If Chapter 133 of Attack on Titan, “Sinners,” proved anything, it is that Hajime Isayama’s epic story is about to enter its final battle.
“Sinners” is the build up to that battle, centering on the stories of the Alliance, those on the boat, and the escaped Eldians of Liberio, all of them heading to Fort Salta, either to fight in the final confrontation or to escape it.
Starting with the Alliance, their opening section is definitely the most interesting part of the chapter.
Beginning with Armin talking to Onyankopon, the moment deliberately parallels Onyankopon’s introduction in Chapter 104, as Armin says he is counting on him just like Hange did showing that Armin is truly stepping into the Commander role after Hange’s tragic sacrifice last chapter.
Speaking of Hange, Onyankopon saying that he would get the plane to Fort Salta because it was Hange’s last hope was very touching.
What is concerning is that, because of the approaching Rumbling, the Alliance didn’t have enough time to fully fuel the plane, so it is only half full.
Onyankopon says he will get them to Fort Salta but I get the feeling that it’s going to have to involve some sacrifice.
Maybe Onyankopon will kamikaze Eren’s Titan form as a way to give the Alliance an advantage.
Following their talk, Armin goes to finally make a strategy for confronting Eren with the rest of the Alliance.
A few ideas are thrown around, like Pieck suggesting Armin blow Eren up with his Colossal Titan, for example.
One of the more interesting ideas is Levi suggesting that they find where Zeke is located in Eren’s Titan and then kill him to stop the Rumbling.
I’m not sure how I feel about this plan because, if Eren does lose his connection to the Founding Titan, wouldn’t that just make the Wall Titans rampage without direction, making the situation worse?
It would be a bit stupid if killing Zeke just stopped the Wall Titans in place.
In any case, I don’t think the way to completely stop Eren is going to be simply killing Zeke.
If anything, I think Zeke and Levi’s final confrontation will most likely be a way for Levi to let go of his promise to Erwin and move on from it.
As Kenny said, everyone is “a slave to something,” and Levi is a slave to killing Zeke.
Hopefully, Levi can become free of this in future chapters.
As for who is truly free in this chapter, I honestly could not say.
After Reiner speculates that Eren wants them to stop him, possibly pulling a Lelouch as has been speculated by some readers, Eren brings all of the Alliance into the Paths Dimension to talk with them.
This results in some time and space shenanigans where Mikasa, Armin, Jean and Connie try to run to Eren, only to end up exactly back where they started with Levi, Reiner and Pieck.
Eren tells them that he has purposefully not altered their Titans because he believes they should be free to fight him if they wish to, debunking the theory that it was Zeke creating the Titans.
However, where one theory falls, even more arise, especially surrounding Eren and Ymir.
The two are seen side by side in the Paths Dimension, both in child form, with their eyes darkened.
Many theories have emerged from this moment, from Ymir is controlling Eren, to both Eren and Ymir are slaves, to Eren is somehow communicating with the Alliance in the past, you name it.
I find the most interesting question to be concerning if Reiner is actually right or not.
Does Eren want the Alliance to stop him?
Whatever the answer to this question is, I don’t think it’s going to end with a Zero Requiem for the very reason that Reiner brought up Eren wanting them to stop him this chapter.
If someone suggested in Code Geass that Lelouch was being the bad guy so that when his friend killed him the world would have been at peace then it would have ruined the twist.
So, I don’t think the final battle will end in this way.
Either way, the Paths scene is extremely intense, with all of Eren’s friends emotionally calling out to him and Eren coldly stating that if they want to try and kill him, “You are free to do so.”
Guess there really is no bargaining with the Devil.
With Eren’s remark, the Alliance are released into the real world in which only a second has passed and Onyankopon is confused by their traumatized states.
Levi then acknowledges Armin as Commander and asks what their next move is, followed by a determined look from the new Commander.
This makes me wonder if Armin really will throw away the talk option and decide to try and kill Eren to save humanity.
The entire Alliance talk and Paths scene is great, with a lot of amazing character interaction, like Jean and Connie reconciling with Reiner over their past crimes.
