Tales of Vesperia Review: A Good Way to Get Through Quarantine.

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4 stars
I live in New Zealand, which is currently in lock down because of the Carona Virus pandemic.
In the days leading up to the lock down, I was bored and looking for a game that I could get lost in for hours.
So, I looked up some and came across Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition, a JRPG that had been praised for its story, characters and gameplay.
I bought the game not two days before the lock down was announced, so I ended up with a great way to pass the time indoors in the experience that is Tales of Vesperia.
Directed by Yoshito Higuchi, the game is set in Terca Lumires, a world infested with monsters.
The people use an energy source known as Blastia to generate shields to protect the cities from monsters, and also to help in their everyday lives.
When a Blastia from the Lower Quarter in Zaphias is stolen, former knight Yuri Lowell (Troy Baker) and his faithful dog Repede go on a journey to catch the thief.
From there, they encounter an assortment of wacky characters who join them on their quest, including an innocent noblewoman named Estelle (Eden Riegel), a young guild enthusiast, Karol (Julie Ann Taylor), a hot headed mage, Rita (Michelle Ruff), eye candy Krytian, Judith (Alison Lees Taylor), young pirate, Patty (Sandy Fox), and the mysterious Raven (Joe J. Thomas).
They also meet up with Yuri’s longtime friend and knight Flynn (Sam Riegel), who occasionally joins you on your journey and has a great dynamic with Yuri, especially when Yuri starts to go on a dark path that is both unexpected and great.
All of these characters are fantastic and, as you spend the game watching them interact, they begin to feel like a family.

skit
The various skits across the game helped to solidify the characters’ relationships and endear them to the viewer.

Watching Yuri and Karol’s bond grow throughout the game to the point that they felt like brothers was heartwarming, and Raven’s antics and Rita’s obvious crush on Estelle brought numerous laughs.
The only downside to the party is Patty who, although a great character, doesn’t really feel like she belongs in the story for the first half of the game.
It is pretty clear that she was added for the Definitive Edition.
Not only this but, sadly, much of the villains are incredibly one dimensional to the point that I was constantly bored whenever they were on screen.
They are all cliched mustache twirlers, with the exception of the main antagonist, Duke (Jamieson Price), who is thankfully just as compelling as the main cast.

Dukey boy
Duke was the one antagonist with a solid motivation and the only one I did not roll my eyes at when they appeared on screen.

Despite my problems with the villains though, I can clearly say that, thanks to the main cast, the characters are definitely the best part of the game.
The story is also solid because, while it is nothing special, it has a nice sense of pacing, starting out with the simple goal of catching a thief, before slowly growing into a world ending situation that our characters must deal with.
And then there’s the gameplay, which, I’ll admit, I was pretty terrible at.
You want to know how terrible?
Well, you know those two comic relief characters who constantly exclaim, “I say!” whenever they talk?
Yeah, those two bozos kicked my butt on multiple occasions.

joke characters
I say that these two two idiots made me groan with anguish every time I had to fight them alone as Yuri!

Given how poorly I played, you should take what I say about the gameplay with a grain of salt.
However, despite how bad I was, I still enjoyed the gameplay, leveling up the characters, and gifting them with new Artes
If anything, my poor play style added a level of challenge to the gameplay.
There are some things that the game doesn’t tell you about how to play though, so that can be frustrating.
But, all in all, the characters, story and gameplay are all a lot of fun.
Granted, the game is pretty dated, since it first came out in 2008, and there are some inconsistencies.
For example, the speech bubbles that are displayed sometimes do not match up with what the characters are saying or are in the wrong place, and some voice actors have been replaced for new scenes.
Some have said that these new actors are very distracting but, honestly, I couldn’t tell too much.
Yet, despite the dated nature of the game, I still found that, in quite a few instances, its animation is quite beautiful.
Overall, Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition was a great way to pass the time in my isolation.
The story and gameplay are solid and the characters are fantastic, even if the game is a little dated in certain aspects

Attack on Titan, Chapter 117, Judgement Review: War Hammer Mode Initiated.

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4 stars
As many people have already pointed out, Hajime Isayama has so immaculately timed the events of Attack on Titan that we now have different fights between Eren and Reiner in the manga and the anime happening at the same time.
It really goes to show how good Isayama is at structuring the series and has me excited about how he will continue to do so.
As for the Chapter 117 itself, it is a non-stop thrill ride of a chapter that feels over way too soon.
That is the sad thing about Attack on Titan though.
It’s action packed chapters can be read through so quickly, and then you have to wait another month while you are dying to read the next one.
This Chapter, “Judgement”, definitely has me feeling this way, with almost the entirety of it being action oriented as Eren faces off against the warriors and Marley’s military.
However, my favourite part of “Judgement” is not the bombastic action sequences, but rather the small character moment we get from Gabi and Magath.
Isayama really surprised me with how well he develops these two this chapter.
After escaping with Pieck, Gabi is brought to the Marleyan troops, led by Magath, and she is very surprised when he hugs her, showing relief that she is safe.
I love this moment because it not only shows that Magath does care about the Eldians under his command, but it also serves as a nice callback to chapter 91, where both characters were introduced.
In that chapter, Gabi came up with a dangerous plan that put herself at risk and, at first, Magath forbade her from following through on that plan.
This led to Gabi jokingly saying that this meant Magath really cared about her… only for this to now be proven true with Magath embracing her.
Then there is the cool story moment we got from Gabi in this scene, which saw her remember what Zeke said about him having royal blood, causing the others to realise that Zeke and Eren coming into contact could activate the Founding Titan.
It is a good explanation for how the Marleyans would figure out Eren and Zeke’s plan and also goes to show how smart Gabi is.
Speaking of the Marleyans and their warriors though, reading the chapter I was not entirely sure who I should be routing for.
One the one hand, I wanted Eren to succeed and defeat Reiner, but on the other hand I wanted Reiner to beat him.
This shows how complex Attack on Titan has become, with every character’s motivations being understandable to us now, to the point that we route for them all.
So, in the end, there is a bunch of characters I all like that are fighting to the death, making me unsure of who to cheer on.
I loved every second of this uncertainty.
It added much more weight to the battle, which has a lot of highlights, from Pieck’s cannon wielded by Magath, to Zeke showing up at the end to save Eren.
One of the big highlights of this fight, though, is obviously Eren using his War Hammer Titan abilities in battle for the first time.
It was very exciting to see all the different ways Eren can use the power.
He is clearly not as skilled as the previous War Hammer Titan but, if he is given time, he could become even more overpowered, which could be either a good and bad thing, depending on how Isayama handles it.
There are even some morbidly funny moments to go along with all of this action.
The best of this is scene when Porco cuts off Pieck’s hand so she can transform without hurting Gabi.
When this happens, Pieck screams in pain before jumping off the building to transform.
This is humorous in a pretty morbid way because we have never seen a Titan Shifter express pain at their injuries before, despite hurting themselves in ways that would leave most people in complete agony.
There are also, what I feel to be, hints at future events in the manga, the most obvious being Magath talking about the Marleyan hero Helos, who Willy Tyber mentioned.
This historical figure has constantly been used in reference to Magath and, if the theory that the story of Ymir was actually transported to the past by Titan memories is true, this could mean Magath is actually Helos.
This has dire implications because it has been stated that Helos killed the Devil of all earth, and many people believe Eren is an allusion to this devil.
So, if Magath, or any other character, turns out to be Helos, then it may be likely that Eren will be killed by them.
Along with this, Zeke looks set to transform all of the people who ingested his spinal fluid in the next few chapters.
This will undoubtedly turn the fight in their favor because Zeke will have complete control over all 300 of the Titans he will create.
However, Zeke showing up here does add further weight to this being the final battle, which I am currently unsure how I feel about because so many characters are absent from it.
Also, I did have a few minor problems with the chapter, the biggest of which being suspension of disbelief when it came to Titan injuries.
Is it just me, or does anyone else think Eren and Reiner’s Titans should have been unusable by the end of the chapter?
Eren got shot in the head twice and Reiner got his face ripped open and was hit by Zeke’s boulders, and yet, both are somehow still standing by the end.
It just felt like a contradiction of what we already know about what Titan’s can withstand.
Speaking of contradictions, there is a weird continuity error when, for some reason, Eren is shown without a shirt in one panel and then with one in another.
It kind of felt like Isayama placed fan-service over continuity there.
Overall though, “Judgement” is another solid chapter of Attack on Titan that has me excited for the series’ endgame… that is if Isayama does not spoil it himself first, but I will talk about that situation in another post

