ATTACK ON TITAN Will Probably Be the Cause of World War III

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ATTACK ON TITAN Will Probably Be the Cause of World War III

Who would have thought that an anime about naked giants attempting to use the last of humanity for their own personal buffet would evoke World War II, Japanese imperial thought, and advocate the individual's sacrifice to group-think?

Or maybe over its 25 episodes, the opposite is true: that Production I.G.'s adaptation of the Hajime Isayama manga is a sly critique of the all of the above, and that one season in, the audience hasn't yet been exposed to the line of thinking which upends what would seem to be a sustained celebration of the kind of expansionist thought that led a militarized Japan to look to the Philippines, Korea, and China and begin licking their chops.

Lauded (rightly) by Todd in our year-end TV roundup, Attack on Titan is set 100 years after humanity has effectively lost the war against massive, people-chomping monsters. If you haven't checked it out, you should get on that right now - in part because it is that good, and largely because the following piece will spoil many of the twists from the show's first season (consider yourself warned, etc.).

For the uninitiated, our hero is Eren, a teen who grows up in the outermost of one of three concentric, walled-in communities keeping the Titans out and humans growing complacent after 100 years without a Titan attack. The brash, angry Eren resents that his fellow survivors would remain content to stay confined within the walls of their 18th-century style communities. When the Titans - led by an armored, seemingly intelligent variant, mounts an assault on his community, Eren vows to join the military to kill every last one of their invading oppressors.

Largely a military drama, Attack... is broken into four major engagements with the Titans, where the life or death strategy of the boys (usually) teenaged soldiers in the Scout Regiment and Military police breaks down into two tactics: retreat and defend the central kingdom innermost wall of Sina, grow fat, and maybe survive for a little longer, or resist and extend humanity's reach beyond the walls.

So here you've got a nation struggling with dwindling resources, a fearful and incompetent government, and a youth culture without direction, facing the struggle of their lives. Sounds like Japan* in 2009, when the world economy felt like it was - well, what's a phrase more terrifying than "free-fall," because it was that. That was the year when unemployment spiked to around 5.7% by that summer, a record number at the time.

This was also the year in which the first volume of the Attack on Titan manga appeared in Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine.

For a nation struggling to find its direction, seemingly prey to the economic and political machinations of larger countries, and falling behind its cultural rival China, it must have been easy to identify with Sina,** a nation under siege. "If only the slackers, the moochers, and the cowards would simply fight back, Attack on Titan" seems to cry with every episode. And be prepared to subsume your identity in the process.

One of the running themes throughout the show is the desires of the individual versus the needs of the many. As a fan of the show, you have to be prepared to watch a lot of bodies drop, as each of the military strategies seems to be one of misdirection by attrition, throwing the bodies of the young soldiers at the Titans so that a smaller force can achieve something greater over time. But when the individual goes off on his or her own, it's the cause of greater pain.

Consider, for instance, the arc featuring the Scouts attempting to capture the intelligent female Titan, which encapsulates a lot of this argument. Eren is asked repeatedly to trust that even through all of the bloodshed, there is a plan to defeat the female variant, which is faster, smarter, stronger, and has abilities not manifest by any of the previous types.

Ultimately, we learn that Captain Erwin's secrecy was based on the (correct) assumption that the female was a human who could transform like Eren, and that the plan was to use a small number of definitively loyal scouts to capture her. The operation goes sideways when Scout leader Levi begins taunting the female as the others plan a means of revealing the traitor within the body.

This, by the way, is a running trope throughout the series: a carefully-laid plan falls apart because of the individual. "We're all in this together," the series would add, except for the cowards, the traitors, and anyone outside the walls of our nation. Erwin ultimately sums up the philosophy of the show when he says that he has to turn off his emotions to save humanity, a curious, likely deliberate reworking of Emperor Hirohito's speech at Japan's surrender at the end of World War II:"I made efforts to swallow tears and to protect the species of the Japanese nation."

At about this point, it's easy to say the show is more about collective effort during crisis and less about militarism if the series' creator didn't deliberately drop a member of the Japanese Imperial Army right into the middle of the action.

That would be Yoshifuru Akiyama (1859-1930), a general in the Army responsible for developing that country's cavalry strategy. He was also part of expeditionary forces into China and against Russia at the beginning of the last century, and he forms the visual (and seemingly character) model for the eccentric general Dot Pixis in Attack on Titan.*** If Akiyama's inclusion isn't an embrace of militarism, it's at least a friendly handshake for a time when Japan was an Imperial power with colonies and greater regional reach.

None of this is even touching on the concept of Titan Eren as the nation's nuclear option, or the simple chauvinism of the show which reduces its best and baddest soldier, Eren's adoptive sister, Mikasa, to a quivering mass of jelly when the emotions get too real, or what the reveal of the traitor in the last two episodes of the first season will say about the those who want to destroy the wall.

So what do you think? Is Attack on Titan a nationalistic call to arms for the young of Japan? Or maybe it's saying something deeper that I'm missing here - maybe something subversive? As always, the comments are open to you to speak your minds.

*Not just Japan, obviously, although the island nation was hit especially hard by the global financial crisis.

**What does it mean that "Sina" is the Latin word for China? I'm not really sure, but Attack presents itself within such an odd cultural melange, it's hard to decide which aspects are for effect, and which are simply for aesthetic.

***Kotaku links to a post from the Isayama who admits to patterning the character on Akiyama, which is in Japanese.

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More about Attack On Titan

ZetoDecember 30, 2013 4:21 PM

Japanese media is almost anti-nationalistic if you compare it with chinese, korean or american media.

CHUDDecember 30, 2013 5:11 PM

I first heard about this show on the year-end review here, and I got quickly hooked, having finished it yesterday. So this was a perfectly timely article, as I've also been contemplating some of the ethical undertones, many of which I disagree with.

I think it's possibly too soon to tell if the series will be for or against the kind of nationalism you describe, with all the hints at conspiracies to be revealed, but the one thing I'll take issue with is the allegation of chauvinism on display with regard to Mikasa. Mikasa got emotional a couple of times in intimate, safe settings, but when the situation was dire she was more than adept at turning her emotions off to accomplish the task at hand, as exemplified the first time Mikasa hears that Eren is dead, before realizing he had titan powers which could save him. She heard the news and then immediately turned and lead a counter-offensive on the titans attacking their HQ, leaving everyone around her stunned at her seeming callousness to the news of Eren's death. I actually think Mikasa is the strongest character on the show, who acts as an anchor for Eren and Armin, while Eren has shown to be too susceptible to acting foolishly due to his emotions, namely for revenge. And I haven't counted, but I'm pretty sure Armin has lost control emotionally, or been paralyzed by fear, more than anyone else, except for maybe Eren himself.

kreganoDecember 30, 2013 5:26 PM

I've seen a lot of stuff in anime/manga/etc that would be considered nationalist from a non-Japanese POV. I'm not sure how much is intentional, but there's bizarre trend where factions outside of Japan or its fictional stand-in that are based on/inspired real geopolitical factions are almost always duplicitous and evil in some way, especially if they represent America/the west. Plus there's a lot of narratives where Japan/the Japan stand-in casts itself as the victim, which is a big red flag if you think Japan hasn't really dealt with its WWII legacy properly (which is a big chunk of people who are familiar with WWII, Japanese pop culture, and basic geopolitics).

Honestly, I think Japanese media would have less scrutiny if they'd gone the German self-flagellation route when it came to WWII. They come across as too ignorant of the terrible things they did in that war and too nostalgic for that era for people to give them the benefit of the doubt.

CHUDDecember 30, 2013 5:36 PM

I have a feeling they may be nostalgic for a time before they had nuclear bombs dropped on them.

Also, in a recent survey we found that Japan likes the US more than any other country in the world, including the US, so thinking that Japan's media is constantly making the US look evil seems odd.

Hanajun ChungDecember 30, 2013 8:01 PM

Mikasa has shown slight struggle whenever she fears for Eren, but I do agree with you when her heroism/badassery in response simply outshines many in her rank. The moments she does wander off, I don't remember her exactly being disciplined in any way afterwards. I haven't read the manga (which I hear is farther into the story), but I do hope to see Mikasa rise to level of Levi.

Armin is actually becoming one of my favorite characters. While the guy isn't the bravest or strongest, I feel that the character has the potential to become one of the most interesting in terms of traits and personality. As of now, I'm seeing some hints of Armin's development into some high-level strategist.

But does anyone know when the anime will be coming back (if ever)? If it's awhile, I'm thinking of starting the manga and/or watching another popular series.

ZetoDecember 30, 2013 9:12 PM

Kregano, if you think japanese entertainment industry try to make the US look evil... then you're completely wrong.

But I can't avoid seeing how the american entertainment industry portraits the worlds as an evil place. Where only the americans are the good guys, and everyone else is evil. Shame on the US.

Gopal NatarajanDecember 30, 2013 11:13 PM

This sort of veiled rebel-nationalism allegory is not new to Japanese anime. Most anime dealing with militarist themes have obvious parallels with Japan's status (past and present) as a military power and its implications for the perceived position Japan occupies in the Global pecking order. See the "Code Geass" or "Guilty Crown" anime series for very blatant and unapologetic examples or the various "Macross" series for more subtle examples.

DJ_BobbyPeruDecember 30, 2013 11:45 PM

I think its more complex than that. The show doesn't show portray the government in the best light, squabbling over decisions with some petty claims. Secondly, they are interested primarily in defense as opposed to taking over other nations. Also, the anecdote in the show that all the Japanese(except that one half-japanese girl) and asians were wiped out is interesting to me. It conveys a bit of nihilism that shows up in anime from time to time, but it also could be an example of what will happen to the nation if they do not fight the titans. Like other aspects the show, that bit of history could have multiple interpretations.

To me, its a very grey show that doesn't show the country and the people in charge as being purely right or wrong. I think its more of a complementary on Japan opening itself to other nations(such as the Convention of Kanagawa of 1854) than anything as extreme as inspiring World War 3. This show has about as much of a chance of making Japan go to war as the Hunger Games has of making Americans start a revolution against the 1%.

