With the Paths storyline of Chapters 119 to most of Chapter 123 coming to an end at Episode 21, Episode 23 of Attack onTitan’s final season, “Thaw”, kicks off with a cut to the present as our main characters and the world at large reacts to the Rumbling.
Directed by Hidekazu Hara and Kiō Igarashi, “Thaw” begins with the typical episode recap, before showing the reactions the Eldians in Liberio are having to Eren’s declaration about the Rumbling.
Among these Eldians is Annie’s father, a fitting choice concerning that the episode ends with the twist of her return.
Once we get these Eldians’ reactions, the scene then cuts to Reiner and Gabi, who are retreating from where Wall Maria used to be, as the Wall Titans are now marching.
Falco is nowhere to be seen and Reiner realizes that he was taken by Connie and Jean, before despairing that Eren will destroy the world, which hits him hard in particular because his original goal was to save it.
As Gabi leads him into a house to rest, Reiner suggests she finds Pieck and escape, telling her they have no hope of stopping Eren, before falling unconcious.
Gabi, however, is unwilling to accept this and, in a scene very similar to one where Eren told himself in the mirror to “fight”, Gabi also ties her hair up into a ponytail, followed by her declaring that she is coming for Falco.
The boy in question has indeed been captured by Jean, Connie, Mikasa and Armin, who are now all struggling with their conflicting thoughts about the Rumbling.
Jean states that he believes the people of the outside world brought this all upon themselves, yet his tone and wording highlight his confliction greatly.
Armin is much more forward with his doubts, declaring that Eren is going too far, which leads to Jean stating that Eren is committing this unprecedented genocide for them.
Before they can appropriately deal with the inner conflict this brings them, they notice that Zeke’s Titans are now on a rampage.
As they move to deal with them, Mikasa asks Jean what he intends to do with Falco.
Jean suggests feeding Falco to Commander Pyxis so he can come back as a Shifter but Connie interrupts, insisting his mother be the one who is saved, since there won’t need to be any fighting anymore because of the Rumbling.
An argument ensues when Armin suggests letting Falco live, so they can use him to negotiate with Reiner and the other Warriors, but they are again interrupted, this time by an attacking Titan, giving Connie the chance to kidnap Falco to save his mother.
And so begins what I think is one of the worst subplots in all of Attack on Titan, but the awful way that storyline unfolds is not for a few episodes at this point.
As Jean, Mikasa and Armin decide to focus on killing the Titans in Shiganshina, since there aren’t any walls left to contain them, the episode changes focus to Sasha’s family, who are fleeing from a Titanized Nile.
Kya ends up hitting her head and falling down some stairs, with Nile going right after her and no Sasha to save her this time.
It is at that moment that Gabi rushes in, freeing Nile from the misery of being a Titan, as she kills him with the anti-Titan rifle, saving Kya, who then sees her as Sasha.
This symbolic moment where Kya sees her sister in her killer is a controversial one in the fandom but one I like because of how it follows through on Gabi’s redemption.
Kya pays Gabi back in full for her rescue, covering for her when Jeagerists show up and recognize Gabi as the girl from Marley.
Niccolo and the rest of Sasha’s family also support Gabi, leading to the Jeagerists leading them to saftey.
During this time, Gabi and Kya have a heart to heart, where Gabi admits that she killed people for praise and that is her devil.
Niccolo follows this up by saying both he and Kya have devils within them as well, and the only way to escape them is to escape the forest, just like Mr Braus said.
Meanwhile, one of the soldiers who beat up Keith Shadis is about to be eaten by a Titan when who should come to rescue him but the man he beat up.
Shadis then heroically orders the trainees to follow him into battle, as the returning ost Barricades plays.
I was not expecting this theme to play this episode but I think it works fantastically.
As for Shadis, he is a character whose storyline I am excited to see play out in the final season because of how much I liked it in the manga.
One thing that I think is a downgrade from the manga, however, is the adaptation of the paneling in the next scene, where Mikasa kills a Titan that was going to eat Yelena.
In the manga, the shot cuts between Yelena’s horrified eyes and Mikasa’s determined ones, before revealing that Mikasa has killed the Titan that was about to kill Yelena, which then crashes into the building.
In the anime, however, the impact of this impressive paneling is lessened signficantly, with some of the shots being too quick, and new shots being placed in, like one of the Titan about to eat Yelena before Mikasa kills it.
We then see Jean leading the charge against the Titans in Shiganshina, with Shadis assisting as he and the trainees lead various Titans to where they will be easier to kill.
However, these are not just ordinary Titans but former comrades, a tragedy which becomes clear when Armin notices Commander Pyxis among the Titans and then puts him out of his misery, thanking him for helping them get this far and wishing that he rest in peace.
As the fight progresses, we see Mikasa save Louise, only for her admirer to be distracted by this and then get hit by a thunder spear explosion, her fate now unknown.
With the Titans in Shiganshina all killed, the survivors rest, with Onyankopon coming to Jean and reflecting on how his homeland will be destroyed.
Rubbing this painful moment in for him further is when everyone’s least favourite nationalist (or favourite depending on who you ask) Floch arrives with a smug look on his face to announce the Eldian Empire’s revival, placing Yelena, Onyankopon, and the rest of the volunteers under arrest.
As this is happening, Armin and Mikasa are led into a basement by Mr Braus and meet with Gabi, who begs them to give Falco back, only to be horrified when she learns what Connie plans to do with him.
She then begs further, asking if Eren can return Connie’s mother to normal on his own since he also removed Reiner’s Armour.
This causes Armin to realize that Eren removed all Titan hardening, meaning that Annie must be free.
Sure enough, the scene then cuts to Annie, now free from her crystal after 56 episodes, bringing an end to the episode.
Overall, “Thaw” is a great adaptation of Chapter 124, bringing back Annie well and depicting the fight in Shiganshina amazingly, with the return of the excellent ost Barricades.
Manga Spoilers: “Thaw” saw the beginning of the Connie and Falco subplot, the storyline where Connie attempts to feed Falco to his mother to turn her back into a human.
As I said in the spoiler free section, this is one of my least favourite subplots of the entire series. The only one I can think of that is worse is the atrocious pregnancy subplot Historia recieved (if you can even call that degrading treatment of her character a subplot, since it never amounted to anything).
One of the big reasons for my dislike of the Connie subplot is how pointless it seems in the grand scheme of things.
The end of the world is literally happening and we are wasting time on Connie’s mother.
This has me hoping that the anime might make some changes to improve this subplot but I wouldn’t hold my breath, since this episode adapted a single chapter with no significant alterations.
The only slightly significant change I could find in this episode was that we actually see Louise get injured during the fight with the Titans in Shiganshina.
This was a nice addition because in the manga we don’t see her get injured, just the aftermath, so this bridges the gap well.
Unfortunately, at the end of that gap is another scene I do not like, the one where Mikasa completley ignores Louise dying in front of her and just wants her scarf back, making her extremely unlikeable.
Yeah, it’s safe to say I’m not looking forward to seeing the adaptation of Chapter 126, which is in my top five least favourite chapters of the series.
Oh, well, at least the adaptation of Chapter 125 “Sunset” was really good, and I will be sure to review that before Episode 24 is released.
I can still remember reading Chapter 118 of Attack on Titan for the first time and being quite impressed with all of the standout character moments. Well, I am pleased to say that Mappa adapted this chapter amazingly, for the most part. Directed by Jun Shishido, “Sneak Attack” begins by recapping the last few minutes of the previous episode, again showing us Armin tell everyone that Eren was probably lying about Mikasa, and that he is most likely just using Zeke and Yelena. Last episode had a recap beginning as well and, honestly, I’m finding them to be a bit annoying. It’s clear they’re just doing it to pad for time so they can adapt one chapter per episode. Once the recap of the previous episode is over, the other characters quickly come to the conclusion that they have to help Eren, with Jean even admitting that he envied Eren because he found him to be “cool,” a great moment of growth for him. Afterwards, the 104th go to suit up so they can help Eren fight off Marley and, while running, Mikasa questions Armin’s reasoning for Eren lying. This causes Armin to remember Eren’s final line in the Season Three finale about destroying their enemies beyond the sea. He realizes something because of this but chooses to stay quiet, instead focusing on how he and Eren both knew about Mikasa’s headaches so Eren used it to make his lie more convincing. We then get another recap of Eren and Reiner’s fight, followed up by a kind of underwhelming moment when Porco attacks Eren, only for him to be punched away. This, and Eren’s glare at Reiner when he is being held down, just had a lot more impact in the manga. However, this worrying start then turns amazing when Eren begins to rip Reiner’s jaw apart. Eren’s scream mixed with his Titan roar gave me goosebumps, as did Zeke arriving to save his little brother. The Beast Titan was completely CGI in Part One of the Final Season but he appears to be mostly 2D in this episode and looks absolutely fantastic. This animation only gets better when Zeke throws his crunched up boulders at Marley’s airships, causing them to crash into each other and explode. As this is happening, Eren begins making his way towards Zeke, limping as he does so, which is a great showcase of the brain damage his Titan received from the constant heads shots from Pieck’s Anti-Titan Canon. The Marleyan forces struggle to combat this, with Pieck and Magath forced to go on the defensive against Floch and the Jeagerists, and Colt and Gabi going to rescue Falco. They don’t really have to though because the 104th set out to free everyone the Jeagerists are holding captive, including Falco and Nile. Nile tries to comfort Falco before they are freed, saying this may be his chance to get home, while he may sadly never see his daughters again, even though there is so much he wants to tell them. Along with Falco and Nile, Shadis and Pyxis are also freed, the latter of which prepares to lead his men who have drunk Zeke’s contaminated wine in the last ditch stand. Mikasa also prepares for battle, Louise with her, and at that moment she decides to leave her scarf behind, something she has never done before. Now, surely I am including this as one of the many great character growth moments in this episode, right? Well, unfortunately, no, I’m not. The reason for why though is manga spoilers so I’ll detail the reasons why I found this scene off putting in the manga section below. Once the 104th are all geared up, they go outside, where we see two iconic Yelena panels adapted. The first of these is her basking in the glory of Zeke’s destruction of the airships which is, again, fantastically animated. The second of these is her troll face, when Armin tells everyone they don’t have time to focus on Levi and Hange’s status, as they should instead focus on helping Eren and Zeke. Yelena’s threatening troll face that follows is great and a moment that I’m sure gave a lot of anime only viewers a few nervous chuckles. As if these Yelena moments weren’t standout enough, we then get Nile, Floch and Gabi’s development in what is the best scene of the entire episode. Colt and Gabi come across Nile, Falco and the other wine poisoned military police. Falco sees Colt and tells Nile who, instead of attacking, takes Falco to his brother, freeing him. Nile might not have much of a hope of seeing his daughters again but he made sure to help a little boy alone on the battlefield. It is interesting how Isayama actually started Nile off like an antagonist, having him trying to get Eren taken in by the Military Police, where he probably would have been given to Rod Reiss to pass on his Titan. Then, Isayama pulled back the layers to reveal Nile as a sympathetic character also fighting for humanity, all leading to this moment where he helps Falco. Next, comes Gabi’s big moment of character development, as she stops Colt from attacking Nile and then, after overhearing Kya talk about how she wants to kill Gabi for killing Sasha, finally admits to herself that she was wrong about the people of Paradis being devils. Her tearfully announcing this is her biggest moment and it is made better in the anime, through the new shots of open bird cages, showing how Gabi has just begun to free herself from the cycle of violence. Falco also frees himself in a sense by finally confessing not just his involvement in the attack on Liberio, leading to Udo and Zofia’s deaths, but also his feelings for Gabi. His awkward confession is genuinely sweet and leads to another excellent moment of growth for Gabi, as she tears off Falco’s black armband, just like he tore off her Eldian one before they meet Kya. The three then go to warn Zeke about Falco ingesting the spinal fluid, in the hope that this will convince him not to scream. They almost did not need to worry, though, because it is then we get the titular “Sneak Attack,” with Pieck and Magath showing off their intelligence by launching a near fatal attack on Zeke. First, they have Pieck emerge from her Titan, causing it to disintegrate, making the Jeagerists think the have defeated her. Then, the Marleyans ambush Floch and the other Jeagerists. Finally, Magath fires the Anti-Titan Canon at Zeke in the hopes of killing Zeke. Unfortunately for them, and Falco, Zeke is still alive so there is still a chance that he could scream if he is given the chance to recover on the ground wher he has fallen, ending the episode. Overall, “Sneak Attack” is a fantastic adaptation of Chapter 118. My only criticisms are that the recaps are slightly annoying and the Mikasa scarf scene loses a lot of impact for me with hindsight. Otherwise, it’s a great episode, and I am even more excited for the next one because it will be adapting one of my favourite chapters of the entire series, Chapter 119, “Two Brothers.”
