Coming into the final season of Attack on Titan, I wondered if Mappa would cut or rearrange certain scenes from the Manga, like Wit did with the Uprising Arc, in order to make the story flow better.
Well, this question has been confirmed with the season’s second episode, “Midnight Train”, which adapts Chapters 93 and some of 94 and 95, skipping over Reiner’s flashback, leaving that for next week.
Whether this rearranging of scenes will be problematic or not remains to be seen with future episodes but, so far, it appears to be working well if “Midnight Train” is any indication.
Directed by Daisuke Tokudo, the episode starts off by adapting Chapter 93, although having various cuts throughout.
Beginning with the meeting between the Marleyan generals, the first scene highlights once again how Marley is falling behind other countries technologically because of their reliance on Titans in warfare.
This leads to Zeke suggesting they attempt to retake the Founding Titan to buy Marley time to catch up, saying that he will do so because he should be the one to bring an end to the plans of Grisha Jeager, as his former son.
While also revealing that Zeke has one year left in his term, this scene also unfortunately highlighted my main criticism with the episode, it’s animation.
While certainly not bad, it did have a few questionable moments, like with Zeke in this scene where his face looks oddly emotionless, with only his mouth being animated to move.
This odd animation continued in the following scene when Zeke and Colt are walking up some stairs and when Udo starts talking about the threats Eldians face.
Apparently, these two moments were made using rotoscoping, which is an animation technique.
It is used during other scenes in the episode and those all look great.
However, these two scenes with Colt and Zeke, and Udo look a little janky compared to the rest of “Midnight Train’s” animation and they pulled me out of the story for a brief moment.
Still, these are only small instances and the technique usually looks good.
Besides, the Colt and Zeke, and Udo scenes are both well done in their own right, providing great humor with Zeke’s ass wiping technique gag, and also tragically revealing the full extent of Reiner’s PTSD when he imagines Gabi, Falco, Udo and Zofia as Bertholdt, Annie, Marvel and Porco from his training days.
Speaking of Porco (Toshiki Masuda), we finally got to meet him and Pieck (Manami Numakura) this episode.
Both of their voice actors do great jobs as the characters, with Pieck being the Cart Titan and one of my favourite new characters introduced during the Marley Arc, and Porco being Marcel’s brother and the new Jaw Titan, meaning he ate Freckled Ymir to get her power.
That’s right, Freckled Ymir still dies off screen.
It’s disappointing that we still don’t have a death scene for her but it’s not like I expected anything better for her character at this point anyway.
Following these scenes, we get the titular train the episode title is referencing as we see the Eldian Warriors on one, returning to their home internment zone of Liberio, resulting in the humorous scene of Colt lifting up Gabi so everyone, including Gabi herself, can cheer for her.
Yet, there also comes a serious scene here, as Falco criticizes Reiner for apparently allowing his cousin to inherit his Armoured Titan, thus shortening her life span.
Reiner uses this moment to test Falco, resulting in two interesting reveals.
One, being that Falco’s last name is actually Grice, the same name of the man who was with Grisha in the Eldia Restorationists.
And two, that Reiner wants Falco to surpass Gabi and inherit his Armoured Titan so he can protect her from the dark future they face.
With this, the adaption of Chapter 93 comes to an end and we get a merged adaptation of parts from Chapters 94 and 95.
Starting with the Warriors reaching Liberio, we get some interesting new scenes of Porco and Pieck interacting with Gabi and Falco, acting as older siblings looking out for them.
I really liked this addition because it helps make their characters more sympathetic, also helped by all of the shots of all the Warriors reuniting with their families.
We have Zeke greeting his grandparents, Gabi hugging her parents, Reiner awkwardly reuniting with his mother, and an anime original scene of Pieck’s father coughing as he welcomes her, which introduces his illness a lot earlier than the manga does, which is a pretty cool addition.
Along with this heat warming scene, however, we also get a reminder of how war is constantly on the horizon, as the Marleyan, Koslow, scares a bunch of traumatized Eldian soldiers suffering from PTSD.
This also allows us to see Falco’s good side because he is kind enough to help one of these soldiers, whose armband has been placed on the wrong arm.
The next scene proves as a great contrast to the horrors of war because, while the traumatized soldiers screamed and fall when Koslow yells “Boom!” at them, Gabi yells “Boom!” with glee to her family, showing the extent of her indoctrination in Marleyan propaganda.
This indoctrination is shown further by Reiner having to act like the Eldians on Paradis Island are devils, comedically turning something as innocent as Sasha eating a potato into something monstrous.
On an unfortunate note, many anime only viewers seem to have misinterpreted this scene as Reiner trying to fool himself into believing this, when he is actually trying to subtly tell his family that those on Paradis are no different from them.
This may have been lost in translation because of the removal of Reiner smiling under his hand, so I wish they had kept that.
One great addition is the a brief moment that comes after this scene, as one of the traumatized soldiers is shown killing themselves, again showing the harm the Marleyans are doing by forcing the Eldians to fight their battles for them.
I love how Mappa is adding all of these scenes to show the horrors of war.
From here, the episode goes into adapting parts of Chapter 95, with the meeting between Zeke and the other Warriors, as Zeke explains their plan to take the Founding Titan with help from the Tyber family, the holders of the Warhammer Titan.
Here, we get another indication that Reiner is now fully aware of the Marleyan propaganda and indoctrination, as he realizes Zeke is hinting that the room is bugged and saves Porco, who is voicing his dissent, from endangering himself by interupting him.
With this moment, the episode ends as Reiner wonders if he really has to go back to Paradis, setting up the next episode to adapt all of his flashbacks, which is kind of worrying.
I have heard leaks about the pacing of this next episode and it makes me scared the writers could cut a lot of pivotal moments for Reiner’s character.
Fingers crossed they can do these chapters justice with just a single episode.
Back to the episode itself, “Midnight Train” is a solid adaptation that is brought down slightly by its occasionally janky animation and cut content.
Still a good episode though and I hope everything turns out alight for the next one.
The final battle of Attack on Titan has begun, at last, in the most recent installment, Chapter 135, “Battle of Heaven and Earth”, and, boy, is it a hectic one.
If you thought the Alliance had a low chance of stopping Eren and Ymir before, well, now their odds went down from 100 to one to 1000 to one.
I was genuine surprised that no one ended up dying in this chapter because of how much danger all of those in the Alliance were in.
However, given the positions some of the characters are left in by the end of the chapter, I doubt that many of these characters will be living long in this final battle.
Before I talk about the beginning of this battle though, I have to talk about the intriguing opening page of the chapter, which confirms that Ymir really was the one who freed the pigs, which led to her becoming the first Titan.
In Chapter 122, it was left ambiguous as to whether Ymir really did set the pigs free or if she was framed for it, however, with the confirmation that it was her, this now creates some interesting implications for both Ymir and the Attack Titan.
In the panel after Ymir opens the pigpen we clearly see her eyes, which also have not been seen since Chapter 122.
Characters eyes being unshaded in Ymir’s backstory shows they are not free and the only time Ymir’s eyes have been seen is when she made her first free decision in 2,000 years, by choosing to follow Eren over Zeke.
