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, November 16, 2014

Attack On Titan Vol. 14 by Isayama Hajime

I've actually been finished with this volume ever since it was released on November 2nd in Kindle format. I sat down and tore through this volume faster than 1988 era Guns N' Roses could rip apart a backstage dressing room. Damn, was this ever a good volume. 

While I normally try to keep my manga entries short I admit there's quite a bit I'd love to discuss from this volume.

The politics from the previous volume are further discussed in this volume. Commander Erwin's plan to overthrow the current king and place the true heir Historia Reiss into power is one that could end up with the members of the Survey Corps being sent to the gallows, but Erwin is convinced that is the only way to secure future peace inside the wall while also giving humanity the best chance of restoring the wall.

That's only the beginning of this kettle of worms, though. Eren and Historia are very popular people these days and they've been the targets of multiple kidnappings. This time a kidnapping has been arranged thanks to Levi's dealings with the Reeves Company. The Survey Corps is hoping that by following the kidnappers they'll be able to find Rod Reiss and capture him. 

With the man truly in charge of the world in their possession the Survey Corps would be able to negotiate Eren's freedom and the replacement of the current proxy king with that of the true heir Historia Reiss. 

However, the plan goes awry when Kenny the Ripper makes an appearance. And this is where some bombs get dropped. Kenny's last name is Ackerman. So is Captain Levi's. Sound familiar?

With Levi's connections murdered the false kidnapping turns into a real one and Levi is forced to give chase if he wants to keep up with them. Unfortunately, Kenny Ackerman is on his heels and after that we get up and close with what could very well be described as some hard-hitting Western-style action. Guns are blazing, stand-offs are happening, and people are killing people in old school fashion. 

Things also get a bit Pulp Fiction-like during the early stages. 

With things getting tortuous and Levi proving that he isn't afraid of a bit of bloodshed the rest of Survey Corps are wondering just how far they will go to achieve peace within the walls. At least, that's what Jean Kirstein is debating. I hope his loyalty-questioning isn't too contagious. 

The coming insurrection is supposed to be bloodless, but Levi and Hange Zoe aren't afraid to get their hands dirty and remove a motherfucker's fingernails. 

In true fashion this volume ends with a rather shocking cliffhanger. Eren and Historia remain kidnapped and they do indeed meet Rod Reiss (as well as Kenny the Ripper), but Rod Reiss doesn't seem to be the enemy of humanity that he has been portrayed as. Or is he?

This volume was off-the-hook fun. I can't wait for volume 15. I love how this series is expanding into the more human side of the struggles against the titans. The titans can only be used so much to instill fear so portraying the humans frightened by them and those willing to take advantage of others during the situation is a nice change of pace. I love where the story seems to be going, but I do hope Eren gets another chance to go all titan-mode again soon. I sense some serious action on the horizon, but it is nice to see Levi kick some human ass and some suspenseful political play in the meantime. 

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