Now, I will talk about the issue I have with the Mikasa leaving her scarf behind scene. This scene had me excited when I first read it in the manga because I thought it would be a turning point for her character. Yes, I did think the scarf would work its way back to her through Louise based off her looking at it, but I at least thought this would all result in Mikasa potentially distancing herself from Eren. Instead, Mikasa ends up doubling down on her Eren obsession, despite her ending up killing him in Chapter 138. This whole thing of her leaving the scarf behind just seems pointless in retrospect. Mikasa is a character who my opinion on really suffered when I reread the series for my Top Ten Chapters list. I am not saying that she never develops, but she is a character with so many missed opportunities. She could have developed so much through her Ackerman and Hizuru heritage, along with leaving the scarf behind and her connection to Louise but these chances for further development are never taken. It makes me wonder how I will view future Mikasa scenes in the anime. Is the hindsight of how her story ends also going to make those less impactful for me? I certainly hope not.
Attack on Titan is back for the second part of its final season and, boy, am I excited to see some of my favourite chapters of the story animated.
Directed by Yūichirō Hayashi, Episode 17, “Judgement” is not an adaptation of one of my favourite chapters but it is still a pretty great episode nonetheless, starting off this series of episodes quite well.
“Judgement” begins by showing the scene I was disappointed not to see in the first half of the final season.
However, this scene’s adaptation certainly did not disappoint, presenting some excellent animation right off the bat.
The episode begins with the captive Hange and the Jeagerists discovering the aftermath of the explosion Zeke caused, after which both his and Levi’s fates were left uncertain.
Well, Levi’s status is still unknown, even after this episode, because it is not entirely clear if he is alive or dead.
That said, I was quite impressed with the amount of detail that went into the gore for what happened to Levi.
Heck, I was surprised with how uncensored this episode was in general.
Back to the scene at hand, Floch and the Jeagerists want to put a bullet in Levi’s head, to which Hange responds that he is already dead, only for her to flee with him when Zeke is revived.
The animation during Zeke’s revival is fantastic and it raises a great mystery with the question of who the girl who revived him in the “paths” was.
Then, we get the opening, “The Rumbling” by SiM, which is another banger, with some great symbolism for future events.
From here, the episode continues with Marley’s attack on Shiganshina, beginning the battle with an unexpectedly comedic moment, when Porco cuts off Pieck’s hand, so she can escape with Gabi.
The hand falls right into Gabi’s hands and the two scream as Pieck throws herself off the building to transform, leaving me chuckling.
In the end, both Titan Shifters escape, Pieck taking Gabi with her, later allowing Gabi to disclose her newfound theory to Magath that Zeke has royal blood, meaning they cannot allow the Jaeger brothers to come into contact.
As for Eren himself, he disregards Yelena’s advice to use the power of the Warhammer Titan to escape.
Instead, Eren goes to face Reiner, who lifts his bloody hand up to Eren before transforming, much like Eren did when he confronted Reiner in Marley.
This was a great callback.
It’s just a shame for Reiner that his fight with Eren goes as well as all of his previous fights with him.
Eren pummels him pretty easy, and Reiner only stands a chance with Porco’s help.
This is also when Eren is not using the Warhammer Titan’s powers.
When he does use them, the battle goes back to being incredibly one sided again.
But then, the Titan that is always exactly right enters the battlefield, as Magath uses Pieck’s Anti-Titan Gun to blow multiple holes in Eren’s Titan head.
This gives Marley plenty of time to deal with many of the Jeagerists, gunning them down with ease.
In Marley, the Scouts had the advantage, yet here it is clearly the reverse.
Much like many scenes in the first half of the Final Season, Mappa added a lot of combat scenes, like when the Jeagerist is chocking the Marley soldier, only to be stabbed with a bayonet from behind.
These are great additions that show off the brutality of war.
As well as Marley gaining the upper hand on the Jeagerists, Reiner also does on Eren, impaling him with one of his own Titan crystals.
While this is happening, Onyankopon rushes to free the 104th from their cell, not having been able to do so earlier out of fear of what Yelena would do to him.
However, he receives a less than warm welcome, with Connie outraged at his perceieved betrayal, revealing how the betrayals or Reiner, Bertholdt, Annie, and now Eren hurt him.
Armin wants to hear Onyankopon out, though, and the volunteer expresses how he is against Yelena and Zeke’s plan to sterilize the Eldians because he believes Paradis has a future and children are that future.
This causes Armin to remember Onyankopon’s comment about how an interesting mix of people makes the world more interesting, realizing he truly is on their side.
Armin also goes on to say he thinks Eren was lying about Mikasa only protecting Eren because she is an Ackerman and being on Zeke’s side, because him carrying out the Euthanization Plan would go directly against his character, beleiving he is only playing along with Zeke and Yelena.
The voice acting of this scene is really great, with Connie, Armin and Onyankopon’s voice actors doing a really good job.
Once this scene is done, we get the cliffhanger, which is Eren still being impaled with his crystal by Reiner, leaving him in a rather precarious position at the end of the episode.
We then get the ED, “Akuma no Ko” by Ai Higuchi, which I think is just as good as the OP.
It reminds me a lot of the OP from the first season and I think this is clearly intentional.
So, overall the second half of the Final Season is off to a good start with “Judgement.”
I am quite excited to see my favourite chapter, 121, get adapted eventually as well.
Manga Spoilers: Since I’m a manga reader, I decided to leave a little section at the end of every review where I can talk about spoilers.
The main thing I want to talk about here is the OP, “The Rumbling.”
Along with it having some great symbolism, like the trampled butterfly at the end representing Ramzi, I was quite surprised by how many spoilers were packed in, like the actual Rumbling happening and Eren’s Founding Titan form.
I think some of these things probably should have been kept vague for anime only viewers.
Another interesting part of not just the OP but the ED as well is how they both refrence the final chapter.
In the OP we see Eren, Mikasa and Armin running towards the tree on the hill, which is important to the ending as it is where Eren is buried when he dies, and in the ED we see Paradis destroyed and overtaken by nature, much like how it is in the updated ending.
Because of this, it’s pretty obvious that we aren’t getting an anime original ending.
Not that I thought we would, but I have been seeing some insane conspiracy theories out there about how an anime original ending was always part of the plan.
People have literally been saying that a supposedly different coloured scarf means the ending will be completley changed.
With the OP and ED putting these anime ending theories to rest, I think the best we can hope for is maybe a couple of changes, rather than a completley different ending.
Personally, I’m just hoping the a few of the last minute twists of the ending will be reworked to make them more digestible.
Hopefully, some dialogue will be changed as well.
For example, please change Armin saying “thank you for becoming a mass muderer,” to, “I’m sorry you became a mass murderer.”
The “thank you” part really sends a bad message, although I know that is unintentional.
But, whatever ending we do get, we probably won’t be getting it for a while if the leaks about a movie turn out to be true.
Either way, I’m just looking forward to seeing fantastic chapters like 119, 121, 122, 123, 129, 130 and 131 adapted with the rest of Part Two.
From 2009 to 2021, mangaka Hajime Isayama gifted us with Attack on Titan, delivering a chapter every single month, except for one due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. After all these years of dedication, he brought his series to a close at 139 chapters. Now, the second half of the final season for The Attack on Titan anime is set to begin airing soon. To honour this occasion, I decided to give the manga a reread and then do a top ten list ranking my favourite chapters. And you know what? I’m glad I decided to do the reread. I made it clear in my review for the final chapter’s updated version that I do not like Attack on Titan‘s ending, and when it comes to a long running series, the ending is usually the first thing that comes to my mind. So, in the months since the story ended, I have been left with a feeling of bitterness over how it all concluded. Giving the story another read really reminded of how incredible of a writer Isayama is. He delivered so many fantastic chapters that I honestly struggled narrowing them all down to a top ten list. Naturally, this left me with some honourable mentions, so I will get into those before I begin the list. The chapters that just missed the cut were Chapters 122, “From You, 2,000 Years Ago”, and 123, “Island Devils”. I really wanted to put these chapters on the list, but they didn’t get in because of how the ending recontextualized them in negative ways for me. This was especially the case for Chapter 122, which pained me not to include because it used to be my favourite chapter, before the final one changed my interpretation of “From You, 2,000 Years Ago” so drastically that it shot it right out of my top ten. With these honourable mentions now listed, here are what I consider to be the top ten best chapters of Attack on Titan, starting with…
10. Chapter 80: Nameless Soldiers.
Beginning with a chapter from the Return to Shiganshina Arc, “Nameless Soldiers” is the chapter that is the culmination of Erwin Smith’s character arc. Erwin is my favourite character in Attack on Titan and this chapter really exemplifies why. “Nameless Soldiers” centers around the conclusion for his arc as, stuck between choosing to die for humanity or be selfish and flee to the basement to find out the truth his father sought, Erwin cannot make that decision. So, in a powerful moment, Levi makes the choice for him, telling his friend to give up on his dream and die for humanity. And so, Erwin speaks to his recruits, informing them that they will begin a mounted suicide charge against the Beast Titan, distracting their enemy long enough so Levi can kill him. Erwin told Levi earlier than in order to convince the recruits to take part in this plan, they would need, “the skills of a first-rate conman”, meaning himself. However, the impassioned words he speaks to the recruits to convince them to ride to their deaths with him rings entirely true, as he speaks of how they give meaning to the lives of their fallen comrades, and whoever follows them will give meaning to theirs. Thus, in his final moments, Erwin becomes what he always pretended to be: a soldier dedicated to saving humanity, no matter the cost. And with Erwin’s fall we begin to see the rise of other characters, although some of them in a negative way, like Floch. His breakdown in this chapter is the perfect prelude for how his trauma will lead to him becoming a dangerous extremist. There is also the continuation of the fight between Bertholdt and the Scouts of the 104th, the bad situation getting much worse with the reappearance of Reiner. This serves as a prelude for Armin’s big sacrifice, two chapters from then in “Hero” but we’ll get to that later. As for “Nameless Soldiers”, it is a fantastic chapter that begins the end of Erwin Smith’s tragic character arc.
9. Chapter 119: Two Brothers.
I read this chapter in public and when I got to the end my jaw was on the floor… I got a lot of strange looks from people. Chapter 119, “Two Brothers” is one of the chapters I am most excited to see adapted in part two of the final season. Centering on the battle of Shiganshina the first part of the anime left off on, “Two Brothers” is an action packed chapter with the core theme of the connection between brothers, and the tragedies this connection can recreate. We see this tragedy replicated through three different sets of brothers. First, there is Falco and Colt. Colt storms onto the battlefield, dragging Falco along, begging Zeke not to scream and transform his brother into a Titan. However, Zeke too has a little brother who he wants to protect: Eren, and so is not deterred, although he does show sympathy. When Zeke screams Colt could have simply abandoned Falco but he sticks with his brother to the end, holding him close and declaring that he will always be with him, before Falco transforms, killing him. It is then we get the second brotherly tragedy with Porco and Marcel. Earlier in the chapter, Porco finally got to see his brother’s memories, learning how Marcel made sure he did not get the Armoured Titan to protect him. This knowledge, along with seeing Colt give his life for his own brother (and also never giving up the chance to one up Reiner) motivates Porco to sacrifice himself to Falco so he can return as a human. The deaths of Porco and Falco are quite emotional, which surprised me the first time I read the chapter. To be honest, I never really cared about either of them before their deaths, but Isayama did such a great job writing their endings that I came to care about the both of them because of this. It’s not just them either because we also get the Titanization of Pyxis, Nile, Roeg (although who really cares about him?), and hundreds of other soldiers. And then we get the big cliffhanger of Eren’s head being shot off by Gabi, finishing off the tragic theme of brotherly connection with Zeke’s horrified face at seeing his brother decapitated. This was the part of the chapter that made my jaw drop and earned me the odd look from the people sitting next to me when I read it. “Two Brothers” is easily one of Attack on Titan‘s most tragic chapters, with the compelling theme of the bonds of brotherhood ending in disaster.