Now, we see her eyes for the second time here, implying that freeing the pigs was the first free thing she ever did but also the very thing that cost her that freedom.
This could imply that Ymir is longing for freedom and that longing manifested itself in the Attack Titan, which Eren now has.
Ymir’s desire to be free now seems to hinge on the world being destroyed because, as the chapter cuts to the present, she does everything in her power to prevent the Alliance from stopping Eren.
The shot of her standing on the bones of Eren’s gigantic Titan form, looking over the Alliance, sent chills down my spine but it is what she does next that is most shocking.
After realizing that the Beast Titan from the previous chapter is nothing but a husk, and that Eren and Zeke are most likely elsewhere, Armin decides he has to use the Colossal Titan’s nuke attack to try and ascertain their locations.
Before this long-awaited transformation can happen though, a strange looking Titan emerges from the smoke, grabs Armin with its tongue and stuffs it in his mouth, as if Attack on Titan just turned into some freaky kind of hentai.
In all seriousness, the Titan doing this to poor Armin is most likely to stop him from biting his tongue and transforming.
Doesn’t make it any less gross though.
You really have to feel sorry for Armin.
I mean, first he gets molested in the Uprising Arc by that creepy guy, who thought he was Historia, and now this.
However, this one hentai-like Titan is not alone because it has a bunch of creepy and awesome looking friends as well.
There’s a crocodile Titan, a deer Titan, a minotaur Titan, a Titan that looks like the Thing from The Fantastic Four.
Pieck surmises that all of these Titans are past Shifters who Ymir is now using to prevent them from stopping the Rumbling.
While this is certainly a cool turn of events, with plenty of great new Titan designs delivered by Isayama, and it does give the Alliance an enemy force to fight, personally, this twist kind of felt out of nowhere.
I still like it; I just think it could have used a little bit more build up before it happened.
On the plus side, it gave us many fantastic moments like the return of dead Shifters.
Pretty much the only previous Titan Shifter we didn’t see was Freckled Ymir but, hopefully, we’ll see her being used later.
While Freckled Ymir’s Titan is missing, we do see the Titan forms of Porco and Marcel, but by far the most interesting usage of these old Shifters come with the Tyber lady’s Warhammer Titan and Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan.
The Warhammer Titan makes its reappearance when Pieck separates from the Alliance, going to destroy Eren’s nape, since she is not Eren’s friend and she believes this makes her the only one among them who has the strength to take him out.
However, her strength is not equal to Ymir who materializes the Warhammer Titan to stab her with a trident.
Pieck is alive, at least for now, but she dropped the detonator, and that is certainly going to play a role in the upcoming chapters.
Whatever happens with those, I am now extremely concerned about Pieck’s safety.
Armin’s safety, however, is something I am not too concerned about because I am sure he can find a way to make it out of the situation he is in.
It is with him that we get to see Bertholdt’s return, as he materializes in front of a barely conscious Armin, his eyes shaded just like Ymir’s as he cries.
Just as this is happening, Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan also appears above Reiner and quickly destroys his Titan.
Thanks to Jean’s quick thinking, Reiner is saved but his Armoured Titan is thrown at the Alliance, dealing them a heavy blow.
What follows is a scene of Mikasa metaphorically carrying the whole Alliance on her back, as she has to save them from Titans constantly, proving how she is the new strongest human character since Levi’s injury.
Speaking of Levi, he is in even more danger of dying because, not only does he seem to break his leg again when saving Connie, but he also coughs up blood, suggesting he is bleeding internally.
Connie is also injured with a nasty cut to his head, and both Jean and Reiner have broken their ODM Gear.
At least we got more character development for Jean, as he holds Reiner by the hand, preventing him from falling to certain death, showing his growth from Chapter 127 where he beat Reiner to a bloody pulp.
As the Alliance prepares for certain death, being completely surrounded by Ymir’s resurrected Titans, Mikasa calls out to the Titans to attack her because she is the strongest and can take them on, calling back to her speech in the Trost Arc after Eren’s supposed death.
However, before she can make her last stand, why, what is that?
Is it a bird?
No, it’s Falco’s flying Titan, with Annie and Gabi on board to save the day!
While a predictable turn of events, it was still an incredibly hype one that makes me intrigued to see how Falco’s Titan will turn be used.
Maybe Ymir could make other flying Titans to pursue them?
In any case, with Annie back in the final battle, and looking committed to fight based on the cliffhanger being her saying that she’s glad she came, it seems that her main goal in the next chapter will be to rescue Armin from the clutches of Ymir.
Armin does know about Ymir now so the Alliance will have to deal with her somehow if they hope to win, since she is all powerful.
There’s also Annie’s father, who is atop Fort Salta, so the buildup to Annie reuniting with him is bound to pay off soon, most likely tragically.
On the subject of Annie’s father though, he and the other Eldians have rescued Onyankopon, who is, thankfully, alive but with a head wound.
If the Alliance can stop the Rumbling he may survive the story, which is good, since I think he’s an underrated character.
Other characters now likely to survive are Kiyomi and Yelena because they weren’t atop Falco’s flying Titan so they probably stayed on Kiyomi’s ship and out of harm’s way.
Almost everyone else is the Alliance, however, has a guillotine placed over their head and only time will tell which one of them Isayama decides to cry at, “off with with your head!”
All in all, Chapter 135 of Attack on Titan, “Battle of Heaven and Earth” is a great start to the final battle of the manga.
We have probably have four chapters left, at the most, so buckle up and prepare for whatever ending Isayama has in store for us.
WARNING: MAY CONTAIN MANGA SPOILERS.
It’s finally here!
After over a year of waiting, Mappa has delivered the first episode of Attack on Titan’s final season, “The Other Side of the Sea,” and, boy, is it a good one.
Honestly, coming into this episode, I had concerns.
There has been a number of leaks about production hell at Mappa with how complex the character designs are so I was worried the animation would suffer.
However, Mappa and directors Yūichirō Hayashi and Jun Shishido thankfully pulled it off, delivering a fantastic first episode that gave me a new appreciation for Chapters 91 and 92 of the manga, which the episode adapts.
Directed by Kaori Makita, “The Other Side of the Ocean” picks up four years after the defeat of the Warriors on Paradis, introducing us to a whole slew of new characters, starting with Falco (Hanae Natsuki), an Eldian warrior candidate caught in the middle of the final battle of a war.
The opening scene introducing him and his brother Colt (Masaya Matsukaze) is fantastic, with the ringing of Falco’s ears, the intense music, and the brutal imagery of the brothers’ fellow soldiers being cut down in a hail of bullets.
The war the two are involved in is Marley’s attempt to defeat the Mid-East Allied Forces by destroing their forces at Fort Salta; the Mid-East Allied Forces being a series of countries who banded together to attack Marley after they were defeated at Paradis four years ago.
This information is delivered to us in admittedly shoddy exposition, with the convenient excuse of Falco losing his memory due to a probable concussion.
Thankfully, it is a brief scene so it is not too much of a problem.
Also, this does give the episode time to introduce its other new characters, Gabi (Ayane Sakura), Udo (Ayumu Murase), Zofia (Yumi Kawashima), and Commander Magath (possibly Yukitoshi Hori), all of whom are greatly adapted from the manga.
