This review contains spoilers for the Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 129. If you haven’t read the chapter yet, you can read it on Kodansha’s official website or Crunchyroll!
The last we saw Eren in Attack on Titan manga was when he caused the rumbling and marched out with the Colossal Titans. It is not customary for a manga to have its protagonist (or current antagonist) to be missing for so long. But this is Attack on Titan we are talking about, and the plot is still engaging enough to keep you on the edge of your seats.
For a second you would have thought that the newly formed alliance’s final chance at making it out of Paradis Island was going down the drain, when Floch aimed straight for the ship with Annie and Reiner paralysed in their Titan forms. However, Gabi turned out to be the saviour this time as she took him out with a single hit. That’s a great redemption arc right there. But can fans forgive her already for killing our beloved glutton? That needs to be seen.
This is followed by Theo Magath and Keith Shadis sacrificing their lives to blow up the stolen Marleyan ship on the port and stopping the Yeagerists from chasing and catching up to the Azumabito and the alliance members. Shadis’ character arc came full circle in this scene, as he graduated from being a mere bystander (his regret since the time he knew Grisha Yeager) to a hero who had a say in saving the world.
The small heart to heart chat between the two at the end was perfect and made us shed a tear for both of them. That’s just two men realizing they are dying to do a right thing after a life full of mistakes and regrets. Scared shitless, but still brave enough to do what needed to be done.
But, all these sacrifices and bloodshed won’t be of any use if Hange and company are not able to reach Eren quickly. Delay too much and the Colossal Titans would trample over the entire continent on which the Marleyan Empire sits.
Mikasa, Armin, Hange, Levi, Reiner, Annie, Pieck, Gabi, Connie, Jean, Falco and the others who are a part of the new alliance, had come up with a plan in the previous chapter of Attack on Titan, hoping that it would allow them to go after Eren with the least possible bloodshed. However, the Yeagerists faction (Floch, rather) caught on to their plans and attacked them, leaving the alliance with no choice but to fight back.
And so a full fledged fight broke out at the port, with Annie and Reiner turning into their respective Titans to take down the Yeagerists. But the alliance’s hopes of reaching Eren on time using the flying boat hits a roadblock when the engineers say that it would take more than half a day to get it up and running.
As the alliance continued to run a race against time, Kiyomi Azumabito suggests that they take the ship to a hangar owned by the Azumabito in the coastal Marley city of Odiha, so that they could carry out the maintenance of the flying boat there. Once the maintenance is done, they could fly from Odiha and locate Eren before it’s too late. It’s certainly a gamble, considering they don’t have much time before the Colossal Titans reach there, but Hange decides to go for it anyway.
Comparing Hange with Erwin seems pointless at this moment. But we bet she took a leaf out of the previous commander’s book when she had to make the decision. The situations are vastly different from those during Erwin’s time. This is not a quest for knowledge, it’s a mission to save the whole of humanity and the role of a commander is lot more complex and tiring than before. But still, that look on Hange’s face tells a different story altogether. She is tired and battered, but she is taking it all in her stride. The gamble, the risks, the lives, the whole mission. Go commander Hange!! We are with you!!
While the Yeagerists were distracted by the Titans, Mikasa, Hange and Magath sneak out with the Azumabito. However, seeing the Azumabito service crew fleeing towards the ship, Floch and Yeagerists turn their attention towards them, firing the thunderspears and their rifles to eliminate them. Annie and Reiner shield them successfully from the onslaught and almost lose their lives, until Connie flies in to take down their attackers. Mikasa and Hange were distracted by the incoming reinforcements for the Yeagerists, but the train which was carrying them got destroyed by Shadis, which allowed them to focus their attention on the situation at hand. It’s sad to see how Shadis will remain an unsung hero, or just a bystander for others in the story. They probably will never know the sacrifice he made to keep their hopes of a better future alive.
Pieck then enters the fray with her Cart Titan, to cover for Annie and Reiner, who were no longer able to fight.
In his desperation to stop the Azumabito and the others from escaping and finding Eren, Floch orders an all out assault. Realizing that his team is in trouble, Falco selflessly joins the fight with his Jaw Titan, transforming for the first time. The Jaw Titan’s entry puts the Yeagerist in disarray and seeing a clear opening, Mikasa and the others land a decisive blow on them. But, Floch somehow manages to get away from the chaos and he would have destroyed the ship with his thunderspear, if not for Gabi’s timely intervention.
It is interesting to note how the tables have turned. Five years back, the Titans would have given the Eldian military a hard time. But now, armed with thunderspears and years of combat experience, the corps had become a force to reckon with. They were able to take down Reiner and Annie’s Titans without suffering much losses. One could side with the Titans, arguing they had the difficult job of protecting the Azumabito. If they had battled freely, they could have caused more damage to the Yeagerists, like Falco’s Jaw Titan did.
Falco’s Jaw Titan had a cool look with the talons and beaks and feather (scales?). It was almost as if a dragon without wings had dropped out of the sky!
Annie did pretty well in the fight, considering that this was the first time she ever went up against the spears. But from her vulnerable expressions, Annie still looks like a frightened child, forced into a situation she doesn’t want to be in. And ofcourse, once again, Reiner almost ended up dying in a battle. With all these near misses, it kinda feels that he won’t die anytime soon! We lost count of the times he has put his life on the line for his teammates. Reiner is a born leader. Also, we loved all the Annie and Mikasa moments from the chapter!
Finally, the Azumabito are able to get the ship ready docked with the flying boat, and as their students sailed towards Odiha in hopes of buying a new future, the two teachers bravely laid down their lives, believing in them. We hope their sacrifices don’t go to waste.
The plan was to avoid bloodshed, but in the end a lot of Yeagerists died. The alliance can’t consider this to be a satisfying victory over their enemies because in the end, their opponents too were just scared soldiers looking to protect their family and country. Floch’s views about the world coming back to haunt Marley if Eren is stopped is relatable and true. If enemies aren’t wiped out completely, they will return soon with their weapons and armor to sink Paradis.
It’s hard to choose a side in this fight and even harder to guess what the outcome would be. With the next chapter slated to be the last in this volume, we hope that we get a glimpse of what is happening with Eren and all the Colossal Titans. Maybe Hange and team will pass them on their way to Odiha, wave a jolly good hi to the Titans in the wall that kept them safe for over a century.
What are your thoughts on Attack on Titan Chapter 129? Do you think the alliance will be able to stop Eren? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!