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Attack On Titan Vol. #09 Manga Review

4 min read
Attack on Titan Vol. #9
Attack on Titan Vol. #9

What secret is the Church guarding that is more important than saving their species?

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Hajime Isayama
Translation: Ko Ransom

What They Say
HUMANITY’S WORST NIGHTMARE
Eren is still resting from his brutal fight with the female Titan, when word reaches the interior that the impossible has happened: Wall Rose itself has been breached, and Titans are pouring through the gap! The emergency casts new urgency over Armin and Hange’s questions about how the walls were built, and what humanity can do to restore them…

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Once again, the cover art does not accurately portray events of this volume of Attack on Titan.  Yes, the giant ape-titan exists and attacks, even killing a cast member, but Eren is no where near it at the time.  There are far more interesting happenings in this volume than titan battles.

The survey corps received some of the worst news of their life at the end of the last volume.  Titans were swarming into the midlands, which would suggest that Wall Rose had been breached.  With resources already stretched thin, a loss of the majority of the farmland available to humanity would be a death sentence.  They haven’t thought that far ahead yet, but the dawning panic is there.

A plan is swiftly hatched to find a way to stop any more titans from entering.  That plan once again hinges on Eren, and relies on a newly learned fact about the walls that protect them.  If Eren can permanently shed his titan skin into whatever gap exists in the wall, then they might be able to save the situation from total human annihilation.

Everyone seems to love Sasha, and the author apparently does too.  Her chapters get the best artwork of the volume and her father is by far the best drawn character in the series to date.  Her backstory is interesting and explains a few things about her behavior, in typical Sasha fashion. She even gets a moment of complete badassery to give her fans something else to love her for, rather than her appetite.  Hopefully this isn’t just setting us up to see her brutally die soon.

In a volume full of intrigue, plotting and planning, the most interesting part of this volume involves what’s found in the outer villages.  Connie rides out to his home town only to find it destroyed and a titan lying on his collapsed house.  The town is, however, deserted and there’s no blood or human remains around.  Connie is more stricken with the fact that the titan lying prone on his house might just be his mother.  The very idea is crazy, but a whole town turning titan might not be the weirdest thing in this volume.

His group makes for an abandoned castle near Wall Rose.  We’re reintroduced to a character this volume, a corps member named Ymir. I’m guessing she’s been around in the background and that we haven’t noticed her (and it took me a while to realize that Ymir is a woman.)  She’s been watching over Krista like a hawk, trying to keep her out of harms way.  We find out that Krista is church royalty, which would make Ymir something of a body guard.  Ymir is as sketchy as they come though, and seems to know more about their world than the others. The secret to what is really going on lies with Krista, if the others can get her and her bodyguard to tell them what is going on.

As all of the major players make for the castle near the wall breach a realization dawns on the group out there.

There is no wall breach!

In Summary:
Sasha fans rejoice! You’re favorite character gets both her backstory fleshed out and a bit of titan fighting action to brag about!  Meanwhile, Eren is stuck in a cart heading off to attempt to solve a problem which may not actually exist.  The battle against the titans was once seen as a continuous natural disaster for the corps, but is now shifting to what it really is, a prolonged war against a mysterious adversary.  Now, if only the art could stabilize into something a little more refined…

Content Grade: B +
Art Grade: C
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: November 26th, 2013
MSRP: $10.99