Chainsaw Man Chapter 116, Taste of Starfish Review: Endless Wholesomeness in the Endless Aquarium.

In my review for Chapter 114 of Chainsaw Man, one criticism I had was that it felt too similar to the Eternity Devil Arc.
Well, Chapter 115 began to fix this issue by having fantastic character build up and interactions.
Now, Chapter 116, “Taste of Starfish”, has completed this fix, delivering a wholesome experience in the endless aquarium.
“Taste of Starfish” begins in the starfish tank where Denji offered Asa a starfish to eat in the previous chapter’s cliffhanger.
The Kobeni clone is now there and licking the glass in a state of delirium but Asa and Deni ignore him.
Asa points out which of the starfish are edible and also explains the problem that they would have to boil the starfish to avoid their toxins.
Leaving and sitting down in a room with a lot of gathered hats, Asa and Denji cook the starfish.
As they cook, Asa questions Denji about the hats and he explains that he gathered them so he could sell them all.
No doubt remembering Denji ripping off homeless people for money and stealing money from the handbag, Asa questions why Denji wants money so bay.
Denji replies that he has a “Sorta-friend… sorta-little sister”, obviously referring to Nayuta.
He believes that she is smart enough to go to college so is trying to get the money to pay for it all, wanting her to live a good life.
There is a lot to read in Asa’s expression in the following panel, and I think she is showing a mix of surprise and guilt.
Surprise at Denji’s reason for ripping people off being such an understandable one, and guilt at how she was planning to weaponize him for a time.
The two then eat their starfish but something about her interaction with Denji gives Asa the courage to try fish as well.
The revolted faces she pulls as she eats causes Denji to laugh, declaring that she is fun to watch, despite being a bore.
Denji’s compliments cause a massive boost of self confidence in Asa, as she shouts that she is an interesting woman and glad he noticed, while blushing.
This self-boasting is very reminiscent of Power and Denji notices this too as he tells Asa that she “reminds me of an old friend.”
Asa asks if this is a good thing but, before she can get a response, she is distracted by the endless amount of hats Deni gathered and this leads to her thinking of a plan to get them out of the aquarium loop.
The first step in her plan is an unusual one: collecting money.
What follows is a wholesome montage of theft as Denji and Asa run across the aquarium in a panel very similar to Asa and Yuko running togethor in Chapter 100.
The two steal money and laugh as they go, until they have collected over a million yen.
Asa then tells Denji to give her all of the money for the next step in her plan.
Denji outright refuses, until Asa promise to grant him any request once they’re out, to which Deni instantly sells out.
Oh, Denji.
You may have had a lot of character development but some things about you just never changed.
Now with the money, Asa tells Denji to stand away and close his eyes.
Once Denji has done this, Asa again urges herself to be confident.
She then walks over to one of the tanks, places her hands upon it, lays down the money, saying she is using it to buy the aquarium, and then says “Aquarium Spear,” bringing an end to the chapter.
So Asa’s whole plan is to “buy” the aquarium with the money she and Denji stole, making it hers, and then turn it into a weapon, which will generate an endless amount of weapons due to the loop, which will they will then use to somehow kill the Eternity Devil.
It’s an incredibly creative plan that is pure Fujimoto.
As for whether it will work, I think the Aquarium Spear part will.
Like Asa said, “It doesn’t matter how crazy the logicis. It’s a matter of my own perception.”
Asa may not be capable of actually buying the aquarium but her performing a fake transaction could be enough to create the perception of the aquarium being hers, allowing her to weaponize it against the Eternity Devil.
It will be interesting to see how this weapon is used in the next chapter.
What I am more interested in, however, is the chance to see Denji and Asa interact again.
Their banter and growth this chapter was endless wholesomeness and really made me think Fujimoto might be going down the romantic route for the two of them.
Time will tell.

Attack on Titan Chapter 116, Heaven and Earth, Review: The Final Battle Begins… Already?

