[Warning: Contains spoilers.]
The Biplane Has Landed
Finally we find out where Zeke is! Historia is about to give birth. Hizuru is being stampeded upon. Countless people are dying, including newborn babies. Horror and mayhem, death and destruction everywhere. The Marleyan military is sorry for its sins, but alas, the repentance might just be too late.
Let’s have a closer look:
Zeke On the Mast
Like a prisoner tied to the mast of a ship, we finally find out where Zeke is. Dangling from one of the spines of Eren’s composite titan, it seems he’s being manipulated in aiding his younger brother. Zeke, who wanted to solve the problems of the world by exterminating his own race, is seen throwing rocks at his former employer and decimating its air fleet.
I can’t help but think about the name Zeke. In Japanese it’s ジーク (read as ‘Jēku’, as in gee in gee-whiz with a k in the end). If the most common romanisation amongst fans is indeed correct, then it is a short version of the name ‘Ezekiel’. Ezekiel in the Bible’s Old Testament was a famous prophet, whose name in the Hebrew language means ‘God’s strength.’ In the Book of Ezekiel, the prophet sees visions, among them a valley of dry bones where the dead have risen again, the destruction of man’s lands leading to the massacre of Israel’s enemies and establishment of peace, and finally, a temple vision, where a commonwealth is established around a new temple in Jerusalem, along with the return of God’s divine presence.
Given that Isayama-sensei likes to christen his characters with meaningful names, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s taken inspiration from the Bible. It’s interesting how the Ezekiel in AoT is, indeed, doing god’s bidding at this point in his life, the god in this case being Eren Jaeger.
When Eren and Zeke were traipsing about in memory land, Grisha had asked his eldest to stop his youngest, but instead we find the older one helping the younger one destroy the world. It must have something to do with Founder Ymir lending Eren her powers. Otherwise why is this royal acting the way he is?
Reiner decides to fight him head on, warrior versus warrior. Will Reiner die in the process? Is Levi out there waiting to pounce on Zeke’s nape? Ah, can’t wait to see what happens to the poor firstborn Jaeger child.
Historia Giving Birth
Oh my, the midwives look like nuns straight from a convent. I suppose they’re part of the Wall cult, who worship the royals and are therefore the family’s humble servants.
Historia is sweating profusely and crying and it’s just heartbreaking to know she’s not surrounded by friends and family. Poor queen. What an awful, lamentable life she’s led so far. My greatest wish is that the child she is about to bring into the world is born out of love and not merely out of necessity. Otherwise her story, just like her ancestor Ymir’s, would simply be too tragic to contemplate.
The Destruction of Hizuru
Armin & Co have arrived too late since Hizuru is clearly being destroyed. We see Hizuruans unable to do anything but pray amidst the backdrop of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.
If the wall titans are all the way into Hizuru territory, does that mean half the world has been decimated already? These are the times when I wish for a map of their planet.
Too Late to Say I’m Sorry?
The Marleyans and Marleyan Eldians are finally realising and feeling sorry for how they’ve treated Paradis and the warrior children. Reiner’s mother and Annie’s father are sorry for treating their children like tools, a means to an end. The Marleyans are sorry for turning Paradis into a scapegoat, blaming the island for all the problems in the world. Now the whipping boy has decided to end the biased treatment once and for all, and all the Marleyans can do is quake in their boots. They express their regrets out loud.
Kinda too late, innit? Are the self-reproach and apologies even genuine? Or are they just being voiced out in hopes Eren might hear and take pity on them?
In Front of the Entire World
Good thing for the Marleyans that Armin & Co are actually taking pity on the rest of the world and now are breathing down Eren’s neck. Saving the world, while the world watches. Perhaps the world will finally forgive Paradis after seeing how its inhabitants are taking on their very own saviour Eren? Was that what Eren had planned all along, a spectacle wherein the entire world can witness these much-maligned islanders lay down their lives so that their enemies can live? And in doing so, finally win the world’s forgiveness and be allowed to co-exist with the rest of the world?
Such a scenario gives me Code Geass’ “Zero Requiem” vibes (Episode 25 in Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2). In this story, the protagonist and anti-hero, Lelouch, is killed by his best friend Suzaku (a plan which they jointly hatched together), and the world unites in peace under Lelouch’s sister Nunally. In AoT, it’s clear Armin is not in cohorts with Eren.
Don’t know what Isayama-sensei has in mind for his own manga’s ending, but the way the story is being told, it seems like Armin will surely come up with a unique solution that will solve everything. Seems AoT has lately become all about Armin, so I won’t be surprised if that’s the ending we get.
My guess is that there’ll be time travel and mind wipes and different planes of existence involved, so we’ll end up with a completely different ending from Taniguchi’s masterpiece.
Whatever might be the case, Chapter 134 has been about Isayama-sensei showing off his much-improved drawing skills. Very little talk, but the scenes of innocent babies being killed are, for me, the manga-ka’s way of showing that Eren’s actions should not be taken lightly, and that Armin & Co are justified in trying to stop him.
What I’m really wondering is, is Eren even inside that dinosaur-like composite titan? Given all his powers, maybe that monster is just a stand-in robot being manipulated by him from afar. Maybe he is actually somewhere else, like at Historia’s cabin awaiting the birth of their child, for instance (Haha, that’s me with my fantasies kicking in!).
Also, after Armin & Co kill Zeke and drag Eren out of his titan, what to do with him?
Ah, questions without answers (yet)! I’m rather disappointed with the lack of new information and dialogue in this chapter, but that simply means there’ll be more than one chapter left before the whole story is brought to an end.
Thank you so much for reading! What did YOU think of the latest chapter? Please take a moment to share a thought or two in the comment section below. xoxo, hana
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