Evening BreezeDecember 31, 2013 2:53 AM

Shingeki no kyojin is the highest sold manga after one piece in 2013.
The theme is not new in Anime. Just like Gopal Natarajan said Code Geass, Guilty Crown, NGE, Kakumeiki Valvrave, No.6 deals with kinda same thing. I don't know why the attack is only on Shingeki no kyojin.

kreganoDecember 31, 2013 10:11 AM

Because it's popular and has quite a bit of mainstream appeal, giving greater visibility than almost all of those other shows (and in the case of Evangelion, everyone focuses more on the non-sense symbolism and psychoogical aspects than what it says about Japanese nationalism). Most people haven't seen the rest of those shows or some of the other works that have this theme.

ZetoDecember 31, 2013 1:55 PM

I am not japanese nor asian, but I happen to see a lot of japanese movies and doramas. When they try to show something as really good, they said that came from the US. Example: To say that a japanese police detective is extremely good, they say that was trained by the FBI in the US.

ZetoDecember 31, 2013 1:56 PM

Just watch the first couple of minutes of the first episode of Toshi Densetsu Onna 2. http://www.gooddrama.net/japan...

Christopher LabiancaDecember 31, 2013 8:57 PM

Attack on titan is mostly based on norse mythology & you'e taking something that is not new in anime to serious .

Evening BreezeDecember 31, 2013 9:21 PM

Code Geass & Guilty Crown are very popular. So is Evangelion.

davebaxterDecember 31, 2013 10:04 PM

This is likely simply a premature analysis of the series. Fullmetal Alchemist (at least the manga and the "Brotherhood" show) also cam across as cringe-worthy nationalistic for its first half, but became decidedly anti-nationalistic in its second half. Nationalism is obviously a very important, embedded meme in the Japanese psyche. The fact that it exists in the majority of Japanese pop culture, in one form or another, is apt, but makes it not particularly noteworthy that it exists in any specific story. The US and the UK could do with more fictional soul searching and pop cultural "what ifs?" for their colonial past, frankly. We do some, but not enough,

and usually we're more blatantly on the side of the angels when our own nationalism rears its ugly head.

Tommy EdJanuary 2, 2014 11:18 PM

Honestly guys, the thing to keep in mind about this show is that it has no applicability to real life.
In real life diplomacy is always an option with your opponents, in real life your opponents have more weak spots than the backs of their necks. In real life the sort of extreme militarism seen in AOT is never a nations best option.
I have no idea where Isayama stands politically in real life. But all I can say is that in the fictional world of AOT that he has created, extreme nationalism and militarism makes a lot more sense.
In real life the Fascist politics that Japan and Germany followed led both nations to devastation and defeat. But when you are up against a bunch of mindless giants that are nearly invincible, -and mindless killers- Fascist politics suddenly don't seem so problematic.
I would argue that AOT is so compelling because it explores Fascism in a fictional scenario where we have to go along with it. You could argue that Fascism in general is compelling because of the inherent romanticism, lunacy, and melo-drama. When you create a world where Fascism is a more logical way to organize society, then rather than criticizing it, we take the time to explore the nature of the human condition as it exists in a fascist society.
For the record I am strongly opposed to Fascism and support social-democracy. When I got to the final episodes of AOT and it was revealed that Levi and that other dude in charge of the Survey Corps had used such Machiavelian tactics to accomplish their goal I was disgusted. I recoiled inside. I wanted to hate the show. But I couldn't help it. I still loved that show because it is just so damn compelling on every level.

Brandon SauerJanuary 3, 2014 11:20 AM

Right, because being proud of your country automatically leads to militaristic garbage and rampant zealots in the streets. Give me a fucking break.

Brandon SauerJanuary 3, 2014 11:21 AM

Thank you. Anyone who actually bothers to learn something would agree. Abe-san has received numerous frowns and flames because of his call for greater military power.

Japan for the most part, doesn't want such a thing.

JennJanuary 3, 2014 11:22 AM

I noticed that you glossed over the fact that in the encounter with the female titan that the Levi Squad's insistence that Eren trust them and trust in Erwin's plan is ultimately shown to be their downfall. Eren comes to the conclusion that if he had followed his instincts and acted as an individual that he could have saved more lives. Also, if you continue with the manga past the anime, you will see that there are many cracks beginning to show in that nationalistic armor. The implications are that there is something rotten at the heart of Wall Sina, and there are forces outside the walls that are far more complex and dangerous than mindless, cannibalistic giants.

MeiaLuaJanuary 3, 2014 11:29 AM

I would hesitate to call Attack on Titan a call to arms... perhaps I'm intellectually inferior, but it seems to me like the show goes out of its way to display the horrors of war. There is dialogue in the show (idk about the manga) regarding swallowing your fear and facing the enemy, which does seem militaristic, but I think it eventually comes down to the fact that nobody wants to fight, and both Pixis (Pickshiseuh!) and Erwin ultimately plan to avoid fighting. Pixis is "throwing the bodies of young soldiers at Titans" in order to seal the gate, and Erwin's 57th expedition was done to reveal the traitor. I believe, although as I haven't read the manga, I do not know, the subtle driving force beneath the plot is the metaphorical "Dr. Jaeger's basement," or, discovering the reason behind the Titans, albeit to eventually destroy them.
The lack of sympathy towards Titans, however, is incomparable to a desire for humanity (or Japan, in holding with the article) to dominate the world. I think that is a different metaphor/plot archetype altogether.
Food for thought: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

My knowledge of Japanese/Chinese history is lacking to either agree or disagree with your Rose/Maria (Japan) vs. Sina (China) idea.

NinaJanuary 3, 2014 11:29 AM

This is ridiculous, and the way you've incredibly misinterpreted Mikasa's character makes me cringe even more. "Quivering mass of jelly"? I'm not sure if you've actually SEEN the show, but she lost her only family left that saved her life and mental stability when she was younger and remained calm. She even helped the person who caused Eren's death and continued leading her group without hesitation (until the part where she's nearly killed, but a person can only take so much trauma). Once things actually calmed down and she found out Eren WASN'T dead, OH NO UNACCEPTABLE SHE CRIED WOW WHAT A BABY. Most of the points in this article would be next to impossible to understand to people who haven't seen the show, since you're so god awful at portraying the events and logic of the characters. Or maybe you just wanted to emphasize your own points by changing things around.

NinaJanuary 3, 2014 11:32 AM

Yes, hello, PLEASE write this article instead of the original idiot. It'd be nice to hear it from someone who actually knows what they're talking about.

NinaJanuary 3, 2014 11:33 AM

*slow clap* Thank you sir, for doing Mikasa great justice :'|

NinaJanuary 3, 2014 11:34 AM

The only thing that really connects back to real life is that Titans are based off of drunks... That's definitely the cause of World War III xD

TJ DicksJanuary 3, 2014 11:41 AM

personally i love this show, and being an American a lot of what is said and done resonates with me as far as what's been happening here in the states recently. far too many people are complacent here and totally ok with being rolled by a corrupt government, symbolized quite well by the titans on my opinion. however i think this author's understanding of what the show is really trying to say makes more sense.

iecJanuary 3, 2014 12:09 PM

Yeah, I agree. The writer seems to be missing the part where every angle the show gives on a given issue is equally criticized and considered.

"a carefully-laid plan falls apart because of the individual"

No, the plan falls apart because she outsmarts them. Eren learns after that that his trust doesn't matter, nor does his own agency. The forces he is fighting as so overwhelmingly against him and his friends that it doesn't matter WHAT he does, he is guaranteed to lose.

This continues into the next arc where they attempt to capture her yet again and FAIL yet again. Success only comes when Eren realizes that trusting in others is as dangerous as anything else when the people you are trusting aren't actually as powerful as the forces their working against. He has an entire montage of emotions about the fact that even when he believed in his friends they still died.

Thus the season finale, where only in acting alone is Eren able to defeat her.

Seriously, has this guy seen this show? He encapsulates an element that's in play but fails to see that this philosophy is only one of many that the show discusses.

iecJanuary 3, 2014 12:17 PM

Yyyyup. This show is really intelligently written and goes over most people's heads because all they see is an over-the-top violent Shonen. The brilliance of it is that it appeals to the lowest common denominator while still being very subtle and not at all cliche in its execution.

Number Forty-NineJanuary 3, 2014 12:21 PM

That is a nice take on it and probably could be applied to a lot of other top series out there (FMAB/Shippuden/Pumpkin Scissors) it's all here or there when trying to determine ideology through symbolic characters & settings. For me this show will always be about ... ". If you give up you die...If you fight you might survive!"

RawrJanuary 3, 2014 12:25 PM

I think this is going a bit far, so many things in pop culture are taken out of the bounds of reality and twisted to something its not. To say an anime show is trying to cause an uproar with youth?.... that's a bit far fetched. Its a cartoon not a political statement.

UchihaName January 3, 2014 12:27 PM

Nice take on it. But i disagree with a good amount of this.

Meaning i don't think this has anything to do with Japan, or the history of it either. I think it has more to do with humans in general, rather than Japan.

Sounds odd, but this show reminds me of Naruto, and the reason being is that there's a deep connection with how people feel about things through the show during a tough time. In both shows there is always that thought of believing in your comrades, or believing in yourself. And with both shows, i think that they convey that you should have a mix of both.

I could be wrong, i have a lot of views, but it might be to much to type down.

UchihaName January 3, 2014 12:31 PM

Agreed. But i hate the cartoon part! It's an anime! lol I

DHGMJanuary 3, 2014 12:39 PM

This article flat out lies to the reader. The plan doesn't fall apart because Levi "expresses individuality", by taunting the female titan, it falls apart because the female titan calls other titans toward herself so that they can devour her, thus escaping from Edwin's trap. This was completely independent from Levi's taunting.

In fact, it's touched upon that at one point Eren could have saved more lives in the long run by ignoring Levi's orders and taking matters into his own hands. After some quick thinking, Eren decides to trust Levi's orders, and the situation falls apart anyway.