Attack on Titan Chapter 134 Predictions.

After the meeting in Paths between Eren and the Alliance in Chapter 133 of Attack on Titan, 134 looks set to be the last chapter before the final battle begins.
With this final battle fast approaching, there are a lot of possibilities for what could happen in the next chapter.
Probably the biggest but easiest question to answer from Chapter 133 comes from the cliffhanger, this question being,

Do the airships stand a chance against Eren?

The end of “Sinners” saw a group of airships approaching Eren’s massive Titan to bomb him but, honestly, does anyone really expect them to cause any significant trouble for Eren?
They’ll probably only serve as a way to slow him down to give time for the Alliance to reach him for the final battle.
If anything, the more interesting question is how Eren will take care of them?
I think the most coolest way for him to get rid of them would be to create spikes with the Warhammer Titan power and then use the Wall Titans to throw them at the thirteen airships like javelins.
That should make quick work of them.
Of course, all it would take is one bomb from the airships to kill Eren but, given that he has the Warhammer Titan power, I don’t see him being in the nape.
Like the Alliance guessed, he is most likely elsewhere.
It would be kind of funny if he was still on Paradis.
That would really screw the Alliance’s chances of defeating him.
In all honesty though, there is only one way that I can see the airships causing any significant damage to Eren before the Alliance gets to him.

Will the army have created their own ODM Gear?

Back in Chapter 107, Zeke showed Kiyomi the ODM Gear and mentioned that it was a Marleyan project.
Since then, there has been no mention of it so what if the Marley government has been secretly developing it for the perfect usage.
This could be that usage as soldiers on the airships could use their ODM gear to attack the Wall Titans.
Granted, they’d still all get fried like Hange did but it could be a way to slow the Rumbling down significantly.
Of course this could have just been a throw away comment and we could see nothing like this.

Will the plane only be half fueled play into the story?

At the beginning of Chapter 133, Onyankopon mentions the plane only being half full because they didn’t have the time to completely fill it up with the approaching Rumbling.
Granted, Onyankopon did say he would get the Alliance there no matter what but the plane only being half full is rather ominous.
I don’t see any of the key Alliance members dying next chapter but Onyankopon’s purpose in the story is to fly the plane so, now that he’s fulfilling that purpose, this could be the moment where he bites the bullet.
I can see him just about to run out of fuel as the Alliance reaches Eren and use the last of that fuel to kamikaze the plane into Eren with the explosives, giving the alliance a chance to fight him.
Guess, we’ll just have to wait and see if this happens next chapter.

Will we see Zeke?

And now we have the question that every reader has been asking for months.
Where the heck is the monkey?
Seriously, we’re about to enter the final battle and we have yet to see where Zeke is.
All signs point to him being inside Eren’s Founding Titan form, with even the Alliance guessing this but we don’t have visible proof.
Well, with the final battle probably about to begin in the next few chapters, I think Chapter 134 would be the perfect time to reintroduce Zeke.
The chapter could start with a brief flashback to Chapter 122, where we see him get absorbed into Eren’s Titan and see his perspective of the Rumbling.
With Zeke introduced back into the plot, we can then have more buildup for his final showdown with Levi and potentially Connie as well.
Another interesting thing to note is that if Zeke really is in Eren’s Titan then he is probably close to his grandparents, who are most likely in the train heading for Fort Salta with the rest of the Eldians from Liberio, so they could possibly have a final scene together.
Speaking of these characters…

What is the purpose of the Liberio Eldians?

“Sinners” revealed that many of the families of the Warriors, including Annie’s, Gabi’s, Falco’s, Pieck’s, and Reiner’s had escaped from Liberio on a train lead by Annie’s father.
He has led them to Fort Salta but, as soon as they reach it, the airships they were planning to use to escape fly off to confront the Rumbling, just as it arrives.
This puts all these Eldians in a very dangerous situation.
Now, I don’t expect them to die before the Alliance arrives because what would be the point for them to die without their families seeing?
However, after the Alliance does make it, all bets are off.
I honestly have no idea if they’ll live or not.
They might all survive, they might all die, or some might live and some might die.
If Onyankopon doesn’t end up going full kamikaze on Eren’s Titan then he could pilot an airship that takes these families to safety.
Whether this ends up happening or not though, the one thing I am certain of is that Annie will reunite with her father.
Although, this reunion could go either way with it being happy or tragic.
My money’s on tragic, knowing how Hajime Isayama said he wants to hurt the reader.

Will Falco succeed in transforming into the Bird Titan?

After all the jokes and fan theories about Falco becoming a flying Titan, Chapter 133 actually revealed that Falco could most likely do this because of how he ingested the Beast Titan’s spinal fluid.
While slightly flawed in its setup, I am happy that this is happening because it means Annie, Falco, Gabi, Yelena, and potentially Kiyomi can be there for the final battle.
The question is though, can Falco really do this when he has no experience flying before?
While this may seem a bit abrupt, it’s practically assured that he’s going to learn to fly next chapter or, at the very latest, Chapter 135.
Isayama wouldn’t set up Falco doing this just for it to not payoff.
So, the boat crew will most likely be off on Falco’s flying Titan next chapter to probably save the Alliance at the last minute, similar to how Zeke helped Eren at the end of Chapter 117.
All of this makes me excited for the Chapter 134, which I am sure will end with the Alliance reaching Eren to commence the final battle.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans Review. Raise Your Flag!!!

