After two, agonizing months of delay because of Covid-19, Chapter 129 of Attack on Titan, “Retrospective” has finally been released.
Thankfully, it was more than worth the wait.
In my opinion, “Retrospective” is the best chapter since Chapter 123, “Island Devils”, delivering intense action, a new Titan form, and emotional deaths.
Let’s start with those deaths first; Theo Magath and Keith Shadis.
After temporarily defeating the Yeagerists and helping the alliance escape on the ship with the plane, Magath goes to take out a Marleyan ship to stop the Yeagerists from following them.
It is here that he is saved by Shadis, who earlier blew up a train with enemy reinforcements to save the alliance, and was the mysterious man seen in the window in Chapter 126, as predicted.
The two enter the ship, planning to blow it up to stop the Yeagerists, exchanging names before they sacrifice themselves.
These two deaths are very emotional and incredibly fitting for both characters.
Shadis spent his entire life being a bystander, yet in his last days he took a stand, saving both his recruits’ lives and the alliance’s.
He went out a hero and the world may never know it.
As for Magath, his realization that he would have been happy if had just let the warriors have normal lives is tragic.
Not only this, but his death came as a huge surprise to me.
I was honestly expecting Magath to make it to the end because I thought he would be the one to vouch for the Eldians to the rest of the world if they stopped Eren.
But, nope, that is not what Hajime Isayama is going for here.
This makes me excited because it probably means Isayama isn’t going down the predictable route of just having the alliance defeat Eren and suddenly be accepted by the rest of the world.
Isayama has some trick up his sleeve and I cannot wait to see what it is.
As for the rest of the chapter, it was likewise great.
The action was incredibly intense, with Reiner and Annie taking a beating from the Thunder Spears, the scouts going ballistic on the Yeagerists, and Falco finally transforming into the Jaw Titan and, boy, does he look awesome.
The Jaw Titan has a track record of really great designs; first Porco looked fantastic and now Falco.
It is also kind of funny because Falco’s Titan resembles a Griffin and he has often been linked with birds, like during his introduction in Chapter 91.
I also liked how Isayama stayed consistent with how Titan Shifters don’t have a lot of control when they first control as, like Eren did, Falco attacks his allies after the Yeagerists are fought back.
Thankfully, Magath was there to cut him out or Pieck probably would have been done for.
However, this is where my few criticisms of the chapter come in.
The part where Magath cuts Falco out of his Titan felt like it was missing a few panels and therefore came across as bit jumpy in structure.
Another criticism I have, although this one could easily turn out not be a criticism, is Gabi shooting Floch.
He is shot by her when he goes to destroy the ship with his Thunder Spear, however, if he is dead here then it is a really terrible way for him to go out.
Floch had absolutely no build up with Gabi, so him being killed by her does not fit into his character arc at all.
Sure, his last lines being that he would save Eldia is very fitting but who kills him is not.
This said, I really doubt Floch is dead because Gabi hit him in the shoulder and he fell in the ocean, and if Isayama was really going to kill Floch he would probably have him get shot in the head.
Although, this does make me scared that Floch is going to sneak onto the ship and kill one of the alliance, probably Jean, Hange or Connie.
Until we know for sure if Floch is dead or not though, I will not be holding his potential death against the chapter.
If Floch is dead then it significantly lowers my opinion of “Retrospective” but if he isn’t then I think Gabi shooting him is fine.
If anything, I am interested in how Isayama will end the final chapter for this volume.
He could do something with Floch, Kyomi, Eren, the possibilities are endless here.
In a recent interview, Isayama said he projects the story only have about 5% left before it is completed and this lines up nicely with my prediction that it will end at Chapter 138.
However Isayama ends the story though, if Chapter 129 is any indicator, I’m sure he can do it right.