Charles Webb omitted important context in accurately understanding the situation in order to support his own thesis. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, I cannot say, but omission of information is lying.

ExAlpha01January 3, 2014 12:48 PM

If you think Attack on Titan is "a call to arms for the young of Japan" with nationalism and militarism, why not take a look at American Hollywood? Have you not noticed a American rise in nationalism and militarism after 9/11 occurred? Movies such as Olympus Has Fallen, Battleship, and Lone Survivor portray American soldiers fighting a war to protect the United States. Furthermore, Olympus Has Fallen just shows the fear of another attack on U.S. soil and can also be considered a call to arms as a family man becomes a Secret Service agent, who has the supreme duty of protecting the President and against mass numbers of terrorists surrounding D.C. The movie Battleship shows off the U.S. Navy's strength and strategy against an unknown enemy, which can be referred to the war against a realistic unknown enemy called Al Qaeda. What about the FPS genre such as Call of Duty series and Battlefield series? They all portray American soldiers fighting foreign enemies such as Japan, Middle East, Russia, and China. These games always show Americans are victorious against these foreign enemies. So, don't be too haste and turn the tables around to call Attack on Titan "a call to arms for the young of Japan" when American Hollywood and media are doing the same to American youth. However, I truly do not believe it is a wrong thing for any show/movie to display nationalism, to a certain degree, because it is called pride. Would you not feel pride for your country? Do you see fellow citizens, no matter what nation, displaying their flags? Or perhaps a sports team? Well, of course. You see, it is people's mentality of pride that is then translated into movie and media, no matter what country. Overall, the reoccurring theme of nationalism is in almost every media and a single thing should not be pinpointed for a cause of a world war.

BeckiJanuary 3, 2014 12:50 PM

Regarding Mikasa as a strong female character: I think a lot of people seem to have this idea that a female character can only be "strong" if they're 100% badass 100% of the time. To me, a "strong female character" isn't just about physical strength, it's about portraying all different kinds of women, and not just shallow caricatures, which is something Attack on Titan does well. That said, I do think the anime messed up pretty badly when it came to Annie in the last few episodes, and I recommend reading the manga for a better version of that arc.

Also for the record, Mikasa cried in only one scene, and it was because she had just found out that her adoptive brother, the most important person in her life, had not actually died horrifically and was still alive even though that shouldn't have been possible.

I also thought that Levi's taunting was not at all the reason the plan to capture the female titan failed. It was because she outsmarted them, because nobody anticipated that she would call on other Titans to attack her rather than let them capture her.

The point of the scene where Levi's squad asks Eren to trust them is that even when he decides to do so, they're still brutally massacred. It's a subversion of a common anime trope (friendship conquers all). This was one case where it's possible that him acting on his own could have saved them in the end.

All that said, I still enjoyed reading this article, and it did bring up some good points about the nationalism in this series that I hadn't considered.

Andre LawrenceJanuary 3, 2014 1:12 PM

I believe this is just like many other anime, petitioning the Japanese people to retake the strength they once had. In the old days and even know if you look at fights closely you'll see that many of the strongest energy attacks are mushroom cloud shaped explosions. I think it's less about returning to its status as Imperial Japan and more about being able to properly defend itself and thrive economically without having to worry about threats such as China or rely on America's military might. Keep in mind that Japan was a nation with a lot of pride, after being beaten by an enemy that they attacked, claiming they would win, they were de-fanged by treaties. To this day Japan still faces dislike from former colonial nations like China, and with military might of these nations increasing while Japan's stagnates then it makes sense for that some would see the need for Japan to increase its military might.

NikkiJanuary 3, 2014 1:14 PM

I agree with you almost entirely -- except with Armin's loss of control emotionally.

At first, in the beginning of the manga and anime, when Eren dies, yes, Armin is quite obviously petrified and practically gives up on life. But he quickly turns that around and forms an incredibly brilliant plan that saves everyone from death.

Later on in the manga, (I'll do my best to avoid spoilers here.) the Scouting Legion is chasing after the Armored and Colossal Titans, who have kidnapped Eren. They (the they being Jean, Mikasa, Armin, Connie, and pretty much everyone else in the 104th squad) finally reach the titan. Armin is the one who essentially saves their asses here, again, by speaking to the Colossal titan, appealing to what is left of his/her humanity. This also appeals to the Armored titan, who focuses more on what Armin is saying and they eventually lose Eren.

I also think Armin is actually the anchor for the trio. Except for in the first arc, Armin has proved to constantly be the most level-headed one out of the group. Eren is much too volatile to be a good enough anchor, going from being incredibly violent to a trustworthy companion. And Mikasa is much too detached from her emotions to give a damn about anyone other than Armin and Eren. If Armin wasn't there, Mikasa probably would have run off with Eren to try and preserve his life.

This might be totally biased, because Armin was my favourite character from the moment I saw him on screen/in the manga. But it's my opinion based off what I've read and seen in the manga, and his level-headedness and ability to make a plan on the spot are what make him my favourite character.

Sam GentJanuary 3, 2014 1:15 PM

Eva at this point isn't in public view despite it's long running cult following with the expections of the reboot movies which they are releasing now. It's from the 90's.

Diclonius MakotoJanuary 3, 2014 1:33 PM

I say it's jumping to assumptions A: Attack on Titan is a storyline that's unique because it's a very Well thought out anime that hooks people B: it'd be stupid for Nations to attack each other who are allied with each other, lastly it's not a call to arms but more of a call to unite people that war against our own species is dumb, Aliens could come at any time and wipe out half the human race (If you think we are alone in this universe you are bat shit delirious the universe goes on forever i doubt the ant of a planet we live on is the only habitable one) So the anime series might just be trying to bring that to light that something BIGGER than the human race could become a threat, see what i'm getting at? the assumption that this could start world war 3 is just a scare nothing really more

Nypherium DalvarJanuary 3, 2014 2:51 PM

Oh my god. Shut up twit. You're making yourself sound like both and idiot and an "OH MY GOD EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATI" boob at the same time. Man, that's even worse than being called "stupid". Think about that.

yoyo-cananJanuary 3, 2014 3:05 PM

are you fucking serious

Roxas3510January 3, 2014 3:08 PM

If it does come out, I'd assume it'll be sometime later this year. You should definitely read the manga though, there's a lot of great stuff happening right now. Then again, after watching the last episode I was too anxious for more to wait for season 2, so if you're more patient than me it may be better to see what's going on in the manga in animation.

MMAddictJanuary 3, 2014 4:06 PM

Funny, I thought Godzilla would've caused WW3 first. This is an obvious ATTACK from someone who does not like the show and is a COMPLETE AND UTTER IDIOT. You hear me Charles Webb? You're a terrible writer and even worse human being. You have no moral compass and twist the truth like the reporters on fox news. You are a DISGRACE.

darwinbirdJanuary 3, 2014 4:07 PM

I think it's a reflection of a lot of themes in asian culture. Not necessarily that this is supporting WWII era Japan, but that WWII era Japan was driven by the cultural values highlighted in this show.

MMAddictJanuary 3, 2014 5:12 PM

If he says that Eren is an example of a nuclear payload, and that him acting without consulting his team or trusting them is a bad thing, he's saying that... Launching a nuclear attack without consulting other people is a GOOD thing?

MMAddictJanuary 3, 2014 5:14 PM

I will not take this article for any worth when this ignoramus hasn't even read the manga. Shut up and do your research we're 3 times as far into the story as you are. Making claims like that without knowing the story that is easily available to you is selective journalism, if what you're doing can be called journalism in any capacity.

iecJanuary 3, 2014 5:16 PM

Ok, equating Eren to a "nuclear payload" is just retarded. It's not even REMOTELY equivalent in scale. He's a weapon that's hard to control as of now, which I guess is kind of like an explosive weapon, but no, he's a titan. A titan is analogous for a giant person who can wreck shit. He's not a walking metaphor. Sometimes fantasy elements are just what they are.

Him acting on his own was necessary or she would have gotten away. Everyone else failed. He's not a rogue bomb, he's a kid with really violent super powers having to learn to control them.

MMAddictJanuary 3, 2014 5:17 PM

Al Queda hits the US and kills 1 building full of people, never forget 911. The US hit Japan with TWO nuclear bombs utterly devastating the country and making that area unfit for living. And they're supposed to forget about it? God you're self centered

MMAddictJanuary 3, 2014 5:18 PM

If you're gonna downvote me but can't think of a response then your opinion is without backing. Godzilla is a metaphor for the atomic bomb. Go learn your shit

Garrett CarpenterJanuary 3, 2014 5:33 PM

What are you talking about? Seriously, this is way over analyzing this show. All I see is the will to live, and human greed and fear clash. The only thing that is nationalistic about this is that they are the only country left on earth, why wouldn't they work for the greater good.

This is pointless and stupid. If your going to hammer one show, why not all. Code Geass is more World War material than this show is. Fullmetal Alchemist literally have a coup d ta. What about Gurren Lagann for it fight for freedom and revolution against the beastmen, then about its corruption of its leader because of power and responsibility.

If this is the link to WWIII, then by God, so are all anime. Shut up you stupid moronic idiot. I bet you just don't like it. If you don't, shut up and let the people who do enjoy the damn thing. Haters are such a nuisance.

JuliaJanuary 3, 2014 6:03 PM

I think what you said about Mikasa is very important and I'm annoyed that this article completely simplified her characterization so badly. Mikasa is a 15 YEAR OLD GIRL WHO WATCHED HER PARENTS GET MURDERED AND THOUGHT HER ONLY REMAINING FAMILY MEMBER HAD BEEN EATEN ALIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF A GIANT HORRIFIC INVASION. Yes, when she found out Eren was alive she completely broke down in tears, and it's my favorite Mikasa moment because it's such a beautiful innocent human moment and it shows us what's at the heart of her-- that she is capable of precise cold violence and incredible perseverence, but that she's fighting for something ultimately very sentimental and childlike. It's that contrast that makes her interesting, and I actually wish we got to see more of her vulnerability (though that might just be my personal preference of what I like seeing in characters). The idea that a female character showing any sort of "weakness" is misogynistic is such a misreading of the entire concept. Attack on Titan is actually one of the least sexist shows I've ever seen and has an almost compeltely equal and fair treatment of its male and female character, which is (absurdly but nonetheless) highly unusual and something to be commended.

