Attack on Titan, one of the most popular manga of all time, ended on April 9, 2021! The ending, the last chapter of Attack on Titan was the most controversial in the community! When I read that ending for the first time, I felt a bit off. To be more precise, I had the mentality of “It is what it is I guess” and moved on never to think of it again. But after thinking about it again, I have to say, Chapter 139 was an ending that honestly disappointed me greatly. And you know what, we could have gotten the exact same ending regardless of IF THE CREATOR Hajime Isayama WANTING IT.
What made the ending sour for me? What exactly led to me feeling odd about it? For me, it was the sudden shift of Eren’s character and determination. This man, spent his whole life, with this single mindset of destroying his enemies, and stopped at nothing to accomplish it. There was no sign of his will wavering, no sign of him second doubting himself, and no sign of him regretting it. Yet, chapter 139 suddenly made it seem like Eren had no idea why he did what he did. He decided to stop and 80% genocide, which when you think about it, left the people in Paradise Island in an even worse advantage and overall failed in his mission. My problem with it isn’t that he failed. If written correctly it could have worked, but Eren caving in the last minute, leaving so many unexplained things that it left a sour taste.
Hajime Isayama could have had the exact same ending but made sure that Eren maintained his conviction to the bitter end. Make him go down as the villain he is, rather than try to make us feel bad for him. Which is asinine since he killed 80% of the human race.
Eren could have been one of the greatest villains ever created in the manga. A villain that fans have related from the beginning and are able to see his descent into darkness and understand it logically. The manga could have perfectly illustrated what it looks like to actually successfully destroy the world and have it make sense within the boundaries of the story. As evil as Eren plan was, there was no way for peace to happen after everything he did, 100% genocide was the only option. The only way to ensure that his friends could live.
Instead, we got a cold-feet Eren who lost his motivation. Not to mention that it was never explained how the Titan curse was cured in the end, but in fact, was hinted to happen again in the last panel. The more I think about that last chapter, the more upset I became, which could have been why I didn’t analyze as much as I did back then. I didn’t want to! A shame really, it’s amazing how literally 99% can be amazing, and the last chapter ends up bringing it all crashing down.