Attack on Titan Volume 19 Review: Colossal Events Unfold.

Chapter 75: War on Two Fronts.

3 and a half stars
Serving as the chapter that builds up the second confrontation between Eren and Reiner, chapter 75 is another decent one from this arc.
It gives us various interesting concepts for the series as well, with a new Titan Shifter being introduced.
I will say though that this new Shifter does look goofy to me but I guess I will just have to see what it can really do before I form a proper opinion on it.
Along with this, it seems like all those Titans that transformed last chapter are actually just normal ones under the control of the Beast Titan.
This is both confusing and has interesting implications because it could mean multiple things.
I think what is happening here is there were multiple people who injected themselves with Titan Serum, dooming themselves to be mindless Titans forever, just to take part in the battle.
If I am right about this then I wonder what could motivate people to do this?
Other than the interesting questions the chapter presents, the rest of it is fairly standard with it being made clear that the warriors are trying to kill the horses to prevent the Scouts from escaping and Eren preparing to fight Reiner.
There were a few great panels here and there though, with one depicting the Beast Titan’s forces and the scouts on opposite sides of the battlefield and another showing that when Reiner transformed he still had Levi’s sword in his neck.
Overall though, “War on Two Fronts” was a standard Attack on Titan chapter that clearly builds towards future events and revelations.

 

Chapter 76: The Thunder Spears.

4 stars
Coming into Chapter 76, “The Thunder Speaks”, I was concerned that the second battle between Eren and Reiner would just turn out to be a replica of the first.
However, while the battle between the two this chapter was not as good as that first one, it was still well crafted and unique enough to provide entertainment value.
Eren used his recently gained hardening ability to attack Reiner and Reiner, in turn, lifted him by the foot to slam him into the ground.
It is very entertaining to look at.
On top of this, we also got to see the Scouts going against Reiner, not just Eren, which was great.
Especially, with the new weapons that were presented, the thunder spears, which the chapter is named after.
Watching the scouts use these new weapons to defeat Reiner was very exciting, although it did lead to a moment from Reiner that made it difficult to care for him because of the hypocrisy he presented.
The best scene of the chapter came when Erwin reflected on all the soldiers who had died on his orders.
This leads to a brilliant moment where he imagines himself standing on a literal mountain of corpses where we see the bodies of dead Scouts like Miche, Gelgar and Nanaba.
There were plenty of other great moments seen throughout the chapter, a personal favourite of mine coming when Levi shouted at his troops, “I forbid you to die!”
Chapter 76 was an action packed chapter that presented some very good character growth.

 

Chapter 77: The World They Saw.

5 stars
Wow, this was a fantastic chapter.
Chapter 77, “The World They Saw”, is the best of this volume and the best in the Shiganshina Arc so far.
It primarily features a flashback from Bertholdt that reveals plenty of things.
First there is the reveal of how Marco really died in Trost District, with him overhearing Reiner and Bertholdt talking, forcing the Warriors to steal his gear and leave him to die.
While I had already guessed that something along these lines had happened from what was shown in season two of the anime, the full reveal in this chapter was still engaging through how it happened.
It helped to humanize the warriors by showing they really did not want to hurt Marco, through how Reiner forced Annie to remove his gear so she could prove herself, and this being revealed to be what caused Reiner’s split personality.
Then there is the revelation Marco had before his death about how when Reiner said, “if we do it, we wait until they gather”, he was sneakily talking about destroying the walls.
This is what I love about Attack on Titan.
There are so many small moments that seem meaningless at first but, when you go back and read them again many chapters later, they take on a new meaning.
Along with this we also got a more recent scene between Reiner, Bertholdt and the Beast Titan who is revealed to be named Zeke.
I know who Zeke is thanks to a troll spoiling me but I am still very interested to see how this will be revealed.
Zeke himself looks to be a very interesting character, being both threatening, yet oddly human.
There is a great moment here when he drinks some tea only to flinch at how hot it is, showing that, despite being a huge threat, he is still a human being.
Finally, there is the conversation between Reiner and Bertholdt at Shiganshina during the flashback.
I liked the interaction between these two but there was one thing that worried me.
Reiner said that he made a promise to Ymir to protect Christa and it sounded like he was talking about her in the past tense.
I really hope Ymir is not dead because she is such a great character and really underused so far in the story.
From here the chapter went to the current timeline, during the battle for Shiganshina.
Reiner was revealed to have had his entire head blown off from the thunder spears but was somehow still alive.
I have no idea how this is even possible and it felt like an extreme case of plot armor.
I did, however, like the reaction from Jean, Connie and Sasha when they thought they had killed Reiner.
It showed that even, after all he has done, they still considered Reiner their friend.
Then there was the cliffhanger, which was absolutely brilliant.
Bertholdt was revealed to not be inside the wall but in a barrel on the back of the new Titan Shifter, which the Beast Titan then throws over the wall for Bertholdt to transform.
I was on the edge of my seat when I read this and just had to read the next chapter after I finished it.
“The World They Saw” was a fantastic chapter of Attack on Titan that produced many shocking and edge of your seat moments.

 

Chapter 78: Descent.

4 stars
Bertholdt was again the star of this chapter where, after abandoning his transformation to save Reiner, he had a very revealing conversation with Armin.
I loved the interaction between these two as their dialogue was perfect and really reflected how great of a writer Hajime Isayama is.
This also led to a very interesting revelation from Armin as he seemed to have deduced that whoever is ordering the warriors around wants them dead because they are “descendants of devils”, whatever that means.
Bertholdt, however, said he does not believe this but stated they all have to die anyway.
While I did like the dialogue that came from this, I will say that I personally did not like how quick this character change felt for Bertholdt.
When we last saw him in the Clash of the Titans Arc, Bertholdt was very remorseful for what he had done but, in this chapter, he seemed to be lacking in any of that remorse.
Maybe it had to do with Armin threatening Annie but it still felt like a very abrupt change.
Another thing I did not like was the reveal of how Reiner survived, which felt very contrived.
The reason Reiner survived getting his head cut off was because he transferred his consciousness to other parts of his body and I do not know if this is even possible.
However, the chapter quickly gets better with its final moments when Bertholdt transforms, creating an explosion like a nuclear bomb that had to have killed at least half of the Survey Corps’ forces.
This may even include Hange and Moblit, but I doubt Isayama would kill Hange like this because it would be disappointing.
On a final note, I was very impressed with a few of the panels in this chapter.
The shot of Bertholdt shouting at Armin with his eyes obscured by shadow gave great insight into his character and inner thoughts.
This was another good chapter that set up what will probably be an epic fight with the Colossal Titan next chapter.

 

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