(Kodansha 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 chapter exists to fill in a large gap of story that’s been missing for quite some time since we started getting revelations about the origin of Eren’s Titan abilities: what really happened in between Eren watching his mother get eaten by a Titan, and this his father disappearing? We learned how his father disappeared, but not the events leading up to it.
That all changes this chapter.
As the Scouting Legion descends upon Commander Shadis, the man who trained Eren and majority of our other main characters into becoming the soldiers they are today, we also learn of his strong ties to Eren and his parents.
Without recapping everything we learned this chapter, after the convoluted and sometimes downright confusing revelations to come out of the last few chapters, it was nice to see a story that not only revealed something new but also provided a straight forward answer.
Shadis was a man who was overcome by jealousy of Eren’s father when he won out and got the girl Shadis had longed for for so long. But he kept his distance and didn’t interfere in their lives; he just went about his and unfortunately became notorious for being the first Commander of the Scouting Legion to step down from his post while still alive.
We also get an interesting look at Eren’s father, who we had learned a bit more about only recently, and now we see the aftermath of his original consequences when he stole the Titan’s power from the royal family. Basically he lived a pretty normal life, albeit after losing his memory and having re-learn almost everything about this world. Retribution only came when he chose to let his son avenge the death of their mother instead of himself and pass on the Titan power to Eren.
This chapter really touts the idea that there are so many battles in this world that one can fight and yet never win, and recently Eren has started to believe that himself: that he wasn’t someone special, he had this burdened life forced upon him by others who were more special than him. And it seems he is falling deeper into despair about his own place in this world.
The coming chapters should be interesting, and hopefully will deal with Eren coming to terms with his own insecurities. As the final revelation of this chapter showed us, Shadis tried to keep Eren from passing his training in secret and yet Eren overcame every obstacle thrown at him.
Some of us simply don’t know our true ability until it reveals itself to us much later in life. Until then, sometimes we will have to wallow through mud before we finally reach dry land. This is the kind of story that encapsulates Attack on Titan.
Final Score: 3.5 Secret Ties out of 5
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