Attack on Titan Chapter 126, Pride Review: A Rare Disappointment.

2 and a half stars
The past 15 chapters of Attack on Titan have been incredible, god tier levels of writing.
So, I was both surprised and saddened to find that I did not like Chapter 126, “Pride.”
Although there are some good things about the chapter, the majority of it feels rushed and there is one plot point that is a complete waste of time.
This plot point is, of course, the whole Connie trying to feed Falco to his mother situation.
Before actually reading this chapter, I was very excited to see how this storyline would pan out because I was certain it would lead to the return of Historia.
Now, I will admit that I did let my expectations get in the way, so that not happening is a big reason for my disappointment.
However, even if my opinion was not influenced by that theory, I am certain that I would still find this subplot pointless.
Absolutely nothing came out of this storyline.
The only interesting part was Armin’s attempted suicide, which I found intense for the brief second that it happened.
The rest of it is a waste because it is entirely predictable, with Falco being saved, and ultimately adds nothing to the main plot.
Seriously, how does Connie trying to bring back his mother tie into the Rumbling in any way?
It feels like a pointless side quest and should have been removed entirely.
If it had, then it would have given Isayama enough time to expand on Hange, Levi and the rest of the Scouts teaming up with the Warriors, which was sorely needed.
At the end of the last chapter, the two came across Pieck and Magath and this lead me to believe that much of Chapter 126 would be their conversation as they slowly and organically came to the conclusion that they should work together.
But, nope; instead Hange suggests working together immediately, despite the fact that they had all been trying to kill each other not two hours ago.
This rushed alliance is also evident with Annie, who Armin and Connie run into after their whole pointless subplot.
They find Annie eating a pie, which Connie makes an actually funny joke about.
However, while I did like the joke, it did not fit the situation at all as things should have been way more tense between the three.
Not only this but Annie deciding to team up with them is left entirely off screen and explained in a letter she leaves to Hitch.
Talk about disappointing.
On a completely unrelated note, Pieck’s last name is revealed to be Finger this chapter, which I hope is a mistranslation because that is just too funny to take seriously.
Another disappointing thing about the chapter is how some characters feel, well, out of character.
The most obvious of these is Mikasa who is unusually cruel to a dying Louise, who she retrieves her scarf from.
The girl who admired Mikasa is literally dying before her eyes and Mikasa just takes the scarf and leaves her to die without a goodbye.
This made her incredibly unlikable this chapter.
Some have speculated that the reason Mikasa was so cold to Louise is because she reminded her of a part of herself she has come to hate but, if that is the case, then it should have been explained way better.
And then there is Falco whose character is also treated badly through how he reacts to his brother Colt’s death.
There is literally only two panels of him reacting to the news and then he is shown to be completely fine throughout the rest of the chapter.
He even appears to be joking with Gabi when they run into Annie.
The kid just accidentally killed his brother and you wouldn’t even know it had affected him at all by the end of the chapter.
My disappointment in this chapter does not appear to be just me, though, as many other people are also criticizing it online as well about problems like this.
However, what people seem to be criticizing the most is the end of the chapter where Reiner is kicked awake by Annie and sees the Scouts and Warriors are now working together, with Connie telling him they are going “to save the world.”
Many people find this line to be cringy, however, this is one of the few things people say is a problem with “Pride” that I actually think is alright.
This is because of how it ties into Reiner’s arc.
Back in the Marley Arc, it is revealed that Reiner was obsessed with saving the world, which is one of the reasons why he destroyed the walls, kicking off the story.
Now, he has an opportunity for redemption by completing the goal he always hoped to as a child.
This is one of the few moments in the chapter that had any thematic weight so, despite its cringyness, I give it a pass.
Along with this, there are some parts of the chapter that I actually really liked.
The best moment of the chapter is definitely the rescue of Yelena and Onyankopon, with him and Jean being the standout characters of “Pride.”
Onyankopon continues to grow on me as he points out the Yeagerists’ hypocrisy in condemning others to death when they were the targets of this nine years ago.
As for Jean, his line that if he hadn’t rescued them, “the bones turned to ashes wouldn’t forgive me for that” is very moving because it shows he still remembers Marco.
Also, the moment when he splashes water in Onyankopon’s face is really funny.
There are a lot of funny moments in this chapter, even if the scenes they are in are not very good, like  Connie’s ridiculous excuse to Falco about why he brought him to see the Titan, Connie laughing at Annie for stuffing her face, and Annie kicking Reiner to wake him up.
Another detail I liked was Hange crying at the beginning of the chapter when she guns down the two Yeagerists, which was very touching.
There is also some intrigue building around set up plot points like why Magath wanted Yelena to be rescued and who the mysterious figure who saw Armin, Annie, Mikasa and the others escape, is.
My money is on either Zeke or Keith.
So, despite all of its problems, “Pride” does have some good moments that keep it from completing failing.
Back to the criticism surrounding it, a lot of people are taking one bad chapter to mean that the ending of the series is going to go downhill from here.
We have had 15 incredible, mind blowing chapters before this point and now we have one bad chapter and everyone assumes the series is doomed.
People need to calm down because there could be a number of reasons why this chapter is so flawed.
Hajime Isayama could have been rushed like with Chapter 119 or decided to bypass this stuff quickly to get to the good stuff.
We really don’t know and we should at least see a few more chapters before saying that Attack on Titan is in danger of having a bad ending.

