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Post Reply Attack on Titan Discussions (Spoilers)
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Posted 10/18/13
Attention people! Very excited about this. Funimation is working on this real quick. http://www.amazon.com/Attack-Titan-Limited-Edition-Blu-ray/dp/B00FXBL1IQ/ref=pd_sim_mov_3
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Posted 10/25/13 , edited 10/25/13
(reposted from now-closed thread)

Many genres of fiction are known for commenting on current events throughout the world, particularly science fiction and the horror genres. After all, as in the name, sci-fi allows creators to spin their own view of how technology and the world could advance in the future. But of course, it doesn't have to be a pure look at the world of tomorrow. The original Star Trek series was heavily themed around that of the Cold War; the conflict between the Federation and the Klingons was supposed represent the conflict with the Democratic West and the Communist East. Then there was George Romero's original Night of the Living Dead, and how the zombies were supposed to represent the paranoia of the Cold War. And more recently, the numerous found-footage films like Paranormal Activity and how they reflect the viral nature of the passing of information and the internet.

As such I've wondered if maybe there's something deeper to Attack on Titan's appeal to its fans.

I've always wondered what it was about AoT that seem to resonate with people...to me, there's always more to it than it just being "a good animated show". Cowboy Bebop, for instance, isn't known for it being a well-structured plot or its groundbreaking storyline...it's something else to it. Something that can't be achieved with well-executed structure and mechanics.

So what's Attack on Titan's special little something? For me, I say: "The Little Guy vs The Big Man".

At its most simplest, AoT is a David and Goliath story. While underdog stories are hardly new, the show takes it in a direction that really highlights the scope of both sides of the conflict: a massive opposing force that threatens to crush the seemingly tiny and almost insignificant heroes. That, and how metaphorical the conflict between the humans and Titans that it could be applied to a lot of things.

I mean really, this image has earned its place as being one of the most iconic images in anime and will no doubt be remembered in the years after:



How is this significant now? Well, in the current socio-political climate, the "Us vs Them" mentality is certainly prevalent.

Now, more then ever, there's definitely an "anti-establishment" sentiment to the people of the world. The most obvious being the political one (which I dare not speak here) but there are others as well. Some include the rise of the indie culture movement, the numerous social movements becoming viral, the Internet being viewed as a more "reliable" source of news then the actual established news stations...it's everywhere.

To me, Attack on Titan is a reflection of this current mentality. While I do admit it's definitely debatable if this was the creator's (both the studio's and the manga-ka's) intent, it is hard to ignore it and say that it's NOT there. Hell, even the show's OP is themed around it, and I don't doubt that's why that is so popular as well.

So...what do you guys think? Do you think this is definitely a prominent part of the show and it's appeal...or do you think I'm completely nuts and it's all in my head?
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Posted 10/25/13 , edited 10/25/13
tasti_man_LHI think there are strong themes universal to the human condition that we see in stories which can be correlated to current events at any time throughout our history (although they'll vary in the telling based on the cultural lens). A good example of this is the frequent reimaginings of Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, Coriolanus, Much Ado About Nothing, etc.

So I think you hit the nail on the head by comparing it to David and Goliath, while anything more specific would be up to individual interpretation (I wouldn't go so far as to say there's any specific allegory at work in this particular case). I also think that strong/unified themes will draw people to a story, even if they don't think about them in that light.

Alternatively, I think a story with weak or inconsequential themes will be passed off a boring or cliche, again without much necessary thought (and it's certainly hard for an anime to maintain a strong run in that condition, even if they're only aiming for a single cour). It's an interesting thing to pay attention to in terms of what gets popular and what doesn't.
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Posted 10/25/13

Insomnist wrote:

tasti_man_LHI think there are strong themes universal to the human condition that we see in stories which can be correlated to current events at any time throughout our history (although they'll vary in the telling based on the cultural lens). A good example of this is the frequent reimaginings of Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, Coriolanus, Much Ado About Nothing, etc.