Jeremy ChestnutJanuary 3, 2014 6:30 PM

@disqus_YfB0ZulicO:disqus open your mind, close out all of that negativity and be objective. ask why and stop insulting. its a well thought out idea, and i agree its short-sighted. I believe its the commentary on the westerization of Japan and how they are fighting for the last shred of identity behind their once isolated and proud culture.

Nasir TelloJanuary 3, 2014 6:39 PM

actually,ATTACK doesn't really have to do much with this argument because the real translation of SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN(the Japanese name) means Advancing Giants,but i'm not sure if that just makes it any better...

volkerball85January 3, 2014 6:46 PM

The 9/11 attacks destroyed several large buildings and killed thousands of innocent people. It was the single worst attack on US soil, and minimizing the impact it had it kind of a shitty thing to do. Yeah, a lot of Americans could stand to quit screaming about it every year, but don't act like it was nothing.

"And they're supposed to forget about it?"

Where did kregano say they were supposed to? What they said was that Japan is too eager to forget all about their own crimes against Humanity. And it's true; Japan is prone to revisionist history or omission when it comes to the atrocities and slights they've committed against other nations. Try finding the Rape of Nanking in a Japanese textbook.

"Utterly devastating the country and making that area unfit for living."

People live in Hiroshima and Nagasaki today. Check Google Earth. Sections of both cities may have been irradiated for a time after the bombings, but radioactive fallout eventually dissipates. It doesn't just place a curse of death over an area forever.

MMAddictJanuary 3, 2014 7:03 PM

Yea it is retarded, funny because the 'author' of this article states "Titan Eren as the nation's nuclear option".

volkerball85January 3, 2014 7:14 PM

I'm sorry, but this article is a bunch of crap, either written by somebody who really doesn't get the series so far, or who likes to make mountains out of molehills and rile people up. Nationalism? When the ruling class of the settlement is regularly portrayed as greedy, spoiled, stupid and weak? When Eren's entire desire is to get AWAY from his home country/city?

Collectivism? When most of the most devastating plot points thus far arose because characters chose to trust in others, rather than themselves? Look at what happened to Eren's squad when he chose to let them handle the Female Titan, rather than fighting her himself.

Chauvinism? When this series is one of the rare few in anime that doesn't pander to horny fanboys with constant cleavage and panty shots? Where the women of the story don't get any special treatment, fighting and dying the same as their male comrades? Shaaaaddup.

MMAddictJanuary 3, 2014 7:14 PM

Thousands? The nuclear attacks killed HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of INNOCENT PEOPLE. You think the citizens of japan going about their day make the military decisions? You think they were consulted before pearl harbor was bombed?

So you're claiming that after the bombing it was fit for living, even though the Manhattan project severely miscalculated the damage of the radiation and thousands of people died of cancer afterwards. Where did I say it was forever? They went right back and died of cancer, they didn't know about radiation poisoning.

There was no need for 2 bombs, it was complete overkill and a disgusting waste of human life.

volkerball85January 3, 2014 7:28 PM

"The nuclear attacks killed HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of INNOCENT PEOPLE."

I'm not trying to make 9/11 seem bigger than Hiroshima/Nagasaki, because it's not even close. What I'm saying is DON'T MINIMIZE IT just to make a point. Human suffering is not a contest, wherein one group isn't allowed to mourn its own people just because somebody else got hit worse.

"So you're claiming that after the bombing it was fit for living,"

Right after the bombings? Of course not. Decades later? Yes. Again, check Google Earth and see for yourself.

"Where did I say it was forever?"

Your wording made it seem as if you think that to this day, both Hiroshima and Nagasaki are smoking, irradiated craters. My apologies, because a lot of people DO seem to believe this.

"There was no need for 2 bombs, it was complete overkill and a disgusting waste of human life."

I don't disagree. But the alternative was a land invasion, which would've cost countless more lives on both sides of the conflict, and led to Japan probably being in worse shape than they are today. The point of dropping the two bombs was to send a message stating "This is the kind of power we wield. Stop fighting. Now." And, coupled with Russia's sudden invasion of Manchukuo, it worked. The Japanese government, which had previously sworn to "fight to their last breath," was forced to the negotiating table, ensuring that no more lives would be lost to this war.

Sometimes there are simply no happy endings; you can only choose from a list of shitty solutions, because that's what war is. While what happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki should remain forever in history as one of (if not THE) most heinous things done to a group of people, the alternative would've been worse. Look to Vietnam and Iraq to see what happens to an invading force trying to subdue a country still harboring a hostile, armed and motivated force.

weepinbellJanuary 3, 2014 8:20 PM

this is a very interesting take that definitely has some validity to it... however, i would argue that AoT seems to stress the importance of making a decision, sticking with it, and seeing it through without regret, regardless of if that decision lies in the individual or in the team. of course, sacrifice of identity for the greater good is a huge theme throughout the anime and manga but sticking with this mentality is not always the best course of action. (spoilers ahead) for example, in that very same arc where levi taunts the female titan, not long before, eren makes the choice not to transform into his titan form and, instead, trust his comrades to trust in the orders of their higher ups. sure, this results in the capture of the female titan, but things end up going awry and resulting in even more deaths of very skilled soldiers who are not only very important to eren, but also the survival of humanity. of course, one could argue that it was levi's fault for taunting the female titan, but i'm not sure - because we know the female titan is, in fact, a very intelligent human being, i think it could be safe to assume that her cry for help was premeditated, thus, inevitable. levi's provocation may have sped the process along, but it surely would have happened either way, as this was obviously her last resort for survival. the point is that this chain of unfortunate happenings makes eren question his decision to stick with the group mentality since he ends up having to transform anyways - he would have had the same results, but he could have had the chance to avoid unnecessary deaths of his comrades. a contrasting example in this arc occurs when armin, reiner, and jean discuss that it is always up to the individual solder whether or not the mission is too dangerous to see through - they do ultimately decide to obey their orders. so while sacrificing individuality for the sake of strength in unity is certainly a theme that does apply to the long history japan has in nationalistic mentality, it is also important not to forget that your personal choice is never invalid, so long as it is a choice that you can see it through without regret.

ALSO, on a completely different note i have to very strongly disagree with the comment about "the boys being usually teenaged soldiers" - i am not about to get into detail on this one but i just have to say that the presence of female soldiers with amazingly contrasting personalities in this series is HUGE. and really awesome.

anyways, cool to see a thought provoking article like this about this series. i could write an essay about this topic!

weepinbellJanuary 3, 2014 8:25 PM

i think he was inferring that levi's taunting provoked the female titan to call the other titans. but i do agree that it is an important thing to leave out, especially because there is a HUGE possibility that the female titan calling the other titans was an inevitability.

weepinbellJanuary 3, 2014 8:46 PM

ALSO, for all of the people who are right off the bat bashing the OP i think it's really important to realize that AoT has some really thinly veiled influences of Japanese nationalism that, i personally think, had to have been intentional, so there's certainly some validity to this analysis. for me personally, the one that stands out the most is the presence of german influence which played a HUGE role in japanese nationalism, from their military to their high school uniforms - basically, the german military played a really big part in the development of japanese nationalism. obviously AoT has some strong germanic influence in it, from character names (jaeger, armin, erwin...) to the lyrics in the openings, to the way the military is handled.

so while the op definitely has exaggerated a LOT, the theme of japanese nationalism in AoT is not totally out of the question and kind of an interesting notion when you relate it to japan during/post-WWII.

kornovolJanuary 3, 2014 9:23 PM

This article has it upside down. Yes, it is a Japanese show so it taps
inspiration from Japan's history and cultural consciousness. Does this
mean it seeks to repeat history? Unlikely. That's like saying a Godzilla
movie is really about inciting a nuclear war.

Joe PJanuary 3, 2014 10:00 PM

Can someone compress this story and give me key points?

Erin McCrateJanuary 4, 2014 1:22 AM

This is a compelling analysis, however I feel that it is premature. The first season of the anime would seem to support your claim, however a significant number of volumes of the manga have been translated and posted which would seem to contradict some of your later arguments.

With the newer mangas, the author seems to double back on some of the earlier assertions (which appear as such due to a lack of material and history provided at the time of their creation- a feature which I have found the author employs quite often at the expense of the reader, and for the purpose of instilling mystery and complexity to the characters' understanding of other characters.)

Further into the manga, the author seems to indicate that respecting individuals and their motives is an inescapable reality of humanity. The lives of the titan shifters are explored (although not yet in great detail) And it is impossible to not understand that the other soldiers in the company feel at least some degree of sympathy for those who would seem to be the enemy.

Furthermore, the reaction of Japanese and American fans to these characters, known "bad-guys" I guess, if you are looking at it through the lens of someone we presume to understand Attack as a call to militarism, is not peculiar in that equal amounts of people are drawn to these characters as they are to those who are determined to expand human territories. This would indicate that, as we all know through common sense, everyone has their own opinion.

Japan has historically felt as you have purported the author to feel, however it is not indicative wholescale to the feelings and thoughts of a Japan whose newest and youngest generation is experiencing globalization in a way never before believed to be possible. Just tossing out ideas here, but perhaps globalization is the 100 year old titan infestation, and the author feels that Japan has been losing its population or culture to an increasingly aggressive movement toward outward interactions with other eastern and western countries and cultures. It is interesting to note that the author portrayed Mikasa as one of the last "oriental" humans in the known settlement. There is also the strong warning by Dot Pixis that humanity has been its own monster since the dawn of time and warfare. These, I believe, are points in canon which cannot be ignored.

Tre GilesJanuary 4, 2014 4:16 AM

"This show has about as much of a chance of making Japan go to war as the Hunger Games has of making Americans start a revolution against the 1%."

Winner.

