Hey!! May I know what you absolutely love about attack on titan please? There's so much negative asks here. Love you and your blog btw:)
A good message! Here are some things I really love about the series!
- Marlowe Freudenberg. Just being positive here, but man, he was such a great character, and the fact that he was ended up being such a pleasant surprise. I fully expected him to never really matter at all beyond existing in the very background, so that he got his own little arc with Hitch really made me happy!
- On that note, SnK has a lot of really interesting characters. Even the characters I personally want to kick in the teeth are really intriguing. There are few wasted characters, by which I mean, nearly every character gets to play some kind of role in the story and even if their purpose is in the end to die, they don’t do so without us ever knowing anything at all about them. (There are exceptions about this, but again, for the most part, this just doesn’t happen.)
- Something I really loved about early SnK was the world. Now, you’ve all seen me harp on the worldbuilding before, so you know my thoughts about that, but something I really enjoyed early on about the series was that the world felt so…open. I felt as a reader that anything could happen. That’s not the case now to the same extent, but I like that there are always a bunch of possibilities for the future! Even though sometimes Isayama’s curveballs annoy me, most of the time I do appreciate them. Kind of like, “thank god it’s not another shounen manga where the entire plot is obvious from the start.” Sometimes it’s really nice to step back and look at the beginning again and say, “Wow, who knew it would come this far and things would be this complex?”
- Even though introducing Marley made the world feel too big for me for a while, now I quite like that they’re there. I can really appreciate how fandom opinion for the longest time was that RBA were from a tiny village somewhere outside the walls with weird customs and BOOM actually the truth was that they were from another continent, Paradis is an island, and actually there’s an entire populated (and shitty) world out there! The me of 2015 would have been so shocked by this. My minor gripes regarding suspension of disbelief aside, I’m really glad that “the enemy” is bigger than a little village outside the walls. (I think it makes it easier to see things from RBA’s side this way, too.)
- I’m sorry to keep going back to character things but I love that we get an extensive cast of older characters. Unfortunately a lot of them died, but at least there hasn’t been any of that “make way for the next generation” bullshit (IMO, what Erwin said was not along these lines even if on the surface it might seem like it). I find it easier to like a series that features characters of varying ages, and SnK manages to do a pretty good job. The teenagers tend to sound and act like teenagers.
- More character stuff, but Jean’s character development was amazing. I also really enjoyed Hitch’s development. Eren grew a lot over the years. It’s been incredible seeing some of these characters learn things and grow. Obviously Isayama couldn’t give this to us for every character, but I think he’s managed to show us that these shifts the main characters go through have an impact on all of the characters we meet (and to a lesser extent, surely those we don’t). I’m thinking of how Eren shifted into a titan and how that must have felt to the average person to see. The main cast, too. Rico. What might it have been like to not be close to Eren and see this kind of drama unfolding in your world? I mean, hell, just the fact that Isayama’s story makes me think to ask these deeper questions is saying something.
- This’ll be my last point because I’ve said so much already but I love the character interactions. Isayama hasn’t had a lot of time to develop off-screen relationships between characters (or non plot-relevant relationships), but he does an amazing job with what space he can devote to showing us that these characters are friends, acquaintances, rivals, and so on. He can be really good at giving us an atmosphere to read. Ch99 with Eren and Reiner in the basement? Man, I felt like I was there feeling uncertain and suspenseful along with the others–particularly Falco who has about as good an idea of how this will pan out as I do! But look, we’ve gotten to see Ymir and Historia’s relationship. Nile and Erwin’s. Marlowe and Hitch. Gelgar and Nanaba. Gelgar and Lynne. Mike and Nanaba. Hange and Moblit. Moblit and Erwin in S2. Erwin and Levi. Erwin and Hange. Hange and Levi. Jean and Armin. Eren and Armin. Eren and Jean. Sasha and Connie. Sasha and Jean. Pixis and Erwin. Rico and Ian. Rico and Kitz. God, this list can go on forever. My point is that he does a lovely job of showing us, with very little time or space, the kinds of relationships the characters have with one another. No, we don’t get a long drawn-out history for Hange’s squad, but we see how they interact with her enough to have an idea of the kinds of people they are and the kind of relationship they have to and with their squad leader. The thing that’s impressive about it is that it’s all done without ever turning too far away from the main plot. I won’t lie; this leaves a lot of people feeling frustrated because they want those deeper relationships; they want to see in the canon why Erwin likes Levi, for example, or what about Sasha draws Connie to her as such a good friend and close comrade. In the end, though, we really don’t need all of the little details; we don’t need to have our hands held to guide us through all of this. I think it’s an amazing feat that Isayama has given us so many characters with established relationships to one another and…all without derailing his plot. Most people can’t manage that feat, so mad kudos to him for what is probably the best job I’ve seen so far of juggling all of those things (while never really letting interpersonal relationships between characters actually suffer). (I mean I guess this could change before the end, but so far so good.)