ANIME, DISCUSSION – If you have followed through the second season of the Attack on Titan series, the ending theme and its animation visuals are full of references but for us, viewers, we have little to no clue as to what they represent. I’ll be going detail-by-detail of what I think about the ending theme’s visuals and make sense of it all.
This is the first thing we see from the ending visuals: a woman, apple in hand, conversing with a demon or monster of sorts. An apple has been an object for symbolism in many western cultures. The only thing I can relate this to is the Adam and Eve story wherein the snake, or demon who takes the form of a snake, tricks them to eat the fruit from a Tree of Knowledge. Thus they were made aware of their nudity and became ashamed.
Since the whole ending visual theme is similar to ancient tapestry or wall art used in Greece, Egypt and all similar civilizations – we could say that all visuals shown in this ending theme is basically the entire world of Attack on Titan. At least, a part of it.
With that said, this imagery could depict the origin of people who had the ability of shift into Titans just like Eren, Annie and others. This devil making a deal with this woman could have brought this about.
The Titan shown in this visual is most definitely the woman who made a deal with the devil in the previous image. Their hair is done the same way: three lines of hair on the top and the side of her head. Further supports the fact that Titan shifting may have spanned since humanity’s first civilizations in this series. The thunder clouds around here could be a representation of the lights we see whenever someone shifts into a Titan.
After Ymir’s background story being told in the latest episodes, this could be what they referred to as the “king” which she had his blood running in her veins. The individuals behind this King could be noble families and aristocrats who were loyal to him.
As we pan downwards in this visual, we see three little girls or boys (because European monarchs and long hair, which I presume to be the inspiration for this world) devouring flesh from the body of a dead person.
While I repeated this part of the ending theme, I was reminded how Ymir was supposedly mindless after she was forced to become a Titan and when she awoke from years of slumber, she devoured Reiner and Berholdt’s friend.
Their friend, Marcel, was eaten by Ymir in titan form who I assume was mindless based on the description of her sixty years as a Titan which was without direction and horrible. This could support my assumption that Titans when they devour Shifters are able to regain their consciousness and can shift to Titans whenever they please.
Why do I think of this?
Imagine – Ymir spent sixty years of her life being a Titan. Now if she was a shifter, she would’ve been able to revert back into her human form whenever she could. But she couldn’t do that until she devoured Marcel, Reiner and Berholdt’s friend, which could possess the powers that she currently wields in Titan Form.
Reiner, Berholdt and Annie are all able to shift into Titans but we can’t say the same for Marcel. It seems that the three living characters are aware of their powers for a very long time and that could include the specific event where they encountered Ymir’s titan form.
Another support to this idea is that Ymir, in recent episodes, kidnapped Christa as a sort of bargaining chip for her life since she had something against Reiner and Berholdt’s group because Christa is an important figure in the Church and she could be said bargaining chip.
So, yeah, I think the situation is: Ymir is kidnapping Christa to give away to Reiner and Berholdt’s head-honchos in exchange for forgiveness and to spare her life after killing one of their allies.
When I saw this image, I immediately thought of the walls that protected humanity which were Wall Rose, Maria and so on. But looking again at the walls in this photo, this doesn’t seem similar to the walls we currently see now. If it were the same walls, then it would’ve been much more taller since we just discovered they were formed by hardened Titan skin which would’ve fended off these Titans in the image.
Looking at this image, I took note of the soldiers and their usage of medieval era weapons like spears. From this, I could say that this happened very recently but it would break the theme of the ending which was images done similarly to wall paintings and carvings done in ancient civilizations such as Greece, Rome and the like.
But this imagery could’ve represented an event that happened far off into the past since in the second season while the scouts were trapped in the castle tower, they found huge stashes of canned goods. If I knew my world history right, canned goods weren’t a thing until the rise of mass production during the Industrial Revolution.
So wouldn’t that mean that the actual timeline when this series unfolds is during the Industrial Revolution or somewhere near that timeline? If so, why is humanity restricted to medieval technology in terms of swords, spears, early gunpowder guns, architecture and societies?
Then I remembered about Reiner and Berholdt’s “hometown” and how they traveled outside the walls as described in the event where they met first met Ymir in Titan Form. Could it be that Eren, Mikasa and everybody’s home behind the walls is not the last bastion of humanity? Are there other civilizations outside Walls Maria, Rose and others that had surpassed our technology?
But shouldn’t they be constantly attacked by Titans as well? If not, then is it possible that the events in this series happened in a separate continent or large landmass which is not connected to the mainland like how Australia is in the real world?
Lastly, this image reminds me very much of the Exodus as depicted in Christianity – Israelite slaves migrating away from Egypt to their promised land.
But this leads me to the question: why do the people inside the walls don’t recollect any memory of constructing the walls?
I mean, that fact alone is pretty much big and shouldn’t be forgettable. In this image, a huge number of people is depicted to have migrated from somewhere to get away from the Titans or were they running away from the Titans in the first place?
Sure, these people could not be the same ones who live within the walls but that would be pointless if the ending theme was supposed to reference a few facts about the series.
Now if they were the same people behind the walls and had to get away from the Titans, then wouldn’t that be stupid? An entire civilization migrates away from Titans but are protected by Titans, that’s bull – am I supposed to assume that they all forgot? Were they mind-swiped by the Church, by a Titan Shifter (because hey, every time we see a Titan Shifter they get some pretty weird abilities like calling in other Titans, so I wouldn’t drop down that possibility) or something else?
Or did they run away from another civilization who went on to destroy them? This could be possible if the whole “we are not alone” scenario is legit considering that, again, Annie, Reiner and Berholdt came from somewhere outside the walls.
Confused? Here’s a list of possibilities from this ending:
- The first Titan Shifter, the female shown in the first image, made a deal with the devil to get her powers. Proven by second image.
- Attack on Titan’s timeline is set on the Industrial Revolution but advancement was halted due to the emergence of Titans in a medieval-ish timeline.
- The humanity we see behind the walls must be the hardest hit of these Titan attacks since they still use medieval technology with a mix of tech from the industrial revolution such as guns, towed artillery/cannons and such.
- The humanity we see behind the walls may not be the last bastion. There could be other civilizations in different locations.
- But if these civilizations exist and are more progressive than those behind the walls, then Titans are not attacking them. The humanity we see behind walls could be in an isolated landmass similar to that of Australia.
- Last image suggests that humanity migrated away from something. If they did, why are they not aware of how the walls were constructed? Were they mind-swiped? If so, is that possible? And by what? Could be the work of Titan Shifter or something far more powerful than we’ve seen in the show.
I hope I nailed the whole plot at about ninety-percent of it or somewhat similar percentage. Please do let me know in the comments if I am right, if you read the manga (but don’t spoil).
For those who watch the anime, what do you think I missed? Do you have any other speculations for the show’s plot? If so, do share in the comments below!