So I think you hit the nail on the head by comparing it to David and Goliath, while anything more specific would be up to individual interpretation (I wouldn't go so far as to say there's any specific allegory at work in this particular case). I also think that strong/unified themes will draw people to a story, even if they don't think about them in that light.

Alternatively, I think a story with weak or inconsequential themes will be passed off a boring or cliche, again without much necessary thought (and it's certainly hard for an anime to maintain a strong run in that condition, even if they're only aiming for a single cour). It's an interesting thing to pay attention to in terms of what gets popular and what doesn't.


Yeah, I have noticed that sometimes it's just not enough for a fictional work to have a resonant theme to it.

In this case, one other anime that comes to mind that came out recently that has a similar theme as AoT is Psycho Pass. Yet for whatever reason, Psycho Pass has nowhere near the popularity as AoT.

Now I know that opinions are subjective and all that, but to me, Psycho Pass is certainly NOT a bad anime. It's not even mediocre. I mean hell, AoT is praised for its visceral and raw atmosphere, with its violence and gore, and yet Psycho Pass is FAR more violent and gory than AoT, to the point that they actually show the kills in more explicit detail, and aren't overused to the point of feeling exploitative, but used just enough to highlight accent the scene that the kills happen.

That aside, Psycho Pass does have a strong anti-establishment message to it...yet it's nowhere near as popular or as talked about as AoT. Why is that? And what is it missing that AoT definitely has?
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Posted 10/26/13 , edited 10/26/13

tasti_man_LH wrote:

That aside, Psycho Pass does have a strong anti-establishment message to it...yet it's nowhere near as popular or as talked about as AoT. Why is that? And what is it missing that AoT definitely has?

That's an interesting question... Psycho-Pass was my favorite show of 2012, and I already know AoT won't score nearly as highly for me in 2013. But at the same time, AoT is a lot easier to follow, and I think it makes you feel more involved as an audience member (both in the plot and in the characters). Psycho-Pass had a lot of issues with that.

I think Psycho-Pass left the audience in the dark so much that it was hard to get a clear read on it.

I guess my stance would be that strong themes can propel a good story, kind of like the engine on a locomotive. But it's up to the story to get people on the train, and it's up to the plot to lay the tracks. So no matter how good the engine is, you could still crash and burn in an empty carriage if there are discouraging issues in other areas.

So... themes can keep people's attention, but you have to catch it first? Or something.

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Posted 10/26/13

Insomnist wrote:

So... themes can keep people's attention, but you have to catch it first? Or something.



I'd say it is something like that. To be honest, most people don't even notice themes. They are there to provide additional depth to the story, especially if you like looking for them. And they provide a unifying factor to the story. But, if you can't provide a compelling story, one that pulls people in and keeps them engaged, then it doesn't matter how interesting your themes are.

When I say the following, it tends to drive the literati I know nuts, since it isn't something they like to admit: If you fail to entertain your audience, they won't continue to read/watch. If that happens, your story fails.
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Posted 10/26/13 , edited 10/26/13

Insomnist wrote:

I think Psycho-Pass left the audience in the dark so much that it was hard to get a clear read on it.


Adding to the Psycho-Pass leaving the audience in the dark, I also agree with this. It was obvious to see its influences since they quoted straight for their text. Though, a second season has been confirmed, so perhaps more light will be shed on the world? I'd rather see more of the world of Psycho-Pass and the inner workings of the Sibyl System than the vengeance tool that was Kougami.

In regards to AoT, I hope Funimation doesn't do an all in house dub, since I'm sure they'll cast some of their regulars and whatnot regardless. Broaden their searches for the right talent for the roles. The right fit.

In regards to theme, if you haven't already, I strongly recommend Texhnolyze, Serial Experiments Lain, and Haibane Renmi. They're all also packed with symbolism.