Gabi is especially well done, with Ayane Sakura bringing the character to life perfectly because I already can’t imagine another voice actress playing her and I’m probably going to hear her voice whenever I read Gabi’s lines in the story.
Following these introductions, Gabi reveals she, Falco, Udo and Zofia are being considered by Magath for the role of the next Armoured Titan.
It is after this that we get the Final Season OP, “My War” by Shinsei Kamattechan.
Honestly, on my first listen, I was kind of unsure about it but, after repeat views, I think it’s a great opening for the Marley Arc, with amazing lyrics, and some chilling visuals towards the end.
I suppose my biggest criticism of it would be that it does occasionally use repeated shots of explosions and I think there should have been some variety.
Once the OP closes, we get the the beginning of the epic battle, with Gabi coming up with a plan to take down the Armoured Train, which is a threat to even the nine Titans, all by herself.
This plan goes off without a hitch, with Gabi destroying the Armoured Train before Falco dives in to protect her from machine gun fire.
He needn’t have tried though because the new Jaw Titan, Galliard, who has one of my favourite Titan designs, shows up to save them.
We also get a look at the Cart Titan, which has had its own upgrades in the four-year time skip, with machine guns mounted on its back to shoot at oncoming soldiers.
It is during this time that Falco saves an enemy soldier, only for him to call the Warrior candidates “devils,” showing how strong the hatred for Eldians is outside Paradis, even from their own people, as Gabi so obviously displays by how brainwashed she is into hating the Paradisian Eldians.
Then, we get the most epic moment of the episode as, in a perfect adaption, Eldians are parachuted down from an airship carrying Reiner (Yoshimasa Hosoya) and Zeke (Takehito Koyasu).
The latter lets out a vicious roar, turning all of the falling Eldians into Titans, who crash down onto Fort Slava to a great soundtrack, which we saw a hint of in the final season trailer.
Reiner jumping down and wiping out the Mid-East Allied Forces’ soldiers with the help of Galliard, then protecting Zeke from a navy bombardment, followed by Zeke destroying that navy, were all moments that left my jaw on the floor, in terms of their quality.
One slight criticism I do have about sequence is the CGI.
Basically, almost all of the Titans in this episode are CGI and, while this looks great on some Titans like Galliard and Reiner, it looks a little off for the Beast Titan in certain shots.
However, this CGI is certainly nowhere as bad as WIT’s CGI Colossal Titan and it did not lessen my enjoyment of the events so, even if the quality of the Titans remains the same throughout the rest of the anime, I will be completely fine with that.
Following the end of the battle, we get the ED, “Shock” by Yuko Ando, which is another banger and has plenty of cool symbolism for upcoming events.
An intriguing anime only scene accompanies this song, which appears to show Jean having infiltrated Marley, hyping up a future battle that I hope is done justice with the adaptation.
This was not the only anime only scene in this episode though because there were multiple ones and, in my opinion, almost all of them improved the adaptation.
There were the anime original portrayals of the horrors of war, like traumatized Eldian soldiers, including one kissing a locket supposedly containing a photo of his loved ones, a squad of what appeared to be forced suicide bombers, and a single soldier climbing atop countless corpses.
Then there’s the added set pieces, like when Reiner has to destroy a second Armoured Train, which he then used to destroy the enemy canons, when in the manga there was no second train and Reiner used a radio tower to destroy the canons.
Another interesting change is the character redesign for Koslow.
In the manga, he looks like a normal guy but they adapted the design in the adaptation, making him pudgy and ugly, probably to make him seem like an evil caricature.
Thankfully, Koslow is a minor character with no importance in the plot so this character design change is not one I particularly mind.
What is definitely the most interesting deviation from the manga, though, is Falco, while concussed, saying that he dreamed he was flying around with a sword, fighting Titans.
This is quite a shocking change because it seems to be heavily implying that Falco is seeing the memories of one of the Scouts, most likely Eren’s.
If this is true, then this anime only scene may be crucial to predicting the manga’s ending, which I will discuss in my predictions for Chapter 136.
Overall, “The Other Side of the Sea” is a fantastic start to the final season that I actually think surpassed the manga, with its great adaptation of the source material and brilliant anime original scenes.
I was a bit worried about the adaptation going in but Mappa definitely proved themselves here and I hope they can keep up the quality in the 16 episodes to come.
Yes, I did say 16, because that seems to be how many episodes we will get, based off leaks, at least for now.
Since this is nowhere enough chapters to fully adapt the story without it being rushed and thus poorly adapted, this would spell certain doom for the final season were it not leaked that the pacing of this season will be around two chapters an episode.
Given this, the pacing will most likely be fine and we will probably get a second part of the season months from now, or maybe a movie or two to finish the adaptation.
No matter what happens though, I hope Mappa can keep up to the standard they have set with this episode and deliver a fitting final season to my favourite story of all time.
After Chapter 291 of My Hero Academia, I thought that the central focus would be on Best Jeanist’s return going forward.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, but another character looks set to take that spotlight away with one triumphant cry, “POWER!”
Before we get to that epic cliffhanger though, Chapter 292, “Threads of Hope” gives us more great action scenes with Best Jeanist coming in to trap Gigantomachia and the League, and the beginning of a battle between Shouto and his not-so-dear brother, Dabi.
Starting with Best Jeanist, the chapter opens with him being disgusted by Dabi airing the “dirty laundry” of his father’s abuse to destroy hero society.
I saw a lot of people taking this moment out of context, saying that Beast Jeanist didn’t have a problem with Endeavor abusing his family, when that’s not at all what he was saying.
What Best Jeanist actually means here is that he is disgusted with Dabi using that information for a specific goal in undermining a system he sees as protecting people and timing it to release when hundreds, if not thousands, of people are dead.
Best Jeanist vows to stop Dabi’s plan and he begins by trapping Gigantomachia, to Bakugo’s joy.
However, Jeanist’s threads are not quite strong enough to survive Dabi’s flames because he easily melts them and sends a blast towards Nejire, knocking her to the ground.
Looks like her screentime is getting cut again, which is a shame.
What follows is a battle between the two long lost brothers as Dabi tries his hardest to kill Shouto.
The panels of Dabi’s maniacal grin with scorch marks beginning to line his face are particularly disturbing, made all the worse by him not caring about how Natsuo was nearly killed by Ending, who he sent after Endeavor.
Dabi saying it was a shame Natsuo wasn’t killed because that would’ve made Endeavor suffer basically proves that he is a full on psychopath, with no sympathy for anyone, which he again confirms by saying he’s, “not big on “feelings” anymore.”
Following this tragic moment, we get an epic one with the chapter’s cliffhanger.
As Deku notices a group of Nomu heading for Beast Jeanist, who is struggling to contain Gigantomachia and still not back to full strength after his injury, however, Deku is too injured to back him up.
Just as all seems lost, and Deku begs himself not to go back to being the useless Deku who couldn’t save anyone, a familiar face permeates up from the ground.
With the battle cry of, “POWER!”, Miro Togata, AKA Lemillion, rises to attack the Nomu, and the fans all collectively lose their minds.
This was an incredibly epic moment and well built up in the chapter, with Mirio apparently saving Burnin from the Nomu earlier.
