- I’m really sorry but I’m still not a huge Noor fan?? her personality just feels meh :/ (I’m neutral on her I think-)
- i really liked the scene between emma and jacob when they were in that crate(?) it was sweet, im kinda neutral w/ emmaxjacob but that scene was cute
- i said it in another post but im pretty disappointed w/ the reveal that all the seven arent even needed like really??? it was p anticlimactic
- Hugh and Fiona are wonderful I love them??
- I’m so glad Horace is in this book more ahhh
- get Jacob a REAL therapist 2k21 (actually get all of them a therapist-)
- I love Addison I’m so glad he’s in this book more
- speaking of Addison they split up but it says “Addison hid himself under his seat” on p. 390 only Noor, Emma, Jacob and Horatio went with Sharon so idk if that was some weird thing that was missed during editing?
- THE PART WHERE EMMA, JACOB AND NOOR AND HORATIO ARE IN THE ROOM WITH THE HOLLOWS I love that part
- why is Julius not brought up again after he’s brought to the safe house, where is he?? Is he okay?? (Miss p says to noor that she’s the only light eater left standing but maybe she just means that Julius is too hurt to help??? I’m gonna assume Julius is just recovering-)
- I love Fiona and Hugh sm
- the Jacob being part hollow thing is actually really cool it’s interesting
- idk how I feel about the final fight scene with caul uh-
- the scene where Jacob is saying goodbye to his parents is sad especially since his parents are basically robots during that scene (ik they were only like that bc they had just been memory wiped but I think that made it sadder-)
- I’m so glad ransom didn’t end up killing any of the peculiars off
- I actually really liked the ending it was unexpected but in a good way I love it?? Also miss cuckoo living with them and being head ymbrine with miss p!!! Yes!!!
- tbh when I read the last chapter I started thinking about victor and how much he would’ve loved the panloopticon and being able to go to other loops he deserved better (what ever happened to his body after the old loop collapsed?? I can’t remember? Is it just stuck in a collapsed loop?)
- anyway I actually loved the ending sm it’s perfect
In the end I give TDoDA a solid 4/5
The world is cruel and unfair. My thoughts about the end of SnK.
This is a post about my feelings re: the end of SnK. I try to mix a bit of analysis and express where, in my opinion, it went wrong.
I’ve only read the last chapter once for now. Managed to avoid every spoiler until the official release. What can I say? I think this ending is disappointing and unsatisfying, despite not being The Worst Thing I’ve Ever Read. It’s serviceable at best, which by default is underwhelming in a work that has almost always tried to go above what we usually see in comparable pieces of fiction. Over almost 140 chapters, SnK offered its readers genuine emotions, either positive or negative, and, until this final chapter, managed to stay true to its themes. But this final chapter is basically a 4/10 or 5/10 ending in an overall 9.5/10 story.
I hope that, after the initial shock of the ending, I’ll be able to look back on it, not fondly, but with a bit more appreciation for some of its (too few) genuinely good moments. I also hope it won’t sour the experience of reading SnK too much for me. Of course, I accept the ending, I accepted it literally the moment I read it even though I saw it go further and further from my expectations and understanding of the story by the second. And obviously, I respect Isayama as a writer and genuinely cherish some parts of this manga.
But I won’t ever think this ending was good, and am going to try to explain why.
First, something quite subjective. I think the chapter lacked genuine emotion. I didn’t feel much of anything, except a crushing sentiment of sadness and a bit of anger when I saw Mikasa alone by Eren’s grave at the end. A lot of what happened felt either incomplete or forced, and often both. For example, I had imagined the moment the curse of Ymir broke would be the most beautiful moment in the manga, but instead it just... happened? This was supposed to be the peak of this story, the miracle that all these terrible sacrifices were made in the name of. I keep thinking about the moment the curse breaks at the end of Fruits Basket (a great read btw) and how genuinely emotional this chapter is even though the genre is different from SnK’s. Considering Isayama’s talent when portraying emotions, I can’t help but feel terribly underwhelmed by his version of this moment, which should have made us feel like everything was worth it, but didn’t.
Second, the pacing in this last arc (and especially post 123) was messy. I know it’s easy to criticize as a reader, but objectively, spending 7 chapters on the alliance going from point X to point Y and not giving the main character the spotlight he deserves is a major mistake. I kept holding hope that all of the buildup since chapter 130 was going to amount to the last 2-3 chapters slapping extremely hard (like, say, the Grisha-centered chapters in return to Shiganshina, or the Reiner-Eren conversation in Marley), but for the first time, Isayama disappointed me in that regard.
While mostly uninteresting fights got dragged out, some plot points were almost forgotten. Some setups never got a proper conclusion. Eren barely got the time to explain his motivations or what he saw. Historia’s conversation from chapter 130 never got an ending. The parasite and Ymir literally disappeared even though they were the focus of the last two chapters before this one. Some memory shards went unexplained. We never got to see Grisha’s death even when this panel exists?
