Saturday, May 7, 2016

Attack on Titan, vol. 11 review

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Attack on Titan, vol. 11, Hajime Isayama. Grade: B
Toothy and Armor fight for a while, as Gatekicker half-forms and uses his ribs to anchor himself to the top of the wall to face the soldiers there. The regiment members think that Gatekicker is slow, easy prey, but he emits billows of steam that threaten to cook anyone that gets close. Meanwhile, Eren has to resort to using Annie's martial arts moves to trap Armor and break his bones the slow way. The battle seems to be fairly even, until Gatekicker launches himself from the wall and lands on top of Toothy and Armor in a huge explosion of steam. The scene changes to the city, where Commander Pixis has gotten himself drunk. His assistant is trying to get him to act more rationally when a messenger arrives to announce the existence of three more rogue giants in the ranks of the 104th, although it's too late to do anything about it now.

(Gatekicker kicks a lot more than just gates.)

At the wall, Mikasa regains consciousness and demands that Armin tell her what happened to Eren. The boy states that after the blast, Bertolt exited Gatekicker, carrying Ymir, and Armor ripped Eren loose from Toothy with his teeth. Armor swallowed Eren, Bertolt took a jetpack from one of the soldiers, and then Armor walked away with Bertolt attached to his shoulder. No one could do anything to stop them, and most of the people at the top of the wall are still disabled with severe burns. That was 5 hours ago. Mikasa slips into despair at not having Eren at her side, wrapping herself up in the muffler Eren had given to her so many years ago. Then Hannes comes up with rations and water, but the other two aren't hungry. He talks about how Eren was always such a punk hothead as a kid, and how, if these two are his friends, they should be working to get him back. This fires them up and they wolf down the tasteless food.

(Toothy tries to fight Armor.)

Christa, Connie and Jean decide that they want to help, to get answers for themselves, too. Hange recovers enough to voice his suspicions - that Reiner and Bertolt would go to the monster den forest (where Annie had been trapped) to wait for nightfall. That's where the regiment should go now. At the forest, Eren wakes up on a branch halfway up a tree, surrounded by waiting wild giants, with Ymir next to him and Reiner and Bertolt on branches on a different tree. Those two are wearing jetpack harnesses. Eren is missing both arms, and Ymir only has one arm and one leg. If Eren acts too hastily, he'll fall and be eaten.

(All Mikasa needs to be happy is to have Eren at her side.)

Reiner tells them that he hamstrung them to get them to settle down, since their bodies will be busy regenerating. There's a little bit of insulting and guilt-tripping from both sides, but neither really says anything the other wants to hear. Ymir doesn't mention having attacked Reiner and Bertolt's family some years earlier. Eren gets angry, remembering when he'd told the other two about the Gatekicker being responsible for his mother's death, asking how they'd felt then. Bertolt answers that it made him sad, so Eren yells that they're not fighters or soldiers, they're simple mass murders. Which Reiner already accepts. Ymir asks what the plans are for them, and Reiner answers that they'll wait for dark and then take Eren to their "birthplace". The wild giants here aren't like the ones at the castle, because these ones need to sleep when it gets dark.

(Eren prepares to call Reiner and Bertolt "murderers".)

Ymir then tells Eren that she can comment on R&B's origins, asking them about the simian rogue. Reiner acts ignorant, so Ymir describes how excited they'd acted when they saw the simian near the castle. She adds something about how it was turning people in the villages into giants, and Reiner interrupts her. He knows that protecting Christa is her only reason for living, and he wonders which she'll place more importance on - ensuring Christa's future well-being, or giving away information to Eren. The boy demands to know what "simian rogue" she's talking about and she replies "eh, meh."

Summary: This is the first real point where we get to see the battle lines drawn up, with both teams clearly on opposite sides, but we still don't have clear motivations for why R&B have sided with the giants, or what it is that the giants want. The simian rogue is the main wildcard here, and it seems to be able to turn humans into human-eating monsters, but beyond that we don't know how it's doing it, or if it has friends. We should eventually be getting more information on what Eren's father did to create Toothy, and how Christa and her family fit into this Carnage.

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