4 and a half stars
When I first reviewed Attack on Titan, I basically called it the Game of Thrones of anime on account of how many characters were dying.
After reading the rest of the series so far, though, I know this is far from the case.
And now, after finishing Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans, which we started but never finished at my university anime club, I can see that the Game of Thrones title suits the Gundam series a lot more.
Iron Blooded Orphans made me wonder just how bloody the other Gundam anime could be, with constant brutal deaths from the large cast of characters, which resulted in a tragic yet fitting ending.
Directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai and developed by Sunrise, the show follows Mikazuki Augus (Kengo Kawanishi) and Orga Itsuka (Yoshimasa Hosoya), two child soldiers who form the organization known as Tekkadan, with their first mission being to escort the maiden of revolution Kudelia Aina Bernstein (Yuka Terasaki) to earth.
What follows is a long and bloody journey both before, during, and long after the mission has ended with, as I said, many brutal and shocking deaths occurring.

Try not to get too attached to the characters because they’ll probably die horribly.

Although many of these deaths are telegraphed before they happen, they still carry huge emotional weight that makes you feel for the characters.
Whether these deaths be in massive Gundam fights or Godfather style assassinations, they always hit you where it hurts.
This is helped by how great the characters are.
Orga is definitely my favourite with me caring for him, even when his naïve desire to see Tekkadan succeed as quickly as possible inevitably lead them all down a tragic path.
As for Mikazuki, I was surprised by how much I liked him as a character, considering he is pretty emotionless.
Usually, I find it hard to connect with such characters but I think it completely worked for him.

Mikazuki may not express much emotion but I still understood and cared about him.

The other members of Tekkadan like Eugene (Yuchiro Yumehara), Akihiro (Yasuaki Takumi) and Biscuit (Natsuki Hanae) are just as interesting to watch.
Not only this but the antagonists are also understandable, with the anime subverting my expectations on what McGillis’ (Takahiro Sakurai) role would be in the story and also again surprising me with Galieo’s (Masaya Matsukaze) great character arc.
Although, I will say that McGillis’ creepy marriage to Galieo’s nine-year-old sister Almiria (Ai Kakuma) should have obviously been changed.
Seriously, even though we see nothing happen (thankfully) they should have aged her up to make it not feel like grooming.
Sadly, this is not the only problems with the villains as the ones in season two have plot armour that I felt like borderlined on the ridiculous at times.   
This is especially the case with Iok (Nobunaga Shimazaki) who can burn in the fiery pits of hell for all I care.
He is easily my most hated anime character of all time with his narcissistic stupidity leading to the deaths of multiple characters.

The mocking name given to him by the fans “Idiok” is perfect for this unbearably unlikeable character.

However, I’m pretty sure we are supposed to hate Iok, so I can’t fault the anime for this because the writers did their job at making him detestable.
As for the animation and music, both are stellar, with there not being one weak moment from either.
The Gundam battles look especially fantastic and this is best showcased in the action packed final episodes, where the tragedy concludes with a bittersweet ending that left me sad yet satisfied, although I will admit it is a divisive end.
I honestly considered giving Iron Blooded Orphans five stars but its problems with some of the villains, namely McGillis’ relationship with Almiria (ew) and the plot armour for the antagonists in season two, held me back.
Still, this does not change the fact that it is a fantastic anime that is a tragic thrill ride from start to finish.
Just prepare to be emotionally crushed by the end.   

Noragami Review: I Need Season Three.


This year, I took on the role of an executive at the anime club, meaning I could suggest some anime for us all to watch.
One of these anime I suggested was Noragami, a show with two seasons, which I had heard a lot of good things about.
The first episode showed a lot of promise and many of my fellow students also seemed to like it, so it was one of the anime chosen for us to watch this semester.
And I, for one, am already hooked and need a season three.
Adapted from the manga by Adachitoka and directed by Kotaro Tamura, the anime follows the stray god Yato (Hiroshia Kamiya), who dreams of becoming famous and having millions of worshippers one day.
When an ordinary girl, Hiyori Iki (Maaya Uchida), finds herself able to interact with the world of spirits and gods after and accident, Yato agrees to help her get her back to normal, for the small price of five yen, of course.
With the help of Yato’s Regalia – a spirit of a dead person who can turn into a weapon for a god when they are given a name – Yukine (Yūki Kaji), the three go on many misadventures, both hilarious and dark, as they slowly begin to feel more like a family.

The growing friendship between Yato, Hiyori and Yukine is a great thing to see.

The situations that these three great characters find themselves in being either comedic or grim is highlighted by Yato himself, who can go from looking as harmless as a puppy to full on murderous swordsman in the span of a minute.
This dark side to Yato is often spurned on by Nora (Rie Kugimiya), Yato’s former Regalia who just brings out the worst in him.
Yato’s past with Nora is an interesting part of the story, making for a lot of fun speculation to have before the reveal of what he has really done.
And what Yato did in the past has gained him a few enemies, most notably Bishamon (Miyuki Sawashiro), who holds a massive grudge and relentlessly pursues him with the help of her Regalia Kazuma (Jun Fukuyama), who is definitely my favourite character in the show.

Kazuma’s amazing growth in the second season makes him one of the anime’s best characters.

It is his and Bishamon’s storyline that lead to the greatest arc of the anime in the first part of season two, which created a lot of intense moments with members of my anime club both cheering and screaming in horror at what was happening.
The second half of season two also introduced another one of my favourite characters Ebisu (Ryōtarō Okiayu), who I really wasn’t expecting to like when he was introduced.
However, he more than exceeded my expectations due to his fantastic interactions with Yato, resulting in a moment that actually got tears out of me in the final episode.

I was surprised by how much I liked Ebisu and look forward to see what his role will be.

As you can probably tell, season two “Aragato” is definitely my favourite season but season one is also a lot of fun with great humor, character development, and intense action.
Combine this with some fantastic openings “Gora wa Machiawse” and “Kyouran Hey Kids!!” which we were all singing along to by the end and you have yourself a really good time.
Noragami is a great anime that I will wait for a season three with crossed fingers, before probably caving in and reading the manga.

Kill La Kill Review: SYSTEM ERROR: FANSERVICE OVERLOAD!