8. Chapter 82: Hero.
The Return to Shiganshina Arc was a storyline full of sacrificies. First there was Erwin in Chapter 80, and then Armin in Chapter 82, “Hero.” This is definitley Armin’s best chapter, with him giving up on his dream to see the ocean for humanity, much like how Erwin gave up on his dream for the same thing, aligning Armin as Erwin’s future successor. The chapter begins with Armin finishing the explanation of his plan to Eren over panels of Historia, Hitch and other military personel to show what they will lose if they don’t defeat Bertholdt here and now. Armin tries to reassure Eren by telling him he has never been much of a hero but before Eren can in turn reassure him that this is not true, Bertholdt approaches and they begin to enact their plan… only for it to seemingly fail immediately when Eren falls off the wall. This leaves Armin to fight Bertholdt alone, holding onto the Colossal Titan’s teeth with his vertical manuvering gear, so he will not get blown away by the intense heat. As this is happening, Mikasa, Jean, Connie and Sasha face off against Reiner, to stop him from interfering with Armin’s plan. Unfortunately, their plan of attack initially goes as smoothly as Armin’s seemed to, with Sasha being injured and Reiner’s jaw not being shot open, meaning Mikasa cannot blow Reiner out of his Titan from the inside with her remaining Thunder Spear. This creates the perfect oppurtunity for Hange to come flying in, missing one eye and using her Thunder Spear to force Reiner’s mouth open, allowing Mikasa to deal the finishing blow. More exciting and horrifying, though, is Armin’s struggles, as he quickly finds himself burning alive under the intense heat created from Bertholdt’s steam attack. As the heat overwhelms him, Armin thinks of how he will pass on his dream of seeing the ocean to Eren, again much like how Erwin passed on his dream to see the basement to those who followed him. With Armin down, Bertholdt suddenly notices that Eren has hardened his Titan, realizing this was all a part of Armin’s plan far too late, as Eren flies up behind him in a glorious full page spread to cut him out of the Colossal Titan. Eren then descends to Armin’s resting place on the roof, telling him what he was about to when Armin said he was never much of a hero, that he was the bravest of them all, bringing a crushing end to the chapter. “Hero” is an action packed chapter that follows on from “Nameless Soldiers” with the Return to Shiganshina Arc’s constant theme of sacrifice. The anime adaptation of this episode is often ranked as one of the series’ best, and it is easy to see why, with “Hero” providing some fantastic, logically planned fights, with sacrifice being a key motif, leading perfectly into the choice between Erwin and Armin, which we will also get to later.
7: Chapter 66: Wish.
The best chapter of the Uprising Arc, “Wish” centers around the fantastic character development of Historia and Eren in the Reiss cave. Despite Eren being the main character of the story, this is definitley Historia’s chapter though. Her character arc in this storyline is one of my favourites and, much like how “Hero” is Armin’s best chapter, “Wish” is Historia’s, being the moment she finally decides to follow Ymir’s advice and live for herself. The build up to this moment is excellent as well, focusing on the dilemma going on in her head perfectly as her father, Rod, attempts to manipulate her into eating Eren and becoming the next Founding Titan. We see her memories of Ymir and Frieda, leading her to confront Rod, who tells her the truth about the Founder: that whoever from their family inherits it comes under the influence of the first king’s ideology. We can clearly see that Rod believes this is the right thing, even though he is still manipulating his daughter. Historia, however, is not having it because, when Rod tries to force the transformation upon her, she remembers what Ymir told her back in the Clash of the Titans Arc. “Live your life with pride,” Ymir tells her in a great full page spread, and, boy, does Historia live her life with pride in this moment, slapping the injection out of Rod’s hands and then throwing him over her shoulder to the floor, possibly breaking his back. She then declares that she will not allow her father to kill her, dashing up the stairs to free Eren, only to berate him as well when he insists that she eat him to save humanity. In the heat of the moment, she declares that she thinks humanity should be wiped out by the Titans and she does not care if that makes her humanity’s enemy. This is a character literally saying she wants humanity to be destroyed and we’re cheering her on. Even Kenny of all people is cheering her on. It is one of Attack on Titan’s most inspirational scenes, and the anime completley did it justice when it was adapted with the fantastic song “Zero Eclipse” by Hiroyuki Sawano. Eren’s arc in this chapter is also great, as he finally breaks down after learning of how his father murdered Historia’s family and potentially doomed humanity. However, when Rod licks the Titan serumn, causing him to transform into the second largest Titan of the series, and Eren’s friends are in danger, he is again left with a choice by Levi, and chooses to fight. Lunging forward, Eren grabs a vile of Titan sermun labelled “armour” and bites down on it, hoping to believe in himself one more time, bringing an end to the chapter as he transforms. These two arcs of Eren and Historia are amazing, especially Historia’s, with hers being one of the most inspirational of the entire story, as I already stated. This is why it was such a let down to read the final arc and see her character assassinated and sidelined with a degrading pregancy subplot. Isayama really dropped the ball with her more than any other character in the final arc. That said, this does not change how incredible her character development is in “Wish.”
6. Chapter 42: Warrior.
“I’m the Armoured Titan and he’s the Colossal Titan.” With just a single sentence, Isayama made the entire fandom go, “wait, what!?” Sure, some did see the twist of Reiner and Bertholdt being the Armoured and Colossal Titans coming but Isayama still managed to subvert expectations by having the biggest twist of the story, at that point, revealed in the most casual of ways. It is honestly one of the most creative twist reveals I have ever seen, and the buildup to it and its fallout are absolutley excellent. First, we get some subtle hints of what is about to happen, like Bertholdt bringing up going back to their home town and Reiner responding enthusiastically. We even see some signs that Eren and the others are onto the two, as Eren seems to purposely bring up their home town first and he, Mikasa and Armin seem reluctant to tell Hannes why they are really there. Then we get the reveal which, along with being creatively casual, also does a great job at showcasing how far gone Reiner is mentally, suffering from a split identity, with his soldier and warrior personality in constant confliction. Reiner’s admittance to his and Bertholdt’s true identities is the moment that these two personalities intertwine into a full breakdown, where Reiner is not able to understand how confessing to Eren would be bad for his mission. It’s some great character writing, however one that also ends up saving Reiner since it is revealed that Eren and the others already knew, with a flashback to this discovery uncovering all of the foreshadowing in prior chapters that lead up to the reveal. After Reiner’s confession, Eren is smart enough to play it off to try and lead Reiner and Bertholdt into a trap but this causes Reiner to snap completley in the moment, his dialogue hinting at his tragic past, which would be revealed in the Marley Arc. Before he and Bertholdt can attack though, Mikasa strikes first but she hesitates, resulting in the two warriors transforming before Eren’s eyes, forcing him to transform as well, while shedding tears over the betrayal of two close friends. “Warrior” was the moment when everything in Attack on Titan clicked for me. Before this moment, I had been enjoying the story, but it was the genius casualness of this twist that made me realize Attack on Titan was something special. This was the beginning of Eren and Reiner’s rivalry and it only got better from here.
5. Chapter 100: Declaration of War.
The 100th chapter of Attack on Titan, “Declaration of War” was one hell of a way for Isayama to celebrate reaching that milestone, starting the war between Marley and Paradis with Eren’s confrontation of Reiner. Before this point, the Marley Arc had been building up Reiner’s character, turning him from an antagonist to a sympathetic victim of the cycle of violence. As such, Eren represents the reader in a way this chapter. Just like we as the readers have come to understand and sympathize with Reiner’s motivations and trauma, Eren has also come to feel the same way about his rival, now understanding that not just Reiner but the entire conflict between Paradis and the rest of the world is far more complex. This is such fantastic character development for Eren who, at the beginning of the story, saw everything in black and white: a battle of good vs evil. Yet, while he has changed in his beliefs on the nature of the conflict, one thing that has not changed about Eren is his resolve to keep moving forward. I feel that even the smallest of expressions on Eren’s face in these panels hold a lot of meaning, like when he hears Willy say he does not wish to die, “because I was born into this world”, the same phrase Eren’s mother used to speak of him. So, even though he now understands Reiner and the rest of the world, Eren has to act, committing his own declaration of war just like Willy Tyber at the end of the chapter, only with the instant action of killing Willy and many innocent civilians in front of hundreds of spectators. Speaking of Willy, he was in the manga for a short amount of time, only four chapters, yet his character is quite compelling, with his own self hatred and sacrificial mission being perfectly explored across the chapter, especially in his opening scene with Magath. “I’m certain that Eldians are the descendants of devils. And I’m certain that we too are devils,” Magath states in an excellent assessment of the conflict in Attack on Titan. The war that starts right at the end of Chapter 100 may be based off years of hatred, yet both sides are completley capable of being devils. My only issue with this chapter is that the impact of Eren asking Reiner why his mother had to die is lost after it is revealed Eren played a hand in her death in the final chapter. Other than this, “Declaration of War” is amazing with its focus on Reiner’s guilt, Willy’s self hatred, and Eren’s understanding of both of them, yet unflinching resolve. What a fantastic way for the story to reach its 100th chapter milestone.
4. Chapter 131: Rumbling.
I’ll admit it, when I finished Chapter 130 I did not think we needed any more of a showcase of how horrifying Eren’s Rumbling was. Then I read Chapter 131 and I realized just how naive I was. We needed to see this and it is by far the most horrific part of the entire series. When I reviewed this chapter for the first time, I described it as “Attack on Titan’s Third Impact” and I still think of this as an apt description, since I still got the same feeling rereading this as I did when watching The End of Evangellion: Shock, horror, awe, and a wonder if what I was seeing was even really happening. The chapter picks up with Ramzi, the young boy whose family Eren and the others partied with in Chapter 123, their last moment of happiness togethor. Since leaving Ramzi, the young boy has had his hand cut off for stealing, showing just how cruel the world of Attack on Titan is. It gets even crueler when the Rumbling arrives, as the chapter constantly cuts between Ramzi attempting to flee from hiz oncoming death, and Eren’s first meeting with Ramzi where he saved him, despite knowing he would end up killing him eventually. This crushing dilemma is clear for Eren, as we see him wandering Marley’s streets in the flashback, knowing that if he did nothing then much less people would die, however it would end with the deaths of his people and that is not something he can accept. He then comes across Ramzi being attacked and berates himself for thinking about the justice of saving him when he knows he is going to kill the boy, yet his conscience still gets the better of him and he saves him, only to break down upon returning Ramzi to his family. As he apologises, he admits to himself a horrifying truth: that the Rumbling is not just to protect Paradis and his friends but also because he was disappointed that humanity existed outside the walls and wanted to wipe it all away. This terrifying admittance is interspliced with the brutal death of Ramzi and his brother, who die alone and scared, crushed under the feet of Titans. Yet the most horrifying moment of “Rumbling” comes not in these bloody displays, but in the full page spread of a child Eren basking in the freedom he is experiencing during this moment of brutal mass murder on a global scale, telling Armin in Paths that he has finally reached that sight. We then get the final scene of the chapter between Annie and Armin, a nice moment after all the horror that builds up their relationship, and ends on the cliffhanger of Eren’s head only connected to his Titan through his exposed spinal column. “Rumbling” is easily Attack on Titan‘s most horrifying chapter, portraying the massive loss of life because of Eren perfectly and in gruesome fashion. It is a chapter that I am eager to see adapted in the anime, so I can be horrified all over again.
