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.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Attack On Titan Vol. 18 by Isayama Hajime

It's crazy to think that the manga I am about to be caught up with is the manga I have been putting off for over a year. I knocked 16 and 17 out of the park with gusto and 18 went down quick, too. Now I am staring at the cover of volume 19 while checking the release date of the 20th volume it is looking like December of 2016.

So once I read volume 19 that will be all she wrote for a bit and I am mildly depressed right now. I am still going to keep a flame lit in my heart for this series after I finish volume 19, but I will need to read other manga again until that wonderful day in December. But ah, such is the life of the hardcore otaku.

Volume 18 begins with a trip to Instructor Keith Shadis, the hardass that taught the new recruits how to be real soldiers. In manga time it has only been a few months since Eren was trained by him, but in real life it has actually been a few years. So I wouldn't blame anyone if they can't remember who Keith Shadis is, either. I only did because I've been playing the video game and watching the series again. 

Our first chapter is actually a really good one because it details Keith's friendship with Grisha Yeager. In the last volume I was thinking about how I wanted more insight into Grisha's life and this chapter provided just a bit more of that. So I really liked it. We also learn more about Instructor Keith and that is neat. 

Our second chapter is a nice reflective moment where Commander Erwin Smith seems like the true standout. I've always liked Erwin, but he really does not get much character development in the series. Normally, he is just the face and tactician of the Survey Corps. However, there is a human being in there somewhere and what few glimpses we can get at him are really good moments. I just hope Erwin does not die. I'm not saying he will because I do not know, but I do know death flags when I see them. 

The final half of the volume is about the Survey Corps retaking of Wall Maria. Eren Yeager succeeds in using his hardened titan form to cover the hole in Wall Maria, but something is wrong. Armin and Erwin know that the enemy has to be nearby watching everything. They couldn't just let the Survey Corps come in and fix the wall and win. 

And they are right. Because just when it seems like it is time to pass the champagne the Armored and Beast Titans show up to spoil the party. 

It looks like we'll finally get that fight between the Armored Titan and Eren Yeager in volume 19.

Cliff. Hanger. 

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