The insanely popular and assuredly one of the most iconic franchises in anime – Attack on Titan – finally came to an end on April 9th with Chapter 139. But not without inciting a wide range of emotions within its vast and diverse fanbase.
The final chapter of Attack on Titan sheds its extreme nihilism to accommodate a light at the end of the tunnel. The curtains close on our beloved characters, the conflict of Paradis Island, the world of Titans on an emotional and bittersweet note.
No matter how controversial fans found the ending, the sentiment of the story, its characters flow beyond its pages – bleeding into us.
Needless to say, Isayama is adept in making his fans turn on the waterworks. On a heartfelt note, Twitterazis made the hashtag, “#ThankYouHajimeIsayama” trend on the social media platform.
While the climax of the story reached peak poignancy, Isayama’s decision to maintain ambiguity in Chapter 139 has caused some confusion regarding its implications. Let’s have a look at some of the significant events that happened in the chapter, shall we?
Chapter 139 provides an emotional conversation between Eren and Armin regarding his intentions and Mikasa’s role in saving humanity. Eren’s fate causes the extinction of Titan powers thereby allowing room for diplomacy within apprehensive times.
The chapter features a timeskip where the remaining Survey Corps, with the revival of Jean, Connie, Reiner, assume positions of peace ambassadors for allied nations.
1. Eren and Armin’s Conversation
In the final chapter, Isayama finally addresses what’s been blatantly vacant from the past few chapters – Eren’s perspective and his true emotions.
The chapter begins with a Paths memory between Armin and Eren which technically took place during Chapter 131 (temporally speaking) when Armin is taken to paths by Eren.
However, for purposes of “moving forward” Eren manipulates Armin’s memory such that he only remembers it after his death. The first few pages and you’re already reading through tears.
Eren and Armin’s conversation establishes Eren’s true intentions of making his friends the saviours of humanity by donning the role of a mass murderer and attempting to put civilisation to waste.
Killing Eren would provide a chance for the so-called “Island Devils” to redeem their image in front of the rest of the world and establish their humanity in front of them.
Eren reveals how excruciating the journey has been due to the fact that Ymir’s powers, that are essentially controlling him, makes different aspects of time – past, present, future – the same for him.
The lack of coherence in his thoughts and his desperation to push his friends away resulted in the stoic Eren we saw in the last arc.
Eren goes onto reveal that the world of Titans continues to exist because the Founder Ymir kept maintaining King Fritz’ will, an action which Eren felt was driven by love.
Eren, then, reveals that it’s Mikasa that brings a change within Ymir and brings her to eliminate Titan powers from the world.
Isayama leaves the reasoning behind this upto the reader however, it is quite obvious that this stems from Mikasa’s ardent loyalty and love for Eren. Ymir found herself in an abusive relationship hoping to find a semblance of what humans enjoy – love.
As a simple person herself, her desire to be loved prevented her from ever disobeying King Fritz’ will despite having the power to do so.
Mikasa’s decision to kill Eren to save humanity despite her immense love for him allows Ymir to experience, as a bystander, what “love” is and brings her the courage to emulate the same – to break away from the obsession.
It is a beautiful thought indeed and one that finds resonance in how Eren approaches Ymir in the first place – as a human. Moreover, this conversation reveals how madly in love Eren is with Mikasa – a revelation that Mikasa was never acquainted with, even after his death. My heart aches!
2. End of All Titans
Ymir’s change of heart after watching Mikasa kill Eren results in the extinction of Titans from the world.
When Armin wakes up having remembered the dream, he’s surrounded by the transformation of his friends, previously turned into titans, back to humans.
Annie reunites with her father (after years, finally!), Reiner reconciles with his mother, Gabi and Falco engage in some pretty fantastic bear hugs, Levi salutes ‘Shinzou wo Sasageyo’ to his demised comrades, and Jean and Connie see a smiling Sasha.
