Attack on Titan, Chapter 117, Judgement Review: War Hammer Mode Initiated.

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4 stars
As many people have already pointed out, Hajime Isayama has so immaculately timed the events of Attack on Titan that we now have different fights between Eren and Reiner in the manga and the anime happening at the same time.
It really goes to show how good Isayama is at structuring the series and has me excited about how he will continue to do so.
As for the Chapter 117 itself, it is a non-stop thrill ride of a chapter that feels over way too soon.
That is the sad thing about Attack on Titan though.
It’s action packed chapters can be read through so quickly, and then you have to wait another moth as you are dying to read the next one.
This Chapter, “Judgement”, definitely has me feeling this way, with almost the entirety of it being action oriented as Eren faces off against the warriors and Marley’s military.
However, my favourite part of “Judgement” is not the bombastic action sequences, but rather the small character moments we get from Gabi and Magath.
Isayama really surprised me with how well he develops these two this chapter.
After escaping with Pieck, Gabi is brought to the Marleyan troops, led by Magath, and she is very surprised when he hugs her, showing relief that she is safe.
I love this moment because it not only shows that Magath does care about the Eldians under his command, but it also serves as a nice callback to chapter 91, where both characters were introduced.
In that chapter, Gabi came up with a dangerous plan that put herself at risk and, at first, Magath forbade her from following through on that plan.
This led to Gabi jokingly saying that this meant Magath really cared about her… only for this to now be proven true with Magath embracing her.
Then there is the cool story moment we got from Gabi in this scene, which saw her remember what Zeke said about him having royal blood, causing the others to realise that Zeke and Eren coming into contact could activate the Founding Titan.
It is a good explanation for how the Marleyans would figure out Eren and Zeke’s plan and also goes to show how smart Gabi is.
Speaking of the Marleyans and their warriors though, reading the chapter I was not entirely sure who I should be routing for.
One the one hand, I wanted Eren to succeed and defeat Reiner, but on the other hand I wanted Reiner to beat him.
This shows how complex Attack on Titan has become, with every character’s motivations being understandable to us now, to the point that we route for them all.
So, in the end, there is a bunch of characters I all like that are fighting to the death, making me unsure of who to route for.
I loved every second of this uncertainty.
It added much more weight to the battle, which has a lot of highlights, from Pieck’s cannon wielded by Magath, to Zeke showing up at the end to save Eren.
One of the big highlights of this fight though is obviously Eren using his War Hammer Titan abilities in battle for the first time.
It was very exciting to see all the different ways Eren can use the power.
He is clearly not as skilled as the previous War Hammer Titan but, if he is given time, he could become even more overpowered, which could be either a good and bad thing, depending on how Isayama handles it.
There are even some morbidly funny moments to go along with all of this action.
The best of this is scene when Porco cuts off Pieck’s hand so she can transform without hurting Gabi.
When this happens, Pieck screams in pain before jumping off the building to transform.
This is humorous in a pretty morbid way because we have never seen a Titan Shifter express pain at their injuries before, despite hurting themselves in ways that would leave most people in complete agony.
There are also, what I feel to be, hints at future events in the manga, the most obvious being Magath talking about the Marleyan hero Helos, who Willy Tyber mentioned.
This historical figure has constantly been used in reference to Magath and, if the theory that the story of Ymir was actually transported to the past by Titan memories is true, this could mean Magath is actually Helos.
This has dire implications because it has been stated that Helos killed the Devil of all earth, and many people believe Eren is an allusion to this devil.
So, if Magath, or any other character, turns out to be Helos, then it may be likely that Eren will be killed by them.
Along with this, Zeke looks set to transform all of the people who ingested his spinal fluid in the next few chapters.
This will undoubtedly turn the fight in their favor because Zeke will have complete control over all 300 of the Titans he will create.
However, Zeke showing up here does add further weight to this being the final battle, which I am currently unsure how I feel about because so many characters are absent from it.
Also, I did have a few minor problems with the chapter, the biggest of which being suspension of disbelief when it came to Titan injuries.
Is it just me, or does anyone else think Eren and Reiner’s Titans should have been unusable by the end of the chapter?
Eren got shot in the head twice and Reiner got his face ripped open and was hit by Zeke’s boulders, and yet, both are somehow still standing by the end.
It just felt like a contradiction of what we already know about what Titan’s can withstand.
Speaking of contradictions, there is a weird continuity error when, for some reason, Eren is shown without a shirt in one panel and then with one in another.
It kind of felt like Isayama was placed fan-service over continuity there.
Overall though, “Conviction” is another solid chapter of Attack on Titan that has me excited for the series’ endgame… that is if Isayama does not spoil it himself first, but I will talk about that situation in another post

