Alright, it’s been 17 days. I’ve been pissed off at Chapter 133 of Shingeki no Kyojin for 17 days.
I’m getting tired of writing and re-writing this review. Reading and re-reading chapters of the manga over.
Might as well just post the damn thing now.
Check out my review of SnK Chapter 132 here.
I’m sorry, but I’ve got to be honest – I did not enjoy that chapter.
I’ve noticed for quite some time now that there have been certain contrivances in the story. Notably, Chapter 126 being a major one.
It’s not that I can’t accept the flying titan deus ex machina, it’s that it just feels like a complete and utter asspull from Isayama.
The plot device that would put The Alliance of Good Eldians on even a fraction of the same plane as the gods – Eren and Ymir.
I don’t so much mind the idea coming from Falco, as it’s on script for his character. He’s a somewhat naïve boy with a good heart and wants to protect Marley and his crush Gabi. Often not in that order.
Falco is also a child soldier, although his degree of brainwashing by Marley is not the same as Gabi’s. But as I’ve mentioned once before, I believe the Braun bloodline has a propensity towards mental illness and the ability to cope with external stresses.
Gabi’s desire to be seen as a “Good Eldian” supersedes any moral compass she’d been allowed to develop. Especially given the severe indoctrination from the Warrior Candidate program forced on her at such a young age. So although her actions can sometimes come off as a bit of annoying storywise, she is just doing what she feels is right.
And then of course, we have Eren and Ymir – two individuals who have completely given up their free will and integrated their core being with the spinal creature parasite. It was funny when Commander Armin and gang were trying to figure out where Eren’s body was in his parasitic-founder titan form.
That scene illustrated just how far behind The Alliance of Good is operating information wise.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
I wanted to at least give the evidence being used online to support the Falco(n) bird-titan claim being foreshadowed before I completely tear it down.
So far, I’ve seen three chief examples being paraded about to support Isayama having Falco’s jaw titan fly since The Alliance of Good has a busted airship.
It follows as:
A Marleyan solider wondering if there are any flying titans.
Falco (while delirious) telling a bird circling overhead to fly away from the dangerous war zone.
Zeke (the Beast Titan) running with dinosaurs during the season 2 opening.
That’s it. Those are the prime examples.
So, let’s delve further into this common logic I see being spewed about the fandom.
Falco’s Name and Transformation
In Chapter 129, Falco transforms for the first time. This is due to his desire to help Annie and Reiner from completely getting their asses kicked by the Yeagerist faction on Paradis Island.
And surprise, Falco looks like a bird. His jaw titan has a beak, talons, and even what appears to be feathers on his body.
Remember when we all thought Zeke was stuck in PATHs doing Ymir’s job and was just having a laugh about this design as a way to cope, and occupy his mind from an eternal existence of isolation and solitude?
Haha, yeah. Me too.
(Where is Zeke Yeager, by the way? Is he even still alive?)
Falco’s Introduction Scene
Next up, we have Falco’s introduction scene in Chapter 91.
A delirious Falco is on the battle field trying to warn a bird (maybe a falcon) that it’s dangerous here (in the war zone), so fly away.
“You have wings, so use them.”
Colt then swoops in and grabs bird boy and takes him behind Marleyan war lines. Fodder character Udo then explains that Marley has been at war for four years and Gabi says he must have hit his head.
The Attack on Titan Anime Season 2 Opening
This one is the only point that actually seems plausible to me. Especially considering how chock-full of spoilers this season’s ending theme was.
In it, Zeke Yeager in his beast titan form is frolicking in a field of grass with turtles, dinosaurs, elephants, crocodiles, hippos, giraffes, what looks like a camel, a whale, and well other, beasts.
So the beast titan walking with other beasts of the animal kingdom isn’t impressive on its own, but because of the s2 ED I would actually accept this theory.
A Marleyan Admiral Wondering if Titans Can Fly
In Chapter 93, Zeke, Magath, and other top military officials are having a mission debriefing. They are lamenting their defeat in the recent skirmish with the Middle East forces and explain that the age of titan warfare is over.
Magath brings up the idea that aircraft could certainly change the tide of war, and that they could bomb the battlefield overhead (as we will most likely see in chapter 134).
“On that day, the battlefield will be the sky. And the titans will only be able to watch the heavens while everything else moves.”
The admiral nonchalantly poses the question of whether or not there are any titans with wings and receives…crickets as a response.
Magath then makes the point to tell the general “we are too dependent on the titan power…in a near future we will lose the hegemony of wars” to which the admiral agrees.