However, I do have a bit of an issue with it because I don’t think it was built up all that well outside of the chapter.
Sure, we saw Eri training her powers in the previous arc, but there wasn’t really much this arc to suggest Miro would be getting his powers back.
Also, while I do love Eri as a character, to the point that I included her in my Top 10 My Hero Academia Characters list, I do hope that her power doesn’t just go around undoing all of the other character’s injuries.
For example, her just magically returning Aizawa’s leg or repairing the hole in Gran Torino’s stomach.
That said, I do trust Horikoshi not to make Eri an automatic fix it button, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Overall, “Threads of Fate” is another great My Hero Academia, in an absolutely fantastic arc that has proven to be quite unpredictable.
You never know what twist Kohei Horikoshi might drop next.
I really enjoyed Insomniac’s 2018 Spider-Man game, which offered some fantastic gameplay, along with a compelling, emotional story and a brand new take on Peter Parker (Yuri Lowenthal).
So, I was pretty excited to get into the next installment, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which sees players take control of Peter’s up and coming protégé, Miles (Nadji Jeter), as he has to save the city on his own when Peter goes on vacation, in what is a shorter experience than the first game but still an enjoyable one.
Now, I really enjoyed Miles as a character in my favourite movie of 2018, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, so I was interested to see how Insomniac would depict him there.
Thankfully, Miles is just as relatable as Peter was in the previous game, offering a completely different arc from his, as Miles has to prove himself as worthy of the Spider-Man title to the rest of New York.
Not that his efforts will impress J. Jonah Jameson (Darin de Paul), whose hilarious podcasts can still be listened to throughout.
As for the actual story, it is a good time, although nothing new.
The main antagonist of the Tinkerer (Jasmin Savoy Brown) is interesting and has understandable motivations and a great ending to boot.
However, the second antagonist, Simon Krieger (Troy Baker), is a very different story, being generic as they come.
The gameplay is just as fun as it was in the first Spider-Man game, with enjoyable combat and stealth sequences and some great boss fights.
As for the web swinging mechanics, they are complemented by the improved graphics.
Speaking of graphics, unfortunately, this is where I have to get into my one problem with the graphics update, which is the new face model for Peter Parker.
I thought the one in the original game was perfect because of how it accurately reflected not only an older version of Peter but also one who we had never seen before.
The new face model, however, claims neither title.
It makes Peter look way too old and, even worse, look exactly like Tom Holland.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Tom Holland.
I do like his portrayal of Spider-Man, but this redesign takes the unique approach to Peter’s look in the first game and replaces it with what feels like an attempt to pander to fans of the MCU.
It’s like if they went back to the older Spider-Man films and digitally replaced Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield with Tom Holland, it just wouldn’t work because all three actors made the character their own and neither one could take over their exact interpretation.
Thankfully, though, Peter’s new face isn’t shown much and, even if it was, it wouldn’t be bad enough to take away from the overall experience too much because of how enjoyable the rest of the game is.
Overall, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a fun experience that gets you acquainted with another great interpretation of Miles and sets up some interesting events in the next game, if the post credits scene is anything to go by.
With Chapter 134, the final battle of the Attack on Titan manga has begun and it looks like we only have one more volume left before the end of this epic story.
This means we most likely have four or, if Hajime Isayama wants to do a longer volume since it’s the last one, five chapters left.
Now that the story is so close to the conclusion, it means we are getting into predictions that will tie into the ending, so I am excited to lay out how I think Isayama will want to finish the tale he has been weaving for over ten years.
I will start with a prediction that I promised to expand on in my review of “In the Depths of Despair.”
What’s up With Historia Giving Birth Now?
At the beginning of Chapter 134, Historia is shown to be giving birth.
However, this is rather strange since, in Chapter 113, Levi said it was a few months before the baby was due.
Canonically, it has been five days since Levi said this and yet the baby is being born now?
Personally, I don’t think this is a mistake since Isayama rarely makes them.
But, if Levi saying Historia was a few months from giving birth, only for her to be giving birth now, is a purposeful clue left by Isayama then what is this pointing to?
Well, I think there’s two possibilities, the first of which is that it is a premature birth.
This could align with the setup of what the Military Police said of the dangers of Historia giving birth in Chapter 108.
However, what I think kills this possibility is the fate of the child.
In Attack on Titan, the world is around 100 years behind us technologically so, if the baby were to be born two months prematurely, then this would not only kill Historia but the child as well because medical care is not far enough along to save its life.
The reason I think that this eliminates the possibility of the birth being premature is that children are a very important theme in Attack on Titan, especially in this final arc.
From Mr Blouse’s speech about getting children out of the forest, to Onyankopon proclaiming that children are the future, to all the panels and references to children in the most recent chapter, it is abundantly clear that children, especially newborns, will be important to the manga’s ending.
Heck, the teased final panel is of a man holding a baby and telling it that it is free, and this baby is most likely Historia’s so it definitely isn’t dying.
So, if the birth isn’t premature, then why did Levi say it was a few months away from being born earlier?
Well, because that’s what he and everyone else was told.
Historia lied about the timing of the conception.
To hide the true identity of the father, Eren Jaeger.
Yes, I know, the debate over whether Eren or the farmer is the father of Historia’s child has been beaten to death at this point.
That said, the baby is clearly so important to the ending with the numerous references to children that I just mentioned, and the implications of Historia possibly lying about when the child was conceived are there, so I just can’t help but speculate about it.
Basically, this theory is that Eren got Historia pregnant some time after their meeting in Chapter 130.
Historia then met with the farmer and convinced him to act like the father of her child.
Some months later, after Eren had left for Marley, she announced her pregnancy, with the farmer acting as the father, to eliminate Eren as a possibility for the father in the MP’s minds because they would not have accepted this once Eren went rogue and likely used the child against him.
Along with the implications of this possible lie, there is also the implications of the child being born right as the final battle is starting.
I can’t help but remember what Eren said in Chapter 88, “if someone who holds the power of one of the nine Titans dies without anyone inheriting that power then the power of that Titan is suddenly inherited by a baby belonging to the Subjects of Ymir.”
With the final battle now ongoing, it is likely we could get some Titan Shifter deaths.
This could mean that if a Shifter, say Pieck, dies right at the point Historia gives birth, then her child will gain the power.
Not only this, but the quote could also be suggesting the popular theory that Historia’s child will be the reincarnation of Ymir Fritz.
I do think that Eren is going to eliminate Titan powers all together after the final battle and this may mean destroying the Paths Dimension, which could end up freeing Ymir Fritz, causing her to reincarnate.
This reincarnation would then occur in the Subject of Ymir that was just being born, Historia’s child, which Historia would then fittingly name Ymir, after Freckled Ymir who saved her from killing herself and put her on the path of living for herself.
Whether any of this happens or not though, it is clear to me that Historia’s child will be incredibly important to the ending of Attack on Titan, whether this is purely for symbolic reasons or, hopefully, the story based reasons that I have outlined in this prediction.
Where Really is Zeke and What is his Role?
Zeke disappeared all the way back in Chapter 122 and he has been absent from the current story ever since.
We might have seen him in the most recent chapter, as Eren used Zeke’s Beast Titan to destroy the airships sent to bomb him and the Rumbling.