Also, I wonder what would happen if you replaced Eren with Shinji Ikari, Mikasa with Asuka Langley Soryuu (or Shikinami), and Armin with Rei Ayanami?



No wait, maybe it would be Asuka as Eren, Rei as Mikasa, and Shinji as Armin?
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Posted 10/26/13 , edited 10/26/13

deadpanditto wrote:


Insomnist wrote:

So... themes can keep people's attention, but you have to catch it first? Or something.



I'd say it is something like that. To be honest, most people don't even notice themes. They are there to provide additional depth to the story, especially if you like looking for them. And they provide a unifying factor to the story. But, if you can't provide a compelling story, one that pulls people in and keeps them engaged, then it doesn't matter how interesting your themes are.

When I say the following, it tends to drive the literati I know nuts, since it isn't something they like to admit: If you fail to entertain your audience, they won't continue to read/watch. If that happens, your story fails.

Yeah exactly!

What's great though is people don't even need to notice the themes to be affected by them. Summer Wars is a great example of this, there's so many themes in that movie it's practically bursting apart. But they all flow together beautifully, and the audience doesn't even have to think about them while sitting back and savoring the experience.

Hell, several genres are just broad thematic categories by themselves (depends on the genre).

It's almost like there's a balance to a narrative, where either the themes are used to propel the story or the story is used to explore the themes. Which makes me think Hiroyuki Imaishi and Kazuki Nakashima are doubly clever for generally being able to do both simultaneously in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill.


Shrapnel893 wrote:


Insomnist wrote:

I think Psycho-Pass left the audience in the dark so much that it was hard to get a clear read on it.


Adding to the Psycho-Pass leaving the audience in the dark, I also agree with this. It was obvious to see its influences since they quoted straight for their text. Though, a second season has been confirmed, so perhaps more light will be shed on the world? I'd rather see more of the world of Psycho-Pass and the inner workings of the Sibyl System than the vengeance tool that was Kougami.

Yeah, I'm interested to see where they take it too. A lot will depend on the writer.


Shrapnel893 wrote:

In regards to theme, if you haven't already, I strongly recommend Texhnolyze, Serial Experiments Lain, and Haibane Renmi. They're all also packed with symbolism.

Those were the first three series I ever bought, followed by NGE and Ghost in the Shell.

I'm completely stumped when it comes to interpreting Lain though. That one's a doosey.


Shrapnel893 wrote:

No wait, maybe it would be Asuka as Eren, Rei as Mikasa, and Shinji as Armin?

I'd have a hard time pulling someone from NGE to play Mikasa, but Asuka as Eren is pretty spot-on.
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Posted 10/26/13
Can someone explain to me what Levi's appeal is?

He's a badass for sure....but I'm mean because everytime I see a picture/fanart of him, all I keep thinking is how goddamn SHORT he is.....

and to be honest? He's kind of a dick.

Or do people like him because he's voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya?
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Posted 10/26/13 , edited 10/26/13

Nogara-san wrote:

Can someone explain to me what Levi's appeal is?

He's a badass for sure....but I'm mean because everytime I see a picture/fanart of him, all I keep thinking is how goddamn SHORT he is.....

and to be honest? He's kind of a dick.

Or do people like him because he's voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya?


I think it's just the face that he's short but still a badass. Personally, I prefer Ymir and Annie, but to each their own. Really, I'd prefer anyone other than Mikasa or Levi. Besides Armin and Eren. Armin a bit more than Eren though.

I don't know how many times I've mentioned this, but I write fan-fiction and I think that my original characters have more substance than him anyday.
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Posted 10/26/13

Shrapnel893 wrote:


Nogara-san wrote:

Can someone explain to me what Levi's appeal is?

He's a badass for sure....but I'm mean because everytime I see a picture/fanart of him, all I keep thinking is how goddamn SHORT he is.....

and to be honest? He's kind of a dick.

Or do people like him because he's voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya?