DJ_BobbyPeruJanuary 4, 2014 10:49 AM

Actually, come to think of it, the Hunger Games has a better chance because it is clearly about going to war against the elite. This show isn't as cut and dry. It may have a better chance at making viewers become phobic of tall people, though.

ZackRobotHeartJanuary 4, 2014 11:44 AM

This is a really interesting argument, and although I see it as logically coherent and wouldn't put it past an anime or manga to have the message Charles Web is reading into AoT, I kind of doubt very many people will be so moved by that message as to revive ultra-nationalism and provoke a world war. The title makes it kind of a stretch; even if china and japan are a very plausible origin point for world war 3. If that war were to happen it would hardly be any historian's logic to point to AoT as the match that lit the powder keg. I will concede that propaganda and politically charged fiction have that power, and might be the only thing that does. It is my suspicion that it takes more than one case, and usually far more mainstream media to do it though.

On a side note claiming it was chauvinism for Mikasa to have an emotional breakdown is kind of strange. Literally dozens of men succumb to fear and sorrow every episode from far less than her experiences. In my oppinion her emotional breakdown was meant to show she is still human. I would argue that any character who never has a moment of total empathic paralysis in this show is actually being rendered a detached sociopath, not some paragon of masculinity or even as a person the viewer should aspire to be. Levi lost faith in humanity and is driven by his hatred and fears all other emotion. Mikasa though is in control of her emotions until things happen which no sane person can handle, she does not lock them away in a dead part of her brain and become a psychopath. She has pragmatism and empathy, yet is far more determined and physically fit than most everyone regardless of gender. Saying shes not a strong character on the grounds she was overcome by emotion, shows a flaw in the standard and not the character.

Mista XJanuary 4, 2014 2:01 PM

Shingeki is honestly awful; the manga started off on a really good foot but only a couple dozen chapters in it stumbles hard and never quite regains it's footing.

HirumaJanuary 4, 2014 7:41 PM

..........

EmilyJanuary 4, 2014 9:18 PM

One of my favorite things about Shingeki no Kyojin is that they are fighting a war against an entirely inhuman enemy. The Titans are practically a force of nature, with no personhood or ability to think. This means that the show can depict the horrors of war without having to deal with an important fact of life in real war: that you're fighting other humans. Since humanity is fighting against an enemy that the show has gone out of its way to paint as the physical manifestation of pointless, chaotic evil, there is no moral ambiguity. There is no slaughtering of other humans as the enemy, no murder of soldiers on the other side. Everyone who is fighting is clearly working for good, and clearly fighting only to defend themselves. It is a one-sided war against a truly evil and entirely implacable enemy, which means that we are able to focus on the humanity, stories, losses, and gains of the characters. I think it's a perversion of the themes of the story to suggest an imperialistic agenda when Isayama has so clearly constructed a story that's not about politics, but humans.

Gopal NatarajanJanuary 5, 2014 12:18 AM

"The Titans are practically a force of nature, with no personhood or
ability to think. This means that the show can depict the horrors of war
without having to deal with an important fact of life in real war: that
you're fighting other humans."

If you are caught up with the series, you'll know that your assertion about the Titans is not quite true. This makes the prospects for Season 2 pretty tantalizing.

EmilyJanuary 5, 2014 12:37 AM

While its true that there are other (sentient) forces at work, the Titans themselves aren't. And while we really have no idea who these people are in Reiner and Bertolt's hometown, it seems to me that they are using the Titans, but aren't necessarily Titans themselves. I glossed over these mysterious forces because we know absolutely nothing about them, and even if they are in "command" of the Titans, the Titans are still the "footsoldiers" that are actually being fought.

But I agree, I can't wait to learn more about what the heck is going on.

ZetoJanuary 6, 2014 9:04 AM

There are two kinds of american expats living in Japan: Those who adapted and have a happy life and those who see militarism and racism everywhere.

ZetoJanuary 6, 2014 9:13 AM

I think some people see american nationalism as a good thing... but everyone else nationalism as bad. Double moral standard.

Joshua SorellJanuary 6, 2014 1:22 PM

I haven't seen the rest of the season (so woops on myself for reading the spoilers but whatever) but I've thought a lot about the notions of fascism in the show and there's some particular kinds of rhetoric that definitely play into the fascist handbook. The big one for me is that the Titans are essentially unknowable. They're huge, they're inhuman, they're creepy and they destroy everything. They are the embodiment of the "other" (I REALLY hate that term) and are essentially the most alien foe one could have outside of literal aliens.
Even more so is the depiction of the sloth and uselessness of the royalty in the kingdom. They're depicted as hedonistic and lazy; which plays into the aspects of fascism that reject monarchism and adores the worker who fights for his nation (this is different than communism, which glorifies the working masses, independent of the nation state. IE USSR; "for the proletariat," Third Reich; "for the fatherland/ the fuhrer.")
It is especially weird how the flaws of the individual become placated through military service. Eren is shown, in the flashback where he saves Mikasa, to definitely be a problem child who is violently insane. Mikasa on the other hand seems to be depicted as such a pure soldier because she relinquishes notions of emotions and self preservation. Of course this could be text to be deconstructed later, but I'm not sure.
However, a scan from the Manga has Pixis and Eren discussing the prospect of humanity uniting against such a foe as the Titans and Eren seems to think that man's inherent differences would forestall such a massive, imperialist unification. This makes me think that the show isn't pro-fascist or anything, but is rather an exploration of the idea of fascism. To what extent does mankind's flaws an neuroses have an impact on man's survival in a dire, apocalyptic situation?

Vampire: The DarknessJanuary 8, 2014 8:58 AM

I've just noticed this site is sensationalist with its headlines, but this is really exaggerated from beginning to end, I just wonder how familiar is the author with Japanese entertainment? It's not like Hollywood were writers are always trying to spread their political views in subtle ways, most of the time, they just share their fantastic and interesting universes with a good production and knowledge about the subject and make you feel part of it, because their characters act like humans and they have their feelings, thoughts and different reactions,
I personally like those stories where they don't show you there are bad and good guys, a polarised world, if not, that there are persons who can commit both type of acts for their own sake and what they think is right, What their entertainment did after WWII? They made a lot of great anti-war stories, also the people from those cities which were blasted now promote the peace.

DHGMJanuary 8, 2014 11:07 AM

anime is a type of cartoon, referring to a japanese style of animation focussing less on movement (like early western counterparts) and more on realism. Saying "It's not a cartoon, it's an anime" is like saying "It's not a canine, it's a husky"

Todd BrownJanuary 8, 2014 11:17 AM

Anime focuses on realism? Since when?

DHGMJanuary 8, 2014 11:34 AM

Early anime did, at least moreso than western animation, with it's talking animals and hammerspace. Try comparing Mickey Mouse to Astro boy, early examples of american and japanese animation. Mickey Mouse episodes were lighthearted scenes of violence and painful beatings, with characters hitting each other with hammers and blowing eachother up, without any gore or sense of danger. Astro Boy, while containing wild science fiction tropes such as giant robots and mad scientists, was much more dramatic than any western cartoon, where the danger posed by the massive warmachines was very real and death was prominently featured. In fact, the reason Dr. Tenma created Astro Boy was to replace his son who died in a car accident.

UchihaName January 8, 2014 12:21 PM

I know that. I was kind of joking. Don't bother trying to explain to a grown adult how things are, thank you.

DHGMJanuary 8, 2014 12:23 PM

My apologies. Sarcasm is difficult to detect through text alone.

UchihaName January 8, 2014 3:05 PM

It's alright! You're right it's hard to tell.

Akiko NagataJanuary 12, 2014 3:04 AM

It is different. I reverse.

http://jjjjj0o0o0o0o.tumblr.co...

please reblog. please translate.

MMAddictJanuary 12, 2014 7:19 PM

Sure, don't bother reading this sensationalist crap.

ÆresJanuary 14, 2014 2:33 AM

Didn't really realize it until now, but yes, it really is one of the least sexiest shows out there...and that's totally not a bad thing at all. Sex isn't really my main allure to any kind of media, but there's so much of it around you really don't notice it until something stands as contrast.

Yeah, Mikasa was very purely stoic at the beginning but was shown to be able to er and have more of a heart after the Eren-saving-Armin thing. I agree with your stance on that scene with Mikasa, and also feel she isn't portrayed as an emotional bomb waiting to go off. Now, Jessica from the movie representation of Dune...that's another story. And literally, it's another story from the book, it's horrible -_-

ÆresJanuary 14, 2014 2:36 AM

Asian culture = the whole over one. Not a new thing in any form of Asian media! Individualism is purely a Western Civilization creation!

ÆresJanuary 14, 2014 2:44 AM

I agree with everyone's criticisms minus this one point. I think the show clearly shows how the female titan emotionally responds to the idea of being cut out and captured and then -=Interrogated=-. She REALLY hated that idea. So much that it's emphasized once again in the last episode, where her "pilots" capture, basically resulted in moot. They wanted to capture her for information...and she made sure they didn't get that.

Levi was portrayed as being an overly pushy rash sort of guy...that's his main character flaw, a theme for the members of the Survey team/Scouts. I really think his taunting of the female titan in the woods was an example of that, and that it freaked her out and caused her to do that desperate titan summon cry stunt out of just that - desperation. Those binding hook cable gun things were a new recent invention by the mad scientist chick, so that was a totally unanticipated tactic - female titan was not expecting humans to be able to capture her at all. Let alone consider WHY they would want to capture her...and she was all calm and collect, being tied up on the ground, until Levi went ahead and made it clear they were going to painfully remove her and then dissect her and interrogate her and what-have you.

So yeah, I think Levi really was responsible for the failure of that mission. They were just about to blow off her hands, also unexpected, and make their way to cut her open...yeah she could have crystallized her body parts, but if that was so reliable why did she bother blocking her neck? They could've just set fuses in the perfect shape to blow her out of the neck area as well.

She totally did not want any form of capturing and leaking of secrets to happen.

ÆresJanuary 14, 2014 2:51 AM

Anime, and video games, have focused on realism hard core. Akira? Grave of the Fireflies? Japan is a Post-Apocalyptic culture, guys. It survived a nuclear holocaust. That permanently changed the mental landscape of Japan forever. That's why it's so funky and weird and has things like anime. Because it's "mutated" as a result of such a traumatic experience, and has a lot to say about it, one way or another, be it quirky weird entertainment or something violent and dramatic.

