Attack on Titan Volume 24 Review: The Devolution of Reiner.

Chapter 95: Liar.

4 stars
Hajime Isayama’s goal for the Marley Arc so far seems to be to bring Reiner to his lowest possible point.
This started in the previous chapter, and the first one of Volume 24, “Liar,” is the continuation of this, with it going even deeper into Reiner’s backstory.
We see the rejection he experienced from his Marleyan father, which lead him to dedicate his remaining resolve to his mission and become a hero.
It does not even matter to him when Marcel reveals he badmouthed Porco so he would not become a Titan to protect him and this is the only reason Reiner became a warrior.
This once again breaks down my prior perceptions of Reiner as always being a natural born leader, with his inner thoughts at this revelation distracting him long enough for Ymir to sneak up on him, leading to Marcel sacrificing himself.
If anything, Marcel seemed to fit my original ideas about Reiner more than the man himself.
This further development of an important character and a long dead one was great and gave me a better understanding of both characters.
The flashback also delivers some Titan action, showing the Warriors training to attack Paradis with a display of all their abilities.
Among these, we get our first (and probably last) look at Marcel’s Jaw Titan, which looks very similar to his brother’s.
This seems to confirm that either their family has a special connection to this Titan or it has been enhanced, unlike with Ymir.
The rest of the chapter also delivers a few interesting reveals.
Most importantly we get the name drop of the final Titan Shifter and the family that possesses it.
This being the Warhammer Titan under the procession of the Tyber family.
According to the Warriors they are a family of Eldians who have being living the high life as honorary Marleyans but are now stepping in due to the severity of the situation.
I am interested to see what this latest Titan will be like and just how it will play into the story.
There are also a few lighter moments to go along with this as, right before this scene, Porco stumbles upon Pieck crawling on the floor because it feels “more natural” for her after spending so much time in her Titan.
This was a genuinely funny moment, made even more so by a later panel of Pieck lying on the couch like a cat.
She is definitely one of my favourites characters introduced in this arc.
Chapter 95 was an interesting one that built on Reiner’s character development and made me interested for what was to come.

Chapter 96: The Door of Hope.

4 stars
Attack on Titan 
came full circle this chapter with the flashback revealing what really happened when Reiner, Annie and Bertholdt breached the walls and in its aftermath.
This goes to show how fantastic of a writer Hajime Isayama is because of how he has changed perceptions of these characters as the manga has gone on.
When Reiner, Annie and Bertholdt were revealed as the Titans who breached the walls it made them instantly unlikable for causing so much death and destruction.
However, as the series has gone, Isayama has slowly shown us more and more of their perspective, until now we are getting the full story.
This allows us to not only understand Reiner but Annie and Bertholdt as well, and to make these characters, who we initially thought of as evil, sympathetic is a real achievement.
The three all had moments that made me sympathize with them in this chapter.
From Reiner trying to be Marcel so he can achieve his mission, to Annie crying out that she is only doing this so she can go home, to Bertholdt hilariously trying to compliment Annie and failing spectacularly.
All of these moments served to make these characters more sympathetic and relatable, something I could not imagine being done 50 chapter earlier.
Another thing I enjoyed about “The Door of Hope” was how it served to explain so much about the three’s actions inside the walls, which until now was a complete mystery.
For example, the story Bertholdt tells when he first meets Eren and Armin, about how Titans destroyed their village, is actually taken from a man who told them his story before hanging himself.
Any other writer would have just had Bertholdt make up this story but Isayama is smart enough to actually think up of explanations to things that did not need to have them yet are all the better for it.
However, while I did like a lot of the connections Isayama made to earlier points in the story, his writing did still suffer in some areas.
This was most apparent with the cliffhanger where Reiner is being yelled at by Keith Sadies on the first day of training.
This is a continuity issue because Sadies did not yell at Reiner because the look in his eyes showed he had already been hardened.
So to see Sadies yell at him in a clear breaking of continuity was a bit jarring.
Still, this was just a small moment and the rest of the chapter is great.
I especially liked the scene where the three Warriors broke the wall because it gave us their perspective as opposed to our heroes.
It brought the story full circle, right back to where it all began.

Chapter 97: From One Hand to Another.

4 and a half stars
I said in my review of Chapter 95 that Isayama’s goal with the Marley Arc was to bring Reiner down to his lowest point.
Well, Chapter 97, “From One Hand to Another” was the culmination of all this because Reiner is more broken than he has ever been this chapter.
The continuous flashback panels of Reiner’s struggles ending with the haunting image of him with a gun in his mouth, seconds away from pulling the trigger, is something that I will remember for a while.
Reiner has gone through so much amazing growth in the Marley Arc that, in just seven chapters, he has become one of my favourite characters.
He is a character that perfectly represents the impact that war and trauma can have on a person’s life, especially when it happens at such a young age.
Thankfully, Reiner’s story is not over because, in a chance of fate, Falco unknowingly manages to distract Reiner long enough to stop him from pulling the trigger.
Reiner then decides not to kill himself while he still has those kids to protect, which may hopefully lead to him finding some peace.
But, this is Attack on Titan so Reiner is probably going to suffer some more.
This seems to be confirmed with the surprise return of Eren in this chapter, who is posing as and injured war vet to infiltrate Marley.
He talks with Falco and I realised it was him pretty early into their conversation but it was still a nice reveal.
Then there was Eren’s new look with him having long hair and a faint mustache, which I enjoyed because it actually makes him look a lot like Grisha.
I am also hopeful we will get to see the other main characters and what they have been up to in the four year time skip soon because Eren has Falco deliver a letter for him.
The attempted suicide of Reiner and Eren’s return are not the only interesting things about the chapter though.
We were officially introduced to the Tyber family this chapter, including its head, Willy Tyber, who looks to be an interesting character.
Willy is revealed to actually be the secret ruler of the country, which is intriguing because he and his family are Eldians and they are ruling a country that is oppressing their own race.
The reasoning behind this will hopefully be revealed soon.
We also got a very interesting moment at the beginning of the chapter where Annie was revealed to have briefly fought Kenny during her time in the 104th Cadet Corps.
This does not really have an impact on anything but it is still interesting seeing the ways Isayama can bring long dead characters back into the story.
Overall, “From One Hand to Another” was my favourite chapter of this volume with its numerous reveals and heartbreaking scene with Reiner.

Chapter 98: Good to See.

