Sure, it’s annoying to hear people talk about Eromanga- Sensei but what I hate the most is how Attack On Titan is talked about. It’s clearly a popular show so a lot of content creators think it warrants commenting on. But why are you going to bother when you aren’t presenting a perspective on the subject? It’s the biggest game of chicken right now and everyone seems like they’re playing with their balls cut off. All they ever do is present the obvious that it has “some good parts and some bad parts” then talk about semantics like ‘maybe this is why Attack On Titan is popular’ or sometimes they will share just a tad bit but will never expand on their opinion like “Attack On Titan CAN BE okay at times… So, I ate a potato and thought wow I should really make this into a video about Attack On Titan”.
So, let me be the first to present my fully explained opinion on Attack On Titan and say: Attack on Titan is really good. Of course, it has flaws but god damnit i’ll actually point out those flaws!
I think the main problem is: the main characters.
Mostly Eren Jaeger who is a terrible protagonist but to be fair he wasn’t always terrible. Eren, originally, wasn’t as ‘primal’ as people see him now. What made Eren a good character initially was his aspiration to go beyond the walls but even more than that it was his intelligence. Even though he had a temper, he always thought through his actions or entrusted his current predicament to those with more knowledge or ability to get the job done but still had a plan B should they fail. This is evident when Eren, Armin and Mikasa is cornered by the military who are threatening to shoot them with cannons; Eren trusted Armin to convince them that they are not the enemy and in the process, Armin finally stopped bitching and understood his value.
But little by little, we start to see Eren be treated like a child mostly by Mikasa and it’s very uncomfortable because at the same time they are pushing the idea that Mikasa has feelings for Eren, who she babies all the time. At the same time, Eren’s bloodlust has overshadowed any bit of character he had. It makes sense that Eren would be passionate about killing titans, but he’s always screaming about how he wants to “kill the titans” and then oversell it by forcing him into making bad decisions that are purely based on emotions. Again, his bloodlust is justified but they push the envelope too far that it barely feels like Eren’s even human. And I get that you probably might be thinking “well, AoT’s theme is about how you have to throw away your humanity” but no, I think AoT’s theme is actually conserving what humanity we have left and the reason is because who wants to see the main character slowly devolve into an animal? I personally don’t because then that feels like an excuse to make the character savage or simply to make him not recognize what it’s like to be having a normal conversation because all he does is scream about how he wants to kill shit.
In fact, this problem does appear when he joins the Levi Squad when the squad has casual conversations, Eren just looks like an idiot with a puzzled face because he doesn’t understand what a normal conversation ‘is’, at this point. Ultimately, i’m going to feel like he has no personality outside of his desire to kill titans. Although, I don’t necessarily blame Eren because all of his problems generally comes from his interactions from other characters. For example, Mikasa and Eren have this duo dynamic where Mikasa constantly feels she needs to protect Eren from literally everything! Again, her reasons are justified because Eren has, in a way, done a lot for her. She wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for Eren. But of course, the envelope is just pushed way too far with her again because the original intent of the dynamic between them is that she’s supposed to be deeply in love with Eren and willing to put her life on the line for him but somehow it got mistranslated in a way that looks like she’s just desperately looking out for him as an older sister and it’s jarring whenever they even hint that she may be “in love” with him because the relationship doesn’t come out that way. Take this into perspective: she’s less obsessed with ‘being with him’ and more obsessed with ‘ensuring he lives’.
When Levi was introduced, he kind of beat the shit out of Eren and that did him no favors. He constantly puts Eren down and forces him to look that much more childish which is another aspect of Eren that I never liked. It just feels like Eren is going through a ‘growing up’ process even though he’s already seen so much shit it just feels like he’s taking forever to get to a state where he’s actually capable of thinking for himself even though he should’ve already been more than capable from the very beginning. That was also why I partially didn’t like Levi but I have to admit he won me over when he tore out Petra‘s wings of freedom logo from her jacket and intended to keep it but gave it to a soldier who was sad about his comrades’ death and lied to him to raise his morale. If you have a man who looks at you like Levi looks at Petra, well, don’t be “Petra-fied” at the idea of someone actually liking you that much.
That’s really my only major problem with Attack on Titan. There are certain instances that I do not like, for example: when Armin found out about Annie when he noticed that she had Marco‘s ODM gear that she used to kill the test subjects and he realized it was his because he saw all the dents and scratches that he originally noticed when he was working with Marco to fix it. But we, the viewers, had no information this ever took place and that was a rare moment of disconnect that felt a little forced. Sure, we had seen Armin look at Annie’s ODM gear during the inspection when it happened and because of that it wasn’t farfetched that Armin would suspect Annie but they could’ve shown us Armin and Marco fixing up the ODM gear beforehand so that we’re all on the same page.
