「終末の夜」 (Shuumatsu no Yoru)
“Night of the End”
Although the complaints will certainly be firing up soon for the lapse in action right now, it’s hard faulting SnK for taking its time in building up to the inevitable carnage. From shock & awe to acceptance and now determination we’re slowly yet surely going through the paces of proper development, with this week capping off the remaining proceedings. At some point you must come to terms with the past, and there’ no better moment than the present.
Reading and now watching the struggle of everyone both Marleyan and Eldian come to grips with legitimate mutual grievances was interesting for me because it’s a struggle which humanity has grappled with since its inception. Just how do you decide who has the more important grievance? How do you ensure both sides agree to the outcome? And what steps can you take to keep that outcome from becoming a rally cry for future generations perceiving it as a wrong to them and their own? In short: no clear answer. You can see it best with Jean and Theo going at it, because at heart both are in the right. Theo is completely correct that Paradis was a threat who would eventually lash out for what Marley had done to it, while Jean also is right that Marley bore responsibility for putting Paradis in this place to begin with. In truth it’s grievances all the way down, with even Ymir herself having some potent ones against the original Eldians who enslaved her. The cycle of hate isn’t easily broken when it takes both parties to agree to let go of the past.
At least for all involved, however, the challenge of letting go won’t be as difficult as it seems. Gabi for one, as promised, serves as a good bridge between both sides now given her experiences while Annie too occupies a middle ground for similar reasons. The big unknown though is what will happen with Armin and Mikasa especially given the plan (as some probably guessed) isn’t so much to kill Eren as talk him down. Yeah, you know how well that’s going to work in practice. The time for talking is long over at this stage, but in true SnK fashion you cannot elicit the best twists and turns unless you can finagle key antagonistic characters into a room and throw away the key. Any showdown with the future reading screamy boy will assuredly yield some explosive developments, it’s just a question of who from this motley party eats a face full of the resulting blast.
Before we get to said question though first comes actually locating Eren, and if foreshadowing is any indication, rest assured that process won’t be without its own noticeable hiccups.