Also, Japan has a thing for tragedies...it's always been a major story element for them. Tragedies happen in many manga and animes, and even video games....and tragedy is a very Real thing.

A very modern example of this is Final Fantasy XIII-2. The creators themselves directly admitted that the message behind the bleakness of that game was directly related to their current situation with the Fukushima Reactor disaster. Even when the whole world looks like it is inevitably ending, do not give up hope. Move on forward. That was their message. And that's how they're feeling right now, housing the worst nuclear disaster in human history.

ÆresJanuary 14, 2014 2:53 AM

Check out the special features of The Animatrix and hear this from yourself from the legendary directors, writers and other well-read western geeks :P

Also, I'm totally sure the military-drama theme of animes has NOTHING to do with the World Wars or their history of being Warring States pre-meiji era, etc...

ÆresJanuary 14, 2014 2:57 AM

Um...Gundam?

It's literally about rebels fighting against "Nationalism" (Earth Federation)

ÆresJanuary 14, 2014 2:59 AM

He's a monster made from radiation....uhh duh! lol

ÆresJanuary 14, 2014 3:14 AM

That last part is definitely expressed in the scene where that crazy captain wants to blast Eren and Co. on the spot with their canon.

Ramzus02January 14, 2014 7:15 AM

Here is my opinion: The way I see it, the morale of this is more about how much sacrifices it takes to achieve freedom. That suffering most be endured sometime for the greater good... And not about invading the neighborhood. If you look back in history, all country that achieved independance, abolition of slavery or repelling invaders... It took a lot of sacrifices from individuals for the greater good...

And if it take an anime to start world war 3... I have a hard time to even believe that those that have the power to start a war, have time to watch anime. I don't think that Bush, Obama or Harper or whatever sit down in front of the computer looking for anime. And if they do... I don't think they would see that as an prequel for war. Maybe if the name is Kim Jong-Il... It is a possibility...

Christa SnowdenJanuary 15, 2014 3:48 AM

Rather than Latin, 'Sina's' China's old Sanskrit name.

FuebayJanuary 16, 2014 7:39 PM

WTF are you talking about? Call to arms? how the hell is this remotely close to war propaganda? Let me guess, you finally read one chapter in your high school history book and now you...wait...nonono, fuck you, I'm not gonna bite. you know, this anime is just another giant robot with a fucking teenager in it right? Robot obviusly been replaced by the skinless human form. Main theme being individualism, utilitarianism and nihilism. Same old unresolved philosophical problems that has being rehashed over and over again. Nothing original here, enjoy the show and never forget it is just a fucking cartoon. Want something actually thought provoking you gonna have to read a fucking book.

Anon_PHJanuary 16, 2014 7:56 PM

F*CKIN IDIOT YOU THINK WORLD WAR 3 WILL START BECAUSE OF AN ANIME ?! ARE YOU F*CKIN INSANE ? YOU BETTER SHUT UP CAUSE YOUR ARTICLE IS A TRASH

ArchsageJanuary 18, 2014 6:13 PM

He said least "sexist" not least "sexiest". Two very different terms. But yes, it's great to see an anime that isn't filled with girls with unreasonably large breasts constantly making sexual innuendos.

As for Mikasa, I enjoyed everything about her except during her fight against Titan Annie, when her foolishness got Levi hurt. That seemed VERY out of character for her.

ArchsageJanuary 18, 2014 6:18 PM

Hmm? That's the very nature of nationalism -- it's exclusive to a single nation. It isn't a double moral standard at all...

ObraJanuary 19, 2014 2:32 PM

What I got from the first episode all the way to the very last was the ideal that an individual must take care of themselves; even if it be going outside the walls with the titans. I got the impression that there is more to the world outside the walls other than bloodthirsty titans, and this is what the government fears. Time and time again we were shown that humans are incompetent when fighting these large foes with the exception of a strong few. It is difficult to fully understand if there a deeper meaning behind the screen as we watch (I kept getting the urge to rise up and take action while watching), but there is most undoubtedly one. Characters such as Levi seem to be an independent, something which wren strives to achieve (along with freeing humanity from the constraints of the walls and their leaders and the threat of titans). But my interpretation of the show was that we are stuck between a hard place and a rock. One scenario we may live free, outside the walls; but their are titans which will eat us. But in the other case, we may live in the walls "safely" being dictated what to do by a corrupt leadership. To me it also boils down to an individual being able to self govern themselves, which has more than the application of safety. Just one thought!

Name2January 22, 2014 5:50 PM

You heard the man.
Let's attack Japan!
That'll teach them to make entertaining anime shows that secretly calls their teenagers to arms.
While we make terrible reality shows, music that encourages gun violence and sex.
Clearly we are the ones doing the right thing.
:D
P.S Whoever made this article should be a part of the media.
They are pretty good at making things up.
which is EXACTLY what this guy did.

HatheJanuary 24, 2014 4:05 PM

I couldn't agree more about his misinterpretation on Mikasa.. When he described her character it really just pissed me off.

David phamJanuary 28, 2014 1:06 PM

WELL SAID SURE :) !!!

Keenan CourtezJanuary 29, 2014 3:16 PM

Umm. I agree with almost everything but the titan metaphor thing.... not that its a nuclear option. But a key sound bite of this show is giving up ones humanity to fight monsters. All of the commanders do it and I find it extremely symbolic that every victory humanity and Eren achieve is from him literally turning into a monster to fight monsters.

Keenan CourtezJanuary 29, 2014 3:30 PM

the Characters and their development in this show are some of the best ive seen across board, in all mediums. I would say 'potato girl, is the truly progressive female character and is a gem amount the medias female archetypes. Shes quirky, and sometimes clumsy but also extremely competent. The potato scene is something very reel that i think everyone can relate to and her reaction can easily be empathized with.

Also that sentimental aspect of Mikasa is discreetly shown off in every scene she appears wearing the red scarf.

Keenan CourtezJanuary 29, 2014 3:44 PM

I don't think this show should be limited to just a statement about japan and especially should not be so superficially limited to only a statement about nationalism and militarism. As a western viewer who normally does not enjoy anime, i was blown away from the sheer complexity of this show and the symbolic meaning and cultural statements jammed into every nook and cranny. Every bit of grandeur in this show is quickly temperamented with very reel human reactions. This is a would that was created and now the writers are experimenting with how humans would deal with it. There is not an individual statement about only Japanese culture or nationalism. Instead a broad statement about human nature, morality and a tongue in cheek dialog criticizing the conventional hero epic format.

iecJanuary 29, 2014 5:56 PM

Yeah, that's totally fair. It is certainly an exploration of what war and tragedy cause people to become. That's clearly one of the biggest points of the plot.

disqus_kd8KCLW3L5January 29, 2014 11:48 PM

you're bat shit crazy, all of that is based on your own interpretation of AOT. i cant say its wrong but i can say your thinking is abnormal.

CrispimFebruary 3, 2014 6:04 PM

in my opinion thats a show about impotence and despair before an amazingly stronger enemy. that being said, the best part for me in the entire season was when i believed eren was killed in his first fight. well, he's still alive but that still gave me the sense that this guy isnt joking arround... fragility of life and everything that comes with it are completely exposed in this story and shit, that means that if we dont do shit like right now we ARE going to die one way or another. so to be passive and accept the end of humanity is angriing (is that a word?) for some, but everybody understands that, you know "shit, those fucking giant shits eat people, i mean, what the fuck? i'm outta here". so yeah... its a very complex show that presents us with life and death in a tangible way and as one of the dilemas: the possibility of getting as far away from death as possible even though its inevitable, or sacrificing yourself for maybe a better future. i get it: its not different from war thinking, in some ways, nor it is from revolutionary thinking either. the real difference here is the completely and unnegociable end of everything you hold dear. thats a bit fucking heavy, you know? thats something you'll only find in the most agrressive colonialism (like, say, how almost every native tribe has been murdered in america). and not even there.

ThatFknGuyFebruary 9, 2014 12:38 AM

Execept it wasn't out of character at all. The show has already shown us that putting Eren in danger is her Berserk Button. It makes perfect sense that she would throw caution into the wind in a moment where she saw an opportunity to save him.

HeatherFebruary 11, 2014 2:41 AM

Not bad points in this article at all, though assuming Sina is a representation of any Asian country seems generally flawed to me. Considering (at least in the anime, since I haven't read the manga) they clearly state that Mikasa is one of the last, if not THE last "Oriental". I'm not saying the symbolism isn't there, but I think it's more catered towards a broader generation of young people who really are lost and probably feels as though those who were meant to guide them (a.k.a. their respective government, ect.) have failed at best, or at the very worst consciously abandoned them, rather than a specific country or even ethnicity. At least that's what it speaks to me about. The constant fear and anger each character portrays is also genuine to that assumption, at least in my opinion.

cookieaterFebruary 14, 2014 1:28 AM

Dude This should be World War lll

lllFebruary 14, 2014 10:08 AM

This story is written based on a historical fact embroidered with factious stories.
Please spread this story. please translate.
请告诉人民了很多本。请翻译。
이렇게 많은 사람에게 알려주십시오.번역하십시오.
S'il vous plaît passer le mot ce. S'il vous plaît à traduire.
Bitte das Wort zu verbreiten diese. Bitte zu übersetzen.
Пожалуйста, распространять слово это. Пожалуйста, чтобы перевести.
शब्द फैला दें. अनुवाद करने के लिए कृपया.

http://jjjjj0o0o0o0o.tumblr.co...
http://jjjjj0o0o0o0o.deviantar...
https://twitter.com/jjjjj0o0o0...
http://matome.naver.jp/odai/21...
https://www.facebook.com/akiko...

john freyanFebruary 17, 2014 2:47 PM

Look at the people commenting here. These are the kind of people who would think that Heinlein was just writing a story about soldiers in mechanical suits in space when he published Starship Troopers. Seriously, what were you idiots doing in 9th grade English when they were going over the basics of fictional writing and interpretation?