4 and a half stars
Before I started watching Kill la Kill, I tried to remember what I had heard about it before.
Well, of all the things I could have forgotten, I somehow didn’t remember hearing that this was an anime with a lot of fan service.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I first saw our hero Ryuko (Ami Koshimizu) wearing Senketsu (Toshiniko Seki).
It made me worried that the show would just devolve into one of those anime that put fan service over story or whose fan service often got in the way of that story, like with Code Geass.
Thankfully, the exact opposite happened because, in an unexpected twist for me, Kill la Kill is an anime that revels in its fan service in such an over the top way that it somehow worked entirely.
Fan service is literally at the center of the story with the good guys being nudists.
This created a story that was both intense to watch, due to its story, and hilarious to see unfold, due to its purposefully out there eye candy.

Unlike other anime, Kill la Kill handles its over the top fan service in a perfect way.

Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and written by Kazuki Nakashima, Kill la Kill follows Ryuko Matoi who goes to Hoonouji Academy to confront the mysterious student council president, Satsuki Kiryuin (Ryoka Yuzuki), about who killed her father.
However, before she can get answers, she’ll have to fight through the various other students of the Academy, all while wearing the revealing Senketsu, a sentient uniform constructed from the even more mysterious Life Fibers.
The rivalry between Ryuko and Satsuki is great, as is the supporting cast, like the elite four, Ira Gamagori (Tetsu Inada), Uzu Sanageyama (Nobuyuki Hiyama), Nonon Jakuzure (Mayumi Shintani) and Houka Inumata (Hiroyuki Yoshino).
My favourite character would have to be Mako Mankanshoku (Ayu Suzaki), who is the kind of friend everyone would like to have.
Except for the whole, you know, going mad with power thing.
Thankfully, that was a one-time thing though.
In all seriousness, Mako is an enjoyably funny character with the great animation helping show off her eccentricities.

Can I get a “HALLELUJAH!” for Mako?

As for the animation, it is fantastic throughout.
I was captivated by it right from the very first episode and this continued to the very end.
Studio Trigger sure does have amazing animation for a lot of their anime.
As for the score, Hiroyuki Sawano once again kills it with some absolutely fantastic songs and music.
I especially like the themes for the main villains of the anime, Ragyo Kuryuin (Romi Park) and Nui Harime (Yukari Tamura), which were fire.
Speaking of Ragyo, I think we can all agree that she takes the title for worst mother in the history of ever.
Seriously, it doesn’t get much worse than planning a worldwide genocide with alien clothes and sexually assaulting your own daughters.
Well, at least the anime did a good job of making you hate her guts.
As for Nui, she is also a villain that I had a lot of fun watching, with her innocent design giving a false sense of security that hides the complete psychopath underneath.

Nui is a great villain who certainly leaves an impression when she first appears.

All of the characters are great and combining them with a good story, intense action highlighted by fantastic animation, a terrific score, and surprisingly well handled, over the top fan service, you get a really good result.
Kill La Kill is a great anime that has me intrigued to check out more of Studio Triggers’ work.

Attack on Titan Chapter 133, Sinners Review: No Bargaining With the Devil.

