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Thread: Deus Ex Machina

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    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member Sigma's Avatar
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    Deus Ex Machina

    For those unfamiliar with the term deus ex machina is "is a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object."

    SnK has in a lot of ways sidestepped many of the standard shonen stereotypes an cliches such as deus ex machina; which is honestly one of the main reasons I like it so much. However, this past chapter that wasn't the case. I'm of course talking about Eren's new power.

    I honestly didn't' even think about it at first as I was too busy thinking about the implications of this power and what it meant for the manga as a whole. But looking back, it really was a deus ex machina moment. I'd even go so far as to say it was an asspull except for the fact that I'm sure Isayama had this planned well in advance. And honestly, I suppose there was no better time for him to introduce this power.

    While this instance does bug me a little when I look back on it I just hope this doesn't become a trend. I don't want to see the characters getting into inescapable situations and suddenly Eren gets a magical new power or some other plot device just pops out of nowhere to save the day.

    What do you guys think? Does this sort of thing bug you? Or do you feel that Isayama was justified in doing this?

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    Registered User 中級員 / Chuukyuuin / Member
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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    To me it was not only a Deus ex Machina, but also the point where this manga got from the thin line that divides Shonen from Seinen into the Shonen zone. To be honest I didn't really like this part, I would've liked it better if the coordinate (or rather coordinator) would be someone/something else other than Eren. He already has a well-rounded Titan form, why should he be given more power?

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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    The thing is this power may have been already hinted at if you consider this post, and that until now it was inconspicuous

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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOwl View Post
    He already has a well-rounded Titan form, why should he be given more power?
    People were saying exactly the same ("Deus Ex Machina!!!!, generic Shonen!!!!") when Eren first got his Titan powers, and I'll admit I was iffy on it at first. But we ended up with a very interesting storyline. And seeing how the author had already planned this way in advance, I think we owe him the benefit of the doubt. He wrote the situation purposely to give Eren this power, and it had to be an inescapable circumstance to allow that to happen. It's not really a Deus Ex Machina if you think about it.
    Last edited by epictoads; October 31, 2013 at 03:58 PM.

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    MangaHelper 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member kkck's Avatar
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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    I don't think it is a deus ex machina... If anything it makes the manga make sense. Eren being a titan alone is not enough to justify mobilizing RAB to find him. We also had seen titans being controlled before. Remember the beast titan? He was also controlling titans and was the one behind the attack within the walls. Even after eren was captured they weren't sure if he was the coordinate they were looking for.... With the foreshadowing and implications of eren being a coordinate it does not really qualify as a deus ex machina. Arguably coordinates had been shaping the world as a whole for years now, perhaps even influencing the creation of the walls themselves. At this point a deus ex machina would be eren dying but it just so happened he had a twin brother with a coordinate...

    Anyways, I don't think eren was using the coordinate during the trost attack. RAB are not coordinates and yet titans are far less than friendly with them. It was the same deal withe eren back at trost.

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    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member KingOfNight's Avatar
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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    I hate the very existence of the Coordinate ability, and I hate Eren having it, and him getting power ups every time. If this annoying ability must exist, I had hoped it would go to Historia or anyone else aside from Eren.

    So yes, it bugs me considerably. So much, I'm thinking whether I should just drop the Manga or not (The only thing keeping me being the Ape Titan).

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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    Quote Quote:
    While this instance does bug me a little when I look back on it I just hope this doesn't become a trend. I don't want to see the characters getting into inescapable situations and suddenly Eren gets a magical new power or some other plot device just pops out of nowhere to save the day.
    Mikasa getting saved the first time is the exact same thing. It's less like other shonen because the new powers don't appear every other week but over the span of months. And that the person getting the new power, this case being Eren, doesn't instantly understand the power and there isn't some teacher there to teach him the ways of 'Becoming a Giant Punch Machine'. The teacher thing is more subtle, Annie teaching Eren how to fight as a human, helped him be a better fighting titan. It also made him a better character but that something else and a topic on its own.

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    Translator 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member DarkLordOfKichiku's Avatar
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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfNight View Post
    I hate the very existence of the Coordinate ability
    Strange that you should say that considering it seems like the Ape Titan's existence intrigues you, since the Ape Titan was/is the first hint we got that it was possible for titans to be controlled...