4 and a half stars
What a way to end Volume 24 .
Chapter 98, “Good to See” is full of emotional scenes and what I believe to be numerous hints at future reveals.
What stands above all these features though is the amazing cliffhanger that has me eager to read the next volume.
After Eren was revealed to be in Marley in the previous chapter, he begins to initiate his plan, culminating in him manipulating Falco to arrange a surprise meeting between him and Reiner.
The final panels of this chapter were just fantastic because they perfectly expressed what both characters were feeling upon being reunited.
For Reiner it was shock and horror but for Eren it seemed to oddly be some degree of happiness based off his statement, “good to see you made it back home.”
The reason for Eren’s supposed happiness will hopefully be revealed in the next chapter.
Either way, this was a great way to end the volume and the scenes leading up to this moment were likewise fantastic.
Watching Eren slowly manipulate Falco was interesting, especially when it lead to him meeting his grandfather for the first time.
This was a very heartfelt scene where Eren’s grandfather reminisced on the loss of his son and daughter before suffering a mental breakdown and having to be dragged away by doctors.
However, the scene goes from heartfelt to sinister when, in the scene’s final moments, Eren picks up a baseball he told Falco was from his family and tosses it into the air.
On the surface this moment may seem insignificant but, based off things that came earlier in the chapter and the series, I believe this to be very important.
This is because at the beginning of the chapter Zeke played baseball with Colt and during the Shiganshina Arc Zeke made a reference to it when he wiped out most of the scouts.
Also, there is the fact that Eren tells Falco the baseball came from his family, which all seem to hint at Eren and Zeke having meet in secret.
If this is the case, I wonder what their meeting could have been about since both appear to be on opposite sides?
Personally, I would really like to see a scene where the two talk because we have not seen a full conversation about their family connection between the two yet.
Another hint at upcoming storylines appears to be the new character who was introduced, an Asian woman said to be from the land of Hizuru.
Given how Mikasa was the only Asian character in the story up to this point, I think there could be a possible connection, with her mother possibly coming from this land.
The woman also does seem to be on the side of the Eldians, given that she protects Udo from punishment when he accidentally spills wine on her kimono.
I also enjoyed the political commentary used with Willy in this chapter when he explains the burden of ruling his country to be like turning a wheel.
This felt very Game of Thrones inspired, which would make sense because I have heard Isayama has taken some inspiration from it.
“Good to See” was an overall great way to end Volume 24 with numerous possible hints at future reveals and a few emotional moments.
The cliffhanger alone has me excited for the next volume and was the perfect conclusion to Reiner’s arc this volume.
 

Attack on Titan Volume 22 Review: Possibly Marks the end of Season Three.

Chapter 87: Borderline.

5 stars
“Borderline” came right after my favourite chapter of Attack on Titan, “That Day” so it had some huge shoes to fill if it wanted to compete with it.
The chapter sure did come close though, with more mind blowing reveals that I cannot wait to see animated.
Picking up from the previous chapter where Grisha and Dina were turned in by Zeke to the Marleyan Authorities, the two are taken to Paradis to be turned into Titans where we get some huge twists.
It turns out that many of the Eldia Restorationists are actually Titans we have seen before in the series.
The majority of them are the ones who attacked Eren during the battle of Trost where he was eaten.
Most shocking of all, Dina is revealed to be the Smiling Titan who ate Eren’s mother.
While, this was a huge shock to read, at the time I did wonder what purposed this served to the story other than it being a random twist but the true point is revealed later in the volume.
Accompanying this shocking twist was a fantastic panel, which showed half of Grisha and Eren’s face as they both reacted to Dina becoming the Smiling Titan in the past and present.
After this, The final twist of the volume reveals Kruger to be the Owl, which I had my suspicions about, and he kills the cruel Marleyan soldier Gross before turning into a Titan and going on a rampage.
The death of Gross is in my opinion one of the most satisfying moments of the entire series.
This is surprising, considering he was only around for two chapters but when you take into account what he did it explains this satisfaction.
I know a lot of people say there are no evil characters in Attack on Titan but Gross is the exception to this.
Evil is the only word to describe a person who feeds a little girl to dogs and feels no guilt about it whatsoever.
However, Gross’ reasoning for this did lead to another interesting revelation.
Gross reveals that only Eldians can turn into Titans and describes this as their “true form.”
On top of all these reveals the chapter also provides emotional growth for Grisha when he thinks about what a terrible father he was to Zeke and how he made the same mistakes as his father by pushing his views on him.
“Borderline” was another fantastic chapter for Attack on Titan in a long line of them.

Chapter 88: The Attack Titan.

4 and a half stars
Just when I thought there could not be anymore explosive reveals after the previous two chapters multitude of them, Chapter 88 “The Attack Titan” delivered even more.
First it is revealed that Kruger’s first name is Eren, with our Eren actually being named after him, and then it is revealed that all Titan Shifters die 13 years after they get their powers from what is known as Ymir’s Curse.
The second reveal is by far the most impactful because it sets time limits for all of its characters with Titan Shifting abilities.
Eren, for example, only has eight years to live while Armin, who recently took the Colossal Titan power, has 13.
This adds a new layer of tension to all of the Titan Shifter characters because this means, unless Isayama delivers a twist where the curse can be prevented, all of them will die by the end of the series.
However, even though this does add tension, it raises a pretty significant plot hole.
In “Bystander” Keith Sadies said that Grisha arrived 20 years ago.
However, going by the rules of Ymir’s Curse this is cannot be right.
Grisha came inside the walls after inheriting Eren Kruger’s Titan so he would have lived behind the walls for 13 years before passing on his power to Eren and five years have passed in the current story since then.
This would mean Grisha must have lived there for 18 years so there are two years unaccounted for.
This is a plot hole but, then again, it could be set-up for a plot twist by Isayama.
You never know with him.
There were also a few extra reveals to prevent any plot holes, like when Eren states that if a Titan Shifter dies of Ymir’s Curse then their power immediately goes to a random Eldian baby.
Apart from all the reveals, the other great feature this chapter had was all the great character development, from Mikasa’s reaction to Ymir’s Curse, to Eren Kruger’s backstory.
It is revealed he had to watch his family burn alive, which motivated him to spy on Marley from the inside, forcing him to commit many atrocious crimes towards innocent people to keep the act going.
From what we have seen of him, Kruger is a very interesting character and it is a shame we will probably not see more of him because he is eaten by Grisha off screen.
Kruger also presents some very interesting information about Ymir Fritz, which may be of importance, including mentioning a theory that she got her powers from “the source of all organic material”, whatever that means.
He also states what is already one of my favourite quotes from the series, ““anyone can become a god or a devil. All it takes is for someone to claim that to be the truth.”
The chapter ends with the name of the Titan Grisha inherits and then later passes down to Eren being revealed as the Attack Titan.
I cannot be sure but I am pretty certain this is a reference to the title of the series Attack on Titan, which is a nice addition.
Overall, “The Attack Titan” was another great chapter that filled in the backstory and added real stakes, even if it also introduced a plot hole.

Chapter 89: Meeting.

