Written by Bananaowns
This week’s God Eater presents the type of episode that is very rarely pulled off, the set-up episode that is filled to the brink with background information and emotion. After last week’s explosive action sequences, this episode provides more information that ultimately raises the stakes in the future episodes.
The episode starts off with a cold open involving our favorite scientist flashback sequences. Seriously, they were up to some shady business. Again, these sequences largely point to the Aragami outbreak as a direct consequence of the experiments carried out by these scientists. It is still concerning given the high positions of power that these former researchers fell into after the Aragami apocalypse. Anyways, Lenka is pardoned relatively quickly because of his combat display in the last episode and he is assigned to Lindow’s squad, along with Alisa and Kouta. From this point forward, each of the three new members receives some sort of development. Alisa is shown to have a level of respect for Lenka, while at the same time her character is shrouded in mystery. She is shown receiving some sort of medication, which is sure to be a plot point in the future. Meanwhile, Lenka and Kouta visit the interior of the city. Being from outside of the walls, Lenka is informed by Kouta of the current situation. The citizens live in shantytowns, with resources managed by the government. Given the dire nature of this world, it is to be expected.
Kouta visits his family which marks the first hint of just how emotional this show can be. Kouta’s mother is absolutely horrified of her son’s new placement into a squad. Being a God Eater seems to be almost a sort of death sentence, given her level of fear. Kouta runs off while not addressing his mother’s fear. It’s actually heartbreaking to see that he is not exactly ready to address this heavy burden, but it becomes easier to understand with the introduction of Aegis. Aegis is the ultimate goal for the God Eaters. Aragami possess a core that can be harvested. Using these cores, the government is constructing an Aragami free haven known as Aegis, where hopefully humanity can finally find some sort of peace.
The First Division is quickly assigned to a mission, retrieving cores from a certain species of Aragami. This mission perfectly showcases the team dynamic. Lenka actually follows the orders of his superiors. Alisa tries to finish everything by herself. Kouta is just not ready for this level of combat with the Aragami, a fact that draws the ire of Soma, an older member of the division. This sequence is genuinely entertaining, featuring a small amount of the slick action that is quickly becoming my favorite part of the series. While initially dismissive of the Aragami designs, I must admit, they are growing on me. The CG models give them almost an alien sort of look, which given their experiment gone wrong background, greatly compliments the design. More backstory gives me a greater appreciation for the look of these monsters.
After this training mission, the real meat of the episode begins to show itself. The squad comes across a group of survivors and brings them back to the Far East Branch. Lenka is particularly suited for interacting with these people because he once lived outside of the walls as well. He has an absolutely heartwarming scene with a little girl that is part of the group. This group ends up being rejected and is forced to leave. The only people permitted inside of the city are people compatible with God Eaters and their family. Lenka is left in shock as he is unable to help in any way, as the little girl turns back and looks at him.
This ending scene had a profound effect on me. The goal of the Aegis project does not mean salvation for the human population, but rather requires a large sacrifice in order to protect the few of those that are left. This population would consist largely of God Eaters and their family. It was a metaphorical punch in the gut.
This episode receives an 8/10, along with a few of my tears.