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfNight View Post
    and I hate Eren having it, and him getting power ups every time.
    Lol, you make it sounds like Eren gets a "power up" two-four times a year a la Ichigo or some of the other shonen heroes . There I'd disagree though; as far as I remember he has only gotten two "power ups" so far: The first was when his ability to turn into a Titan revealed itself... and the second one was in the recent chapter when his ability to command Titans revealed itself...

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfNight View Post
    If this annoying ability must exist, I had hoped it would go to Historia or anyone else aside from Eren.
    Maybe. But... Considering, among other things HOW Eren is, his newly revealed power probably won't be easy for him to master, plus it'll complicate his situation even further one way or another - remember that the author often portrays Eren as Blessed With Suck, so this new power will have drawbacks or be hard to bring forth, much to the agony of our main character. Which'll be interesting to see in it's own way

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    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member KingOfNight's Avatar
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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkLordOfKichiku View Post
    Strange that you should say that considering it seems like the Ape Titan's existence intrigues you, since the Ape Titan was/is the first hint we got that it was possible for titans to be controlled...
    I don't know about all that. To me, it seemed like he ruled them through intimidation. Remember when that triangle Titan disobeyed him and got smacked around? Besides, among the many things that intrigue me, his ability to control Titans is the least interesting to me.

    Quote Quote:
    Lol, you make it sounds like Eren gets a "power up" two-four times a year a la Ichigo or some of the other shonen heroes . There I'd disagree though; as far as I remember he has only gotten two "power ups" so far: The first was when his ability to turn into a Titan revealed itself... and the second one was in the recent chapter when his ability to command Titans revealed itself...
    Because of how I originally viewed this Manga (and got into it), those two really does it for me.

    Quote Quote:
    Maybe. But... Considering, among other things HOW Eren is, his newly revealed power probably won't be easy for him to master, plus it'll complicate his situation even further one way or another - remember that the author often portrays Eren as Blessed With Suck, so this new power will have drawbacks or be hard to bring forth, much to the agony of our main character. Which'll be interesting to see in it's own way
    I respect your way of looking at it.

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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    I'm not being iffy about it, at least not as much as the people who reacted to Eren's Titan powers, but directly controlling the Titans through some sort of telepathy is a bit cheap. It would've been better if someone like Connie or Sasha, who tend to be comic reliefs, had the power. Perhaps Grisha or Historia having the power would've been good too, but not Eren. Oh well, Reiner's quote "You are the last person in the world who should have it." means that Eren is actually unfit for the power and will make at least one big mistake when using i which means the story is still good. Yay

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    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member Sigma's Avatar
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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOwl View Post
    To me it was not only a Deus ex Machina, but also the point where this manga got from the thin line that divides Shonen from Seinen into the Shonen zone. To be honest I didn't really like this part, I would've liked it better if the coordinate (or rather coordinator) would be someone/something else other than Eren. He already has a well-rounded Titan form, why should he be given more power?
    Yeah, it would have been more interesting if someone else had the ability. Eren did take one step closer to being the "invincible main character" shonen stereotype with this. Though the fact still remains that Eren has gotten his ass beat every time he's transformed so far, which is one of the things keeping him from being a stereotype. I guess we'll just have to see how things play out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dodi View Post
    The thing is this power may have been already hinted at if you consider this post, and that until now it was inconspicuous
    Good find. I wonder if that will be clarified in future chapters.

    Quote Originally Posted by epictoads View Post
    People were saying exactly the same ("Deus Ex Machina!!!!, generic Shonen!!!!") when Eren first got his Titan powers, and I'll admit I was iffy on it at first. But we ended up with a very interesting storyline. And seeing how the author had already planned this way in advance, I think we owe him the benefit of the doubt. He wrote the situation purposely to give Eren this power, and it had to be an inescapable circumstance to allow that to happen. It's not really a Deus Ex Machina if you think about it.
    When Eren first got his powers it was a Deus Ex Machina for him, but not for the rest of the characters imo. He didn't just come in and save the day, but rather gave the others the chance to save themselves. Honestly, they probably could have even made the supply run without him, only with more casualties.

