“Attack on titan” is more than just an anime
Warning: This blog contains spoilers and graphic contents
“It’s just only people flying around and fighting titans isn’t it?”
This must be everyone’s thoughts on this anime when it first came out on 2013 and no one would not expects on how this anime turns out.
Attack on titan is an original manga by Hajime Isayama with genres of Action, Drama, Mystery and Fantasy. From what it sounds, it may look like a normal shounen comic but it is way deeper than we thought. At the first season of the anime version, it really is a typical shounen anime where a group of protagonists try to fight for their lives but with the following seasons, it keeps digging down into truths and mysteries.
The world that has a conflict between 2 nations “Marley” and “Eldia”. A young slave girl of eldia, Ymir, accidently received a powerful titan power from a strange parasite under the tree root and later be called “The Founding titan”.
King fritz, leader of eldians at that time use Ymir to fight the war against Marley but later, Ymir died protecting king fritz from the assassination. King Fritz decided to let his children Maris, Rose and Sheena ate Ymir’s body to inherit her power then the power split into their children.
Time passed by and the power of titans split to 9 people and those who inherited the power will be an intelligent titan. They will a lifespan of 13 years due to “The Curse of Ymir”.
King fritz the 145th decided to stop the endless war by created the false story of Marley defeated eldia and moved all eldians to the island called paradise island. He wiped all eldian’s memories and created the walls to keep eldians inside.
Centuries after, the eldians who were not moved the paradise island are being kept in the detention zone of Marley. Some of them who break the rules are killed or force to turned into titan with no intelligence and sent to paradise island to attack the eldians.
Grisha yaeger, the eldian who was born in Eldian detention zone and later became one of the eldian restorationist. They tried to declare a revolution but failed and all of them were sent to paradise island.
Grisha survived the titan injection and ran away inside the wall. Later on, Grisha has a son named Eren yaeger and he tried to tell eren the truth of this world but the wall got destroyed before that by the colossal titan, one of the 9 titans. Eren’s house got destroyed and his mother got eaten by a titan that invaded the wall. After the genocide, Eren vowed to destroy all titan in this world and later he decided to join the military.
And that is the brief storyline and from what it sounds it may sounds like a action-fantasy anime but there are something more than that and I going to split into several topics.
Power, Anarchy, Corruption and Freedom inside the walls
First of all, Lets get into more detail about the wall. The wall is divided into 3 layers Maria, Rose and Sheena which is named after the children of King Fritz the first.
The outermost wall of which contains lives of normal people like farmers and labors.
The second outermost wall which contains The wealthy and politician.
The innermost wall which you can tell that it is the resident of high ranks and royal family.
Protect or Cover up?
From the wall’s description, we can see that people who live in wall maria are most likely a shield in case of the titan invasion. But what is the meaning of the wall exactly? People inside the wall do believe that the walls are used to protect them from titans but the real purpose is Karl fritz(145th king of eldia) wants their people to stay inside the wall and believe that titan is the threats but in the outside world the real enemy is people that hate eldians and titans just a factor that strengthen the reason to keep them. And those titans are also human after all.
Freedom of thinking and curiosity
Human is a creature with curiosity and curiosity killed the cats.
Of course, there will be people who want to find the truth and those people can create a revolution. But what has stopped them?
In the wall’s military has 3 regiments Garrison, Scout and Military police. Garrison is like a shield protecting the wall from threats. Scout is the most risk regiment because they were sent outside the wall to find the information on how to kill titans and Military Police work in the inner side of the wall alongside the king and royal family.
It started from Grisha who came from outside the wall and has a son, Eren. Eren joined the Garrison first and in that time there was a titan invasion in wall maria and then he got eaten but with for some reason he can transforms into a titan with intelligence which we know as one of the 9 titans. He also saw some of his father’s memory about the outside world in his head and the scout wants him to find the truth. This part shows that the scouts is the cats that has a curiosity, and the show will reveal the person who tried to kill the cats which is the Military Police. Why? You may ask. Because they tried to cover up the truth of the king of the walls. In later of the show, it will also reveal that the king who lives in wall Sheena was a false king, and the real king and royal family are live in the underground cave and rename themselves to Reiss family. Reiss family made an agreement with Military police to form a false king to cover themselves and hide underground with the purpose of not letting people inside the wall knows the truth and they still their tradition by inherit their titan power for generations.
At last, scouts with the cooperation with the garrison finally done a coup d’etat, dethrone the false king, and reveal the truth to all people of the paradise island. So, people of paradise island finally realized that titans who invaded their home was human and they were eldian.
Marley and their propaganda
For the marley’s side, we know that in the story they made up, marley is the victor. But are they heroes or villains? We do not know. Only thing that they tried to show is Marley government distort the history, tried to blame eldian at all cost and propaganda Marleyan and eldian inside the detention zone for a never-ending hatred. The interesting part of this is the history they are keep telling is from almost 2,000 years ago and never change it. Marleyan hates Eldian and Eldian who live in marley also hate their own race and those who live in paradise island with the belief that “They started this”.
Marley’s Military and Warriors
With the purpose to get rid of eldian on the paradise island or what they called “Devils”. Marley’s military also have eldians with titan power, called Warriors. Warriors are chosen from the children from the detention zone. The chosen one will inherit titan power, became Marley’s main weapon and get a privilege by becomes a honorary eldian which them and their families will be released from the detention zone and can live a normal lives. It is a great advertisement for marley by using eldian children as a tool of wars which give them a benefit by using fewer of their troops and let eldian killing each other.
“Young Warriors” Honored or victims?
Now we know who the warriors are but what is good for being a warrior exactly? As said before, Warriors are the chosen eldian children to inherit the titan power and became a Titan shifter. But Titan shifters will only have 13 years of lifespan left due to the curse of ymir and must serve Marley’s military for the rest of their lives and waiting for new warriors to inherit their power. Even more, in their warrior training they must get tortured for the endurance test and one of the cruel torture is being burnt by acid. This sounds like an unfair trade for the children who supposed to live long lives but have to give up on their future, became a tool of war and fight against their own people influenced by the propaganda.
For children, they do not know what to do what is right and what is wrong. They just do because they have no choice.
“We were just kids.. we didn’t know anything”From Attack on titan season 2 episode 6
Because from the tasks they received are killing innocent people. For kids, it is a big burden to take on just by been told to do without a reason. So, these children are really the victims of this war and hatred from their ancestors.
Conclusion with the endless vengeance
From what we saw and learned from this anime; we can clarify that this anime tried to show an endless cycle of hate between 2 races from generation to generation without trying to figure things out together or even have a talk, instead, they keep doing the same thing over and over again by killing each other just because their ancestors told them to do so.