Given that omen foreshadowing a titan loss, even with the ability for flight, it’s not looking good for this ‘prediction theory’. The Marleyan army is literally attempting to bomb Eren and his colossal wall titan army as we speak (so to say). Forgetting that Eren has the War Hammer titan and it’s abilities under his control…
The only reason I personally find the S2 opening with Zeke running to be plausible is because the S2 ending theme foreshadows the devastation of a past rumbling. Or at the very least, a large scale titan attack on another civilization. So it is something that should be taken into account.
I also saw a few discussions concerning the scene where Zeke is playing with the beast titan as a child and there is a toy horse nearby. In one of the ‘evidence’ photos, someone pulled up and made a parallel to a horse-looking titan on the field in older artwork of the Eldian Empire.
As we know Jean will not inherit a titan form, we can rule him out as the secret horse-titan.
I almost want to jokingly say that of course there was a horse-titan, and that this was originally Pieck’s form. But due to extensive experimentation with generous spinal fluid to make her bland titan more ‘interesting’ (as per Annie’s female titan) Pieck’s horse titan was influenced by the humanoid titans and thus turned into the monstrosity we see today.
I say this in jest. If this is actually the case I swear I will scream to the heavens next chapter.
Now as for where this single action makes no sense narratively…where do I begin.
It seems that especially in the Attack on Titan War for Paradis arc, Isayama has been writing character contrivances. Meaning, the actions of certain characters are starkly differing from their already established personalities and morale boundaries.
Due to this, lately actions taken by certain groups collectively feel jarring to the reader – and illogical to the organic flow of the narrative being set up.
I think this is due to Isayama deciding last minute that he may have wanted to change Shingeki no Kyojin’s ending. I’ve felt this way for a while, but didn’t want to speak on it until it became too much. This is my breaking point.
I don’t know if this is a new personal preference, censorship from his publisher, or perhaps overhead animation industry bureaucracy – but there is a definitive change in Isayama’s writing these last 10 chapters or so.
The mangaka is trying to impose his will on the characters and its world to influence the story to a specific outcome, and it is currently showing.
Also before anyone says it: no, this is not Eren’s will and him re-writing everyone’s memories. Remember the whole Pixis debacle a few chapters back? The internet was so sure that Eren was manipulating Armin, Mikasa, Jean, Connie and the rest of the crew’s memories during the battle in Shiganshina.
That was why Pixis was shown on a horse from one character perspective, and then drinking from another.
And you know what? It turned out to be nothing.
Same with this whole ‘Levi regrew the missing fingers on his hand in the PATHs sand’ debate. I’m sorry – I don’t mean to sound so cynical (I really do love this manga series) but it’s probably nothing noteworthy.
Isayama-sensei seems to be rushing the manga, so it just might be another continuity error or redraw that slipped past inspection.
I’m just not getting my hopes up regarding this one.
With this out of the way, I just want to quietly take the fandom down memory lane so that it’s in their collective consciousness to remember these characters 180° flip these past few chapters.
Sided with Zeke and Eren Yeager due to centuries old ties between Eldia and Hizuru.
In Chapter 99, Shady Kiyomi meets with Willy Tybur before his big speech (and subsequent death), before swiftly and promptly getting out of dodge and returning to Hizuru.
Kiyomi and her crew run for their lives after Floch held them hostage and try to escape on the steamboat with Mikasa and the rest of the traitors to get back to Hizuru to “govern”.
On the steamboat after a conversation with Annie and the kids, Kiyomi suddenly admits she’s wracked with guilt. Kiyomi no longer cares if Falco blows up and/or obliterates the ship with her countryman she risked her life to save because Eren is a meanie and global genocide is bad, mmkay?
Uh, what? Does Kiyomi no longer care about seeing if Mikasa survives to take her back to Hizuru as planned? Does Kiyomi, suddenly now while escaping on a steamboat, not care about her homeland?
Also, why even ask Yelena to “admit” she and Zeke lost only to then give up herself not even five chapters later?
Annie Leonhart reappears after 5+ years encased in the hardened titan crystal. Annie, who had heard the military strategies and story details from Armin and Hitch after 5+ years. Is just seen…conspicuously…eating pie after her 5+ year absence.
Nothing special at all.
Annie, who when confronted by Hitch, told her straight up that she would “do everything again in a heartbeat” if it meant seeing her dad again, had the nerve to have a friendship flashback and look sad on the steamboat with Kiyomi.
Annie, who did not go with the Alliance of Good and is on the boat with Kiyomi, Gabi, and Falco because she did not care enough to “save the world”.
Annie, who hated Reiner Braun this entire time but gave him a hug.
To be honest, this could be attributed to growth on her part, but it just feels super out of character.
