Attack on Titan, Season Four, Episode Twelve, Guides Review: The Corruption of Shinzou wo Sasageyo.

4 and a half stars
You know, I was pretty excited for Episode Twelve of Attack on Titan‘s final season, “Guides.”
It was set to adapt one of the most hype scenes in the manga with Eren’s escape from prison and meeting up with Floch and the other Yeagerists, putting on his coat as the sun sets and ready to keep moving forward.
Then, the scene happens, and it’s just as epic as I hoped it would be.
So, imagine my surprise when I see people are once again harassing Mappa over their displeasure with this scene.
Well, no, I shouldn’t say surprised because I’m pretty sure these toxic people (I will not call them fans) will find something stupid to harass Mappa over pretty much every following episode.
If you didn’t like this scene, though, again, just like the people who didn’t like Chapter 137, that’s A-ok with me.
I just want certain groups of people to stop being toxic with their displeasure to the point that they are literally harassing people.
Back to the episode itself, “Guides” is directed by Kunihiro Mori and adapts most of Chapter 110 and half of Chapter 111 pretty amazingly.
Beginning with Armin checking up on Annie in the basement of a military police base, Hitch shows up just in time to stop him from going all Shinji Ikari on her.
In all seriousness, Armin’s hurried explanations to hide his crush on Annie and Hitch saying she can’t understand why Annie is popular when all she does is sleep, which is basically Isayama talking to the viewer, are both very funny.
However, the tone switches when Armin and Hitch emerge from the basement and see a rabid crowd of Eren supporters protesting his imprisonment.
Floch and the other recruits leaking the information about Eren’s escape definitley damaged the public’s faith in the military and this is only increased by what happens after.
Before this, though, we get two scenes of investigations done by Hange and Pyxis.
The first is Yelena finally cracking under the pressure and admitting to Pyxis that she met with Eren.
She tries to paint herself as a fangirl, obsessed with getting to know Eren, which, to be fair, she was, but she is not able to pull the wool over Pyxis’ eyes to hide the true extent of her and Zeke’s plans.
As Pyxis says, the only way to tell a good lie is to mix some truth in there.
Yelena revealing that she did meet with Eren leads to Hange confronting Onyankopon about this, much to his shock.
He then tells Hange about the extremes Yelena went to when it came to dealing with Marleyans who betrayed them or were at least uncertain with their plans.
This makes it unusal that she has been supportive of Marleyan rights on Paradis, Hange notes, which will play a key role in her decision at the end of the episode.
Following this scene, “Guides” cuts to one of the episode’s big moments, as Armin and Mikasa go to talk with Zackly (or is it Zachary? Oh, nevermind) about potentially speaking with Eren.
Zackly, however, is having none of it, having already given up on Eren because he and the rest of the military now believe that Eren is under Zeke’s control.
Now, Zackly plans to pass Eren’s Titan power onto someone else… after he tortures him with his magnificent work of art that is.
Yet, Zackly is smart enough not to let Mikasa in on this but Armin manages to deduce it pretty quickly.
Before Mikasa can go in and listen to Zackly’s conversation with the candidates, though, her Ackerman senses go off and she has just enough time to cover Armin, as a bomb, on Zackly’s chair of all things, explodes, killing Zackly and his candidates to replace Eren.
The military’s commander in chief’s mutilated body then splats on the ground, in full view of the protesting public but, unfortunately, not in clear view of us due to censorship.
To be fair, censorship is nothing new in Attack on Titan and the way its shot makes it clear that Zackly was torn apart by the explosion, so the horror of the moment is thankfully still kept.
Another moment that also translates well in the adaptation is the corruption of Erwin’s catchphrase “Shinzou wo Sasageyo!” translated to, “Devote Your Hearts!”
Erwin used this to rally his troops to fight for humanity, but now it is being used to rally behind a rapidly growing, naitonalist terrorist group, the aptly named Yeagerists, with Eren at its head.
Speaking of, it is here that we come back to the previously mentioned coat scene, where Eren escapes jail, along with Floch and the rest of the Yeagerists, and heads off to find Zeke.
I really like the way this scene was shot, scored, voice acted, and transitioned into the mid-card.
In my own, personal opinion, it was a perfect adaptartion for the scene.
Following the mid-card, we get the beginning of the adaptation of Chapter 111, with the hectic meeting between the military officers and Kiyomi, which quickly dissolves into arguing, mostly at the fault of the Military Police.
Thankfully, Pyxis is there to resolve the situation, and comedically suggest they surrender to Eren.
There is a serious intent behind this, though, because Pyxis realizes that with the threat of Marley and the rest of the world now faing Paradis means they cannot have infighting, so he plans to negotiate with the Yeagerists by putting Zeke’s location on the table.
Some, like Hange and Kiyomi, are clearly not as assured by this, which is made apparent for Kiyomi when she approaches Mikasa and suggests she come to her ship if things go wrong.
Mikasa cleverly confronts her about her intent to use Paradis’ resources but Kiyomi surprises her by telling Mikasa that even though she is considered a “money pinching vixen” she still has the honour to protect Mikasa for her clan.
As for Hange, her doubt about the situation is shown by her belief that there is more to Yelena and Zeke’s plans, spurned on by Yelena’s suspicious actions, like vouching for Marleyans when she was so ruthless with them before, as I mentioned earlier.
This causes her to lead the 104th to Niccolo’s restaurant to interivew him where, surprise, surpise, Gabi and Falco have just arrived with the Braus family.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the episode ends with the cliffhanger reveal of Pieck having arrived in Paradis, likely planning Marley’s surprise attack, which Reiner advocated for at the end of Episode Ten.
In my opinion, “Guides” is another fantastic episode for Attack on Titan‘s final season and Mappa are doing a great job, especially when you consider the rough production schedule they are suffering through.
Sure, some of the shots in the episode, like one of Mikasa running, do look a little off but they are nowhere near as offputting as Pyxis’ Megamind head in “A Sound Argument.”
The one big criticism I do have about the animation is a continutiy mistake where Eren is shown in his Yeagerist outfit in a flashback.
However, this could potentially be fixed in the Blu-Ray.
All in all, “Guides” is another great episode that adapts one of Attack on Titan‘s best hype moments very well.

Attack on Titan Chapter 138 Predictions.

We’re less than a week away from getting the penultimate chapter of Attack on Titan, Chapter 138, so it’s time for me to lay out my predictions yet again.
The previous chapter was… let’s just say divisive.
Personally, I enjoyed it, despite having a couple of issues.
However, many people took their personal dislike of it as a sign to start doomposting, saying that the ending was assured to be as bad as Game of Thrones Season Eight when we haven’t even got the ending yet.
Despite the controversy, I have seen so many different theories on how Attack on Titan will wrap up in these last two chapters and, make no mistake, I think Chapter 138 is going to be the chapter where the big plot twist happens.
“Titans” ended with the Alliance supposedly defeating Eren, so, with the fighting now over, it would be the perfect time for Isayama to drop a twist before the ending.
The reason I think we’re getting a twist at all?
Well, because two important characters’ point of view on this whole situation have been absent not only for the entirety of the final battle but for pretty much all of the final arc as well.
These two characters are Eren and Historia.

Will we Finally get Eren and Historia’s POV?

