With the Attack on Titan anime on a hiatus for nearly a year, we’ve decided to continue reading the manga past where the TV show left off. One chapter at a time, we’ll be providing reviews and thoughts on these amazing chapters. Today we’re reviewing Attack on Titan’s manga Chapter 133, “Sinners.”
This article has spoilers only through Attack on Titan Chapter 133. This is a MANGA-focused article, so it has SPOILERS if you’ve only watched Attack on Titan through Season 4 Part 2.
After the last chapter’s heartbreaking farewell to Hange, this newest manga chapter was no less harrowing.
In fact, the chapter begins with a callback to Hange, when Armin tells Onyankopon, “We’re all counting on you” and puts his hand on his shoulder. It’s very similar to the scene with Hange and Onyankopon scene shortly after Willy Tybur’s declaration of war. Probably my only complaint about this chapter is that none of the characters actually talked about Hange’s death. They talked about killing the Jaegerists and the pain of that, but no one talked about Hange’s sacrifice.
As the chapter begins, our crew barely have enough fuel to reach Fort Salta, where they believe Eren is leading the Rumbling to take out the last airships that pose a threat to his dominance.
The initial planning discussion is fascinating. They refer to Eren’s new form as being like a “giant bug” and it’s not clear that he can be taken out through the nape of the neck like a traditional Titan. Armin might be able to blow him to bits by turning into Colossal, but he wants to use that as a last resort after they try to talk some sense into Eren.
Levi Can Only Think of the Monkey
Of course, one-track-mind Levi can only think of one thing: Monkey.
“Couldn’t we stop the Rumbling by just killing Zeke?” he asks, commenting that they still believe Eren is accessing the Founder’s power through Zeke. And the truth is, we don’t know at this point if he’s right or not. We know that Ymir willingly handed over her power to Eren in the Paths, but we don’t know if Eren still requires Zeke to access it. I’m going to guess “yes” to that question, otherwise why would he have taken Zeke with him in some form or fashion? (I’m still guessing Zeke is alive somewhere, based on that final scene when Eren was transforming and it looked like Titan-energy-wisps were enclosing Zeke in the process.)
So their plan is to try to talk to Eren, while Levi tries to find and kill Zeke (with help from some comrades since he’s still recovering.) I’m a lot more drawn to Levi’s story right now. I recently had a health issue that left me in recovery, relying on other people to help me with articles and such. I like Levi’s desire to still fight as best he can, and his quick acknowledgment that he will need help to reach his goals, but he’s still determined to reach them.
Most of the Team Sees Themselves as Just as Guilty as Reiner Now
Conny, meanwhile, is really struggling with killing the Jaegerists who were once his friends. I like that Isayama is showing us how hard this is for him. He sees Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie’s perspective so much more clearly now and feels like he’s not that different from them.
But Reiner won’t accept his sympathy. “My sins are beyond redemption,” he tells Conny, adding that even if they save humanity he still won’t forgive himself.
It’s interesting. This feels so similar to what King Fritz said via Frieda when confronted by Grisha. (I just rewatched that episode so it’s fresh on my mind.) Fritz wanted the Eldians to be persecuted endlessly and eventually die, without fighting back, because he believed their past sins were also beyond redemption.
Jean chimes in to say that he basically feels the same way, and that he and Reiner are the same. His words echo what Eren told Reiner back on the day of Willy Tybur’s declaration of war.
This leads Reiner to wonder if Eren secretly wants them to stop him. Is Eren on a path of destruction he can’t walk away from, just like Reiner was, but he wants his friends to stop him? Is that why they can still use the Titans’ power despite Eren having the Founder? Reiner says that if he was in Eren’s shoes, that’s how he would be feeling right now.
Personally, I think this is more a case of projection rather than revelation. Reiner’s had a history of not really understanding Eren and predicting his motivations wrong. I have a feeling this won’t be the case with Eren, and it’s simply Reiner projecting his own emotions onto a man that he’s struggled to understand. In fact, no one has truly understood Eren. Zeke certainly did not when he walked Eren through Grisha’s memories, despite thinking he had his little brother all figured out.
Eren Speaks to Them in the Paths Again
The scenes in the Paths are my favorite because they are the most mysterious and bring such a strong discordant feeling to the narrative. Everyone’s on the airship, having this intense conversation, and suddenly there’s Eren, pulling them into the Paths with him again.
Levi astutely realizes that Eren has likely been eavesdropping on them this whole time.
Armin quickly takes the opportunity to plead his case to Eren. He calls out to him, letting him know that if he stops now, Paradis won’t be attacked again for a long time. He’s bought them enough time to work out a peace accord. There’s no need to kill even more innocent people. And he absolves Eren of guilt, telling him that they are to blame for what Eren did, and he was only pushed in a corner. The others call out to Eren in agreement.
