I already liked her in the manga but the anime makes me like Rico even more.
Anime is more commercial then: less gore scenes and more moe scenes.
That Mikasa + Christa poster in that anime magazine it's a clear example.
They added some filler scenes right? If they were then they made them very good.
Anyway I liked this episode, even though I think that it was a bit slow with the pace, but it could just have been my impression.
Waiting the new episode with trepidation.
Basing an anime on manga can be really difficult sometimes, especially when the plot in the manga all fits together, they can't just do things too rashly. Having read the manga myself, I've guessed pretty much correctly on each episode's cliffhangers, meaning I don't expect them to do it any other way. There are just bits you can't squash up into one episode but to spread them out into two. So far, I'm impressed with all their decisions, and yes unfortunately basing anime on manga means you'll get slower pacing than usual, and it's more difficult to keep interest up, especially when SnK heavily emphasises the importance of plot and foreshadowing. They've done really well on putting suitable fillers in, fillers that are perfectly cannon with the manga.
I'm also super in love with the music. Those of you who have a bit of knowledge in music can probably tell the perfect combination they've executed along with the animation. The surge of emotions, the intense build-up, the fast-paced action... For example, during fast-paced action, you will realise a lot of their dialogues (as well as major frame/scene changes) fall on the main beats (i.e. 1st beat of the 4 per bar, but technically they usually speak a quarter or half a beat later so that the audience have the time to tune their brain. For action, it usually goes slightly before the first beat to make it feel fast-paced.) If they apply dialogues randomly instead of on the first beats, it's usually for slower paced events or trying to promote the feeling of uncertainty. This is exactly what music can subconsciously do to you. While no doubt this is fundamental in putting music along with media, SnK have done brilliantly in exploiting the full potential of its epic action. For example, if you listen closely to the background music to the scene in Episode 7 from Armin saving Mikasa until Eren regenerating, you'll realise that every "major" scene change or dialogue, the music changes slightly (i.e. it progresses.)
Let me explain, starting from right after Eren first punches the other giant, Mikasa bewildered, and the scene goes to Armin flying across town. The moment the camera goes to Armin, the music falls on the first beat of the bar, and the hi-hat (part of the drum set that goes 'chi-ka-chi-ka') running in the background becomes more hasty in rhythm. Eren roars right before the first beat of one of the bars to signify a 'surprise' feel. The moment Armin's 3D gear hooks onto the wall falls on the 3rd beat (basically exact halfway through the bar) to imply an incomplete action. The moment Armin grabs Mikasa falls on the 4th beat (last beat) of the bar to signify a completed action. A whole bar is used on the frame with only two cords (of the 3D gear) because that's transition, and exactly on the 1st beat of the next bar, we see Armin touching ground on the roof. On exactly the 2nd beat of the same bar, Mikasa touches the roof. Connie arrives exactly on the 3rd beat of the next bar. Their conversation slots into the next bar. 2nd beat of the bar after that, we hear the footstep on another giant (they don't put this on the 1st beat or 3rd beat because it would sound too orderly. Putting it on the 2nd means 'they keep coming out of nowhere.' 4th beat will not sound as hasty as 2nd beat because 2nd beat is only the beginning to a bar, as opposed to putting it at the end of a bar. Putting it in between beats would make the giant's footstep sound interfer with the music. Exactly on the 2nd beat reinforces the thumping noise.) The giant's next footstep falls on the first beat, which signifies a new event.
(Armin has two reactions after that. The first one on the 1st beat, and the next one on beat 3.5, just saying.)
Next scene, Gong (big cymbal with the craaaaaaannnggg sound) comes in full power on the 1st beat (it actually starts building up two beats before the climax.) The music also changes in tone, adding the horns stepping downwards a semitone to express the feel of uncertainty. Eren's roar goes on the 1st beat, but the roar of the other giant goes on beat 2.5 and not the first, because they want the two roars to fit into a single musical phrase (it's exactly like putting commas in the middle of the sentence rather than a period.) You'll notice the following 'weird' sounding instruments take the 3rd beat of the next two bars instead of the 1st, because it wants to show one thing keeps coming after another (a continuous action.) The 'weird' instruments first of all play a high pitched discordant sound, and then play a weird tune in a lower pitch as the screen turns to Mikasa and co. The high pitched suggests 'a weird turn of event,' the weird tune acts as a 'response' to consolidate the idea of 'weird turn of event.'
