You know, I’ve been very disappointed with the Attack on Titan fandom recently.
It seems the toxicity levels have been getting higher every week.
First, people harassed Mappa’s staff over an OST choice in Episode Five of the Final Season.
The exact same thing happened the week after, with Mappa staff being harrassed because of the CGI in Episode Six this time.
And now we have the reaction to Chapter 137 of Attack on Titan, which, oh, boy, the toxicity levels are really off the chart here.
Let me start off by saying that I don’t have a problem if you didn’t like the chapter.
I personally did but I respect your opinion, nontheless.
However, what I do not respect is people screeching to high heaven that Attack on Titan is going to have a terrible ending, akin to Game of Thrones Season Eight.
To those people, I say, “Will you calm down? We have two chapters left!”
Seriously, actually read the ending before you criticize it.
Could the ending still be bad?
Yes but it could also be good.
We won’t know until we get the ending in April and we shouldn’t judge the series’ ending when we haven’t even got to that point yet.
Another problem I have with the toxicity surrounding the reaction to this chapter is that a lot of people seem to be outright ignoring explanations and build up for things that happened just because they don’t like them.
People say that Zeke and Armin getting help from the dead Titan Shifters came out of nowhere, with no build up.
Wrong because there was build up, from Armin seeing Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan crying back when he got the power, to Hange seeing her dead comrades when she died, to Armin seeing Bertholdt’s spirit two chapters ago.
People say that Zeke abandoned his entire ideology because Armin talk no jitsud him.
Wong again because, while Armin did convince Zeke to help, Zeke tells Ksaver he still thought the Euthanasia Plan was right, and was always against the Rumbling.
Finally, people say that it makes no sense for Kruger to help the Alliance and he should be on Eren’s side.
Again, I don’t think this is accurate because, even though Kruger did sacrifice a lot of lives to achieve his goal, he ultimately wanted all Eldians to be free and would not agree with all of the ones on the continent being massacered.
Also, there’s the potential of a twist surrounding Eren’s intentions that could happen in the last two chapters, which may explain this further.
So, as I’ve hopefully shown, many of the supposed inconsistancies and forced moments, that some are criticizing, actually do have build up and are well thought out.
Back to the actual chapter, “Titans” begins with Zeke explaining to Armin the origins of “Life”, this being the hallucigenia that would go on to give Ymir her powers, and how it seeks multiplication.
This most likely connected with Ymir’s fear of death, creating the first Titan form and an alternate dimension, the Paths, which was free from death.
Ironic that this place Ymir created to be free from death ended with her being enslaved there.
Although, this enslavement may not be due to Ymir’s stolkholm syndrome relationship with King Fritz as I first thought because Hajime Isayama puts particular emphasis on the question of why Ymir continued to obey him.
This is not the only question brought up about Ymir in this chapter because she seems to allow Eren to be defeated by the end and Armin says that she wants something from them.
What this is and how it aligns with Eren’s goals, well, I’m sure that will be the last big twist of the story.
Returning to Zeke and Armin’s conversation, Zeke speculates that Ymir felt some connection to the world she left, again hinting at a possible rebirth for her at the end.
It was this desire that Zeke, who is antinatalist, could not understand, which was why Ymir sided with Eren.
This has caused Zeke to lose hope completley, now content to just sit in the Paths with Armin and reflect on how pointless fighting is, and if it would be better to just give up and use that as a form of freedom.
However, Armin pulls out his trump card: talk no jitsu!
Now, I know this has a bad connotation but, come on, Attack on Titan is literally full of examples of it.
Eren convincing Ymir to help him in Chapter 122?
That was an obvious case of talk no jitsu, yet it’s such a great scene.
It’s not about the concept but the execution and, in my opinion, Isayama did Armin’s talk no jitsu of Zeke well.
I do think that a commom motif associated with Armin, that of the seashell, should have been used to convince Zeke that life is about the happiness of smaller moments but the leaf scene still worked great.
Even if I think the seashell works better for Armin’s character, though, the story behind the leaf, with Armin relfecting on a time when he, Mikasa and Eren were happier, works well with what Isayama is trying to say.
It certainly strikes a cord with Zeke, who sees the leaf as the baseball he would always use to play with Ksaver.
This causes Zeke to realize that, even though he suffered a lot, there were still happy moments, like him being able to play catch with his mentor.
Zeke’s relization somehow brings back the spirits of the previous Titan Shifters to help, and I will admit that this is something I’m a bit iffy on.