4 stars
If Chapter 133 of Attack on Titan, “Sinners,” proved anything, it is that Hajime Isayama’s epic story is about to enter its final battle.
“Sinners” is the build up to that battle, centering on the stories of the Alliance, those on the boat, and the escaped Eldians of Liberio, all of them heading to Fort Salta, either to fight in the final confrontation or to escape it.
Starting with the Alliance, their opening section is definitely the most interesting part of the chapter.
Beginning with Armin talking to Onyankopon, the moment deliberately parallels Onyankopon’s introduction in Chapter 104, as Armin says he is counting on him just like Hange did showing that Armin is truly stepping into the Commander role after Hange’s tragic sacrifice last chapter.
Speaking of Hange, Onyankopon saying that he would get the plane to Fort Salta because it was Hange’s last hope was very touching.
What is concerning is that, because of the approaching Rumbling, the Alliance didn’t have enough time to fully fuel the plane, so it is only half full.
Onyankopon says he will get them to Fort Salta but I get the feeling that it’s going to have to involve some sacrifice.
Maybe Onyankopon will kamikaze Eren’s Titan form as a way to give the Alliance an advantage.
Following their talk, Armin goes to finally make a strategy for confronting Eren with the rest of the Alliance.
A few ideas are thrown around, like Pieck suggesting Armin blow Eren up with his Colossal Titan, for example.
One of the more interesting ideas is Levi suggesting that they find where Zeke is located in Eren’s Titan and then kill him to stop the Rumbling.
I’m not sure how I feel about this plan because, if Eren does lose his connection to the Founding Titan, wouldn’t that just make the Wall Titans rampage without direction, making the situation worse?
It would be a bit stupid if killing Zeke just stopped the Wall Titans in place.
In any case, I don’t think the way to completely stop Eren is going to be simply killing Zeke.
If anything, I think Zeke and Levi’s final confrontation will most likely be a way for Levi to let go of his promise to Erwin and move on from it.
As Kenny said, everyone is “a slave to something,” and Levi is a slave to killing Zeke.
Hopefully, Levi can become free of this in future chapters.
As for who is truly free in this chapter, I honestly could not say.
After Reiner speculates that Eren wants them to stop him, possibly pulling a Lelouch as has been speculated by some readers, Eren brings all of the Alliance into the Paths Dimension to talk with them.
This results in some time and space shenanigans where Mikasa, Armin, Jean and Connie try to run to Eren, only to end up exactly back where they started with Levi, Reiner and Pieck.
Eren tells them that he has purposefully not altered their Titans because he believes they should be free to fight him if they wish to, debunking the theory that it was Zeke creating the Titans.
However, where one theory falls, even more arise, especially surrounding Eren and Ymir.
The two are seen side by side in the Paths Dimension, both in child form, with their eyes darkened.
Many theories have emerged from this moment, from Ymir is controlling Eren, to both Eren and Ymir are slaves, to Eren is somehow communicating with the Alliance in the past, you name it.
I find the most interesting question to be concerning if Reiner is actually right or not.
Does Eren want the Alliance to stop him?
Whatever the answer to this question is, I don’t think it’s going to end with a Zero Requiem for the very reason that Reiner brought up Eren wanting them to stop him this chapter.
If someone suggested in Code Geass that Lelouch was being the bad guy so that when his friend killed him the world would have been at peace then it would have ruined the twist.
So, I don’t think the final battle will end in this way.
Either way, the Paths scene is extremely intense, with all of Eren’s friends emotionally calling out to him and Eren coldly stating that if they want to try and kill him, “You are free to do so.”
Guess there really is no bargaining with the Devil.
With Eren’s remark, the Alliance are released into the real world in which only a second has passed and Onyankopon is confused by their traumatized states.
Levi then acknowledges Armin as Commander and asks what their next move is, followed by a determined look from the new Commander.
This makes me wonder if Armin really will throw away the talk option and decide to try and kill Eren to save humanity.
The entire Alliance talk and Paths scene is great, with a lot of amazing character interaction, like Jean and Connie reconciling with Reiner over their past crimes.
Then the chapter shifts to easily the most polarizing scene of “Sinners,” cutting to the members of the Alliance who stayed behind on Kiyomi’s ship.
The reason this scene is so divisive is because Falco reveals that he thinks he may be able to fly because previous Beast Titans could, and he was transformed by Zeke’s spinal fluid before he became the Jaw Titan.
Many people are calling this reveal contrived and out of nowhere but the setup was clearly there.
A flying Titan has been brought up ever since Chapter 93 where it was used as a joke.
Not to mention that Falco has been linked with birds constantly since his appearance, his name being Italian for falcon, him talking to a bird during his first appearance, and his Titan form literally looking like a bird.
Although, I will say there probably should have been more build up for the previous Beast Titans being able to fly.
We have only seen previous Beast Titans in ape form, so if it can really take the form of other animals, if that is what is being suggested here, then there should have been a few showcases of this, like maybe showing Tom Ksaver’s Titan form or have the panel of the first Beast Titan in chapter 122 be a different animal.
Still, there was some build up to it, and I am happy that Falco can fly because it means he can take the rest of the Alliance to join the final battle, which is something I wanted to happen, so I think this works, even if it should have had more set up.
Another reveal this chapter is the Female Titan’s power, which is to manifest other Titan powers, possibly by ingesting spinal fluid.
This may be in reference to Eren drinking the Armor serum and Galliard and Marcel’s Jaw Titans having armoured faces though, so it may not be too important.
Whether it is or not though, I cannot deny that Annie was the best part of this scene, with her experiencing considerable growth, remembering her father and the good times she had both with the Warriors and the 104th.
Now, it looks like she will join Gabi, Falco, and possibly Yelena because I suspect she will be coming, at the final battle, using Falco’s flying Jaw Titan to reach the Alliance.
Let’s just hope this doesn’t end in tragedy for Annie and Armin’s relationship as I have been predicting for a while.
Along with Annie, Kiyomi also got some much needed development, with her expressing her regrets for helping to bring Eren and Zeke together all for profit and the honor of her clan.
At this point though, I have no idea what role, if any, she has to play in the story going forward.
With there being no development in my theory that she would have a connection with Kruger and Ksaver, all that feels left for her is her established connection with Mikasa, which I hope pays off in some way.
Cutting away from Kiyomi’s ship, the chapter then pivots to its last scene with a train approaching Fort Salta, the location of the final battle.
And who is on this train?
Why, it’s none other than the Eldians who escaped from Liberio, lead by Annie’s father.
They took a train driver and his family hostage and are planning to take that train to escape on Fort Salta’s airships.
Looks like Annie will get a reunion with her father but, once again, probably in a tragic sense.
I will say though that Mr Leonhart is really starting to grow on me as a character.
Even though he knows their situation may be hopeless, he is leading his fellow Eldians in the blind hope that they will survive and that he may see his daughter again someday.
We also get some character growth from the Warriors’ families, like Gabi’s parents finally realizing they were wrong to send their daughter into the Warrior program and Pieck’s father refusing to throw his honorary Marleyan armband away because of how she sacrificed everything to get him it.
This character growth is cut short by the sight of the approaching Rumbling and a group of airships going to bomb it, hoping to blow all of the Titans away, ending the chapter.
Seriously, though, we all know that these airships don’t have a chance in hell.
Sure, they may kill a few Wall Titans but I doubt they would be a significant obstacle for Eren.
I think what Eren will do is just use the power of the Warhammer Titan to create some spears and then have the Wall Titans throw them at the airships like javelins.
That should be enough to take them out.
In all likelihood, all the airships’ attack could probably do is buy enough time for the Warrior’s family so that the Alliance can arrive in time to engage Eren in the final battle, which will most likely be the cliffhanger for the next chapter, ending Volume 33.
Overall, “Sinners” is another great chapter of Attack on Titan that builds to the final battle very well.
I predict that after the next chapter we will only have one more volume left before this fantastic story comes to an end, whether that ending be completely tragic or bittersweet (because it’s certainly not going to be happy).

Attack on Titan Chapter 133 Predictions.

Chapter 132 was an Attack on Titan chapter that hit really hard emotionally, delivering the tragic death of Hange, oh, and also Floch too, I suppose.
In all seriousness, Hange’s death proved that we really are in the final arc of the story and, right now, the Alliance are on their way to try and stop Eren from destroying the world.
The final battle is almost upon us, meaning the end of the story is also, and, once again, I will try to (and probably fail to) predict what will happen in the next chapter, 133.
Starting with…

Will the Alliance Reach Eren by the end of the Next Chapter?

“Wings of Freedom” ended with the plane that is carrying the Alliance escaping the Rumbling, following Hange’s sacrifice.
So, the question is, “when will they reach Eren?”
Given how quickly it took for the story to get the Alliance on the plane, once they reached Odiha, it only being one chapter, I honestly don’t expect we will have to wait too long to see their confrontation with him.
In all likelihood, we will either have the Alliance catching up with him as the cliffhanger next chapter, or the following one.
Personally, I think Chapter 134 would be a more appropriate point for this to happen because it would end the volume off on one hell of a cliffhanger and also leave the entirety of the last volume to depict the final battle.
Whatever chapter this happens though, I can definitely see that chapter ending just like the final audio, with Armin rushing to Eren using the ODM Gear and screaming his name to get his attention.
But, once the Alliance reach Eren, that raises another question about what will happen.

How Will the Alliance Deal With Eren?

Eren is practically a literal god at this point.
He not only has control of the Founding Titan, and thus all Titans, but he can also physically alter the bodies of all Subjects of Ymir, including the Alliance.
Therefore, I don’t think a fight would go in the Alliance’s favor.
Of course, this is not their plan, at least for now.
Right now, the Alliance’s plan, or at least the Scout part of the Alliance because I doubt Reiner and Pieck would stay true to this plan if it failed, is to talk to Eren in an effort to convince him to stop the Rumbling.
But, I also don’t think that Eren would just be willing to stop.
Like it or not, him and the Alliance are going to come to blows.
I’m not sure if Eren would try to kill any of them, considering that he is doing all of this to keep his friends safe, but we’re still not sure of everything that is going on inside his head.
In any case, if it does come to fighting, Chapter 132 gave the Alliance a small way of doing so, the bombs that the Jaegerists tried to use to blow up the plane.
Armin insisted that they take the bombs with them but is currently unsure if he wants to use them on Eren.
He may have no choice if he wants to save the world, though.
I can see the Alliance using these bombs to attack Eren’s nape in the hope of pulling him out of his gigantic Titan form.
However, given that he is in possession of the Warhammer Titan power, I can see Eren being located elsewhere in the Titan, making the Alliance’s job even harder.
Although, this my be where their trump card comes in.

