The Attack on Titan manga returned this month with an incredibly interesting chapter especially in predominately three areas, these are, Reiner’s character and his mental health, the supposed death of Ymir and the continued attempt by Isayama, to focus on the characters surrounding Marley and perspective of the story. All these element really created a compelling and intriguing chapter.
I believe the most interesting of all the elements listed above in the heavy focus on the Marley perspective of the war, in the previous few chapters. This is incredibly interesting because we may never again see our protagonist from the first 90 or so chapters as protagonists. It may be unlikely, but it’s not impossible, for Isayama to only focus on our new characters for the remainder of the series and even portray the former protagonists as the antagonists for the rest of the series. This would be astoundingly unheard of, and would be super, awesome and unique to witness. This would also provide a realistic portrayal of war. All this could all build up to possible epic finale, with both sides taking major casualties and the audience losing only likeable characters from both sides instead of all the villains from the ‘evil side’. In these latest few chapters they really haven’t portrayed Reiner or Zeke as villainous but rather pretty relatable which could lead some credence to this theory. But this theory would also possibly leave some fans unsatisfied because the first 90 chapters would somewhat feel like a waste of time.
Talking about our friends on Paradise Island; I would like to clarify the information we have been told about them in the previous two chapter. This includes everything that has happened in the years it’s been since they reached the ocean. We have been told that war ships have been sent to Paradise Island and seemingly been destroyed by both Eren and Armin. This means at least the Scouts know definitively that Marley and everything Geisha wrote about is verifiable. I think a very likely possibility is that they have captured some soldiers and are torturing information out of them. This means the Survey Corps may have control of the entirety of the Island and it could be ‘titan free,’ because they would stop incoming Marley reinforcements. Have they already taken action and have spies amongst the Marlians at this point, have the made any previous attempts to infiltrate the outside world? Do they have alliances with any other nations in the world? What does the total population of Paradise Island know about the titans and Marley? In the political arc Isayama established a heathy relationship between the media and the Scouts, so what information has been shared? All these questions would seemingly go unanswered if Isayama decides not to proceed with the characters from Paradise Island however…
Another intriguing element of this chapter was Reiner’s actions and his mental health situation. The Marley brainwashing techniques must be exceeding good because Reiner is fully brainwashed. He really has no distinguishable motivation to want to fight the forces of Paradise Island besides the fact that they killed Bertolt, which was only in response of their stupidity. But in his and Annie’s future I can see a redemption storyline and them both fighting alongside Eren and Armin. The final element in this chapter was the fact that Ymir may or may not have been consumed and die. This is another perfectly interwoven plotline with the anime. The anime recently reminded all manga reader why they should care about Ymir and now we may be getting the resolution of her storyline. I guarantee that this isn’t the last we have seen of Ymir, either she isn’t dead or we’ll see her death in a flashback.
The only negative with this chapter was the overdose of expository dialogue mainly derived from the Admiral we were introduced to in the chapter. Besides that, this chapter was very intriguing and overall this chapter gets a 7. I’m waiting with anticipation for next month’s chapter to see which storyline we will be following and to find any indication of where the series is headed next.