snk readthrough

Remember when Levi beat the crap out of Eren during his trial?

Immediately afterwards we see Levi and Hange off to side, clearly discussing the event (Mike is wisely ignoring this lover’s quarrel). I imagine Hange is scolding Levi for the brutality of the beating. And judging from Levi’s posture, he is taking it to heart. He doesn’t look pleased with himself either.

Her lecture prompts Levi to go talk to Eren. While not apologizing, Levi tries to make things right between them.

omfdsfaf ryner just got his arm bitten by a titan and now it’s broken and bleeding so christa is cleaning the wound and dressing it

so ymir, somehow having separated herself from christa’s pelvis for .02 seconds walks in and sees this

and her immediate reaction is

i have been laughign for 300 years isnt love the worst

SNK Readthrough: Volume 13 Part 8

Levi Helps Hange

Levi and Hange have returned from their meeting with Erwin. Levi is discussing next steps with the team and is looking to Hange for direction.

He notices that Hange is not herself. She’s hiding something from him.

After some crude bathroom humor to break the ice, he turns to Hange and speaks more eloquently.

“Why do you need to keep it inside.”, he says. “Tell me, Hange.”

She finally opens up that Minister Nick is dead and relays the horrible details of his murder. She feels responsible. Not only is Nick dead, but she may have jeopardized the entire team.

Levi knows Hange well enough to get to the root of the situation. He understands her guilt has left her feeling lost and indecisive. He comforts her by letting her know that Nick held onto his faith until the end.

After giving Hange the boost she needed, he gives her a second chance at making a decision. This time she responds with her usual fire and determination.

Levi compliments her, in font of his team, in the highest way possible.

SNK Readthrough: Volume 17 Part 16

Two months have passed since the coronation. Historia’s first order of business was to provide a place in the sun for children who had previously known only darkness. She rounded up the orphans of the underground and brought them to a farm.

Levi backed her in this effort. Together they wrangled politicians and aristocrats to make her dream a reality. I do wish we had more than a single panel of Levi looking so determined. Historia seems surprised by his passion. Clearly she missed the memo that he’s a big softie.

I just love how everything comes full circle. Farm life isn’t new to Historia. Her childhood was spent on a farm where she was alone, unloved and unwanted. Now she’s back by choice, this time surrounded by the smallest victims of the corrupt regime, making sure they never feel that way.

Remember when Annie and Mikasa were about to fight (x)?

Eren and Reiner were the only ones who cared about the outcome. The rest of the trainees had more pressing concerns.

(Big thanks to 50plusotaku and surprisebuttspecks for help with the captions!)

SNK Crazy Theory Time #4 - Ymir's True Form - Titan or Human?

Are there any natural-born Titans or were all Titans once human? We don’t know the answer yet. But if the Titans are a species, which of our shifters is one?

My Theory of the Moment
(subject to change with each new chapter, of course!)

The Titans were originally an intelligent race that coexisted with the human population. In “Isla’s Journal”, we see a glimpse of that. The Titans loved the humans and sought to protect them.

The coordinate was a gift from the Titans to Historia’s Family. It enabled communication and cooperation between the two species. In the panel below, the Titan looks fierce, but the child isn’t afraid.

The government overthrew the Reiss family and seized the coordinate. They used it to control the Titans, even enslaving some Titans within the walls of their city. They released a pathogen that caused the remaining Titans to become mindless savages. (Dot Pixis hinted at this, saying the government created an enemy to unite the people.)

Rebels against the government (including Doctor Jaeger) have found the coordinate and hidden it. The government desperately wants it back.

Ymir’s True Form - Human or Titan

Ymir’s natural form is Titan. She is Titan Royalty. Ymir is desperate to protect Historia because she wants to restore the human/titan world to it’s former peaceful state. In “Ilsa’s journal”, the Titan refers to the humans as “A subject of Ymir” (English manga) because Ymir is the Titan who nurtured the human race.

The pathogen that has infected her race can also be used to turn human into mindless Titans. We saw this happen in Connie’s village.

