Attack on Titan Chapter 125, After Glow Review: Uprisings Are Brewing.

4 stars.png
After Chapter 124 of Attack on Titan, I was interested to see how Hajime Isayama would use Annie in the story but was slightly skeptical that he could make me care for her after she was gone for so long.
Well, he just proved me wrong again because Chapter 125, “After Glow” provided more insight into Annie’s past, putting her relationship with her father in an entirely new light.
As I expected, Annie encounters Hitch who, after some persuasion and threats, agrees to take Annie to the battlefield.
Along the way, Annie answers Hitch’s question about why she killed so many people to achieve her goal.
Annie reveals that, like Reiner, she is the offspring of an affair between an Eldian and a Marleyan, which resulted in her being cast aside.
The man we previously thought was Annie’s father adopted her in order to force her to become a warrior so he could become an honorary Marleyan.
Having never known love, Annie viewed all life as meaningless, including her own, until the day of her departure.
Realizing he was wrong and that he sees Annie as his daughter, Mr Leonhart breaks down and begs Annie to come home to him.
This being the only love Annie has experienced causes her to focus on returning to him to such an extent that she is willing to kill hundreds if not thousands to do it.
She says she would do all the terrible things she’s done again if it helps her get back to her father.
All of this information really helped me understand Annie a lot more than I had previously, and painted her in a flawed yet very relatable light.
However, as Hitch points out, if the Rumbling succeeds then Annie’s father will be killed.
Speaking of, the chapter then cuts to Mr Leonhart himself in Liberio where he and the other Eldians try to convince their Marleyan guards that the Rumbling has been activated.
However, because of their racism, the Marleyans believe this may be the start of an uprising so place them all under arrest.
Remembering Annie’s promise to come home, Mr Leonhart fights back using his martial skills and looks to be setting the uprising that the Marleyan guards feared happening into motion.
It will be interesting to see if such an uprising has any effect, especially considering Eren’s plan to destroy the world.
A part of me is now wondering if Eren broadcast his message to all Eldians to start these uprisings across the world.
Unfortunately, Paradis looks prime for uprisings as well, or at least a civil war.
At the beginning of “After Glow”, Eren releasing the wall Titans is revealed to have accidentally killed probably hundreds of people from falling rubble.
This has caused quite the divide in Stohess, with some commending Eren and some condemning him.
All of this infighting can lead to nothing good, with a part of me wondering if this will tie into a bittersweet ending for the manga.
Eren could succeed in destroying the world, ending hatred for Eldians, but a new cycle of violence begins between those who worship him and those who despise him.
Either way, it is pretty chilling to see Erwin’s heroic catchphrase of “dedicate your hearts” being turned into a cult-like chant.
And then there is Keith, who tells the recruits who are now on his side to wait for their chance to make a stand, preparing them for their own uprising when the chance comes.
Along with this, Keith’s scene also shows how great this chapter is at transitioning, with every scene being connected somewhat.
When Annie talks of her father the scene cuts to him, when Mr Leonhart attacks the Marleyan guard and a shot is fired the scene cuts to Keith hearing a gunshot, and when Keith stands up the scene cuts to Armin sitting down.
During this moment, we get what is definitely the most intense scene between Armin and Mikasa in the manga.
Armin is at his breaking point and Mikasa feels lost, asking what she should do and what they are going to do about Eren.
Frustrated at this, Armin tells Mikasa to think for herself, yells at her that they don’t have time to focus on Eren, and finally reflects that Erwin should have been revived instead of him.
Armin saying this pretty much foreshadows that he will eventually prove he was the right choice and I can’t wait to see how he will prove this.
As for Mikasa, her character development in this final arc is the best she has had so far.
I’ve always liked Mikasa but there have been a lot of missed opportunities with her character, especially in the Uprising Arc.
So, her developing by slowly becoming more independent and moving away from Eren is great.