3. Chapter 84: Midnight Sun.
Before this chapter, we had the “deaths” of Erwin and Armin, two characters who both set aside their dreams to sacrifice their lives for humanity. Yet, Chapter 83 reveals that not only are both still barely clinging to life but also only one of them can be revived by eating Bertholdt. Chapter 84, “Midnight Sun”, begins with the conflict over who should be revived officially starting, with Eren and Mikasa fighting for Armin, and Levi and Floch fighting for Erwin. What follows is one of the most emotional chapters of the entire series as all four characters likewise let their emotions dictate who should get the Titan serum, with violent results, Levi punching Eren and Mikasa attacking Levi in retaliation, attempting to take the serum from him. What makes the tension even more heightened is how each of these characters has a good point about who should be revived. Eren brings up all of the times Armin’s genius has saved them, from his plan to save Trost District, to him discovering Annie’s identity as the Female Titan, declaring that Armin will be the one to save humanity (something that actually comes true in the final battle). Floch hits back with the story of how Erwin lead them all against the Beast Titan to their deaths, saying he deserves to spend more time in this hell because the only one who can save humanity is the devil himself. Floch then goes on to say that him bringing Erwin back is the only reason he survived while others died which, much like Chapter 80, is great setup for him becoming a follower of Eren, coming to see him as the Devil who will save the Eldians. Floch’s comments even seem to strike a cord with Levi, although not the one he intends, as Levi looks devestated at the thought of his leader and long time friend having to spend more time in their hell. Then, when Hange and the others arrive, dragging Mikasa and Eren away from their dying friend, Levi has to make the choice. He is about to inject Erwin when he remembers Kenny’s words, “They were all slaves to something… even him.” Erwin then slaps Levi’s hand away in a dazed state, hallucinating about the question he asked his father, starting his dream. Levi realizes that Erwin is a slave to his dream and believes it would be cruel to consign him to more time in hell, as Floch described it, so he injects Armin. This was not Levi choosing Armin over Erwin, this was Levi choosing to allow his friend to rest and die the man who sacrificied everything for humanity in the end. We also say goodbye to Bertholdt in this chapter, as he is eaten by Armin to bring him back, screaming at the 104th to save him despite everything he’s done, still thinking of them as his friends. Even the death of Moblit, a minor character, carries plenty of emotional weight. It is Erwin’s death that hits the hardest though, with this being the perfect sendoff for him, in my opinion, solidifying him as my favourite character. “Midnight Sun” is an incredibly emotional chapter, with a storyline that still has the fans debating over whether the characters made the right choice to this day.
2. Chapter 86: That Day.
The mystery of what was in Grisha’s basement had been built up right from the beginning of the story. There were 84 chapters of buildup before we got the answer in Chapter 85, so the answer had to be satisfying. And, boy, was it. Chapter 85 may answer the question of what is in the basement, but it is the following one, “That Day”, which goes all out on the epic reveal of the outside world. This twist that our main cast is part of a race of people known as Eldians who can turn into Titans, making most of the world hate them, and the history behind all this was the biggest gamechanger in the entire story. I remember reading this chapter for the first time and just sitting in silence for a couple of minutes, as I took in the enormity of this reveal. It’s also not just the twist itself which makes “That Day” so great but the characterization of Grisha as well. Grisha is easily one of Attack on Titan’s most tragic characters and this chapter perfectly illustrates this, as his sister is murdered by a Marleyan military officer, who feeds her to his son’s dogs, while she is still alive. This horrifying event causes Grisha to blame himself and, like most traumatic events for other characters, leads him to extreme ends, joining a resistance organization known as the Eldia Restorationists, before marrying a woman of royal blood, named Dina. The two go on to have a son, Zeke, the Beast Titan, with Grisha’s trauma driving him to treat his son terribly for Eldia, leading Zeke to turn in his parents, bringing an end to the chapter. I got spoiled about Zeke’s identity before he was officially revealed to be Eren’s half-brother but it made the twist no less impactful, with the tragic showcase of his terrible relationship with his father and what it lead him to do. “That Day” was the chapter that turned Attack on Titan from a story where its characters’ main goal was to save humanity, to a story where the goal was to somehow survive a world that unjustly hates them for what they are and actions taken by their ancestors centuries before. The series was all the better for this reveal too, eventually leading to the fantastic chapters that appeared earlier on in this list and the incredible chapter at the number one spot.
1. Chapter 121: Memories of the Future.
My favourite chapter of the entire series is Chapter 121 “Memories of the Future.” It is the one where Isayama showed off the best of his writing skills, creating the greatest use of time travel that I have ever seen in fiction, if it can truly be called time travel rather than memory travel. “Memories of the Future” picks up from the previous chapter, with Eren and Zeke exploring their father’s memories, as Zeke slowly comes to realize that Grisha did not brainwash Eren and really did change, while Eren commits one of his most shocking acts. This all begins through Eren insisting to Zeke that he has always been himself and it is Zeke that misunderstood him this entire time, proving this by showing him Grisha’s memories of the time Eren killed Mikasa’s kidnappers to save her life. Following this, we get the big hint of the memory travel twist, as we see the beginning of Chapter One from a different perspective. Through Eren exploring his father’s memories, we see that Grisha was actually aware that Eren and Zeke were there in the first chapter, completley recontextualizing the beginning of the story in the best of ways. So, did Isayama really plan this development from the start, or did he just write it to look like he did? Either way, it’s genius, and what comes next is even better, as Grisha finally goes to the Reiss family cavern to attempt to talk Frieda into using her powers to save humanity. When this fails, Grisha reveals the secret power of the Attack Titan: that it is able to see the memories of its future successors. This is where the brilliant time/memory travel element comes into play since, because Grisha can see Eren’s future memories, he can see his two sons exploring his own, allowing a conflict between timelines. In the past, Grisha was influenced by the future memories of Eren talking to him, and in the present, Eren enters Grisha’s past memories to manipulate him. Into doing what? Well, murderering the Reiss family. That’s right, Eren broke down in Chapter 66 because of what his father had done, completley unaware that he would go on to be the cause of the massacre. Seeing Eren commit this monstrous act left me speechless when I first read it, and this reaction quickly changed to an emotional one when we got the next scene. As Grisha emerges from his Titan outside the Reiss chapel, he screams out to Eren in anguish, before revealing he knows Zeke is there, warning him with a hint about the Rumbling Eren will go on to commit. Grisha then looks up and sees Zeke is there through Eren’s future memories, allowing for the two to finally reconcile thanks to the time/memory travel. This was a genius use of the power by Isayama, creating a panel that made me cry when Grisha embraces Zeke and tells him that he loves him, something I thought Grisha had always been unable to do before his death. The fact that I teared up for both Zeke and Grisha, when both have done terrible things, shows how excellent Isayama’s writing of their characters is. The weaving of the reveal that Eren saw his own future memories of what he would do when he kissed Historia’s hand in Chapter 90 during this is just the icing on the cake. Not to mention it leads to one of Eren’s most unnerving moments, as when he and Zeke leave Grisha’s memories, Eren implies to his half-brother that he liked the horrible event he saw when he kissed Historia’s hand, stating, “what a sight it was.” This eventually leads into the “freedom” panel in Chapter 131, but even not knowing what Eren is hinting at in Chapter 121 makes it terrifying, to the point that I was actually temporarily rooting for Zeke to stop Eren as Grisha asked. Again, I thought this when Zeke had done plenty of terrible things and was currently planning to do terrible things, even though in his mind his Euthanization Plan was right. Zeke is unable to stop Eren, however, as his drive for freedom allows him to break from his chains, minus his thumbs, and run to catch Ymir, ending what I consider to be the best chapter in Attack on Titan. “Memories of the Future” has everything. A brilliant twist with genius writing that recontexualizes the beginning of the story, and fantastic character writing that made me tear up for characters who are honestly pretty bad people. I am incredibly excited to see this chapter finally adapted in the anime and cannot wait to see how the anime only fans will react to how amazing it is. Whenever someone brings up fantastic uses of time travel in fiction, Attack on Titan Chapter 121 “Memories of the Future” should be right up there with the best of them.
So, that’s my top ten favourite Attack on Titan chapters. All that’s left for me to do now is wait for part two of the final season to begin airing, where I will review an episode every week. There are also rumors of the ending being adapted into a movie from Chapters 132 to 139 so it will be intriguing to see if that happens. If it does, I will be sure to review that movie as well, whenever it comes out.
This post contains spoilers for the Attack on Titan manga, including the ending.
Out of all the stories I have heard, none has had characters that I have been as attached to as those in Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan. There are so many characters from this manga who I will always remember fondly. So, with the story now over, I figured it would be a good time to list my top ten favourite characters. Making this list was not easy because there were so many characters who I considered putting on the list but just missed out, like Gabi Braun, Kenny Ackerman, Sasha Blouse and Bertholdt Hoover. However, the character who hurt the most not to put on this list was Mikasa Ackerman, especially considering how high I ranked her in my first list after watching Season Two. It was honestly very close between her and the character who took the number ten spot but, at the end of the day, there were just a few too many missed opportunities with her character arc, which kept her out of the top ten. Still a great character, though and she should be considered my eleventh favourite character. Now, it’s for the characters I consider to be the best of the best in this amazing story. Here are my top ten Attack on Titan characters, starting with…
10. Hange Zoe.
Coming in at number ten, we have the eccentric scientist and Titan lover, Hange Zoe. Right from her introduction, Hange was one of the most entertaining characters, with her constant wacky hyjinks keeping her assistant Moblit at his wits end. This resulted in many hilarious situations where Hange was the root cause. Along with being comedic, Hange could also be deadly serious when the situation called for it, like when she threatened Pastor Nick after the first Wall Titan was uncovered and when she tortured Sannes for information. However, despite being a capable squad lead, she would have to face her most difficult challenge yet with the death of Erwin, forcing her becoming the new Survery Corps commander. This was difficult for her because, although a very smart person, she was nowhere near the leader he was and thrust into a situation that even he would struggle to handle. The struggles she went through because of this caused some in the fandom to call her completely useless but Hange quickly proved herself, saving Levi’s life and helping form the Alliance, later leading them to victory against the Yeagerists. But her standout moment came at her end, where she stayed behind to hold off the advancing Wall Titans, so the Alliance could get the plane in the air to go and stop Eren. Her looking in awe at the countless Colossal Titans and declaring, “Titans really are incredible” was her returning to the mad Titan lover we all love, right at her end, and in a way that helped save the world. She definitely earned her final moments, as she sees all the ghosts of the dead Scouts and prepares to tell them her story. From mad scientist, to Commander, to a mixture of both in her final moments, Hange is a great character deserving of making it into the top ten.
9. Jean Kirstein.
At number nine is the horse face himself. Appearing for the first time all the way back in the Trost Arc, Jean quickly became one of my favourite characters because of how well his arc was handled. Starting out as stuck up and self centered, Jean’s only goal in life at the beginning of the story was to join the Military Police and live the good life. This mentality instantly caused conflict between him and Eren, with Eren seeking freedom outside the walls and Jean seeking safety behind them. The two even coined insulting nicknames for one another, those being horse face and suicidal maniac. However, then the attack on Trost happened and Jean began to change. Being forced to take on a leadership position, Jean was inspired by one of his friends from the 104th, Marco. After the battle, he found Marco’s half eaten body, which was one of the most significant moments in his life because it forced him to make a choice. This being to do what he wants and join the Military Police, or what is right and join the Survey Corps, fighting for humanity. Jean chooses the latter, showing what kind of person he has grown into, so much so that even Eren is surprised by his sudden resolve. After this, Jean sort of fades a bit into the background. He has big moments, sure, like when is faced with the decision and consequences of killing humans in the Uprising Arc but it never felt like he had as big of a moment as he did when he chose to join the Survey Corps. Then Chapter 127 happened, where he finally got to confront Reiner over Marco’s death, letting out all his rage and grief, before pulling himself togethor and continuing to do what needed to be done for the betterment of humanity. This was a standout moment for him and one that made me love his character all the more, making it more tragic when he was turned into a Titan in the final battle. Now, while it was a little too convenient for him to just turn back into a human when Eren was defeated, I was personally just glad to see that he survived and got a happy ending. Jean is a soldier who wanted to fight for himself but instead fought for humanity, making him an easy choice for the ninth best character of the story.