Zeke is now the target of the Alliance because they believe killing him could cut Eren’s connection to the Founding Titan and stop the Rumbling once and for all.
However, there is one pretty big hiccup in the Alliance’s plan, which is that we actually don’t know if Zeke is inside this Beast Titan.
Eren could have moved him anywhere inside his gigantic Titan form, using the power of the Warhammer Titan.
The next chapter could open with Levi cutting Zeke’s nape, only for the Alliance to realize he isn’t inside, throwing the Alliance’s entire plan into chaos.
Most likely, finding Zeke’s whereabouts will be a big focus after this, with him being anywhere in or around Eren’s Titan.
However, it is Zeke’s role in the final battle that I am more interested in.
We’ve known since Chapter 121 that his goal is now to stop Eren as Grisha begged him to, so his motivations now align with the Alliance’s.
I can actually see Levi temporarily putting aside his desire to kill Zeke to work with him so they can stop Eren and save the world.
How hype of a cliffhanger would it be for it to seem like all is lost when Levi and Zeke charge in, working together, despite their differences?
At least, this is what I hope to see in Zeke’s future.
For all we know, he died and Eren absorbed his power in Chapter 122.
Isayama killed Freckled Ymir off screen so he’s not above this.
Hopefully, this doesn’t happen because Zeke’s one of my favourite characters and I don’t want to see him go out as badly written as Freckled Ymir did.
Possible Peace Ending?
One of the highlights in “The Depths of Despair” is the unnamed Marleyan general admitting to his and his country’s wrongs in persecuting and hating the Eldians, and vowing to never make that mistake again, should they survive.
This moment could be seen as possible foreshadowing of a peaceful ending with the survivors of Eren’s genocide deciding to end generations of hatred and make peace with Paradis to stop another worldwide massacre, like the Rumbling, from happening ever again.
Kiyomi and Hizuru could help in this endeavor, as well.
Now, given that it has been stated time and time again that stopping the Rumbling will cause the world to destroy Paradis, many could see this potential ending as a copout.
However, there are some factors that could make it more believable, like the Helos theory, which will see one of the Eldians who defeat Eren, or maybe take credit for it, like Reiner for example, become a hero in the eyes of the world, preventing the destruction of Paradis.
Another important thing to take note of is that the general who says he wants to devote himself to peace is just one person and obviously not reflective of the entire world.
Therefore, I believe that, even if we get the peace ending, there will still be a significant amount of tension among the Eldians and the rest of the world, which could end the story on a bittersweet note.
However, there is another way this story could end other than peaceful, and that is with the full destruction of the world with Eren’s Rumbling succeeding.
Is Eren Actually On Paradis?
One theory that I have seen thrown around is that because Eren has activated the Founding Titan, his War Hammer Titan abilities have increased tenfold.
If this is the case then he could be apart from his massive Titan form from even larger distances, say, all the way back at Paradis, for example.
I can see it now; the Alliance think they have Eren defeated and they rush in for the final blow… only to discover that Eren is not there and all the way back on Paradis controlling his Titan.
The Alliance is too far away to stop him now and Eren destroys the entire world, leaving only those on Paradis alive.
However, there are some holes in this theory, like the build up Mikasa had with her bloodline in Hizuru.
What would be the point of that if the world is destroyed?
Still, this does not completely rule out this dark ending happening.
Personally though, I’m hoping for an ending that is more bittersweet, rather than completely dark or completely happy.
Final Death Predictions:
The final battle of Attack on Titan is obviously going to come with a lot of emotional, gut wrenching character deaths.
So, I’m now going to go through every important character left in the story and give a percentage to their chances of dying and my reasons for thinking so.
- Eren Jaeger = 50% – I think it could go either way for Eren at this point. He could be killed by someone in the Alliance, he could complete the Rumbling and have to live with the guilt, or he could get stuck in the Paths Dimension or deliberately stay there. I can see all of these possibilities fitting into his character arc and, given how amazing Isayama has made him since the Marley Arc, I have complete faith in the ending he will deliver for his main character.
- Mikasa Ackerman = 50% – Like Eren, Mikasa could go either way. Sure, there is a lot of build up with her connection to Hizuru, which has not payed off yet, but there are some distressing signs that point to Mikasa’s death. One such example can be seen in Chapter 126, where Louise says Eren told her to get rid of Mikasa’s scarf if she had the chance. This means Eren was most likely trying to prevent a future he saw for her. Whether this future was her dying, her killing him, or something else, I don’t know. If she does die though, I can see Armin never forgiving Eren.
- Armin Arlert = 30% – I find it unlikely that Armin will die in the final battle. For one thing, we know he’s the narrator of the story so him living through it all is pretty certain. Also, I cannot really imagine a scenario where Armin dies here. He just became the new Commander of the Survey Corps and, whatever ending happens, Armin’s gonna need to be there to help rebuild the world, whether that world is only Paradis after Eren destroyed the world, a united world following Eren’s defeat, or something else entirely.
- Levi Ackerman = 50% – Levi is yet another character I can see it going either way for. Despite being a fan favourite, his injuries do make him more likely to bite the bullet in this final battle.
However, he will not die before his rivalry with Zeke ends, either with him killing him or putting that aside to work with him in stopping Eren. One thing that points to Levi living is that him being humanities strongest soldier but everyone still dying around him is kind of his thing. This could suggest Levi being one of the last people standing and living on to honour his comrades’ memories, or finally being able to join them in death.
- Jean Kirstein = 50% – Another character whose chances are 50/50 when it comes to living or dying, Jean is a character with death flags but I can also see Isayama allowing him to live. Him dying could tie into his arc of putting aside his own selfish desires for the good of humanity, which is supported by him seeing his dead comrades, just like Hange and Erwin did before they died. Yet, you never know with Isayama. He could find a way to have Jean survive and make it fit into his arc. We’ll just have to wait and see.
- Connie Springer = 60% – I debated on what chance of dying to give Connie and, in the end, I settled on 60% because he’s just not a character who’s too important to the plot. Him living or dying wouldn’t really affect it that much, other than his death motivating the other characters.
Then there’s his mother, who is still a Titan. If he lives, then he might just be able to live with her if she gets turned back into a human. If he dies, then Armin can tragically tell his mother that he died protecting people like he wanted. One thing I am expecting is a confrontation with Zeke because he was the one with Titanized his whole family and Connie did say he wanted to fight him in the Uprising Arc.
- Reiner Braun = 30% – Oh, poor Reiner. The one character who wants to die and is never able to. I honestly expected Reiner to die giving his Titan power to Falco but, after that role fell to Porco, I just couldn’t see him dying anymore and I still can’t. I honestly think Reiner has a great shot at making it out of this story alive and living with all of the bad things he has done as the new Helos, hero of the world, although an unwilling one at that. Whether that last part actually happens or not though, it will be interesting to see what role Isayama has for Reiner in the ending.
- Zeke Jaeger = 80% – Zeke is the character that I believe has the biggest chance of dying in the final battle. Taking him out is currently the Alliance’s number one priority, and both Levi and Connie have personal grudges against him. However, like I said, I can see Zeke siding with Levi to try and stop Eren. But, even if this happens, I find it difficult to imagine an ending where Zeke makes it out alive. Whatever way he does end up going out, if he dies at all, his rivalry with Levi will almost certainly be resolved.