Like many other readers, I am 100% certain that Eren is not dead after Chapter 137.
Isayama just wouldn’t have his main character, and now main antagonist, killed off screen after he has been absent from the entirety of the final battle.
No, Eren is definitley alive, at least for now, and I think Chapter 138 is the perfect time to reveal his full POV.
What he really saw when he kissed Historia’s hand four years ago, his and Ymir’s true intentions in starting the Rumbling (if they have any that we don’t already no of), and how all of this will tie into the ending.
As for Historia, I believe her POV is intertwined with Eren’s.
There’s something up with her pregnancy and, whether Eren is the father or not, the point of this baby will be crucial for the ending, especially since the final panel of the entire story is most likely going to be someone holding her baby.
Chapter 138 might just be the chapter where Isayama reveals everything behind Eren, Historia, and Ymir’s actions.
Going back to the baby, though, we now have to talk about one of the biggest theories created from Chapter 137.

Is Historia’s Child the Key to Restarting the Rumbling?

It would seem that the subreddit r/titanfolk is using this theory as copium to deal with their displeasure of Chapter 137 and, I will admit, there is some evidence behind this theory.
All the way back in the Return to Shiganshina Arc, Eren revealed through Kruger’s memories that if a Titan Shifter is killed, before they can pass on their power, then it will go to a random Eldian baby.
Well, Zeke just died last chapter and Historia is conviently about to give birth.
So, if Eren really is still in Paradis, controlling his Titan with a Warhammer Cable, as some, including myself, have previously predicted, then he could just go see Historia, and use her child, which would have the Beast Titan’s powers and now be a Titan of royal blood, to restart the Rumbling.
The first time I heard this theory, I thought it was a definite possibility and would be a cool way for Isayama to have Eren win in the end.
However, the more I thought about it and the more counterpoints I heard, I am pretty unsure of it.
For starters, what would be the point of all the sacrifices the Alliance have made and the character development they have had just for them to be beaten like this at the end?
Also, as many have pointed out, Eren was heavily against Historia’s child being used as a pawn, yet now he’s going to use that child in a similar way to which he was against earlier?
Maybe Isayama could find a way to write around these problems and this could be the ending we get but, honestly, I find this theory to be pretty unlikely now.

Alternate Universe Ending Theory.

As the series has been getting closer and closer to its end, I have seen more and more dreaded alternate universe ending theories popping up.
I say “dreaded” because the alternate universe theory would be the worst ending possible, in my opinion.
Either Eren comes from the high school au and transported himself and everyone he knows into the Attack on Titan world, or Eren finds a way to transport everyone from his world into the high school au.
Either way, I really, really, really don’t like this theory.
If Eren took away everyone from their peaceful lives and put them in the hellish world of Attack on Titan then there goes any sympathy I had for his character.
If Eren transports everyone into the High School AU then what’s the point of getting emotional whenever I read the story again, since I know that none of this matters because everyone’s just going to be reborn into a happier life?
Not to mention that the only build up for this is a small panel of Mikasa and Armin from the High School AU in Eren’s memory fragments, which is nowhere near enough needed to justify this ending.
Whatever ending we get, I really hope it is not the alternate universe one.

Helos Ending Theory.

Ok, so now we arrive at the ending theory that I find to be the most likely.
However, I’m not too sure how well the fandom would react to this because of its similarities to Code Geass. 
Now, I’ve wanted Attack on Titan to have its own orginal ending for a while so have mostly been against Eren pulling a Lelouch.
However, I do think Isayama could twist this enough to at least make it semi-original.
This theory is that Eren started the Rumbling to give the Alliance the chance to destroy the Hallucigenia, ending the Titan powers once and for all, and becoming heroes to the world, potentially saving Paradis from destruction.
Hear me out because I think there is quite a bit of build up for this, specifically with Reiner.
For starters, Reiner has often been associated with Helos imagery, like in Chapter 117 when Magath is talking about Helos and there needing to be a hero to save the world, which is literally placed over a panel of Reiner.
Then there’s Reiner tackling the Hallucigenia and holding it back from Eren’s head in Chapter 137, which looks suspciously like the statue of Helos killing the Devil of All Earth from the Marley Arc.
This would also fit in with Reiner’s character arc, with him finally becoming the hero he wanted to be as a child but gave up on after realizing all of the horrible things he had done.
Whether Reiner or Eren dies from this, I am uncertain.
However, I am certain that, if this happens, it will result in a final confrontation between Mikasa and Eren, most likely causing the “See you later, Eren” scene, which was foreshadowed all the way back in Chapter 1.
This being Eren’s plan could also explain some of the inconsistencies in the final battle.
The Warhammer Titan didn’t remove the explosives from Eren’s nape because Eren wanted the Alliance to expose the Hallucigenia and kill it.
The Rumbling stopped when Zeke was killed because Eren had Ymir actually make it tied to his royal blood.
The Alliance defeated Eren with no casulaties because Eren let them win, not wanting to hurt them and also painting them as heroes to save them and Paradis.
With the Alliance becoming heroes to the world, this could create a tense peace.
However, notice the use of the word “tense” because I think it would be against what Isayama has set up in Attack on Titan for there to be instant, unanimous peace.
One of the main themes of Attack on Titan is that the world is cruel but beautiful and I think this is how it will be with the ending if this theory does happen.
There will still be tension and racism between Eldians and the rest of the world but there will also be hope.
Hope most likely held togethor by people like Historia and Kiyomi, who might work to save Paradis in the aftermath of the Rumbling by using diplomacy, since all of the military leaders in Paradis are now dead, effectively leaving Historia in charge, and Kiyomi now wants to make ammends for her actions playing a part in the Rumbling’s beginnings.
There’s also the idea that destroying the Hallucigenia will destroy the Paths, freeing Ymir and causing her to be reborn as Historia’s child.
So, despite its similarities to Code Geass’ ending, I think Isayama could actually pull this kind of ending off with his own unique spin to it.

How Will the Final Panel Occur?

So with all of these theories laid out, the question is, “how will the final panel that Isayama teased result from these potential endings?”
Well, this is another reason to rule the alternate universe theory out because someone holding a baby and saying that they’re free would make no sense in a high school au where nothing previously mattered.
The other two ending theories, though, do have possibilities to tie into the final panel, three possibilities in fact.
Number one: Eren survives somehow and is the one holding the baby at the end, telling them that they are free.
Number two: Eren dies in the real world but his soul stays inside the Paths somehow and he is holding the baby from there.
If the baby is Ymir reborn then Eren telling her that she is free would also be the perfect way to conclude things.
Finally, number three: the final panel is a flashback to Eren’s birth and Grisha is the one telling him that he is free, not only redeeming himself for how he raised Zeke, but also instilling Eren’s drive for freedom, which he had for his entire life.
Those are the three options that I think we have for the final panel right now.
I’m excited to see if I am right about this or if Isayama has something else in mind.
Before that, though, we have to read Chapter 138, which, as I’ve stated, will most likely be the chapter where we get the final big plot twist of the story before the ending in Chapter 139.
I can’t wait to see what happens.

Tales of Zestiria Review: This One’s a Mess.