4 stars
This chapter was an interesting one when it comes to chronology because it was here that Ymir(the second one, not the one who created the Titans)’s backstory was finally revealed in the manga.
Her backstory was actually revealed earlier in season two of the anime in the episode “Children”, which is one of my favourite episodes.
However, in comparison, the way the manga reveals Ymir’s backstory is nowhere near as impactful as it is in the anime.
Sure, it does make more sense for it to be revealed in a letter to Historia rather than her own inner reflection but in the manga this backstory feels more like a way for Isayama to tie up loose ends rather than to add to Ymir’s character development.
The artwork during this sequence was still solid though, especially when Ymir woke up, but it did not have the sense of empowerment and character growth that it did in the anime.
In short, the backstory reveal in the manga is not bad and I still liked it but the anime greatly improved on it.
The letter itself was still very emotional with Ymir saying goodbye to Historia and declaring her love for her.
What I did find disappointing about the letter though was that Ymir confirms she will be dead by the time Historia reads this.
If Ymir really does die it will feel like a missed opportunity to me because I have always felt like she is the series’ most underused character (next to Annie who I barely care about anymore).
If she does die, I hope it is in a meaningful way that ties up her arc nicely.
On the other hand, one thing I enjoyed about this moment was Historia’s reaction to Ymir’s letter.
In a single panel, barely noticeable, we see a tear slowly go down Historia’s cheek, which she tries to cover up when her friends arrive, showing just so close she is to falling apart at the news of Ymir’s potential death.
The rest of “Meeting” was also great, especially with the meeting where everyone discussed what they had learned from Eren’s basement.
Eren realizing he could use the Founding Titan’s briefly because he came into contact with Dina, who had royal blood, was a great reveal.
Before this I was concerned that Dina being the Smiling Titan was just for shock value so I am glad Isayama made this play a role in the story.
It also led to the funny scene where Eren tries to underplay his reaction to this as because of puberty, which was a bit of a recurring joke.
However, what is not funny is the implications this has for Historia because she is also of royal blood.
This seems to set up Eren eating Historia in the future to use the Founding Titan’s abilities, which would be devastating.
However, Eren seems dedicated to protecting Historia so hopefully he will manage to do so.
Then there is the final moments of the chapter, which is without a doubt the biggest WTF moment of the series and is either a really good thing or a really bad thing.
In a flashback, Kruger talks to Grisha about Mikasa and Armin who had not been born yet.
This appears to be heavily implying that Titan Shifters can see into the future as well as the past, which, depending on how it plays into the story, could be a fantastic twist or a jump the shark moment.
I am hoping for the first one.

Chapter 90: To the Other Side of the Wall.

5 stars
After 90 chapters of build-up the ocean was finally reached by Eren, Armin and the others.
This looks to be where the second-half of season three will end, due to the multiple cases of foreshadowing towards the ocean.
Personally, I think this will be a brilliant way to end the season based on the reveal of it in this chapter.
The ocean has always been a symbol of hope for Eren and Mikasa, and especially Armin but, as Eren expertly points out at the end of the chapter, this hope is false because on the other side of the ocean everyone wants them dead.
This results in the final few powerful panels where Eren wonders if they will finally be free after they defeat their enemies and a sea shell is shown in Armin’s hand symbolizing this small hope.
It is a beautiful scene that I cannot wait to see in the anime.
The rest of the chapter is just as solid, presenting this same feeling of hope and dread throughout.
As those inside the walls celebrate retaking Wall Maria and discovering the truth of what is out there, multiple things point to this celebration being short lived.
Floch questions why Armin was chosen to take on the Colossal Titan instead of Erwin, Eren experiences a memory from Grisha of Fay’s mutilated body, and, when kissing Historia’ hand in a ceremony, he experiences the moment right before his father killed her family.
All of this hints towards the cruelty of the world they live in, despite the celebrations and signs of hope that are present.
The constant clashing of the themes of hope and cruelty in this chapter all point towards the greater themes of the story so far and make for another fantastic chapter, especially with the ocean reveal.

 

Attack on Titan Volume 21 Review: The Basement Reveal Delivers the Best Chapter so far.

Chapter 83: Falling Axe.

4 stars
The follow-up chapter to Armin’s heroic sacrifice, Chapter 83, “Falling Axe” is set-up for the three brilliant chapters to follow in this volume.
Much like the previous chapter, it starts off great showing how Eren and Armin first met, with Eren encountering Armin after he had been beaten up by bullies.
Armin’s words about how he did not really lose because he did not run away and then Eren asking his name made for a fantastic transition into the current timeline where Eren is trying to cope with Armin’s charred body.
Before he can do anything, however, he is interrupted by Zeke (and the other Titan) who confront each other in their first meeting.
While I did like the scene between the two, after reading the rest of the volume I felt like the twist to who Zeke is probably should have been revealed here because we do not see Eren’s reaction to this.
However, it still is an interesting scene and if I had not already been spoiled on who Zeke was it would have been very intriguing build-up.
I especially liked how Zeke told Eren he would rescue him some day because it shows that Zeke thinks he is in the right.
However, their meeting is interrupted by Levi who naturally killed all the Titans Zeke sent after him, which prompts Zeke to go rescue Reiner.
But, before he is rescued, Hange and the others manage to retrieve a letter from Ymir to Historia that was in his possession.
Unfortunately, this adds to my increasing fears that Ymir is already dead, which I hope is not true because she is one of my favourite characters and I feel she could add a lot to the story given more screen time.
The chapter ends with the surviving soldier from Erwin’s suicide run at Zeke arriving with a badly injured Erwin leaving Levi to decide who should get the Titan Serum and eat Bertholdt, Erwin or Armin.
Once again, I had been spoiled on who would eat Bertholdt so this did not leave much investment for me by the end.
However, this does not change the fact that “Falling Axe” is still great build-up.
It might have its minor problems but it delivers quite a few great scenes like the first meeting between Eren and Zeke.

Chapter 84. Midnight Sun.

5 stars
As I said, I had already been spoiled on who would eat Bertholdt and become the Colossal Titan so I figured this chapter would not be very investing but, oh, how wrong I was.
“Midnight Sun” is an incredible chapter of Attack on Titan that delivers so much emotion.
I really wish I had not been spoiled on what would happen because this was just amazing to read.
First of all, I now know what that great mid-credits scene at the end of episode twelves of season three was all about.
The reason Levi is fighting with Eren and Mikasa is because he wants to give the Serum to Erwin while they want to give it to Armin.
However, before Mikasa can do anything crazy, Hange and the others show up and calm everyone down.
Both sides give good justifications for who should be chosen to eat Bertholdt, including the new character Floch, who compares Erwin to the devil, saying only he can save humanity.
Eren tries to get Levi to choose Armin by bringing up his dream to see the ocean.
This moment was so powerful it left me tearing up, which was a huge surprise because I already knew how it would end, showing just how amazing this chapter was at drawing out emotions.
In the end though, Levi chooses to save Armin and finally let Erwin rest.
The reveal that Armin was the one chosen was expertly handled and the death of Bertholdt that followed left me feeling sorry for him, despite everything he had done.
Then there was the death of Erwin.
Erwin is in my top five favourite characters of the series so I was sad to see him go but I personally believe he was killed off in a great way that tied off his character arc brilliantly.
I was also glad that I had not been spoiled on at least one major character death.
I knew coming in that Erwin would probably die because I had been spoiled Armin would become the Colossal Titan but I still had my reservations because I had not been spoiled.
So, it was nice to see a major character death I did not know for a certainty would be happening.
Speaking of character deaths, we also got confirmation this chapter that Moblit died saving Hange.
I feel like his death will probably be overlooked compared to Erwin and Bertholdt’s but he was still a great side character with a heroic death and I will miss him.
Overall, Midnight Sun was a perfect chapter that delivered a great emotional gut punch, even though I knew what was coming.

Chapter 85: Basement.