- Annie Leonhart = 60% – When Annie left the Alliance, I was disappointed because I wanted her to be there for the final battle. Well, now that she is set to arrive on Falco’s flying Titan, I am scared for her safety. That final glance she shares with Armin in Chapter 132 just screams tragic ending for me and, since I don’t see Armin dying, this raises Annie’s chances of dying significantly. Maybe she will die with her father, or he’ll see her alive before he goes out. If Annie does die fighting Eren though then, just like with Mikasa, Armin will probably never forgive him.
- Pieck Finger = 60% – Pieck is a strange character to speculate about when it comes to whether she will live or die because she is a pretty stagnant character. There is nothing wrong with having a character like this, and I really do like Pieck, but it makes predicting how she could die pretty hard. The only member of the Alliance who she has any emotional connection to is Gabi so I don’t see her dying until she shows up. Then there is Yelena, which Pieck has kind of a rivalry with, so her story could end with hers if Yelena ends up coming to the final battle. Pieck’s a hard character to guess but I’m going 60% since she isn’t really all that pivotal to the plot.
- Gabi Braun = 30% – Like Armin and Reiner, I honestly don’t see Gabi dying. With Isayama’s focus on children being the future and her having moved past her hatred, I think she will survive the final battle and help educate her fellow Eldians in Marley about the wrongs of the Warrior program. I will be pretty surprised if she ends up biting the bullet in the end.
- Falco Grice = 30% – Falco is another character who I think will survive the story, again because of Isayama’s focus on children thematically. With the plane having crashed and the Rumbling fast approaching the surviving Eldians from Liberio, I see Falco rescuing them all using his flying Jaw Titan. As for when he will show up, probably in the next couple of chapters at the most. Either way, I don’t see him dying.
- Historia Reiss = 50% – Historia has basically become the new Annie. She was an incredibly important character who has been sidelined for a very long time. I hope Isayama can give her something interesting to do, like he is now with Annie, before the end. Whether she will die or not is hard to say. If she does die, it will certainly be from child birth, as was foreshadowed by Nile laying out the dangers of pregnancy in Chapter 108. Personally though, I really don’t want Historia to die after how little screen time she has had. It would be like Freckled Ymir all over again and Historia deserves better than that. Historia will either die giving birth or live on with her child.
- Onyankopon = 60% – Onyankopon has served his purpose in the story, as the one who flew the Alliance to stop Eren. At the end of Chapter 134, he is trying to crash land the plane and his fate is up in the air. If he lands in the direction the Rumbling is moving, he will almost certainly be crushed. I hope this doesn’t happen though because Onyankopon is a cool side character who I think deserves to make it. However, his chances are less likely because he has served his purpose and is now in danger.
- Yelena = 50% – I thought about giving Yelena a high chance of dying but I don’t even know if she is going to be in the final battle or not. She looked pretty sick in Chapter 132 and I don’t if she would want to come. On the other hand, she did say that she wanted to see how this would all end in Chapter 128 and Falco, Annie and Gabi could use her to guide them to Fort Salta. If Yelena does end up going to the final battle I am pretty sure that she will die after getting her storylines with Zeke and Pieck resolved. However, if she stays behind then it is safe to say that she will live through the story.
- Kiyomi Azumabito = 40% – Kiyomi is a character who I am confused by because, aside from delivering the plane that the Alliance has used to reach Eren, she hasn’t really gone anywhere as a character, despite her connection to Mikasa. This makes me think her role isn’t over yet because she may have some role for Mikasa planned after the Rumbling ends, which would mean the likelihood of her dying is pretty low. Not as low as Armin, Reiner, Gabi and Falco but still pretty low since her storyline with Mikasa has yet to pay off.
So, those are my death predictions and we will surely be seeing a lot of death as Attack on Titan comes to its conclusion, most likely with the next volume.
I am incredibly excited, both for that and for the final season of the anime, which will air in a week.
Fingers crossed that Studio Mappa can adapt this final season excellently, which it deserves.
Chapter 290 of My Hero Academia is definitely my favourite chapter of the manga so far, which made me pretty excited to read the next one, 291, “Thanks for Going Strong.”
Dabi’s reveal as Touya Todoroki was heavily anticipated and it more than paid off in “Dabi’s Dance” and continued to pay off in “Thanks for Going Strong” where Dabi dropped even more bombshells on both the unassuming public and the readers.
Probably the biggest of these bombshells was that Dabi had filmed Hawks killing Twice and had Skeptic edit it in a way to make it look like murder.
Not only this but Dabi also exposes Hawks’ true identity, revealing that he is the son of a serial killer thief, which is why his identity was kept secret for so long.
The fact that Dabi managed to twist all of this to suit his own narrative in such a short amount of time shows how smart he can be.
This also raises the question of if he wanted Hawks to kill Twice so he could use this to paint him in a negative light, or if he just took advantage of Twice’s death.
Either way, Toga’s probably going to hate him for this and I see a lot of bad blood between them in the future.
Although, Dabi using Twice’s death like this pretty much confirms that he is a full on psychopath with not a care for anyone but himself and his own plans.
As for said plans, they unfolded almost perfectly, with even “Can’tcha See” Kid losing faith by the end of the chapter.
However, note that I said almost perfectly because there are a few glaring flaws that quickly became apparent in Dabi’s plan.
Definitely the least noticeable of these is Hawks’ recorder, which was seen when he tried to arrest Twice, before being forced to kill him.
This recorder could completely exonerate Hawks of wrongdoing if it came out.
However, by far the biggest flaw in Davi’s reveal plan is him saying that Hawks killed Best Jeanist, who is revealed to be alive at the end of the chapter.
Him jumping in to crash Dabi’s murderous family reunion was an epic moment that throws Dabi’s entire plan into questionable territory about where it could go.
Personally, while I am happy to see Best Jeanist alive and well, I do hope this and Hawks’ recorder do not completely destroy Dabi’s credibility in the public eye.
Dabi revealing himself to be Endeavor’s son and detailing his abuse of his family, along with framing Hawks for murder, throws all of hero society into chaos but if the majority of people doubt his story then it could all go back to just being the status quo.
There needs to be fallout from Dabi’s reveal and it would be disappointing if the public at large dismissed his story entirely.
I understand that Best Jeanist being alive will bring some hope to hero society but I’d like there to be some tension because of what Dabi has done.
All of that said, I do have faith in Kohei Horikoshi and believe he can make this satisfying, it’s just a slight concern that I have.
As for the rest of the chapter, it is great, beginning with more information about Touya’s “death.”
For starters, it turns out that Endeavor wasn’t an abusive father right from the get-go.
Sure, he wasn’t exactly a good father, pushing his own dreams on his children, especially Touya and Shouto, but it looks like he was actually encouraging of Touya at first, and probably only became abusive after Touya, Fuyumi and Natsuo all turned out to be failures in his eyes.
I wonder if we’ll see exactly what caused this change in Endeavor’s attitude?
We’ll probably get that information when we get Touya’s full backstory, although I don’t expect that to come for a number of chapters.