2 and a half stars
I played my first Tales game,
Tales of Vesperia, almost a year ago, when my country went into lockdown because of the pandemic.
Although I struggled with the combat and found the game pretty outdated in certain areas, I still enjoyed many of its aspects, especially its main cast of characters, which probably puts Vesperia in my top ten video game casts.
So, upon stumbling across Tales of Zestiria in a store I, naturally, had to buy it.
Going in, I knew that Zestiria was considered to be one of the weakest games in the series but, wow, is this game a bit of a mess.
Honestly, when I started planning this review it was initially going to be a positive one but, just like my The Rise of Skywalker review, I came up with so many negatives that I couldn’t justify giving this a positive review.
That’s not to say there aren’t good things about Zestiria because there certainly are but the bad and mediocre do outweigh that good here.
Developed by Bandai Namco, and directed by Yuuta Hase and Mari Miyata, Tales of Zestiria is set in the mythical land of Glenwood, where mystical beings known as Seraphim but cannot be seen by human, except for a mere few who have the resonance to do so.
However, a dark force produced by humans, known as Manevolence, threatens both them and the Seraphim, turning them into monsters known as Hellions.
This is where the Shepherd comes in, the mythica hero capable of seeing Seraphim and purifying the Hellions.
Our hero is Sorey (Robbie Daymond, English Dub), the next Shepherd who, along with his close friend and Seraphim Mikleo (Michael Johnston), sets out to purify the world of Manevolence and stop the evil Lord of Calamity who controls the Hellions.

Following this opening prologue, the game delivers an epic opening, “White Light” by Superfly.

The first thing I will say about Zestiria’s story is that it is incredibly generic, with not much of a driving force.
It’s a typical good guys vs bad guys story, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for so long it feels like the characters are just wandering around with no clear direction.
Granted, Vesperia had a pretty generic story as well but what it did have in its favor was a clear direction, helped by a fantastic set of characters.
In comparison, Zestiria’s characters are pretty boring and have little to no character development.
Sorey is a hero who is always saved from making the hard choices, Mikleo probably has the most striking lack of character development considering what he learns about his past, Alisha (Alexis Tipton) was completely wasted, Lailah (Carrie Keranen) is pretty annoying and hides crucial information for dramatic effect, and I found Dezel’s (Chris Nioso) story to be pretty problematic with his abrupt “redemption.”
I at least liked Rose (Caitlin Glass) and Zaveid (Ian Sinclair) but, again, they have little to no character development.
The one member of the main party who I found to be a great character was Edna (Kira Buckland) who, even though she didn’t have a lot of development, is just hilarious and her presence alone makes the boring characters interesting for at least a couple of scenes.

Edna instantly won me over with her introduction and she is the game’s most insteresting and funny character.

Then there’s the main villain, The Lord of Calamity, Heldaf (Patrick Seitz), who is also incredibly boring but at least has the benefit of a backstory, which made him slightly more interesting than boring.
Speaking of that backstory, though, having to collect all of the Earthen Historia to find out his past and actually progress the game was such a chore.
With that, I now have to get into the gameplay, which, oh, boy, is also a big mess.
I said in my review of Vesperia that I struggled with its mechanics because I was new to the series and Zestiria really did not help this with how needlessly complicated its leveling up and attack system is.
It often left me scratching my head about what exactly I was supposed to do and, even after completing the game, I’m not entirely sure.
Still, I did like the Armitization parts of the gameplay, although I can see some people’s complaints about how they limit your choices in combat, with the player being forced to keep Sorey and Rose in combat.

While the Armitization system does limit gameplay optinions, it is, at the very least, enjoyable.

I also found the final boss to be pretty rewarding in terms of difficulty, so there was that.
I’m just glad we got to fight it an open area and not an inclosed one, since I never would have beaten the final boss if that happened because the camera is really bad in Zestiria.
Seriously, whenever I entered a dungeon and I had to fight an enemy in a tight corridor, the camera would constantly get stuck and I would have no idea what was happening, more often than not resulting in the party’s inevitable death.
So, overall, Tales of Zestiria is quite a mess.
There’s certainly good things, like some of the character interactions, mostly due to Edna, and I found some bits of combat, like Armitization and the final boss, to be rewarding.
However, the story is extremely generic and has no drive for a while, the characters are mostly boring and have no development, and the gameplay is needlessly complicated with a horrible camera in tight spaces.
At least this game resulted in Tales of Berseria, which I just finished and cannot wait to review because I loved it.
As for Zestiria, though, in my opinion, there’s no better word to describe it than a “mess.”

Attack on Titan, Season Four, Episode Eleven, Deceiver Review: Oh, Boy! Here I go Killing Again!

4 stars
Oh, Gabi, Gabi, Gabi.
Why must you further enrage the Attack on Titan community?
Even though I think Gabi is a great character, I did find myself wanting to slap her in the eleventh episode of the Final Season, “Deceiver”, although that was pretty much the point.
Directed by Teruyuki Ōmine, the episode title refers to many characters, from Floch, to Reiner, to Zeke, to Kaya, to, of course, Gabi and Falco, who are the main decievers of the episode.
This is made clear right from the get-go, as Gabi fakes a seizure to lure a guard into her and Falco’s cell and beat him unconcious with a rock so they can escape… or at least it was implied that he was unconcious in the manga.
Curiously, in the anime they decided to make it abundantly clear that Gabi had killed the guy, who Falco clearly points out was trying to help her.
Gabi goes even further, planning to kill Kaya if she doesn’t buy into her cover story, when the girl stumbles across her and Falco.
She even actually does attempt to kill her, when she learns that Kaya herself was deceiving them because she knew they were from Marley the whole time.
I’ve seen someone use the Rick and Morty “Oh, boy! Here I go killing again!” gag to describe Gabi and it’s funny because it’s absolutley true.
Despite this, I still don’t hate Gabi.
Again, I did want to slap her when she was blaming Kaya, her mother, and their ancestors for all of their suffering but I still know that Gabi is a brainwashed girl, indoctrinated by Marleyan propaganda.
In any case, she seems to have suffered the first blow to this indoctrination in “Deciever” through experiencing kindness from Sasha’s family, with neither Gabi nor Sasha’s parents knowing that she killed their daughter, and Kaya logically breaking apart Gabi’s arguments about the Eldians supposed sins before tearfully demanding an answer.
This results in the final blow for Gabi’s first pillar of indoctrination by the end of the episode, as Kaya offers to help Gabi and Falco get back to Marley by taking them to see Niccolo because she knows that Sasha would help them and she wants to be just like her.
Following this emotional moment, we get the post credits scene of Reiner and the rest of the Warriors beginning to plan their attack on Paradis.
This continued one of the earliest scenes in the episode, where Reiner woke up and demanded to know where Gabi and Falco were.
Reiner may have been suicidal earlier but now he has a new purpose that keeps him living: rescuing Gabi and Falco.
This causes him to criticize Magath’s plan to wait six months for Marley and the other countires of the world to create a global alliance to attack Paradis because Zeke would have undoubtedly made a plan by then.
His announcement that they need to launch a surprise attack on Paradis immediately makes for quite the cliffhanger.
Also, it is pretty funny that the shot cuts to him when Porco wonders how Zeke could have betrayed them.
Reiner’s own sins as a deceiver are always right in front of him, with him constantly being reminded of them through one way or another.
Speaking of reminders, Hange is forced to remember how the corrupt Sannes told her that she would basically be taking his place eventually all the way back in Season Three.
Whereas once Hange fought to let the people know everything the government was hiding from them in the Uprising Arc, she now has to lie to them until she knows all the info that there is, bringing more distrust down on her and the new government.
This is not helped by Floch and a bunch of recruits leaking information about Eren’s arrest.
Now that Floch has seen Eren acting like a devil, just like Erwin, he is fully on his team, a stark contrast to how he was against him at the end of The Return to Shiganshina Arc, showing just how much Floch perception of Eren has chanhged over the four year time skip.
It’s not just Floch, though, because many others are on the side of Eren, including Louise, the girl Mikasa saved all the way back in Season One.
Now devoted to following Eren, based on Mikasa’s example, Louise’s dedication in spite of military law causes Mikasa to remember Eren saving her all those years ago, through a mysterious headache.
However, Eren saving Mikasa is now painted in an even darker lens than it already was in that first season.
Eren has always been capable of committing atrocities and this flashback makes it very clear, even though the people who kidnapped Mikasa and killed her parents pretty much deserved it for what they did.
Along with Floch and Louise, there’s also Yelena, who is almost certainly involved in Eren’s schemes, based on Pyxis’ findings, yet, so far, she’s keeping her mouth closed.
There are a lot of decievers in this episode, making the title quite fitting, which is funny because it was actually swapped with the next episode’s title “Guides.”
While “Deceiver” does fit nicely for this episode, I wonder if “Guides” will end up doing so for Episode Twelve, considering that I can’t quite think of a way in which that title will suit its events.
Either way, “Deciever” is still a really good episode of Attack on Titan. 
Not only does it have some great, emotional scenes for many of the titular decievers, but it also came with some fantastic animation, especially for the backgrounds.
The episode did make me want to slap Gabi but, again, I’m pretty sure that’s the point.

