After getting the better of a Titan outside the walls and escaping what should have been sure death, Kuklo and the Survey Corps make it back to the safety of Shiganshina, where the Military Police are waiting to detain him for the murder of his former master Dario. But there will be no execution for the Titan’s son and no trial. The MPs have a much crueler punishment in mind…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Kuklo finds himself behind bars once again as this volume of Attack on Titan: Before the Fall starts. Stubbornly railing against his fate makes him the goal of the guards in the jail cell that is subterranean. Meanwhile on the surface Sharle begs with Carlo to save him. She clarifies all of what went on to Carlo who sympathizes, but doesn’t look sufficiently remorseful for the part he played in Kuklo’s depressed youth.
Kuklo meets with a fellow prisoner, a theatrical pretty boy named Cardina Baumeister. I almost mistook him for a woman in the beginning. I mean, how the guy manages to keep his hair totally wavy in a hole in the ground is a whole enigma. Kuklo comprehends the name and makes the connection between Sharle and him. This is the guy Sharle didn’t need to be married away to. Cardina is likewise the victim of politics, and clues Kuklo in on their destiny. The prison they were in was for those that the military police need evaporated. They will be taken beyond the walls and let go into titan land, and formally marked as dead person.
Cardina figures that their only opportunity for survival is to try to locate a mythical town of exiled outlaws called Naraka. So they sit and bide their time until the day when they’re tossed out in to the wilds. Kuklo hope is his dagger whom a mysterious soldier presses in to his hand right before they’re sent to expire.
What follows is a fight for their lives and Kuklo and Cardina challenge to escape and flee from the approaching titans. Kuklo’s agility and ability comes back in as he attempts to take on the small titans and save Cardina’s life to concentrate. The plan to escape north is hopeless, but a glimmer of light on the wall might be the salvation they were looking for.
The action itself is chaotic. The difference in size of both fighting bodies makes it hopeless to get the whole image at the same time. The end result are fragments of action punctuated by speed lines and close ups with nothing to connect one shot to the next. Despite the confusion the whole confrontation does keep an element of tension, chiefly because we don’t know not or if Cardina will live through it. This being a Titan string, anyone’s life could be forfeit at any time.
When redemption arrives on the alloy line of something just being called ‘the device.’ it is It’s the prototype of the equipment the Corps uses in the future, and the man who uses it to save Kuklo is the fist man to take down Jorge Pikale, a titan. He’s Carlo’s dad, although not only the hero of the Corps as well. Kuklo is taken in to the titan fighting corps under Jorge’s wing, who recognizes the boy as having what it might require to finally make fighting titans a reality.
This volume of Before the Fall is one fast read, with the activity making up the bulk of the narrative. We do get some extremely important motion on the route to turning Kuklo into the badass that he’s being set up to be. The introduction of some crucial characters set him up to escape the fate which has been dogging him. Kuklo still feels like a leaf on the wind, reacting to what’s happening more so than taking action for himself, (and that Guts-junior hair cut has to go. Seriously.) Now that he longer a criminal that is wanted it will be interesting to see how he can improve.