Three more chapters.
That is how long we have before my favorite story comes to an end, at Chapter 139.
It is also a fitting number to conclude Attack on Titan at because of the significance of the numbers 13 and 9 in the series.
For now though, we have Chapter 136, “Devote Your Hearts”, another banger that adds more tension and excitement to the final battle between the Alliance and Eren.
Coming into this battle, I was expecting a lot of character deaths but, once again, no one died in this chapter.
I remember saying in my predictions post for Chapter 137 that I was pretty certain Pieck was going to die because of her predicament at the end of “Battle of Heaven and Earth.”
Well, much like Jean’s fear for Pieck, I was proved “dead wrong” because Pieck not only survived but was also the best character in this chapter, by far.
In what is probably her most epic scene in the entire manga, Pieck runs along the trident of the Warhammer Titan, transforms and kills it, and then transforms multiple times while shooting herself out of her previous Titan forms, as if she was wearing a jet pack!
It is an incredibly epic fight scene and her banter with Jean is quite funny, as she gives this whole speech about him not needing to worry about her and to continue with the mission, only to turn around and see that he is already doing just that, causing her to give a disappointed, “oh.”
However, while this is an epic and funny scene that made me glad Pieck was safe, there were other scenes that raised death flags for characters.
One of these was Reiner when he brings up Falco’s promise to him to protect Gabi “from the dark, dark future we face”, which makes it seem like he is preparing for a heroic sacrifice.
I was wrong about Pieck though so, hopefully, I have been reading too much into this potential death flag.
In any case, Reiner is helping Jean and Pieck by holding off the Warhammer Titans so I wonder which of them will be the one to detonate the explosives on Eren’s nape?
This plan to blow up the nape was devised on Falco’s flying Titan, and it is also here that the second part of the plan was formulated, that Mikasa, Annie and Connie would go to rescue Armin from the Okapi Titan, which holds him captive in a hentai nightmare.
Jokes aside, this is a very emotional scene, as the Alliance finally admits they can no longer hold back on Eren, with both Levi and Connie pointing out that it is too dangerous to do so.
Yet, it is Jean who tragically has to break the news to Mikasa that they have to kill Eren, if they want to stop him.
The look on Mikasa’s face after this moment is just beautifully drawn by Hajime Isayama.
Along with this scene being a potential death flag for Eren, with Mikasa maybe being the one to put him down, there are two other hints towards parts of the ending in this opening part of the chapter.
The first of these is pretty minor and that is the survival of Kiyomi and Yelena.
This chapter confirms that they stayed behind in life boats after Falco’s transformation caused their ship to capsize and did not go with them to the final battle, which pretty much guarantees that they will survive the story.
A much bigger hint at the ending comes from Gabi, when she mentions the shining centipede, or, as Kruger previously called it, “the source of all living matter”, which emerged from Eren’s head when Gabi decapitated him.
Gabi says that if they can decapitate him again, they might just see this source again, which basically confirms its importance in stopping Eren.
Once this talk is done, the initiation of the plan begins, with Jean and Reiner going to help Pieck (not that she needs help, as I’ve said) and detonate the explosives, and with Annie, Connie and Mikasa going to save Armin, leading to more intense action sequences.
This is especially the case between Mikasa and Annie, as Annie uses Mikasa’s ODM Gear to throw her towards the Okapi Titan that has Armin.
Although exciting, this big action moment unfortunately fails, with the Okapi Titan now heading for Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan, which is being controlled by Ymir.
This brings us into the final part of the chapter, where we see Armin, who is thankfully not fully experiencing the Okapi’s tongue attack anymore.
Armin is now facing his unconscious body and yells and it that he hates himself and that his body has always betrayed him.
Just like Mikasa shouting that she is strong in Chapter 135, this scene of Armin perfectly reflects his character growth since the Trost Arc.
Where Armin slowly began to grow confidence in his own strength from that arc onwards, this final arc has been slowly diminishing that to the point that Armin is now at his breaking point.
However, at his lowest moment, who is the perfect character for him to meet?
Why, Zeke, of course!
That’s right, the monkey is finally back, and Armin has made contact with him after realizing he is not dying but in the Paths.
Their interaction is brief, with the chapter ending abruptly just as it begins, but it does raise a very interesting question.
Zeke asks Armin if Ymir ate him too, which makes me wonder if Zeke was eaten when Eren transformed, only since his mind was in the Paths when it happened, he is now trapped there.
Whether Zeke is truly alive or not, though, I am very excited to see how he and Armin will work together since the two have never even talked to one another before.
Both are at their lowest points in the series and they may just need each other to climb out of the dark pits of self doubt that they have found themselves in.
And, hey, with Zeke back, this means Levi can have his final confrontation with him that has been built up forever.