What About Berthold, Reiner and Annie?

There are human villages outside the walls. Reiner, Annie and Bert live in one. But they have been attacked by the Wall Government. The government is threatening more attacks unless they retrieve the coordinate and deliver it to them.

These people haven’t had their memories wiped out like the walled city residents. They have a better understanding of the Titans. They use that knowledge to engineer the Colossal, Armored, and Female Titan from among their people.

But Berthold, Annie and Reiner are very much human. They are conflicted about what they are doing. All the want is to save their village and return home. They don’t want to be killing other humans.

But Ymir’s motivations are different. In the panel below, she’s trying to convince Historia that the Titans aren’t so bad. She has better physical control of her titan and she can speak while in Titan form.

Is There a Happy Ending for Ymir?

It will be bittersweet at best. Ymir will be instrumental in restoring peace between Humans and Titans, but at great cost. She will lose the ability to shift. While still very much in love with Historia, she cannot have a relationship with her because she must remain permanently in her Titan form.

Do I Believe Any of This?

Some. Ymir is such a wild card. There’s no telling what Isayama has in store for her. It very well may be that all Titans are genetically modified humans. Hange is pretty certain about this. Krista’s storybook in the only thing that indicates otherwise.

SNK Crazy Theory Time #3 - Who Tampered with Eren's Equipment?

The English dub of Episode 3 was released last Friday. It was amusing watching Eren falling flat on his face trying to master the 3D Maneuvering Gear.  But it also got me thinking. Was Eren’s gear deliberately tampered with?

Shadis tells us this is the first time the gear has ever been damaged in this way. In fact, Shadis is shocked by it. This might indicate the gear was sabotaged.

If it was, the have three suspects

This is the obvious first choice. The anime depicts Reiner listening intently to Eren’s “kill ‘em all” speech in the dining hall. And Eren approached Reiner and Berthold for assistance. They seem keenly interested in him and make a point of remembering his name.

But is it likely?
No. The manga presents the dining hall scene very differently. Reiner isn’t noticeable. And the conversations he had with Eren were after his failure. At this point in the story, I’m just not convinced they know that Eren is their target.

SUSPECT #2 - The Military
We see from the closing panel the Shadis knows exactly who Eren is, and seems very friendly with Doctor Jaeger. Remember, Shadis was the commander of the Survey Corps before Erwin, so he was a very high ranking military figure.

If Shadis knows who Eren is, we can be certain the Military Police do as well.  I’m fairly confident that the Military Police knew Doctor Jaeger was working against them, so they would be suspicious of his son as well.  It is plausible that they would sabotage any chances of Eren joining the Survey Corp.

But is it likely?
No. If the MPs want Eren out of the picture, they’d kill him, not mess with his gear.


My money is on Mikasa. Before you think I’m crazy, take a look at the evidence.

Mikasa’s sole purpose in life is to keep Eren alive. As a child when she learned that Eren wanted to join the Survey Patrol, she was furious and told his parents in an attempt to discourage him.

When Eren has difficulty with the gear, Mikasa is not surprised and immediately encourages him to quit. Several times in fact.

While the others cheer him on with his success, Mikasa as the opposite reaction

Armin correctly assumes the look on Eren’s face is triumph, Mikasa claims he is happy because they can now stay together.

But we know that’s a lie. Mikasa was planning on quitting with Eren and returning to the field. She only said that to cover up her tears of disappointment.

I love the faces of Armin, Bert and Reiner. They are stunned by the ridiculousness of her statement. I know when I was reading it, my face looked exactly like that.

SNK Readthrough: Volume 13 Part 12

Bless the official English translation!

The conversation is between Levi, Eren and Mikasa. But when Levi realizes he isn’t making his point, he turns to Hange for help. As it turns out, he just likes to complain. He doesn’t mean anything by it.

She translates his real message to the kids and Levi is grateful.

Earlier we learned that Hange’s motivation for fighting Titans is to see a world where people can live in safety, without fighting each other.