At the end of the scene she even notices her scarf is gone, which was probably taken by Louise and will come up again later.
We then get probably the funniest part of the chapter when Gabi says her goodbyes to the Braus family, before she and Armin go to rescue Falco.
Kaya tells Gabi that her name is strange and Mia is better causing Gabi to comedically exclaim, before the two embrace as a goodbye.
Now, a lot of people appear to be criticizing Armin for trying to help Gabi save Falco but I think it makes perfect sense because it is the best way to get the warriors on their side and end the conflict on Paradis.
If Connie kills Falco then they can kiss their chance at peace goodbye.
Connie only cares about bringing his mum back, though, which is understandable.
Still we can see from the look on his face as he takes Falco to Ragako that he is conflicted but the memories of his mother strengthens his resolve.
Although, it is pretty weird that Falco is not tied up in this scene.
He was at the end of Chapter 124 and it would be safest for Connie to transport him like that.
Even if Falco does not know he is a Titan Shifter, he will quickly catch on when Connie tries to fed him to his mother and fight back.
Also, Falco does seem a little too trusting of Connie here, taking what he told him at face value immediately.
Did he learn nothing from being manipulated by Eren in Liberio?
On the upside, Falco has no memory of killing his brother when he transformed so him learning this should create some great and tragic character development for him.
Along with this, Falco seems to recognize Connie, even though Connie doesn’t know him.
Now, this could just be Falco recognizing Connie from when he and Gabi got on the airship, but I actually think this is pointing to him getting Ymir’s memories.
And, if my prediction that him and Connie will run into Historia is correct, then this could have a huge impact.
Either way, I highly doubt Connie will succeed in feeding Falco to his mum because Armin and Gabi are on their way to try and talk him out of it.
Just as they will have to stop Connie, it looks like Jean and Mikasa will have to stop Floch as well who reveals he knew Eren’s plan and places all of the volunteers, including Onyankopon and Yelena, under arrest.
I am surprised Floch didn’t just execute them all there because he must know they will cause trouble but, thankfully for whatever reason, he decided to hold off on that, only executing one of the volunteers who fought back.
And what an execution that was because it is one of the goriest deaths in the entire manga.
The bullet from Floch’s gun rearranged the man’s entire face, with his jaw becoming unhinged.
We can see that Floch feels no remorse for killing this nameless volunteer because he then happily tells Jean that they are free and he is now a hero.
Jean actually seems to momentarily be happy about this until he sees the look on Onyankopon’s face and hears Floch say he can go back to being “the arrogant bastard you were.”
Here’s the thing Floch, Jean is definitely not that person anymore and will most likely take a stand against you.
I see Floch as what Jean could have been so a fight between the two seems highly likely.
Let’s just hope Jean doesn’t get himself killed in that fight.
In any case, upon arriving on the scene, Mikasa questions Floch about the whereabouts of Levi and Hange, only for him to say Zeke killed them.
Isayama may as well have inserted the “why are you lying” meme because the end of the chapter proves Floch is a liar.
As Pieck and Magath look at the airships fleeing Paradis to warn the rest of the world of the Rumbling, Hange appears behind them with an injured Levi in tow, calling him “a completely harmless man who failed to die.”
It will be interesting to see what Levi’s role to play in the finale is with how bandaged up he is.
Some have speculated he will be turned into a Shifter but I have already established that that this is the last thing I want to happen.
It would be way more interesting for him to struggle with his injuries.
I do wonder what Hange’s plan in talking to Pieck is, though, and how she plans to convince them to help her out.
She certainly took a big risk by showing herself to them.
I smell a team up between the warriors and scouts coming.
It would be very exciting if this did happen because then we will see many characters interact for the first time.
Overall, “After Glow” is a solid chapter of Attack on Titan. 
There is not a lot of action but superb character development that could eventually lead to a plan to take the fight to Eren.