4 and a half stars
After 84 chapters of build-up, we finally got the reveal of what was inside the basement in Chapter 85 and it did not disappoint.
I was so glad I did not get spoiled about what was in there because what is revealed in this chapter and the next one open up the world of Attack on Titan in so many amazing ways.
We see at the end of the chapter that what Grisha left for Eren in his basement was a book that explains everything, along with a photo, writing that outside the walls humanity is not extinct.
This was a fantastic cliffhanger that led into the next chapter amazingly.
Not only this, but the cliffhanger also built on the recently departed Erwin’s legacy because we get a flashback to Nile telling the other military leaders that Erwin’s theory was that there were still humans outside the walls.
Well, his theory is confirmed with the ending cliffhanger, which  not only adds to his legacy but it makes his death all the more tragic because he could not see that he was right all along.
The rest of the chapter is just as great, starting off with Armin waking up after eating Bertholdt.
The panel where he hallucinates(?) the crying face of Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan with half of its face a skull is very striking.
Eren’s reaction to Armin waking up was also very touching and Levi’s pep-talk with Armin about saying there should be “no regrets” was a fantastic reference to his OVA with the same title.
After this, we get another great panel with a before and after shot of Mikasa and Armin arriving at their old home in the present and when they went to save Carla after Bertholdt breached the wall.
This leads to the scene in the basement where, originally, I though Hajime Isayama was going to pull something where it turned out that there was actually noting in the basement.
This fear was caused by Eren’s key not fitting the basement door and the group initially not finding anything in there.
Thankfully, this fear was unjustified because they later discovered Grisha’s book, leading to the fantastic cliffhanger.
I am so glad Isayama actually revealed there was something in the basement because if he had pulled a fast one then I would have hated it.
The final cliffhanger in “Basement” is the standout of the chapter and leads brilliantly into the next chapter, the incredible “That Day.”

 

Chapter 86: That Day.

5 stars
Coming into this chapter, I was expecting the full explanation of the world of Attack on Titan.
I not only got that but also my favourite chapter of the entire manga so far.
“That Day” is an absolutely incredible chapter and I cannot wait to see it animated when the second half of the season three anime airs in April.
This chapter has one of the best cases of world building I have ever seen, with Grisha’s notes revealing who is actually behind everything in the series.
It is revealed that over a thousand years ago a woman named Ymir Fritz supposedly made a deal with the devil and became the first Titan Shifter.
After she died, her powers were transferred into nine people, creating the nine Titan Shifters who built the empire of Eldia.
Centuries later, Eldia was overthrown by the nation of Marley who oppressed the remaining Eldians as punishment for years of genocide under them.
Some Eldians fled to the island of Paradis, under King Fritz, where the walls were created with the Founding Titan power and everyone’s memories were wiped.
It is also stated the reason Marley sent its Warriors to attack Paradis was because of the large amount of fossil fuels there and to retake the Founding Titan.
This one piece of exposition takes the previously small world of Attack on Titan and expands it exponentially.
It opens up so many interesting opportunities and questions.
Did Ymir really make a deal with the devil, how is she connected to the Ymir we know, along with Marley are there any other countries and cultures out there?
These are all interesting questions and I cannot wait for them to be answered.
It is also brilliant with how Grisha’s backstory ties into the explanation, with the persecution he faces at the hands of Marley being very similar to the ways the Nazis treated Jewish people before the Holocaust, a comparison Isayama is obviously trying to make.
Watching Grisha be motivated to begin his stand against Marley because of the violent death of his sister and the completely brainwashed fear his father presents was amazing for him character development wise, and all of this in one chapter.
This led to Grisha joining the Eldia Restorationists where he met Dina Fritz, a descendant of the royal family.
They eventually married and, in a brilliant twist, are revealed to have had a son who is Zeke, which makes him and Eren half-brothers.
Still, while this was a great twist, I do wish it had been revealed earlier when Eren and Zeke first met in Chapter 83 because we do not get a reaction from Eren to them having the same father.
That said, I still like the twist and the one that follows it when Zeke betrays his parents to the Marley government after Grisha tries to turn him into one of Marley’s warriors as a double agent.
This adds new meaning to Zeke’s first meeting with Eren when he tells him Grisha has brainwashed him, likely believing his father tried to do the same thing to him.
The chapter can end before more details about Grisha’s past can be revealed but what we got and how this tied into the explanation of what was outside the walls was nothing short of brilliant.
I had fears that the reveal of what was outside the walls would not live up to expectations but those fears were baseless because this reveal was everything I hoped for and more.
It had fantastic world building, fit in with the themes, and had great character development for Grisha to go along with this.
Chapter 86 “That Day” is my favourite chapter of Attack on Titan so far.

Attack on Titan Volume 20 Review: The Best Chapters of the Entire Arc so Far.

Chapter 79: Perfect Game.

4 stars
Setting up the amazing battle between the Scouts and the Colossal and Beast Titan in later chapters, Chapter 79 “Perfect Game” is another great addition to the Shiganshina arc.
Picking up with a fantastic panel of the Colossal Titan’s face as he destroys Shiganshina, the chapter immediately sets up the threat he poses, with even Armin having no idea how to beat him.
This causes him to hand over leadership to Jean and, in a last ditch effort, Eren tries to tackle Bertholdt at the end of the chapter… only to be kicked to the top of the wall.
On the other side of the wall the Beast Titan finally takes part in the action by throwing numerous rocks at the Scouts, killing many of them, all the while referencing Baseball.
While, this was darkly comedic, it is also interesting because it shows that wherever Zeke, the Beast Titan, is from they have baseball.
I wonder if we will get a twist like from The Village where it is modern day outside the walls but I think that would be jumping the shark.
Zeke referencing Baseball was not the only funny moment of the chapter though because Connie seems to become hysterical over how they cannot possibly beat Bertholdt, causing Sasha to slap him.
This is another thing I love about Attack on Titan because it manages to make you feel horrified one moment and laugh the next.
Overall, Chapter 79 was another good chapter that set up the epic next three chapters.

Chapter 80: The Nameless Soldier.

4 and a half stars
The first of the final epic three chapters of Volume 20, “The Nameless Soldier” was a fantastic chapter that really highlighted why I love Erwin so much as a character.
After watching the Clash of the Titans arc, I thought Erwin’s main goal was saving humanity no matter the cost but, with the Uprising Arc and this one, it has quickly become apparent that this is not the case.
Erwin actually does value his own life over others because he wants to see his father’s dream to the end, and all his talk about saving humanity has been him acting as “a conman” as he puts it.
This makes Erwin a much deeper character and when Levi decides to make the decision for Erwin, telling him to go and die for them while promising he will kill the Beast Titan, it was a powerful moment for both of them.
Unfortunately, this does not seemed to have ended well for Erwin because his suicide run ends with him getting hit in the stomach from the Beast Titan’s rocks.
Still, this development saw Erwin put aside his dreams for the good of humanity and was some excellent character development for him.
He also gave what I feel was the best speech of the series so far when he told the recruits it was up to them to give meaning to the deaths of the Scouts who had died before them and it would be up to whoever replaced them to giving meaning to their deaths.
It was also not just through Erwin that we saw the stakes of this fight because Mikasa got badly injured as well when she attempted to use the Thunder Spears on Bertholdt, only for his steam attack to launch them back at her and explode.
“The Nameless Soldier” was a great Attack on Titan chapter where Erwin truly shined with some fantastic development and where the stakes of this battle were truly shown.


