Attack On Titan’s ‘Return to Shiganshina’ Arc has concluded and I’m still obsessed with the OP! Therefore, in this episode of Get In The Mecha, I’ll be discussing the 5th Opening of the show and how it reflects the mood of the arc. Note that I’m not a musician / music expert of any sort, so bear with me!
THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS EPISODE AND IN THE SHOW NOTES
In this episode, I’ll be looking at:
- How is the mood of the arc reflected in the opening?
- What does the opening extract from its counterparts?
- Why this OP excites me for the remaining arcs in the anime!
MUSIC IN THIS PRODUCTION:
ChipScape by chasersgaming
Go Lucky by chasersgaming
Difference by chasersgaming
Mandatory Overtime by Joth
by Eric Matyas
“The Inspector Arrives”
by Eric Matyas
SOURCES IN THIS PRODUCTION:
SHOUKEI TO SHIKABANE NO MICHI – Linked Horizon(Apple Music)
MYANIMELIST PAGE (Shingeki no Kyojin)
FANDOM PAGE (Story Arcs)
Plot Summary: The Return to Shiganshina Arc deals mostly with the fallout of the Clash of the Titans Arc, which saw the alliance between Zeke, Bertholdt & Reiner by the end. The Scouts regiment are entering a face off against the 3 of them for what seems to be the final time; the stakes are at their highest for the sake of humanity.
A Collision of Events and Contexts: AOT’s fifth opening has been ‘criticised’ for sounding like an amalgamation of the former OPs (with the exclusion of Red Swan); I came to the conclusion that that seemed to be the point of this opening. It appeared that the intention was to merge the sound signatures of various Linked Horizon songs (featured in Attack On Titan), to create a sense of familiarity, similarly to the what Shiganshina means to the audience.
Shiganshina needs no introduction. If anything, Iyasama’s story up to this point has been centric around the town (or at least within the ‘walls’). The familiar setting is reflected within the music for the purpose of giving us a ‘homely’ feeling as we once felt at the very start of the journey. However, the contrast begins to kick in through the visuals and the alternative rhythm of this track.
With audio aside, there were many parts that I picked up on that referenced material from earlier openings. For example, the crows flying into the sunset, as oppose to the blue and white birds which were in the second opening. For this specific example, I thought that it signified the conclusive nature of the arc; sunset usually connotes the end to a day, but in the case of a battle, the conclusion to the violence. Other points that I referenced were the ‘charging into the rocks’ shot (similarly to OP 3), the ‘drawn Titan art’ shot and many more.
Tempo: The opening also plays with tempo / speed quite a lot, both in its audio and visuals. I think this is to draw attention to the fact that time is a theme that is being played about with quite a lot in this part of the narrative. It also gives us the chance to pick up on what is being ‘repeated’ in this part.
Lyrics: Lyrically, the opening has quite a few gems that I picked up on. The imagery of ‘the devil’ was quite powerful for me, not only in the song, but within the show also. I stick with my point from Episode 5 of GITM, that illuded to the idea that the Scouts were heading into an inevitability and have to do whatever they can to create a sense of meaning for the fallen.
To conclude, I honestly think that OP 5 made the Spring (2019) Anime Season quite memorable for me; it was a delight to listen to each week. The song perfectly captures the mood of the arc and reflects it to the audience. All of this has given me rather high expectations for the final season of the show.