Will Zeke Show up?

Zeke has been missing from the main story ever since Eren transformed in Chapter 122.
Since then, many have speculated about where he is.
One of the prevailing theories is that he is currently fused with Eren’s massive Titan and is being used to make sure Eren’s connection to royal blood, and thus the Founding Titan powers, stays in place.
Another part of this theory also states that his consciousness is in the Paths Dimension and he is now the one building the Alliance’s Titans in an effort to stop Eren.
However, if Zeke is the one who is keeping Eren’s hold on the Founding Titan power, then the Alliance’s best bet to stop Eren would be to remove Zeke or kill him.
This is where Levi could come in, bringing and end to the rivalry the two have had ever since the Return to Shiganshina Arc.
Another character that could play a role in Zeke’s downfall is Connie, whose fight with the Best Titan was possibly set up in the Uprising Arc, after he learned that Zeke had turned his entire family into Titans.
I can see Levi and Connie teaming up to take down Zeke, which could bring an end to both of their arcs.
Let’s just hope that, if this does happen, then their arcs don’t end with them dying, like Hange did last chapter.
Another option for Zeke’s story going forward though is that he could actually meet up with those in the Alliance who stayed behind and give them the motivation to go to the final battle.
Speaking of…

What Will Happen to Those Who Stayed Behind?

One thing that really concerned me about the story when I read Chapter 132 was that Annie, Gabi, Falco, Yelena, and Kiyomi, five characters who I consider to be far from having their character arcs completed, stayed behind while the rest of the Alliance went to stop Eren.
This disappointed me because I would like all the members of the Alliance to play some role in the finale, and get their chance to shine, and that can’t happen if they stay behind.
Annie still has her relationship with her father to be resolved, it felt like Gabi was being built up for something, Falco just got the Jaw Titan, Yelena’s obsession with Zeke needs to be concluded, and Kiyomi hasn’t done anything substantial except provide the plane.
I feel like these characters need to appear in the finale somehow and Zeke could play a role in that.
Maybe he knows something that those who went to stop Eren don’t and him telling the group that stayed behind this could encourage them to get back into the fight.
This could also be really interesting, considering Zeke’s connection with these characters.
Yelena is completely devoted to Zeke and Falco probably hates Zeke because he deliberately transformed Falco into a Titan, causing him to kill his own brother Colt.
This could lead to more compelling character interactions that we haven’t seen before.
Another viable option that could motivate those left behind to go after the rest of the Allince is the surviving Eldians from Liberio, including Annie’s father.
The last we saw of them, they were leading a revolt to escape the internment zone and flee from the Rumbling.
Maybe they escaped by boat and they will reach Kiyomi’s ship next chapter and Annie can finally reunite with her father.
These surviving Eldians could then convince them all to keep on fighting.
However, even if Annie, Gabi, Falco, Yelen and Kiyomi do decide to go help out the Alliance, how are they going to reach them in time?
I don’t think they could take the ship that far inland and, even if they could, there is now way they could catch up quickly enough.
They would need something that could fly, which leads me to the next theory.

Will Falco Fly?

I know, I know, this sounds extremely far fetched.
Granted, it’s not as far fetched as the theory I brought up in my last predictions post, that Eren could see using birds, but its still pretty out there.
Falco becoming a flying Titan has been speculated ever since Chapter 93, when Calvi asked the other Marleyan officers if they had any flying Titans.
As for Falco himself, he has been linked with birds right from his introduction.
The first time we see him he is deliriously telling a bird to fly away from the battle, his name is extremely similar to Falcon, and even his Titan looks like a bird, beak and all.
So, what if, somehow, Falco finds out that he can make his Titan fly and uses this to carry Annie, Gabi and the others to help the rest of the Alliance fight Eren?
I’ll admit that I always found the idea of Falco flying to be a little too contrived but, now that so many characters are out of the picture and we’re about to enter the final battle, I’d accept any way to get them back in the story, so long as it makes sense.
No matter what happens to these characters though, I hope Isayama can find a way to bring a satisfying end to their arcs, whether they are involved in the final battle or not.

Deca-Dence Review: Like Attack on Titan, if the Twist was Revealed Early.

4 stars
I really have to thank the YouTuber Mother’s Basement for informing us about this little gem.
His video on Deca-Dence really intrigued me, enough so to make me pause the video and watch all the episodes that were out until that point before going back to watch the rest of his review.
Good thing I did too because I stopped watching the video literally seconds before the big twist of Deca-Dence was revealed and it is definitely best for you to see that twist for yourself.
Directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa and developed by Studio Nut, the anime is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has been hunted to the brink of extinction by the mysterious Gadoll.
Humanity’s only hope is the Deca-Dence, a massive robotic fist that can punch the lights out of these giant monsters.
Our heroine is Natsuame (Tomori Kusunoki), a young girl who lost her father and her arm years ago.
Upon being relegated to cleaning duty, Natsumae finds herself working alongside without a doubt the best character in the show Kaburagi (Katsuyuki Konishi).

Kaburagi is a fantastic character and his bond with Natsumae is the heart of the anime.

After an accident causes the two to fall into the midst of a battlefield, Natsumae sees Kaburagi’s skills with the weapons used by humans to kill minor Gadoll, which is most certainly nothing like the weaponry in Attack on Titan (note the sarcasm).
Natsumae then insists that Kaburagi teach her how to fight, unaware that he knows much more about their situation than he is letting on.
To say anything else would be too much of a spoiler, given the big twist in episode two.
However, I can guess from my description of this show that the first thing that came to your mind was Attack on Titan.
Not only did I purposefully point out how the weapons in this anime are similar to Attack on Titan’s ODM Gear, but I’m also sure that the whole humanity being driven to the brink of extinction thing and being forced to hide out sounded like a dead ringer too.
Indeed, the best way that I can describe Deca-Dence is like Attack on Titan if the world changing twist had happened in the second episode.
Still, despite these similarities, there are a lot of differences between the two animes and the features shared with Attack on Titan feels more like a way to draw the audience in before the show delves into the really interesting stuff.
By far the best aspect of Deca-Dence is the growing father daughter bond between Natsumae and Kaburagi.
This culminates in the fifth episode “Differential Gear”, which is definitely the best episode of the series.

The fifth episode takes the story to another level, ending on an amazing cliffhanger

Along with Natsumae and Kaburagi, there are other great characters like the adorable Pipe (Eri Kitamura), the intuitive Jill (Michio Murase), and the fighting addicted Donatello (Rikiya Koyama).
Although, I will say that, while the characters on Kaburagi’s side of the story are all interesting, for the most part, the characters on Natsumae’s side of the story are, unfortunately, pretty bland and not very interesting.
Another issue I have is with the epilogue in the final episode.
No spoilers here but I found it to be a little unsatisfying because I feel that it glossed over a lot of important details and potential character development for Natsumae’s friends, which, again, was sorely needed.