Hajime Isayama, the original author of the Attack on Titan, is a known ultranationalist who defended the Imperial Japan's actions in Asia multiple times. Even without that context, it's clear what Attack on Titan is advocating.

I_dont_want_your_opinionFebruary 27, 2014 10:55 PM

I tried reading this through, but your opinion as a whole felt so misguided that i couldnt help but laugh and skip the rest. Though some of what you say does sound accurate, i feel you are grasping at straws just to make a more interesting article. For anyone who hasnt seen the show yet, check it out. Its quite interesting, and deserves a personal opinion.

Niagra FallsMarch 1, 2014 6:17 PM

Do you think Japan is some communistic hell hole or something? it's a freaking anime... I never knew someone can be this dumb. You' like those idiots who think GTA V is causing crimes in real life.. omg

Ben AzraelMarch 5, 2014 10:28 AM

dumb.

GuestMarch 5, 2014 10:32 AM

are you really this dumb? or just really stoned when you wrote this nonsense?

GuestMarch 5, 2014 10:34 AM

freedom of speech has some very major pitfalls. articles like this are one of them.

Dylan BowerMarch 17, 2014 12:02 AM

Ahem, I believe that you are all idiots. I don't know about you, but I personally find Attack on Titan to be a very inspiring show,and I am as American as one can get. This show exemplifies honor, bravery, and self-sacrifice for one's country. I am an Eagle Scout within the Boy Scouts of America, and these are qualities near and dear to my heart. The fact that all Asians were killed except for Mikasa is actually an innovative change from the Japanese being the stars of any given anime. Dot Pixis made a reference to the moral of the show in the episode Idol: The countries in power today are too wrapped up in politics and petty squabbles to combat any outside threat. There is TOO MUCH emphasis on culture, religion, ethnicity and such making there no room for freedom of choice. Levi mentions this also when he said that one has the ability to trust in the group, or trust in oneself. Wren made the right decision originally by trusting in his team, but had he trusted in himself later on, he would have saved everyone. I don't understand how you interpret patriotism and liberty into fanaticism and imperialisticism. The country has no desire for outlying territories, and only the Survey Corps dares to set aside their humanity in hopes that others won't have to. Conspiracy theorists need to shut up. If you are a true fan, disregard this article and OFFER UP YOUR HEARTS!!!

NateApril 14, 2014 9:04 AM

But it doesn't make sense, in the show almost all asian people are wiped out and it is probably set in a european country which is why you have names like yaeger and brause. so it doesn't give a throwback to japanese power at all

Arhaik MariaApril 17, 2014 6:51 AM

This article serious? This article is based on very limited research and lack of knowledge of the anime/manga.

adam200oMay 28, 2014 12:56 AM

i say just get over it its just a fucking anime Jesus Christ

Michael FishJune 2, 2014 1:37 AM

I agree with your statement about it being one of the least sexist shows out there. I have seen plenty of animes that put their female characters in barely any clothing and in weak and innocent positions. In Attack on Titan, the males and females all wear the same uniform, they all cry, and they all fight when they need to.

Michael FishJune 2, 2014 1:42 AM

The show has many more human themes than it has national themes. It has the theme of evil. Are the titans really evil, or do they simply act on instinct? If the humans push the titans to extinction by becoming monsters, is it a victory for humanity? Is it any better than what the titans had nearly done to humanity? The show contains themes of humanity that people everywhere understand. It is not some big political statement, and it is certainly not calling people to war. There really is such a thing as over-analyzing. You have analyzed to the point where you have gotten lost in your opinion and drowned out important facts.

GuestJune 4, 2014 7:23 PM

Terrible review, erroneous analysis, and all-around misrepresentation of AoT. I actually logged into my Google account and registered to Disqus in order to leave my first comment, ever, anywhere; that's how bad this article truly is.

qffq3131June 16, 2014 8:35 AM

Well I fully agreed with Yoshiyuki Tomino about Shingeki no Kyojin, I once a fan of it, but when I cool off my hot head, I am not anymore.It is true that this anime promote violent, war and the word "SINA". Many people watching this anime in my country and then they thought that they can be like the character in this anime so they act stupidly, think they have the power to dominate? In 100 people watchking this anime, 90 people watch it just because of it violent, eating live humans. And from my viewpoint of, it not as good as other masterpiece like One Piece the one that show the world that Japan is a brave, thoughtful, painful-still-never give up-looking for a good future, then SnK only focus on violent, and make it happy on violent? Why because like Tomino said because SnK author was bully when he was young so SnK is just his revenge....on paper. And Dragonball a legend one, make Japan anime known world-wide, inspiration for many others good one after. And so another good one from Japan is Gintama, funny but deep, from the very normally things we saw a deep emotion, brave Japan. And Hagane no Renkin Jutsushi make a deep one too.

opmaniaJune 23, 2014 5:32 AM

Well there we rumours that Attack on titan season 2 will b out in june 2014 but they were wrong :'( as it was just attack on titan dubbed version but you know what ? there is good news too they will release two attack on titan movies too :D

Source : http://www.watchsnk.com/2013/0...

TruthOctober 9, 2014 6:33 AM

Here is how i see it... roughly 2000 years from now humans develop titan
technology(titans do not eat or sleep, regenerate limbs and live off sun) to fight wars, then a world war breaks out , many transform but cheap to make soldiers cannot control themselves and depend on titan leaders (eren) to think, and transform back and titan leaders depend on their more expensive conscious guards (armored titan and colossal type),they fight for 850 years, and one side almost loses but manage to take out leaders of the opposite side that are harder to produce and grow scarce over the time, but probably sacrifice their own
leaders in the process, and a massive titan army remains and destroys
everything, even if they are victorious, they are still doomed so
they use up the last of their colossal guards to form the great walls
that will protect them from the dumb leaderless army. much is forgotten
and swept under the rag in the next 100 years (not that surprising
because of the war so long it resets the calendar and no one can remember
life before). only a few people have the knowledge of the walls
including eren's mysterious father. The leading structure goes corrupt
and doesn't want people to know the truth or to be able to leave, and
they don't want to deal with the titans because for them this new
situation is practically paradise, but there is a fraction of
knowledgeable people, probably the last of the scientists trying to
improve the titan weapon that have found a way of defeating the titan
army and achieving full victory. Government will not see that happen,
the science fraction is doomed , hunted and desperate, and a plan is
hatched to launch an attack on the cursed remainder of humanity, eren's
father disagrees, steals the improved leader formula and injects eren
(more compatible) in hope that his son can save the innocent population,
finally 100 years after the walls were built a colossal titan appears
outside, and tears a hole... we all know what happened next.
I dont know if the series has a point except "fight the 1% or we all get eaten " and "people cast aside differences work together only in most desperate times" - made in japan so Asians all dead (if it was made in say America then Mikasa would be the last of Mohicans if you get my drift) but the plotline is very good, animation and action sequences are top notch, and it is fun to watch (only things I care about when watching anime), and if it had some romance instead of friendship, and more main character death it could pass for adult.

Niklas MartienssenJanuary 25, 2015 9:11 PM

I think the author of that text is really bored, I have no idea how a person can come to the conclusion that attack on titan could cause a world war that is only ridiculous, Only one word stupid. It is an Anime not in everything is something hidden, maybe you come to that conclusion that Japan is planning a World War because the Anime use german words. But if you would only searched a little bit in the internet you would have found that the creator of Attack on titans like a german city called Nordlingen, if you see pictures of the city you will understand idiot

HaydukeLivesMarch 12, 2015 5:06 PM

Good article. I have had many of the same thoughts.

Peter TrieshiMay 9, 2015 3:25 PM

whoever made this text is a fucking shithead that is like one of those news reporters that blame games for violence in real life because even they are shitheads and whoever thinks that attack on titan is the start of world war III has a brain full of diarrhea and piss mixed with the memory of 2girls1cup and the thought of destroying entertainment FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peter TrieshiMay 9, 2015 3:28 PM

ME TOOO

Efrain Julian De JesusJune 30, 2015 2:09 PM

You do know that the whole series is a romaticized version of the Japanese Occupation of Korea right?

Courtney SmithJuly 16, 2015 8:06 PM

I would just like to say: THANK YOU, you are intelligent and have your eyes open to everything including context, and KEEP UP THE AMAZING WORK! :) A REAL analysis of this "fad". :)

Courtney SmithJuly 16, 2015 8:08 PM

"romance and main character death" make a thing adult. Great. Not like, "harder to understand, more complex plots that comment on society."

Courtney SmithJuly 16, 2015 8:10 PM

I really resonate with what you say here!!! Especially because you are absolutely right about why 90% of people watch the show, and I am actually a HUGE fan of one piece and what it says as an anime in comparison.

I kind of think anyone who is still a huge fan of Attack on Titan and likes it more than an actually good anime like One Piece has a small intellect.

Courtney SmithJuly 16, 2015 8:12 PM

That's funny because I registered and logged in just to comment on how the writer seemed to really have their eyes open to context instead of just glazing over and "enjoying" the violence.
While you throw some pedantic insults around, you don't explain WHY you think his opinion is so wrong and bad. :)

Courtney SmithJuly 16, 2015 8:13 PM

Honestly if you think your questions are deep, ask yourself: Where did the titans come from? Did another past government possibly invent them? We don't know yet, but I feel like we're strongly going in the direction of titans being able to be created. Which actually can bring up MANY themes that could be human or nationalist.

Courtney SmithJuly 16, 2015 8:14 PM

People sent the author death threats over Dot Pixis' similarity to an actualy military figure, and you don't think there's any throwback to real politics?

Courtney SmithJuly 16, 2015 8:15 PM

.... Have fun sacrificing yourself for the 13 rich families that run your country. Offer up your heart, offer up your soul. Mine belongs to God.

Courtney SmithJuly 16, 2015 8:15 PM

No, propaganda being promoted as harmless is one of them

Courtney SmithJuly 16, 2015 8:17 PM

Your eyes are open, God bless.

