Attack on Titan (2017)


Volume 23

Attack on Titan - Volume 23 (2017)

Author/Artist: Hajime Isayama
Publisher: KC Magazine

Several years after Sieg and Reiner retreat from Paradis Island, a new generation of warrior candidates are being readied as Marley struggles in its war of conquest.

I'd had the time skip spoiled for me already, but I wasn't expecting an entire volume (and likely a large part if not the entirety of the next one) to be set in Marley, focusing on the young people being groomed to succeed Sieg and Reiner. Though we'd gotten a glimpse of how terrible Marley is from Grisha's memories, the extent of their brainwashing and totalitarianism makes the military dictatorship on Paradis look cute and cuddly by comparison. The climate of paranoia is palpable. The one problem is that I don't feel all that invested in the new characters. I do like Gabby and it could be interesting to see where things go with Falco, but since they represent a side that I don't want to succeed in any way, shape or form and whatever well-meaning intentions they have are entirely deluded (and by "they" I only mean the poor Eldians because there has yet to be a Marleyan who's in any way sympathetic). I guess we'll see where this goes, but if we stick with this perspective flip too long, I might find myself getting disengaged.

There's not much new to say here. The action scenes make a strong impact. A lot of the facial expressions are still wonky. The human ordnance is incredibly creepy, so points there.

We're still continuing the high school AU in the fake previews and I'm loving it. This really needs its own series.

While I'm satisfied on the whole, the fact that we're disconnected from the characters that we've been following for so long (especially after such major developments in the plot) rubs me the wrong way a bit. While it's interesting to get a look at the Marley side, I think it might have been better to have the Marley and Paradis narratives running in parallel to keep us engaged, though I suppose this does build some suspense leaving us wondering what's been going on with our gang these past few years. I'm willing to give Isayama a little more time to show us where this goes, but I'll admit this volume isn't as compelling as some of the more recent ones. It's still worth a read, I'd say, and fans will want it in their collection, but in and of itself, I don't think it's as much of a must-have.

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