Without going into too much the next few scenes, it's pretty obvious the main action falls on the 1st beat as well as a major change (i.e. advancing to the next music section) with new instruments, took out the hi-hat (short snappy 'chi-ka-chi-ka,' four notes per beat) added the choice vocal instead, added violins down-bow and up-bow (two notes per beat) and the whole thing signifies a 'revelation' type of feel. The hi-hat (and drum kit) come back in right when Eren regenerates (which will of course be on the 1st beat.)
Eren's killing-blow (the step) ends the whole music, which follows the common 'standard' of ending music on the first beat of a bar.
Why have I typed so much? I guess because I'm so in love with the production of this anime.
Wow, great explanation. Now explain the music effects in the last parts of episode 11 because I can't stop to watch it again and again.
For the next few major frame changes (showing the whole town, showing running legs etc) they all fall on the first beat. The conversations from between Armin and Rico and co. all their dialogues are pretty much in accordance with precisely the 2nd beat of the bar (it would sound 'weird' if placed on the 1st beat.) The sound of footsteps when we see the silhouoette of the legs are all in beat. Everything is pretty much organised, and they do this because it gives a steady feel to the scenes. It's a slightly hasty but still marching feel (because everything is in time with the music. (Also, for the four lines spoken by the higher rank to Eren during the stills, each occupy their own bar of music, which adds to the effect.)
The change of musical flow during the next major scene change should be obvious so I'll leave out the explanation for that.
*Music builds up* Rico: "Let me say one thing........... there will be a significant number of deaths......" *Music repeats similar musical phrase as before in a more epic tone* "For you." --- self-explanatory. Interesting to note, her dialogues still keep to the beat, mostly one or half a line per bar, but still very orderly.
Eren's monologue (speech to self) --- beginning of new music. Tribal feel, battle preparation music. Repetitious beats and keeping on the same bass note acting as some sort of pseudo-pedal note signifies 'calm before the storm'
Before Rico fires the signal (after the final build up of the last musical phrase) they use 6 beats instead of a standard 4 per bar. Basically they cut off half a bar before going into the next section because this mini 'build-up' here acts as some sort of cliffhanger, not wanting you to be able to count 2 complete bars (of 8 beats) and hopefully successfully induce goosebumps on you the moment the music changes 'suddenly' lol.
In this following section with a really futuristic sound to it (kinda like dubstep lol,) you'll realise they've turned down the bass quite a bit (the main purpose of this music is not to keep things orderly and tidy as we will see.) The music overall sounds like it has random notes coming in and out. Technically they are in beat, but for explanation purposes let's call the music 'trying to break out of its bounds,' which is exactly what the action here stands for. The only thing that sounds like keeping the whole thing in beat is on the 1st and 3rd beats of each bar (out of 4.) The action that goes with it (Eren and co. flying through town) are also extremely fast-paced and out of beat.
After Eren transforms, the chord progression in general (basically you can call it the flow of music) sounds very resolving, because they are trying to tell you 'wow finally Eren to the rescue!' Hence the strings, too lol. There is more or less not a hint of doubt in the music....... until the abrupt pause at the very end.
Keep in the mind major scenes/frames (ignore the ones that flash for a moment) usually take up 4 beats or 8 (not necessarily right at the beginning of a bar, either allow our brains to accommodate to the changes taking music into account, or to connect one scene to another scene through the aid of a musical phrase.)
I have no actual experience in application of music in media, but I suspect they (Sawano the legend!!) are probably told to compose music for a storyboard and the rest of them assign frames to them... or they go hand in hand as they produce (if Sawano sits in with them during meetings and discuss together about the technical issues, which he probably does.)
This is simply amazing. Thanks to share this with us.
A question: what's your job/specialization in the world of music?
I hope they're not, you know, judging from today's episode 12.
Hm, seems like the animators really want to slow things down since they added filler scenes.