Isayama about EreAnnie + small rant
I just want to say how I love that some people are taking Isayama’s statement about Eren’s feelings for Annie to be platonic and going completely overboard with it, such as posting the statement around in caps lock, screaming about how he “nuked” the ship, and even making fun of it because it means they won’t be getting married and have kids by the end of the story.
I’m sorry, but since when did Attack on Titan become a shoujo where Eren’s character is about which girl he’s gonna end up with? And since when did “not being in love” with someone mean they don’t mean anything to the person in general? I get the impression from a lot of these posters that because Eren doesn’t have romantic feelings for Annie, indeed it means he has no significant relationship with her whatsoever.
Now, I can’t speak for every EreAni shipper in general, but at least to me, the idea of romantic feelings between the two is not the reason I ship them. It would have been a bonus, sure, but it’s not what makes the thought of them so intriguing to me. The main reason I ship them is because of surprise, their friendship. A friendship that honestly, shouldn’t be taken lightly, whether it’s about their past interactions or the narrative potential it has for future chapters. I’ll elaborate a little.
Eren is the first person thus far who made Annie genuinly smile. She’s said to be someone who avoids socializing with people, yet she was flattered by Eren’s interest in her fighting techniques and willingly offered to teach him. As it turns out, it’s implied they frequently sparred together, to the point Mikasa even got jealous at one point. Come the revelation of Annie being the Female Titan, Eren absolutely refuses to believe it, even as he already knows, and looks next to devastated when he sees her apprehended.
Try to make fun of there “not being romantic feelings” all you want, this is the guy who hates Titans more than anyone and brutally killed two criminals as a child without an ounce of remorse, calling bad guys “rabid animals” not deserving to live. The fact that Annie being accused and treated as a bad guy however made him look and act this distressed speaks volumes how much he respected and likely cared for her. Heck, even the anime that otherwise messed a lot of his reactions up, has him snapping out of his rage when he sees her crying, and later stating with a sad expression how he “couldn’t move” when he saw her, mirroring his manga counterpart unable to express hatred towards her personally.
Now, there are lots of posts describing how he shows more compassion towards Annie than he later does towards Reiner and Bertolt , so I won’t go into detail about that. To briefly summarize some of it however, he still shows concern for what became of her even after their fight, and of the few times she’s brought up to him afterwards, he’s yet to respond with anger. On the contrary, being given the thought that she is tortured has him looking worried in the same context as Reiner and Bertolt.
Coming back to my original point, what makes EreAni personally such a great ship to me, regardless of in what way, is the character growth they inspire in the other; Annie opened Eren’s eyes about the contradictory ways of which the system worked, taught him to fight, and as mentioned above, is the first enemy he has shown willingness to hear out her reasons for in difference to his usual, black-and-white mentality. With Annie, Eren made her smile and open a little up to people, and taught her that there are those she genuinly respects which arguably made her mission all the more hard on her.
It’s because of this,I believe Isayama layed the perfect foundation for Annie to be the first of the Shifter trio to switch sides, given her suppressed desire to “go against the flow”, with Eren accepting her willingness to atone so to symbolize his character development of growing out of said black-and-white mentality. I like to think it’s indeed the reason Isayama gave these two the unlikely friendship they shared based on all the above mentioned; because it will at some point give Annie the opportunity to switch sides and have TWO Titans fight for our heroes. Recent developments only have me feeling this keeps being supported, given how Eren has been trying, and failing, to copy her crystallization abilities, and the even more recent revelation that Titans eating a Shifter will gain their human form and/or their abilities. My very first thought from this was what a perfect setup it was for Annie to be brought back into the story; people suggest to Eren that he eats Annie to gain her crystallization abilities —> Eren is unable to do it and asks her that she helps them instead —> it gives Annie a chance at redemption and our heroes’ side gets even better stacked with two Shifters instead of just one
(and a more experienced one at that).
Now, this latter part is merely speculation. Maybe I’m completely wrong and no one, including Eren will have anything to do with Annie if she ever wakes up, and her only reason to be brought back is to be killed. With all that Isayama have portrayed that the world of Attack on Titan doesn’t work in a black-and-white mentality however, including the Shifter trio who killed so many people yet turned out to be traumatized child soldiers forced into what they did, I can’t see why he wouldn’t have at least one of the traitors switching sides, or attempt to. Especially with all the fuss Annie makes about how she despises herself for not doing anything but “go with the flow”, but wishes she’d still be “considered human.” If it wasn’t meant to simply be a throwaway line about her character, what better way for her to finally “go against the flow” than by defying her mission?
I kinda went off-topic in the end, but overall, this is just a very brief summary of my said personal reasons for finding EreAni the intriguing, touching, and potential-filled ship it is, and for those who want to ignore all that because “HE NO IN LOVE WITH HER LAWL” …well, all I can say is you’re missing out on a great BROTP. :P