After the extremely rushed Chapter 126, many Attack on Titan fans, including myself, were concerned about the direction Hajime Isayama was taking the manga’s ending.
Well, thankfully, Chapter 127, “The Night of the End” seems to have significantly lessened those fears.
The chapter is a return to form, with the much needed tension between the characters that was missing in “Pride” being put on full display.
This building tension is made readily apparent by the full page spread of the alliance of Scouts, Warriors, and Volunteers around a campfire in their own separate groups.
This lead to many fantastic moments, among them small confrontations between Mikasa and Annie, and Jean and Magath.
Magath was the real surprise confrontation this chapter because I thought he had come to accept Eldians as his allies, for the most part.
However, with his attempts to justify the conflict between Paradis and Marley this chapter, Iayama has made it clearer than ever that he has a long way to go.
Still, he looks to be on the right path by the end of the scene, as he attempts to help Gabi, only to stop himself and consider his actions.
Speaking of Gabi, she stood out as a peacemaker at the end of the scene, with her protecting Reiner from Jean’s attack, and her and Falco begging the Scouts to help them stop the Rumbling.
Hange also played the role of peacemaker in “The Night of the End”, although to a much more hilarious degree, with her trying to maintain order by offering everybody soup.
Her direct opposite this chapter is Yelena, who Pieck reveals is actually a Marleyan who crafted a story about her being from a country that was conquered by Marley to make her seem more grand.
After this revelation, Yelena goes about stoking the flames of antagonism between the group, bringing up all of their crimes against one another.
She hits a particular nerve when she mentions Marco, which leads into Reiner and Annie explaining the truth about his death to Jean, telling him that Marco’s last words were “we still haven’t talked”, which is extremely relevant now.
We also get to learn some interesting facts about the aftermath of Marco’s demise, as Reiner reveals that, due to the split personality he had following the murder, Reiner killed the Titan out of guilt.
This is not enough to placate Jean though, who attacks Reiner, getting a few good punches in before Connie and Armin pull him away.
Gabi then shields Reiner, ending with her getting kicked in the face, before begging the scouts to help stop the Rumbling, as I mentioned before.
And to end this tense standoff, Isayama of course inserts some humor, with Levi waking up and telling the alliance that they are being “so noisy.”
Overall, this scene was fantastic and exactly what we needed after the complete lack of tension between the characters in Chapter 126.
The standout of the scene is definitively Jean, whose character growth is so great in this chapter that he has easily climbed up on my favourite characters list.
He is the main character of the chapter right from its opening moments, where he imagines what his life would be like if he just accepted the Rumbling and lived the good life.
He even imagines himself with a wife and children, the wife baring an uncanny resemblance to Mikasa.
By the end of the chapter, Jean has thrown this dream away to fight to stop the Rumbling as Marco would have wanted him to.
Unfortunately, all of this development for Jean is giving him some major death flags, especially with it looking like the alliance will face Floch in the next chapter.
Floch essentially represents what Jean could have become so it makes sense for the two to face off and I have a feeling it will result in both of their deaths.
Another character with death flags this chapter is Hange, who has a moment very reminiscent of when Erwin appeared to hallucinate his dead comrades in the Return to Shiganshina Arc.
Given that Erwin later died, the fact that Hange experiences this, along with Jean, is very concerning.
Death flags aside, this scene between Jean, Hange and Miaksa is very welcome because it explains one of the plot holes in Chapter 126 about how Jean and Mikasa met up with Hange.
Unfortunately, the chapter does not fix all the flaws of “Pride”, because we don’t get a flashback to Annie meeting with Armin or an explanation about how they met up with Hange and the others.
Still, at least some of the problems with the previous chapter have been fixed.
Back to the scene between Jean, Hange and Mikasa, there are two other things about this moment that I appreciated.
The first of these is Mikasa announcing that she believes they have to stop Eren.
It appears that she is finally taking Armin’s advice to think for herself and I hope to see this continue.
The second feature I appreciated was the small argument between Jean and Hange about what they would do if they stopped Eren to prevent the rest of the world from destroying Paradis.
While I did find it disappointing that Hange had no real plan, it is nice to see that Isayama knows that if Eren is defeated then the outside world would still not leave the island alone.
