Attack on Titan #82 – Problems continue to multiply as the remaining Survey Corps members struggle to hold it together. Now the Jaegerists are starting to execute anyone who won’t declare their full loyalty to the new cause. Now Conny is getting closer and closer to feeding Falco to his mom. And now Eren’s undoing of all the hardening everywhere has brought an old enemy back into the picture.
Annie Leonhart, once Eren, Mikasa, and Armin’s comrade in the Survey Corps, the first Marleyan infiltrator to reveal herself as a Titan, retreated years ago into a hardened shell where she has been hibernating ever since. Now Eren has inadvertently freed her, she can get her revenge on those who defeated her. Except for two things: she’s hardly in any shape to fight, and she’s been thinking things over. Much like Gabi, she’s come to the conclusion that her real enemy is the society that brainwashed her to be a disposable weapon.
So in amongst the spreading war, there is also the spreading possibility of peace. Annie just wants to escape now, Armin and Gabi are going to at least try to save Falco, and Hange and Levi have seemingly returned from the dead. Even though Armin says he can’t figure it all out anymore, help is on the way.
Miss Kuroitsu From the Monster Development Department #6 – With Valentine’s Day coming up, Tōka decides she wants to try building a special limited-time monster themed to the holiday. And that works out about as well as timing this episode to Valentine’s Day did. (Remember that this show had to skip a week, so this would have premiered just before Valentine’s Day, but schedules slipped, and so this episode winds up illustrating the point better than intended.)
Valentine’s Day in Japan is exclusively for women to give chocolate to men they actually like (hommei choco) as well as men they feel obligated to give it to, like co-workers and friends (giri choco). That’s why it’s only the female-presenting members of the department who get dragged off to Chocolate Boot Camp. Men are expected to reciprocate on White Day, which falls on March 14. So maybe next month we’ll see a reply from Blader about that pile of chocolate.
The back half of this episode gives us another look at Dr. Hōen’s horrible company and a couple more of her creations. There are good concepts there, but Hydra’s “big sisters” are just too strong for one of them and the other commits a fatal mistake by misgendering Wolf. I’m glad to see that that is a fatal mistake.
Sabikui Bisco #7 – The pipe worm is defeated, but at the cost of Actagawa’s arm and further injuries to Bisco. Worse, the mushrooms growing on it don’t seem to be anything special until Milo applies something that’s been bugging him about the legend of the first Rust Eater.
Luckily, it turns out not to require a Mushroom Keeper corpse to activate, just a bit of blood. But it does establish for sure that there is something unique about the Keepers (as if it wasn’t already suggested by Bisco’s ridiculous strength and endurance). Is it something genetic, or something acquired by training or from the environment they live in? It at least explains the title, which means “Bisco the Rust Eater”. He’s the special thing they need to start curing Rust.
There also seems to be a general theme of symbiosis here. When Milo found the entry about the Rust Eater in the wildlife guide, Bisco asked what animal it was paired with. There could be a similar symbiosis occurring with the Mushroom Keepers themselves.
And now Bisco and Milo are ready to throw away all their efforts by attacking each other over who’s going to go rescue Pawoo and Jabi from Kurokawa. I’ll chalk this up to the heroes being teenagers but that still was frustrating to watch.
Ranking of Kings #18 – Once upon a time, the land of Houma was the first to figure out magic and use it to fight a war against the gods themselves. Needing allies, they benevolently invaded their neighbors in Gyakuza, completely replaced the native culture, and pulled them into the war. And yet the Gyakuzans were so rude as to switch sides and murder the Houman envoy.
I sure hope this story is going to be revisited with different eyes, the way nearly every character in this story has been shown to have more depth to their experiences and motivations than first appeared. Miranjo being mutilated as a child was definitely an evil thing, but I hope the larger story of Gyakuza has more to it than “some peoples are just inherently ungrateful and nasty”. I also have doubts about Miranjo’s mother taking Bosse in as a replacement for the man he killed purely out of the goodness of her heart, as opposed to following an established custom.
As for the gods, why do their elite soldiers look like Greys? Stylistic choice, or another sign that this isn’t really fantasy?