It’s been a long time since I reviewed the first series of Shingeki no Kyojin. In that time we’ve gotten two more series, multiple films and OVAs. And since I’ve been reviewing so many rubbish OVAs recently, it seems an opportune time to remind myself that there are quality OVAs out there. Lost Girls is one that was bundled with the 24th through 26th volumes of the manga. I’ll warn in advance, there will be spoilers for the first series of Shingeki no Kyojin in this review since they are a part of the OVA.
The first two episodes of the OVA follow everyone’s second favourite Titan shifter, Annie, as she tries to solve a case about a missing rich girl so that her room mate will give her an opening to capture Eren. So, this is just before episode 17 of the anime. We get some glimpses into her past, her relationship with her father and how she trained.
The third episode focuses on Mikasa during the battle of Trost when she believed Eren was dead. So, really early in the anime. It basically goes into her head and her private fantasy of a world where she might be able to be with her adoptive brother. Sweet Home Alabama intensifies.
The two episode Annie story is really well done. It’s compelling. Her investigation is interesting. It gives you a strong sense of her life in the Capital and her motivations.
The Mikasa episode, in contrast, is mediocre at best. It’s basically her getting into her own head and finding nothing of value. It could have been an opportunity to explore her relationship with her parents and regrets over losing them so young, but them being alive in her little fantasy is solely incidental and you barely see her interact with them. It’s not interesting and it doesn’t add anything because it’s basically nothing in terms of the larger narrative and all it does is repeat what we already know about her character, or lack thereof.
Annie really benefits from her story in this. We get to see facets of her personality that are normally hidden beneath her cold, collected exterior. We get a stronger sense of her motivations and how her upbringing helped turn her into the woman we see in the series proper.
Mikasa’s episode just highlights what a bland trope of a character she is. Which is unfortunate because this was an opportunity for her to be more than a generic action girl with a fixation on the hero who happens to be her adopted brother that makes her emotionally vulnerable. But that’s literally all her episode focuses on. This is why Mikasa is rubbish.
You have to give Wit credit. They make this franchise in general look fantastic. The varied character designs look really good. The action flows well. Annie actually looks adorable when she eats a doughnut for the first time. And yes, it is an actual doughnut and not a misidentified rice ball. 4Kids doesn’t even exist any more.
Shimamura Yuu and Kitanishi Junko both give strong performances. Even Ishikawa Yui does well voicing Blanda. Certainly better than you would expect given the lack of character. The music is strongly composed.
There really isn’t any. Christa and Ymir aren’t in this with their adorable interactions. Neither are Levi and Erwin with their weird way of flirting that makes it clear they’ll never admit they’re flirting.
Areas of Improvement:
- This OVA would be better without the Mikasa episode.
- If you must have an episode about Mikasa, at least give it some narrative or character significance. A story from her childhood that somewhat elevates her as a character so she’s less boring. Or an aside about her activities during, before or after a battle that we didn’t see before.
- Stop pushing the idea of Mikasa and Eren as romantic interests. I get that Mikasa was adopted into Eren’s family when she was nine and not born into it but that’s still enough to make it creepy.
Honestly, I would give the Annie episodes a solid 8/10 by themselves. The problem is that I also have to factor in the Mikasa episode, which is a 5/10, if I’m feeling generous. So, averaging it out, the OVA gets a 7/10. If you’re thinking about watching it, I do recommend the first two episodes if you’ve seen the first series of the anime or more. But I’d skip the Mikasa episode completely because it’s literally nothing.