game but eventually everybody targeted him and he got defeated. The juniors are vastly behind in the score so Mikasa rallies them by calling them disappointments unlike herself as strong. What has she been doing? Jean rallies the rest with his positive words to work together. In the final kibasen event, Mikasa and Armin sacrifice themselves so Eren can face off with Levi. Unfortunately he got easily defeated. Hange then accidentally releases a huge ball containing confetti and flood the entire place. So the juniors are forced to clean up the endless tiny colour papers when they are surprised the seniors too decide to help them out. Both sides apologize for being disrespectful to each other. If you thought seeing such big mess would click Levi’s cleanliness obsession, where the heck is he? Trying to get Hange for making a big mess of this in the first place.
In order to deepen their bonds, Hange suggests a kimodameshi. Eren has his first scare when Erwin greets him from the back. He is the Survey Corps’ advisor? I thought the club was illegal? The kimodameshi’s route is for the juniors to head to several rooms and write their names before ending up in the gym. Eren and Jean sure act tough but they are as chicken sh*t as Armin. Eren’s group is in the first room and they got freaked out by the first of the 7 mysteries of the school, the laughing Mona Lisa. Reiner and Bertolt are puzzled to see an endless stairway so as they walk up, Bertolt felt they’ve been going up forever despite their school only has 3 levels but Reiner always replies it is his imagination. Ymir thought she could pull off that Hanako prank but when they hear her voice, the girls run out of the toilet. Heck, Ymir took the wrong Krista and Sasha instead. Eren and co continue to be freaked out by the school’s other mysteries like the ghostly Beethoven, the girl ghost in the mirror, the dancing human figure and screaming skeleton. Krista is lost and is comforted by a girl in white dress outside the building. When Ymir is reunited with her (must be a big relief), Krista wants to introduce her to her friend but she is gone. As everyone has reunited, in the gym they see a basketball player (Levi?) dribbling his own head. Then all the other ghosts appear to freak them out. A huge cannon joins in the chase (from Reiner and Bertolt’s endless stairways). Levi has had it with this folly and destroys the cannon. It is revealed this ghost prank is done by Hange and the seniors. The ghosts were just them in costumes. When they ask about the girl in white, nobody recognizes her so Erwin says she is the final seventh mystery, the girl who got lost during kimodameshi and hasn’t realized she has turned into a ghost. She still wanders the hallways looking for someone to scare. Eren continues to be scared when Mikasa claps her hand to kill a bug. The ghost girl watches over them.
Reiner plans to confess to Krista at the festival. But why is he asking Bertolt to come with him? Embarrassed? Reiner knows he has a crush on Annie and wants him to ask her to come too. Instantly Bertolt flusters. It’s all written over his face. Reiner successfully asks Krista to come to the festival. I’m sure Ymir doesn’t like this a bit but knowing Bertolt likes Annie, she joins Reiner in teasing and planning to get them together. After setting them up, Annie is about to reject going to the festival but after hearing how Eren is going (and the rest too), she decides to go. Yeah, it’s going to be a challenge with lots of unwanted people. At the festival, Bertolt’s chance to compliment Annie’s yukata but instead he compliments her sandal strap knot. Huh? Part of the plan is to make Bertolt look cool in the shooting game. However Mikasa and Annie end up in a competition to win items for Eren. The shop closes down… Then there is the plan to accidentally pour shaved ice on her and Bertolt will come to her rescue. Well, only if Sasha and Connie didn’t get lost buying the shaved ice. And when they return, Ymir purposely pushes them. Bertolt protects Annie from getting stained. He goes off himself to wash up. The rest felt they went too far in their plan and split up to look for him. Annie finds him playing die-cutting. They talk about stuffs and when the rest arrive, they hide behind the bush, waiting to hear those magical words. Just when Bertolt is about to say it, the stupid fireworks had to drown his voice out. But the pals rejoice when they hear Annie agreeing to it and though this gave away their position, they couldn’t feel happier for him. Then it all turns out to be Annie agreeing to do die-cutting with him. So disappointing… What else to do but to join in this patient game and watch another round of lovely fireworks.
