Friday, May 13, 2016

Attack on Titan, vol. 12 review

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Attack on Titan, vol. 12, Hajime Isayama. Grade: B
Ymir is almost fully healed, while Eren is still missing both forearms. There's one hour left to sundown, and Eren figures that his only option is to bide his time and collect information. Reiner and Bertolt wonder whether they can turn Ymir, since they're pretty sure she's the one that ate their friend, Marcel. Reiner mentions that keeping Ymir around will be useful, given the information Annie had overheard when a couple Wall priests had talked about how important it was for them to get their hands on Christa. Something almost as important as finding "zahyou" is to them, which ties them to Eren ("zahou" translates to "coordinate", which is the first time I think it's used in the manga). The thought is that having Christa with them will make finding Coordinate easier. They look forward to all this work ending and being able to go back home. Reiner makes a joke about how Bertolt had been eying Annie, then they see the smoke signals from the approaching Survey team. Reiner switches up his plans, and tries to get Eren to leave with him right away. Eren attacks him, and Reiner puts the boy into a sleeper hold until he falls unconscious. Bertolt asks Ymir if she remembers eating anyone when transformed into a rogue, and she says "no". Which holds true for him and Reiner, too. She apologizes for eating their friend, anyway. They talk about human eating, and the fact that Eren doesn't seem to remember doing it. Ymir makes a comment indicating that maybe she'd been a giant for 60 years.

(As Eren falls unconscious, Ymir says that it had felt like she'd been in a 60-year-long bad dream.)

Eren is strapped to Reiner's back, while Ymir hangs on to Bertolt. Ymir senses Christa approaching, and forces Bertolt to drop her off at a tree. She changes to the troll rogue and waits until the Survey team reaches her. Then she swallows up Christa and races to catch up with Reiner. The three rogues reach the far end of the forest. Reiner turns into the armor rogue and Bertolt and Ymir ride on his back as he tries running across the open plains. The Survey team gets back on their horses and give chase. Troll takes Mikasa from her mouth and Ymir separates enough to try to talk Christa into joining them (Ymir calls her "Historia"). Christa eventually concedes, but Mikasa catches up to them and starts slashing Troll with her swords, and Christa yells at her to stop. Eren recovers, finds himself strapped to Bertolt, and protected behind Armor's hardened hands. Eren tries to kick himself free, but just manages to panic Bertolt. Jean and Connie land on Armor's shoulders and demand answers from their former comrades. Bertolt confesses to killing humans, adding that he had no choice given the course he and Reiner are on. Hannes yells at the team to return to their horses because Erwin has managed to collect all the wild giants and get them to chase after him head-on towards Armor.

(Ymir: "Christa, you look so sweet, I could just gobble you all up.")

Armor gets covered in wild giants. Troll kills some of them, and one keep running towards Erwin, catching him in its teeth and shearing his right arm off. Armin gets close to Bertolt, and asks if they really want to abandon Annie, trapped in her shell in the basement of some building. Bertolt calls him a devil for tempting him like this, but it's a stalling tactic that allows Erwin to rush in and slash Bertolt in the chest with his sword. The slash also severs the harness holding Eren to Bertolt's back, and the boy falls free and is grabbed by Mikasa. Connie grabs Christa, causing Troll to chase after him. Connie doesn't get far, because Armor is grabbing and throwing wild giants at them like missiles.

(Erwin leads his charge of giants against Armor.)

One flying giant hits Mikasa's horse, smashing her and Eren to the ground. They look up and see the towering smiling giant that had killed their mother 5 years earlier. Hannes sees it too, and rushes forward in an attempt to seek revenge for his previous humiliation. It quickly bites him in two. Hannes dies. The rest of the battle is going crazy as well, and Eren is frustrated at still being unable to protect people. Mikasa gets teary-eyed, thanking him for saving her and giving her his scarf. That's not good enough for him, and he punches Smiley in a rage. The result is an electric crackling that Reiner, Bertolt and Ymir all feel, followed by all of the other wild giants turning around and attacking Smiley. They tear him to pieces, so Eren picks up Mikasa (whose legs had been injured in the fall) and he runs to safety.

(Eren activates the power of Coordinate to kill the smiling giant that had eaten his mother.)

Armor tries to get to Eren, as Reiner thinks to himself that after finally having found Coordinate, that it would be in the possession of the worst possible choice. He's got to get it from Eren if at all possible. But the boy yells at him to stay away, triggering Coordinate again and sending the wild giants after Armor. The Survey team uses the chaos to run back to the safety of the city walls. Bertolt is still in human form and he pleads with Armor to save him. Ymir has to pick a side - go with Christa or stay and help save Bertolt and Reiner. She puts Christa on the ground, apologizes, and lopes away to tear up wild giants. Time passes, and Reiner, Bertolt and Ymir find themselves at the top of Wall Sheena, surrounded by the ruins of the city there. They're all exhausted, and Reiner thanks Ymir for saving them, but they want to know why she sided with them. Basically, she says that all three of them are alike, they're the only ones that know their secret (regarding having eaten humans), and there's nowhere else to turn.

Summary: We're getting a little closer to getting answers (well, maybe not that much closer). Reiner and Bertolt have been looking for Coordinate, which is in Eren's possession even if he doesn't know it, and that Coordinate gives the user power over wild giants. There's a hint that eating a human is part of the process for turning into a rogue giant, and that this is something Eren has done, too. Erwin is in bad shape, having lost his arm and a lot of blood. Christa is shaken by Ymir's decision to stay with the enemy rather than with her. Ymir still believes that Christa has a better future waiting for her outside of the city walls. Mikasa can't walk right now, and Eren is getting more messed up seeing people dying around him for his sake. It's just that there's just so much Carnage.

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