Attack on Titan Chapter 125 Predictions.

Chapter 124 of Attack on Titan, “Thaw”, had a lot of great twists and turns that caused me to reconsider how long the manga has left.
I originally thought that the series would finish at Chapter 130 but, after reading “Thaw”, I now believe that 134, or even 138, is a more appropriate finishing point, given how many plot points just emerged.
And, with all these new storylines, there comes new theories that I would like to get into.
So, let’s start with the biggest question generated by Chapter 124,

Now That Annie Is Free, What Will She Do?

By far the biggest twist of “Thaw” was the long, long, long, long lllooonnngg awaited return of Annie Leonhart.
She was gone for so long that many, including myself, feared that she may never return.
In all honesty, Annie is a character that I have conflicted feelings about.
I do like her character but nowhere near to the extent of others, and I wanted her to come back more so Hajime Isayama could tie up that plot point rather than for her character.
Now that she is free, though, it will be interesting to see what role she has to play in the final battle.
There is no doubt that she will side against Eren because her father is in Marley but how she will be able to help is a mystery.
Some have predicted that Annie’s Female Titan may be able to draw in the Wall Titans with her scream but this seems a bit of a stretch.
As for how she will get to the battlefield, I am sure Hitch will be involved in that since she is the one guarding her.
I can just imagine their conversation, with Hitch explaining to Annie, in her usual sassy fashion, everything that has happened over the four years that she has been asleep.
Another theory I have is that Annie could run into Levi and Hange, which is how they could return to the story.
The reason I think this is because it could cause a lot of conflict because Annie murdered Levi’s entire squad in the Female Titan Arc.
The only person Levi hates more than her is Zeke so it would be interesting to see the Levi and Annie fight again, that is if Levi can with the state he is currently in.
One thing I certainly hope Isayama doesn’t do is sweep Annie’s crimes under the rug.
Out of her, Reiner and Bertholdt, she is the one whose thoughts on killing the Scouts we have seen the least so I want to see how this affected her.
It will also be interesting to see her interact with Armin, since he now has Bertholdt’s memories and an obvious crush on her.
The thing I am positive about is that the next chapter will be primarily centered around Annie.
Some have speculated it will be a flashback chapter to her past but I doubt this because we already know most of her backstory.
We may get a brief flashback but I think Chapter 125 will focus mostly on Annie in the present.
And it will certainly be intriguing to see what role she has to play in trying to stop Eren’s Rumbling.

What Will Happen With Falco And Connie?

Another unexpected development in Chapter 124 was Connie kidnapping Falco to feed him to his Titan mother so she can turn back into a human.
Opinions on Connie seem to be mixed after him doing this but I do understand his motivations.
Connie has lost almost everyone he cares about and, now that he thinks the fighting is about to end, he wants to save his mum, no matter the cost.
There are many theories about what could happen with this plot point and one of the most prominent of those is that Connie will run into Hange who will feed Falco to Levi instead.
However, this is a theory that I am very much against for three reasons.
First of all, it makes Porco’s sacrifice pointless.
Second of all, I don’t want Levi to be more overpowered than he already is (plus I don’t think Ackermans can turn into Titans).
And, third of all, I don’t see Falco dying here because it doesn’t tie into his arc.
I want to see Falco struggle with the guilt of accidentally killing his brother and try to use the powers of his recently acquired Jaw Titan in this dangerous situation.
But if Falco is not going to die then what was the point of Connie taking him?
Some are saying Connie will be eaten by his own mother but, again, I don’t see this happening because what would the point be in him, as an important character, dying when none of his friends are there to react to it?
There is the possibility that Connie taking Falco could lead to some characters returning to the story but, rather than Hange and Levi, I think this would be the perfect opportunity to bring Historia back.
I have been rooting for Historia to come into contact with the holder of the Jaw Titan to experience Ymir’s memories for a long time and if she is near Ragako, then she could very well interfere with Connie’s plan and touch Falco, gaining some of these memories.
Although, I have no idea why Historia would even be near Ragako so I may be wrong about this.
I just hope that Connie does not end up succeeding in feeding Falco to his mother or Levi because I feel this would ruin Falco’s arc.

What’s With the Parallels Between Gabi and Eren?

In “Thaw” there was a scene of Gabi tying up her in front of a mirror that was eerily similar to a scene from Chapter 106 where Eren did the same thing.
This is just one of many parallels between Eren and Gabi and has caused many to wonder if Gabi will go on to kill Eren and gain his Titan powers, thus fulfilling the role of Helos.
Now, while I am a Gabi defender, I do not want this to happen.
If Eren is going to be killed by someone, it would make a lot more sense for it to be Mikasa, Armin or Reiner that does the deed because they are the characters that have the biggest connection to him.
Along with this, Gabi already nearly killed Eren in Chapter 119 so it would seem repetitive.
Still, the parallels have to be there for a reason so it will be interesting to see what that reason is.
But, if Gabi does kill Eren, then the fandom will absolutely explode.
She is so hated that many people have said they will hate the series if this happens.
Personally, I won’t hate it if Gabi does kill Eren but I would rather it be another character.