Ilse is running away as she writes in her notebook the terrible evidence she witness in the student council. Thanks to her exposure, the student council is brought down and a new election will be held. So Jean and Eren become interested to run for president. Armin helps to a poster for Eren but I think Eren has a bad sense of fashion because he finds it cool his face like Picasso’s painting. When Jean and Eren try to put up their poster, the bulletin board is hogged by Oluo’s posters. Just paste over it! Unfortunately the duo scored 0% in the opinion poll. Hange and Levi suggest that their rating might increase if they get Ilse’s notebook since it contains deep information that every student would die to know. So it becomes a race for all the candidates to get her notebook and confused Ilse is left to run for her life. After it exchanges many hands, it is revealed the info inside only contains detailed tips on how to clean the school. I guess that is why Levi wants it. Disappointed? Marco hands the notebook back and tells Ilse that these guys have good intentions and anyone would be a good student council president. All the candidates are to give their final speeches. The crowd boos Riko when she wants to enforce compulsory cleaning. Reiner will hold aggressive training camps and swimming meets with cute girls. Though popular with the boys, the girls hate it. Especially after hearing Krista calling him the worst, a shocked Reiner withdraws. Oluo bit his tongue before he could speak. Eren’s passionate speech about killing Titans did not go well. It took Armin’s eloquent speech to turn the tide in his favour but Eren blew it when he orders everyone to vote for him. Finally there is Jean. He gets honest. He only wants to become the president to be popular. BOO! Marco then takes the helm and says all the right words to support Jean. Ilse is touched by his speech and rallies for everyone to vote for Marco as the president! In the end, everyone votes for him while Jean and Eren and left to rue their failure.
For the school cultural festival, Eren’s class are split up in doing several different things. But the main bulk is Eren and co doing a cheeseburger stand. Because of the strong competition next door by Riko selling her rice, Armin is made to cross-dress as a girl to advertise! Reiner loves to patron Krista’s maid cafe. Her omelette rice is always sabotaged by Ymir pouring other condiments to ruin it. Hange is organizing some biology class demonstrating her Titans and almost getting eaten several times. And she’s laughing the hardest about it. Jean is in some Snow White play. Because Eren and co are so focused in making their stall the best, they won’t switch and do the play. Gradually, Jean is left to do all the acting by himself. Even accidentally kissing that hideous Titan mannequin. I wonder who is watching all this. The cheeseburger stall has drawn considerably a long queue but the real battle is about to begin when Riko is close to finishing her rice. When she is about to open the pot’s lid, Eren unleashes his sales tactic for Armin to advertise their cheeseburger with double the cheese with the same price. Everyone starts rushing to buy this fabulous offer. However, the red alert is sounded when Titans are heard stomping into the scene. It seems they are here to steal all their food stalls. Eren won’t allow it this time and goes to fight them. Too bad he got stomped. Don’t worry. He still lives. The Titans make a clean getaway with all the food and history marks it as yet another lost for the cheeseburger. Curse you, Titans!
Eren wants to go to the Titans’ building and retrieve them. However the teachers are against this. Eren’s pals defend him and tell him to head there while they hold back the teachers. Eren and co head to the Survey Corps but it seems Levi has ordered them to be on standby. Eren disagrees on this and because he continues to be adamant of getting his cheeseburger back, Levi just tells him to decide what he wants to do and then only later choose what he will regret on. Eren and co make their way to the Titans’ building but are left running away because they don’t have their 3DMD. Hannes lures them into a secret spot so that Riko could hand them their 3DMD. It is believed the principal office houses their food stalls but as they head in, there is a miniature town inside. Also, there is a key in the middle in which they believe must be inserted to the door where their food is. Hurry up, the Titans are coming. While the rest distracts the Titans, Eren tries all his might to lift the key out but to no avail. Their entire heroic fight is being recorded by Ilse and viewed live by everyone back at school. Jean almost got eaten but his Titan lover saved him. Eren manages to take out the key by turning into a giant form. After opening the door, it leads them to the gym where several Titans are paying homage to the food stalls. Since their cover is blown, Levi and his Survey Corps initiate some rock concert to have the Titans worshipping like crazy fans. Then they realize they are actually inside the principal’s lunch box. He is no other than the Colossal Titan. Eren tries to save his cheeseburger and gets eaten! Oh, the disbelief! However he is spit out since he was carrying a mustard sauce and to everyone’s joy, Eren has saved his cheeseburger. Wait a minute. Just 1 lousy cheeseburger?! Erwin lectures the other teachers how Eren’s act has given hope to others the students can still enjoy a fun school life without fearing the Titans. Eren returns to the rest and enjoys his cheeseburger. Yummy.