I think it's just the face that he's short but still a badass. Personally, I prefer Ymir and Annie, but to each their own. Really, I'd prefer anyone other than Mikasa or Levi. Besides Armin and Eren. Armin a bit more than Eren though.

I don't know how many times I've mentioned this, but I write fan-fiction and I think that my original characters have more substance than him anyday.


I actually like Mikasa...though she's getting pushed aside for Levi.

Levi looks constipated or 'Fuck this shit, I'm soooo over it'
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Posted 10/27/13

Insomnist wrote:


tasti_man_LH wrote:

That aside, Psycho Pass does have a strong anti-establishment message to it...yet it's nowhere near as popular or as talked about as AoT. Why is that? And what is it missing that AoT definitely has?

That's an interesting question... Psycho-Pass was my favorite show of 2012, and I already know AoT won't score nearly as highly for me in 2013. But at the same time, AoT is a lot easier to follow, and I think it makes you feel more involved as an audience member (both in the plot and in the characters). Psycho-Pass had a lot of issues with that.

I think Psycho-Pass left the audience in the dark so much that it was hard to get a clear read on it.





Shrapnel893 wrote:


Insomnist wrote:

I think Psycho-Pass left the audience in the dark so much that it was hard to get a clear read on it.


Adding to the Psycho-Pass leaving the audience in the dark, I also agree with this. It was obvious to see its influences since they quoted straight for their text. Though, a second season has been confirmed, so perhaps more light will be shed on the world? I'd rather see more of the world of Psycho-Pass and the inner workings of the Sibyl System than the vengeance tool that was Kougami.


Yeah, I thought so as well.

Psycho Pass is definitely a lot more complex in its' story and themes, so that probably would turn people off to it. I also see it as the same reason why GitS is a hard sell for a lot of people.

(although personally, I found Psycho Pass to be a lot more accessible then GitS; there certainly isn't the level of technobabble in GitS and the story and theme in PP is presented a little more simply then GitS. I would typically point to PP over GitS if someone wanted my recommendation on a dystopic cyberpunk anime).

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Also, I think the other thing working in AoT's favor is how it hits all the right emotional notes. It has that spark that grabs the viewer's heart and keeps them glued to the screen.

Psycho Pass, in comparison, is a lot more cerebral, logical, and...well, more clinical. Not exactly a whole lot to feel for.

(personally I never cared much for fictional works that relied mostly on the emotional part; I like a healthy balance of heart and mind as any other guy, but I always leaned more towards the mind; I personally am more interested if the fictional work has something interesting to say)

So, in conclusion, it all boils down to a well-made and interwoven narrative, interesting plot as a foundation, good characters, and a appealing theme underneath it for that extra push?
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Posted 10/27/13
random comment passing by~
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Posted 10/27/13

Nogara-san wrote:

Can someone explain to me what Levi's appeal is?

He's a badass for sure....but I'm mean because everytime I see a picture/fanart of him, all I keep thinking is how goddamn SHORT he is.....

and to be honest? He's kind of a dick.

Or do people like him because he's voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya?



Hes' a mysterious one indeed.
Yes, the man is badass and short but he doesn't need to feel tall to let others know who he is. His height doesn't really stand in his way on who he is. Even if he were taller he would still be himself.

Rivaille is a blunt person and intimidating in the eyes of others. He does care about people but has that strange way of showing it. "Rivaille is nothing more than a prick and doesn't care about anyone." The problem is he does care about others and really does have hope for humanity.

I really didn't want to be one of those people with comments like he is so badass, how can you not like him?, Rivaille is so boss.. He's obviously cliche/Gary Stu but I still like him though.

Thats' all I can say in my opinion of him.

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Posted 10/27/13
People are still talking about this show ?
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Posted 10/27/13
and some of you guys are REALLY over thinking and over analyzing this show, it doesn't contain half the themes you guys are claiming it has.
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