Regardless of the actual things I don’t like in the ending, I think it would have been more palatable if this last stretch of chapters had been given time to breathe, if only to expand on the characters’ motivations or give us more interactions (for example, Eren’s talks with Annie, Reiner, Connie...).
Third, characterisation and themes. Oh boy. My favourite character is Eren, and my other favourites are Mikasa, Armin, Reiner and Zeke. I think that among these five, the only one who got a true, complete character arc was Armin (and arguably Zeke as well, though the lack of resolution between him and Eren is a hate crime towards me, specifically). Reiner had a great character arc overall but his last appearance in the manga was distateful and a regression. I won’t expand on it.
Mikasa... my poor girl. My most charitable take about her ending is that Isayama wanted to portray her inner strength, the fact she can always live on in the face of adversity and cherish her own life despite the setbacks while remembering those she loves. Well, I guess he succeeded. But in a weirdly unsatisfying way, because this renders her character arc entirely cyclical. Those qualities have characterised Mikasa since the start. It’s established since the very first arc that she’s prideful, brave, and that she has the inner strength to live without Eren if he ever disappears from this world. But the way Isayama made it happen? Having her kill him and then cry next to his grave in the final panels of the manga is what her arc amounted to? I had always hoped that Mikasa could actually save Eren from himself and show him how to live and share his burdens with him (all things that have been foreshadowed in the manga itself, btw). I thought her tattoo would hold some significance, either by
A/ being transmitted to her potential child with Eren were he to survive (didn’t happen)
B/ foreshadowing a future political role for her as a bridge between Hizuru and Paradis (didn’t happen, and furthermore she’s the only alliance member living in Shiganshina and is deliberately separated from the rest of them)
C/ having some kind of supernatural power that would allow her to change the game, were she to enter paths or reach the coordinate (didn’t happen).
So what? In the end, Mikasa’s Big Choice amounted to giving up on her love (but also not really because she’s never going to be able to move on and isn’t allowed to feel anything else but pain), resulting in her losing her family for the third time and never being able to welcome Eren home. This is horrifyingly sad. I’m also frankly disturbed by the sort of ~parallel Eren establishes in this chapter between Ymir and Mikasa, about the topic of love. So the message of SnK was that... love is a chain? Everything happened because Ymir was too attached to the King and couldn’t leave this world, so Mikasa had to show her that she could give up on love for the greater good by killing Eren? I wish I just misunderstood this but that’s what I got from the chapter and I hate it. Also, I really thought Isayama was above the traditional “female character who sacrifices everything and never reaches happiness but stays quiet and endures for the common good” trope. I was wrong.
Mikasa might have been the centerpiece of the story, but she got the short end of the stick. At this point, the writing pretty much does the opposite of what it is supposed to by inadvertently justifying the validity of Mikasa and Eren’s “selfish” dream in chapter 138. Initially, I thought that their dream was wrong and not something truly enviable because in it, they led a life of guilt and regret while knowing full well that Eren would end up dying anyway, leaving Mikasa behind, alone. Naively, I thought that surely choosing the responsible path would be more rewarding for Mikasa, one way or the other. But as it turns out, the path of selflessness also led her to a life of solitude, except now she carries her burdens all on her own without having tasted happiness. Amazing. I genuinely do not know how I am supposed to root for this.
Finally... Eren. Oh boy. Oh, good lord. I’ll admit I wanted him to live, but I was also ready to accept an ending where he dies. But... not like this. I already said I don’t like the fact Mikasa killed him, but what I like even less is the lack of general resolution his character received. He’s the MC for god’s sake! But post-chapter 123, he has received second, if not third-grade treatment, save from chapter 131, which was brilliant.
Overall, his motivations are a mess, which I get. Him getting confused because of all his powers and memories is understandable. Him having conflicting motivations is actually appealing to me. He wanted to save Eldia, but was also disappointed in the outside world (when he says “I would have done it anyway”, I thought about what he said to Ramzi and the "scenery” in 131) , and wished for his friends to become heroes. I get it, it’s fine.
