(Shonen Magazine Comics 2009)
Story & Art by Hajime Isayama
Summary: In an alternate telling of the history of the world, mankind has been pushed back behind walls where for the last 100 years they’ve been protected from monsters known as Titans. One day these Titans appeared again and brought one of those walls crashing down – the result almost sent humanity into extinction. This is the story of the last remnants of mankind.
Review: This arc brings an end to Eren and Historia having been kidnapped by the Reiss family, or the one true family as it was revealed. Historia battles with her duty to take the power of the Titans back from Eren, and with it the true history of the world – and the Scouting Legion, or what’s left of them that is, bring on an assault to the cave in which Eren is being held.
No one of importance actually dies this arc. Which isn’t surprising to me, as the main characters have begun to build plot armor around them and are starting to feel more impervious as the story goes. It’s probably because they’re facing less and less Titans as they’ve been dealing more with in-fighting within’ the government – I do fear for all of our mains, but I also hope Isayama isn’t starting to get weak feet when it comes to making everyone feel vulnerable.
While not a bad arc, there are a lot of failings here and it’s helped me discover that I find this series to be a lot more interesting when they’re battling titans rather each other. We get an incredibly convoluted and still slightly mysterious explanation as to what’s actually going on with Eren’s Titan ability as well as how the world came to be as it is.
Do we get an explanation for the Titans? No, that’s probably more tied to whatever is in Eren’s basement in his old home, perhaps the key he has around his neck is the key to unlocking his memories? At this point I wouldn’t put it past Isayama. I love this series, but considering what we know now… I really feel like the true “History” of the world and the “Secret” to finally extinguishing the Titans is going to be a big let down, especially if this arc is any indication.
The humans do battle a Titan however, the biggest one this series has seen yet, but given its slow movement and incredible heat they’re able to defeat him easily. They also come up with an incredibly contrived – and yet it works – plan to make Historia the new queen of the humans. That’s where this arc ends, and while I think it’s dumb how they got her to that point, I feel it’s also whatever at this point.
If Isayama can just get us back to fighting Titans, I’ll be happy, because sadly the bubbling story just isn’t as interesting. – Eren also gains a new Titan ability this arc, the ability to make hardened walls. Something they can use to clog the hole in the wall of the Shingashina District where Eren used to live, and give them the opportunity to get into his basement.
I’m too excited for the new ability, but it does make a lot of sense and is organic to the story Isayama has been building. So I respect him for that, and I accept it. I WANT the final reveals to be interesting, but I think the fights will be even more so. However long this story has left to tell, which it seems to be winding down… but we’ll just have to wait and see.
We also get a history lesson on the Ackerman’s, and why Asians are basically a luxury in the world of Attack on Titan. Is it remotely interesting? Not, sadly not, but we do get confirmation that Levi and Mikasa are related by family name and that’s actually pretty damn cool in my book.
Final Score: 2 Titan Abilities out of 5
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