|Had we known the hell we'd be subjected to, we would never have run. Now that we're utterly exhausted, that's all we can think about.|
|— Jean laments the election's outcome|
Recommendation! Titan Junior High School (推薦！巨人中学校 Suisen! Kyojin Chūgakkō?) is the 10th episode of the 1st season and the 10th episode overall of the Attack on Titan: Junior High anime, produced by Production I.G.
After a scandal, the president of the student council is ousted and an election is scheduled. Eren, Jean, Reiner, Oruo, Rico, and others all declare their intention of running. When they hear that Ilse Langnar, a member of the newspaper club, may have a notebook that contains the secret to winning the election, they pursue her in an attempt to procure it. Upon finally stealing it, however, they are disappointed to find that it only contains a plan for cleaning the school. When the time comes for the candidates to give their speeches, they all unintentionally alienate the students. However, when Marco attempts to defend Jean, he ends up awing the audience and being elected president by a large margin.
A student is running outside the school while holding and writing in a notebook. She writes that her name is Ilse Langnar, and that she had witnessed a terrible act by the student council president. As a member of the Newspaper Club, she stands firm in the face of pressure, and will write about his wrongdoing in order to make him resign.
While still running to her club room, Ilse suddenly encounters a Titan that makes her scream in fear and run in the opposite direction, dropping her notebook in the process. Hange appears and tells her captive Titan, Sawney, not to wander off on its own. Levi says they should return now, before noticing Ilse's notebook on the ground. Hange asks him about it and he says it is a record of Ilse Langnar's achievements in battle. Hange then lets her Titan deliver it back to her, and Sawney runs after Ilse.
In the school hallway, the students read about the student council's scandal exposed by the Newspaper Club. Marco points out that an election for a new president will be held, and Jean smirks at the news. During recess, Sasha asks Jean if he is running for the election, and he confidently answers that he is. Marco adds in how of a great honor it is to be working for everyone in the school as president. Jean then hits Marco in the head, spilling his milk and tells him to stop being so virtuous and to say what he really thinks, asking him if it is because becoming president would mean all girls going crazy for him, assuming Marco's intention is like his.
Marco denies it but Jean interrupts him and goes on explaining how girls would be attracted to the student council president, and fantasizes about it. Eren suddenly stands and shouts that he will become the new president and destroy every last Titan. Jean confronts him and says he is gonna be the president, with Eren replying that Jean does not need to become president to keep that comfy fantasy he has in his head. As they are about to exchange fists, Mikasa swoops Eren up on her shoulder and forcefully takes him outside the classroom. Jean remarks how Mikasa always has to save Eren's ass, though admits to his jealousy.
Back in the student council room, Marlo is angry that other members of the council were betting on beetle sumo matches in the room, which what led to the scandal. Hitch talks about how the corruption in the council is what made her join, but now laments the extra work. Marlo says he had joined the council so he could reform it, and Hitch humors him. Hitch asks Annie of her opinion, but is creeped out by how scary her face looks when she is asleep.
Jean barges in and shouts that he is running for president, and Hitch passively hands him the application paper. Seeing he has to sign, Jean tells Hitch that she must be liking him if she wants his autograph, and talks long about exchanging emails first. Irritated, Hitch grabs a ruler and hits Jean in the head, calling him horse face.
Eren and the others see Marco in the hallway, they ask about Jean, and Marco says he was taken to the nurse's office, and that he is going to pick up his posters for him, to Eren's surprise that posters are needed. Armin then says that they can make one back at his place. In Armin's room, he shows Eren his poster's design on the computer, Eren praises Armin's skill and he says he can do a lot more. Eren guides Armin for a few more tweaks, which result in a disfigured-like design of Eren's face. Armin and Mikasa are shocked, but Eren likes it and believes it will get him to win the election. He excitedly asks Mikasa of her opinion and Armin thinks to himself that Mikasa should tell him what she really thinks, but she replies that it looks good, to Armin's horror.
Outside, Eren proudly holds up his poster while walking to the board. After seeing Jean in the way, they both butt heads and ask if the other came to put his poster up, but are shocked to see that the whole board is filled with one poster; Oruo's. Oruo tells them to give up putting their posters, and Jean points out that Oruo's poster looks nothing like him. He tells them that he had filled every board with his posters, and they both then put up their posters on top of his, to Oruo's shock. The results of the opinion poll are out. Eren and Jean are shocked to see they both got 0%, with Reiner in the lead. Hange says that she has never seen anyone get that result before. Jean wonders if there is a way to quickly turn things around, and Hange replies there is. She mentions Ilse's notebook, saying she heard it has everything about the school written on it. She asks Levi about it since he had seen it earlier that day, and he confirms it, saying it indeed had info every student would be dying to know. Jean asks if he obtains it would he be able to win, and Levi says it is a possibility. Jean runs to the Newspaper Club, with Eren and Reiner running behind him.