Chapter 81: Promise

5 stars
What an amazing chapter this was.
We got the potential death of Erwin, the surprisingly impactful death of Marlo, and the best fight of the entire series so far between Levi and Zeke.
To start off, it looks like Erwin is dead, having been hit through the gut by Zeke’s projectiles.
If he really did die then this was an epic way for him to go out but I do wish we had got some final moments with him.
The death of Marlo also really surprised me this chapter.
Not because he died but because of how impactful I found his death to be.
Marlo is a minor character so I never felt like I would feel emotional at his death, but seeing how he thought of Hitch and sleeping as he rode straight towards his death, only to get cut off as Zeke’s boulder blasted part of his head off was very impactful.
Then we have Zeke himself, who makes an interesting comment this chapter about his father.
I have been spoiled about who Zeke really is but it is interesting to see the groundwork being laid out and I wonder how the reveal will be handled?
After all of this, we not only get the best moment of the chapter but the best fight in the entire manga so far when Levi battles and absolutely destroys Zeke.
This was accompanied by some truly magnificent artwork from Hajime Isayama, who is really improving his style, as we see Levi hack Zeke’s Beast Titan apart in all its gory glory.
It gets even more disgusting when Zeke emerges from the Titan, only to get stabbed through the mouth by Levi.
This was so brutal and I hope it does not get censored in the anime, like some of the violence in the Uprising Arc was.
Unfortunately, before Levi could feed Zeke to someone by using the serum, the goofy Titan Shifter appeared and rescued him.
Then came the moment when Zeke yelled at all of his Titans to, “kill him!”
This sent shivers down my spine, even though I know Levi will probably be fine.
The chapter ends with Armin having regained his confidence as he and Eren prepare to face down Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan in what I knew was going to be an epic fight while Mikasa and the others went to fight Reiner.
Chapter 81, “Promise” was a brilliant chapter full of meaningful and impactful deaths, and had the best fight of the manga so far.
It is the perfect chapter.


Chapter 82: Hero

5 stars
And I thought the last chapter was amazing.
Chapter 82 of Attack on Titan “Hero” is another brilliant chapter in the Shiganshina arc that really got the emotions flowing, featuring what may be another major character death.
The chapter starts off amazing, setting up the stakes by showing what Eren and Armin are fighting for as they are about to battle the Colossal Titan, with Historia, Hitch and Nile being seen elsewhere, showing all of their lives depend of this battle.
What follows are two amazing action sequences between Mikasa and the others scouts against Reiner, and also Eren and Armin against Bertholdt.
I really enjoyed the prelude to these battles as well, with Mikasa not giving in to her desire to help Eren and Armin so she can focus on her mission, showing character development.
Starting with the fight with Reiner, I will say this was a nail biting scene with a lot intensity because even Sasha got injured.
All looked hopeless until thankfully, Hange arrived to save the day, giving Mikasa the chance to finish off Reiner in a scene that felt very reminiscent of when she told Annie to fall.
I am so happy Hange is still alive but Moblit is nowhere in sight.
I hope he is not dead because he is a very likeable side character.
Then we get the fight between Eren, Armin and Bertholdt, which delivered on an emotional level as well as an intense one.
At first it looks like Eren falls of the wall by accident putting him out of commission.
This leads to Armin latching onto Bertholdt’s teeth with his ODM Gear and attempting to
withstand his steam attack, leaving him horrifically burned.
However, this is revealed to be all part of Armin’s brilliant plan because Eren uses this as a distraction to get behind Bertholdt and cut him out of the Colossal Titan, hacking off his limbs.
The chapter ends with him landing on a rooftop with Bertholdt, beside Armin’s burnt body and declaring Armin was always the bravest of them all.
This was an incredibly emotional scene that made me realise what the burned body was on the rooftop in that mid-credits scene of season three episode twelve.
Unfortunately, I have been spoiled about how this ends so I do not know if there will be all that much intensity since I already know what is going to happen, but I am still looking forward to seeing it.
“Hero” was a fantastic way to end Volume 20, delivering another five star chapter that makes me even more excited for what is to come.

Attack on Titan Live-Action Movie Gets Third Attempt.

It seems only yesterday it was announced that one of my favourite TV shows of all time, Avatar: The Last Airbender, was getting another shot at a live-action adaptation.
Now, my favourite anime, Attack on Titan, created by Hajime Isayama, is also getting the same treatment, with Andy Muschietti directing under Warner Bros.
This is the third time such an attempt will be made as there have already been two live-action adaptations before (three if you count the miniseries but I would rather forget that atrocity).
Both of these adaptations did a very poor job at adapting the anime with terrible acting, baffling story changes and often laughably atrocious special effects.
So, do I think the third time will be the charm and a successful Attack on Titan movie may actually get made?
Well, based on the track record of American live-action adaptations of other anime, you would think not.
Just looking at Dragonball: Evolution should be enough to show why a live-action anime movie should never be attempted.
However, just like with the Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix adaptation, there are some things that give me hope for this movie.
The most obvious is the director, Andy Muschietti, who directed IT one of my favourite films of 2017.
There, Muschietti showed he was very capable of sticking to and adapting the original source material, while making some necessary changes.
This would point towards him being capable of adapting Attack on Titan, but it is too soon to say whether he will be able to actually do it.
There are also a few things standing in the films way.
First and foremost, the movie’s runtime will obviously constrain the story somewhat, making it only possible to do the Trost arc in the first film.
Then there is actually adapting it, which may prove problematic because of certain elements in the anime.
A prime example of this is the Omni-Directional Mobility Gear, which looked absolutely ridiculous in the Japanese films and, I feel, would be hard to take seriously in live-action, even with a bigger budget.
Speaking of a bigger budget though, this is another thing that may work in the film’s favor.
As I stated, the special effects of the Japanese live-action films were laughable atrocious but a studio like Warner Bros. should have the money to make the Titans look real enough.
Overall, there are both good and bad things to consider about this new Attack on Titan live-action film.
Do I think it will come close to the original anime series even if everything goes right?
No.
Am I excited for it regardless?
Yes.

Attack on Titan Volume 19 Review: Colossal Events Unfold.

Chapter 75: War on Two Fronts.

3 and a half stars
Serving as the chapter that builds up the second confrontation between Eren and Reiner, chapter 75 is another decent one from this arc.
It gives us various interesting concepts for the series as well, with a new Titan Shifter being introduced.
I will say though that this new Shifter does look goofy to me but I guess I will just have to see what it can really do before I form a proper opinion on it.
Along with this, it seems like all those Titans that transformed last chapter are actually just normal ones under the control of the Beast Titan.
This is both confusing and has interesting implications because it could mean multiple things.
I think what is happening here is there were multiple people who injected themselves with Titan Serum, dooming themselves to be mindless Titans forever, just to take part in the battle.
If I am right about this then I wonder what could motivate people to do this?
Other than the interesting questions the chapter presents, the rest of it is fairly standard with it being made clear that the warriors are trying to kill the horses to prevent the Scouts from escaping and Eren preparing to fight Reiner.
There were a few great panels here and there though, with one depicting the Beast Titan’s forces and the scouts on opposite sides of the battlefield and another showing that when Reiner transformed he still had Levi’s sword in his neck.
Overall though, “War on Two Fronts” was a standard Attack on Titan chapter that clearly builds towards future events and revelations.