Even though Natsumae is a great character, her friends needed way more development and this ties into why I think the epilogue didn’t entirely work.

Despite these problems, the anime is still a lot of fun with great visuals, a fantastic score, and some laugh out loud moments, all with the fantastic bond between Natsumae and Kaburagi keeping it together.
Deca-Dence is a solid anime that feels like a complete story, without the need for a season two.

The Boys Season One Review: Makes Injustice: Gods Among Us Look Like a Puppy.

5 stars
Superheroes being, well, less than super has become a common trend nowadays, with characters like Superman being given evil renditions, most notably in the Injustice: Gods Among Us storyline.
Well, I finally watched the first season of The Boys and I can clearly say that it knocked any previous rendition of evil superheroes flat over.
Developed by Erik Kripke for Amazon, and based off the comics by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, The Boy follows Hughie (Jack Quaid), an average guy whose girlfriend is brutally killed in an accident by the superhero A-Train (Jessie T. Usher).

The opening of The Boys highlights that this will be darker than most superhero stories.

After being recruited by superhero hater Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), Hughie learns the dark truth about the world of superheroes and sets out with Butcher and his allies Frenchie (Tomer Capon), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonzo) and the Female (Karen Fukuhara) to uncover a super conspiracy and take down the corrupt system. 
First of all, The Boys is an incredibly dark show with a lot of shocking moments.
These parts come not only from the lengths Hughie, Butcher and the rest of The Boys go to so they can have their revenge but also through the “heroes”, primarily Homelander (Antony Starr).
To say that Homelander is an evil version of Superman would be the understatement of the century.
Homelander makes the evil Superman from Injustice: Gods Among Us look like a puppy.
He is absolutely terrifying and his presence is all the evidence I need to say that giving anyone the kind of powers that he has would be a terrible idea.

Antony Starr does a fantastic job as the sociopathic superhero, Homelander.

However, not all the heroes are completely evil as many of them do have sympathetic sides, despite their horrific misdeeds.
The only hero who deserves the title, not having committed any wrongs, is Starlight (Erin Moriarty), whose depiction in the show is extremely reminiscent of the #MeToo movement based on what she goes through.
Thankfully, this is done in a respectful way that makes you cheer for her, and her emerging relationship with Hughie is genuinely sweet.

Starlight’s struggles culminate in a fantastic scene on a stage that will have you applauding her right alongside Hughie.

Although, my favourite character dynamic of the entire season would definitely have to go to the Female and Frenchie whose growing bond is great to watch.
Sadly, its not all sunshine and rainbows because, as I mentioned, the show can get extraordinarily brutal, with at least one jaw droppingly dark moment every episode.
This is best encapsulated by the season one finale, which has one of the most shocking cliffhangers that I have seen in a while and made me incredibly excited for season two.

I genuinely have no idea what’s going to happen in season two after the jaw dropping final moments of the finale.

All in all, The Boys is the best example of superheroes gone bad story out there, with fantastic characters and a nice blend of humor and horrifying moments.
This all comes together to make The Boys a true Spice Girls quality show… just watch it, you’ll get the reference.

Hinamatsuri Manga Review: I Have Never Laughed Harder.

4 and a half stars
Ah, it feels like just yesterday that I watched Hinamatsuri for the first time at the anime club of my university.
Based off the manga by Masao Ōtake, the story of a Yakuza gang member, named Nitta, who is blackmailed by a telekinetic girl, named Hina, into taking care of her, along with the tale of how a middle school student, named Hitomi, became a bartender, provided us all with a lot laughs.
In fact, when I did my review of the anime, I framed this premise like it was something out of a joke, “Tell me if you’ve heard this one; a Yakuza and a telekenetic girl walk into a bar and order a drink from an underage bartender”, is what I said.
Well, that joke sounding premise was very real and the laughs the show delivered were just as good or even better than any gag that joke could have produced.

This being said, though, the joke I made is a pretty fair description of the story.

So, after reminiscing on how funny the anime was, learning that there is no season two in sight, and also learning that the manga had recently finished, I decided to read that manga and, boy, was it worth it. 
I honestly don’t remember a time I have laughed harder after reading Hinamatsuri. 
The jokes almost always land in a hysterical fashion that reflects the absurdity of each situation. 
When the manga gets to the actual plot of the story it gets even more absurd. 
By that, I mean that Hinamatsuri takes a bit of a dive down a save the world storyline and yet this story is always on the back burner compared to the other characters’ personal struggles. 
This works because of how likable and funny these characters are.
Just like in the anime, my favourite character is definitely Hitomi, the inspirational success story who did not want to be an inspirational success story.

Bow before our lord and savoir Hitomi Mishima because I’m pretty sure she’s going to be a god at the end of her lifetime with how far she had progressed by the story’s conclusion.

What helps Hitomi is that the comedy in her storylines is always hilarious and some of the most hysterical moments in the entire manga.
I’m going to remember her wondering if everyone praising Anzu was part of some cult, her threatening Nitta, and, most of all, her accidentally being sent to a boot camp rather than an English class, resulting in her swearing like a sailor whenever she switches to the language. 
That last one was unfortunately not included in the anime, most likely for censorship reasons.  
But, that’s why Hinamatsuri is such a great read, even if you’ve read the bits that the anime already covered, because many hilarious moments from the manga were cut from the show. 
Back to the characters, the other ones are just as enjoyable, with Anzu continuing as best daughter and Nitta and Hina still being the lovable scumbags I remember. 
And then there’s Mao, who didn’t really make an impression on me in the anime because she felt more like a teaser character for a second season. 
Reading the manga, I got to see where her story went from that teaser.
Honestly, even though I was disappointed with how Mao’s reunion with Hina and Anzu was treated, I still found her to be among the best Hinamatsuri characters along with Hitomi, Anzu, Hina and Nitta. 

Like all the other characters, Mao has plenty of funny moments, mostly centered around her doll fixation.

Although, I will say, that even though a lot of these characters are hilarious, there are a few characters who I just never felt attached to and that their role in the story wasn’t really thought out that clearly. 
However, the great character development and humor more than make up for this. 
Overall, Hinamatsuri is a fantastic manga that provides some great characters and exceptional laughs, even if some of the characters storylines were not that great. 
I hope the anime gets a season two soon so I can laugh all over again.

Attack on Titan Chapter 132: Wings of Freedom Review. Happy Birthday.