As Rico is giving her presidential campaign speech outside, Ilse takes notes of it. She is interrupted by a running Eren, Jean, Reiner, and Bertholdt from two directions. Hearing their intentions to take her notebook, Ilse starts running away while taking note of the situation. Jean comes jumping from behind a tree, reaching for the notebook, before being intercepted by Conny, who in turn is intercepted by Sasha, successfully stealing the notebook. Dangling from a tree vine, she takes a glance inside, before the notebook is quickly snatched by Reiner, who is carried by Bertholdt.
As everyone is running behind Reiner, Mikasa appears from the bushes and pursues Reiner at top speed, catching up to him before the others and flings the notebook in the air and as Eren jumps to catch it, Rico comes flying using the Wall Cleanup Club's ODM gear and kicks him in the face before grabbing the notebook. Jean tells her it is unfair to use the gear, and she says it is for the sake of her club. As she reads the notebook, Rico says it only has tips on how to clean the school. Armin points out that is the type of information Levi would be dying to know, and everyone is disappointed. Marco later hands the notebook back to Ilse, apologizing for everyone's behavior, telling her they are impulsive, but believes each one would make a good president.
The election starts, and Hitch announces it is time for every candidate's final speech. Rico goes first, she says in order for her to make the school cleaner, she plans to force all students to clean during each break, after school, and volunteer cleaning on non-school days. The whole hall starts booing, much to Rico's shock, while Levi, on the other hand, is impressed by her plans. Reiner is next. As he says he will be holding training camps and swimming meets to increase the opportunities of physical contact between the students, a projection screen showcases female students in swimsuits, and all the girls boo at him, while the guys cheer in excitement. Looking at the crowd, Reiner sees Christa looking back at him in disgust, remarking how low his plan is. He is shocked to the point Bertholdt has to drag him off stage. Oruo is next, as he grabs the microphone and tries to speak, he bites his tongue and is taken off stage.
It is Eren's turn, and Armin tells him not to say anything weird and he says not to worry. He salutes before shouting that his reason for becoming president is to destroy every Titan in school, and in the whole world. The crowd starts booing. Seeing this, Armin talks to the crowd, advocating for Eren's presidency and says if they combine Eren's conviction with the student council's remaining authority, restoring mankind's right will no longer be a dream.
The crowd wonders if that means they will not be losing their lunch to the Titans any longer. Armin continues his speech, saying for the Attack Junior High's glory, and for what little time he has left, he will keep on advocating for Eren's strategic value. The crowd starts cheering, and Eren then shouts calling them cowards and to just vote for him, ruining his chance. As the teachers are shocked by his rudeness, Levi suddenly appears and kicks Eren in the face, sending him flying off the stage.
The last candidate's turn; Jean. He nonchalantly says that he wants to become president so that girls like him, and the crowd boos. Jean laments everyone's regrets, saying if they had known the hell they would be subjected to, they would have never run. Marco heads the stage and tells Jean not to be upset at what he is going to say. Marco starts his speech by saying Jean is not a strong person, so he knows what it is like to be weak, and tells the audience they would feel more comfortable with someone who can understand their point of view, further saying Jean's decisions have been right and recommends him to be the president.
Ilse starts applauding and talks to the crowd, telling them that what Marco just did was the right thing without being influenced by personal feelings, and that he himself stands in the front line to save his friend, further saying she recommends and calls him fit to become the new president, and the crowd cheers. Marco later becomes the president after receiving tons of votes, much to Eren and Jean's dismay, who start blathering on about their defeat, as Marco smiles at their sight.
Characters in order of appearance
- Ilse running from a Titan is a reference to her OVA, in which she attempts to escape from a Titan. However, the Titan is a talking Titan as opposed to Sawney.
- Hange declaring that Ilse's notebook was a "record of Ilse Langnar's achievements in battle" is also a reference to a line spoken in the OVA.
- Hitch whacking Jean on the head with a ruler is a parody of Hitch striking Jean's head with a stick in chapter 59.
- Levi kicking Eren is a parody of Levi beating up Eren in episode 14 at his military tribunal.