I will say though, that this more supportive side to Endeavor seen during the initial years of Touya’s childhood, plus Endeavor thinking about how he looked for Touya at the end, not believing him to be dead, does show him to be a more caring father than we first thought.
Maybe so caring that he’ll actually admit his abuse to the public, hopefully?
Another interesting thing to note is that Touya’s hair turned white most likely not from abuse but from Rei’s side of his quirk slowly becoming more prominent, making him less resistant to his own fire.
This would have led to his “death” on Sekoto Peak where, after a fire that reached over 2,000 degrees celsius, only a part of Touya’s lower jaw bone was found, which raises a whole bulk load of questions.
Is Dabi missing a part of his jaw and wearing a prosthetic?
If so, how did Dabi survive part of his jaw falling off?
Or, if the jawbone isn’t Dabi’s, then whose is it?
So many questions but not enough time in the chapter to answer them so we’ll have to wait.
At least we’ll most likely see more Todoroki interactions next chapter because Natsuo and Fuyumi have now head the news that their supposedly dead brother is not only alive but a mass murderer.
Shouto is already taking the news badly, which is expected, as he is shown crying as he urges Endeavor to protect Deku and Bakugo, right before Best Jeanist shows up.
Speaking of Bakugo and Best Jeanist though, now that the two are in the same place, and with Bakugo telling Iida they need to achieve victory in the last chapter, it looks exceedingly likely that Baukugo is going to have another moment to shine where he reveals his hero name to Best Jeanist.
As for his hero name, Kachan and Ground Zero are both possibilities that have been thrown around by the fandom.
Either way, this war arc is almost at its conclusion and I cannot wait to see the fallout from Dabi’s reveal, the potentially thousands of casualties, and Best Jeanist’s heroic return to duty.
As for how the war arc itself will end, my money’s on the drug Class 1-A gave Gigantomachia kicking in soon, giving Best Jeanist and the other heroes a chance to take him down.
I can also see Dabi being captured and taken to Tartarus where he will probably meet his inspiration, Stain.
No matter what happens though, I am excicted to see how my favourite arc so far in My Hero Academia will end.
I had a blast watching the two seasons of Noragami at my university anime club.
The story was funny, tragic, and had a great bunch of compelling characters.
So, knowing that there was no season three, I decided to go and read the manga to see how this story would continue.
If you didn’t read my review of the anime, the story, written by Adachitoka, follows Yato, a downtrodden god who inadvertently causes a teenaged girl, named Hiyori Iki, to be stuck between his world and the human world.
Along with his new Shinki, Yukine, Yato sets out to help Hiyori and others, for the small price of five yen, all while dealing with the threat of his sorcerer Father and the manipulative Nora.
For starters, I really enjoyed the subsequent arcs that followed from where the anime left off.
There were a lot of intense moments throughout, accompanied by great character development and fight sequences.
My favourite arc of the bunch has to be the High Treason Arc, which has terrific fights, fun new characters, and a nail-biting conclusion.
A close second would probably be the currently ongoing arc, which goes into detail about Yukine’s dark past and how he died.
Seriously, the manga goes to some really disturbing places in this arc and I am intrigued to see how it will go.
Yukine is not the only character whose past is seen as Yato’s tragic backstory is also explored in detail.
Characters like Hiyori, Bishamon, Kazuma, Ebisu and Kofuku remain as enjoyable and likeable as ever.
It is even interesting to see how some things from the manga were changed in the anime, like the end of the Underworld Arc where some character roles were switched and one character who was introduced in one chapter didn’t even appear in the adaptation.
Probably the most drastic way the anime diverts from the manga is the inclusion of Rabo, who is, surprisingly, not even a character in the manga and was probably only added to make a fight for the final episodes of season one.
In all honesty though, I think him not being in the manga does improve Hiyori’s story a bit because it doesn’t mean she has to go through a memory loss storyline twice.
Back to the manga, there are some elements of it that could have used some work, like with the reveal of Yato’s past.
The reveal itself is great but the way that reveal happened felt a little contrived.
Also, there are a few instances where the impact of potential character deaths are removed by them being saved or brought back to life, like at the end of the High Treason Arc.
Another slight problem I have is that I found it a little hard to take the main villain, Father, seriously at times, based on how he appears, although this is subjective.
All in all though, the Noragami manga is a great read that makes me want a season three even more.
Unfortunately, it’s been five years since the second season ended so we are unlikely to get one soon, if at all.
Fingers crossed that this manga can eventually be adapted for a great season three, some time in the future.
Another month, another incredible Attack on Titan chapter.
Chapter 134, “In the Depths of Despair” sees the final battle of the story between Eren and the Alliance finally commence.
It’s funny to think that I thought the final battle was beginning all the way back in Chapter 116, which was more than a year ago.
How far the manga has come since then, with admittedly less than stellar chapters like Chapter 126, but mostly incredible ones like chapters 119, 121, 122, 123, 130, 131, and 132.
Well, now I am happy to say that “In the Depths of Despair” is the same quality as these fantastic chapters, delivering plenty of epic moments.
More than that though, the chapter lives up to its name, displaying quite a bit of despair, most of it in regards to children.
This is made clear right from the beginning of “In the Depths of Despair”, where Historia is shown to be giving birth, right as the worldwide genocide of the Rumbling is happening.
Talk about bad timing.
In all seriousness, Historia giving birth now does raise a lot of questions because Levi said there was still a few months before the baby’s arrival and, canonically, this was five days ago.
Levi being wrong here could be a mistake by writer Hajime Isayama or it could be a purposeful detail put in by him, which could have interesting implications for the pregnancy subplot.
I will be discussing this in my predictions post for Chapter 135.
In any case, Historia’s soon-to-be-born baby is not the only child we see in this chapter because we also get a lot of spotlight on other children suffering due to Eren’s Rumbling.
There’s the children aboard the train with the Eldians from Liberio who find that all the airships have left, meaning they cannot escape the Rumbling and will likely be crushed if Eren is not stopped.
Most chilling of all is a baby seen among a fleeing crowd of thousands, stuck between the Rumbling and a cliff.
The people among this crowd are left with the choice of either death by being crushed or death by falling and probably drowning in the sea.
Following this disturbing reveal of their choice in fate, we see a case of unsettling attention to detail by Isayama as a woman among the countless number of people facing their imminent deaths looks a lot like the pregnant woman who Eren saw in Chapter 130.
When Eren looked at her then, it caused him to wonder what his mother would think.
Well, now Eren seems to have pushed such thoughts aside because this pregnant woman has given birth since he saw them, and now Eren is condemning the both of them to their deaths.
In a most likely futile but no less touching attempt to save her child, the woman throws her baby into the crowd as she falls off the cliff.
The baby is catched by another woman and, in a beautifully haunting panel that is now probably my favourite of the entire manga, the countless citizens, doomed to die in the Rumbling, reach out to protect this child against the inevitable, incoming death.
It is the children who truly suffer the most in this chapter, with Historia’s baby being born at the beginning potentially foreshadowing the new life for Paradis children while, in the rest of the world, millions of children are ruthlessly slaughtered in Eren’s genocide.
Children being the biggest victims here is also astutely pointed out by the leading general at Fort Salta who, I just want to say, really grabbed me this chapter, despite us not knowing his name or backstory.
