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: Ah, well I guess you win some and you lose some as the old saying goes. And by that I mean anytime we get a decent/good chapter of AoT anymore Isayama finds a way to muddle it up in the very next chapter. Iseyama once famously said that he originally planned for everyone to die at the end of the series but due the major fan base he was gifted with the enormous popularity of the anime he had openly decided against that idea so that he doesn’t upset anyone.
Well, in these last several chapters we got: Erwin’s onscreen death, Hanji’s second in-story death fakeout, Reiner’s enormously contrived death fakeout, Armin’s onscreen death, and a cutaway to Levi about to take one horde of Titans on his own in what should – given how this series used to treat Titans as more of a threat and less like fodder – have been a futile battle after 2 or 3 Titans were slain. At least.
In all that chaos the two major deaths would have Erwin and Armin, two major strategists and leaders for the Scouting Legion and best friends to both Levi and Eren. Their deaths would have had a major impact on the series going forward because Levi and Eren both share the “eff it, I’m going in” attitude that these other two did not.
I’m explaining all of this as if its past tense because by all measures of the imagination it is. Because what this issue does in one fell swoop is bring all of those characters who had deaths or fake deaths and bring them all together for one big hack of chapter where Reiner and Bertolt have both their arms and legs cut off, but Reiner is “saved” by the Beast Titan. So essentially this man will have survived his head being completely blown off as well as his limbs being cur off on two separate occasions. Bertolt is, well, he’s a captive but why these people aren’t dead I can’t begin to explain anymore.
Levi’s body is all covered in steam and charring. He’s got third degree burns all over him and he’s running around like it’s nothing. But the coup de gras is at the end of the chapter when its revealed that Armin is still breathing and alive! Erwin is still breathing and alive! Armin has survived getting skinned alive to a point of no return, and Erwin has survived getting half his stomach blown off by a boulder flying at him at least over 200mph hour.
But their not long for this world yet! Oh no! Levi is holding onto a special serum that – to be perfectly honest – I forgot the Legion even had, one that can heal a person and at the same time give them Titan powers like Eren, Bertolt and Reiner. Now Levi must choose between Erwin or Armin, who’s more important to the story to save??
Actually Levi makes his decision this very chapter. Easily he chooses to save Erwin but this instantly brings him into opposition with Eren who wishes to save Armin. This leads us to our cliffhanger of the chapter and honestly it makes me just want to shoot myself as a reader. I’ve seen shounen series before do this kind of thing, and when I was a kid I was able to forgive it. But as I’ve become more analytical towards stories and especially Attack on Titan which continues to dig itself into a deeper hole, I find myself becoming more unforgiving towards tropes like this simply because at the end of the day its lazy writing. Lazy writing doesn’t make for compelling storytelling.
I really just want this series to be good again. Once upon a time ago it was.
Final Score: 1 Choice to make, Levi out of 5
Derrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter.
You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net