Attack on Titan #86 – The former Scouts now have to accept that there is no way out of this but by a pitched battle against their old friends. Even the kids have to fight again. And the worst part is that even winning won’t be enough.
Just when it looks like they have a chance to stop the Rumbling, the news comes that technology is not magic and the flying boat needs some work before it is fit to fly. Our heroes can still save most of the world— but not Liberio, not the place where some of them grew up and others learned that their enemies were humans like any others.
At this point, Attack on Titan, which started out looking like any generic shōnen action-adventure, has turned all the way around to repudate the shōnen ethos. The key virtues of shōnen are friendship and self-improvement. Eren has taken those to level 9000, turning into a monster to destroy the entire rest of the world to keep his friends safe. Those left to oppose him now have to accept that they cannot save most of their friends. If they’re going to keep fighting, it will be to save only strangers. And that, the story now suggests, is the real heroism.
Magath won’t be among them, having chosen to take on a suicide mission. It’s a funny sort of last scene he gets, two of the big generals from opposing sides finally getting to say hello while hiding in the magazine of a ship to sabotage it. Magath gets a chance to say what was he was clearly thinking the previous night around the campfire: that he’s come to realize how much damage he’s done by training child soldiers for Marley. It’s hardly a full redemption, but we’re not being asked to forgive him, just to observe that he does go out on the side of good and the hope for peace.
Miss Kuroitsu From the Monster Development Department #10 – Tōka finally gets the inspiration and the budget to build a monster that can hold her own against Blader, only to lose control of the fight in her moment of triumph as the monster wants to be a pop idol instead.
What follows is less a satire of idol tropes and more a gentle retelling of them. It is required that the would-be idol be willing to give it her all even when the odds look hopeless, that she charm bystanders into doing things they never normally would to help (for instance, getting Wolf on her side by appealing to him like the teenage boy that he really is), and that she ultimately succeed through hard work and sheer force of will.
Not that Miss Kuroitsu is above twisting things a little. I suppose the identity of the “golden boy” was predictable in retrospect, but it’s maybe the biggest laugh of the episode.
Sabikui Bisco #11 – Bisco and Milo must have travelled directly from Imihama to their goal after all, because Kurokawa-Tetsujin, heading straight home, goes right past all the landmarks they passed on the way up there, including the camp of the Jawa-like traders and the kids’ town built on another Tetsujin. By a startling coincidence, revisiting all the major locations since Imihama provides just enough material to help stretch things out until the big moment of the episode drops right at the Imihama gate.
So, yup, Bisco is back. Yup, I’m disappointed. I can still recommend this as a fun show, but not as great a one as I thought it might be for a while. All I can say now is that there had better be an internally consistent explanation for how both Kurokawa and Bisco didn’t die in the pond full of Rust, how Bisco got reconstituted, and what the deal is with that glowing arm.
Ranking of Kings #22 – With a little teamwork, the demon is brought down and seriously wounded, putting it in a position where it can be bargained with. While this seems like the moment to release Ouken from his curse, Daida instead demands that Miranjo be released… to become his wife.
With Miranjo clearly having been in love with Bosse, who was practically her stepfather, the age-gap and near-relative bridges have already been crossed. But a new complication here is that Daida is a literal child, as far as I can tell, maybe 14 at the most. This sort of excuses him taking a very bad idea and convincing himself it’s a good one, but not so much the story trying to sell this as a wholesome ending. I only hope Hiling intervenes once she’s recovered from the shocks of the day.
Despa is suddenly remarkably untroubled about leaving his younger brother as a ball of suffering goo locked in a prison of rock, but that shortly turns out to be because the story now needs Desha to take the only avenue left for helping Ouken. He will finally accept the #1 ranking and see what’s in the treasure vault, despite the ranker’s increasingly ominous comments about the purpose of the ranking.
I have to admit this show is not going well at this point, but it has the chance for one last good surprise when we find out what the business of kings going mad or disappearing once they reach #1 is all about.
Tokyo 24th Ward had a recap episode this week, but hopefully will be back next time.