Attack on Titan Chapter 126 Predictions.

Chapter 125 of Attack on Titan set up a lot of plot points to be resolved before the story goes into the final battle.
I am now sure that we are in the prelude to the big finale, a calm before the storm if you will.
Although, given that the Rumbling is currently happening, I feel like calling the current situation calm would be the understatement of the century.
In any case, if my belief that the manga will end at Chapter 134 is correct, then the next few chapters will spend most of their time wrapping up certain plot points and character arcs.
We will definitely see this with whatever way the plot point that my first question is about concludes.

How will Jean and Mikasa take down Floch?

“Sunset” proved my prediction that Floch arrested all of the volunteers to stop them from rising up in the aftermath of the Rumbling to be correct.
Thankfully, though, my theory that he would try to execute them all turned out to be wrong.
Still, Floch needs to be taken down and it looks like Jean and Mikasa are being set up to do that.
Jean has been really conflicted since the Rumbling started, trying to convince himself that the fighting is over, while being disturbed by the injustice Floch commits against the volunteers.
As for Mikasa, she has also been struggling a lot with what to do now that the Rumbling has happened and that she no longer understands Eren anymore.
However, both look set to emerge from their states of indecision in an effort to take Floch down.
Jean has had a lot of conflict with Floch previously so it would make sense for him to be involved and, as for Mikasa, Armin told her to think for herself and stopping Floch is the perfect scenario for her to do that.
I just hope that neither of them die in the attempt.
I think Mikasa is safe but Jean defeating Floch, who represents what he could have become, could be the conclusion of his character arc, resulting in his death.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope this doesn’t happen. 

Will Hange and Levi team up with Pieck and Magath?

Levi fans everywhere rejoiced when humanity’s strongest soldier himself was revealed to be alive as the cliffhanger of Chapter 125.
Having saved his life, Hange has dragged his unconscious body on a horse to the outskirts of Shiganshina where they meet Pieck and Magath who Hange engages in conversation with.
It will be very interesting to see how these four characters interact because they are meeting for the first time but the outcome of this meeting is anyone’s guess.
Some has suggested that Hange could find a way to feed Pieck to Levi but I am against this for multiple reasons.
For one thing, we don’t even know if Ackermans can become Titans.
Not only this but I would rather see Levi struggle with his injures than become a Titan Shifter, and Pieck being fed to him really does not tie into her arc.
The only Titan Shifter I can see being fed to Levi would be Zeke because it would resolve their conflict but we don’t have any indication of where Zeke is yet.
Therefore, I think it is more likely that Hange will make an alliance with Pieck and Magath in an attempt to stop the Rumbling.
However, I just want to say that this does not mean a Code Geass ending.
Honestly, I have been against that being the ending for Attack on Titan ever since it was first theorized.
But I am not against the Scouts and Warriors teaming up for an attempt to stop Eren.
I just hope that it does not end with it being revealed that Eren’s plan was to become an enemy to unite the world because that would just not work in this story’s context.
In any case, I am excited to see how the four characters will interact in Chapter 126.

Does Falco have Ymir’s memories?

Another big plot point that continued in Chapter 125, is Connie taking Falco to feed him to his mother so she can be revived.
As I have said in previous predictions posts, I do not believe that Connie will succeed in feeding Falco to Mrs Springer and that Armin and Gabi will most likely find a way to talk him out of it.
However, what I do believe is that Falco will see Ymir’s memories in Chapter 126.
Isayama seemed to be hinting that Falco had them when he thought that Connie looked familiar.
Some have speculated that Falco just recognized Connie from the airship when Sasha was killed but I think him having Ymir’s memories is more likely because of the plot significance it could have.
I think right as the two reach Connie’s village and Falco sees Mrs Springer, he will experience one of Ymir’s memories.
And not just any memory, but the one from Utgard Castle where Ymir laughed at Connie for thinking that his mother was a Titan to distract him from the painful truth.
This would both make Falco realise he is now a Titan Shifter because he is seeing someone’s memories, and also make him realise that Connie plans to feed him to his Titanized mother.
However, once Falco realizes he inadvertently killed his brother, Colt, when he transformed, I actually see him deciding to allow Connie to kill him out of guilt.
But, like I said, I think Connie will have second thoughts or be stopped by Armin and Gabi because I don’t see the point in Falco dying here.
Besides, if Falco does experience Ymir’s memories, it sets him up for another big plot point; meeting Historia who I believe is in Ragako.