Yes, I do maintain that these spirits coming back to help was foreshadowed and built up well but the explanation for why it happened is a bit lacking.
In any case, it’s great to see these old, great characters back for one last time.
Grisha, Kruger, Ksaver, Bertholdt, Porco, Marcel, even Freckled Ymir, who I am really glad got some spotlight towards the end.
I honestly thought Isayama had forgotten about because of how little he brought her up since her death, compared to other characters.
With Zeke and Armin having a moving moment with Ksaver and Bertholdt, asking them to lend their strength, the spirits of the old Titan Shifters attack, saving Jean, Pieck, Reiner and Annie from iminent death.
Speaking of Jean and Pieck, I do think it is pretty funny that the fandom started shipping them as a meme, yet, after these last couple of chapters, some of them seem to be pretty serious about it.
Once those in danger have been rescued, the Alliance moves on to rescuing Armin and defeating Eren in a series of sequences that give each member a chance to shine.
First, Gabi shoots the Okapi Titan, with Levi holding her steady.
Then, Mikasa cuts open it’s mouth, freeing Armin, who kills it with a thunderspear but is dragged down by its tounge, which has stabbed his leg, only to be saved by Connie and then caught by Annie.
Armin then explains to the others how Zeke saved them by bringing back the past Shifters, and it is then that we get the fate of the bearded monkey himself.
Long has the rivalry between Zeke and Levi been built up and it is finally resolved this chapter as Zeke partially emerges from the spine of Eren’s Titan and calls out to Levi, allowing himself to be beheaded to stop the Rumbling.
This is a pivotal scene for both characters, seemingly bringing and end to not only Zeke’s arc but Levi’s as well.
As Zeke sits atop the spine, waiting for his innevitable death, he realizes that the day is nice, finally appreciating the little things, like Armin suggested.
Similarly, he also has a resolution with Ksaver and Grisha, connecting with his mentor over their time spent playing and thanking his father for him being born so he could do that, admitting that there may be some good things about a potential rebirth.
With Zeke’s character arc completed, and him thinking that he couldn’t realize the good parts of his life until it was too late is probably deserved because of how many he killed, Levi decapitates him but looks far from pleased, more shocked and unsure about where he goes from here.
Zeke’s death was clearly not something Levi savoured as he said he would back when he threatened to kill him in Chapter 105.
I think Levi’s next path in life will be to survive and keep the memories of his comrades alive.
You know who I don’t think is going to make it, though?
In one of my predictions posts, I said that I thought he would actually make it but now I’m not so sure.
This uncertainty comes from Jean blowing up the explosives wrapped around Eren’s next with a cry of “suicidal blockhead”, which also brings an end to his character arc because he finally doesn’t hesitate when he has to pull the trigger.
The reason this scene makes me scared for Reiner is that, after Eren’s Titan is decapitated by the explosives, the hallucigenia bursts forth and attempts to reconenct with Eren’s head, only to be tackled and held back by Reiner.
The panel of Reiner preventing the hallucigenia from reaching Eren’s head looks suspiciously similar to the Helos statue Willy and Magath looked at in the Marley Arc of the imaginary hero slaying the Devil of All Earth.
Something tells me that Reiner will be known as the next Helos after this, whether he lives to see that he has become known as a hero or not.
Another character whose fate is up in the air is Eren himself because, following a brilliant panel that looks almost biblical, where Armin is held up and protected by Bertholdt, Grisha, Kruger and Ksaver’s Titans, Armin finally transforms into his Colossal Titan with a goodbye to Eren.
This brings an end to Chapter 137 and, with that, the Yeagerist part of the fandom explode at Eren’s defeat.
Is Eren really dead, though?
Of course not.
We haven’t seen Eren’s perspective for the entirety of the final battle and there’s no way that Isayama would kill his main character off screen.
Eren’s intentions and how they tie in with Ymir’s will most likely be the big twist of the story and Isayama is probably saving that for the next or very last chapter.
So, overall, I enjoyed Chapter 137 of Attack on Titan.
It does have some issues but, all in all, it’s pretty good.
The part of the fandom that is already declaring the ending bad, even though we haven’t got it yet, are definitley overreacting.
It’s okay to be concerned about the direction the ending is heading.
I’ll admit, I’m a little concerned too because of how easily the Alliance seemed to win this but, keep in mind, we still have two chapters left in which a lot could happen.
So, let’s all wait for the ending and make our decisions about it once we finish it.