Go Read Shingeki no Kyojin #64 before proceeding, thank you…
Done? Are you ready to, as Levi says, “Get your hands dirty?”
All righty, then.
I have to admit I’ve been a complainer when it comes to the most recent chapters of Shingeki no Kyojin. I’ve been part of the camp that has been very frustrated with the seemingly un-ending (and deeply disturbing) political machinations that Erwin and (the trading company?)/whomever have been up to.
I missed Titans; I craved action.
Well, we finally got it.
The chapter opens with the remains of Levi’s rag-tag Scouting Squad arriving at the church where Eren is being held in bondage. I have to say that it is immediately apparent that Levi + Hange (+Armin) = better strategy and battle plans than anything Commander Eyebrows has ever attempted. Because it looks like our heroes are going to get routed by this utterly fascinating Home Guard commander, who both physically and intellectually reminds me of Annie Leonhart, which is to say: smartly hot (look, I have a weakness for smart, physically capable women, so sue me!):
What I find particularly admirable about this commander is that, not only is she smart and kick-ass, but I think she’s right. As she’s making the ‘into the breech’ speech to her subordinates, she says, “… The central M.P. headquarters and the royal government have both been taken over. It’s a tough situation. In this narrow world, the days that await us are worst than death…” (emphasis mine, MangaStream translation, pg. 8).
Frankly, Erwin has, IMHO, made a sh*t of a start as world leader by allowing that noble to be tortured (see previous chapter) in such a heinous and degrading way. In particular, the idea that he allows it is one thing, but the idea that he would condone parading this person in the street in that condition (presumably the only point of that is to scare the populace into obedience) is whole other….
This new commander is loyal to Kenny. I have to admit that I’d lost track that Kenny is the guy I’ve mentally tagged as “that Ackerman serial-killer guy.” So, you know, these folks can’t possibly be entirely blameless and pure, either.
At any rate, Levi and company make their move. As I said, they’re actually prepared for what awaits them and what follows is possibly one of the best battle scenes we’ve seen from Hajime Isayama in a long time.
And, true to his usual dark, uncompromising vision of war as hell, Hange is injured. Because this is SnK, I’m actually quite worried. Frankly, if they loose Zoe Hange, the team is well and truly screwed.
After this, we flash to bondage-Erin and Historia, where we get some more Titan/royal family lore. It seems that the royal family might be the very first shifters, as king-guy tells us that this underground cavern was made by Titans (like, we discovered and is alluded to, the walls around the cities). The cavern is the location of a generations old ritual in which a person who holds all the secrets, the ‘book,’ is devoured in order to preserve the secret knowledge of… the origin of Titans? The royal family? Shifters? We don’t know, because, as the king tells us, no one who has swallowed the truth, as it were, has decided NEVER to tell us. The king give Eren a hard look and says that it’s Historia’s duty to take the injection, shift, and eat Eren because Eren’s father STOLE the knowledge/secrets/truth when he ate the royal family. (Apparently, if Eren’s dad’s plan was to gain the knowledge it didn’t work, because only those with royal blood can “read” this information stored inside them.)
Just when it looks like Historia is going to go for it, serial-killer Ackerman (aka “Kenny”) drops down from the ceiling like a spider and says,
Which makes me think that 1) Kenny is a shifter, and 2) perhaps this military police team that has been following Kenny’s plans/orders are actually allied with Annie, Bertholdt, Reiner and the rest of the shifters.
This would also mean, quite ironically, that the humanity’s greatest Titan slayer, was trained and raised by a shifter.
All of which, in my personal opinion would be F**KING AWESOME.