Now we learn Levi’s. He wants to breath the air outside the walls. He wants freedom. Like Eren, he yearns to be out of cage they are living in.

Can I just say that Volume 13 is a Levihan shippers dream. Throughout the volume it’s clear that they have a special understanding. They look out for each other emotionally and help each other through bad times.

SNK Readthrough: Volume 16 Part 4

For those of you thirsting for the Ackertalk, you have my sympathy. You’ve patiently waited and have gotten nothing more than Levi’s simple confirmation that he, Kenny and Mikasa all bear the same last name and have freaky deaky magic-blood powers. It’s hardly the heart-to-heart any of us hoped for. 

But you know who did get the Ackertalk? Little Mikasa. 

She thinks back to her childhood and a lovely, relaxed moment complete with snacks and tea. Her parents explained how they met and why they lived in such a remote location. Even though her parents were outcasts, persecuted by society, they didn’t want to frighten their young daughter. They strove to protect her  - while not shielding her from the truth of her existence.

I contrast that with Levi and Historia (and possibly Eren) whose identities were hidden from them, whose childhood were built on lies. I think of all the emotional turmoil that resulted.

Mikasa was spared that burden. She was raised by good people who dearly loved her. They left her with a solid foundation to build on -  a capacity to love and a model for healthy relationships.

SNK Readthrough: Volume 17 Part 6

I recall being in a huge panic in the weeks leading up to this chapter. The Flaming Chicken Titan was heading to Orvud, Eren was depressed, Sasha wasn’t hungry, and post-cavern Historia was an unknowable force of rebellion and possible anarchy.

Turns out all that worry was for nothing. I was expecting a fantastical climax to the great arc and instead Rod was destroyed with little more than a whimper. It was a great victory for the Survey Corps, but reading back through after more than a year, I have little to add.

What this chapter did provide in huge, deliberate doses was a goldmine of humor. I’ve decided to make this readthrough post about some of those.

1. It’s called taking matters into your own hands

The scene of Eren repeatedly punching himself was played for laughs, but opened some interesting discussion about the use of self harm in the titan transformation process. I also agreed with @the-hunter-eren who noted that Eren’s depression was not a laughing matter.

2. That feeling when you can’t draw faces

Erwin reveals his artistic side when he makes an amazing likeness of the flaming chicken titan. The musculature is well done but he loses it towards the end, putting a cartoon face on an otherwise realistic body. Still, it’s not bad considering he’s only been a leftie for a few weeks.

3. I choose you, Eren!

Erwin the pokemon trainer was my favorite posts from this chapter.

4. Levi just too smol

I first saw this here. Personally, I feel for Isayama. When I do my own edits, trying to get Erwin and Levi together in a horizontal frame always proves challenging :D

5. The SNK Ice Bucket Challenge 

Levi was filled with hilarious quips in this chapter, but “Stay back, Garrison” was my favorite. His and Erwin’s deadpan calm throughout was often contrasted with the Garrison Captain’s panic.

6. Caution: Grumpy when wet

Seriously, just look at Levi. LOOK AT HIM! It’s no wonder Erwin is snickering in the background. And why is he still dry? That’s the real mystery here.

SNK Readthrough: Volume 12 Part 12

There’s something I need to say

If you had just a few moments left, how would you spend them? Would you cry? Would you pray? How would you say goodbye to your best friend?

Eren and Mikasa are surrounded by Titans. No one is coming to their rescue. Eren is anguished over the death of Hannes, flashbacks of his mother, and feelings of total worthlessness.

Mikasa won’t allow it. If she has moments to live, she wants to use them making sure Eren knows his life wasn’t pointless.

We’ve seen Mikasa feeling vulnerable, but never when others were watching. To those on the outside looking in, she’s maintained a tough exterior. She finally let’s that mask slip away as she thanks Eren for being her family, for giving her a life.

Eren is shocked. He never understood her attachment to him. He viewed it as a burden. He couldn’t see the significance of wrapping the scarf around on her on that cold night so many years before.

