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Quote1 That's right... No one's at fault here... Nothing could have made a difference. Not in a world that is this cruel. Quote2
— Bertolt finally accepts the necessity of his actions

Descent (光臨 Kōrin?) is the 4th and final chapter of the 19th volume and the 78th chapter overall of the Attack on Titan manga, written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama.

Overview

As the soldiers of the Survey Corps attempt to escape the immediate area where Bertolt's Colossus Titan form will land, Erwin laments that the Corps has been outsmarted. However, Bertolt aborts his attack in order to tend to Reiner's mangled body. Seeing this as the last chance to negotiate, Armin intercepts Bertolt and attempts to talk things out with him, but Bertolt is resolute in his belief that humanity must be destroyed. After a short battle with Mikasa, Bertolt quickly retreats, and is pursued by Hange and her squad.

As Corps soldiers move to kill Reiner, they are shocked to see that his Titan form has positioned itself so that they cannot reach his human form. It is at this moment that that Bertolt transforms into his Colossus Titan form, with the resulting blast engulfing Hange's squad. With all of their comrades seemingly killed, Squad Levi is left to face Bertolt alone.

Summary

As Commander Erwin watches the barrel containing Bertolt fly into Shiganshina, he laments that the Corps has been outsmarted by Zeke.

Hange orders her soldiers to evacuate the immediate area to avoid Bertolt, but Armin notes that they will not be able to move fast enough to escape the blast from Bertolt's landing.

As he observes the ground below from his barrel, Bertolt prepares to transform into his Titan form, but is alarmed by the sight of Reiner's mangled body. Putting a halt to his plan, Bertolt exits the barrel and uses his vertical maneuvering equipment to approach Reiner's body, where he is relieved to find that Reiner is still alive. Deducing that Reiner survived by transferring his consciousness to his nervous system, Bertolt notes his disbelief that Reiner would utilize such a risky tactic. Steeling himself, Bertolt asks Reiner to either try to move, or brace himself for Bertolt's next attack.

Elsewhere, Hange notes that Bertolt has stopped his attack to check on Reiner, and to take the opportunity to attack him. As Bertolt approaches, Hange leaves Squad Levi to protect Eren while her team fights Bertolt, but she is stopped from attacking by Armin, who insists on trying to negotiate with Bertolt one last time.

Mikasa tries to kill Bertolt

Mikasa attempts to kill Bertolt

When asked to negotiate by Armin, Bertolt states that he has two demands: for the Survey Corps to turn over Eren, and for the complete destruction of humanity withing the Walls. In desperation, Armin tries to manipulate Bertolt by reminding him of Annie's torture, but is surprised to find that Bertolt no longer believes his lie. Armin tries to flee, but is stopped by Bertolt, who reveals that he knows that Armin is trying to buy time for the Survey Corps soldiers to surround them while others go to finish off Reiner. A terrified Armin asks why Bertolt agreed to talk if he had deduced the his plans, and Bertolt reveals that he wanted to make sure he would not break down like he did the last time he faced his former comrades. Armin asks if Bertolt and his people are trying to kill the residents of the Walls because they are descendants of evil, but Bertolt assures him that they have not done anything wrong, they just need to die.

Mikasa attacks Bertolt from behind, but only manages to slice off his ear before being kicked away. Bertolt attempts to kill Armin, but is stopped by Mikasa and quickly retreats. Mikasa stops Armin from pursuing Bertolt, suggesting that they retreat so that they are not caught in the blast if he changes to his Titan form. Armin argues out that Bertolt would not risk transforming with Reiner incapacitated and unable to escape the blast, but Mikasa points out that Bertolt did not seem to be himself, and seemed to have something planned.

Hange and Moblit Explosion

Hange and Moblit are caught in the explosion of Bertolt's transformation

The soldiers sent to finish off Reiner prepare to kill him, but are surprised to see that Reiner's Titan form has rolled onto its back so that they can no longer reach Reiner in his Titan's nape. As Bertolt maneuvers through Shiganshina with his vertical maneuvering equipment, he calmly notes that he does not feel any fear, despite the approaching Survey Corps soldiers.
Shiganshina Battle Colossal Titan

The Colossus Titan appears for the Battle of Shiganshina

As he propels himself into the air over Shiganshina, Bertolt notes that no one is at fault. Nothing could have made a difference in such a cruel world.

Seeing Bertolt ascend into the air, Hange frantically orders her soldiers to retreat, as Bertolt begins to transform. Squad Levi takes refuge from the blast of Bertolt's transformation, as Hange's squad is engulfed in the blast from Bertolt's Titan. As Mikasa and Armin reunite with the rest of Squad Levi, Jean demands to know what happened to Hange's squad, and Armin reveals that they had been next to Bertolt when he transformed. As Squad Levi observes Bertolt's Titan form towering over the flaming wreckage of Shinganshina, they are stunned to see that they are the only ones who appear to have survived the blast.

Characters in Order of Appearance

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Start a Discussion Discussions about Descent

  • Chapter #78: "Descent"

    83 messages
    • Manuel de la Fuente wrote: I haven't posted my impressions about this chapter yet, so let's do it: *This was a chapter that f...
    • It seems like everytime we have some idea on what the Titan Shifters ultimate goal is, they do something that completely alters it. So human...
  • Chapter 78 Poll

    15 messages
    • 212.235.68.38 wrote:Abbysfun made a really cool poll suggestion. too bad i cant kodus him because i have no account here. so its his suggest...

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