Some say that his speech to his fellow soldiers was forced and contrived but I really disagree with this.
In all honesty, I found it to be one of the most beautiful speeches of the entire story that ties into the themes incredibly well.
This can be seen through his realization of how the hate they gave has now been returned to them through the devil that is Eren and now the ones who will pay the most for this adult hubris is the children.
The profoundness of this speech even causes Karina to come to a realization of how she used Reiner, making her break down and declare how she was never a good mother to him, with Annie’s father saying he was the same way with his daughter.
Her breakdown made it all the more epic when Reiner transformed at the end to fight Zeke’s Beast Titan, which Eren appears to be controlling through the Warhammer Titan.
There were a lot of predictions about how Eren would take out the airships heading for him at the end of the last chapter.
I guessed that he would use the Warhammer Titan to create spears for the Wall Titans to throw at the airships like javelins.
However, nobody predicted that Eren would use Zeke to do it.
It just goes to show how unpredictable Isayama can be with his story.
Now that Zeke is back, it looks like Levi is completely ready to take him on, so it will be interesting to see how their longstanding rivalry ends.
The true star of this chapter for me though was surprisingly not Eren, Levi or the unnamed, bearded general who gave the brilliant speech, but Onyankopon.
Seriously, the guy did an incredible job avoiding the debris sent flying at them by a controlled Zeke.
Onyankopon refused to bail out with the Alliance, instead flying them as close as he could to Eren so they could have the best shot at beating him, planning to make an emergency landing once they had jumped out of the plane.
I just hope he can survive now, since he has served his purpose in the story of delivering the Alliance to the final battle.
Speaking of, we finally know what the final audio that was displayed at Attack on Titan’s final exhibition was all about.
Seeing Armin jump out of the plane and yell out, “Eren!”, just like he did in that audio, gave me goosebumps.
The chapter then ends with the Alliance fighters landing on Eren, and Armin stating that he plans to ask Eren how he is free once he rips him from his Titan.
This is a triumphant ending to “In the Depths of Despair”, which, in all likelihood, will not remain very triumphant as the endgame plays out.
This is the final battle and I, for one, fear that a lot of main characters deaths and a lot of heartbreak will come as the story concludes.
Overall, Chapter 134 is another incredible chapter of Attack on Titan.
The first half is full of despair, with the suffering of children being put on full display, while the second half is an epic and triumphant beginning to the final battle than will, sadly, most likely end in tragedy.
It looks like we only have one more volume left of Attack on Titan, with the story potentially ending at Chapter 138 or 139, and I am prepared to be emotionally destroyed by it.
Even though I’m a manga reader, I decided in the past not to review every chapter of My Hero Academia, due to the chapters coming out on a weekly basis.
I didn’t want to get too far behind on other reviews I had planned but there were definitely some chapters I considered reviewing, especially from the most recent arc, which I can already say is the best arc of the story so far, even though it hasn’t ended yet.
And, of course, the best arc just had the greatest chapter of My Hero Academia so far, a chapter so amazing that I just couldn’t not review it, Chapter 290 “Dabi’s Dance.”
It was so amazing that I was more hyped about it afterwards than the latest Attack on Titan chapter.
And, since Attack on Titan is my favorite story, that should show you how amazing I think the chapter is.
You probably already know the big twist of “Dabi’s Dance.”
It was trending all over Twitter, during one of the most controversial presidential elections in US history, no less.
However, it’s not difficult to see why this occurred because Chapter 290 finally confirms one of the biggest My Hero Academia fan theories, that Dabi is Touya Todoroki, the supposed dead son of Endeavor and brother of Shouto.
Not only this but the reveal also comes a full 100 chapters after Dabi first met Endeavor in Chapter 190.
Now, when I started reading the manga over a year ago, I kind of fell down the rabbit hole of the Dabi being Touya fan theory community.
There was so much evidence that Dabi being Touya was basically treated as fact by the entire fandom, myself included.
So, if everyone knew that the twist was coming then it should have been pretty much impossible for the writer, Kohei Horikoshi, to amaze us with the revelation, right?
Wrong, because “Dabi’s Dance” is the perfect example of a predictable twist not being a bad thing.
I’ve always found twists that I have guessed to be very rewarding so long as they are well written, and the Dabi twist is incredibly written at that.
Dabi literally brought all of hero society to its knees single handedly, just by talking.
The revelation that Endeavor abused his family and drove his own son to villainy may be the final crack that shatters the glass holding hero society together.
The build up to this twist is incredible, as the chapter starts with Rei Todoroki seeing her scarred son when Skeptic hacks his video that reveals the truth about Endeavor onto every screen in Japan.
This is an extremely important moment because Rei was getting better and about to leave the hospital but, now that she’s learned that her son is a deranged mass murderer, this could set her recovery months, even years back, if she ever recovers at all.
Then there is Natsuo and Fuyumi, whose reactions we haven’t seen but are likely to be just as devastating, especially Natsuo’s because he was so close to Touya before his “death.”
The contrast between Dabi revealing his identity on TV to revealing his identity to Endeavor is also striking.
On TV, Dabi is poised and collective but, in front of Endeavor, he is cruel and gleefully maniacal, and dances in a moment that is extremely reminiscent of Todd Phillips’ Joker and, as someone who loves that film, I can say that this was a fantastic homage.
Dabi also reveals just how ruthlessly smart he was in preparing for this moment, sending Starservant and Ending after Endeavor, all to build him up as a hero to make his fall all the more painful.
I cannot wait until this moment gets adapted in the anime, just to see how the voice actors of Dabi, both Japanese and English, say such fantastic lines like, “The past never dies!” and, “So let’s tango, you and me – Enji Todoroki! A dance with your son, here in hell!”
Accompanying these terrific lines are some truly excellent panels that show off Horikoshi’s great art style, from Dabi removing his hair dye to reveal his identity, to his manic face, to Endeavor and Shouto’s shocked reactions, it all looks fantastic.
Along with the Dabi reveal, we also get some great moments from characters like Shouto and Nejire, who team up in the beginning to try and take down Shigaraki, before Gigantomachina inevitably arrives to rescue his master.
Bakugo is also conscious in Iida’s arms but, despite him saying he wants to achieve an “Absolute Victory”, with how injured he is, I doubt he can do much.
Yet, the end of the chapter does show that the plane which is theorized to be bringing Best Jeanist is almost there so maybe Bakugo will get to do something to show off to his mentor, before revealing his hero name.
The real highlight of this chapter though is definitely Dabi’s reveal, due to the implications it has for the rest of the story, as shown by the brief look at Endeavor’s biggest fan Can’t-Ya-See-Kun reacting to Dabi’s revelation.
I am extremely intrigued to see how the rest of the public will react not just to Endeavor’s past but to their newfound distrust of hero society as a whole.
One thing I have my fingers crossed for is that the next chapter will be “Touya Todoroki: Origin”, explaining what exactly happened to Touya and how he became Dabi in the first place.
There are a few missing pieces to this puzzle and I hope the next few chapters can resolve them as the story dives head first into the Todoroki family conflict.
“Dabi’s Dance” is my favourite chapter of My Hero Academia so far and has instantly propelled Dabi to one of the most interesting characters in the story.