Where Are Zeke, Pieck and Magath?

The characters in Shiganshina that we did not see in Chapter 124 were Zeke, Pieck and Magath, causing many to wonder where they are.
Well, I think it is safe to say that the three of them are together, with Pieck and Magath likely having captured Zeke.
Magath was on top of the wall with Pieck in Chapter 122 but she probably grabbed him so that would make him safe.
The next time we see Pieck is in Chapter 123 when she hears Eren’s proclamation in the Path dimension, and Zeke appears to be next to her so it would be logical for her to grab him.
I don’t imagine him putting up much of a fight after his plan of sterilizing all Eldians was destroyed by Eren.
However, I doubt Zeke will be out of the fight for long because in Chapter 124 it seems that Eren cannot control the Titans that he transformed.
This makes sense because of Zeke’s royal blood and could make him the center piece in a plan to defeat Eren.
Even though I hope we don’t get a Code Geass ending, I can see the Scouts teaming up with the Warriors for this plan.
I would actually be excited about that because we would see many of these characters talking for the first time.
It would be fascinating to see Armin’s intellect go up against Pieck’s.
Another theory is Zeke’s consciousness being trapped in the Path dimension but I am not sure what Zeke could do from there.
In any case, despite believing these three characters are alive, I am unsure if they will show up next chapter because I expect to be mainly centered around Annie’s return.

Why Is Floch Arresting the Volunteers?

“So you’re alive” is what Jean said when he saw Floch in Chapter 124, voicing the frustration of many fans.
Immediately after being revealed to have survived, Floch continued with making the readers hate him by pointing a gun at a depressed Yelena’s head and informing her that she and the rest of the volunteers are under arrest.
The reason for this is probably because of Yelena’s participation in Zeke’s euthanasia plan.
Floch probably knew Eren planned to initiate a full scale Rumbling and is acting on his orders by arresting them in the aftermath.
Although, there may be a more sinister reason Floch is arresting the volunteers.
This is that he may plan to execute all of them so that the only people left after Eren’s Rumbling will be Eldians.
Many of these Volunteers would be enraged if their country is destroyed, and would want to take vengeance, so Floch could plan to execute them before any such acts took place.
But would Eren allow this?
Well, given how he is about to destroy the world and kill billions of people, I don’t think he would hesitate to order this if it kept his friends safe.
This is merely speculative, though.
Also, I think Floch will meet some firm resistance from the Scouts.
We could see Keith get involved in this, since he is getting more well deserved screen time lately.
But it is Jean who I am most excited to see face off against Floch.
To me, Floch is a representation of what Jean could have become had he never joined the Scouts so he would make a great endgame fight for him.
Whether this or any of the other theories I mentioned turn out to be true, though, will have to be seen in Chapter 125.
There are some rumors that it will release around the end of December but it is probably best not to get your hopes up in case the chapter drops at the regular time.

Attack on Titan Chapter 124, Melting Away Review: FINALLY!