The Promised Neverland, Season Two, Episode Six Review: A Terrible Case of Tell Don’t Show.

two out of five
It’s funny how a couple of episodes has been enough for me to pretty much lose all hope for The Promised Neverland Season Two.
Episodes Three and Four did concern me with all of their cut content, including the best character in the entire story being removed, but I was hopeful because of new scenes given to characters who needed it, like Isabella.
However, then Episode Five happened, cofirming that they had skipped the Goldy Pond Arc, causing everything to make absolutley no sense, including Norman’s return, which was incredibly rushed.
Then there was last week’s “episode”, where they just pointlessly recapped the entire story, including everything in season two for some weird reason, and that would have been completley pointless to do a review on.
Now, we have what looks like the final nail in the coffin for me: Episode Six.
Wow, was this a bad episode.
Directed by Yoshiki Katai, this episode commits the cardinal sin that almost every story should avoid completley, instead of when absolutley necessary, by telling instead of showing.
After Emma and Ray’s reunion with Norman, which lacks any emotion because of how short he has been gone in the anime, Norman goes on a long exposition spiel about what he’s been doing for the past year.
He explains how he was taken to be experimented on at a place called Lambda, how he escaped with the help of someone called Smee, who was then killed, and has since created a drug that he plans to use to cause all demons to degenerate, with all of this happening off screen.
This scene has to be one of the worst cases of telling and not showing that I have ever witnessed.
I will give the anime some credit, though, because this was not entirely its fault.
From what I recall, the manga did not show many of these events either and Norman just explained it through an exposition scene as well.
So, this poor moment is partially the manga’s fault and the anime is just adapting it.
However, the anime still does it way worse because even in the manga we do see at least some of Norman’s time in Lambda, what lead him there, and his plan actually makes sense because he has the means to do it.
Here, he has none of the resources he had in the manga so his plan to eventually use this drug to degenerate all demons is just stupid.
Just as annoying is Emma’s response to this because most of her character development has been cut along with the previous arcs.
Emma’s trauma and now wanting to find a way to make peace with the demons makes very little sense in this episode because it lacks any context because of these cuts.
This makes the attempted emotional moment where Ray convinces Emma to go and talk to Norman ring extremely hollow.
Speaking of Emma and Ray going to talk to Norman, it is here that we are officially introduced to his crew of Cislo, Barbara, Vincent and Zazie.
Honestly, I never really cared for these characters in the manga.
If anything, I actually found them all rather annoying, so it’s a very bitter pill to swallow for me that these are the characters the anime decided to adapt, instead of the likes of Yuugo, Lucas and Leuvis.
Barbara especially got on my nerves, what with her crazed rant at Emma, which, again, makes no sense because Emma has not gone through any events that would make her feel this way, like she did in the original story.
At least this leads into the one redeeming quality of the episode, where Emma and Ray tell Norman about Mujika and Sonju being able to survive without eating humans, causing Norman to look horrified, calling Mujika the “evil blooded girl.”
It makes for a good cliffhanger, which will surely have anime only viewers speculating.
Other than this, though, Episode Six is a flat out terrible episode, full of rushed scenes, annoying new characters, character incosistency, and one of the worst cases of telling instead of showing.
I now have very little hope for the rest of this adaptation and am honestly not looking forward to Episode Seven, or any other subsequent episode for that matter.
I hate to say it but The Promised Neverland Season Two is getting the Tokyo Ghoul treatment.

Attack on Titan Season Four, Episode Ten, A Sound Argument Review: Historia’s Sacrifice.

