I’m fascinated by Mikasa’s ability to be the fandom’s lightning rod, especially when it comes to the anime.
I had a sort of realization as to why there’s a surge of negativity targeted towards her from this episode alone, and from the manga-reader crowd of all people. This is just my opinion, but I don’t believe this is all sudden character hate – this is people still feeling mistrustful of and disliking the anime’s portrayal of her based on past experience.
From what I’ve gathered, season 1 Mikasa did not leave the best impression on fans. Many who compared that adaptation of her to her manga counterpart felt that she was too Eren-centric overall. So when season 2 finally aired, that residual uncertainty bled over. I think the third episode of this season (episode 28) is what fully opened up that old wound again. That’s the episode where an important key to her character development was left out, leaving quite a bit of fans feeling more wary than ever about how the anime would continue to handle her character (I wrote about it here).
Fans feared that her flaws would be glossed over, and for understandable reasons. But honestly, I’m not so concerned about that cut anymore in terms of her characterization. It was just last episode that Mikasa acknowledged her failure to kill Reiner and Bert when she had the chance. That was also in the manga, and while it feels like such a hollow victory to celebrate the anime doing the bare minimum in that regard, it’s still a promising sign. Overall, I’d say this season is doing a much better job at portraying her accurately. @guyinlovewitheremika put it best in this post.
Bad news is, that mistrust in the anime is tainting fans’ perception of Mikasa altogether. Suddenly it’s like every little thing about her is taken as a sign of the anime team messing up her character or pushing their own agenda, right down to her physical appearance. The thing fans disliked the most about her portrayal last season was that her fixation on Eren was overdone. This is the tricky part, because Mikasa’s attachment to Eren does bring about clear flaws that are undoubtedly part of her character growth. It’s not like her attachment to him is OOC, it’s right there in the manga. But because the anime – according to many fans – exaggerated that part of her character, there’s this knee-jerk reaction to whenever she actually is supposed to show concern about Eren. Instead of recognizing that this is perfectly in character for her, people are taking this as an indication of the anime wrongly depicting her because of their version of the story told so far.
It’s backlash at her for being in character while perceiving it as being OOC.
This episode that was adapted from chapter 45 highlighted that attitude best.
Putting the original flashback aside for a second, she acts exactly the same as she does in the respective chapter. Dialogue and everything. There, she’s incredibly worried about Eren, frantic, and becoming despondent over the realization that he’s gotten so far away. By “gotten away,” I mean she realizes that Eren was just kidnapped by two powerful and dangerous enemies that she blames herself for not killing earlier when given the chance, has every reason to believe they will kill him, keeping in mind that these are the very same people who are responsible for destroying her second home and most of her second family as well.
And they’ve gotten a 5 hour head start. The prospects are, well, not good for Eren from this perspective.
I’ll admit she’s never been a favorite of mine, but I could always understand and sympathize with her. Eren is the person who saved her, who taught her to fight back instead of accepting her cruel fate, who became part of her new family she was immediately welcomed into after just watching her parents be brutally murdered. Her parents, who were her entire world. Family is by the far the most important thing to her, and she acts on that wish to keep what little of that she has together after losing so much already.
Waking up to the realization that she may very well be losing more of her family again devastates her, and why wouldn’t it? In the flashback, she’s a 9 or 10 year old. Well before any semblance of character development takes place in story. So she, unsurprisingly, is more overbearing with Eren back then. Running to his side the moment she learns he’s off picking fights again, telling him to get back home, and distressed when Eren once again leaves her behind to try to finish a fight he won’t win.
But because this wasn’t written in the manga by Isayama himself, then it’s subjected to even more scrutiny. It makes it easier for people to brush this off as the anime team just failing to understand certain characters and their relationships with others.
Whether you like it or not, Mikasa’s relationship with Eren is a focus for this arc especially. So of course it’s necessary to emphasize that, but I don’t think it’s being over exaggerated at all. This arc just has the misfortune of immediately following the events of season 1 that had fans feeling so uneasy in the first place. If/when we ever get to see the Uprising arc animated, I think there’ll be fewer accusations towards the anime disloyally adapting her character.
A great deal of her development is about learning to let go, to trust Eren to look after himself knowing he won’t so recklessly put his life in danger, to not let her emotions cloud her judgement and be a more reliable soldier. As of chapter 45, which the anime just showed, she has not fully reached that point. She is still growing. Much of that growth doesn’t happen until after chapter 50.
The lack of faith in the anime team is resulting in some visceral reactions to even the most trivial of changes.
This isn’t limited to Mikasa either. I’ve seen a lot fans anxious over whether or not certain pieces of dialogue would even make the cut, or if a dynamic between characters wouldn’t be depicted accurately or even severely downplayed.
I’ve been wary of the second season for a while now because of the way characters like Eren were handled in the past (looking you, lava-veined berserk titan), but now I have a lot more confidence in this adaptation than before. Like Mikasa’s attachment isn’t being overdone, Armin’s bond with Eren isn’t being downplayed, and Eren has stayed true to his behavior from the manga even while fighting Reiner. All of them are in character. Some of that worry is still there for when crucial character moments come around, but I’d rather deal with that when the time comes instead of fretting about it so much.
As of now, I’d say most of the manga-readers are guilty of constantly referring back to season 1 to determine how characters will continue to be portrayed. That was 4 years ago. There has been a lot more canon material available for the anime team to use over that time, along with meetings with the author himself.
This isn’t going to be a perfect adaptation every step of the way, but at this point it’s unfair to say that the anime is completely messing up characters like Mikasa. What was done in the past can’t be changed, but I think they’re doing their best to make up for that and loyally following the source material, at the very least when it comes to the main cast.
Basically, this isn’t an issue with Mikasa. It’s the fandom having an issue with the anime.
