Saturday, April 9, 2016

Attack on Titan, vol. 3 review

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Attack on Titan, vol. 3, Hajime Isayama. Grade: B
We get the introduction of the Survey team (AKA: Scout Regiment), led by pragmatist Erwin Smith, and assisted by the talented Special Operations Squad leader, Levi. While there are several other supporting characters that become important for a while, only the insane scientist and giant researcher Zoe Hange makes it through to the later volumes. In vol. 3, we learn that Levi is probably the best fighter the humans have on their side right now. The scene switches to Eren's being swallowed by the bearded giant, and finding himself in a pool of digestive juices with other fighters that aren't all dead yet. While cursing his fate, he suddenly turns into the toothy-grin monster and explodes out of his captor. He kills a few giants, and discovers that he enjoys it. Unfortunately, as he says he wants to keep killing stuff, he wakes up, surrounded by other soldiers who think he was referring to them. Only Armin and Mikasa are willing to protect him from their attackers.

(A diagram of the city wall system, and the fact that the first wall has been breached and that part of the city taken over by giants.)

The squad leader doesn't believe him when he says he's on their side, and orders a cannon attack to eliminate all three of them. It doesn't help that as a giant he'd regrown his missing arm and leg. Just before the leader yells "fire," Eren sees a key dangling from his own neck and has a flashback to when he'd last seen his father 5 years before. Grisha had injected him with something, saying that it would wipe his memories, but that when he needs to, to return to the house and use the key to open a door to the basement, where all his questions would be answered. He subconsciously realizes that biting his hand to draw blood is the trigger to his becoming a giant. He does this, and forms into enough of a giant to stop the incoming cannon ball. The smoke from the still-hot husk prevents the other humans from seeing what's going on.

(Eren pays an arm and a leg to visit the stomach of a giant.)

Eren is pulled from the husk, and is too weak to try becoming a giant again so soon (he's developing a bad nosebleed). Armin is starting to panic, and remembers all the times Eren and Mikasa had protected him from bullies, and he comes into his own as a fast-on-his-feet strategic thinker. He stalls the squad leader until the Commanding Officer, Dot Pixis arrives and saves the trio. Dot sees Eren as a weapon to be used on the side of the humans, and gets everyone to calm down enough to set up a new mission - to get Eren into giant-controlled territory so that he can turn into Toothy, also referred to as the "rogue titan," and use one of the bigger boulders in the area to plug the hole in the outer wall the wild giants are coming through. The plan seems to be going fine up to the point that Eren bites his hand to trigger the giant transformation.

(The other human troops are dismayed to see Eren turn into half a giant.)

After that, he starts attacking Mikasa for no reason. He accidentally punches himself in the face and blows off the top of his own head. His body collapses and starts regenerating. The squad leader wants to signal the mission a failure, but Pixis remains optimistic. The main problem at the moment is that rogue giants are a preferred food source by the wild giants and they come into the town ruins to eat Eren. Mikasa fends them off as Armin rams his sword into the back of Toothy's neck, piecing Eren's arm, in an attempt make Eren straighten out. At the moment, the boy is dreaming he's back home with both of his parents, who are still alive now. Eren has no interest in leaving the dream before the wild giants kill him.

Summary: Not much to add here. Carnage, carnage, carnage.

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