The new Shingeki no Kyojin is out folks, and its a doozy. Go read it.
For me, I continue to pull a Levi face every time politics comes up in this story. Within the first half-dozen pages we discover that there’s been a two month time-skip. Historia is queen only in name and that the SnK ‘verse is now wholly a hegemony. The nobles have been sent to prison camps that look grim and dismal. But, hey, we discovered lightbulbs and Historia is running an orphanage so we’re the good guys, right?
I think it’s very troubling and telling that Levi seems to have defaulted to, “Just issue the order, sir.” It’s like he’s gone deep and hard and has nothing but contempt for the world they’re creating, but he’s a soldier so, f*ck it, just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.
This is Levi, people.
Everyone has gone into this mode, it seems. Even Jean. In a previous scene the newest recruits are super-happy because Hange has discovered a new way to kill Titans and they’re convinced they have it in the bag, and Jean is unimpressed. When they call him out for the hard look in his eye, he goes silent, but my first thoughts were, “Tell ’em, Jean, tell them that you know we’re killing people. Tell ’em, we’ve ALWAYS been killing people.”
And, to my great surprise, the mangaka goes there. He reminds us of Connie’s mom and actually makes it explicit that this is now a known fact. He even reminds us of how Ymir talked about “wandering in a nightmare” before she gained the ability to shift.
Something in this discussion gives Eren one of his flashes of repressed memories. I have to admit, I looked at that scene for a long time and still had no idea what it was that he remembered. It has something to do with the head instructor, the one who head butted potato girl, Sasha. A friend of mine theorized that somehow that guy is the sole remaining surviving witness of the incident at the church with the royal family and the ritual cannibalism that went wrong when Eren’s dad tried to steal their memories or superpowers or whatever the heck.
He might be the one who is going to reveal what we seemed to have learned at the very end. That the intelligent speaking-ape Titan might be Eren’s dad.
Here’s where the quality of the art gets in the way, because, frankly, I’m NOT a hundred percent sure that was who came out of the ape Titan at the end. The glasses seem to be a clue, as is the fact that we spent a good long portion of this chapter staring at the needle that looks a lot like the one from Eren’s memories that was recovered at the church.
Also, yay, that I got to see my babies Reiner and Bertholdt! Boo, that I’m seriously beginning to think they may be brothers–royal brothers.
Now, this is MangaPanda, so I’m not 100% behind their translations, but the ape does seem to be referring to Berholdt’s attempt to save Reiner here, and there’s that pesky “ani,” which would make Reiner the big brother.
So bets are on that these two are royal heirs.
I guess we’ll see what happens in August.
Though I am deeply unhappy with the politics of this New Reich, er, new Hegemony, I have to say that I’m happy to see Levi pulling the faces he is (I’m not sure he looked any of the commanders in the eye, except to tell Erwin to order him to do a thing). It gives me hope that the mangaka isn’t as sold in this vision as I was afraid they were. I’m glad that Eren has learned to get “hard,” (despite the fact that my inner 15 year old boy continues to snicker any time this “ability” is mentioned.) And, I’m super-enthused that we seem to be returning to the mystery of Eren’s basement and what the heck are the shifters/what the hell are they up to?
Generally, though I have been strongly thumbs down with a lot of these chapters, this one gets a cautious thumbs up.