Courtney SmithJuly 16, 2015 8:20 PM

Thank you for your comment, I think it would help people to see the effect the anime is having on the mentality of people in your country.

Courtney SmithJuly 17, 2015 7:55 PM

Personally I think Mikasa is still a strong character, I just think a lot of her thunder was stolen for the artist to claim she's like, the anime's "poster girl". No, definitely not. Obviously Annie is. The thunder was stolen for Giantess Fetishists, and how can I argue that it likely got more fans for him? I don't think the time she has a breakdown is the key point to her losing her "magic". However, you have a good point about emotions being a real human thing, lol, if she had no moments of emotion she'd be a psychopath.
Something I found interesting is that she's supposed to be the strong female character, poster girl for the show, and in an interview with the artist he also says that she's kind of a "moe" character? That doesn't add up to me... And kind of supports the chauvinism argument in terms of the way Mikasa is represented.
Mikasa, strong main character female... At least, that's what I thought she was supposed to be. A strong, female, titan fighter character. Not a "Moe". If she's not, the other strong female... Is Annie... That's where the thunder was stolen. IMO, it's sending a bit of a message making the Titan-girl stronger and making the titan-fighter girl moe... A message I really really don't appreciate. One can generously assume that the artist is sticking more with the "personal growth" theme present in moes, but that's not the only connotation, normally.
Moe: "A common definition is that Moe is the ability of a character to instill in the audience an irrational desire to adore them, hug them, protect them, comfort them, etc. To evoke a sort of Big Brother Instinct, in men and women... The classical Moe character is highly associated with innocence, shyness, humility, submission, helplessness and woobie characteristics"

Michael FishJuly 17, 2015 8:36 PM

I didn't write these questions a year ago because I thought they were profound in any way. I wrote them because they are the questions that the show is asking us, directly, and outright. The questions you have posed, however, are a matter of deduction. There are no profound qualities about them. If you want to go around replying to what seems to be nearly every comment here, you should know what you are talking about first. You've used the term "deep" incorrectly.

someoneJuly 20, 2015 7:18 PM

I honestly don't know what to say =_= how the heck you say it will cause world ward III. It just stupid, for god sake this is anime this wont cause anything. Yes i know this anime is violence and it's not good for every age (and they already gave a warning about it that this anime only suitable for 16+ years old). I not watch this because of the violence, i watch this because of the plot. In fact, i'm the kind of person who can't watch violence (i cant watch final destination, saw, etc. it disgusting and scary for me). And what you say about sina, etc you can't say it some kind of hidden massage or something. The author need inspiration you know, not everyone can come up with original idea. It just for reference. Like gintama, the author use shinsengumi reference and japan life when the west coming (but he change to alien) so what the different? Yes gintama not a gore and its more normal because it more into comedy! And if you read the last chapter the author it's about a war between amanto and them (the characters) can you say it will cause world war too? (you can say it adaptation from japanese who refuse to accept the west vs usa)

And you know i not effected with this anime and people i know who watch this not effected psychologically. We act normal none of us act dominant or violence. If you want to compare with the other manga effect, i will tell you this there a russian boy who suicide because itachi dead (google it if you dont believe me) so i think it depend on the person psychologic condition.

And attack of titan is gore (hey its about war between human and titan what can you say?) at first but if you read the last updated chapter it's not that violence anymore. Now its more into the plot, they start to resolve the titan mystery.

When eren decide to 'trust' his comrade even though he know they will be dead, it because the other told him to trust them. And levi said he can do whatever he want because no one will know how it turn out and just choose what he think he will less regret the most. And you can see that eren regret his decision, i think the author do that for develop on his character (on the manga he still regret to let his comrade died and make him want to be stronger)

The point is i don't think this will cause the world war and not everyone watch this show anyway. And maybe for some people they will be affected in psychologically that why there warning on the show that said it not suitable for every people ( i still think this kind of effect is depend on the person psychologically condition itself).

Anyway this is my opinion, sorry for grammar mistake.

someoneJuly 20, 2015 7:44 PM

death threats? really? where your evidence?

someoneJuly 20, 2015 8:19 PM

what are you talking about woman?

Mikasa is still a badass but she has a soft spot (you can say it weakness too) and that eren. And i like how author make her a weakness so she not a perfect-marysue-character. SO what if the author make a stonger character than mikasa? Mikasa is one of the strongest character but the author never said he want to make her the strongest right? in the story levi is known as humanity strongest so he is the strongest. And i don't understand when you say "placating the female audience enough to watch the show with their boyfriends." you can watch it with your boyfriend and it doesn't have anything to do with mikasa.

And i think you not read the manga so you don't know. But the titan that has people inside them (like Annie) is has a better design than the normal titan. Because they 'special'. Do you want this 'special' titan character has a same appearance (gross, weird expression, etc) with the normal titan? if they look like them so what can separate them with other titan?

No that not the real problem! the problem is to protect the humanity and destroy the titan so the human can be free!
and it's not "don't feel your own emotion" but "to sacrifice for better future for humanity"
and how can you say not to feel your own emotion? clearly in this show the character show many emotion. How jean know that marco dead he really sad about it but he need to get over it and instead of crying all day he have to do something so marco not die for nothing (and that why he join survey corps)

And if you forgot the setting of AOT universe is still using king. So yea they protect their king. Just like we here, the soldier protect the president. And rich people can live in the center because they rich, what the different with people in real life? rich people, celebrity, etc always get 'special' treatment. I think the author make a great resemble with people in real life.

NihilismJuly 23, 2015 8:42 PM

A different (and philosophical) perpestive: http://sequart.org/magazine/46...

DC FanAugust 19, 2015 5:38 AM

This article was clearly written without even considering how the author of the series got his ideas from & the relevancy of all sorts of aspects in the show to the author's own experiences, knowledge & hobby. The article was written without author's perspective in mind. It's just a bunch of wild speculation & theories that were conceived by a paranoid & delusional provocative douchebag who can't enjoy a good entertainment without filling his head with all sorts of negativity.

And to courtney smith, you can stop kissing the ass of the writer of this article. You actually have the time to reply on every other comments in this post? How free is your life anyway? Get a job, mate! When people have too much time, they'll tend to think too much to the point they'll drown to the bottom of abyss of paranoia. Chill out & enjoy life! Enjoy good entertainment as what it really is. You've been poisoning your mind with hatred, negativity & conspiracy theory, matey!

Neurofied YamatoOctober 7, 2015 12:00 AM

What have you been smoking? How do one find AoT militaristic? Start world war III? Sina for China right? Other than the latin meaning, what possible meaning does that have? A lot of series use out-of-use terms for names for inspiration and occasionally reference for the plot and location.
Dot pixis being based off of a General is the only real basis you have and even then, he might just be the Aurthor's favorite general. Honestly, how do you connect half of these things to the economic situation and calling the young to arms with AoT? Retarded conspiracy theories.
Seriously, even if the author did get ideas from it, why can't it be an inspiration of desperate times? Why does it have to be call to arms?

Start WW3? Now where in the world do you get that as an intention? how would it even cause WW3? How would a anime cause a world war? What interest would Japan have to start a world war? Do you even realize that a world war is very unlikely in modern day even with high tensions like over at Crimea?

Whole bunch or paranoia crap.

Neurofied YamatoOctober 7, 2015 12:04 AM

HAHAAHA, how does a anime character and death threats affect politics? In the grand scheme of things, it is nothing more but a teenage show and manga for entertainment.
You think any government, no local authorities will take note of this?

You think to highly of the author and his personal opinion or inspiration of military generals.
The author doesn't have billions of money or stocks that can effect the the city's economy let alone world's economy. In matter of fact, his opinion on a general has no effect on the JSDF or any policy for that matter. Throwback to real politics my ass.

Neurofied YamatoOctober 7, 2015 12:07 AM

Propaganda? Wow, never seen anyone as retarded as this. I don't feel like joining the Japanese military after watching it. I don't feel like donating money to the Japanese government. I don't feel like justifying anything that the Japanese might of done during WW2.

I thought it was an entertaining post-apocalyptic show and nothing more. Please explain how this is remotely propaganda. Does it show hatred against another nation. think before you type idiot.

Jestyn CarpenterDecember 1, 2015 2:55 AM

Wow you read into things way too much and that only leads to paranoid and irrational thoughts......it's just a really good anime that needs to release a second season allready

*Guest*January 10, 2016 5:02 AM

This is the dumbest shit I've ever seen. Aside from Mikasa being a fucking Mary Sue there's no basis to believe that a single TV show is going to start WWIII.

Dian AtamyanovJanuary 23, 2016 8:17 AM

Can none of you dimwits respond to something you find objectionable without falling down to personal attacks and defensive rhetoric? It's a vicious circle (as I just demonstrated).

Intelligent species my arse...

HazelStone24563May 21, 2016 4:57 AM

Seriously? Go to the doctor and get him to give you an operation for your brain

[ ]July 15, 2016 1:54 AM

Fuck you, you dumb feminist bitch the female was even more gross than the other titans and you kiss more ass than god damn armin

[ ]July 15, 2016 2:01 AM

Bullshit

[ ]July 15, 2016 2:09 AM

Dafuq you talking about dumbasses if SnK (AoT) is related to WW 3 in any way it takes place after where as titans were mutated humans after nuclear bombs dropped causing them lose all need for reproduction and nourishment

Jerry SköldJuly 15, 2016 3:11 AM

I was going to pitch in with some disagreements to the article, but... damn, this comments thread got vile.
The article is not stating that the anime wilol cause WW3 - anything more than the hyperbolic headline, that is. What is up for the discussion is a) how the anime reflects the political opinions of its´ writer and can therefore be read as an allegorical work of propaganda, and b) to what extent the anime reflects the political reality of youth in Japan today.

Of course a single work is not going to make someone into an ultranationalist - the issue is that many works, in aggregate, can promote ideas and shape the way that (parts of) society thinks about these issues. I feel that this is something that can stand some discussion, even - or especially as - a fan of Shingeki no Kyojin. (Anime and manga, but not the terrible live-action movies. Urgh.)