What’s For Lunch?
Due to my biasness for the awesome series, perhaps it is the reason why I find this comical short to be very funny and entertaining. It is hard to just comment on this spin-off series as itself without referring to the original TV series because there are many aspects here which draws a lot of references and parodies to the original TV series. Therefore it is better for one to watch that awesome show first before jumping into this one. Otherwise there are many of the jokes and references that will make you feel lost. Even if newcomers who have never watched the original series start watching this one, they can still find it funny although they will miss many of the reference points that parody the show.
Although many of the characters retain their typical personality as we know them, many of its aspects are amplified for comical purpose. Like Sasha and Connie who are already the jokers and lucky dimwits of the series, their idiocy is further enhanced making them even more comical than ever. Connie is even more ‘stupid’ while Sasha continues to be the glutton and thinking nothing but food. Then there is Ymir (whom in the original TV series, she was only referred to as Sobakasu) who is constantly overprotective of Krista. It becomes a running joke that whenever Reiner or some other guy or thing tries to get to Krista, she’ll kick them away and after proclaiming she’ll protect her from this and that, it always ends with her asking Krista to marry her. I think her overprotective case is far worse than Mikasa for Eren. That girl is still does and goes whatever and wherever he goes. If Eren is doing it, she’s doing it. If he is going there, she is coming too. It’s like she is his shadow or something. There is also that running joke from Oluo as he keeps biting his tongue while he talks. Only thing is that he does it more often here than in the TV series. Sometimes Petra would just retort about biting it off and die for real or tell off that vain guy to stop pretending to be Levi because it just disgusts her.
Some of the characters are given ‘additional’ traits like how Armin cannot be seen without his blanket so he becomes some sort of hooded character wherever he goes. Then there is Jean who is very obsessed about becoming popular with the girls but usually ends up butting heads with Eren. Making it even more ‘shocking’ is the fact that a Titan female likes him! I guess it is good to have a little variety and detract from the original source. Another instance is Marco’s crush on Annie. We know this will never ever happen because we all know what happened to Marco, right? And we also very well know what happened to Annie at the end of the series, right? So there is no hell way in the world they will ever be together, right? Unless you’re talking about a parallel universe but that is a different story altogether. Like this spin-off. Say, I wonder what happened to that Annie’s crush on Eren? Was I just overthinking it?
Some characters never change like Levi who is still the unapproachable and serious guy. His clean freak behaviour is still there but it is hard to make him look funny considering the serious mug his has. Hange is also as wild as she is in the TV series especially her uncanny love for experimenting with Titans. Keith is also that scary drill instructor whom you’ll always wish to pass you by without picking you out for something to yell at.
The plot of having Titans rampaging and stealing food instead of eating human is quite a clever theme for this spin-off. It makes them feel like big bullies out to get your lunch other than horrible mysterious creatures trying to end mankind. It reduces the scary effects of the Titans that we see and know about. Even in the TV series, they look comical to the point that they look like mutated retards, the effect of them looking so feels less despite many of the Titans retain that look. Speaking of the art and drawing, with the chibified look on all the characters, somehow it enhances the cuteness of all the female characters. Like Krista who is (personally) already a cutie in the series and here, she is even cuter. Same case for Annie and the rest.
The opening theme, Seishun Wa Hanabi No You Ni is a parody of the series’ first opening theme, Guren No Yumiya in terms of the pacing and the tune. Even the opening credits animation is very much a parody of the show except everybody in chibi form. Also sung by Linked Horizon who sang that song in the TV series. At certain points of the song, I thought it sounded like a Christmas carol considering the background choir voices. The rock based ending theme is Hangeki No Daichi by the trio behind Eren, Jean and Mikasa. Oddly, I could only hear Jean’s voice in the foreground for most of the time.
Overall, like I have said, this spin-off is a good appetizer for those who are eagerly waiting for the second season to arrive. Fans of the series will definitely enjoy this parody version with some fun and laughs although I do read some comments that some ‘purist’ fans call this distraction a deviation from the original source material and it isn’t something to be proud of. Hey, come on. It’s a funny spin-off done well. What else more do you want to ask? Next time when your mother tells you to eat your vegetables, make sure you finish them before the Titans steal ‘em away. Not a bad deal you say for Titans eating vegetables on your behalf? Wait till they move on to your favourite cheeseburger and then acquired taste for… Human flesh and blood! Horror! That would be a food for thought.