4 stars
After the fantastic chapter 115, I could not wait to see what Hajime Isayama would do in Chapter 116 of Attack on Titan, “Heaven and Earth.”
Needless to say, it certainly delivered a lot of surprising moments.
I made some predictions about Pieck’s plan in confronting Eren, and where Reiner and Porco were, but I was completely wrong about all of this.
However, rather than being excited at this surprising reveal of what they were all planning, it instead left me concerned about the end of the series.
I will get to the reason for that soon but first I want to talk about Yelena and her interactions with the jailed Scouts.
It has been a while since we last saw these characters so I was glad to see that Isayama brought them back into the story, especially with Mikasa’s reaction to Eren’s cruel words in Chapter 112.
She appears to still be numb from it all, and Armin’s comments about this lead Jean and Connie to two different interpretations of Eren.
While Connie believes that Eren has lost himself and needs to be taken down, Jean believes there must be some reason Eren is doing all this.
Naturally, I think Jean is right here because I still cannot see Eren just turning on Mikasa and Armin like that without a very good reason.
Then, Yelena and Onyankopon walk in and we get more revelations about their characters.
Connie demands that Onyankopon let them out but it seems he is fully on Yelena’s side, telling them they have to stay in their cells until Eren and Zeke meet.
However, I still have my doubts as to whether Onyankopon is truly on Yelena’s side.
At worst, I would say he is conflicted and will most likely come around and release the Scouts from their imprisonment while the chaos is ongoing.
I think this because Onyankopon seems to be against a lot of the things Yelena is doing, like when she shoots one of their fellow soldiers Grior.
But, that said, the jerk completely deserved it after the cruel things he said about Sasha to Niccolo.
It is also a pretty gory panel when he gets shot, with his brains splattered everywhere, and will most likely have to be censored in the anime.
As to why Yelena kills him, she does it in an attempt to gain the group’s trust about their plans to save the world.
She also tells them about Zeke’s euthanasia plan, and it has an interesting reaction from Armin, to say the least.
He breaks down into tears and says he is moved by Zeke and Eren’s noble plan.
I think there are two possibilities why he does this.
The first is that this is some kind of reaction from Bertholdt through Armin, but the second, and what I think to be the most likely, is that Armin just realised Eren’s actual plan and is relieved to discover he has not turned on them.
Before we can get any more information on this though, they are all interrupted by the alarm being raised after Pieck infiltrates the Yeagerists.
Moving on to her scenes with Eren and Gabi, this is where both the best and worst moments of the chapter were.
Getting the positives out of the way, Pieck was the highlight of the chapter.
I said in my predictions for Chapter 116 that Pieck had to have a plan to capture Eren, and, boy, does she.
After holding Eren at gunpoint, Pieck admits she cannot shoot him and acts like she wants to come over to his side, offering to expose Reiner and Porco if Eren takes her to the roof.
Eren does this, handcuffing Pieck to Gabi so she will not try anything funny.
This leads to a funny scene where Pieck meets Yelena and comments on how she is missing her beard from when she trapped Porco and her.
The humor does not last though, because, in an intense scene, Eren demands to know where the enemies are, only for Pieck to point at him.
Then Porco bursts from below Eren in his Jaw Titan form, biting off his legs and forcing him to transform.
The buildup to this moment was stellar, and even more so on my second reading because Isayama subtly places Porco among the Yeagerists when Pieck and Eren are passing through.
However, this is just the beginning because Marley’s forces have arrived, with Reiner, Magath and Colt also preparing to take the fight to Eren, in what looks to be the final battle of the series.
If this is the big final battle though, I am very surprised to see it starting now because I thought it would be at least a few chapters before this happened.
The reason I thought this is because there are so many characters with unresolved plot lines.
Hange is off somewhere caring for an injured Levi, Historia is still pregnant under questionable circumstances, and Annie is still in the goddamned crystal.
These are all characters who are important to the story and yet are nowhere near this final battle, which I find very concerning.
Granted, I do not think Isayama needs these characters to be involved here to make a great ending, but it would be incredibly disappointing to me if these characters did not play a role in how the series ends.
Still, Isayama could find a way to bring them all into the story here but I have my doubts.
Either way, I am not going to hold this against the chapter right now because my concerns have not been realised yet.
What I will hold against the chapter though is Pieck’s backstory.
I said in my predictions post that I was hoping to get some backstory on Pieck because she is one of my favourite characters introduced after the time skip, yet we know almost nothing about her.
Sadly, this backstory had a big problem.
When Zeke’s backstory was revealed in Chapter 114, I criticized it for being too similar to Reiner’s.
Now Pieck’s backstory is too similar to Annie’s, with her father pushing her to become a Warrior to make their lives better, only to feel guilty about it and now Pieck wants to help him.
That is Annie’s backstory to a t.
Still, this was only a small moment so it did not completely ruin Pieck’s character, but it does feel like Isayama is running out of ideas when it comes to character backstories.
Overall, despite my concerns, “Heaven and Earth” is still a great chapter that starts what may be the final battle of the series.
I can only hope that Isayama incorporates the missing characters into the story’s ending somehow.