Then the chapter shifts to easily the most polarizing scene of “Sinners,” cutting to the members of the Alliance who stayed behind on Kiyomi’s ship.
The reason this scene is so divisive is because Falco reveals that he thinks he may be able to fly because previous Beast Titans could, and he was transformed by Zeke’s spinal fluid before he became the Jaw Titan.
Many people are calling this reveal contrived and out of nowhere but the setup was clearly there.
A flying Titan has been brought up ever since Chapter 93 where it was used as a joke.
Not to mention that Falco has been linked with birds constantly since his appearance, his name being Italian for falcon, him talking to a bird during his first appearance, and his Titan form literally looking like a bird.
Although, I will say there probably should have been more build up for the previous Beast Titans being able to fly.
We have only seen previous Beast Titans in ape form, so if it can really take the form of other animals, if that is what is being suggested here, then there should have been a few showcases of this, like maybe showing Tom Ksaver’s Titan form or have the panel of the first Beast Titan in chapter 122 be a different animal.
Still, there was some build up to it, and I am happy that Falco can fly because it means he can take the rest of the Alliance to join the final battle, which is something I wanted to happen, so I think this works, even if it should have had more set up.
Another reveal this chapter is the Female Titan’s power, which is to manifest other Titan powers, possibly by ingesting spinal fluid.
This may be in reference to Eren drinking the Armor serum and Galliard and Marcel’s Jaw Titans having armoured faces though, so it may not be too important.
Whether it is or not though, I cannot deny that Annie was the best part of this scene, with her experiencing considerable growth, remembering her father and the good times she had both with the Warriors and the 104th.
Now, it looks like she will join Gabi, Falco, and possibly Yelena because I suspect she will be coming, at the final battle, using Falco’s flying Jaw Titan to reach the Alliance.
Let’s just hope this doesn’t end in tragedy for Annie and Armin’s relationship as I have been predicting for a while.
Along with Annie, Kiyomi also got some much needed development, with her expressing her regrets for helping to bring Eren and Zeke together all for profit and the honor of her clan.
At this point though, I have no idea what role, if any, she has to play in the story going forward.
With there being no development in my theory that she would have a connection with Kruger and Ksaver, all that feels left for her is her established connection with Mikasa, which I hope pays off in some way.
Cutting away from Kiyomi’s ship, the chapter then pivots to its last scene with a train approaching Fort Salta, the location of the final battle.
And who is on this train?
Why, it’s none other than the Eldians who escaped from Liberio, lead by Annie’s father.
They took a train driver and his family hostage and are planning to take that train to escape on Fort Salta’s airships.
Looks like Annie will get a reunion with her father but, once again, probably in a tragic sense.
I will say though that Mr Leonhart is really starting to grow on me as a character.
Even though he knows their situation may be hopeless, he is leading his fellow Eldians in the blind hope that they will survive and that he may see his daughter again someday.
We also get some character growth from the Warriors’ families, like Gabi’s parents finally realizing they were wrong to send their daughter into the Warrior program and Pieck’s father refusing to throw his honorary Marleyan armband away because of how she sacrificed everything to get him it.
This character growth is cut short by the sight of the approaching Rumbling and a group of airships going to bomb it, hoping to blow all of the Titans away, ending the chapter.
Seriously, though, we all know that these airships don’t have a chance in hell.
Sure, they may kill a few Wall Titans but I doubt they would be a significant obstacle for Eren.
I think what Eren will do is just use the power of the Warhammer Titan to create some spears and then have the Wall Titans throw them at the airships like javelins.
That should be enough to take them out.
In all likelihood, all the airships’ attack could probably do is buy enough time for the Warrior’s family so that the Alliance can arrive in time to engage Eren in the final battle, which will most likely be the cliffhanger for the next chapter, ending Volume 33.
Overall, “Sinners” is another great chapter of Attack on Titan that builds to the final battle very well.
I predict that after the next chapter we will only have one more volume left before this fantastic story comes to an end, whether that ending be completely tragic or bittersweet (because it’s certainly not going to be happy).