Levi says in a future chapter that in order for Eren to reach his potential, he needs to be pushed into desperation. We see that happen here. For the first time since the murder of her parents, Mikasa needs him. She is relying on him. Suddenly he’s filled with power and moved to action.

SNK Readthrough: Volume 6, Part 8

 Eren is about to get his head chopped off by the elite soldiers. Levi is trying to protect him, when a much needed distraction comes joyously bounding in.

Ha! Hange literally pushed Gunter out of the way.

Look at these faces. Notice anything unusual?

Levi knew his wife Hange would come running in all her nerdy, scientific, exuberant glory. He probably wonders what took her so long.

SNK Readthrough: Volume 15 Part 12

The official English translation says Erwin was questioned at the hands of the Interior MPs. These are the people who murdered Nick. The ones who slashed Historia’s mother’s throat. The ones who shot the couple in the hot air balloon. The ones who killed Erwin’s father.

It’s no wonder he’s such a mess. The only reason he’s still alive is because the monarchy is eager to publicly hang him.

Yet throughout the torture interrogation, Erwin never wavered. He refused to falsely take responsibility for the death of Reeves and his men. He insisted that the Survey Corps is an ally to the people and the first line of defense against the Titan threat. He urges the ruling party to let the Survey Corps continue to fight for the survival of humanity.

The moment that affected me most profoundly is when Erwin’s gamble pays off and it’s proven that the government cared nothing for humanity. He reacts—not with triumph—but with sorrow.

Rather than thinking of himself, he worries about the future of mankind. He tells Nile they are on a more dangerous path than ever before.


SNK Readthrough: Volume 13 Part 17

Armin’s abuse and Jean’s reaction is worth talking about. I apologize in advance if this is lengthy and rambling.

The horrifying

One of Reeve’s thugs  straight up molests Armin. I’ve seen posts where people have said this isn’t molestation because Armin is a boy and thus doesn’t have breasts. That’s just rubbish.

Anyone who is touches another person in an unwanted sexual way is molesting that person. Armin is a victim of sexual molestation. He is being abused. He looks to Jean for help, tears running down his face.

We’ve seen Jean make some “heartless” decisions in the past. Planning an escape while his friends were being eaten (x), and trying to determine who to leave behind during the Female Titan arc (x) spring to mind.

Jean struggles when making tough decisions. He knows what must be done, but he hates himself for it.

We see that again here. Jean can’t help Armin without jeopardizing the mission. The mission must come first. So he averts his eyes and allows it to happen.

The heartwarming

Once the kidnappers are defeated and the mission is complete, Jean does everything he can to support Armin.

Levi asks Armin to secure his attacker’s gag. Jean notices Armin’s fear and hesitation. He immediately and steps in to take his place. I’m struck by how gentle Jean is, hand on Armin’s shoulder, kindness in his words. He doesn’t view Armin as weak or incapable. Rather, he respects that Armin isn’t ready to deal with what has happened.

(I wish Isayama had shown us the next panel. Jean probably did more than secure the gag. I’m sure there were a few well placed punches as well.)

Once they are back at base. Jean encourages Armin to talk about what happened. As they sit at the table, Jean literally has his arm around him. He doesn’t treat Armin as less of a person because the abuse happened, rather he works to comfort and reassure him.

The more he talks about it, the better he’ll feel. Connie and Sasha also lend support to Armin.

(I saw a cute jearmin post that shows what a “touchy feely” guy Jean is. I hadn’t noticed all the times he physically touches his friends until it was pointed out to me. )

SNK Readthrough: Volume 15 Part 18

Hange hasn’t seen Levi since she had to abruptly leave their hideout to deliver an important message to Erwin. There last bit of together time was torturing Sannes. With her mission in Trost complete, it’s time to get the team back together.

While not exactly a James Bond moment, this panel provided us with a delightful dose of intrigue. We discover that long before the Survey Corps was under attack, Levi and Hange chose “Moppel’s Barn” as rendezvous location complete with code words and nicknames. 