I also don’t like how nobody important as died yet. I don’t mind any of the deaths AoT has had so far, in fact, it’s good that people die all the time because it really sells how absolutely monstrous this world is but we’re long overdue a main character death and I don’t wanna name any names, Ymir, but I think a major death will bring out a bit of an emotional response from the viewer that’ll help closer relate to the characters.
But now I get to talk about why Attack on Titan is so good.
One of my bigger reasons is how consistent it is. What I mean is that it rarely pulls shit out of it’s pants, the one instance I previously described where it did just now how Armin suspected Annie, that was pretty much the only time. Generally whenever things like this pop up, like most recently when they were depicting how Reiner was able to convey information to Annie they explained it evidently along with something that happened in the past season. The ability to follow up on previous scenes is what gives observant theorists like me reason why we always keep our eyeballs peeled and it makes it hard to find any “real” problem with AoT’s narrative. Though, I just wish the narrative would align with Eren more instead of forcing him into being a pansy.
Believe it or not, there are good characters in this show. My (old)favorite being Jean who developed perfectly for the duration of season 1 where he started out with the realistic view that he should move into the interior so that he could live a comfy life, but after experience the battle in Trost and spending ample time with Marco, who died believing in Jean, he grew to understand that hiding within the walls whilst knowing all the scary shit that’s out there, he understood that he would just be a sitting duck for the inevitable demise of mankind. So, he decides to take up arms and joins the Scout Regiment. Not only that but his arrogant outlook and personal interests like his sexual attraction to Mikasa makes him feel like an actual person unlike a certain “suicidal maniac”. And that’s the thing with the other characters, they all have nuances to them that proves to us that they matter! Sasha who obviously made a strong impression on her debut getting the nickname “Potato Girl” is one of the most nuanced characters because we know that she loves to eat! We also know that she’s a trained hunter, someone who’s survived by preying on wildlife and knows how to track all kinds of creatures and she seems to be passionate about it as well.
Reiner, who I like a lot, was always decent because he had an older brother vibe to him along with Bertolt, though, he had significantly less screen time so it was definitely a leap of faith that he turned out to be.. “A” colossal titan. Anyways, Reiner’s recent reveal of being “A” armored titan was also surprising, mostly in that both of these reveals were so much earlier than I expected. But what really made the character incredible is his Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) which I wasn’t sold on at first but learned that this definitely made the most sense considering the amount of information it provides. For example, it tells that Reiner has definitely seen some shit but also he isn’t completely forgetful of things he has done or what he is, rather, he just switches from 2 different ways of thinking. One that has to constantly thinking about how much death and destruction he’s caused and one that thinks about his place in the military; often needing reminders from Bertolt that his job is to destroy humanity causing him grief literally every time. It’s actually really sad when you think about how similar these personalities are because it means that the mental disorder isn’t very strong. He doesn’t really have another ‘personality’ he just scours inside his “ideal” way of thinking. Again, I personally think this is much scarier than downright having a completely different person in your body because he has to constantly be reminded that he’s a fucking asshole And I would kill to have Bertolt’s job!
But I think what really sells me on Attack on Titan is the sheer mystery of it’s world. I’ve spent a good amount of time theorizing and putting together ideas. I just love psychological anime like this that forces you to think on a huge scale and really analyze every little frame that might hint towards something bigger and AoT does this well, in fact, it’s one of the best psychological anime I’ve seen to date, if not the best. I currently have a theory somewhere around the idea that maybe humanity is very much alive but are using a small portion of humanity as test subjects for certain experiments and in order to do so they’ve decided to unleash the “titan blight” across the ocean and into the lands which our heroes reside in. Then they placed certain observers to analyze “this” humanities progress as well as observers on the titan’s side. But that’s just a theory… An ANIME THEORY!
Okay, look i’m sorry but you had to see it coming… Regardless, I know a lot of people do not agree with Aot’s popularity but those same people aren’t exactly huge on these kinds of things, either. The truth is: the mainstream audience doesn’t enjoy shows like Attack on Titan and you may be asking: “why is that?” well, the answer is very simple.
The truth is: Attack on Titan isn’t mainstream. Attack on Titan isn’t the dominant trend since the mainstream audience, at least most of it, don’t beat to the sound of it’s drums. What do they beat to? Well, they beat their meat to dragon lolis and incest… That’s just kind of how it is now so I hope you finally understood that it’s not all that complicated. Granted, Attack on Titan is definitely more popular to outside viewers, those who aren’t well-versed in our “otaku ways” but as far as ‘anime’ is concerned, Attack on Titan just isn’t the bread-and-butter. But I hope this was informative in some way, I am going to process all the information Attack on Titan 2 has thrown at me so far, let me know your opinions and maybe we’ll come to a discussion.. Thanks for watching!