please fucking work
I remember reading Chapter 107 of Attack on Titan and feeling quite disappointed with the direction Hajime Isayama took Historia’s character.
To me, the idea of her sacrificing herself and any children she would have went against everything that her character development in the Uprising Arc was about, so to see her pregnant for this sacrifice plan really did not sit well with me. 
Thankfully, with the benefit of hindsight as a manga reader, I now look on this scene, and the potential it has for the end of the story, a lot more favourably. 
Historia’s sidelining after this point, though? 
Well, I am pretty sure that I will always believe that was a mistake. 
In any case, Episode Ten of Attack on Titan‘s final season, “A Sound Argument”, adapts both Chapter 107 and 108 well, albeit with a few hiccups.
Directed by Kaori Makita, the episode follows up on the serious cliffhanger from “Brave Volunteers”, which featured Eren standing in front of a mirror in his jail cell and proclaiming that he has to fight.
This is continued in the episode with a not so serious beginning, as Hange interrupts Eren’s talk with himself and humorously comments on it. 
I had honesty forgotten how funny Hange could be but seeing her scenes adapted in the anime really drove it home for me, especially with this scene. 
Just take a shot everytime she says “fight” during this conversation. 
You will pass out in a matter of seconds. 
It’s not all humorous, though, as Hange switches to serious, reminiscing on her talk with Eren about Titans, all the way back in Season One, and how he let her ramble on and on about pointless things. 
However, these happy times are no more, unfortunately showcased by Hange’s next line about how she believed Eren would never sacrifice Historia. 
From there, the episode delves into the flashback that puts Zeke’s supposed plan to save Eldia into motion. 
This comes from a flashback of the Volunteers introducing Paradis to an ally, Kiyomi Azumabito from the nation of Hizuru. 
It is through this flashback of her meeting those on Paradis that we learn not only the effect Zeke’s plan will have on Historia but also of Mikasa’s “importance” to Hizuru as well. 
It is revealed that Mikasa in actually the descendant of a lost Shogun from Hizuru and thus essential to the nation. 
This is proven through a tattoo Mikasa has on her hand. 
Now, while my opinion about Historia’s pregnancy in the manga has become more positived of the years, my opinion on this scene has not, and the anime makes its reveal a little more problematic. 
Mikasa being the descendant of a long lost Shogun always felt a little too convient to me, what with five Titan Shifters and the heir to the throne all coincidentally coming from the same training corps. 
Not onlt this but Mikasa being important to Hizuru has so far amounted to absolutley nothing in the manga. 
The anime makes this reveal even weaker with how its revealed, although that is not be entirely Mappa’s fault. 
You see, Mikasa having this tattoo should have been set up all the way back in Season One but, for whatever reason, Wit decided to remove it. 
So, now that the tattoo is revealed in this episode, it has absolutley no buildup and feels like a retcon. 
Following this reveal, we get a brief happy scene with Historia, where she is excited for Mikasa being important because it means she has someone to relate to. 
Eren then slides in all smooth and comments that Historia looks happy, to which she replies that she is.
You know, just to drive the knife deeper into her hearts when she looks so unhappy with her pregnancy later in the episode.
The plan for this pregnancy is revealed in the flashback by Kiyomi, who reveals that Zeke gained her trust by gifting her with ODM Gear, which he got from Mike, who he gruesomely murdered all the way back in Season Two.
With the Ice Burst fuel as a resource, Zeke gives Hizuru a reason to get in bed with Paradis: profit.
This causes Mikasa to realize she is a pretext pretty easily and it is following this that Kiyomi reveals Zeke’s plan to save Eldia but also sacrifice Historia and her descendants.
Paradis will need 50 years to catch up with the rest of the world’s military technology and, in order for the island not to be attacked during that time, the threat of the Rumbling must be maintained. 
Therefore, the Founding Titan and a Titan of royal blood must be passed down, meaning that Historia must have children who will then be sacrificed to the same fatal cycle that her family subjected themselves to for centuries, which, again, goes completley against all of Historia’s character development. 
Historia agrees to this nonetheless and this is where Eren steps in, furiously proclaiming that Zeke can take his plan and shove it. 
Eren’s reaction is a lot more volitle than it was in the manga here and I am personally all for that. 
This violence is then continued when the episode cuts back to the present and Eren angrily attacks Hange, after telling her that since he has the Warhammer Titan, he can escape anytime he wants. 
Eren furiously demands to know if Hange has some kind of backup plan, as Titan marks and sparks briefly flash up his face. 
Hange backs off, playing off Eren’s lunge as a perverted move, before showing the audience how she feels depressed about the state of things, as she tells herself that Erwin made a terrible choice making her Commander.
After this scene, we get the big reveal of Historia’s pregnancy, with her looking dead inside, and a mysterious farmer telling her she needs to take better care of herself. 
This farmer is apparently the father, according to members of the Military Police, including Nile, who are shown enjoying some wine togethor, before one drunk guy starts committing blasphemy by degrading Historia. 
In all seriousness, this part of the episode was another problem I had with Historia’s pregnancy in the manga. 
Historia just gets togethor with a random farmer who we have never seen and have no reason to care about, and also bullied her as a child, contributing to her suicidal ideology when we first met her in the story? 
If the farmer is the father then, in my own opinion, this reveal was pretty poorly done. 
However, notice that I said “if” because there are a lot of signs for this being a red herring. 
Some of these signs, like Historia being said to have never married the farmer and also a panel of a mysterious, hooded figure watching Historia talk to the farmer, were cut in the actual episode. 
Still, there are enough signs to make anime only viewers question it, just like us manga readers did. 
Only time will tell if we are reading too much into these supposed signs or not.
One thing that is made explicitly obvious rather than just a sign, though, is Niccolo with the wine. 
In the manga, this moment was subtle and some people did not pick up on it. 
In the episode, however, Niccolo giving the Military Police officers the wine is highlighted by dark lighting and threatening music. 
It makes it very obvious that something is up with the wine and I do wish it had been kept more subtle. 
After this obvious scene, we get yet another flashback, to one of the last times Eren and his friends were truly happy, as they built a railway togethor, accompanied by a humorous background moment of Armin trying to stop Sasha from drinking all their water. 
Levi and Hange show up, giving us another funny moment when levi is offended by how much taller the 104th has become, before Hange delivers the bad news that Hizuru is not willing to help Paradis negotiate with other nations because it wants their resources. 
This most likely means they will have to sacrifice Historia, something that is already happening in the present time of the episode. 
Yet, Hange has not given up hope and suggests sneaking into Marley to try and make connections because surveying is what the Scouts are all about. 
This excites many of the 104th as they ride back on the train, which leads into a heart warming scene of them all discussing who should get Eren’s Titan when his 13 years are up. 
Mikasa volunteers first but Jean counters this because she is still important to Hizuru and they don’t know if the Ackermans can become Titans. 
Jean then says he would be best but Connie also counters this by saying he is too important and offers to take on the burden himself. 
Next comes Sasha, who tells Connie that he is too much of an idiot to handle the responsibility, so she will do it, even though she doesn’t want to. 
Connie fires back, declaring that she is just as much of an idiot as he is. 
This leads to them both proving themselves idiots, as they comedically state, “Eh?” to each other in confusion. 
Eren breaks this comedy by deciding he will not give the Titan to any of them because he wants them all to live long lives, leading to a whole lot of embarrassed blushing among the 104th, to which Armin blames on the sun after Jean yells at Eren about it. 
Following this happy, heart warming flashback, it cuts back to the darker times where Mikasa, Armin, Connie and Jean are all reflecting on Eren’s actions, which lead to Sasha’s death. 
Connie is particularly angered about this because of Eren laughing when he got the news, not aware that this is how he handles grief, and says they may have to cut Eren down if it comes down to it, which horrifies Mikasa.
Armin also says that the military may be planning to give Eren’s Founding Titan to someone they can trust, as the episode ends with shots of a suspicious looking Eren in his jail cell and even more suspicious Zeke at his “hotel”, still under careful watch from Levi.
Overall, “A Sound Argument” is a decent episode of Attack on Titan. 
There are some great moments, like Eren and Hange’s scene and the flashback between the 104th. 
However, some things I personally didn’t really like from the manga, like Mikasa’s convient importance that is actually not all that important, are kept and sometimes made weaker. 
There are also a few animation issues here and there, like Pyxis’ bulbous head, which had a lot of people comparing him to Megamind.  
Still, all in all, “A Sound Argument” is an enjoyable episode.

Talentless Nana, Manga Review: Please, Give Us a Season Two.

4 stars
I really enjoyed the first season of
Talentless Nana.
Based on the manga by Looseboy, it was a fun show to watch, where the twist of the very first episode was that the superpowered individuals we were following were actually being hunted down by a normal person to save humanity.
Watching Nana trying to covertly murder all of her classmates, while being constantly under suspicion from wannabe detective Kyouya, only to slowly begin to realize she is killing innocent people, made it extremely fun to tune in every week.
So, once the first season was over, and seeing that it was unlikely we would get a season two because of the lackluster Blu-Ray sales, I decided to give the manga a read and it did not disappoint.
Picking up from where the season one finale ends, the manga details the aftermath of the traumatic events from that finale on Nana’s psyche, and how she slowly comes to realize the full weight of her crimes.
Nana’s character development is great, as is her growing bonds with the other characters, especially Jin, who I have a theory about, which I will get into down below because it contains spoilers.
Back to Nana herself, she has many fantastic moments of growth, especially after yet another traumatizing and horrifying reveal for her that shatters her entire world view and causes her to temporarily snap entirely.
As for the other characters, many of them are very well handled, especially the new and returning characters.
The new main antagonist of the story, Nana’s mentor, Tatsumi Tsuruoka, is a fantastic villain, who gives off a very threatening presence.  