8. Ymir and Historia Reiss.
I know, I’m kind of cheating by including two characters in the eighth spot but I just could not put one above the other here. If I’m honest, when I first got to the Clash of the Titans Arc, I didn’t even remember Ymir and Historia, or Christa as she was then known. So, imagine my surprise when that arc and following Uprising Arc provided the both of them with character arcs that are among my favourites in the entire story, along with a complex relationship that actually made me ship them quite a bit. First there is Ymir, whose tragic arc in the Clash of the Titans Arc really grabbed me. Ymir is essentially a selfless person who wants to be selfish. Being turned into a Titan for sixty years because she tried to protect those she cared about, Ymir miraculously returned to human form after eating Marcel, upon which she decided to live selfishly for herself. Yet, she just could not do this. Once she heard about Historia and their similar circumstances, she devoted everything she could to protect her, while continuing to act as selfish while being selfless, saving Daz in a blizzard for Historia, and throwing herself into a hoard of Titans to keep her safe. Ymir was finally able to recognise she never could be selfish, going back to save Reiner and Bertholdt and finally admitting to herself that, “being a goddess doesn’t feel so bad.” This tragic arc is just as good as Historia’s, whose is pretty inspiring. In the Clash of the Titans Arc, it is revealed that the Christa personality we have seen from Historia this entire time has been her acting nice, so when she dies people will remember her as a good person. This suicidal ideology was created from her terrible childhood and was thankfully shattered through Ymir motivating her. However, once Ymir leaves, Historia is not sure where to go in her life. It is here that her storyline progresses magnificently in the Uprising Arc, with her slowly gaining insight into who she is and who she wants to be, eventually choosing to be queen for herself, despite that role having been shaped for her. This all culminates in the epic scene where she goes against her father and saves Eren, finally deciding to live her life with pride as Ymir wanted. Hopefully, I have given you an idea of why I consider Historia’s inspiring character arc and Ymir’s tragic one to be some of the most powerful in the entire story. But, if their arcs are so powerful, then why are they only at number eight and not in the top five? Well, because, unfortunately, I think Isayama severely dropped the ball with them after these arcs concluded. First, there’s Ymir, who is killed off screen in what has to be worst written death of the whole manga, due to it not being written at all. Then, there’s Historia, who is paired off with a complete nobody, gets pregnant, and is then sidelined for the rest of the story, ending with her pregnancy amounting to absolutely nothing, even though children being the future is one of the story’s main themes. In my opinion, it is pretty clear that Isayama had no idea what to do with Ymir or Historia once their character arcs concluded. However, given that they come in at number eight, that should show you how great I consider these arcs to be.
7. Eren Yeager.
Eren is a character who my opinion about has changed quite a bit as the story has gone on. If you look all the way back at my Season One review, you will see that my main criticism of the story was Eren himself. In the first few arcs, I found him to be extremely stuck up and unlikeable and only actually started to cheer him on in the Clash of the Titans Arc. I finally came to recognize him as a good character when he was confronted with the Titan who killed his mother, Dina, and he broke down into tears of laughter, not being able to cope with what was happening. As the story progressed, Eren only got better, becoming very relatable to me in the Uprising Arc, as he realized his own flaws and how he is not special, before his friends’ motivations and his dead mother’s words to Keith Shadis taught him that everyone is special just for being born. However, then he was met with the dark truth of their world, with the truth about Eldians and Marleyans, and him seeing the future through the Attack Titan, which caused him to change drastically. When we see him again in Season Four, Eren has progressed dramatically, having become someone who is willing to do anything to achieve freedom for himself and his friends. This ruthless, yet understanding, Eren is incredibly compelling and his confrontation with Reiner in the 100th chapter of the story made him one of my favourites. Eren just got better after this, with the mystery surrounding what he wanted to do and why he was doing it being built up magnificently. Him saying he hated Mikasa and beating up Armin and everything he does in the Paths chapters, from convincing Grisha to kill the Reiss family to later convincing Ymir to join him, all of this made him climb higher and higher on my list of favourite character. Eventually, Eren reached the second spot on this list with Chapter 131, as we saw part of his motivations for starting the Rumbling and also the intense guilt he was suffering from. His death at the hands of Mikasa in Chapter 138 was also immensely tragic and got me tearing up. Then, Chapter 139 happened. Not going to lie, the more I read the final chapter the less I like its depiction of Eren and his plan. It’s not that its terrible but the execution could have been so much better. That said, there are terrible parts to it, like Eren being revealed to have played a part in his mother’s death, which, in my opinion, is not in character at all. All of this pushed Eren further down on my list to number seven. Some say that Eren’s depiction in Chapter 139 ruined him as a character for them but that’s not the case for me. Even though I think the reveal of Eren’s plan could have been done way better, I cannot deny that he is still a fantastic character, with his POV chapters like Chapter 131 being some of the best of the final arc and the manga. He is a character who I have enjoyed reading quite a bit.
6. Reiner Braun.
If there is an example of how to make a character, who was once a villain, sympathetic to the reader, Reiner is a perfect one for that. Starting out as a soldier in the 104th, my initial perception of Reiner was as a loyal friend, who would most likely be Titan canon fodder soon. This perception was proven wrong when, in one of the best twists of the story, Reiner just casually outs himself and Bertholdt as the Armoured and Colossal Titans. From here, the story begins to explore Reiner as a villain, although a slightly sympathetic one, as his actions have caused him to suffer from a split personality, created by his PTSD. Afterwards, though, Reiner is solely an antagonist for the next few arcs, as he fights against the Scouts in the Shiganshina Arc. However, then we get the Marley Arc, where Reiner becomes an absolutely amazing character. The depiction of his PTSD and the suicidal depression this has caused him is quite disturbing and makes Reiner extremely sympathetic. The panel of him with the gun in his mouth has haunted me for a while, and his confrontation with Eren in Chapter 100, where he admits to his guilt, is one of the best chapters of the story. Reiner continues to get more attention in the story, as he pushes past his depression to focus everything he has on saving Gabi and Falco, and then on saving the world from Eren’s Rumbling. This resulted in a few underrated momentes like the infamous “save the world” moment from Chapter 126. Now, I do agree that “Pride” is one of the weakest chapters of Attack on Titan, but I really enjoy how its ending ties into Reiner’s arc. All this time, Reiner has suffered and done horrible things because of his drive to become a hero and save the world, now he is being given a chance at redemption through actually saving it. And save it he does, joining forces with the Alliance and playing a pivotal role in the final battle, holding back the Hallucigenia from reaching Eren. As for why he’s not higher on the list, I do wish he’d been given a bit more to do in the final few chapters, considering his rivalry with Eren was so pivotal for his character. Also, his sendoff being him sniffing Historia’s letter felt a little weird. Certainly not out of character, like some claim, but I feel like such a well-written character deserved a more powerful ending than a gag. Still, Reiner is a fantastic character who is a great showcase of how to make a once hated villain sympathetic.
5. Levi Ackerman.
Probably the most popular character in all of Attack on Titan, Levi has been a fan favourite from the moment he first appeared. As humanity’s strongest soldier, Levi makes an immediate impression on the viewer through how Isayama shows just what kind of person he is. In his first action scene, it is shown how he is a clean freak, disgusted by dirtiness. Yet, when a comrade is dying, Levi doesn’t hesitate to grab his dirty, bloodied hand and reassure him that his death had meaning. This shows Levi is the kind of person to push his own feelings aside to complete a mission or help a comrade, no matter the cost. We unfortunately see this first hand with his reaction to the deaths of his entire squad in the Female Titan Arc, where he pushes his pain about their deaths away to focus on rescuing Eren. After suffering an injury during this fight, he took a back set for the Clash of the Titans Arc but there was his spin off manga that showed his tragic backstory to satisfy us. His backstory was expanded upon in the Uprising Arc where we got the fantastic dynamic between him and his uncle Kenny and commanding officer Erwin. This lead into the Return to Shiganshina Arc, where we got one of the best fights of the story between him and the Beast Titan, if you can even call it a fight considering how one sided it was, leading to the incredibly impactful serumnbowl. Here, Levi showed even more growth, for once making an emotional decision as compared to a logical one when it came to a mission, choosing to let his friend Erwin rest and revive Armin instead. Levi’s decision may be the subject of much debate in the fandom but in my opinion it was the right choice for his arc and the story. Post time skip, Levi continued to be a great character, with the theme of everyone dying around him continuing. First he lost his all of his squad to Zeke, then he was badly injured when he underestimated him, and finally Hange gave her life to help the Alliance, causing Levi to tell her to “devote your heart” for the first time. All of this is great stuff for Levi but it wasn’t enough to get him in the top five for me. So, why is he here? Well, because of the conclusion his character got in Chapter 139. I have my own issues with the final chapter but the one thing I think everyone can agree on is that Levi’s ending is perfect. The scene where he sees the specters of his comrades in the smoke and tells them that this victory is the result of their dedicated hearts, returning their salute and shedding a tear, had me tearing up alongside him. Such a fantastic conclusion for Levi is what pushed him into the top five and I cannot wait to see it animated in the second half of the final season.
4. Grisha Yeager.
It’s kind of funny how Grisha reminds me so much of Van Hohenheim from Full Metal Alchemist. The way my opinion about both characters changed across the series is strikingly similar. When we first met them, I got the impression of them as deadbeat fathers who would never be be among my favourite characters of the story. Then, we learned their tragic backstory’s, which made me realize there was so much more to their characters, ending with the conclusions to their story’s actually making me cry. Like Hohenheim, Grisha goes from deadbeat dad to one of the most tragic characters in the entire series, as we learn all about his backstory at the end of the Return to Shiganshina Arc. Originally coming from Marley, Grisha was an Eldian who lived in the Liberio Internment Zone with his family. One day, he took his sister outside the walls to see an airship, only for her to be murdered by a Marleyan officer who fed the child to his son’s dogs for entertainment. This horrific injustice put Grisha on the radical path, joining the Eldia Restorationists, becoming indoctrinated in the mindset that Eldia could do no wrong, marrying a woman of royal blood, Dina, and having a child, Zeke, for the sole purpose of using him to restore Eldia. All of this resulted in Grisha mistreating and neglecting his son, pushing him to become a Warrior and double agent inside the Marleyan government, even though his son just wanted a normal life. When this finally resulted in Zeke turning him and Dina in, Grisha finally realized what a horrible father and person he had been, deeply regretting his actions. He is then given the chance to redeem himself when his sister’s murderer is killed and he is saved by Kruger, the head of the Eldia Restorationists. Eating Kruger to obtain the Attack Titan, Grisha infultrates the walls to continue his mission to restore Eldia, eventually falling in love with Carla and marrying her, resulting in Eren’s birth. All of this was great development for Grisha and really made me care for him, easily putting him in the top ten. It was what came in Chapters 120 and 121 that put at the number four spot. Before these chapters, I thought Grisha had fallen back into the exact same mindset, killing the Reiss family to complete his mission and turning Eren into a Titan, even though he allowed his son to come to his own ideology this time. However, when Eren and Zeke explore Grisha’s memories, it is revealed that he truly did learn his lesson and actually abandoned his mission in favor of staying and loving his family, especially his son Eren. He only went to take the Founding Titan when left with no choice and, even then, this was because Eren manipulated him into doing so, using the Attack Titan. This lead to one of the most emotional moments of the entire story, as Grisha has a reunion with Zeke, finally apologising for how he treated him and embracing him, telling Zeke what he always wanted to hear from his father… that he loves him. Much like the Levi scene, I teared up in this moment. It was such a beautiful conclusion to Grisha’s character, learning that he truly had changed for the better and could make amends with Zeke in the end. Grisha is easily one of Attack on Titan’s most tragic characters, losing those he loves and changing to better as a result, only to lose it all again. Just like Levi, I cannot wait to see the rest of his story adapted in the anime.
