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.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Attack On Titan Vol. 9 by Isayama Hajime

It's been quite some time since I visited the world of Shingeki no Kyojin. I've certainly had the ninth volume sitting in my Kindle for a long time now, but I just couldn't wait anymore. The second season of the anime seems like it won't be out for forever and now that I'm caught up on the Naruto Shippuden simulcast I really need a new "thing" to do. Yeah, I still have One Piece to get through, but I'm waiting for more episodes to get uploaded and that seems to be taking for fucking ever. Otherwise, I already would have eclipsed episode 600 by now and would be caught up with the simulcast. 

So I decided the other day to crack open volume nine and wouldn't you know that I'm on volume ten already?

Volume nine just flew by and I'd be willing to say that this volume is the most bizarre one so far. That's really saying something, too. 

In this volume the titans go beast mode.

At the end of the previous volume it was discovered that there were titans in the walls that protected all of humanity from the titans. I suppose you could call them Wall Titans. Obviously, you've got to wonder why the titans would want to destroy the wall if the walls are actually made of titans. Another question is why would any titans want to protect humanity by becoming part of a wall? Or, if that wasn't their choice, then how the hell did the wall get made?

But none of those questions are answered here. Instead we get a bunch more questions that need answers. 

At the end of the previous volume titans were spotted inside of Wall Rose, too. The natural assumption to make would be that Wall Rose has been broken by the titans, too. Something seems amiss, though. Four squads have been sent to reconnoiter the area, searching for the damaged area of Wall Rose. Yet, oddly enough, no one has seen a crack in Wall Rose. 

How did the titans get in if they didn't break through Wall Rose?

Perhaps an even more important issue to resolve is the appearance of a large Bigfoot-like titan that not only seems to be intelligent, but also seems to be able to talk. This Beast Titan is not the only one able to talk, though. While searching through his house in his hometown, Connie discovers a titan that cannot move. Connie swears that the oddly-formed titan not only talked to him, but also bore a slight resemblance to his own mother. What could this mean?

Volume nine seems to carry this story in a different direction than the previous installments. With Annie Leonheart now out of the picture (for the moment anyway) and Eren Yeager still exhausted from that battle, the focus of this volume was on the other characters that had only been in supporting roles up until this point. Sasha Braus, Connie Springer, Ymir, and Krista Lenz are more or less the primary players this time around. Of course, Eren Yeager, Levi, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert make their appearances because it seems a bit obligatory to feature them at this point in the series. Since they are the main characters and all that.

In typical fashion volume nine ends with a serious cliffhanger. Or, in this case, I suppose you could call it a "castle-hanger." Two groups of the party sent to investigate Wall Rose are holed up in Castle Utgard when titans start attacking the castle. Coincidently enough, that's that very same castle that Eren and his gang are going to so they can find someone who might be able to explain the presence of the Wall Titans. Will Eren be able to make it in time to prevent a full scale slaughter?

Find out next time... on Dragonball Z, I mean, in the next volume of Attack on Titan!

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