 

Chapter 76: The Thunder Spears.

4 stars
Coming into Chapter 76, “The Thunder Speaks”, I was concerned that the second battle between Eren and Reiner would just turn out to be a replica of the first.
However, while the battle between the two this chapter was not as good as that first one, it was still well crafted and unique enough to provide entertainment value.
Eren used his recently gained hardening ability to attack Reiner and Reiner, in turn, lifted him by the foot to slam him into the ground.
It is very entertaining to look at.
On top of this, we also got to see the Scouts going against Reiner, not just Eren, which was great.
Especially, with the new weapons that were presented, the thunder spears, which the chapter is named after.
Watching the scouts use these new weapons to defeat Reiner was very exciting, although it did lead to a moment from Reiner that made it difficult to care for him because of the hypocrisy he presented.
The best scene of the chapter came when Erwin reflected on all the soldiers who had died on his orders.
This leads to a brilliant moment where he imagines himself standing on a literal mountain of corpses where we see the bodies of dead Scouts like Miche, Gelgar and Nanaba.
There were plenty of other great moments seen throughout the chapter, a personal favourite of mine coming when Levi shouted at his troops, “I forbid you to die!”
Chapter 76 was an action packed chapter that presented some very good character growth.

 

Chapter 77: The World They Saw.

5 stars
Wow, this was a fantastic chapter.
Chapter 77, “The World They Saw”, is the best of this volume and the best in the Shiganshina Arc so far.
It primarily features a flashback from Bertholdt that reveals plenty of things.
First there is the reveal of how Marco really died in Trost District, with him overhearing Reiner and Bertholdt talking, forcing the Warriors to steal his gear and leave him to die.
While I had already guessed that something along these lines had happened from what was shown in season two of the anime, the full reveal in this chapter was still engaging through how it happened.
It helped to humanize the warriors by showing they really did not want to hurt Marco, through how Reiner forced Annie to remove his gear so she could prove herself, and this being revealed to be what caused Reiner’s split personality.
Then there is the revelation Marco had before his death about how when Reiner said, “if we do it, we wait until they gather”, he was sneakily talking about destroying the walls.
This is what I love about Attack on Titan.
There are so many small moments that seem meaningless at first but, when you go back and read them again many chapters later, they take on a new meaning.
Along with this we also got a more recent scene between Reiner, Bertholdt and the Beast Titan who is revealed to be named Zeke.
I know who Zeke is thanks to a troll spoiling me but I am still very interested to see how this will be revealed.
Zeke himself looks to be a very interesting character, being both threatening, yet oddly human.
There is a great moment here when he drinks some tea only to flinch at how hot it is, showing that, despite being a huge threat, he is still a human being.
Finally, there is the conversation between Reiner and Bertholdt at Shiganshina during the flashback.
I liked the interaction between these two but there was one thing that worried me.
Reiner said that he made a promise to Ymir to protect Christa and it sounded like he was talking about her in the past tense.
I really hope Ymir is not dead because she is such a great character and really underused so far in the story.
From here the chapter went to the current timeline, during the battle for Shiganshina.
Reiner was revealed to have had his entire head blown off from the thunder spears but was somehow still alive.
I have no idea how this is even possible and it felt like an extreme case of plot armor.
I did, however, like the reaction from Jean, Connie and Sasha when they thought they had killed Reiner.
It showed that even, after all he has done, they still considered Reiner their friend.
Then there was the cliffhanger, which was absolutely brilliant.
Bertholdt was revealed to not be inside the wall but in a barrel on the back of the new Titan Shifter, which the Beast Titan then throws over the wall for Bertholdt to transform.
I was on the edge of my seat when I read this and just had to read the next chapter after I finished it.
“The World They Saw” was a fantastic chapter of Attack on Titan that produced many shocking and edge of your seat moments.

 

Chapter 78: Descent.

4 stars
Bertholdt was again the star of this chapter where, after abandoning his transformation to save Reiner, he had a very revealing conversation with Armin.
I loved the interaction between these two as their dialogue was perfect and really reflected how great of a writer Hajime Isayama is.
This also led to a very interesting revelation from Armin as he seemed to have deduced that whoever is ordering the warriors around wants them dead because they are “descendants of devils”, whatever that means.
Bertholdt, however, said he does not believe this but stated they all have to die anyway.
While I did like the dialogue that came from this, I will say that I personally did not like how quick this character change felt for Bertholdt.
When we last saw him in the Clash of the Titans Arc, Bertholdt was very remorseful for what he had done but, in this chapter, he seemed to be lacking in any of that remorse.
Maybe it had to do with Armin threatening Annie but it still felt like a very abrupt change.
Another thing I did not like was the reveal of how Reiner survived, which felt very contrived.
The reason Reiner survived getting his head cut off was because he transferred his consciousness to other parts of his body and I do not know if this is even possible.
However, the chapter quickly gets better with its final moments when Bertholdt transforms, creating an explosion like a nuclear bomb that had to have killed at least half of the Survey Corps’ forces.
This may even include Hange and Moblit, but I doubt Isayama would kill Hange like this because it would be disappointing.
On a final note, I was very impressed with a few of the panels in this chapter.
The shot of Bertholdt shouting at Armin with his eyes obscured by shadow gave great insight into his character and inner thoughts.
This was another good chapter that set up what will probably be an epic fight with the Colossal Titan next chapter.

 

Attack on Titan Volume 18 Review: The Battle for Shiganshina Begins!

The first half of Attack on Titan season three ended last week and, unfortunately, we will not be getting the next arc for another six months.
Since I have a bad tendency to get spoiled when it comes to this anime and because I do not want to wait any longer to see what happens, I have decided to read the manga.
I just read Volume 18 so I will review the chapters of this volume from where season three left off.
This means I will not be reviewing chapters 71 and 72 because they have already been covered in the anime.
However, I will be reviewing the remaining chapters 73 and 74.
I will also be reviewing the volumes as I read along, before I get to the recent chapters, which I will review individually.
Until then, here’s my review of the final two chapters from Volume 18.

Chapter 73: The Town Where Everything Began.

3 and a half stars
This chapter kicks off with a great opening to the Shiganshina Arc, with narration over the images of the aftermath of Reiner and Bertholdt’s destruction of Wall Maria.
What I liked about this was it clearly established what was at stake.
Although I will admit, some of the artwork during this section, like when Eren was shown vowing to destroy the Titans again, was rather off-putting because there was an uncanny valley to it.
From here the chapter goes on to detail the Scouts arrival at Shiganshina and them starting to enact their plan of using Eren’s hardening ability to seal the wall.
There were some great character moments during the chapter, like Armin and Eren’s discussion at the beginning.
This conversation made Eren overcome his fear of failure because it reminded him of how Armin started his dream of going outside the walls.
It looks like Armin will get a lot of development in this arc based off the build up he has had in regards to starting Eren’s dream.
Overall, this was fairly standard stuff that is primarily setting up the real battle for Shiganshina, ending with a compelling cliffhanger that reveals Reiner and Bertholdt preparing to strike when Eren goes to seal the hole.

