Hands down the best chapter of the entire arc. 10/10, possibly a contender for best chapter of the entire series, but that's a debate for some other time. Many Historia feels involving Ymir, Frieda and of course, Eren. I was afraid he was going to die, either him or Historia, but again Isayama proves differently. So much character development and personal admiration for all of the characters in this chapter - apart from Rod, of course. The approach to that in this chapter settles it all, and Historia's true feelings are now revealed and pure awesome.
This blog post is to note the highlights of the chapter and my thoughts on it. Please be warned, this review contains heavy manga spoilers.
So, turns out Historia is an atheist. Can't say I blame her with all the horror she's experienced in her life. The chapter starts off with her having memories of Ymir, Frieda and her time as a trainee. Frieda is distraught over her "climbing the fence", which either has some kind of hidden poetic meaning or it simply means she doesn't want her sister to get splinters. Probably some deeper meaning.
We also see Ymir disapprovingly ask Historia whether or not she is doing a "good deed" again. We then see flashbacks of Ymir telling her to "live your life with pride in your heart". First ever Ymir feels. I'm starting to like these characters a lot more now. This whole chapter by now is just golden. Historia throws the syringe to the ground and topples a grown man over onto the floor, which I should say, was probably one of the most amazing moments of the arc. She says all that he told her was complete crap and attempts to rescue Eren, discarding his suicidal tendencies for him as - WHAT?!?! Rod licks the serum as he creepily mumbles something about returning to the other Reiss's again.
Rod transforms into a Titan, a large spine appearing to form the enormous monster. Levi estimates it's larger than Bertolt, the Colossal Titan, who is 60 meters tall - this may be the biggest Titan yet that they will face, and I have a feeling it won't end without severe casualties on both sides. The ceiling of the massive crystal chapel is collapsing, and the biggest Titan in the series is hell-bent on killing and eating Eren.
Eren notices writing on the canister that came out of Rod's little purse - as if he would actually have time for that - and reads it as: Armor - Braun. YEP. That indicates Reiner has some role in all this, and possibly might even indicate that Rod is actually on the Titans' side and was a distributor of BRA's abilities. This is also supported by the fact that he mentioned someone who was on the side of the Titans before, and seeing as all of his storytelling was debunked by Historia, he may have made up some of his lies based on truth. Historia convinces Eren to abandon his suicide request and instead to fight back. She's no longer believing the BS fed to her by Rod and is taking a stand, and a big one at that.
And there it is again: Another great climax (or the start of a climax?) revolving around Eren's mistakes regarding Levi's former squad and his No Regrets complex.
Remind you of anything?
But this time, Eren's ready, and it's his own choice. He won't make the same mistake as last time either. YES YES YES!!!! GO EREN! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! SCREW WHAT THEY THINK!!
Edit: I was told Eren is still hesitating, but that this time he's choosing to believe in himself, so the situations aren't exactly identical. It's speculative.
So, what are we to make of all this? Is Eren going to become an Armored Titan? Or maybe an Armored Rogue Titan? Is this a plot device in order to have Eren eventually seal the Walls using some kind of bulk hardening ability? It was speculated that they would have removed Annie from her crystal for her to teach Eren the hardening abilities, but this makes things much more interesting. Either way, there's one thing we're guaranteed in the next chapter: Titans.