However, it is pretty clear from the way Isayama shows Levi thinking about this in the chapter that it may not be as simple as we think.
Levi notes how the one order he has not been able to follow from Erwin is to kill Zeke.
He also mentions how he doesn’t regret saving Armin over Erwin and even seems to be on the verge of tears when remembering his dead comrades, Erwin and Hange among them.
It is also this scene that the title of the chapter, “Devote Your Hearts” seems to come from, as Levi thinks of how if the Scouts didn’t dream of “an absurdly innocent and idealized world” then “it won’t have been worth what they devoted.”
As the story has been drawing to a close, more and more chapters have been given names that have significance to the story, first “Wings of Freedom” and now “Devote Your Hearts.”
Back to the actual chapter, it’s time to talk about my one criticism, which is the confrontation between the Eldians from Liberio and the Marleyan soldiers.
The Eldians approach the soldiers, leading to the two sides pointing guns at one another because, of course, the Marleyans just can’t stop being racist even though it’s the freaking apocalypse.
Annie’s father tries to cool the tension but it just doesn’t work, until the leader of the soldiers, Secretary Muller, arrives with his gun at the ready.
The chapter then cuts to the Alliance on Falco’s back, hearing the gunshots, the implication being that both sides started shooting at each other.
Only, I am pretty sure this is not what happened.
There’s no way that Muller, the guy who was just saying that he wanted to abandon hatred two chapters ago, is just going to give into that hatred again.
No, most likely the shots fired were Muller getting everyone’s attention to stand down.
It just feels pretty predictable, so I don’t see why Isayama had to give us a fake out.
Although I could be completely wrong about this and, if something else happens and it makes perfect sense, I’ll be sure to correct this criticism.
All in all, though, Chapter 136, “Devote Your Hearts”, is another fantastic Attack on Titan chapter that feels like it is setting up the last three nicely.
It does end a bit abruptly but so did Chapter 120 and that was followed up by my two favorite chapters of the story so far, so let’s hope that this abrupt ending points to a similar trend, with incredible chapters to come.
We’re at the home stretch.
Recently it was confirmed that Attack on Titan is in its final volume, which will be released in either May or June.
This means the story will end on either Chapter 138 or 139, so three or four chapters left.
With the end now in sight, we are probably going to get some big reveals and character deaths soon, most likely starting with the upcoming Chapter 136.
It’s just a matter of how how Hajime Isayama will surprise us with the next twist in the story, and I think it may have something to do with a certain scene that was added to the premiere of the anime’s final season.
What Does Falco’s Dream in Season Four Episode One Mean?
The first episode of Attack on Titan‘s final season was fantastic and one of the best things about it were all of the little scenes added in by Mappa, creating a new experience for Manga readers like me.
One of these new additions was a brief piece of dialogue that had my jaw on the floor as I considered its implications.
When Falco is recovering from his probable concussion, he tells Gabi, Udo and Zofia that he dreamed he was flying around with swords, fighting Titans.
Now, this could be foreshadowing for him eventually using his Jaw Titan to fly but the one thing that doesn’t make sense is Falco having swords.
This makes it much more likely that he is experiencing a Scout’s memories.
It could be Freckled Ymir’s, since Falco gains her Jaw Titan but wouldn’t Falco only be able to access those after he gained the Titan?
In fact, the only Titan Shifter that we know of that can access memories throughout space and time is the Attack Titan, which is currently in possession of Eren.
So, could this mean that Falco will eat Eren at the end, becoming the next Attack Titan?
This theory could also be supported by Eren having a memory shard of Falco in Chapter 130, which was long before they meet.
Although, many people online who have heard this theory seem to dislike it so, if it does happen, it will be interesting to see how it is received.
Personally, I’m not sure how I would feel about it.
Guess I’ll just have to wait to see how Isayama writes it, if this is indeed what he is foreshadowing with this added anime scene.
What Will Happen to Armin and Pieck?
Back to the manga, Chapter 135 saw Armin and Pieck being left behind on Eren’s gigantic Titan form, with the both of them in life threatening situations.
Sadly, I think this may be the end for best girl Pieck.
She is one of the few characters who doesn’t really have an arc or a connection to many of the main characters so her death feels pretty likely.
I will honestly be surprised if she somehow makes it out of the next chapter alive, the happy kind of surprised that is.
As for Armin, I am much more convinced that he will survive the hentai situation he has found himself in.
I stated in my previous predictions post, where I outlined my thoughts on who among all of the important characters left in the story would die, that I thought Armin would live.
He’s the narrator of the story, and I think there may be a simple way for him to transform into his Colossal Titan to escape.
This simple way being Annie’s ring.
Some have speculated that, after their romantic talk in Chapter 131, Annie gave Armin her ring to protect him.
