Attack on Titan Chapter 131 Review and Recap: Since the Attack on Titan anime hasn’t been on for almost a year, we’ve decided to keep reading the manga past where the TV show left off. One chapter at a time, we’ll talk about and review these wonderful chapters. Today, we’ll talk about Attack on Titan Chapter 131, “The Rumbling,” from the manga.
This May Be the Most Painful Chapter So Far
During the year between Part 1 and Part 2 of Season 4 of Attack on Titan, I caught up on the manga. Then I read each chapter as I watched the anime episode that went with it. Chapter 131 may be the most heartbreaking of all the chapters so far.
I can’t even begin to think about how this will look on TV when the show comes back next year. I’m just glad this chapter didn’t end Season 4 Part 2, because it would have been a sad way to start what will probably be a year-long break.
The chapter looks at The Rumbling from Eren’s and the small boy’s points of view. Eren and his friends befriended the small boy in Chapter 123. (which was not aired in the anime until the Season 4 Part 2 finale.) I now understand why they didn’t air this until the anime came out. They wanted the audience to feel more connected to the little boy when the new episode comes out.
At the start of the episode, Ramzi and his friend Halil talk about the money Ramzi has stolen. Ramzi is saving money so that they can leave the immigration camps and live somewhere nicer in the future. But while they’re talking, they see people running for their lives as the scary sound of the Rumbling gets closer.
The birds running away is the first thing we see. Throughout the series, they have been a strong theme. Usually, they mean freedom, like when Eren was watching the bird fly over the wall. Or when Falco was sleeping on the battlefield and woke up to see a bird flying over him. They now stand for the freedom to run away from danger.
We go back in time to when Eren and the rest of the group went to see Marley (which was just shown in Season 4 Episode 28 but took place in the manga back in Chapter 123.) Eren already knew that during the visit, he was going to kill everyone he met. He said it was because they never found a way for Paradis to stay alive. But as he walks through Marley, he can’t stop thinking about what he’s going to do, and he wonders what his mother would think.
Is Eren Controlling Eren?
Then he starts to doubt everything. He remembers what the King of the Wall promised and wonders, “Shouldn’t we Eldians be the ones to die?” He knows that the Titan problem would be solved if all the Eldians were killed. And in the end, his plan would kill a lot more people than if he just let the people of Paradis die. He seems to be coming around to Zeke’s or King Fritz’s way of thinking. But then something shifts.
I haven’t read past this chapter yet, but I think this panel shows Eren’s mind being taken over by a Titan. Look at how his eye changes and gets sparkly when he decides all of a sudden that he can’t accept an ending in which Paradis dies.
It reminds me a lot of when Grisha talked to Frieda and she seemed to be changing her mind, but then the Founding Titan and its ideas took over her. At that moment, it was the Founding Titan, not Frieda, who was talking through the host.
This panel shows that Eren might have a similar thing happen to him. It makes me wonder if the OG Attack Titan’s hosts are being controlled by a personality that wants freedom and wants to kill everyone except the Parisians. Or, if Eren is the OG Attack Titan after Rumbling and he is controlling this younger version of Eren in this panel. The Attack Titan is like the Founding Titan in that it controls hosts from the past. We already know that the Attack can send back certain memories to previous hosts, and we’ve seen Eren have an effect on Past Grisha, so this isn’t a crazy idea.
Was Eren ever really free if Future Eren always had power over him? What a strange chicken-or-egg question.
The next few panels are strange and don’t seem to fit with what we saw in Chapter 123. Here, Eren finds older men beating up Ramzi in an alley, a scene that is very similar to when young Eren found Armin being beaten up in Paradis at the beginning of Attack on Titan. Eren walks away because he knows he’s going to kill the kid no matter what, so why bother? Then we see him carrying the kid back to his people and complaining that he is just like Reiner but worse. He apologizes to the boy while crying, but the boy doesn’t know why.
But this doesn’t make sense with what happened in Chapter 123, where Levi saved the same boy. I don’t know for sure. Could Eren have saved one and Levi have saved the other?
Ramzi’s Sad Story Happened as Ymir Looked on
Ramzi haunts Eren. When Gabi shot off Eren’s head and he went to find Zeke in the Paths, we saw pieces of memories following him. In both the manga and the anime, Ramzi was one of them.
Now, in the manga, we see how sad it was for Ramzi and his brother to try to get away from the Rumbling. But there’s nowhere to go. They can’t even get away by climbing a mountain, because the Rumbling is also there.
When Ramzi dies, the scene is horrifying. The manga doesn’t hold back when it comes to showing how much blood the Rumbling has caused. Since the anime is shown on public TV in Japan, I think they will have to cut out a lot.
We see the Founder Ymir in the background while Ramzi is dying. It looks like Ramzi may even see her as he dies. If Ramzi is an Eldian, could Ymir rebuild him in the Paths even though he never became a Titan?
But the real question is why and what this has to do with Ymir. Is Ymir in charge of Eren? Is she helpless because all she can do is watch the destruction?
Eren’s Grief and a Wish That’s Like a Promise
Eren complains that the world outside the walls is nothing like what he saw in Armin’s books. I’ve always thought that Armin’s story goes on, and I wonder if we’ll ever find out what it is. He said that his grandfather was the one who gave him his name. His grandfather had a book about the world outside the walls that was against the law. We never met his parents because when he was very young, they took him on a trip outside the city walls and we never saw them again. We can only assume that they were eaten, but is that really what happened?
But let’s get back to Eren’s grief. He says that when he found out what people were like outside the walls, he was so sad. But he’s also a disappointment because he chose violence and killed a nice little boy named Ramzi.
He then says, “So I made a wish. I wished for it to all be wiped away.”
Does Eren mean that his wish set all of this in motion and that he can’t take it back? Is it a promise like the one King Fritz made, and is it hard to break?
We get a better look at Eren’s huge Founding Titan body after a few Rumbling horror panels. On that panel, it says, “They were always there, no matter where I looked, from the moment I was born… Those lousy walls.” When he was young, he thought that anyone who could see outside the wall would be the freest person in the world.
And while he’s crushing the world under his feet, “child Eren” is looking up into the sky, happy and free, above all the sadness. Some people have thought this might be regressing in age. But I think it goes deeper than that and has something to do with the Paths.
Eren, a young boy, looks up at the sky and says, “We finally made it!” I think it’s important to note that he’s looking up at the sky, not down at the damage.
Because he’s so sad, is Eren “splitting his personality” as Reiner did? Is his childish side being spared and making him forget about the horrible things going on below him? Did Ymir step in to hide the truth from him about what he is doing?
At that moment, it’s hard to tell. It looks like Child Eren is in the Paths and calls Armin up to join him for a short time, just like Eren did when he called all of the Eldians into the path with him. It’s just for a short time. Armin sees him, knows who he is, and then leaves.
Is there a chance that Eren the Child has been stuck in the Paths for a long time? Or did Eren just come up with this new way to protect himself?
Attack on Titan Chapter 131, “The Rumbling,” may be the most painful chapter so far, as it looks at The Rumbling from Eren’s and the small boy’s perspectives. Eren’s mind is being taken over by a Titan, possibly the OG Attack Titan after Rumbling, who wants freedom and wants to kill everyone except the Paradisians. Eren finds Ramzi in an alley and carries him back to his people, but this doesn’t make sense with what happened in Chapter 123.
Ramzi’s sad story happened as Ymir looked on, and Ymir may have rebuilt him in the Paths even though he never became a Titan. Eren’s wish for the world to be wiped away is a promise like the one King Fritz made and is hard to break. Eren may have been stuck in the Paths for a long time or may have come up with a new way to protect himself.