But Isayama went too far with the tragic aspect of his character. As in, there is no catharsis, just crushing pain. Isayama deliberately went overkill by stating that Eren killed 80% of humanity (what the hell), and, even worse, actually drove Dina to Carla. I literally couldn’t believe this. I have seen people theorize about this months ago and immediately discarded it by thinking it was ridiculous and amount to character assassination. To make things clear, I’m not discussing Eren’s actions in the last arc from a moralistic point of view, because this would be another topic entirely, I’m talking about what makes sense in the narrative that has been presented to us since the Paths chapters started and Eren’s plan was revealed. For example, however awful the contents of the scene was, Eren manipulating Grisha to kill the Reiss family was not only amazingly written and drawn in chapter 121 but also narratively motivated by the fact he needed the Founding Titan’s power. This scene also had other functions, such as revealing the Attack Titan’s premonition powers or making Zeke interact with Grisha and understand the truth about his father. Compared to this, the “moment” we have in 139, this abrupt, absurd revelation about him indirectly killing his mother is rushed and nonsensical. Even if this was to kickstart the whole story by awakening his hatred for the titans, I can’t help but feel shaken by how... gratuitous a “plot-twist” it is. What does it say about the attachment Eren had to his mother and her words to him? (”because he was born into this world”). This nullifies one of the most impactful scenes of the manga, because the ending makes it clear that in the end, existing as a human being by the simple virtue of being born wasn’t enough for him. It just couldn’t be, for some reason that I’m yet to fully understand. Instead, he endured and endured, and never got to experience the simple, humane existence Carla wished for him. So were these beautiful words a lie all along? Why did Isayama go to such an extreme with Dina? The only conclusion I can come to is that it’s because he needed Eren to be absolutely, totally irredeemeable. Eren needed, storywise, to be this unstoppable extremist who would get burned to ashes by his uncontrollable desires.
Because yes, apparently, Eren had to die. There was no escape. Worst of all, Eren died a slave. A slave to his desire for freedom. A slave to the destiny he saw at age 15. A slave to his titan powers. This is what I truly can’t forgive about this ending. I won’t stand for the “but he chose this” answer, because it was a choice made out of despair, and all the alternatives are presented as non viable by the narrative (are they really though? or is it just a cope-out to justify the last arc of the manga unfolding as it did?). In short, Isayama justifies this “choice” that was forced on Eren by telling us: his life was destined to be short, he had a violent side he just wouldn’t repress, Mikasa didn’t give him the answer he wanted, he was overwhelmed by what he saw, and their enemies were zeroing in on them. Canonically, all of this made him start the Rumbling. Fine. But I always thought that, at the end of it all, even if Eren were to die, this narrative would be challenged. That Eren would at least have a big cathartic moment, and that he would make another choice upon realising that the freedom he looked for was illusory, and that he would fight to the bitter end for what was right, what he truly wanted, before finally either going to rest or living on with the burden of his actions but the support of his loved ones. I wished for the perfect blend of bitterness and hope. The tragedy of irredeemeable actions completed by the powerful liberation of free will. The idea that change is possible.
But what did we get instead? Eren reaffirming that the Rumbling would have happened anyway while feeling tremendous guilt, as usual (living a life with regrets, and consequently, a death with regrets), refusing the support Armin was ready to lend him (refusing to even try to defy what he thinks is his destiny and pushing others away again) and erasing the memories of all his friends after having manipulated them into ending him against their wishes (going against the most basic concept of freedom). And because we as readers and he as a character have to suffer until the very end, Eren finally clearly expressed his wish to live, to stay with Mikasa and his friends. Only to die 5 pages later, for good.
The main character of this story truly died as a disembodied head, in a titan’s mouth, killed by the person he loved the most before being buried in a nameless grave. One of his mottos was “fight”, but in the end, he didn’t. He let fate happen. In a story about freedom, this is unfathomable. This is beyond the realm of sadness for me, and I’m leaning more and more towards indignation. Where was his dignity as a character? I know that Mikasa, Armin and the others know “the truth about him” but I’m sorry, this isn’t enough. Now, if I ever get the strength to re-read SnK, I won’t be able to look at Eren without thinking about all the things he sacrificed: love, friendship, happiness, humanity, morals, principles, justice, freedom, the lives of countless others, the peace of mind of the person he loves, and his own life. A sacrifice so great should have gotten us a reward as great, if not greater. But we only got the end of the titan curse, without even an apparition or a word from Ymir, the one who actually started all of this, and now Paradis is ruled by the Yeagerists or something. The wings of freedom defaced by two rifles. How great. How satisfying.
In the end, I can’t really fathom what Isayama wanted to say with this chapter. The story itself, the 138 chapters that preceded it seemed clear to me. The world is cruel but also very beautiful. But after having read 139, I don’t know where the freedom the characters chased is. I don’t know why love was portrayed as something so precious but also something that in the end was predestined to be discarded. I don’t know why characters such as Mikasa went against fate only to be crushed by it further down the road.
I never thought that SnK would go into this almost grimdark direction, but it did. I can barely find the beauty in this chapter. Mikasa’s last panels are heartbreaking, but even the strength of her love can’t shine through the countless sacrifices the characters - and especially she and Eren - made, for the sake of a future that already seems extremely compromised. I guess that all in all, the world’s cruelty overshadows everything, and those who make the greatest sacrifices also are those who never get repaid. The world is unfair. I know that, but it was my naive wish that reading a piece of fiction would help me take my mind off this reality by showing me there is also more to it.
PS: the best moment in the chapter was those panels:
Finally, even if it was too little and too late, someone showed Eren he wasn’t alone, and didn’t need to be. RIP, my beautiful boy. You truly did deserve better than what this story allowed you to be.