A moment of nostalgia – at this point, the overwhelming sense of the end begins to creep up on the reader. However, this fragment of paradise doesn’t last long until the officers from other nations question their true nature – whether they’re still titans.
Armin takes charge of the situation and convinces them that they’re human – calling out their vulnerability in front of the guns pointed at them and by lying about the fact that he kills Eren.
3. The Aftermath of the Rumbling
In his conversation with Eren, he reveals that the Rumbling kills 80% of humanity. Eren believed that this would prevent the rest of the world from waging war on Paradis Island.
The chapter features a timeskip where it is revealed that an underlying tension remains between Paradis Island and the rest of the world due to Eren’s actions.
However, the lack of military strength of the rest of the world allowed Paradis Island to fortify their defences (thanks to the fanatic Yeagerists).
It is shown that Jean, Connie, Reiner, Annie, Pieck and Armin are now peace ambassadors representing the allied nations, i.e, the rest of the world having gained their trust.
And it is now their job to establish diplomacy with Queen Historia and gain back the trust of Paradis Island. Armin beautifully displays hope for their situation.
He states that people would be curious to know about the people who were, once, at each other’s throats but are now coming together to advocate for peace. This story is bound to intrigue many and Armin expresses that they must tell their story to everyone.
The scene then shifts to Mikasa sitting by Eren’s grave – having remembered a memory of his, she begins to cry. It is then that, curiously, the same bird that visited Armin in Chapter 131 comes and wraps the scarf around her again with its beak.
The bird, seemingly, a reincarnation of a free Eren is thanked by Mikasa. As Eren stated way back in Chapter 50, he, indeed, would always be there to wrap that scarf around her as many times as she wants. And on that note, the long-running revered manga of Attack on Titan folds its story.
4. Will Attack on Titan have a sequel?
As of now, no official announcement has been made regarding a spinoff or a sequel series to Attack on Titan. The only thing to look forward is the fake preview that comes with Volume 34.
For the past few volumes, Hajime Isayama has created a fake preview that consists of a highschool alternate universe version of Attack on Titan where Eren is a nobody, Mikasa is goth and Armin is a nerd.
The final volume – Volume 34 – is yet to be released therefore, its fake preview isn’t out yet. It may not be Attack on Titan really but it is a fun read nonetheless.
You can also check out some of the previous interesting spin-offs of Attack on Titan that you may have missed! These are:
- Attack on Titan: Junior High
- Attack on Titan: Before the Fall
- Attack on Titan: No Regrets
- Spoof on Titan
- Attack on Titan: Lost Girls
Attack on Titan: No Regrets and Attack on Titan: Lost Girls have even been adapted into an OVA.
Moreover, Isayama had expressed in an interview of his endearing plan to open a sauna after the end of Attack on Titan so we definitely won’t be seeing a sequel or spinoff anytime soon. The publisher, Bessatsu Shounen Magazine even left a message for Attack on Titan fans at the end of the chapter.
5. When will Attack on Titan’s anime end?
The recent teaser that came after Episode 16 of Attack on Titan Season 4 places the anime’s final return around Winter 2022.
It can be estimated that Shingeki no Kyojin Final Season Part 2 should air between January-March 2022 going by the usual calendar for Winter season anime. Therefore, Attack on Titan will officially end for good in Winter 2022.
While we bid adieu to this mesmerising story and go on to hibernate, Attack on Titan fans will be back in less than a year to bid one final farewell to this beauty again – maybe with even more vigour.
6. About Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. Kodansha publishes it in the Bessatsu Shonen Magazine.
The manga began serialization on September 9th, 2009, and continues to date with 30 tankōbom formats.
Attack on Titan follows humanity settled within three concentric walls to protect themselves from the terrifying titans that prey on them. Eren Yeager is a young boy that believes that a caged life is similar to that of cattle and aspires to go beyond the walls one day, just like his heroes, the Survey Corps. The emergence of a deadly Titan unleashes chaos.