I can only imagine how impactful this scene is going to be in the anime.
The Ideology of Moving Forward
Eren’s foreboding words ring out chillingly. “I will not stop the Rumbling. I won’t leave the future of Paradis to fate. I will keep moving forward.”
It’s the same ideology Eren’s had for a long time. “Keeping Moving Forward.”
There was an interesting scene when Grisha confronted Frieda, where he told her that “generations” of Attack Titan hosts had seen the moment where the Royal Family was killed, and had been led to this moment. Sometimes I wonder if Eren is bound to his own ideology, just like all the Royal hosts of the Founding Titan were bound to King Fritz’s anti-war ideology. I point out a potential moment in a previous manga chapter where it even looks like Eren is “overcome” by the Attack Titan ideology, just like Frieda was overcome. But it’s very possible that ideological vow was simply from Eren’s future self, binding him and all previous hosts.
Eren’s not wanting to talk. He simply tells them that to “hold freedom in my own hands, I must take freedom from the rest of the world.”
It’s very similar to what he told Zeke as they walked through Grisha’s memories, when he said that he will take away someone else’s freedom in a second if it’s threatening his own.
However, he grants his friends a loophole that he won’t grant anyone else. He lets them keep their freedom. He will continue moving forward, and they have the freedom to try to stop him. But they’ll inevitably collide due to their “unbreakable convictions” that are at odds.
I’m still stuck on the idea that Eren is bound by some type of ideology, similar to how King Fritz and all those after him were bound by the anti-war ideology.
Child Eren is in the Paths next to Child Ymir (both around the ages where they were first turned into sentient Titans.) While Ymir’s eyes became unshaded when she handed power over to Eren, they are shaded again. And Child Eren’s eyes are shaded too. He says the only thing they can do is “FIGHT,” which takes me back to the scene where he was standing in front of the mirror when he was imprisoned, simply saying, “FIGHT” over and over. Or as a child when he told Mikasa to “Fight.”
Is the Attack Titan’s bounding ideology simply the concept of fighting?
Is this somehow bound to Ymir’s creation, when she was under the control of the Eldian King who made her do nothing but “FIGHT” their enemies over and over?
Eren says he’s really not interested in talking to them. He just wants them to know there’s no reason to talk, and they’ll have to kill him to stop him. I think it’s important to remember that time operates differently in the Paths. Eren could take YEARS to chat with his friends about what’s going on, like Zeke did with him, and have no time pass in the outside world. But he’s choosing not to do that.
That Scene with Annie & Falco Was Insane
I would actually expect the chapter to end here, except we suddenly get a scene on the ship, where Annie, Lady Azumabito, Falco and Gabbi are.
Lady Azumabito is feeling like she can never be redeemed, since she’s the one who brought Eren and Zeke together. There’s an interesting “irredeemable” theme running through this chapter.
Then we get a crazy info-dump of details about the Titans in this scene that I was absolutely not expecting.
Apparently, the Female Titan can “take in parts of the other Titans and manifest those Titans’ abilities.” It’s a power that theoretically all the Titans have, but it’s especially easy for the Female Titan to make use of it.
“The things they made me eat,” Annie comments.
(I’m going to guess this means her Titan was originally pretty plain, and then ate a part of the Beast Titan to give her the ability to call Titans to her like he can, and ate part of the Armor Titan to give her the hardening ability. Maybe part of the Warhammer Titan too, since that shell she encased herself in was very similar to the Warhammer’s shell…)
It’s weird to me though, since we know Eren got the hardening power by simply drinking an “armor” serum. But Annie had to eat actual body parts of the Titans?!
Falco reveals that because he was changed via Zeke’s spinal fluid, he’s picking up on some of the Beast Titan’s memories, including the memory that a previous host was able to fly like a bird. Since Falco has birdlike features already in his Titan form, he believes he’ll be able to use this ability himself.
Falco’s always been special, so this turn of events is unexpected and yet also expected. But why would they ask Annie about her ability first? I’m going to guess they’ll want her to try eating part of Falco so she can fly too.
How will any of that even be animated?! Or drawn in a panel?! I’m so curious.
The chapter ends with us seeing that the Warrior Titans’ parents are still alive. They all escaped and are heading to Fort Salta, hoping to find an airship they can flee the Rumbling in. They regret how they raised their children, and hope for one more chance. As the chapter ends, we see humanity’s “last” hope in the form of airships heading to meet Eren and the Rumbling in a face-to-face battle.