This post will have spoilers, beware.
I am writing this post after the first portion of the Final season of Attack on Titan came completely into being. I feel like I still haven’t completely put my thoughts together on the season. It’s one of those confusing things where I have put some thoughts into generally liking it for what it says and does, but not the same kind of way as I did beforehand. Walking out of the completed Attack on Titan season 3, I was at my highest point in liking the show because of how flawless it felt with one thing or two being mistakes. The full reveal of the conspiracy revealing the true stakes of AOT was shocking in good and bad ways. Oh boy oh boy. More on that in a little bit.
For now, let’s talk about conspiracies in anime. Can you think of a lot of bigger series that don’t have at least a small conspiracy in them that keeps the anime in motion or at least needs to be defeated by the end? Especially the more political thriller of anime, right? Legend of the Galactic Heroes has a definitive one, right? What about anime series which feature old people who knows how old they are trying to lead the world of the young for their own good despite being so out of touch? Things like both Fullmetal Alchemist series with Dante and Father, Code Geass, Soul Eater, and so many other things. Similar to demons and humans living together but hidden in a few shows I could name easily. That’s why the idea of a conspiracy theory didn’t bother me with AOT at first.
That was until the reveal at some of the final episodes of season three appeared. The opening of the basement revealed that Attack on Titan actually took place in a situation like the late 1930’s to early 1940’s. That was actually pretty neat and could have so much potential there. The real thing that was bothersome? Why where the Eldians that can turn into titans wearing jewish style arm bands from World War 2 and living in a locked ghetto ready to be eliminated whenever? I was not sure what to think about this at first, but it’s become a continually “I can’t believe the mangaka made this decision” whenever it’s shown.
The jewish conspiracy theory, even if it’s unintentional, weighs over the whole show. This is something that I learned move heavily about in a class I took last year focused on learning about racism. In this case, it’s essentially where the jewish are blamed for every little problem through out of europe because they are considered invaders. (That has been a continual thing). It started when the Jewish were forced by the Catholic Church in the middle ages to take jobs centered on money collecting and such so they could be easily blamed for all the wrongs of the world. That sort of thinking is all over Attack on Titan. Especially since the Eldians are directly placed in a position to compared to the jewish people by the mangaka himself. I really wish that he could have done something else because there is a horrible air over the series as a result.
As a result, the wind has been taken out of my sails of enjoying Attack on Titan as much as I did before hand. It’s not only a conspiracy theory that shook the foundation of the show itself, but it’s strange to be bamboozled as a viewer. In some ways, being shocked is great because it means the show changed the context it was waiting to reveal to you ever since season two. At the same time, the conspiracy theory around it turned out to be a little disgusting as it turned out to be. Some same that the change of studios from WIT to Mappa is that shows this weird transition point and time skip and I can see that. That doesn’t mean that I can dismiss what Mappa is adapting because this truth behind the conspiracy was always there waiting to shock us. I don’t really like being blindsided in this horrible way honestly
In the end, I can’t help but feel that Attack on Titan is a problematic favorite for me. If it wasn’t, then I wouldn’t have continue to watch it from 2013 when it first aired onward. I can admit that flaws of Attack on Titan because they are impossible to deny. It is still a show centered on the cycle of hatred and how it will destroy all of us in the end at this moment. The show has our featured protagonists currently looked in prison as people who repeating their mistakes of hating happening all over again. It’s dived into the true horrors of war and death in the biggest way and worst ways. I’ve seen characters I like live, change, and die as a result of how the world around them functions. I will never deny the issues others have and openly admit that Attack on Titan having them can lead to the wrong groups using the show as propaganda. I just wish the mangaka made some different choices because the rest of the story is pretty solid stuff. At least from an anime perspective.