After the extremely rushed Chapter 126, many Attack on Titan fans, including myself, were concerned about the direction Hajime Isayama was taking the manga’s ending.
Well, thankfully, Chapter 127, “The Night of the End” seems to have significantly lessened those fears.
The chapter is a return to form, with the much needed tension between the characters that was missing in “Pride” being put on full display.
This building tension is made readily apparent by the full page spread of the alliance of Scouts, Warriors, and Volunteers around a campfire in their own separate groups.
This lead to many fantastic moments, among them small confrontations between Mikasa and Annie, and Jean and Magath.
Magath was the real surprise confrontation this chapter because I thought he had come to accept Eldians as his allies, for the most part.
However, with his attempts to justify the conflict between Paradis and Marley this chapter, Iayama has made it clearer than ever that he has a long way to go.
Still, he looks to be on the right path by the end of the scene, as he attempts to help Gabi, only to stop himself and consider his actions.
Speaking of Gabi, she stood out as a peacemaker at the end of the scene, with her protecting Reiner from Jean’s attack, and her and Falco begging the Scouts to help them stop the Rumbling.
Hange also played the role of peacemaker in “The Night of the End”, although to a much more hilarious degree, with her trying to maintain order by offering everybody soup.
Her direct opposite this chapter is Yelena, who Pieck reveals is actually a Marleyan who crafted a story about her being from a country that was conquered by Marley to make her seem more grand.
After this revelation, Yelena goes about stoking the flames of antagonism between the group, bringing up all of their crimes against one another.
She hits a particular nerve when she mentions Marco, which leads into Reiner and Annie explaining the truth about his death to Jean, telling him that Marco’s last words were “we still haven’t talked”, which is extremely relevant now.
We also get to learn some interesting facts about the aftermath of Marco’s demise, as Reiner reveals that, due to the split personality he had following the murder, Reiner killed the Titan out of guilt.
This is not enough to placate Jean though, who attacks Reiner, getting a few good punches in before Connie and Armin pull him away.
Gabi then shields Reiner, ending with her getting kicked in the face, before begging the scouts to help stop the Rumbling, as I mentioned before.
And to end this tense standoff, Isayama of course inserts some humor, with Levi waking up and telling the alliance that they are being “so noisy.”
Overall, this scene was fantastic and exactly what we needed after the complete lack of tension between the characters in Chapter 126.
The standout of the scene is definitively Jean, whose character growth is so great in this chapter that he has easily climbed up on my favourite characters list.
He is the main character of the chapter right from its opening moments, where he imagines what his life would be like if he just accepted the Rumbling and lived the good life.
He even imagines himself with a wife and children, the wife baring an uncanny resemblance to Mikasa.
By the end of the chapter, Jean has thrown this dream away to fight to stop the Rumbling as Marco would have wanted him to.
Unfortunately, all of this development for Jean is giving him some major death flags, especially with it looking like the alliance will face Floch in the next chapter.
Floch essentially represents what Jean could have become so it makes sense for the two to face off and I have a feeling it will result in both of their deaths.
Another character with death flags this chapter is Hange, who has a moment very reminiscent of when Erwin appeared to hallucinate his dead comrades in the Return to Shiganshina Arc.
Given that Erwin later died, the fact that Hange experiences this, along with Jean, is very concerning.
Death flags aside, this scene between Jean, Hange and Miaksa is very welcome because it explains one of the plot holes in Chapter 126 about how Jean and Mikasa met up with Hange.
Unfortunately, the chapter does not fix all the flaws of “Pride”, because we don’t get a flashback to Annie meeting with Armin or an explanation about how they met up with Hange and the others.
Still, at least some of the problems with the previous chapter have been fixed.
Back to the scene between Jean, Hange and Mikasa, there are two other things about this moment that I appreciated.
The first of these is Mikasa announcing that she believes they have to stop Eren.
It appears that she is finally taking Armin’s advice to think for herself and I hope to see this continue.
The second feature I appreciated was the small argument between Jean and Hange about what they would do if they stopped Eren to prevent the rest of the world from destroying Paradis.
While I did find it disappointing that Hange had no real plan, it is nice to see that Isayama knows that if Eren is defeated then the outside world would still not leave the island alone.
So, just defeating Eren is not going to be enough to keep the Eldians safe.
The final scene of the chapter sees the alliance heading to the harbor to take Kiyomi’s plane to stop Eren, as I predicted.
However, in a brilliant move, Floch has already realised their plan and moved the Yeagerists to guard the harbor and stop the alliance, holding Kiyomi hostage.
This looks like a job for Keith No-Longer-A-Bystander Chadis!
In all seriousness, it will be interesting to see what role Keith (if he was the man watching the alliance from the window) has to play in fighting the Yeagerists.
I also wonder what Kiyomi will do in this situation?
She can’t just be in the story to provide the plane so she must know something, right?
In any case, it looks like in the next couple chapters we will get Floch as the penultimate boss fight of the series.
Let’s just hope that Jean and Hange don’t bite the dust beating him.
As for any criticisms I have towards the chapter, one of the big ones is that I would have liked it if we had got a few more moments of tension and self reflection with the characters.
For example, we do not see Pieck and Magath’s reactions to Porco and Colt’s death, nor Reiner to Sasha’s, and Falco still does not seem to be all that bothered by the fact that he accidentally killed his brother.
Then there is Levi, who still has not called Annie out for killing his squad, but he was unconscious for almost the entire chapter so I can let that one slide.
All in all, “The Night of the End” is a great improvement from Chapter 126.
It delivered on the much needed tension between the characters, gave fantastic character development for Jean, and set up both the coming fight with Floch and, most concerning of all, possible death flags for some characters.