4 and a half stars
Man, Hajime Isayama sure does like pulling on our heart strings doesn’t he?
Long before Chapter 132 of Attack on Titan, “Wings of Freedom”, came out, I was pretty sure I knew what was going to happen.
What with all the Happy Birthday wishes for Hange and talks of there being two major character deaths this chapter, I was almost certain that the eccentric 14th Commander of the Survey Corps was not going to make it out  alive.
Sure enough, Chapter 132 delivered one of the emotional character deaths of the series with Hange Zoe sacrificing herself so that the alliance could escape to confront Eren and try to stop the Rumbling.
For a chapter that ends in tragedy though, much of “Wings of Freedom” is actually light hearted, with a lot of character growth and great jokes being showcased as the plane is being prepared for take off in Odiha.
The best of these jokes came when Mikasa realized that Annie has a crush on Armin.
Her face when she realized this was absolutely priceless and reminded me a lot of the surprised Pikachu face meme.
Two interesting points for the story to explore also come out of this interaction.
The first of these is Mikasa telling Annie that she has the scarf Eren gave her but that she doesn’t want to wear it right now.
This line, along with Louise revealing in Chapter 126 that Eren told her to get rid of the scarf, seems to be foreshadowing a big plot development surrounding Mikasa and Eren’s connection with that scarf.
Knowing Isayama though, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this storyline end tragically.
The second interesting point that comes out of Mikasa and Annie’s conversation is that Armin didn’t actually convince Annie to come with them, like I thought he would, and Annie still plans on staying behind.
In fact, it’s not just her, but Gabi, Falco, Yelena and Kiyomi are also not coming.
Now, while these characters staying behind for the final battle does make sense, with Annie not wanting to fight anymore, Gabi and Falco being children, Yelena being injured, and Kiyomi not having the skills, I still think there is a lot of missed potential in leaving them out.
For example, Is Yelena really never going to have a conclusion to her relationship with Zeke?
However, I will not fault “Wings of Freedom” for this because, although I would be disappointed if Isayama left these characters out of the final battle, that hasn’t happened yet so I can’t criticize the chapter for it right now.
Hopefully, Isayama will find a way to give each of these characters a chance to shine before the story ends.
Following Annie’s interaction with Mikasa, we get a set of goodbye’s from her.
There is a heart warming scene where she says goodbye to Reiner and Pieck and Reiner apologizes to her for making her and Bertholdt go along with the mission to attack Paradis, before they embrace.
Afterwards, we see Annie waving goodbye to the Scouts, accompanied by a couple of panels of her looking sadly at Armin before departing.
Well, if that’s not a death flag for Annie or Armin then I don’t know what is.
Honestly, though, there are so many things that could constitute as death flags in this chapter, from Pieck saying she has to pay back her dead comrades, to Reiner entrusting Annie with Gabi and Falco’s safety, to Hange asking Levi if he thinks their dead comrades are watching them.
Sadly, the death flag about Hange was entirely valid this chapter.
I was worried about her dying since she saw her dead comrades in Chapter 127, just like Erwin did before he died, and my fears were finally realized this chapter.
However, Hange is not the first big death in Chapter 132.
No, that death goes to Floch as, surprising no one, he managed to latch onto the ship like a cockroach and makes his last stand, damaging the ship before he is taken out by Mikasa.
I will say that I do have mixed feelings about Floch’s death here.
On the one hand, his final words show that he really did care about protecting his people, even though he took it way too far by devolving into Nationalism, and his death does have an impact, leading to Hange having to sacrifice herself.
On the other hand, I’m not sure if Mikasa was the right choice for the one to kill Floch.
Sure, she is certainly a better choice than Gabi, but I think it would have been better for a character who had more build up with him like Jean or Hange to do the deed.
Isayama may have been paying off the scene where Mikasa nearly killed Floch when he tried to stop her taking the syringe from Levi, before Hange stopped her, in Chapter 84 but that may be stretching it.
In any case, Floch’s death certainly wasn’t bad, I just think it could have been executed slightly better.
What was perfect though was Hange’s death.
As I said, Floch was the cause of her having to sacrifice herself because he shot holes in the plane’s fuel tank just as the Rumbling arrived, forcing someone to stay behind to kill some of the advancing Wall Titans to give the alliance time to escape.
Hange chooses to do so, taking responsibility for the comrades she had killed and appoints Armin as the 15th Commander of the Survey Corps.
It is then that we get one of the most gut wrenching moments of the chapter as Levi confronts Hange before she departs.
Hange is clearly trying to put on a brave face and, accepting that she has made her choice, Levi puts a fist to her chess and says for the first time, “Devote your heart.”
From here, we get the emotional death of Hange, around her birthday no less, as she courageously fights the Wall Titans, killing at least four of them and giving her allies enough time to escape.
One of her last words is especially fitting, “Titans really are incredible.”
Hange often struggled with being the Commander and even admits in this chapter that she was powerless and couldn’t offer Eren any hope (which was unfortunately mistranslated, making it seem liked she was throwing Eren under the bus).
Yet, in her final moments, Hange was her true Titan loving self, going back to the time when she was most happy, studying her Titans, and saves her comrades lives.
The panel of her on fire, falling to her death, as the 104th look on in tears is not even the most heart breaking thing about Hange’s death.
For me, the saddest thing about it is Levi’s reaction, with him saying he will see Hange later and asking her to watch over them.
Levi is a character who has always kept his emotions on the inside, never allowing himself to cry over his comrades’ deaths and continue with his mission, and yet you can still tell how torn up he is about Hange’s death.
He has now lost all of his old friends, being the last of the old scouts.
A part of me wonders if killing Levi off would be completely sad now because then at least he could be reunited with his comrades, just like Hange was at the end of the chapter.
She wakes up in a Wall Titan’s footprint and is welcomed by Erwin, Hange, Mike, Gelgar, Nanaba, and all of her old Survey Corps friends.
Whether this really is the afterlife or just her hallucinating in her final moments, it is both a gut wrenching and heart warming scene that does Hange’s death justice.
It actually reminded me of (The Promised Neverland Spoilers!) Yugo’s death from from The Promised Neverland.
Now, I’m just afraid that the rest of the characters are going to start dropping like flies, especially since we’re close to the end, with the alliance most likely about to confront Eren at Fort Salta in the next few chapters.
Speaking of, that’s another interesting thing about Chapter 132.
Yelena reveals that Eren is most likely heading to attack Fort Salta, Atlas backwards, and also reveals that the place Eren attacked in Chapter 130 was called Acirfa, Africa backwards.
I guess Isayama really does consider the world of Attack on Titan ours, only flipped upside down, huh?
Overall, Chapter 132, “Wings of Freedom”, was another fantastic chapter of Attack on Titan, despite a few concerns, like some of the characters being left behind, and some issues I had, like with Mikasa being the one to kill Floch.
Far surpassing these slightly iffy moments were were some surprisingly wholesome and funny moments, like Hange asking to ride Pieck’s Cart Titan, and the emotional and fitting send off for Hange, one of the story’s most beloved characters.