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Friday, June 27, 2014

Manga Review: Attack On Titan GN 6

Attack on Titan volume 6
Author: Hajime Isayama
Kodansha Comics
190 pages
On the way to Eren’s home, deep in Titan territory, the Survey Corps ranks are broken by a charge led by a female Titan! But this Abnormal is different – she kills not to eat but to protect herself, and she seems to be looking for someone. Armin comes to a shocking conclusion: She’s a human in a Titan’s body, just like Eren!
There's something about this volume of Attack on Titan that just works. It's probably how Isayama focuses on this one event, that being the hunt for the female Titan who is acting much differently than other Abnormal Titans. It's a focus that makes every scene, big or small, more monumental than before. In this volume, we see Armin step up to the plate and watch Eren undergo some serious dramatic realization of his place in the Survey Corps, and both characters come out of these traumatic experiences changed forever.

As the volume open, the ranks of the scouting team have been blown wide open by a single female Titan. The flanks start dissolving and as the Titan barrels through their defenses, it becomes clear that she's looking for someone - and whoever doesn't fit her mysterious criteria gets killed. When Captain Levi leads his group through the forest to draw the Titan in, Eren starts questioning the plan, and it will take the efforts of those around him to reign his doubt in before it gets them all killed.
From the start, it's a terrifying volume to read. Just the scene alone when the female Titan pulls back Armin's hood and stares into his face is utterly striking for the eyes and the heart. And it only gets worse from there, as the Titan continues its rampage of tossing and kicking aside other Survey Corps members like rag dolls as it barrels through in its pursuit of its target, assumed to be Eren (which I suppose makes as much sense as anything else so far so I'll roll with it).
Not gonna lie, tho: the female Titan was scary. There is a scene of her twirling a human being around on a string, an entire panel dedicated to showing how the bloodied body looked in the air, before flicking it off into the distance. Right afterward, she punts both a rider and his horse into the air - and they both go so high, we don't see them land. We don't even see them land. This Titan, with its relentless search for Eren and its almost gleeful massacre of Survey Corps members makes it the most threatening Titan in the series history so far.
My favorite part of this volume, however, were the scenes surrounding Eren, from his agonizingly dramatic entrance and ride through the forest to the flashback with his Survey Corps fellow about the spoon and the hand biting. It was all really well done and expertly tied together at the end, and I came out of it appreciating Eren and Levi as characters more than ever. Plus: Hanji! More Hanji, please!

I'm really interested in this story arc surrounding a female Titan who seems to be hunting down Eren, another human turned Titan. Who is it inside this mystery Titan? Why is Eren its number one mark? And how exactly do Eren's Titan powers work? Whatever the answers one, volume seven is definitely gonna be a good one.