4 and a half stars
91 Chapters.
That is how long Annie had been in her crystal prison; even longer than it took to reveal the basement.
Well, after reading Chapter 124 of Attack on Titan, “Melting Away,” the first thought I had was FINALLY!
This is because Annie at long last emerged from her crystal at the end of the chapter, due to Eren using his Founding Titan abilities to remove all of the Titans’ ability to harden, including Reiner’s.
The build up to Annie’s return, with the chapter starting with her father hearing Eren’s speech about his plan, and then ending with Armin realizing she is free before cutting to her, is masterfully done.
I was spoiled about this reveal about an hour before I read “Melting Away” but her return is so well written that I still cheered.
I just hope that Isayama can make me care about her more before the story ends.
Whether he does so or not depends on the role Annie has to play.
However, considering her role also brings in the question of how long the manga has?
I have been predicting for a while that Attack on Titan will end at Chapter 130 but, after Chapter 124, I am having serious doubts about this.
I am now thinking a more suitable number is 134 chapters, which would mean there are 10 chapters left.
The reason I am starting to think this is because of how Annie and other subplots that appear in this chapter seem to be hinting at a longer finale.
A prime example of this is the Connie subplot that was just put into motion.
After Falco ate Porco and inherited the Jaw Titan, Connie and Jean kidnap him, with Jean planning to feed him to one of the Titans Zeke transformed, seriously considering Pyxis.
However, Connie wants to take Falco to Ragako to feed him to his mother so she can become human again.
Armin is against this because that would cause further conflict between Reiner and the Warriors when the world is destroyed; however, before anything can be done, Titans interrupt and Connie runs off with Falco.
So, now Connie is on his way to Ragako to save his mother by feeding her Falco, creating a brand new subplot.
With new storylines like this being brought in, it seems unlikely that the manga will be able to successfully wrap up at Chapter 130, which is why I am thinking Chapter 134 is more likely now.
Back to the actual story, I am glad Connie is getting some development now because I have always thought it was a little strange that he rarely brought up his family when they started working with Zeke, since he’s the one who turned them all into Titans.
I am also interested to see where this subplot could go.
Along with Connie, another standout character is Gabi, who goes through more development by saving Kaya from a Titanized Nile in an epic scene that left me cheering.
The following panel where Kaya hallucinates Gabi as Sasha is also perfectly touching.
I have seen a lot of people complaining that Gabi is stealing the spotlight from more beloved characters, like Mikasa, but I honestly don’t see this.
Mikasa got a lot of development last chapter, and even in this one where Gabi was a key character she shared the spotlight with multiple characters who also developed well.
Probably my favourite of these character developments is Keith Shadis, when he saves the recruits who beat him up and then leads them in the fight against the Titans.
Keith Shadis?
More like Keith, No Longer A Bystander, Chadis!
Sadly, this battle does result in the loss of Dot Pyxis, whose Titan is mercy killed by Armin after being thanked for guiding them all these years.
Both his and Nile’s Titans are killed this chapter, bringing a sad end to these great side characters.
Along with Pyxis’ emotional death, another reason I enjoyed the scene where Keith, Mikasa, Armin, Jean and the other soldiers fight off the Titans is because it is eerily reminiscent of the battle at headquarters during the Trost Arc.
Hajime Isayama has been putting in a lot of parallels to prior arcs in this final one, with Chapter 117 being another prime example by paralleling the Return to Shiganshina Arc.
Such parallels can also be seen in character growths like Niccolo saying they have to leave the forest, referencing Mr Braus’ speech in Chapter 111, and Gabi putting her hair up while looking in a mirror, just like Eren does in Chapter 106.
That last parallel has me wondering if this moment is just a callback or foreshadowing for something more?
Whatever it is, I will say that “Melting Away” is a far calmer chapter than I expected it to be.
Before the Annie reveal, the final moments of the chapter sees the characters resting at headquarters while they all try to deal with the impact Eren’s Rumbling will have.
This leads to Floch turning up, to many a fan’s dismay, and arresting Yelena and the the rest of the Volunteers.
Such an act has me scared that Floch may try to execute them to make Eldians the last remaining race after the Rumbling is completed.
I certainly would not put it past him.
But the real question is definitely if Attack on Titan has been in The Breaking Bad universe this whole time as the Saul Goodman Titan seems to suggest?
Jokes aside, there are also a lot of great visuals in the chapter, like when Mikasa cuts down a Titan right outside the window that Yelena and Onyankopon are looking out of. Another example of this is the individual shots of the 104th Cadets as they take in the fact that Eren is planning to destroy the world to protect them.
As for criticisms, the only one I can think of off the top of my head is Jean apparently wanting to feed Falco to Pyxis.
I understand why he would want to save Pyxis, but it was shown that Jean did not want to kill Falco in Chapter 104 so this feels slightly out of character for him.
But the prior moment where he talks about how the Rumbling may be the best thing, as if he is trying to convince himself that it is but not succeeding, makes up for it slightly.
Overall, I would consider “Melting Away” to be on the same level as the previous chapter, “Island Devils.”
It has great character growth with a lot of amazing action, accompanied by epic visuals.
It will be interesting to see how the manga ends, whether that ending comes at Chapter 130, 134, or perhaps slightly longer than that.