 

Chapter 74: Mission Objective.

4 stars
The battle for Shiganshina kicked off in this chapter with intense scenes of action and suspense that prepares the reader for what is to come.
One thing that did surprise me about this chapter though, was how easily Eren sealed the wall without interference from Reiner and Bertholdt.
It felt like Eren going to seal the wall would have been the perfect time to strike but maybe they did not know which one he was due him wearing his hood.
Either way, Reiner and Bertholdt’s clever hiding was not enough to save them because Armin expertly deduced that they were hiding inside the walls.
I loved how Erwin put Armin in command of a squad in this chapter because it showed how good he could be in a position of power.
It was also very funny when Armin gave orders to the scouts under this command only to follow it up with a “please”.
Armin’s quick thinking led to Reiner being discovered, however, he was prepared and killed a soldier before anyone could blink.
Then, before Reiner could do anymore harm, he was brutally stabbed by Levi in an intense moment of action that had me on the edge of my seat.
Reiner managed to escape and transform, however, and it was after this that the scariest moment of the chapter happened.
As Erwin is handing out orders dozens of Titan’s shift into being on the horizon, including the Beast Titan.
This raises so many questions like if all the Titans with the Beast Titan are Shifters and, if so, why had they not attacked before now?
If they are Shifters then the Scouts are in for a whole world of hurt and bloodshed.
Speaking of which, I expect we will be seeing a round two between Eren and Reiner next chapter if the cover of Volume 19 is anything to go on.
Overall, this chapter was a great way to kick of the battle for Shiganshina and has me terrified and excited about what will happen next.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 Delay Shows Big Communication Problem.

For weeks I have been hearing rumors that Attack on Titan would be going on a break after the Uprising Arc wrapped up.
I did not want to believes these rumors but, as time went on, the evidence just kept piling up.
Sadly this evidence was correct because it has been announced that the second half of season three will be released in April of 2019.
While I do find this disappointing, I cannot fault the creators for the delay because they are clearly putting a lot of effort into the anime and I believe they would not be taking a break unless it was absolutely necessary.
What I do fault them for, however, is their absolutely terrible communication with the Attack on Titan fan base.
Had they announced season three would take a break half-way through before the third season started airing I would not have had a problem with this.
Many shows I watch take breaks, like The Walking Dead, and I do not have a problem with those shows.
However, this is because we know going into the show that there will be a break.
When watching The Walking Dead I know I am going to get eight episodes and then a break before the final eight episodes air.
For Attack on Titan season three, however, there was no such notification other than the rumors until the very last minute.
I came into season three expecting to get all the episodes so it is incredibly disappointing to suddenly realise we are not going to get anymore for about six months.
Had they just announced the break earlier, I would have been okay with this but they only released recently.
This shows a massive communication problem with the anime towards the show’s fan base that needs to be fixed.
To be clear though, I am not mad about this, just disappointed as I believe fans of the anime deserve better.
There is another reason I am disappointed about this break though but I do not fault the creators for this one.
I am also disappointed because of how long this break is, coming in at six months.
With this amount of  time the break takes up I will inevitably be spoiled by future events in Attack on Titan because I am terrible at avoiding these spoilers.
As a result, I have decided to read the manga so this will not happen any further, meaning I will see the rest of the series so far before it is animated.
While I would prefer to see the story told in anime format first, I prefer seeing things for myself more.
So you can expect to see my reviews for manga volumes from where the Attack on Titan anime left off.
As I stated earlier though, the timing of the announcement concerning the break for Attack on Titan season three part two shows a real communication problem with its fan base.
This break should have been announced earlier and hopefully the creators can learn from this.

Attack on Titan Season 3, Episode 12, Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall Review: Emotion, Laughs and One Hell of a Mid-Credits Scene.

4 and a half stars

Spoiler Free Review:

The Uprising Arc of Attack on Titan officially concluded with the twelfth episode of the third season, “Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall”, and what an episode to end it on.
This is because the episode serves as the perfect transition point between this arc and the next, which from what I have heard is one of if not the series’ best.
“Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall” pulled many emotions out of me from anticipation to dread as it went on.
Despite the episode’s constant upbeat feel, there was an overlaying feeling of dread hidden throughout that reared its ugly head during the end credits.
Seriously, you NEED to sit through the end credits when watching this episode.
Remember when I said “Friends” had the best cliffhanger for Attack on Titan?
Well, “Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall” put that cliffhanger to shame, with a startling and, honestly terrifying mid-credits scene that left most of the characters’ fates up in the air.
However, along with containing the most worrying scenes of the series, this episode also contained some of the funniest.
There is a dinner scene in this episode that had me laughing constantly in the span of about five minutes.
There were also a lot of great character moments, especially from Erwin and Levi who both grew as characters.
The soundtrack was also a standout with numerous OSTs returning, including one of my favourites “Call of Silence”.
One of the few issues I had with the episode though was that we did not get to see any of Historia and, since this is the episode that wraps up this arc, which was primarily about her, it is kind of a misstep not to have her.
Otherwise “Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall” was another fantastic Attack on Titan episode that concluded the Uprising Arc brilliantly.
If I had to rank this arc I would say it is my second favourite, right behind the Clash of the Titans Arc from season two.

Spoiler Review:

“Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall” kicks off with what is probably its biggest set-up since the reveal that the basement was important, this being the Titan serum given to Levi by Kenny.
The various leaders of the military convene to decide what to do with it and in the end entrust it to Levi.
This has massive implications for the series because it opens up the possibility for another Titan Shifter in the near future.
I think I already have an idea on who this will be because of spoilers but I will not give it away for people who are anime only so if you want to see who I think it is then check out the predictions section below.
Along with Levi being entrusted with the Titan serum, we also got some substantial development from both him and Erwin.
We saw that Erwin was willing to acknowledge that he finds his desire to learn the truth, generated by his father’s death, is more important to him than humanity.
Along with this, we saw Levi’s growth through his close connection with Erwin and how this eventually lead to him listen to Eren, Armin and Mikasa as they talked about the outside world.
Speaking of Mikasa, she finally got some development this episode.
I said in my review of “Bystander” I talked about how I was getting annoyed by her lack of development so I am glad to see she is getting some, even if it is only minor.
Eren and Jean get into a fight for around the tenth time only instead of saving Eren, like she always would, Mikasa says he will be fine and watches him with a smile.
This small moment from her showed a supreme level of growth because she has learned to not worry about Eren as much, although I do think a better job could have been done of showing where this development came from.
However, just because Mikasa did not interfere that does not mean Levi did the same thing because he beat up the two and then demanded someone clean up the puke Jean threw up.
This was one of many moments during this dinner sequence that had me in fits of laughter.
Sasha going crazy over the meat and having to be tied up, her biting Jean’s hand like a rabid dog and various other scouts fighting over the food were some of the many things that made me laugh during this sequence.
This all builds to the triumphant final scene where the Survey Corps goes to plug up Wall Maria, only to be meet by an enthusiastic crowd for the first time ever.
This leads to a cheer inducing, yet hilarious, scene where Erwin roars in triumph with the citizens and then leading the Scouts to Wall Maria with his signature shout of “ADVANCE!”
However, this triumphant feeling is quickly undermined with a feeling of dread provided by a shot of Reiner and Bertholdt waiting at Shiganshina and the explosive mid-credits scene.
This scene was a genuine shock the first time I saw it because its static opening made me believe my laptop was broken.
This initial belief was quickly thrown out the window as the scene continued, however, with numerous quick cuts of old and new footage.
This all culminates in a brief yet terrifying scene where a bloodied Levi tells Eren and Mikasa in Shiganshina, with a burnt corpse beside them, “do you have the faintest damn clue… what you’re doing!?”
This leads him to attack Eren, which causes a tearful Mikasa to attack Levi and prepare to slit his throat before the scene cuts back to the credits.
This ends the Uprising Arc on a terrifying high note that has dire suggestions about the next arc that I cannot wait to see.