The only thing I don’t mind is the Annie-Armin love interest setup.
Even during the Female Titan arc, it seemed they had something going on. Although, I just wish Armin really was controlled by Bertholdt’s will, and not that he just had a (mutual) crush on Annie. It would have added such an interesting dimension to his character.
Yelena, Goddess of Chaos
Yelena sadly remarking “Zeke” when The Rumbling started, but still believing in the mission enough that she takes a broken arm from Magath rather than divulging Eren’s plans.
After Magath’s suicide pact with Shadis, Yelena then decides to spill the beans on the Yeagerists plans for no reason.
Keith Shadis feeling proud after seeing what’s left of the Survey Corps working with Annie Leonhart, the female titan and traitor to Paradis that killed countless soldiers.
Shadis making a suicide pact with Marleyan General Theo Magath- who never apologizes for the war or actions against Paradis. Magath only wishes his Good Eldians from the Mainland (i.e. – not those “island devils”) could grow up and have a normal life.
Shadis shares this sentiment, and cripples his nation in their defense of any incoming foreign attacks.
Commander Hanji Zoe
Commander Hanje sits on their hands for years on a solution to the global “Eldian problem”. Hanji then admits that Floch was right, but that they (Herself? The Survey Corps? Jean?) couldn’t accept their enemies – the entire world – being neutralized because Eren is bad, never consulted them, and also global genocide is bad, mmkay? Theirs is fine, though. Apparently.
Because what the Survey Corps is doing “might not work today, but someday” as the world has declared war on their tiny island.
Commander Hanji Zoe then volunteers to die the very next chapter because they decided the mess wasn’t worth dealing with anymore.
Let’s complain about Eren in the afterlife with Erwin Smith, amirite?
Erwin “by any means necessary” Smith telling Commander Hanji that she did a great job at committing treason and betraying her fellow countrymen.
Erwin’s father died because he tried to discover the truth of the walls. Erwin, the Commander of the Survey Corps who sacrificed countless troops to explore outside the walls and died due to complications of a suicide charge because he refused to back down. He refused to give up.
“Was there even any meaning in our being born? Would you say that of our fallen comrades? Their lives…were they meaningless? NO, THEY WEREN’T! It’s us who gives meaning to our comrade’s lives! The brave fallen! The anguished fallen! The ones who will remember them…are us, the living! We die trusting the living who follow to find meaning in our lives! That is the sole method in which we can rebel against this cruel world! My soldiers, rage! My soldiers, scream! My soldiers, fight!”Erwin Smith’s last words, before the suicide charge and his subsequent death. Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 16
That Erwin was complimenting Hanji on the treason.
(And this is coming from someone who really likes Hanji, mind you.)
Then there’s the cherry on top of this growing jumbled mess, big brain 15th Commander of the Survey Corps,
In PATHs, Armin shouted at Eren to “leave it all to him”, insinuating that he and his merry band of traitorous friends had a plan to deal with the world’s hatred. By the end of the chapter, we have Mr. Leonhart (not an Eldian, by the way) being referred to as “You Eldian Scum” by a Marleyan soldier while being held at gunpoint.
We have the surviving Eldians from Liberio packed into a cattle car cursing the “Island Devils” and the Warrior Program for their children not being with them.
But not Marley.
We see Marley dirigibles in the air attempting to bomb the wall titans from overhead. The train-car Eldians seem delighted that their oppressors are trying to murder the one trying to free them from their oppression.
And now I’m sitting there reading this chapter, feeling like a dumb ass because I truly thought the Liberio Mainland Eldians were going to Paradis to meet with their fellow brethren. But no, they’d rather cheer for their oppression yet again.
Indoctrination at its finest.
This, coupled with the heavy-handed jew-ish allegory of the Eldians being helpless and Eren somehow being ‘Hitler’ was enough for me to be disgusted and glad that the chapter was ending.
If these character changes and “plot twists” were set up a little better, I honestly would not have a problem with them. But, they are completely counterintuitive, forced, and done so to push a specific “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” non-violence narrative that was not present or prevalent in the story before.
Unless, this story was secretly being written by the 145th Fritz King as a cautionary tale to the Eldians, and not by Eren Yeager’s will as I thought.
What do you do when the whole world hates you and will not listen to your cries of peace? A talk no jutsu is not the answer here. I’m sure, if Armin tried that on the Marleyans or Mainland Eldians he’d get shot in the mouth. Again.
“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”Malcolm X
But, tell me your thoughts. I don’t even have any questions to pose this month except, how do you think the Shingeki no Kyojin manga is going thus far? Especially near its ending?
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 December 2020!
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