Attack on Titan was one of the very first universes introduced to me when I started watching anime. I have been through its various ups and downs, peaks and valleys, and still can confidently say it is one of my favorites. I let the manga get a little ahead and so I have been doing some catch up that being said reading chapter 112 was another one of those head scratching moments from Isayama. It was stupider than the Reiner reveal that he and Bertolt were the Armored and Colossal Titans. Its another moment where I was left wondering why it felt so bad from a reader perspective.
If I am giving AOT the fairest shake I can I could say that stress causes the characters to make very bad irrational decisions. This is me fan-boying as much as humanly possible. Yes Eren was so stressed about the survival of Eldia that he is making terrible decisions and thinks that cooperating with Zeke is a good idea. Another idea is that when you get to the end of your assumed life span (those with titan powers are on a hard time clock of 13 years) you make bad decisions. So maybe Eren is thinking sure I am going to die so I might as well destroy the world and ensure Eldia’s survival. The only other thing that I can think of to justify this terrible turn of narrative events is Eren has always been obsessed with killing Titans that he reverts back to the mental age of 12 and decides that experience be damned he is going to destroy Eldia because all Titans are evil and must die. At this point its really grasping at straws to make a good narrative argument for this chapter. We all make mistakes Eren included.
Part of what makes this chapter feel so bad is because it feels completely out of character for Eren. He listens to one volunteer soldier from Marley who is working with Zeke and decides he needs to all of a sudden follow Zeke’s plan. Is his need to feel free and liberated so strong that he ignores all logic? Never mind the fact that Zeke is responsible for the death of so many Eldians, was literally their enemy and is indirectly responsible for Commander Erwin’s death along with many others in the survey corps. Eren has always been obsessed, but he learned along the way. Or so I had thought, apparently he is as dumb as rocks. Lets forget the fact that Eren also was responsible for driving away the Marleyan forces from Paradis Island. Lets also forget the fact that Eren would do anything for his friends, why did we bother even saving Armin? Lets have Erwin back. Eren has never been the cool and calculated type. But I guess he will do anything for Zeke, but he can never forgive Reiner for what he has done. Eren is so out of character I am not even sure he is the same character.
Also lets not forget the personal attacks as well. Eren goes on to accuse others of being enslaved. Poor Armin gets accused of only going to see Annie because he consumed Bertolt. You have Bertolt’s memories so you have to see Annie. Mikasa you are just following the Ackerman blood programming and have to protect me no matter what. And lets make is juicier by saying because Mikasa has been protecting him the whole time its made Eren resent her. Excuse me Eren? Are you even listening to yourself, you sound crazier than an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.
The only thing that gets done right by Isayama is Armin punches Eren in the face. Yes that is a little more than deserved.