Predictions:

  1. In regards to the mid-credits scene, there were numerous shots that offer up suggestions for what could happen in the second half of season three. There are numerous shots from previous episodes like Grisha preparing to inject Eren, the key, and even shots from the season two outro, which is said to explain the history of Attack on Titan‘s world. However, there are also many new shots as well like the shot of a mysterious woman, a shoe in the grass, someone holding a seashell and Titan skeletons in a field. What these images mean is anyone’s guess but it is the scene we get after these quick shots that offers the real meat in terms of predictions. For example, who is the burnt corpse on the roof with Eren, Mikasa and Levi? It should be noted that Erwin is missing during this scene so I wonder if this is him. Although if it is then this does not explain why Mikasa is crying, why Levi attacks Eren and why Mikasa then tries to kill Levi. These are many unanswered questions that I look forward to being answered in the Beast Titan Arc.
  2. WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS!!! I am pretty sure I know who Levi is going to use the Titan serum on and that character is Armin. I got spoiled that Bertholdt dies and Armin becomes the Colossal Titan and the only real way for this to happen would be if Armin became a Titan and ate Bertholdt. So it is almost certainly Armin that Levi will inject with the serum Kenny gave him. This also has huge implications for the series since Armin becoming the Colossal Titan will be a shocking turn of events because even though I know it is going to happen I do not know how.

Whatever the case, I am looking forward to seeing another episode of Attack on Titan next week… wait, it’s not coming back until April, 2019… WHAT!?

 

Attack on Titan: Season 3, Episode 11, Bystander Review – The Mystery of Grisha Jaeger.

3 stars

Spoiler Free Review:

After a week’s delay because of a typhoon, the eleventh episode from season three of Attack on Titan, “Bystander”, has been released.
Overall, I would say this episode is the weakest of season three so far.
This is not me saying that it was a bad episode, it was good, but in comparison with the fantastic episodes we were delivered previously this one is a bit of a slow burn.
The main purpose of “Bystander” is to make sense of prior events in the series, although I will admit, it does do this with a very good use of character development for two of its characters.
By far the most intriguing part of this episode though, was the backstory of Grisha Jaeger, Eren’s father.
I am much more interested to learn about who he really was than when I watched the first season because of what has been revealed about him, not only in this episode but in other ones like “Sin” as well.
Grisha was not the only character who got development though because we also got some insight into Keith Sadies, the commandant of the training corps and the titular “Bystander.”
We also got to see some old faces in this episode, which was nice, and saw a few interesting uses for Eren’s new Titan ability gained in previous episodes.
Although, I will say that it was hard not to giggle when they described Eren’s attempts at perfecting his Titan powers as “hardening experiments.”
Like I said, this episode is good but there is just nothing that really sticks out to me like in the previous episodes of season three.
I will not deny “Bystander’s” necessity to the story because it does help give context to certain scenes.
However, take away the mystery about Grisha and there is not much to this episode.

Spoiler Review:

Just like I predicted last episode, the “Bystander” of this episode was none other than Keith Sadies, who goes on to reveal the backstory of when Grisha was living inside the walls.
Suffering from memory loss, Grisha was discovered by Keith outside the walls and went to become a life saving doctor in Shiganshina, where he eventually married Carla and had Eren.
Learning about Grisha’s life in Shiganshina makes him a much more interesting character and I cannot wait to learn what his motivations were.
It was also nice that we got to see some old characters in this flashback, like Hannes, and, as stated earlier, Carla.
Keith’s development for this episode was also good but made him come across as more unlikable to me than sympathetic, with what appeared to be him damaging Eren’s equipment from the third episode of the series out of spite.
Although he did change his mind about this, it paints Keith in a very negative light.
Along with this flashback, “Bystander” also had a time jump, picking up two months after Historia became queen.
Numerous events have happened since then, like Historia providing a home for numerous orphans, Marlo joining the Survey Corps and Eren using his “hardening experiments” (I still cannot take that seriously) to provide new means of killing Titans without losing any soldiers.
These were all very nice revelations, especially Historia’s because it continued her arc of wanting to help those in need, which was set up in “Outside the Walls of Orvud District.”
Another thing I liked about these scenes before Keith’s flashback was that is seemed to suggest that they are keeping Connie’s Titan mother alive.
I am glad this is being brought up again because it has the potential to result in some more development for Connie who has not had much screen time this season.
One funny scene in “Bystander” came when Mikasa got jealous over Eren and Historia.
The glare she sent there way was nothing short of creepy.
However, while this was funny, Mikasa’s scenes in this episode highlight a problem I have been having with her character recently.
In my “Top 10 Favorite Attack on Titan Characters” list I made after watching season two, Mikasa came in as my second favorite character next to Armin.
However, after re-watching the first two seasons and seeing how Mikasa has been portrayed in this season as well, I find her to be a lot less interesting than I first thought.
Mikasa has had almost no development for a very long time and yet she is one of the main characters, which is a problem.
This lack of development causes only her fighting skills and borderline yandere obsession with Eren to shine through, which I am not a fan of.
There have been multiple moments to give Mikasa development this season, like the reveal that Levi and Kenny are related to her, but there has been nothing but the usual “Eren this, Eren that” from her.
Hopefully she will get more development because she is really starting to go further down on my list of favorite characters at this point.
Just like my problem with missing characters I mentioned in my previous review though, I do not fault the episode for this but rather the series itself.
Overall, “Bystander” was the weakest episode of season three so far.
Not bad but nothing special.

Predictions:

  1. Grisha is revealed to have lost his memories when he first entered the Walls but if he found the Reiss family, passed on his Titan power to Eren and put something in the basement that means he must have regained those memories. I wonder when this happened and if it will be important to the story.
  2. The reveal that Connie’s mother’s Titan may still be alive has some interesting implications. If they ever discover a cure for the Titans then Connie may be able to bring her back.