So, just defeating Eren is not going to be enough to keep the Eldians safe.
The final scene of the chapter sees the alliance heading to the harbor to take Kiyomi’s plane to stop Eren, as I predicted.
However, in a brilliant move, Floch has already realised their plan and moved the Yeagerists to guard the harbor and stop the alliance, holding Kiyomi hostage.
This looks like a job for Keith No-Longer-A-Bystander Chadis!
In all seriousness, it will be interesting to see what role Keith (if he was the man watching the alliance from the window) has to play in fighting the Yeagerists.
I also wonder what Kiyomi will do in this situation?
She can’t just be in the story to provide the plane so she must know something, right?
In any case, it looks like in the next couple chapters we will get Floch as the penultimate boss fight of the series.
Let’s just hope that Jean and Hange don’t bite the dust beating him.
As for any criticisms I have towards the chapter, one of the big ones is that I would have liked it if we had got a few more moments of tension and self reflection with the characters.
For example, we do not see Pieck and Magath’s reactions to Porco and Colt’s death, nor Reiner to Sasha’s, and Falco still does not seem to be all that bothered by the fact that he accidentally killed his brother.
Then there is Levi, who still has not called Annie out for killing his squad, but he was unconscious for almost the entire chapter so I can let that one slide.
All in all, “The Night of the End” is a great improvement from Chapter 126.
It delivered on the much needed tension between the characters, gave fantastic character development for Jean, and set up both the coming fight with Floch and, most concerning of all, possible death flags for some characters.
In my opinion, Chapter 126 is one of the weakest chapters in all of Attack on Titan.
The alliance between the Scouts and the Warriors was incredibly rushed and the entire Connie and Falco subplot was pointless.
Since the manga is set to end this year, having a bad chapter this close to the conclusion is very concerning.
Granted, everything since Chapter 110 has been incredible, if you ask me, so this bad chapter may just be a fluke.
Not only this, but maybe the chapter will be a lot better when it is adapted in the anime through its connection to the other episodes; who knows?
Still, if Chapter 127 is going to be good, I think Hajime Isayama needs to do a few things to get the story back on the right track.
What Needs to Happen.
Usually, I don’t say something needs to happen in a story for it to be good because it can be seen as unreasonable and putting unnecessary expectations on that story.
However, I believe these expectations are entirely warranted this time with the rushed nature of the alliance in the previous chapter.
In order for this alliance to work going forward, there needs to be two things.
1. There needs to be a flashback explaining how the Scouts and Warriors came together and what their plan is.
2. There needs to be tension between the two groups in the alliance.
In Chapter 126 it felt like there were a lot of missing scenes, like Annie’s discussion with Armin and Connie, everyone in this new alliance meeting up and deciding to rescue Yelena and Onyankopon, and the alliance deciding what their plan is.
The second and third missing scenes in particular are needed as flashbacks or there will be huge gaps in the story.
For one thing, we have no idea what the alliance plans to do about Eren and they can’t have decided to work together with no plan because that would be stupid.
Another thing that bothered me about Chapter 126 was the lack of tension.
For example, when Annie ran into Connie and Armin, Connie laughed at her for eating pie when he was shown to be angered by her previous betrayal in Chapter 118.
It felt very out of character for them and the rest of the characters to team up while seemingly forgetting all they have done to each other.
Now, I know the Scouts and the Warriors have to set aside their differences to stop Eren but are they really just going to forget everything?
They have been at war with one another for years for god’s sake.
I want to see Levi angry at Annie for killing his squad, I want to see Jean angry at Reiner and Annie for murdering Marco, I want to see Reiner and Annie angry at Armin for eating Bertholdt.
In order for this alliance to make any sense there needs to be tension between the group and we need an explanation for how they came together and decided their plan.
Let’s hope Isayama does not drop the ball this time and actually delivers on these things.
How Will The Alliance Reach Eren?
And now, for the speculation part of the post.
At the end of Chapter 127, Connie, Armin, Mikasa, Gabi and Falco went to collect Reiner, with Connie telling him it was time to save the world.
This definitely means they are going to take a stand against Eren but the question is how do they reach him since his Titan form is the tallest of them all?
Well, with Kyomi’s plane of course.