Attack on Titan Chapter 117 Predictions.

What is Marley’s plan of attack?

At the end of Chapter 116, Marley’s military arrived to bring the fight to Eren.
However, they must have some trick up their sleeve if they hope to defeat him.
Marley has three Titan Shifters and a large amount of soldiers ready to fight but this still may not be enough.
This is why I think it is a possibility we could  see a repeat of Chapter 92, where Marley will turn a bunch of Eldians into Titans, which could motivate Zeke to transform those who ingested his spinal fluid when he arrives.
Although, if Marley does use regular Titans then there will be nothing to stop them from attacking their own soldiers and Titan Shifters so this might not happen.
I have also seen some speculation that Marley may have perfected ODM Gear from the one Zeke stole from Miche in the Clash of the Titans Arc.
If the Marleyan soldiers can now use ODM Gear then this would give them a much better chance of winning.
Still, I believe their main form of attack will be the Warriors, who may actually be able to defeat Eren, despite his War Hammer Titan abilities.
This will probably be because of Reiner, who is more motivated than ever to beat Eren.
Besides, Reiner has lost to Eren in all of their fights so it is about time he won.

Will Eren use his War Hammer Titan?

Eren ate the War Hammer Titan all the way back in chapter 104, and in Chapter 110 we saw he could use its abilities when he broke out of prison.
So, despite Eren’s Titan form not looking any different when he transformed at the end of “All Creation,” he still clearly has those powers.
This makes it almost certain that he will use them in his battle with the Warriors and the Marleyan Military.
The question is how?
Some have theorized that Eren will use the War Hammer Titan power to create two blades like those in the ODM Gear, which he has used before so that makes sense.
We have also seen that the War Hammer Titan is capable of creating long range weapons like crossbows so I can definitely see Eren shooting the airships out of the sky.
However, we do not know how skilled Eren will be with these powers, considering he only got them recently.
While it certainly will come in handy, I do not think we can expect to see Eren on the same level as the previous War Hammer Titan quite yet.
If he somehow is though, then this will undoubtedly make the battle terribly one sided in Eren’s favor.
Whatever the case, I think we can expect to see the full extent of Eren’s capabilities with the War Hammer Titan power very soon.

When will Zeke arrive and what will he do?

Eren will be going up against three Titan Shifters in the next chapter so he will need all the help he can get.
Thankfully, his half-brother, Zeke, is currently on the way with Floch and the other Yeagerists.
I think this will most likely be the cliffhanger of Chapter 117 or 118, with Eren about to be overwhelmed and defeated only for Zeke to jump in and help at the last minute.
This would be a nice payoff to the scene where Zeke promised Eren he would save him and it would also be interesting to see how Zeke interacts with his former allies turned enemies.
I am the most curious about how he will interact with Pieck, considering he was the closest to her when he was on Marley’s side.
If Pieck is going to die, then this could lead to a sad scene where Zeke actually eats her to stop her from interfering.
This is just speculation though.
What I do think will happen is that Zeke will also play a role in destroying the airships with Eren, because his main attack is a pitching throw with rocks.
If this is the final battle, I also think we can expected to see Eren and Zeke finally initiate their plan once this battle is over.
However, since I think Eren is manipulating Zeke, this plan may not be what Zeke intends and he will probably be betrayed.

How will the scouts escape and what will they do?

