Attack On Titan: The Problem With Redeeming Reiner

Attack On Titan has definitely switched things up when it comes to the final stories that the popular dark anime series is telling, but the Marley Arc of the anime has definitely seen the most changes to the character of Reiner, the Armored Titan, but the recent chapter of the dark anime's manga has us wondering if Reiner's redemption is earned. With a new Survey Corps being formed combining soldiers from both Marley and Eldia in an effort to defeat the nefarious "euthanasia plan" created by Eren Jaeger, Reiner is now on the side of angels himself but still has far too many horrible deeds in his past.

In a way, we can see what the creator of the series, Hajime Isayama, is attempting to do here with Reiner. With the Eldians in Armin, Jean, Connie, and Mikasa having had to slice through some of their old comrades in a bid to stop the citizens of Marley from being killed under the feet of the Rumbling, they attempt to find common ground with the Armored Titan as they ride aboard a plane to make their way to the younger Jaeger. Connie specifically begins to empathize with Reiner, thinking how difficult it must have been for him, but honestly, it's a story beat that rubs us the wrong way when all is said and done.

Attack On Titan Reiner
(Photo: Studio Wit)

Yes, the heroes of Eldia were forced to cut down some of their comrades, but they were doing so to save a people from genocide. Reiner may have thought he was doing the same, but the Armored Titan didn't just kill soldiers, Braun's actions caused the deaths of countless innocent civilians within the walls and he practically took enjoyment in his murderous rampage in the early days. While ultimately, Reiner's character has changed and he has felt remorse for the things he's done, Isayama's message that maybe he's the same as the soldiers of Eldia simply does not work.

Reiner's tale of redemption is still an interesting one and one that is strong for the character, but laying it out so that characters like Connie, Jean, Armin, and Mikasa feel that they're on the same moral play ground as the Armored Titan is a story beat that doesn't feel right. In a way, it feels as if Isayama is saying that all the characters reacted to this war in a similar fashion, when in fact, the Armored Titan was a genocidal villain whose ultimate redemption is still far off.

What do you think of Reiner's redemption story overall? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of the Titans!