This intimidating first panel of Tsuruoka’s face sure makes one hell of an impression.

Although, this praise of the characters being said, the author still has a problem with introducing many of these characters because they are just introduced like they’ve always been there when we’ve never seen them before.
It’s very clear that Looseboy comes up with these characters on the spot.
The only new ones who have a well built in introduction are Tsuruoka, Moe and one other character.
Speaking of which, I’m about to get into spoilers for the manga now so, if you’re anime only, then just take my word for it that the manga is really good and stop reading at this point.
Now then, this other character I’m referring to is actually something I was worried about coming into the manga.
I had heard rumors that the character Nana murders in the first episode, Nanao Nakajima, was actually alive somehow.
When I heard this, I was very much against the idea.
Nanao was a purposeful red herring in that first episode, being a bland protagonist cliche who existed to just get killed by Nana for the twist.
I really wanted the impact of his death to stay and didn’t think his character would be strong enough to get me to like him if he came back.
Well, I shouldn’t have doubted Looseboy because Nanao certainly came back and it was in the best way possible.
I love how he has been crafted into an antagonist for Nana, now that she is finally beginning her redemption arc, which will undoubtedly create a rocky road for this redemption in the future of the story.

Watching Nanao go from cliched Deku clone to bruding villain has been very interesting, to say the least.

Another element of the manga that surprised me was the revelation that Jin is actually, well… not Jin.
“Jin” is just the form he’s been showing to Nana and everyone else to fight them off with telekensis if need be, and he has been keeping the real Jin, who is in a comatose state, safe.
So, who is the fake Jin, then?
Well, this is the part where my theory which I mentioned earlier, comes in.
I believe that the fake Jin is actually Kyouya’s missing sister.
Her Talent was probably Transformation and she used this ability to win the civil war and keep the fake Jin alive, before acting like she was the real Jin to try and uncover the conspiracy.
There are some holes in this theory, like that fake Jin doesn’t really seem to be that interested in Kyouya, which he would be if he was actually Kyouya’s sister, but this could just be to keep him safe.
It will be interesting to see if my theory about Jin is correct or not as the manga goes on. 

Whether fake Jin is secretly Kyouya’s sister or not, I’m looking forward to the reveal of who he actually is.

Overall, I would say that the Talentless Nana manga is quite an enjoyable read, despite its problems with features like character introduction.
I hope that, despite the low Blu-Ray sales, a season two will get the green light, so I can see all of the great moments from the manga adapted.  

Attack on Titan, Season Four, Episode Nine, Brave Volunteers Review: Rubbing Salt in the Wound.

4 stars
Another week, another good episode for the final season of Attack on Titan. 
Last week’s episode, “Assasin’s Bullet”, was one of the most tragic in the entire series, featuring the death of long time fan favourite, Sasha Blouse.
So, after a traumatising loss like that, how does the latest episode, “Brave Volunteers”, follow it up?
Well, by showing Sasha a tonne in flashbacks, just to rub salt in the wound, of course!
Wait, what?
In all seriousness, it was both nice and tragic to see Sasha in these scenes, as her jokes always landed, while also making us feel sad, realizing that this will probably be the last time she makes us laugh in the series, considering her death.
Directed by Kōki Aoshima, “Brave Volunteers” is mostly comprised of flashbacks, explaining what happened to the Scouts during the three year timeskip, providing plenty of context for their actions in the attack on Marley.
This context is provided by the first scene, as we learn about the titular volunteers who betrayed Marley under the orders of Zeke Jaeger.
The opening scene showing this is a well done adaptation of the manga, as the episode begins with Armin talking to someone off screen, while he holds the seashell he retrieved at the end of Season Three.
From here, the episode transitions to not long after that final moment on the beach, where the Scouts have to stop an oncoming attack from a Marleyan warship.
Thankfully, such warships are no match for a Titans powers, with Eren picking the ship up with ease, in a moment that is very similar to one of his predecessors and namesake, Eren Kruger.
Slamming the ship down onto the beach, the Marleyan invaders are then greeted by an enthusiastic, yet nervous, Hange, in an excellent case of voice acting from Romi Park.
Hange’s welcome to the Marleyans was funny in the manga but Park’s delivery here makes it even more hilarious, with her giving the best performance of the episode.
However, this is a performance that the Marleyans are not quite buying because Hange and Levi’s captive, Niccolo, is not too cooperative, and the captain of the invading forces would rather die that “drink pig piss” with “devils.”
Well, die he certainly does, as courtesy from Yelena, who blows her commanding officer’s brains onto the deck, before other members of the Volunteers, Onyankopon among them, take control of the ship, as Yelena accepts Hange’s offer for tea and then ominously states how she has been looking forward to meeting Eren.
The reason this is so ominous quickly becomes apparent in the next scene, where Yelena reveals her connection to Zeke, with her worshipping him, like a god.
Before this, though, Hange and Levi get an exposition dump about events in Marley, since they defeated them at the battle of Shiganshina, learning all about how Marley had entered a series of wars because of their defeat and how the Titans used to trap the Eldians have surprisingly become a defence.
Although, these Titans have been long since defeated so if Marley had found that, Paradis would have been in a world of hurt.
Also, when Yelena is mentioning these Titans, we get a comedic shot of them dancing, which I can’t believe I criticized when I reviewed the manga chapter this episode adapted.
Seems a bit of a weird thing for me to have complained about in hindsight.
Back to the episode, the Garrison and Military Police are understandably skeptical of the volunteers because of their connections to Zeke.
However, this changes when Eren learns that Zeke’s secret plan involves both the Founding Titan and a Titan of royal blood.
Realizing that his theory about those two being necessary to activate the Founding Titan is correct, and now having a way to use the power without endangering Historia, through Zeke, Eren admit this knowledge that he had kept hidden from the rest of the Scouts.
This starts the slow spiral of the Scouts not trusting Eren any more, which culminates in them losing trust in him completley with his attack on Marley.
Still, Eren’s revelation also gains some support for the volunteers, helped further by them assisting in taking down further attacking ships.
We see one such take down, when Yelena and Onyankopon lure the enemy soldiers in, only for Armin to force them all ashore with his Colossal Titan, where they are meet by Levi, who is kind enough to offer them all some pig piss, throwing the words the dead captain spat back at them.
With trust in the volunteers now ascertained, many of them begin helping out with other tasks, like Onyankopon, who helped the island set up a port.
This leads to the comedically awkward moment where Sasha asked Onyankopon why his skin is dark.
Just like that, Sasha was cancelled by all of Twitter.
Jokes aside, this comedic moment did lead to a moment of insightfulness from Onyankopon, who states that their creator most likely thought it would be more interesting if different kind of people existed in the world.
This ideology will become important to Onyankopon’s character in the future and is why I think he is such a great side character.
Another volunteer who helps out, although much more unwillingly in this case, is Niccolo, who broadens the 104th’s perception of food, something that is greatly appreciated by Sasha.
Que another comedic, yet tragic, Sasha scene where she dives into the lobster, like a rabid animal, and declares Niccolo a food genius, earning a blush from the previously prejudiced soldier.
Despite coming so far with the volunteers, though, Eren is not as convinced as Armin and Mikasa that this can eventually create a chance for peace.
He points out that the world despises them because they can turn into monsters, which they are not exactly wrong about, and how they need to buy time to stop them from attacking.
With this line, Eren fires a practice shot, which transitions cruelly, yet beautifully, into Sasha being shot, showing how Eren is partially responsible for her death because of his attack.
From here, the episode switches to the present, as the 104th attend Sasha’s funeral, only for Niccolo to be attacked by an Eldian soldier for being Marleyan, showing how bigotry is now unfortunately starting to run strong in Paradis’ ranks, as well.
Thankfully, Niccolo is protected by Jean and Connie, who bring him to the grave, where the characters say their goodbyes, including a heartbreaking line from Connie, who says that Sasha was like his twin and now it feels like a part of him is gone.
Sasha’s parents then arrive, with the young girl who Sasha saved all the way back in Season Two, who they seem to have adopted, showing that Sasha really did make a difference with her fighting.
Niccolo offers to cook a meal for the family in memorial of Sasha and her father agrees to, free of charge.
Like father, like daughter, it would seem.
However, while there is a coming togethor of would be enemies here, this is very much not the case with Levi and Zeke, whose rivalry continues to grow in two very tense, yet comedic, scenes.
First, there is the carriage ride scene, where Zeke comments how the ignorance of the Public on Paradis is frightening.
Levi wants to kill Zeke but is willing to wait to see if this plan of his plays out, to which Zeke acts grateful for, before cautiously asking Levi if he can stop glaring at him.
Monkey PTSD intensifies.
Then, we get the hotel scene, where Zeke is welcomed to the five start hotel of the Titan forest, a perfect spot for relaxing and possible ODM Gear fights if Zeke tries anything.
Zeke wants to show Gabi and Falco the luxury of this “hotel” but I doubt they’ll be too happy about it, especially with Gabi chewing her fingernail and ranting to herself about Eren Jaeger, as she and Falco currently sit in a prison cell.
Finally, we get our three big moments from Armin, Mikasa and Eren this episode.
For Armin, it is finally revealed who he was talking to all this time: Annie.
The Female Titan is still stuck inside of the freaking crystal four years later.
Then, there’s Mikasa, who sits against Sasha’s grave for the second time this episode, repeating the words Eren first spoke to her, “Fight or die. Win and live.”
With her repeating Eren’s line, we cut to the man himself, inside a prison cell, looking particularly dead inside, and sporting a new hairstyle that is suspiciously similar to the way the Warhammer Titan styled her hair.
As he looks at his reflection in the jail mirror, Eren ends the episode with him twice repeating one the words associated with his character, “Fight. Fight.”
Who Eren will be fighting against now that he is on Paradis, though, remains to be seen.
“Brave Vounteers” is another really good Attack on Titan episode.
It gave us some much needed explanations about what the Scouts had been up to during the time skip and gave us more tragedy, with the comedic Sasha scenes that only rubbed salt in the wound that is the pain from her death.
One thing that has surprised me about the last couple of episodes is that they have been pretty slow paced, compared to the previous episodes anyway, adapting only one chapter as opposed to two.
This makes me wonder just how far the season will adapt, since there’s only supposed to be 16 episodes, after which we will probably either get a Final Season Part Two or a movie.
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
In any case, the next episode “A Sound Argument” is set to air today and it will be extremely interesting to see the fans’ reaction to it, given what is revealed there.