    Quote Originally Posted by NuPope View Post
    Mikasa getting saved the first time is the exact same thing.
    I disagree. If Mikasa had gotten off her ass and ran to buy a little time Connie or Armin could have saved her since they were right there. Having Eren do it was just a more dramatic way of introducing his Titan form. On the other hand it was a Deus Ex Machina when Eren got his powers inside the titan's stomach since there was no way in hell he was getting out of that situation otherwise.

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    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member
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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    One thing we should keep in mind is despite Eren having the Coordinate ability we don't even know how well he's access it due to his lack of experience and his predictable and unstable mental state. Not to mention the "warriors' may have abilities to counter it plus its not like regular titans are a match for shifters even in numbers, the regular titans are incapable of doing anything to Reiner if he wasn't protecting Bert he could have easily just demolished the whole group of them and went after the SL so who knows what kind of powers the other shifters will have.

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    Translator 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member DarkLordOfKichiku's Avatar
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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfNight View Post
    I don't know about all that. To me, it seemed like he ruled them through intimidation. Remember when that triangle Titan disobeyed him and got smacked around? Besides, among the many things that intrigue me, his ability to control Titans is the least interesting to me.
    That may be true for the moment when Mike was about to get eaten, but... Look at the two last pages of Chapter 39: on page 44, Connie notriced that a horde of titans is coming, and in the very next scene (page 45), we can see the Ape Titan sitting on the Wall, looking at Castle Utgard while screaming. Doesn't it look as if he's using the Coordinate ability (or something like it) to direct the Titans there? Either way, it looks to me (especially with the current chapter) like the Ape Titan was one of the first hits we got that Titans could be controlled/directed somehow...

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfNight View Post
    Because of how I originally viewed this Manga (and got into it), those two really does it for me.
    *scratches head* You mean you saw Attack on Titan as being very realistic (or at least avoiding the usual shounen cliches/tropes) and the usage of any "power ups" ruins it?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOwl View Post
    Oh well, Reiner's quote "You are the last person in the world who should have it." means that Eren is actually unfit for the power and will make at least one big mistake when using i which means the story is still good. Yay
    I believe it's too early to say this since we don't quite know what Reiner means by his words here - he might simply mean that Eren having it is bad for their cause, whatever it is... But you're probably right; as I said, one way or another, Eren will have to struggle with his new power and/or it's sure to cause problems for him, somehow, so yes, that's why it's interesting - Eren will have to stuggle with his new power just as he has had to stuggle with his Titan-power...

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    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member KingOfNight's Avatar
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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkLordOfKichiku View Post
    That may be true for the moment when Mike was about to get eaten, but... Look at the two last pages of Chapter 39: on page 44, Connie notriced that a horde of titans is coming, and in the very next scene (page 45), we can see the Ape Titan sitting on the Wall, looking at Castle Utgard while screaming. Doesn't it look as if he's using the Coordinate ability (or something like it) to direct the Titans there? Either way, it looks to me (especially with the current chapter) like the Ape Titan was one of the first hits we got that Titans could be controlled/directed somehow...
    I thought that was just an ape shout to celebrate victory or something Nevertheless, whether it's the same as Eren's ability or not, it doesn't really matter much to me. If anything, I'd hate it more. The reason I like the Ape Titan is because he's (so far) what I hoped the Colossal and Armored Titan's would be when I first saw them...

    Quote Quote:
    *scratches head* You mean you saw Attack on Titan as being very realistic (or at least avoiding the usual shounen cliches/tropes) and the usage of any "power ups" ruins it?
    As a matter of fact, I did see it like that. The charm of it for me was, humans desperately fighting against superior beings in an obviously losing battle. Humans Vs Titans to put it simply. When Eren transformed, my interest in the series took a major blow. But because I was intrigued with the Armored and Colossal Titan, I remained. Guess what turned of those two? And now the Coordinate? The Ape Titan is my last ray of hope.

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    MangaHelper 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Utsune's Avatar
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    Re: Deus Ex Machina

    I think it's what kkck said. It may seem to come out of nowhere, but whether its power has been hinted beforehand or not, the fact RBA were hell bent on capturing Eren from the very beginning justifies his recently revealed ability that "seems to come out of nowhere." In fact, you could even say RBA invaded probably just for this power Eren holds. It didn't "come out of nowhere," it has always existed in a perculiar form. I personally don't think the ability has ever been 'activated' as such, but the events leading to Chapter 50 does not give way to a deus ex machina explanation at all.

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