I have strong need of the backstory of this, canon or otherwise *looks imploringly at fanfiction writers*. Why was Moppel’s barn chosen? Did it have significance for them. Like special significance? *mind wanders into shippy headcanon*

SNK Readthrough: Volume 16 Part 12

Chapter 65 confirmed something many of us had long suspected, namely, young Kenny Ackerman was hot.  It also confirmed something we couldn’t possibly have known: Levi has his grandfather’s eyes. 

Levi’s mother was Kuchel. She worked in a brothel. He and Mikasa are distant cousins. And while Kenny is undoubtedly a psychopath, he has a bit of a soft spot for his family. 

So yeah, nice details. But it all felt more “ahh” than “OMG!!!” to me.

Perhaps the biggest reveal in this most recent expository dump was that the Asian bloodline is also immune from the King’s mindwhammy, making Mikasa some sort of unholy hybrid of rebellion for the monarchy. 

SNK Readthrough: Volume 16 Part 3

“Unlike you, Erwin, I’m not a betting man. And also unlike you, I care more about the number of surviving humans than my own life.” - Dot Pixis, Ch 63

Ouch, man. I thought you were Erwin’s friend. Way to kick him when he’s down. 

I’ve read this scene a dozen times to try to understand why Pixis is so harsh with Erwin.  I’d like to chalk it up to stress since it’s been a rough week for the both of them.

Pixis has shown he doesn’t rush into decisions. As it turns out, he had long suspected the government’s corruption and also knew of Zackley’s dark side. He was planning on handling both in his own time, in the least destructive way possible. So maybe he’s angry that Erwin forced his hand prematurely. Or maybe Pixis was an unseen passenger in the carriage ride and overheard Zackley’s harsh assessment of Erwin’s character.

Whatever the reason, it makes me sad.  

Pixis and Erwin have been together a few times since these scene. I haven’t noticed any lingering hostilities. So I’m hopeful that these hurt feelings have passed and my favorite  bromance is back on track.

SNK Readthrough: Volume 17 Part 19

Ugh. Can I just say how much I hate Darius Zackly? Because I really hate Darius Zackly.

Erwin is presenting the plan for the return to Shiganshina. He knows what’s on the line. He knows the sacrifices that have been made. He feels guilty and responsible for each and every soldier who died under his command. They matter to him.

But that shmarmy and disgusting Darius Zackly filth responds to Erwin speech by essentially reminding him of their conversation in the carriage, the one where he accused Erwin of selfishness and said they were the same. Did I mention that I hate Darius Zackly? Because I do.

Looking at the faces of the men assembled, Zackly seems extraordinarily pleased with his efforts to degrade Erwin. Pixis is probably disgusted. Erwin refuses eye contact. He is no doubt soaking in Darius Zackly’s assessment and adding it to the long list of reasons to hate himself. 

But it’s Levi I’m curious about. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s studying Erwin, taking Erwin’s emotional temperature, trying to decide how Erwin is being affected by the crap spewing from Zackly’s mouth.

SNK Readthrough: Volume 16 Part 19

“I can’t be a good girl, and I don’t want to be a God. But when I see someone crying, saying no one needs them, I want to tell them it’s not true.”

As I reflect on the two most important people in Historia’s life, I’m struck by their similarities.

There have been hints that Ymir, like Frieda, is royalty. Both were sacrificed at a young age. Frieda gave up her life when she became a pawn of the King Titan; Ymir when she died to bring happiness to many people (ch 40). 

Both women loved Historia. Both sought to protect her. The Wall Cult considered Historia an abomination, a stain that needed to be blotted out. Frieda thought the solution was for Historia to be a good girl, to make everyone love her. Ymir’s advice was the opposite: stop being a good girl, determine your own fate!

The difference in attitude might be the result of life experience. Ymir was granted a second chance.  I wonder if Frieda was given a do-over what her message to Historia would be.

In the end, both women were successful in giving Historia what she needed to survive. Frieda did so by giving Historia a past, revealing to her that she was never truly alone. And Ymir by giving her a future, by showing Historia how to live.