Attack on Titan Chapter 137, Titans Review: Rise of Toxicity.

4 stars
You know, I’ve been very disappointed with the Attack on Titan fandom recently.
It seems the toxicity levels have been getting higher every week.
First, people harassed Mappa’s staff over an OST choice in Episode Five of the Final Season.
The exact same thing happened the week after, with Mappa staff being harrassed because of the CGI in Episode Six this time.
And now we have the reaction to Chapter 137 of Attack on Titan, which, oh, boy, the toxicity levels are really off the chart here.
Let me start off by saying that I don’t have a problem if you didn’t like the chapter.
I personally did but I respect your opinion, nontheless.
However, what I do not respect is people screeching to high heaven that Attack on Titan is going to have a terrible ending, akin to Game of Thrones Season Eight.
To those people, I say, “Will you calm down? We have two chapters left!”
Seriously, actually read the ending before you criticize it.
Could the ending still be bad?
Yes but it could also be good.
We won’t know until we get the ending in April and we shouldn’t judge the series’ ending when we haven’t even got to that point yet.
Another problem I have with the toxicity surrounding the reaction to this chapter is that a lot of people seem to be outright ignoring explanations and build up for things that happened just because they don’t like them.
People say that Zeke and Armin getting help from the dead Titan Shifters came out of nowhere, with no build up.
Wrong because there was build up, from Armin seeing Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan crying back when he got the power, to Hange seeing her dead comrades when she died, to Armin seeing Bertholdt’s spirit two chapters ago.
People say that Zeke abandoned his entire ideology because Armin talk no jitsud him.
Wong again because, while Armin did convince Zeke to help, Zeke tells Ksaver he still thought the Euthanasia Plan was right, and was always against the Rumbling.
Finally, people say that it makes no sense for Kruger to help the Alliance and he should be on Eren’s side.
Again, I don’t think this is accurate because, even though Kruger did sacrifice a lot of lives to achieve his goal, he ultimately wanted all Eldians to be free and would not agree with all of the ones on the continent being massacered.
Also, there’s the potential of a twist surrounding Eren’s intentions that could happen in the last two chapters, which may explain this further.
So, as I’ve hopefully shown, many of the supposed inconsistancies and forced moments, that some are criticizing, actually do have build up and are well thought out.
Back to the actual chapter, “Titans” begins with Zeke explaining to Armin the origins of “Life”, this being the hallucigenia that would go on to give Ymir her powers, and how it seeks multiplication.
This most likely connected with Ymir’s fear of death, creating the first Titan form and an alternate dimension, the Paths, which was free from death.
Ironic that this place Ymir created to be free from death ended with her being enslaved there.
Although, this enslavement may not be due to Ymir’s stolkholm syndrome relationship with King Fritz as I first thought because Hajime Isayama puts particular emphasis on the question of why Ymir continued to obey him.
This is not the only question brought up about Ymir in this chapter because she seems to allow Eren to be defeated by the end and Armin says that she wants something from them.
What this is and how it aligns with Eren’s goals, well, I’m sure that will be the last big twist of the story.
Returning to Zeke and Armin’s conversation, Zeke speculates that Ymir felt some connection to the world she left, again hinting at a possible rebirth for her at the end.
It was this desire that Zeke, who is antinatalist, could not understand, which was why Ymir sided with Eren.
This has caused Zeke to lose hope completley, now content to just sit in the Paths with Armin and reflect on how pointless fighting is, and if it would be better to just give up and use that as a form of freedom.
However, Armin pulls out his trump card: talk no jitsu!
Now, I know this has a bad connotation but, come on, Attack on Titan is literally full of examples of it.
Eren convincing Ymir to help him in Chapter 122?
That was an obvious case of talk no jitsu, yet it’s such a great scene.
It’s not about the concept but the execution and, in my opinion, Isayama did Armin’s talk no jitsu of Zeke well.
I do think that a commom motif associated with Armin, that of the seashell, should have been used to convince Zeke that life is about the happiness of smaller moments but the leaf scene still worked great.
Even if I think the seashell works better for Armin’s character, though, the story behind the leaf, with Armin relfecting on a time when he, Mikasa and Eren were happier, works well with what Isayama is trying to say.
It certainly strikes a cord with Zeke, who sees the leaf as the baseball he would always use to play with Ksaver.
This causes Zeke to realize that, even though he suffered a lot, there were still happy moments, like him being able to play catch with his mentor.
Zeke’s relization somehow brings back the spirits of the previous Titan Shifters to help, and I will admit that this is something I’m a bit iffy on.
Yes, I do maintain that these spirits coming back to help was foreshadowed and built up well but the explanation for why it happened is a bit lacking.
In any case, it’s great to see these old, great characters back for one last time.
Grisha, Kruger, Ksaver, Bertholdt, Porco, Marcel, even Freckled Ymir, who I am really glad got some spotlight towards the end.
I honestly thought Isayama had forgotten about because of how little he brought her up since her death, compared to other characters.
With Zeke and Armin having a moving moment with Ksaver and Bertholdt, asking them to lend their strength, the spirits of the old Titan Shifters attack, saving Jean, Pieck, Reiner and Annie from iminent death.
Speaking of Jean and Pieck, I do think it is pretty funny that the fandom started shipping them as a meme, yet, after these last couple of chapters, some of them seem to be pretty serious about it.
Once those in danger have been rescued, the Alliance moves on to rescuing Armin and defeating Eren in a series of sequences that give each member a chance to shine.
First, Gabi shoots the Okapi Titan, with Levi holding her steady.
Then, Mikasa cuts open it’s mouth, freeing Armin, who kills it with a thunderspear but is dragged down by its tounge, which has stabbed his leg, only to be saved by Connie and then caught by Annie.
Armin then explains to the others how Zeke saved them by bringing back the past Shifters, and it is then that we get the fate of the bearded monkey himself.