So, with his mouth now covered by the hentai Titan to prevent him transforming, Armin could use Annie’s ring to cut his finger and transform.
There are also two interesting things Armin could do, both having to do with dialogue.
The first is try to talk to Bertholdt, but I don’t know if Bertholdt could really say anything back since his soul looks like it is being controlled by Ymir.
Speaking of, Ymir is the other character Armin could try talking to.
She is the one allowing Eren to continue the Rumbling so, if Armin can convince her to stop, then the battle will be won.
Of course, if the talk no jutsu fails, then Armin may have to go to their last resort of stopping Eren, potentially killing him.
This is where the explosives come in.
Chekov’s Explosives: Who Detonates Them?
Before being impaled by the Warhammer Titan in “Battle of Heaven and Earth,” Pieck barely managed to wrap the explosives taken from the Jaegerists around the neck of Eren’s Titan form.
There is a panel of the detonator after Pieck is stabbed, so it is likely going to be important in the next chapter, just like how the anti-Titan gun Colt showed off in Chapter 118 was foreshadowing of Gabi using it to decapitate Eren in Chapter 119.
So, the question is, who detonates these explosives to try and stop Eren?
Well, my money is on Pieck, yet again.
She is the one who is closest and I think this could be how she ends up dying, sacrificing herself to try and stop Eren.
Even if Pieck isn’t the one who detonates the explosives, I see her playing a role in it.
Since Gabi is probably the only character left with a well established connection to Pieck, and she’s a great shot, maybe Pieck will hold up the explosives for Gabi to shoot.
Whatever happens to Pieck, and whoever detonates the explosives, I highly doubt this will kill Eren.
The guy’s too smart to just hide out in his nape.
He is most likely elsewhere, hiding using the power of the Warhammer Titan, along with Zeke.
So, if Pieck does die detonating the explosives, it could tragically be all for nothing.
And she’s not the only character in danger next chapter.
What can Levi do at This Point?
Levi has been through hell and back this arc, both physically and emotionally.
Not only has he lost his last remaining friend from the old Scouts, Hange, but Zeke exploding the Thunder Spear has left him extremely wounded.
His situation was worsened in Chapter 135, when his leg was bitten by a Titan while he was trying to save Connie, most likely breaking it.
Not only this but Levi is likely bleeding internally, as evidenced by him coughing up blood shortly before getting his leg bitten.
Levi is pretty much in so shape to fight now.
I know he’s a super soldier but the guy’s a mess.
Any more fighting from him is most likely going to result in his death at this point.
At least we know he won’t die until he has his final confrontation with Zeke.
After that, all bets are off.
Where are Kiyomi and Yelena?
Unlike Pieck and Levi, I don’t expect Kiyomi and Yelena to die at all.
The two of them were not on Falco’s back with Annie and Gabi at the end of the previous chapter, so this means that they likely stayed behind on the boat heading for Hizuru.
I think Isayama may be keeping Kiyomi alive for some role in Mikasa’s epilogue, if Mikasa does end up surviving the story.
I’m not honestly sure why Isayama decided to have her stay behind.
It felt like Yelena had more story to give, since her relationship with Zeke and mini rivalry with Pieck have yet to be resolved.
Maybe Isayama couldn’t find a way to fittingly put these things in the finale so he just had Yelena stay on the sidelines?
Either way, I am a bit disappointed that we most likely won’t see an end to Yelena’s arc.
In any case, I do expect her and Kiyomi to survive the story since they are so far away from the final battle now.
Any Chance of Zeke, Eren or Historia?
Every chapter we ask whether these characters will show up in the next one, don’t we?
We saw Historia at the beginning of “Battle of Heaven and Earth,” where it was revealed that she is currently giving birth.
Due to the potential importance of this plot point, with her baby possibly being the one we see in the final panel preview, I don’t see Historia showing up again until the penultimate, or very last chapter, unfortunately.
I do think Isayama has severely underused her character though so, however he ends hers her story, it can hopefully satisfy her fans.
As for Zeke, I really hope he turns up soon and gets his rivalry with Levi resolved because we haven’t seen him in the present story since Chapter 122.
While I have faith that Isayama will at least show Eren and Historia by the end, there is always the fear that Isayama will reveal that Zeke died off screen.
This said, I do have faith in him not to do this because of Zeke’s importance to the story, it’s just a little concern I have.
Fingers crossed that Isayama can bring back Zeke in a meaningful way before the end.
Then there’s Eren, who I’m not really concerned about.
He might not appear next chapter physically but he is still the main character so he is going to show up and make a big appearance by the end.
It’s practically guaranteed.
It’s just a matter of what happens to him at the end.
Does he live, die, or get stuck in the Paths Dimension?
Only time will tell, and a short amount of time at that, with only three or four months left until this epic story reaches its conclusion.