Since this is most likely the final battle, then the scouts will definitely play a part in it.
In order to do that though, they have to escape from their prison cell.
This may or may not happen in Chapter 117 but it will almost certainly happen during this battle.
Coming back to my earlier theory, I believe Onyankopon will be the one to free them because there has been a lot of hints that he does not fully trust Yelena.
In the chaos of the battle he will probably run to free the Scouts.
As for Niccolo, he will most likely help Sasha’s family escape from the battlefield, while the scouts fight.
About what they will do during this fight, even though they are questioning Eren’s methods, they will still have no choice but to side with him during this battle.
In fact, Armin’s Colossal Titan could be enough to tip the scales in Eren’s favor, along with Zeke.
No matter what happens though, I think this could sadly be the last time we see a few of these characters, which leads me to my next point.

Death Predictions.

Some characters are going to die in this battle.
Whether these characters are major or minor, it is inevitable.
It just remains to be seen who these characters will be.
Starting with the scouts, the most likely candidates here are Connie and Jean, who are not as important to the story as Armin and Mikasa but whose deaths would still get an emotional gut punch, especially Jean.
However, I think that Connie may be the most likely to die here, even more so if Zeke gets involved.
Isayama has set up a possible fight between the two since Zeke turned Connie’s entire family into Titans and Connie said he was looking for an opportunity to fight him in the Uprising Arc.
Since Zeke is an important character though, if he and Connie do fight then I see Connie losing and probably dying.
Eren, Mikasa and Armin are also too important, like Zeke, so will not be dying any time soon.
Then there are Yelena, Onyankopon and Floch, who are all minor characters and could possibly die at any point.
Moving onto the Warriors, I think Reiner and Porco are safe for now.
Porco still needs to meet Historia and have his antagonism with Reiner resolved, and Reiner will most likely die when Zeke turns Falco into a Titan and Reiner sacrifices himself to save him, which I do not think will happen next chapter.
Pieck, on the other hand, could die.
She is handcuffed to Gabi and will not transform until she is uncuffed because it would kill her.
If she does get free though, she is still at risk because her Titan is the weakest and, unlike Porco and Reiner, I do not see anyway she can grow, even though I do really like her character.
As for Gabi, she is in the middle of a character arc so she is not dying.
Falco is another story, however, because he, and the others who have consumed Zeke’s spinal fluid, will most likely be turned into Titans soon.
Unless Reiner does sacrifice himself to save him, then I think Falco will most likely die soon.
His brother, Colt, is also fair game because his character does not seem to have a point.
Finally, there is Magath who I think is safe for the time being because he clearly has a role to play, although I do not know what that role is.

My Concerns.

Now we come to the portion of the predictions where I lay out my concerns for the endgame of the series.
If you read my review for Chapter 116, you know that I am currently against this being the final battle.
The reason for this is that there are at least four major characters with unresolved storylines far away from this battle.
Those characters being Levi, Hange, Historia and Annie.
In my opinion, the only excuse an important character has for not being present during the final battle is if they are dead and none of these characters are.
It has also been a very long time since we have seen Historia and Annie so Isayama needs to bring them back into the story soon.
So, this fight possibly being the last one does have me concerned.
I would say that there is a chance this may not be the final showdown but, in all honesty, it has all the hallmarks of being that.
The characters are back in Shiganshina, where it all began, almost all of the Titan Shifters are present in this fight, and Zeke is on his way to meet Eren, which is currently the driving force of this final arc.
As a result, I find it unlikely that this is not going to turn out to be the last battle of the series, which is worrying because many of these characters’ storylines are unresolved at this point.
I am especially concerned that the missing characters will not reappear until the epilogue, which would be bad writing for a lot of them, especially Annie.
Her return has been hyped up for a long time so, if she only reappears during the epilogue of the story, it will feel like her character was completely wasted and that Isayama had absolutely no idea what to do with her.
If it is the final battle of Attack on Titan, then Isayama needs to find a way to include the four important characters who are missing.

 

 

And that is the end of my predictions for Chapter 117, which I will review when it is released. On another note, be sure to check out my reviews for the episodes of Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2, which returns on April 28. This part of the anime with be adapting The Return to Shiganshina Arc, which is my favourite arc in the manga so far. I cannot wait to see how it is adapted and sharing my opinions with you.