Attack on Titan Chapter 116 Predictions.

Chapter 115 of Attack on Titan, “Support,”was an amazing read, with many explosive reveals that will have a lasting impact on the series.
From Levi’s uncertain fate, to Zeke’s resurrection, to Pieck ambushing Eren, the chapter had many moments that left my jaw on the floor, and wondering how these storylines would continue in Chapter 116, and beyond.
So, I decided to list my theories and predictions for the upcoming chapter, and others, to see if I get any right.
Let’s get into it.

What does Yelena plan to do and how does Onyankopon factor in?

It was clear right from the moment Yelena entered the story that she was untrustworthy and Hajime Isayama has definitely followed through on making her so.
She is essentially a crazy Zeke fan girl, who believes he is a god and will follow his every command.
This has me wondering what she and the other Yeagerists have planned for the military members who drunk the wine with Zeke’s spinal fluid, including Pyxis.
The chapter ends Yelena’s scene with her declaring that Pyxis and the others must be punished for going against Zeke.
I think this punishment will be turning him, and everyone else identified by an armband as having drunk the wine, into Titans with Zeke’s scream.
These Titans will then be used in the final battle when the world commences an all out assault on Paradis.
Sadly, this means Pyxis, Nile, and every other person in the military who drank the wine will die.
However, I do not think they will go down without a fight.
Pyxis has been getting a lot of scenes with Yelena and this has me believing he will play a central role in her downfall.
Then there is Onyankopon, whose loyalties remain uncertain.
He was helping Hange in prior chapters but in “Support” he was seen working with Yelena again.
However, I believe that Isayama laid a few subtle hints in this scene that he may actually betray her.
There is a panel of him glaring at her out of the corner of his eye and, when Pyxis asks her why Yelena is thinking of saving the world rather than the island, Onyankopon questions her, showing he has not been told the full plan.
Because of all this, I think Onyankopon will begin working against her, potentially helping Pyxis and maybe even releasing Mikasa, Armin and the rest of the scouts from their prison cell.
As for what happens next, only time will tell.

What will happen to Levi and Hange?

When Chapter 115 was released and everyone thought Levi died, a thousand fans screamed out in anguish.
But, upon closer inspection, it looks like Levi actually survived the explosion.
Otherwise, Hange would not have glared at Floch when he asked to check Levi’s pulse, and she would not have taken his body when she jumped into the river.
Finally, there is Levi’s new scar.
Isayama would not go to the trouble of giving him a battle scar if he was not still alive.
So, if Levi is alive, the question is what happens to him and Hange now?
Many people have speculated about where the river will take the two and most believe they are either going to Shiganshina or Historia’s home.
It honestly could be either, or neither, at this point.
This is the one question that I do not have the slightest idea what the answer is.
Arriving in Shiganshina may seem a bit too convenient, and the reason I do not think they will end up at Historia’s ties into my next prediction.
In all honesty, I think it could be a few chapters before we figure out what happened to them.
All I can say for certain is that if Levi is going to die then Hajime Isayama will be sure to give him a meaningful, and impactful, sendoff.
The crazy fan girls would attack him if he did not.

Where are Reiner and Porco?

The reason I do not believe Levi and Hange will meet up with Historia is because I believe two other characters are going to: Reiner and Porco.
We have not seen these two since Chapter 108, and this has created much confusion when Pieck was shown on Paradis without these two with her.
Since Reiner suggested an all out assault on Paradis in 108, it would be weird if Pieck was the only one sent to the island.
So Reiner and Porco must be on an important mission there that we have not been shown yet.
And, in my opinion, this important mission is to capture Historia.
This would make sense both for practical and story reasons.
Marley’s goal is to gain the Founding Titan power but, in order to do this, they need someone with royal blood.
This would make Historia and her unborn child vitally important to Marley.
As for the story reasons, Isayama could do a lot for the narrative and character arcs by having Reiner and Porco meet Historia.
Reiner had a crush on Historia when he was pretending to be a soldier, and made a promise to Ymir that he would save her.
These factors would put Reiner at odds with his mission, and could lead to more growth from him.
Personally, though, I am much more interested in Historia meeting Porco.
Porco ate Ymir, who was very close to Historia, and now has all of her memories, which means he knows a lot about Historia.
Not only that but we have seen how memories affect Titan Shifters, like when Armin inherited Bertholdt’s memories.
So, both he and Historia could grow so much from meeting and interacting with one another.
Along with this, their meeting could hopefully lead to some more revelations about Ymir with maybe a flashback with Porco’s memories from her?
Hopefully?
In any case, I truly believe that not having Historia and Porco meet would be a massive missed opportunity.
Another thing to note is that this could finally let us know what is going on with Historia’s pregnancy.
If you have read any of my prior reviews, then you know I hate this storyline so am hoping for some kind of twist to make it better.
Maybe her meeting up with Reiner and Porco could provide this?