In Chapter 109, we see that Kyomi has a plane that uses the Iceburst stone as fuel, which she calls a “flying boat.”
She plans to use it to view the Rumbling experiments, however, now that the Rumbling has been activated to its fullest extent, this plane would be perfect for reaching Eren to try and stop it.
Sure, Kyomi could have fled in it but she said she wants to protect Mikasa so I find it reasonable to assume that she would stay to try and find her.
Mikasa will probably remember this and suggest that use Kyomi’s plane to reach Eren. So, Chapter 127 will most likely include the mad dash to reach the port and take the plane.
What Does Magath Want With Yelena?
Although I did not like Chapter 126, there were some things about it that I enjoyed like the multiple mysteries it set up.
One of these mysteries is why Magath requested that Yelena be rescued from the Yeagerists.
There could be a number of explanations for this, ranging from wanting to punish her for the crimes she committed against his country to thinking she will have some information about Zeke.
Although, maybe these explanations seem a little too simple.
In all honesty, this is one mystery that I actually have no idea where it is going.
But I am interested to see play out.
There is one mystery that I am positive I know the answer to, though.
Who is The Mysterious Man in The Window?
The second big mystery of Chapter 126 is who the man in the window who watched Armin, Annie, Mikasa and the others escape was.
There seem to be three characters that the fandom are predicting it will be, Historia, Zeke or Keith.
While it would be great for it to be Historia, I think we can rule her out pretty quickly.
The figure in the window does not look like a woman, let alone a pregnant one.
That leaves Zeke and Keith and I have to go with Keith here.
The man just doesn’t look like Zeke at all.
He does, however, look a lot like Keith, being bald, having the same facial structure as him, and even appearing to have the same shirt he was wearing in Chapter 125.
Therefore, I am certain that the figure in the window who is watching the alliance escape is Keith Shadis.
So, if it is him, then what role does he have to play in the story going forward?
Well, what with his identity being kept a secret at this stage, I can firmly say that it will undoubtedly be important and I, for one, am looking forward to it.
Shadis has really grown on me as a character in this final arc with his progression from bystander to active participant.
I am sure he will lead the recruits that now follow him in a battle against the Yeagerists for the fate of the island.
What Will Floch and The Yeagerists do?
In one of the few good scenes of Chapter 126, the alliance rescued Jean, Yelena and Onyankopon from the clutches of the Yeagerists.
They made it appear like the three of them had been eaten but the final panel of the scene suggests that Floch may be onto them.
And if he realizes that Jean and the rest of the 104th, along with Levi and Hange, have teamed up with the Warriors to stop Eren then it is certain that he will lead the Yeagerists in an effort to stop them.
This is why I think we may be getting a few big character deaths pretty soon.
Eren is doing the Rumbling to save his friends so I don’t see him killing them but Floch definitely would.
However, like I said earlier, I feel that Shadis may have a central role in their downfall.
But, as for Floch, I think it would be much more fitting for Jean to be the one to end up killing him because they are two sides of the same coin.
Where are Zeke and Historia?
It seems like every chapter we are wondering when a missing character will show up.
Thankfully, recent chapters have brought back Annie, Levi and Hange but characters like Zeke and Historia are still missing.
Of the two, Zeke’s role in the story is a lot more obvious, I think.
He will most likely show up somewhere in the final battle in a last ditch effort to stop Eren as his father begged him to do and initiate his Euthanasia Plan.
It is through him and Yeagerists fighting the alliance for their own ends that we will see most of the deaths.
We will also probably get a final fight between Zeke and Levi, with Connie also taking part.
Zeke will most likely die, along with Levi, paralleling one of the many battles of Ragnarok in Norse Mythology.
However, while I think I have a good grasp on what Zeke’s role will be, I am currently struggling to think of something for Historia.
I was so sure that she would show up in Chapter 126 but she just didn’t.
Honestly, Historia is in the story so little now that she might as well be the new Annie.
Yet, Isayama keeps bringing her up so she has to be important somehow.
Sadly, I don’t think we can expect to see Historia until Eren’s P.O.V is finally revealed, which should be around the end of the story, where we will learn who the father of her child really is and what role she has in Eren’s plan.
I just hope she can stand out when she does return with how little story there is left.