What Lies Beyond the Sea – Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 131 Review

This is a review of the Shingeki no Kyojin monthly manga, Chapter 131: Rumbling.

Check out my review of SnK Chapter 130 here.

So, I was early for a change this month and read the chapter about three hours after it dropped. And…I wasn’t quite sure what to think afterward.

I enjoyed it, and honestly (although it may be a bit controversial to say) I feel like it has been the best chapter we’ve gotten in a while.

It was heavy, yes, but realistically gave us that exposition we craved from Eren, Armin, Annie, and the rest of the gang. By the rest of the gang, I mean new interpretations on their shared scenes with Eren’s new emotional insights taken into account.

So Eren’s time in Liberio as a wounded solider could be completely re-read. Eren’s laughter reacting to Sasha’s death could be completely re-read. Eren’s escape from jail, demeanor to Mikasa’s almost love confession, and relationship to the Yeagerist faction could be re-read.

This has happened time and time again in this manga, and I appreciate it each and every time.

I appreciate Isayama-sensei and his ability to tell this 10+ year coherent, intelligent, and completely earth-shattering tale. It has totally been brought to life, and whatever lies in the ending doesn’t matter – Shingeki no Kyojin will go down in history.

Attack on Titan will go down in history as one of the most faithful, intriguing, and genre-shifting anime of all time. Books could be written on the genius of this series. The tonal shifts from terror, to euphoria, to mystery, to terror again.

And I should say, that I firmly believe Attack on Titan is a tragedy.

Eren Yeager is a tragic hero, blocked by the freedom he so desires and seeks. His one true goal has ultimately been his downfall. His mental health is in shambles, and his friendships, ruined. Not because his friends don’t care, but because they don’t understand his actions.

Hell, we didn’t understand his actions until just 1, or 2 chapters ago. That is the mark of skillful writing. And to be able to experience this story unfold in real time makes me eternally grateful.

Maybe I feel this way because we are truly nearing the end. There are so many theories floating around now with the release of the latest chapter, and many are doubling back and re-reading certain scenes that didn’t make sense then – but do now.

To be honest, you could get lost in the depth of this story.

I wanted to theorize a bit, but truly…I don’t have the time nor the willpower to jump down that rabbit hole today.

So instead, I’m going to lightly touch upon points brought up by myself and the community (mainly on Reddit). Things that could be looked into further.

Like for instance…                                              

The relationship between the Attack on Titan series and Norse Mythology.

If you google that alone, you should come up with a few Reddit theories or the odd in-depth YouTube video.

Many people have been pointing out the prominence of birds in the series from its inception. I usually relate this to the ‘wings of freedom’ that birds have, and the Survey Corps’ true soul mission: freedom.

There are theories that Eren Yeager has a sort of ‘Three-Eyed Crow’ ability ala Brynden Rivers from the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

It seems Ymir Fritz can now roam freely... Shingeki no Kyojin Ch 131
It seems Ymir can now roam freely…Shingeki no Kyojin Ch 131

Sure, I could see this happening. Eren’s extend of the coordinate power has yet to be explored, in relation to the other titan powers he possesses.  Since Zeke is obsolete and Ymir is roaming around freely, it seems that the rules may have changed on this one.  

There is also the issue of Eren’s point of view in his memories and the timely placed birds in the distance. 

Theories from the Shingeki no kyojin subreddit for Chapter 131
Theories from the Shingeki no Kyojin subreddit for Chapter 131

Ex: Eren’s memory of Falco reaching up toward the sky, when Eren himself was on the battlefield cutting off his leg and blinding himself.

People love to bring up Odin, who sacrificed his right (or depending your sources, left) eye in a thirst for knowledge, but forget every other cultures history and stories.

Odin is not the only one-eyed deity roaming around warging through birds, and Yggdrasil is not the only tree of life in existence.

Petrified wood from Escalante Petrified Forest State Park in Utah, vs 'Mt.' Roraima - photos not my own
Petrified wood from Escalante Petrified Forest State Park in Utah vs ‘Mt.’ Roraima – photos not my own

Even though Shingeki no Kyojin draws heavily from this history, there is another history, another people that I think the story parallels even more. I’m working on a series about that now, which hopefully can be unveiled in the fall concurrent with the final season.

A seagull landing by Armin while confessing his feelings to Annie reminds me of the Sea. The ravens that warned of Eren’s coming remind me of death.

In certain cultures, birds are seen as messengers.

"Raven the Trickster"  from the American Museum of Natural History
“Raven the Trickster” from the American Museum of Natural History

In my own culture, Raven’s are widely believed to be tricksters.