3. Zeke Yeager.
Taking the third spot, Zeke is an interesting character from the moment we meet him. First appearing in his Beast Titan form at the beginning of the Clash of the Titans Arc, Zeke makes a shocking and brutal impression. Not only is he is the first Titan we see speaking fluently but he also allows Paradis’ second strongest soldier, Mike, to be devoured by Titans, as he screams for mercy, with absolutely no remorse. It sets Zeke up as a cold and remorseless character, who we should all fear. This is supported by the way he is portrayed initially in the Return to Shiganshina Arc. His first appearance in human form is dramatic and promises him to be a big threat, a promise that is fulfilled when he kills countless Scouts by throwing crushed rocks and treating it like a good old game of baseball. This is why it is absolutely hilarious when, after all his build up, he is absolutely demolished by Levi, not even landing a hit on humanity’s strongest soldier. Another thing that cuts away at Zeke’s initial persona as a remorseless villain is his flashback scene with Reiner and Bertholdt, and his first meeting with Eren. In the flashback, he tells the two Warriors that he wants everything to end with them, foreshadowing his hidden motivations, and he shows genuine care for Eren when he first meets him, telling him that Grisha has brainwashed him. The reason for this care is revealed when the truth in the basement is unveileved and, along with it being revealed that the rest of the world is still alive and hates Paradis, it is also revealed that Zeke is Grisha’s son, who turned him and his mother in to Marley. The irony here seems to be that Zeke believes Grisha brainwashed Eren, when in reality Zeke is brainwashed by Marley, but not everything is as it seems. Zeke begins to act very suspiciously post time skip, not informing Marley of his royal blood and allowing Reiner to follow Falco and meet Eren. His anticlimactic death at the hands of Levi is even more suspicious, leading to the reveal that Zeke has betrayed Marley for Eldia, leaving his true motivations a complete mystery. These motivations are finally revealed when he is once again beaten by Levi in a fight after brilliantly but coldly turning his men into Titans. Seeing Eldians suffer his entire life and suffering from the neglect of his parents, Zeke came to believe that the way to solve this problem would be to sterilize all Eldians, so their race could eventually die off peacefully. This is why Zeke was so remorseless when he killed those on Paraids, because he believed he was saving them from the cruel world they live in. Guided by his mentor, the previous Beast Titan, Tom Xaver, Zeke sought to make this horrific dream a reality, only for Eren to betray him, leading to one of the most emotional moments of the story, where Zeke was able to reconcile with Grisha through the power of the Attack Titan. After Eren activates the Rumbling, Zeke disappears for a while, which is why he doesn’t take the second spot: his absence. I wish he got more to do in the final part of the story. Still, when he does show up again briefly for the end of his arc, it is more than worth it. Inspired by Armin’s words about the meaning of life, Zeke realizes that his life wasn’t entirely suffering and, even if it doesn’t change his opinion about his euthanization plan, he still wishes he could be reborn to play catch with Xaver once more. Zeke then forms outside Eren’s gigantic Titan and allows Levi to kill him to stop the Rumbling, ending their long rivalry. Like Reiner, Zeke is a fantastic showcase of how to make a villain sympathetic, only even better in my opinion. The slow reveal of his motivations and the emotional scenes he has, made him an incredible character, who you first hate and fear, then are curious about, then sympathize with despite all he has done. Zeke is surely not a good person but he is one of Attack on Titan’s best characters.
2. Armin Arlert.
Armin has been one of my favourite characters from the moment I first got into Attack on Titan. I liked him so much that he took first place in my top ten list after watching Season Two. The reason he is at number two now is not because of any short comings he has had as a character since then but just because I came to like the character who took the top spot more. In fact, I would go as far to say that I think Armin is the most over hated character in the story. I have seen people who don’t like his character dub him as both useless and a Gary Stu, which is weird since those arguments really don’t work well together. Armin starts off as a character with a lot of self doubt and insecurities, which I really related to, and watching him overcome them to become a leader figure in the Trost and Female Titan Arcs was amazing. The moment when he realizes that Eren and Mikasa are depending on him and never saw him as a weak link who needed to be watched over is the moment his character changes into someone more confident. The brilliant strategist part of his character then comes into play, until the timeskip. We see him deduce Annie’s identity, lure her into a trap, realize how Reiner was able to work with her when his and Bertholdt’s identities were uncovered, and eventually nearly sacrifice himself in a plan to defeat the Colossal Titan. As Armin shows his genius during these moments, he also gets a lot of great development as well, with him losing a large part of his innocence when he is forced to take someone’s life to save Jean in the Uprising Arc. Then, after the serumnbowl, he is both gifted with the Colossal Titan and cursed with the burden of living up to Commander Erwin’s legacy. This is where the opinions about him being useless come into play, as Armin, along with Hange, struggle with the burden of dealing with a world that hates them. Armin not really being able to do much tactically here is pretty much the point, though, because it all leads to him admitting that Erwin should have been revived over him, only to later prove himself as the successor to Erwin’s legacy in Chapter 137 through saving the world, just as Eren said he would. Even then, he still does a lot of things before this point, like attacking the port, despite the civilian casualties, and saving Eren from being killed by Magath and Pieck. There’s also his relationship with Annie, which adds a layer of hope to the grim happenings of the Rumbling. As for Armin finally proving himself, he takes the credit for killing Eren in order to become a diplomat for peace between the world and Paradis. It is even hinted that his narration is him explaining their story to the people of Paradis, a detail about his ending which I love. The only thing I don’t like about Armin that I can think of off the top of my head is him thanking Eren for committing genocide in the final chapter. However, reading a leaked interview from Isayama, it thankfully looks like this was not the intent and Isayama just had trouble writing what he wanted to convey in this moment. Other than this, Armin is a fantastic character and has been one of my favourites since the very beginning.
1. Erwin Smith.
There are so few characters in fiction who deserve the title of having a perfect character arc. An example of one of these characters would be Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Well, Attack on Titan’s perfect character arc and my choice for the best character of the entire story goes to Erwin Smith. While there are a few things I would change about other characters in the story, even ones that I love, like with Armin thanking Eren for being a mass murderer, which I already mentioned, I would not change a single thing about Erwin’s character arc. In my opinion, it is perfect from start to finish. From the moment we meet Erwin, we get a very specific interpretation of his character. A soldier who will sacrifice anything to save humanity from the Titans. This is proven to us time and time again. We see him risk his comrades lives in the Female Titan Arc, all to draw her in and capture her. We see him do the same with the civilians of Stohest, when the first attempt to capture her failed. Most notably, we see it in one of his most epic scenes, when he is dragged off by a Titan but he keeps screaming for his soldiers to “Advance!” Not only this, he also quickly makes a reappearance, saving Eren’s life, with one arm no less. All of this paints a perception of Erwin as a man who is dedicated to saving humanity, no matter the cost. However, this perception is a lie, a persona created by Erwin to motivate his soldiers. It is revealed in the Uprising Arc that Erwin’s main goal is not to save humanity but to find out the secrets that his father had been looking for before he was murdered. When he was a boy, Erwin’s father told him of how the royal government was covering up the truth about the outside world. Not knowing that he should keep this quiet, Erwin told his school friends and word got around to the Interior Military Police, who killed his father and made it look like an accident. This lit a fire in Erwin to take down the government and prove his father right. He achieved the first goal in a military coup that placed Historia Reiss as Queen and set the stage for him finding out the truth about the world, the very thing he desired since he was a boy. He even flat out admits to Levi that this is more important to him than saving humanity. However, then the moment of truth comes. The Scouts are quite literally pushed up against the wall, with the Beast Titan chucking crushed boulders at them with terrifying speed, planning to pulverize them all. The situation is hopeless and the only way Erwin can think of to overcome it is to sacrifice himself and the recruits to give Levi the slightest chance of killing the Beast Titan. Erwin has to choose between achieving his lifelong goal of learning the truth, or giving his life for humanity… and he does not know what to do. Despite the crushing guilt of his comrades’ deaths, he just cannot make the decision he knows is right. So, Levi makes the decision for him, telling him to give up on his dream and die. Free from the burden of this choice, Erwin thanks his friend and gives one last rousing speech to his comrades as they ride to certain death. This time, however, he is not saying these things with the intention of using it to further his goal, no, he is fully becoming what he always pretended to be: the Commander who would do anything, even give his own life, to save humanity. And he almost does give his life, taking the brunt of the Beast Titan’s attack, fatally wounding him. As he lies dying, he is saved by the lone survivor of his charge, Floch, who carries him to Levi with the hopes of reviving him with the Titan serumn. Erwin, however, slaps Levi’s hand away in a delirious state, reminiscing on his dream to learn the truth of the world. This causes Levi to remember Kenny’s words to him about everyone being a slave to something. Levi decides to free Erwin from his enslavement to his dream and the uncertainty of what would come afterward, allowing him to die the hero who sacrificed himself to bring humanity forward, the thing he always pretended to be and finally became in the end. Erwin is just a perfect character. His introduction, the reveal of his true intentions, and how this all results in him having to give up on his dream and become the hero he always acted like he was is as tragic as it is incredible. He is easily the best character Hajime Isayama created, in my opinion. Standing among the others on this list, Erwin Smith is the best character in Attack on Titan.
After the meeting in Paths between Eren and the Alliance in Chapter 133 of Attack on Titan, 134 looks set to be the last chapter before the final battle begins.
With this final battle fast approaching, there are a lot of possibilities for what could happen in the next chapter.
Probably the biggest but easiest question to answer from Chapter 133 comes from the cliffhanger, this question being,
Do the airships stand a chance against Eren?
The end of “Sinners” saw a group of airships approaching Eren’s massive Titan to bomb him but, honestly, does anyone really expect them to cause any significant trouble for Eren?
They’ll probably only serve as a way to slow him down to give time for the Alliance to reach him for the final battle.
If anything, the more interesting question is how Eren will take care of them?
I think the most coolest way for him to get rid of them would be to create spikes with the Warhammer Titan power and then use the Wall Titans to throw them at the thirteen airships like javelins.
That should make quick work of them.
Of course, all it would take is one bomb from the airships to kill Eren but, given that he has the Warhammer Titan power, I don’t see him being in the nape.
Like the Alliance guessed, he is most likely elsewhere.
It would be kind of funny if he was still on Paradis.
That would really screw the Alliance’s chances of defeating him.
In all honesty though, there is only one way that I can see the airships causing any significant damage to Eren before the Alliance gets to him.
Will the army have created their own ODM Gear?
Back in Chapter 107, Zeke showed Kiyomi the ODM Gear and mentioned that it was a Marleyan project.
Since then, there has been no mention of it so what if the Marley government has been secretly developing it for the perfect usage.
This could be that usage as soldiers on the airships could use their ODM gear to attack the Wall Titans.
Granted, they’d still all get fried like Hange did but it could be a way to slow the Rumbling down significantly.
Of course this could have just been a throw away comment and we could see nothing like this.
Will the plane only be half fueled play into the story?
At the beginning of Chapter 133, Onyankopon mentions the plane only being half full because they didn’t have the time to completely fill it up with the approaching Rumbling.
Granted, Onyankopon did say he would get the Alliance there no matter what but the plane only being half full is rather ominous.
I don’t see any of the key Alliance members dying next chapter but Onyankopon’s purpose in the story is to fly the plane so, now that he’s fulfilling that purpose, this could be the moment where he bites the bullet.
I can see him just about to run out of fuel as the Alliance reaches Eren and use the last of that fuel to kamikaze the plane into Eren with the explosives, giving the alliance a chance to fight him.
Guess, we’ll just have to wait and see if this happens next chapter.
Will we see Zeke?
And now we have the question that every reader has been asking for months.
Where the heck is the monkey?
Seriously, we’re about to enter the final battle and we have yet to see where Zeke is.
All signs point to him being inside Eren’s Founding Titan form, with even the Alliance guessing this but we don’t have visible proof.
Well, with the final battle probably about to begin in the next few chapters, I think Chapter 134 would be the perfect time to reintroduce Zeke.
The chapter could start with a brief flashback to Chapter 122, where we see him get absorbed into Eren’s Titan and see his perspective of the Rumbling.
With Zeke introduced back into the plot, we can then have more buildup for his final showdown with Levi and potentially Connie as well.
Another interesting thing to note is that if Zeke really is in Eren’s Titan then he is probably close to his grandparents, who are most likely in the train heading for Fort Salta with the rest of the Eldians from Liberio, so they could possibly have a final scene together.
Speaking of these characters…
What is the purpose of the Liberio Eldians?
“Sinners” revealed that many of the families of the Warriors, including Annie’s, Gabi’s, Falco’s, Pieck’s, and Reiner’s had escaped from Liberio on a train lead by Annie’s father.
He has led them to Fort Salta but, as soon as they reach it, the airships they were planning to use to escape fly off to confront the Rumbling, just as it arrives.
This puts all these Eldians in a very dangerous situation.
Now, I don’t expect them to die before the Alliance arrives because what would be the point for them to die without their families seeing?
However, after the Alliance does make it, all bets are off.
I honestly have no idea if they’ll live or not.
They might all survive, they might all die, or some might live and some might die.
If Onyankopon doesn’t end up going full kamikaze on Eren’s Titan then he could pilot an airship that takes these families to safety.
Whether this ends up happening or not though, the one thing I am certain of is that Annie will reunite with her father.
Although, this reunion could go either way with it being happy or tragic.
My money’s on tragic, knowing how Hajime Isayama said he wants to hurt the reader.
Will Falco succeed in transforming into the Bird Titan?
After all the jokes and fan theories about Falco becoming a flying Titan, Chapter 133 actually revealed that Falco could most likely do this because of how he ingested the Beast Titan’s spinal fluid.
While slightly flawed in its setup, I am happy that this is happening because it means Annie, Falco, Gabi, Yelena, and potentially Kiyomi can be there for the final battle.
The question is though, can Falco really do this when he has no experience flying before?
