Attack on Titan...a resonant Us vs Them theme?
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27 / M / Shadows of Califo...
Posted 10/25/13 , edited 10/25/13
(before we'd start, I'd like to preface things and implore everyone to PLEASE keep things civil. Real world topics can and are touchy things, and I'd hate to see this thread get closed because of that)

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 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'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'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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F / Boston-ish
Posted 10/25/13 , edited 10/25/13

Hi there, this is a fine subject for discussion, but since we do have an existing discussion thread for Attack on Titan, I'm closing this and ask that you post these thoughts in that thread:


Thank you.

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