The past 15 chapters of Attack on Titan have been incredible, god tier levels of writing.
So, I was both surprised and saddened to find that I did not like Chapter 126, “Pride.”
Although there are some good things about the chapter, the majority of it feels rushed and there is one plot point that is a complete waste of time.
This plot point is, of course, the whole Connie trying to feed Falco to his mother situation.
Before actually reading this chapter, I was very excited to see how this storyline would pan out because I was certain it would lead to the return of Historia.
Now, I will admit that I did let my expectations get in the way, so that not happening is a big reason for my disappointment.
However, even if my opinion was not influenced by that theory, I am certain that I would still find this subplot pointless.
Absolutely nothing came out of this storyline.
The only interesting part was Armin’s attempted suicide, which I found intense for the brief second that it happened.
The rest of it is a waste because it is entirely predictable, with Falco being saved, and ultimately adds nothing to the main plot.
Seriously, how does Connie trying to bring back his mother tie into the Rumbling in any way?
It feels like a pointless side quest and should have been removed entirely.
If it had, then it would have given Isayama enough time to expand on Hange, Levi and the rest of the Scouts teaming up with the Warriors, which was sorely needed.
At the end of the last chapter, the two came across Pieck and Magath and this lead me to believe that much of Chapter 126 would be their conversation as they slowly and organically came to the conclusion that they should work together.
But, nope; instead Hange suggests working together immediately, despite the fact that they had all been trying to kill each other not two hours ago.
This rushed alliance is also evident with Annie, who Armin and Connie run into after their whole pointless subplot.
They find Annie eating a pie, which Connie makes an actually funny joke about.
However, while I did like the joke, it did not fit the situation at all as things should have been way more tense between the three.
Not only this but Annie deciding to team up with them is left entirely off screen and explained in a letter she leaves to Hitch.
Talk about disappointing.
On a completely unrelated note, Pieck’s last name is revealed to be Finger this chapter, which I hope is a mistranslation because that is just too funny to take seriously.
Another disappointing thing about the chapter is how some characters feel, well, out of character.
The most obvious of these is Mikasa who is unusually cruel to a dying Louise, who she retrieves her scarf from.
The girl who admired Mikasa is literally dying before her eyes and Mikasa just takes the scarf and leaves her to die without a goodbye.
This made her incredibly unlikable this chapter.
Some have speculated that the reason Mikasa was so cold to Louise is because she reminded her of a part of herself she has come to hate but, if that is the case, then it should have been explained way better.
And then there is Falco whose character is also treated badly through how he reacts to his brother Colt’s death.
There is literally only two panels of him reacting to the news and then he is shown to be completely fine throughout the rest of the chapter.
He even appears to be joking with Gabi when they run into Annie.
The kid just accidentally killed his brother and you wouldn’t even know it had affected him at all by the end of the chapter.
My disappointment in this chapter does not appear to be just me, though, as many other people are also criticizing it online as well about problems like this.
However, what people seem to be criticizing the most is the end of the chapter where Reiner is kicked awake by Annie and sees the Scouts and Warriors are now working together, with Connie telling him they are going “to save the world.”
Many people find this line to be cringy, however, this is one of the few things people say is a problem with “Pride” that I actually think is alright.
This is because of how it ties into Reiner’s arc.
Back in the Marley Arc, it is revealed that Reiner was obsessed with saving the world, which is one of the reasons why he destroyed the walls, kicking off the story.
Now, he has an opportunity for redemption by completing the goal he always hoped to as a child.
This is one of the few moments in the chapter that had any thematic weight so, despite its cringyness, I give it a pass.
Along with this, there are some parts of the chapter that I actually really liked.
The best moment of the chapter is definitely the rescue of Yelena and Onyankopon, with him and Jean being the standout characters of “Pride.”
Onyankopon continues to grow on me as he points out the Yeagerists’ hypocrisy in condemning others to death when they were the targets of this nine years ago.
As for Jean, his line that if he hadn’t rescued them, “the bones turned to ashes wouldn’t forgive me for that” is very moving because it shows he still remembers Marco.
Also, the moment when he splashes water in Onyankopon’s face is really funny.
There are a lot of funny moments in this chapter, even if the scenes they are in are not very good, like Connie’s ridiculous excuse to Falco about why he brought him to see the Titan, Connie laughing at Annie for stuffing her face, and Annie kicking Reiner to wake him up.
Another detail I liked was Hange crying at the beginning of the chapter when she guns down the two Yeagerists, which was very touching.
There is also some intrigue building around set up plot points like why Magath wanted Yelena to be rescued and who the mysterious figure who saw Armin, Annie, Mikasa and the others escape, is.
My money is on either Zeke or Keith.
So, despite all of its problems, “Pride” does have some good moments that keep it from completing failing.
Back to the criticism surrounding it, a lot of people are taking one bad chapter to mean that the ending of the series is going to go downhill from here.
We have had 15 incredible, mind blowing chapters before this point and now we have one bad chapter and everyone assumes the series is doomed.
People need to calm down because there could be a number of reasons why this chapter is so flawed.
Hajime Isayama could have been rushed like with Chapter 119 or decided to bypass this stuff quickly to get to the good stuff.
We really don’t know and we should at least see a few more chapters before saying that Attack on Titan is in danger of having a bad ending.