While this may seem a bit abrupt, it’s practically assured that he’s going to learn to fly next chapter or, at the very latest, Chapter 135.
Isayama wouldn’t set up Falco doing this just for it to not payoff.
So, the boat crew will most likely be off on Falco’s flying Titan next chapter to probably save the Alliance at the last minute, similar to how Zeke helped Eren at the end of Chapter 117.
All of this makes me excited for the Chapter 134, which I am sure will end with the Alliance reaching Eren to commence the final battle.
Chapter 125 of Attack on Titan set up a lot of plot points to be resolved before the story goes into the final battle.
I am now sure that we are in the prelude to the big finale, a calm before the storm if you will.
Although, given that the Rumbling is currently happening, I feel like calling the current situation calm would be the understatement of the century.
In any case, if my belief that the manga will end at Chapter 134 is correct, then the next few chapters will spend most of their time wrapping up certain plot points and character arcs.
We will definitely see this with whatever way the plot point that my first question is about concludes.
How will Jean and Mikasa take down Floch?
“Sunset” proved my prediction that Floch arrested all of the volunteers to stop them from rising up in the aftermath of the Rumbling to be correct.
Thankfully, though, my theory that he would try to execute them all turned out to be wrong.
Still, Floch needs to be taken down and it looks like Jean and Mikasa are being set up to do that.
Jean has been really conflicted since the Rumbling started, trying to convince himself that the fighting is over, while being disturbed by the injustice Floch commits against the volunteers.
As for Mikasa, she has also been struggling a lot with what to do now that the Rumbling has happened and that she no longer understands Eren anymore.
However, both look set to emerge from their states of indecision in an effort to take Floch down.
Jean has had a lot of conflict with Floch previously so it would make sense for him to be involved and, as for Mikasa, Armin told her to think for herself and stopping Floch is the perfect scenario for her to do that.
I just hope that neither of them die in the attempt.
I think Mikasa is safe but Jean defeating Floch, who represents what he could have become, could be the conclusion of his character arc, resulting in his death.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope this doesn’t happen.
Will Hange and Levi team up with Pieck and Magath?
Levi fans everywhere rejoiced when humanity’s strongest soldier himself was revealed to be alive as the cliffhanger of Chapter 125.
Having saved his life, Hange has dragged his unconscious body on a horse to the outskirts of Shiganshina where they meet Pieck and Magath who Hange engages in conversation with.
It will be very interesting to see how these four characters interact because they are meeting for the first time but the outcome of this meeting is anyone’s guess.
Some has suggested that Hange could find a way to feed Pieck to Levi but I am against this for multiple reasons.
For one thing, we don’t even know if Ackermans can become Titans.
Not only this but I would rather see Levi struggle with his injures than become a Titan Shifter, and Pieck being fed to him really does not tie into her arc.
The only Titan Shifter I can see being fed to Levi would be Zeke because it would resolve their conflict but we don’t have any indication of where Zeke is yet.
Therefore, I think it is more likely that Hange will make an alliance with Pieck and Magath in an attempt to stop the Rumbling.
However, I just want to say that this does not mean a Code Geass ending.
Honestly, I have been against that being the ending for Attack on Titan ever since it was first theorized.
But I am not against the Scouts and Warriors teaming up for an attempt to stop Eren.
I just hope that it does not end with it being revealed that Eren’s plan was to become an enemy to unite the world because that would just not work in this story’s context.
In any case, I am excited to see how the four characters will interact in Chapter 126.
Does Falco have Ymir’s memories?
Another big plot point that continued in Chapter 125, is Connie taking Falco to feed him to his mother so she can be revived.
As I have said in previous predictions posts, I do not believe that Connie will succeed in feeding Falco to Mrs Springer and that Armin and Gabi will most likely find a way to talk him out of it.
However, what I do believe is that Falco will see Ymir’s memories in Chapter 126.
Isayama seemed to be hinting that Falco had them when he thought that Connie looked familiar.
Some have speculated that Falco just recognized Connie from the airship when Sasha was killed but I think him having Ymir’s memories is more likely because of the plot significance it could have.
I think right as the two reach Connie’s village and Falco sees Mrs Springer, he will experience one of Ymir’s memories.
And not just any memory, but the one from Utgard Castle where Ymir laughed at Connie for thinking that his mother was a Titan to distract him from the painful truth.
This would both make Falco realise he is now a Titan Shifter because he is seeing someone’s memories, and also make him realise that Connie plans to feed him to his Titanized mother.
However, once Falco realizes he inadvertently killed his brother, Colt, when he transformed, I actually see him deciding to allow Connie to kill him out of guilt.
But, like I said, I think Connie will have second thoughts or be stopped by Armin and Gabi because I don’t see the point in Falco dying here.
Besides, if Falco does experience Ymir’s memories, it sets him up for another big plot point; meeting Historia who I believe is in Ragako.
Why I think Historia will be in Ragako.
With Attack on Titan supposedly in its last prelude before the final battle, I think this would be the perfect time to reintroduce Historia to the plot.
And what better way to do that than for her to be in hiding at Ragako village?
Now, you might be wondering why she would be hiding out there because of the Titan but that is why I think she probably is there.
No one in their right mind would put the queen near a dangerous Titan and it is this thought that would keep people from suspecting Ragako.
However, since the Titan cannot move, it poses as no threat to Historia, so the village serves as both a safe place for Historia to hide and a place that no one would expect her to be.
Also, Historia being in Ragako village would be perfect for the plot because she could interact with Falco, who might have Ymir’s memories.
This could give Historia closure and also motivate her to name her child after Ymir.
And if her child really will be the reincarnation of Ymir Fritz, like I think, then this moment will have huge plot significance.
Speaking of the child, Historia showing up here would also be a good point for Isayama to reveal exactly what the hell is going on with her baby and how Eren is involved.
We know from the memory flash in Chapter 120 that he met with Historia and I really hope we get to see that interaction soon.
Is Eren really planning to destroy the world?
After reading Chapter 122, I was certain that Eren’s plan is to destroy the world with the Rumbling.
However, each following chapter has raised my doubts about this and I am now wondering if Eren has some alternate plan that only he knows about.
One of the biggest questions about Eren’s supposed plan is that, if he is trying to destroy the world, why would he announce this to all Eldians, including the ones in Marley and other countries in the world?
Wouldn’t this just allow these Eldians to warn their captors of the oncoming apocalypse and give them time to prepare?
Unless, of course, Eren wanted them to hear this message so they would act.
In Chapter 125, Annie’s father was one of the many Eldians in Liberio who tried to convince a group of Marleyan guards that the Rumbling had been activated.
However, because of the racist beliefs of the Marleyans, Mr Leonhart and the other Eldians were placed under arrest, causing Mr Leonhart to fight back, supposedly starting an uprising in the internment zone.
Perhaps this is also happening in other internment zones around the world, as the Eldians panic about the Rumbling and their captors not listening to them.
If this is what is happening then Eren may have sent out his warning to motivate the Eldians to fight against their oppressors.
Maybe this was so there would be too much chaos for the world to stop the Rumbling or maybe Eren wants to help the Eldians by doing this, in which case his plan is something other than destroying the world.
Again, I hope this is not Eren pulling a Lelouch, I would much rather his plan be something more original and actually make sense in the context of Attack on Titan’s world.
An idea for a tragic ending.
Back in Chapter 110, when Darius Zachary was assassinated, a crowd of Eldians were shown chanting, “devote your hearts!”
And so a phrase that was once meant to inspire hope for humanity’s survival was turned into a fanatical slogan.
However, until the most recent chapter, this was not brought up again so I thought Isayama may have forgotten about it.
Then, in “Sunset”, we saw these fanatics again, cheering on Eren, despite him killing some of their own people by unleashing the Rumbling.
But, instead of everyone present being fully on board, many citizens who had lost loved ones were disgusted by Eren’s actions and argued with those in support of him, almost starting a riot.
There were other signs of division in Chapter 125, like when Keith told the recruits to act like they supported the Yeagerists but to never lose sight of themselves.
All of this points towards a possible way for the story to end that has tragic implications.
My new theory is that, whether or not the Rumbling actually destroys most of the world, the cycle of hatred against the Eldians will end.
However, this does not mean the cycle of hatred ends, it is merely redirected to something else.
Instead of it being Eldians against the rest of the world, by the end of the story it will be those who support what Eren did vs those who don’t.
So, while the Eldians are now free from racial discrimination, ideological discrimination grips the world and threatens to tear it apart once more.
This could be the tragic ending for Attack on Titan.
Eren frees all of his people from persecution, only to inadvertently start a new cycle of hatred and persecution based off people’s opinions and beliefs.
This would create a bittersweet finale that speaks to our current world on a thematic level as cycles of hatred regarding things like race and politics are constantly regurgitated.
And, even if this is not where the obvious ideological differences people in the series are having leads, it will be interesting to see where this plot point goes.
Chapter 124 of Attack on Titan, “Thaw”, had a lot of great twists and turns that caused me to reconsider how long the manga has left.
I originally thought that the series would finish at Chapter 130 but, after reading “Thaw”, I now believe that 134, or even 138, is a more appropriate finishing point, given how many plot points just emerged.
And, with all these new storylines, there comes new theories that I would like to get into.
So, let’s start with the biggest question generated by Chapter 124,
Now That Annie Is Free, What Will She Do?
By far the biggest twist of “Thaw” was the long, long, long, long lllooonnngg awaited return of Annie Leonhart.
She was gone for so long that many, including myself, feared that she may never return.
In all honesty, Annie is a character that I have conflicted feelings about.
I do like her character but nowhere near to the extent of others, and I wanted her to come back more so Hajime Isayama could tie up that plot point rather than for her character.
Now that she is free, though, it will be interesting to see what role she has to play in the final battle.
There is no doubt that she will side against Eren because her father is in Marley but how she will be able to help is a mystery.
Some have predicted that Annie’s Female Titan may be able to draw in the Wall Titans with her scream but this seems a bit of a stretch.
As for how she will get to the battlefield, I am sure Hitch will be involved in that since she is the one guarding her.
I can just imagine their conversation, with Hitch explaining to Annie, in her usual sassy fashion, everything that has happened over the four years that she has been asleep.
Another theory I have is that Annie could run into Levi and Hange, which is how they could return to the story.
The reason I think this is because it could cause a lot of conflict because Annie murdered Levi’s entire squad in the Female Titan Arc.
The only person Levi hates more than her is Zeke so it would be interesting to see the Levi and Annie fight again, that is if Levi can with the state he is currently in.
One thing I certainly hope Isayama doesn’t do is sweep Annie’s crimes under the rug.
Out of her, Reiner and Bertholdt, she is the one whose thoughts on killing the Scouts we have seen the least so I want to see how this affected her.
It will also be interesting to see her interact with Armin, since he now has Bertholdt’s memories and an obvious crush on her.
The thing I am positive about is that the next chapter will be primarily centered around Annie.
Some have speculated it will be a flashback chapter to her past but I doubt this because we already know most of her backstory.
We may get a brief flashback but I think Chapter 125 will focus mostly on Annie in the present.
And it will certainly be intriguing to see what role she has to play in trying to stop Eren’s Rumbling.
What Will Happen With Falco And Connie?
Another unexpected development in Chapter 124 was Connie kidnapping Falco to feed him to his Titan mother so she can turn back into a human.
Opinions on Connie seem to be mixed after him doing this but I do understand his motivations.
Connie has lost almost everyone he cares about and, now that he thinks the fighting is about to end, he wants to save his mum, no matter the cost.
There are many theories about what could happen with this plot point and one of the most prominent of those is that Connie will run into Hange who will feed Falco to Levi instead.
However, this is a theory that I am very much against for three reasons.
First of all, it makes Porco’s sacrifice pointless.
Second of all, I don’t want Levi to be more overpowered than he already is (plus I don’t think Ackermans can turn into Titans).
And, third of all, I don’t see Falco dying here because it doesn’t tie into his arc.
I want to see Falco struggle with the guilt of accidentally killing his brother and try to use the powers of his recently acquired Jaw Titan in this dangerous situation.
But if Falco is not going to die then what was the point of Connie taking him?
Some are saying Connie will be eaten by his own mother but, again, I don’t see this happening because what would the point be in him, as an important character, dying when none of his friends are there to react to it?
There is the possibility that Connie taking Falco could lead to some characters returning to the story but, rather than Hange and Levi, I think this would be the perfect opportunity to bring Historia back.