Ehi Mama, if the characters (vets and 104th) had a paranormal power, what would be?? Sorry for my bad english i'm italian❤
Mikasa: Super strength Reiner: Shape shifting Bertholdt: Stretchy powers Annie: Invisbility Eren: Fire power Jean: Would be the friend without powers who rocks anyway Marco: Healing factor Sasha: Force fields Connie: Super speed Armin: Super memory Historia: Mind altering oh wait :D Ymir: Can make people forget they saw her Levi: Super strength Hanji: Sonic powers Mike: Animal senses Erwin: Mind reading Nanaba: Poisonous Moblit: Can alter time
“You’re drunk” Mikasa said as she gave him the drink back with a grimace of repugnance, “It’s disgusting and warm.”
“Drunk?” Eren felt his tongue sore and exhaled, making his head go back and then go forward. He pressed his eyelids, feeling the dizziness “Yeah… a bit.”
Mikasa looked blurry, was it because of the excess of smoke? It had to be the smoke. He wasn’t that drunk, just a bit tipsy. He rubbed his eyes. He was sleepy, his eyelids felt heavy. He rested his cheek on the palm of his hand for a second. The noise of the place was gradually dampening, until his head fell on the table and it bounced. Eren opened his eyes at once, startled by the sudden voices, laughs and all the yelling that surrounded him. He straightened up immediately into the chair and took a look around, disoriented and dizzy.
Where the fuck was he and why were they all talking so loud?
There was a beautiful girl sitting in front of him, looking sideways at two men that were speaking to her lively.
He blinked a few times.
Who were these guys and who was that girl?
“You can- us- leave your boyfriend- come- have more fun-” said a dude that was missing half of an ear. What was he talking about?
Eren brought his hands to his head and pressed it. What an annoyance.
That girl was Mikasa, yes. He came with her to drink something, but the two disgusting dudes that were next to her, he didn’t know them from anywhere.
“No” Mikasa snapped suddenly, and one of the men dared to caress her chin.
Summary:It’s Mikasa’s birthday and everybody seems to remember, except for Eren.“I… I thought that… you forgot. My birthday, I mean.”
Rating: K+, fluff | Words: 2,849k | Read on AO3 - If you like it, please reblog! ♥
A/N: It’s been a long time since I wrote eremika. I’m not very happy with the result of this, I wrote it in a rush and I wasn’t feeling 100% inspired, but I really wanted to contribute to the Mikasa Week somehow (day 16, if I’m not mistaken? the “love” prompt) because I still love Mikasa despite me not being very active in the snk fandom anymore. If you want better grammar quality, just read this in spanish here (x) it’s better, I promise lmao. Anyway, i’m a bit late but Happy Birthday, Mikasita :’)
Mikasa lowered her gaze, slowly touching the red scarf around her neck with her fingertips. She shook her head.
“Maybe he forgot,” she muttered, trying to control the sound of her voice. She smiled a bit, although the spark wasn’t shimmering in her eyes, and Armin realized that. He could see everything. “It’s okay, I understand. It’s not as if it’s something important, you know? It’s just a stupid birthday.”
“M-Mikasa… I don’t think Eren will ever—“
Armin’s words got stuck in his throat when two silhouettes appeared in the distance coming towards them
Okay so… I just finished watching exactly 2 minutes ago at the time I’m starting to write this.
Oh my god.
What the shit.
T H IS E P I S O D E
So first of all, TWO-lives plays during the recap. I couldn’t ask for anything better to be honest.
The dialogue between Bertolt, Ymir and the others did not stand out to me that much. Bertolt’s lines of suffering are worth noting, but.. the others didn’t catch my attention that much.
HOWEVER, Marina Inoue did a fucking awesome job at the Gesumin lines. I’m 100% sure this is what a LOT of people were hoping to see and.. it definitely delivers.
EREN THE COORDINATE. I WAS HOPING THEY WOULDN’T USE IT SO EARLY BUT I’M NOT COMPLAINING
Mikasa’s death stare was fucking horrifying like Bertolt my man I feel you. Jesus fucking Christ did you see the makeup animation in their eyes. Mikasa looked like the Devil of All Earth himself. Holy shit.
Okay, throughout the Yumihisu talk there was this purple flower thing which isn’t the same as the rest of the flowers we know from the anime-exclusive subtle hints that we had in Season 1. Anyway apart from that….
ERWIN MAH BOI. HONESTLY the scene with him leading in the Titans was executed FLAWLESSLY. I have NO COMPLAINTS.
SHINZOU WO SASAGEYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU!!!
Okay, to be honest, I expected Barricades to play in this scene. Looks like it will be used in the ED Credits of the finale after all. Oh well. Also, APETITAN, although it’s obvious Araki seems to get off to this song (relatable tbh) was used very nicely here. A lot of people predicted that the PV1 song would be used for Erwin leading in the Titans and it looks like they were right. Excellent job.
DID I MENTION HOW BADASS ERWIN WAS WHEN CUTTING BERTOLT ACROSS THE CHEST!!
Okay, well… Eren and Mikasa’s subtle interactions were great. The fucking dust could that was created by Reiner throwing the Titans was terrifying and on-stop and… THE FUCKING FLOWERS. I KNEW IT. I KNEW THEY WERE GOING TO DO THIS. Before Eren and Mikasa look up to see the Smiling Titan making its return, YOU CAN SEE THE FUCKING PURPLE FLOWERS. YOU KNOW THIS SHIT IS INTENTIONAL AND YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IT MEANS
Oh fuck.. oh fuck me that preview for the finale. The animation.. everything.. REINER’S REACTION TO THE GRAND CLIMAX WHICH WE’LL SEE NEXT WEEK.. fuck this is absolutely amazing. Honestly next week is going to be a historical event.