Why I think Historia will be in Ragako.

With Attack on Titan supposedly in its last prelude before the final battle, I think this would be the perfect time to reintroduce Historia to the plot.
And what better way to do that than for her to be in hiding at Ragako village?
Now, you might be wondering why she would be hiding out there because of the Titan but that is why I think she probably is there.
No one in their right mind would put the queen near a dangerous Titan and it is this thought that would keep people from suspecting Ragako.
However, since the Titan cannot move, it poses as no threat to Historia, so the village serves as both a safe place for Historia to hide and a place that no one would expect her to be.
Also, Historia being in Ragako village would be perfect for the plot because she could interact with Falco, who might have Ymir’s memories.
This could give Historia closure and also motivate her to name her child after Ymir.
And if her child really will be the reincarnation of Ymir Fritz, like I think, then this moment will have huge plot significance.
Speaking of the child, Historia showing up here would also be a good point for Isayama to reveal exactly what the hell is going on with her baby and how Eren is involved.
We know from the memory flash in Chapter 120 that he met with Historia and I really hope we get to see that interaction soon.

Is Eren really planning to destroy the world?

After reading Chapter 122, I was certain that Eren’s plan is to destroy the world with the Rumbling.
However, each following chapter has raised my doubts about this and I am now wondering if Eren has some alternate plan that only he knows about.
One of the biggest questions about Eren’s supposed plan is that, if he is trying to destroy the world, why would he announce this to all Eldians, including the ones in Marley and other countries in the world?
Wouldn’t this just allow these Eldians to warn their captors of the oncoming apocalypse and give them time to prepare?
Unless, of course, Eren wanted them to hear this message so they would act.
In Chapter 125, Annie’s father was one of the many Eldians in Liberio who tried to convince a group of Marleyan guards that the Rumbling had been activated.
However, because of the racist beliefs of the Marleyans, Mr Leonhart and the other Eldians were placed under arrest, causing Mr Leonhart to fight back, supposedly starting an uprising in the internment zone.
Perhaps this is also happening in other internment zones around the world, as the Eldians panic about the Rumbling and their captors not listening to them.
If this is what is happening then Eren may have sent out his warning to motivate the Eldians to fight against their oppressors.
Maybe this was so there would be too much chaos for the world to stop the Rumbling or maybe Eren wants to help the Eldians by doing this, in which case his plan is something other than destroying the world.
Again, I hope this is not Eren pulling a Lelouch, I would much rather his plan be something more original and actually make sense in the context of Attack on Titan’s world.

An idea for a tragic ending.

Back in Chapter 110, when Darius Zachary was assassinated, a crowd of Eldians were shown chanting, “devote your hearts!”
And so a phrase that was once meant to inspire hope for humanity’s survival was turned into a fanatical slogan.
However, until the most recent chapter, this was not brought up again so I thought Isayama may have forgotten about it.
Then, in “Sunset”, we saw these fanatics again, cheering on Eren, despite him killing some of their own people by unleashing the Rumbling.
But, instead of everyone present being fully on board, many citizens who had lost loved ones were disgusted by Eren’s actions and argued with those in support of him, almost starting a riot.
There were other signs of division in Chapter 125, like when Keith told the recruits to act like they supported the Yeagerists but to never lose sight of themselves.
All of this points towards a possible way for the story to end that has tragic implications.
My new theory is that, whether or not the Rumbling actually destroys most of the world, the cycle of hatred against the Eldians will end.
However, this does not mean the cycle of hatred ends, it is merely redirected to something else.
Instead of it being Eldians against the rest of the world, by the end of the story it will be those who support what Eren did vs those who don’t.
So, while the Eldians are now free from racial discrimination, ideological discrimination grips the world and threatens to tear it apart once more.
This could be the tragic ending for Attack on Titan.
Eren frees all of his people from persecution, only to inadvertently start a new cycle of hatred and persecution based off people’s opinions and beliefs.
This would create a bittersweet finale that speaks to our current world on a thematic level as cycles of hatred regarding things like race and politics are constantly regurgitated.
And, even if this is not where the obvious ideological differences people in the series are having leads, it will be interesting to see where this plot point goes.