I have been rooting for Historia to come into contact with the holder of the Jaw Titan to experience Ymir’s memories for a long time and if she is near Ragako, then she could very well interfere with Connie’s plan and touch Falco, gaining some of these memories.
Although, I have no idea why Historia would even be near Ragako so I may be wrong about this.
I just hope that Connie does not end up succeeding in feeding Falco to his mother or Levi because I feel this would ruin Falco’s arc.
What’s With the Parallels Between Gabi and Eren?
In “Thaw” there was a scene of Gabi tying up her in front of a mirror that was eerily similar to a scene from Chapter 106 where Eren did the same thing.
This is just one of many parallels between Eren and Gabi and has caused many to wonder if Gabi will go on to kill Eren and gain his Titan powers, thus fulfilling the role of Helos.
Now, while I am a Gabi defender, I do not want this to happen.
If Eren is going to be killed by someone, it would make a lot more sense for it to be Mikasa, Armin or Reiner that does the deed because they are the characters that have the biggest connection to him.
Along with this, Gabi already nearly killed Eren in Chapter 119 so it would seem repetitive.
Still, the parallels have to be there for a reason so it will be interesting to see what that reason is.
But, if Gabi does kill Eren, then the fandom will absolutely explode.
She is so hated that many people have said they will hate the series if this happens.
Personally, I won’t hate it if Gabi does kill Eren but I would rather it be another character.
Where Are Zeke, Pieck and Magath?
The characters in Shiganshina that we did not see in Chapter 124 were Zeke, Pieck and Magath, causing many to wonder where they are.
Well, I think it is safe to say that the three of them are together, with Pieck and Magath likely having captured Zeke.
Magath was on top of the wall with Pieck in Chapter 122 but she probably grabbed him so that would make him safe.
The next time we see Pieck is in Chapter 123 when she hears Eren’s proclamation in the Path dimension, and Zeke appears to be next to her so it would be logical for her to grab him.
I don’t imagine him putting up much of a fight after his plan of sterilizing all Eldians was destroyed by Eren.
However, I doubt Zeke will be out of the fight for long because in Chapter 124 it seems that Eren cannot control the Titans that he transformed.
This makes sense because of Zeke’s royal blood and could make him the center piece in a plan to defeat Eren.
Even though I hope we don’t get a Code Geass ending, I can see the Scouts teaming up with the Warriors for this plan.
I would actually be excited about that because we would see many of these characters talking for the first time.
It would be fascinating to see Armin’s intellect go up against Pieck’s.
Another theory is Zeke’s consciousness being trapped in the Path dimension but I am not sure what Zeke could do from there.
In any case, despite believing these three characters are alive, I am unsure if they will show up next chapter because I expect to be mainly centered around Annie’s return.
Why Is Floch Arresting the Volunteers?
“So you’re alive” is what Jean said when he saw Floch in Chapter 124, voicing the frustration of many fans.
Immediately after being revealed to have survived, Floch continued with making the readers hate him by pointing a gun at a depressed Yelena’s head and informing her that she and the rest of the volunteers are under arrest.
The reason for this is probably because of Yelena’s participation in Zeke’s euthanasia plan.
Floch probably knew Eren planned to initiate a full scale Rumbling and is acting on his orders by arresting them in the aftermath.
Although, there may be a more sinister reason Floch is arresting the volunteers.
This is that he may plan to execute all of them so that the only people left after Eren’s Rumbling will be Eldians.
Many of these Volunteers would be enraged if their country is destroyed, and would want to take vengeance, so Floch could plan to execute them before any such acts took place.
But would Eren allow this?
Well, given how he is about to destroy the world and kill billions of people, I don’t think he would hesitate to order this if it kept his friends safe.
This is merely speculative, though.
Also, I think Floch will meet some firm resistance from the Scouts.
We could see Keith get involved in this, since he is getting more well deserved screen time lately.
But it is Jean who I am most excited to see face off against Floch.
To me, Floch is a representation of what Jean could have become had he never joined the Scouts so he would make a great endgame fight for him.
Whether this or any of the other theories I mentioned turn out to be true, though, will have to be seen in Chapter 125.
There are some rumors that it will release around the end of December but it is probably best not to get your hopes up in case the chapter drops at the regular time.
After I saw season two of Attack on Titan, I became convinced that this anime was going to be one of the the most deep and well thought out series of recent years.
Needless to say, when season three finally started last year, I was overjoyed at being proven right.
Directed by Tetsuro Araki, Attack on Titan‘s third season adapts the Uprising and Return to Shiganshina Arcs from Hajime Isayama’s original manga and does it gloriously.
Both arcs are very different in tone, the first arc being more political while the second is more action oriented, and both are fantastic.
Many people were complaining about how, in two seasons, Attack on Titan was not delivering any answers to many of the burning questions fans had.
Well, this season gave us plenty of answers, and then some, in what has to be among the best exposition sequences of all time.
The anime spent so much time building up the basement reveal, and finally shows the history of the Titans in one big episode, “That Day.”
A lot was riding on this episode so it had to deliver big time, and it somehow did that in spades.
“That Day” is basically one big exposition dump and yet it is one of my favourite, if not my absolute favourite, episode of the entire series.
Although, it is a close call between that and “Midnight Sun” because both are amazing for very different reasons.
There are just so many mind blowing episodes in this second arc, which makes sense since it is the best one of the series so far.
As for the first arc of the season, the Uprising Arc, it is heavily changed from the manga, where it was a lot slower paced.
In the anime, many of the events in this arc were switched around or removed entirely to create a more natural flow, which I think worked out well.
Sure, it is a shame that some characters who got development in the manga did not get that here but the anime version is better paced for it, with great episodes like “Wish” delivering the perfect amount of action, exposition, and character drama.
That is another thing I especially love about this season: how it continues to develop its amazing cast of characters.
Armin, Erwin, Historia, Levi and Grisha are the definite standouts this season, with so much backstory and amazing moments given to them.
This results in some gut wrenching moments when these characters are at their lowest points, and some crowd pleasing moments when they are at their highest.
Even characters with smaller roles in the overall story, like Kenny and those introduced in Grisha’s backstory, are memorable and well developed.
Then there is the animation and music, which are both stellar.
Episodes like “Pain” and “Hero” show off the best animation the anime has had to date with Levi’s impressive skills.
One of the few parts where I found that the animation faltered was with the CGI Colossal Titan but the rest of the animation is so jaw dropping that it more than makes up for it.
As for the music, once again I will be adding many of these OSTs to my Spotify so I can listen to them over and over again.
I have said before that Attack on Titan has my favourite soundtrack of any series and this season topped many of the already amazing songs seen in the previous seasons.
This fantastic usage of animation and music helps to build on the suspense and action that is happening on screen.
With this, the story builds to a contemplative conclusion in “The Other Side of the Wall” where Eren is put at a crossroads, which will lead him to a point of no return next season.
Speaking of which, season four is confirmed to be the final season, and with the manga currently in its final arc, it looks like the anime and manga may be set to end around the same time.
I am very excited to see how Hajime Isayama will end his masterwork of a story.
However, It will be interesting to see if season four takes a break in between arcs, like season three did.
Actually, I think it will be more interesting to see whether of not we will be told, if it does happen.
This is my one big gripe with season three of Attack on Titan.
We only found out about the six month hiatus when the first arc ended, displaying a sad lack of communication on Wit Studio’s part.
This does not affect my opinion of the season, since the wait was more than worth it, but I would appreciate more transparency if this does happen again.
I also hope Wit Studio can work on Attack on Titan’s final season because rumors are still floating around that they may hand it over to another studio.
Overall, though, many people are now rightly calling Attack on Titan one of the best anime in modern times, and I am glad to see it getting this well deserved recognition.
I cannot wait for the final season where the story will go to much darker places and, hopefully, end on a satisfying note.
I had to think over how I felt about the 21st episode of Attack on Titan’s third season, “Attack Titan.”
The reason for this is that, even though it has many fantastic moments, it also has some that drag it down for me.
The biggest of these scenes is actually my most hated from the manga.
It is admittedly a small moment but it still really annoys me with how badly it is written, so I was hoping they would improve the scene in the anime.
However, I did not expect them to make the scene even worse.
It just left me feeling angry about how badly this was thought out.
Sadly, this is not my only problem because “Attack Titan” has a twist that was only just revealed in the manga.
Moving it up like this has created some confusion among the anime’s fan base about what it means.
Along with this, I feel like revealing the twist here will limit a lot of the impact the moment that this was revealed had in the manga, when it is adapted.
Although, I cannot quite fault the episode for this now because that scene has yet to be adapted so I cannot tell if this is what will happen.
All of that said though, the rest of the episode is fantastic, mostly making up for these problematic bits.
While I do not like how one twist is revealed early, the other twists are delivered right on time and are just as shocking and impactful as they are in the manga.
They also raise a lot of interesting questions for anime only viewers to consider.
On top of this, I found the episode to be surprisingly hilarious during some points.
These moments did not really make me laugh when I read them first in the manga, but here I was clutching my stomach.
The music is once again a highlight, especially during the final moments of the episode, where the outro “Name of Love” plays over a scene brilliantly.
These standout scenes could all have come together to make “Attack Titan” a top ten favourite episode for me, however, the problematic moments got in the way of this.
Still, it is a great episode that will have a lot of people confused by the end, but in a good way.
Coming into “Attack Titan” I was pretty sure they were going to show that Ymir had died when Historia read her letter.
The reason for this?
Ymir’s backstory, which was shown here in the manga, had already been shown in season two so it made sense to replace it with her death.
I had my fingers crossed that they would use this opportunity to fix her death.
Granted, I knew I would be disappointed by it because of how much of a waste I think it is but I still hoped they could make me feel emotionally gut punched when her death was revealed.
Sadly, I was wrong because the death is made even worse than in the manga.
Not only is her death still off screen but the actual reveal is only two seconds long.
Seriously, I timed it.
This is so short that people will and have missed it.
I enjoy watching people react to the episodes online after they air, and only about one in ten people realise that this was revealing Ymir’s death.
The rest completely miss it.
If your audience does not realise that a character has been killed off then you have failed to give them a meaningful death.
All it would have required is ten additional seconds of seeing a chained up Ymir’s final moments as she is eaten by her successor and it would have been acceptable.
As for the other problem I have, “Attack Titan” also revealed that Ymir saw the Paths connecting to the Founding Titan after she ate Marcel and turned back into a human.
I find this problematic because when this was revealed in the manga it came alongside something else and was subtly implied in such a way that it was mind blowing.
Here it is just simply stated and is also generating some confusion among anime watchers.
I have actually seen people take this scene as meaning that Ymir is the Founding Titan, once again not realizing that she is dead.
As I said though, despite all this weighing the episode down, the rest of it is still fantastic.
The scenes between Grisha and Eren Kruger is wonderfully adapted, if cut a little short.
The mind blowing reveals that Eren is named after Kruger and that every Titan Shifter dies 13 years after they inherit their power, meaning Eren and Armin are going to die, are very well done.
What are, without a doubt, the bests twists of the episode, though, are Eren realizing that he could use the Founding Titan power because he touched Dina, a royal blooded Titan, and that Kruger somehow had memories of Mikasa and Armin from the future.
These twists are just as shocking and confusingly great as they are in the manga, with the “Name of Love” outro accompanying Kruger’s final scene being a great addition that adds plenty of emotion.
Hange is another standout of the episode, with her talking about Eren going through a phase and imitating his title reveal moment being particularly hilarious.
Speaking of the title reveal, it is funny that the title Attack on Titan is actually a mistranslation of the Japanese Shingeki no Kyojin, which translates to “Attack Titan.”
The name of Eren’s Titan is literally the title of the series and it is mistranslated in English, which is pretty funny.
Overall, “Attack Titan” is still a great episode, even if it weighed down by some aggravating moments like Ymir’s poorly written death reveal.
The next episode, “The Other Side of the Wall”, is the last episode of the season and potentially the last episode from Wit Studio.
I hope they do the manga justice but I do have some concerns.
They will most likely only be adapting Chapter 90, like “The Basement” episode only adapted Chapter 85 and that episode felt like it was padding for time.
Hopefully, if they do have to add some scenes to lengthen the episode then it feels like new necessary scenes, rather than just an excuse to add to the runtime.
Still, I am excited because that episode will have one of the most important scenes in the series’ history.