'Trickster Tale' from the Encyclopedia Britannica
‘Trickster Tale’ from the Encyclopedia Britannica

To clarify, a trickster does not have to be inherently evil.

Their purpose is to do things wrong, or backwards, to remind the people in the community the right way. They purposefully embody and twist things or logic so that you can figure out the true way, and the truth of the matter.

I believe that in this series thus far, after Eren received his father Grisha Yeager’s memories, along with Eren Kruger’s – that Eren has embodied a trickster spirit.

Where he says one thing, but feels another way.

Where he does outlandish things, in order to garner the correct response from the people.

A huge example of this could be the Marley Arc. Eren assembled the Survey Corps in secret to Liberio and waited until Willy Tybur’s speech to covertly attack the rest of the world.

Instead of exercising the diplomacy that hadn’t worked once more, he tried a military strategy that would garner a response and set in motion the events that followed.

Had Eren not jumped the gun and decided the Island’s fate while concealing his true feelings and motives, that Global Allied Force that tried to take down the Wall-Titans probably would have been docked outside Paradis Island’s shore right now.

Even with the carnage in this chapter, along with the tragic deaths of both Ramzi and Halil…I still find what Eren Yeager did to be justified.

I still support The Rumbling, no matter how painful it was to get through this chapter. And again, I applaud Isayama for showing the other Rumbling supporters the sheer totality and cost of this path.

Also, this may be poor taste to say, but at least Ramzi and Halil have money to pay the ferryman for their next journey.

Brothers Ramzi and Halil meet a tragic end. Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 131
Brothers Ramzi and Halil meet a tragic end. Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 131

It’s a shame Ramzi took a beating seemingly almost daily to get enough money for them to live comfortably, and Halil lost a hand stealing – just for Ramzi to die clutching his final dream. While his brother held onto him, and died in agony without being able to move.

It seemed so important, so intimate, but then the manga panel shifts focus and you see just how small those two boys really are. Just how indiscernible they are from the chaos surrounding them. Or the stupid door in the distance that remained closed for the refugees, despite the other buildings around being completely demolished.

That one stupid door that wouldn't open. Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 131
That one stupid door that wouldn’t open. Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 131

All the while not even knowing why they were being killed.

Those people died behind a barrier. Marley didn’t even have the courtesy to tell people their doom was coming.

Which by the way, I’m wondering how the Eldians in Liberio fared after their attempted rebellion. Is Annie’s father, Mr. Leonhart still alive?

I’d love to find out in the next chapter. Which is in October. =/

Either way, this series is coming to a close and it makes my heart hurt.

Armin has just met child Eren in the PATHs dimension.

...Where is Eren Yeager's mind right now? Attack on Titan Chapter 131
…Where is Eren Yeager’s mind right now? Attack on Titan Chapter 131

Child Eren thinks he is above the clouds, but judging by where current Eren is – it may just be Titan smoke.

The Attack Titan is trapped by millions of titans behind him, and has no choice but to keep moving forward…Will child Eren see Mikasa in PATHs yet, and then wake up from a really long dream under an elder tree?

Eren's dream - Taken from Chapter 01 of the Shingeki no Kyojin manga
Eren’s Dream – Taken from Chapter 01 of the Shingeki no Kyojin manga

Will Mikasa land on Eren in an attempt to kill him and he already foresaw this, and that is why he freaked out way back when they were attempting to patch Wall Maria with a boulder?

Theories from the Shingeki no Kyojin subreddit surrounding the latest Chapter 131
Theories from the Shingeki no Kyojin subreddit surrounding the latest Chapter 131

Is this why Mikasa says “see you later Eren”? Because she is going to murder him, he’ll go back to sleep, and wake up in this time loop once more?

Or will the path deviate, and Historia’s baby will be born free?

What are your thoughts concerning the end of this series?

And

Do you believe Eren Yeager is a villain?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for Shingeki no Kyojin The Final Season reviews in Fall 2020!

Attack on Titan S3 Reviews

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☆ In Asian Spaces            

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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

5 thoughts on “What Lies Beyond the Sea – Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 131 Review”

  1. This was a nice read, and helped me realize some stuff I didn’t get the first time, like that door, even after everything, and with their incoming death, they still didn’t open the door for the refugees, that’s sad and infuriating.
    Also I cannot see Eren as a villain, I understand why he is doing this, and it was great to see him crying to that kid, showing how much what he’s doing hurts him, but he’s still going through with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, I’m glad you enjoyed the review ☺

      And isn’t that sad? It infuriated me that Marley didn’t even try to warn the people.

      I hope Eren finds some sort of peace by the end of the series, if that is even possible at this point in time.

      Like

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