Long has the rivalry between Zeke and Levi been built up and it is finally resolved this chapter as Zeke partially emerges from the spine of Eren’s Titan and calls out to Levi, allowing himself to be beheaded to stop the Rumbling.
This is a pivotal scene for both characters, seemingly bringing and end to not only Zeke’s arc but Levi’s as well.
As Zeke sits atop the spine, waiting for his innevitable death, he realizes that the day is nice, finally appreciating the little things, like Armin suggested.
Similarly, he also has a resolution with Ksaver and Grisha, connecting with his mentor over their time spent playing and thanking his father for him being born so he could do that, admitting that there may be some good things about a potential rebirth.
With Zeke’s character arc completed, and him thinking that he couldn’t realize the good parts of his life until it was too late is probably deserved because of how many he killed,  Levi decapitates him but looks far from pleased, more shocked and unsure about where he goes from here.
Zeke’s death was clearly not something Levi savoured as he said he would back when he threatened to kill him in Chapter 105.
I think Levi’s next path in life will be to survive and keep the memories of his comrades alive.
You know who I don’t think is going to make it, though?
Reiner.
In one of my predictions posts, I said that I thought he would actually make it but now I’m not so sure.
This uncertainty comes from Jean blowing up the explosives wrapped around Eren’s next with a cry of “suicidal blockhead”, which also brings an end to his character arc because he finally doesn’t hesitate when he has to pull the trigger.
The reason this scene makes me scared for Reiner is that, after Eren’s Titan is decapitated by the explosives, the hallucigenia bursts forth and attempts to reconenct with Eren’s head, only to be tackled and held back by Reiner.
The panel of Reiner preventing the hallucigenia from reaching Eren’s head looks suspiciously similar to the Helos statue Willy and Magath looked at in the Marley Arc of the imaginary hero slaying the Devil of All Earth.
Something tells me that Reiner will be known as the next Helos after this, whether he lives to see that he has become known as a hero or not.
Another character whose fate is up in the air is Eren himself because, following a brilliant panel that looks almost biblical, where Armin is held up and protected by Bertholdt, Grisha, Kruger and Ksaver’s Titans, Armin finally transforms into his Colossal Titan with a goodbye to Eren.
This brings an end to Chapter 137 and, with that, the Yeagerist part of the fandom explode at Eren’s defeat.
Is Eren really dead, though?
Of course not.
We haven’t seen Eren’s perspective for the entirety of the final battle and there’s no way that Isayama would kill his main character off screen.
Eren’s intentions and how they tie in with Ymir’s will most likely be the big twist of the story and Isayama is probably saving that for the next or very last chapter.
So, overall, I enjoyed Chapter 137 of Attack on Titan. 
It does have some issues but, all in all, it’s pretty good.
The part of the fandom that is already declaring the ending bad, even though we haven’t got it yet, are definitley overreacting.
It’s okay to be concerned about the direction the ending is heading.
I’ll admit, I’m a little concerned too because of how easily the Alliance seemed to win this but, keep in mind, we still have two chapters left in which a lot could happen.
So, let’s all wait for the ending and make our decisions about it once we finish it.

The Promised Neverland, Season Two, Episode Five Review: I Regret My Optomisim.

2 and a half stars
Well, I really jinxed myself by saying I was optomistic after The Promised Neverland Season Two, Episode Four, didn’t I?
The third episode of this second season made me really concerned with the direction the story was going, what all the important cuts, including my favourite character being completley gone.
Then Episode Four happened and I began to regain some hope.
Sure, there were things that were handled rather poorly, like the laughably incompetant soldiers, but brand new scenes, like Isabella being recrutied to hunt the children, made me optomistic about where this anime original storyline could go.
However, Episode Five has now come out and, wow, did it drop the ball.
Directed by Takahiro Harada, the episode picks up a full year after the last one.
That’s right, we have skipped a year immediately after the children escaped the bunker and now they are living in the demon world.
How did they survive so long with all of the intelligent demons, wild demons, and armed humans hunting them down?
Good question because the anime offers absolutley no explanation.
See, this is why skipping over 60 chapters is an incredibly bad idea because it means where you pick up the story from will make absolutley no sense and, in this episode, it makes little.
How did the children get the material to disguise themselves as demons?
How have they not been noticed before when they got so easily noticed this time?
Most importantly, how is Norman back so soon with absolutley no build up?
This last moment, which is the cliffhanger of the episode, has almost made me lose hope about the quality of the rest of the season entirely.
The build up to Norman’s reveal in the manga, with Norman acting as the new William Minerva, was absolutley fantastic.
Here, he just shows up with no setup whatsoever and it comes off as extremely anticlimactic because of this.
Also, while it’s nice to see Maaya Uchida back as Norman, it’s only been seven episodes so he hasn’t been gone long enough that his return is a surprise.
Norman’s incredibly bland return and the other plot holes created by the episode are not the only problems, unfortunately.
First of all, the time skip made the scene hyping up Isabella last episode almost pointless.
She was tasked with hunting the children and she just failed for that entire year.
I don’t think the demons would have been too happy with those results.
Also, the chase scene in this episode, which leads into Norman’s return, is pretty bad because it lacks any tension.
To be fair, there are some moments that saved the episode from being terrible, like Emma’s interaction with the blind demon and the exploration of deterioration with the two sympathetic demon children.
However, the rest of it made me very disappointed, with the numerous amount of plot holes and disappointing scenes.
It honestly feels like the anime is just going to end with this second season, given how much has been completley skipped over and the direction the story is going.
It feels like it’s going the Tokyo Ghoul adaptation route and I really hope it can find some way to prove me wrong about that.
Unfortunately, next episode is supposed to be a recap episode so it looks like those hopes are probably going to be crushed.