What is Pieck’s Plan?

After talking about Reiner and Porco, we now move on to their comrade, Pieck.
We spent five chapters wondering what she was up to after she appeared in Chapter 110, and “Support” gave us our answer.
In the cliffhanger of Chapter 115, Pieck ambushes Eren when he comes to talk to Gabi, stabbing his guard in the throat and then holding him at gunpoint.
On the surface, this seems like a stupid decision on Pieck’s part.
Her Titan is by far the weakest of the nine and Eren has three Titan powers, among them the two most powerful, the Founding and Warhammer Titan.
This puts Pieck at a huge disadvantage and, again, makes her look stupid.
But here’s the thing; Pieck is not stupid.
Isayama has shown her to be one of the smartest characters in Attack on Titan time and time again.
She managed to free herself and Porco from the hole Yelena trapped them in and, most recently, managed to sneak into Eren’s inner circle and ambush him.
Not to mention that Zeke constantly praising Pieck for her intelligence, with him proclaiming “that’s exactly right, Pieck”, has become a meme.
So, Pieck must have some sort of plan but what is it?
Coming back to my theory about Reiner and Porco going to capture Historia and her baby, this might tie into that plan.
One of Eren’s biggest motivations for turning against the military was because they planned to sacrifice Historia so he would want to protect her at all cost.
And, if the fanbase is right and Eren is the true father of Historia’s child, this would increase his desire to save her tenfold.
Therefore, maybe this is the ace up Pieck’s sleeve.
She could threaten Historia’s life if Eren does not cooperate.
Or, maybe Eren could convince Pieck to come over to his side, who knows?
Either way, if Eren kills Pieck next chapter I will be dissapointed, both because it would make Pieck look like an idiot, and because we know the least about her out of all of the warriors.
I really like Pieck as a character and what to know more about her, so maybe Chapter 116 will give us some insight into her backstory and what her true motivations are.

Who is the little girl who resurrected Zeke and what part will she play in the story?

Ymir Fritz… Seriously, who else could it be?
If the little girl who saved Zeke is anyone other than Ymir Fritz I will be shocked.
And, since Ymir Fritz has probably been introduced, then that truly shows that we are in the endgame of this story.
What I find to be the most interesting question right now is how the original Ymir will tie into this endgame?
She saved Zeke so he is obviously important to whatever her plans are.
This may make it seem like she is trying to make his euthanasia plan succeed but I think her goal is quite the opposite.
I believe she may actually be trying to make Eren’s plan come true because I am almost certain he is manipulating Zeke.
Whatever Eren’s true plan is, he needs Zeke to initiate it and Ymir Fritz saving Zeke shows she is in favor of that plan working.
Maybe she is even already in communication with Eren, since he has three of the nine Titan Shifter powers.
Whether she is or not though, I am almost certain she will play a pivotal role in the story’s conclusion.
I also have a number of theories about how she may be connected to this ending, and I believe it all comes down to Historia’s child.
If you look at Ymir Fritz, she looks almost exactly like Historia when she was a child, living on her mother’s farm.
Not only that, but she has a similar pose, holding a bucket just like Historia.
As for the baby, it would make a lot of sense for Historia to name her baby Ymir because of how much she had an influence on her life.
This would technically make this child’s name Ymir Fritz since this was Historia’s family’s original name before they changed it to Reiss.
My theory is that Historia’s child IS Ymir Fritz and that she is working through paths to ensure Eren’s plan works in the past.
Maybe the series will end with Eren sending his memories of her into the past, generating the legend about Ymir gaining her powers from the devil, which may be Eren.
Although if this theory is correct, then it does raise the plot hole of what created the Titans in the first place so I am probably wrong about this.
Still, I do not think I am wrong about Ymir Fritz playing a major role in the story’s conclusion as that is pretty much a given at this point.

So those are my predictions for Chapter 116 of Attack on Titan and beyond.
I hope you enjoyed them.
Be sure to check out my review for the chapter when it officially drops in April.