Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Attack On Titan Vol. 8 by Isayama Hajime

I'm getting more stoked about the release of the dub by the minute. June 3rd can't get here soon enough. Still, I'm still not sure how I feel about Bryce Papenbrook being Eren yet. I am not too familiar with that guy and I haven't watched a dub in quite a while. Maybe he's a more recent name and I just haven't heard of him. What I've heard on the trailer isn't all that reassuring to me, but I'm willing to give the dub a shot anyway. 

Although with both Eren and Levi's English voices sounding off to me I'm not sure how good this dub will be. Funimation is pimping the shit out of their release, though. You'd think it was the Super Bowl (and considering that the most recent Super Bowl was an overhyped and brutal slaughter then that comparison could be quite apt). It looks like it will be a competent dub with most of the other actors, though. 

Why am I talking about anime right now when I should be talking manga? Well, volume eight is an important issue if you are familiar with the anime. That and I'm just brimming with fanboy excitement.

This is where the anime left off, folks. Everything after this is all new material. So you have to decide if you want to forge ahead in the manga or wait it out until the second season of the anime gets made. It's all about how you want this new material to be delivered to you. Read it or wait to watch it. Your choice. 

In this issue you discover that Annie Leonhart is the Female Titan. Right off the bat this issue begins with the Survey Corps's quest to capture Annie even though they aren't 100% sure that she is actually the Female Titan. I guess they might have bought Annie some beer and some new 3D Maneuvering Gear or something to make up for trying to capture her had their assumptions been wrong. They weren't wrong, though. Awkward apology situation successfully avoided. 

The only problem is that that Annie is inside of the Stohess District, an area on the eastern edge of the inner Wall Sina. Going after her recklessly could cause a slaughter of civilians and soldiers who have never even seen a titan with their own eyes. If Annie is in fact the Female Titan and chooses to resist then it will be up to Eren to take her down. 

Yeah, this is set up for Eren Vs. Female Titan Part Two and, boy oh boy, is Part Two a goodie. 

One thing I noticed was how Annie smiled before she became a titan in the manga, but she let out a bizarre laugh in the anime. I'm not sure how many people would notice those touches (well, I know quite a few would if they are like me), but how many would care? I don't know, really. I like both versions, though. 

It also took Eren quite a bit longer to transform into titan mode in the anime. In the manga it wasn't anywhere near that long of a wait. As soon as Mikasa and Armin decided to act as bait Eren immediately went into titan mode in the manga, but in the anime everyone was almost on the brink of death before Eren transformed. The latter was certainly more epic and badass (I remember getting chills watching), but the manga felt better pacing-wise.

Unfortunately, Eren and Annie don't duke it out for very long before Annie makes a run for Wall Sina. 

If you've seen the anime then you know what happens next. Sort of. 

Mikasa prevents titan-mode Annie from making it to the top of the wall by cutting off the tips of her fingers and Annie falls into Eren's clutches. Talk about falling for someone after being dumped, right? All the while Annie is having flashbacks about her father and something odd he told her. I'm sure this has something to do with her actions of today, but it's all too cryptic to really tell at this point. Nothing that really screams "MOTIVE" just yet. 

Annie's real body gets captured but she hardens her real body in an unbreakable crystal substance to put herself out of reach of an interrogation. 

Meanwhile, Mikasa is hanging from the wall when some rubble starts to fall. 

Now this is where some mouths definitely dropped. 

There's a titan inside the wall and Mikasa can see it plain as day. The eye of the titan even moves to look at her. Cue Frankenstein quote: "It's alive!"

The anime did this a lot differently. In the anime the rubble covering the titan didn't fall until everyone else was long gone. That was the very last thing that happened in the anime and no one saw it. I'm sure someone will see it once the anime resumes and things will play out in a similar manner after that, but until then it makes me wonder how much of a different route the anime will really take. This is a fairly important difference, after all. 

Anime-wise, it was a great fucking cliffhanger.

Chapter 34 is basically new material. This is what you want to avoid if you want to wait for the anime to resume. 

Hange Zoe grabs Pastor Nick by the collar and demands to know what is going on with the wall, going so far as to dangle him over Wall Sina and threaten to let him fall off. Pastor Nick leads a group of religious nuts that believes the walls are gods that should never be tampered with. Even making improvements to the walls is considered a sin to them. Zoe thinks that their protestations might really have something to do with the wall titan and that leads her to the conclusion that the walls themselves might actually be made from titans. 

Holy. Fuck. 

At the end of this shocking volume Commander Erwin is sitting down with some head honchos and listening to them rave about how foolhardy it was to start a titan fight in the middle of Stohess District, someone barges in and announces that Wall Rose has been breached and that titans are on the attack inside of the walls. 

I don't know if I want to read volume nine right now or not. If eight volumes make a season and the manga will soon be on volume thirteen then I've got to assume that the second season won't start getting made until the series reaches volume sixteen or ends. Whichever happens first. That could be a long and agonizing wait. 

Where the hell is that anime???

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