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.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Attack On Titan Vol. 16 by Isayama Hajime

It has been such a long time since I dished out the goods on some manga, hasn't it? Almost a freaking year! That isn't to say I haven't read anymore in that time because I have been reading the Prison School series and enjoying the hell out of it.

But until now I have kept my hands off any Attack On Titan manga until I could get at least a few issues I could read in quick succession. Unfortunately, my long wait has resulted in only four manga volumes being released in the West. Four. Wow, that is depressing.

This volume kicked some ass, though, by gum. Not sure about waiting a year to read it, but the volume made me feel instantly at home. I also took a fifteen minutes prior to skim some previous volumes to refresh my memory and that helped greatly.

Even though there hasn't been a lot of titan-fighting going on in the last few volumes there has been some legit political shenanigans going on. Nothing major. Just the Survey Corps basically overthrowing the current government.

Granted, these human confrontations haven't brought us any closer to Eren's basement or to taking down any of the other human-controlled titans, but they've been entertaining. There are no titan fights or epic Survey Corps titan takedowns in this volume, but that doesn't mean there aren't fireworks.

Instead we have the Corps trying to track down the captured Historia Reiss and Eren Yeager. They were captured by the diabolical "true king" Rod Reiss and Reiss's goal for his daughter Historia is to reclaim the "true power" of the Reiss family. 

And apparently that power is that of turning into a titan and killing motherfuckers. 

Eren spends pretty much the entire issue on his knees and in chains in some weird chamber that supposedly was built by other human-controlled titans. In front of him Historia is tempted by her father and if she gives in to her father's dark desires then she'll get to inject herself with some crazy titan-turning shit and eat Eren Yeager and take his powers. 

Rod Reiss also informs Eren that his father Grisha Yeager is a titan, too. In fact, Grisha is the one that wiped out the Reiss family with the exception of Rod and Historia. What's more is that Rod's entire family could turn into titans.

I remember when I started this series, both the anime and the manga, thinking that this series would be a simple man vs. monster fighting story. And for a while it was. Not much plot development was happening. Then when things started to hit the fan very few answers were given as to why. 

So the depth of this story has really hit a home run this time. We are finally getting some answers. Bombs are being dropped and they are insane. The puzzle pieces are finally falling into place. Fuck yes. I still don't know what the hell is in Eren's basement or who the Beast Titan is or where the Colossus, Armored, and Ymir Titans ran off to, but this volume at least gives us a glimpse of Grisha Yeager and why some of this is even happening in the first place.

And the cliffhanger that ends this volume is splendid. 

Sure, it is a bit over the top that just about everyone is a freaking titan now, but the story is getting more interesting so I don't care anymore. Onward to volume 17!

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