You can totally skip this because this honestly is me just talking about some cool questions that AOT brings up about morality and “heroes vs villains”. So if you think that’s boring just ignore this. I don’t really talk about thoughts on how things are going to go in the show/manga or anything like that.
This is pretty random but I just wanted to say that one of my favorite things about this show/manga is how they handle the whole good or bad/heroes or villains.
Because AOT proves that things are rarely so black and white and simple. Characters like Erwin or Reiner are great examples. I won’t give any spoilers but I think Erwin does a great job of this. Sometimes I can’t stand how he’s practically indifferent to the lives he sacrifices all the time but then I get reminded that this whole anime is about war. War is rarely ever black and white and the characters do a great job of showing that. Erwin especially is pretty upfront about it. How countless deaths/sacrifices is worth the price to save humanity (is it though?) but then you have characters like Eren who seem to directly go against this way of thinking.
Also, the way the anime handles the typical “heroes”. Again, I’ll try not to spoil anything, but in the manga we’ve been able to see how the characters who we originally thought of as good or maybe agreed with their causes manage to ruin themselves in their execution. Just because your intention is good doesn’t pardon your actions and I think AOT does a great job of showing that.
People like Levi and Annie are interesting to me also. It seems like their initial coldness and distrust towards people seem like they come from a bad place, but you eventually understand that they’re just trying to protect themselves from the pain of loss everyone experiences in war.
I especially like how (uggh this is hard to talk about without giving away spoilers) the characters seem to separate hurting or killing humans vs titans. In season 3 part 1, most if not all of the fighting is between humans. And you see how the soldiers struggle and are hesitant. But even though Titans look fairly human, they are able to separate the relation in their minds.
The show/manga brings up a bunch of cool questions (not that I particularly agree with them but these are just things that are usually brought up in discussions about AOT). Is it okay to kill if the majority will live (kinda like a life for 10 lives)? If your cause is good, then is it fine to take all of the necessary steps even if it means hurting people? Whose cause is truly “good”? Who are the true monsters, the mindless beings who live on instinct which means people dying or is it the humans who can help fight against these Titans (either with knowledge or combat) but choose not to or worse use them for their own causes?
And you get to see how characters who choose to get rid of anything/one who might make them second guess themselves (choosing not to get close to people or to betray others to cut ties) can be the most dangerous.
I think a line that Mikasa says in the show in Season 3 is a good way to explain this. She says (in the dub) something about not looking to her for compassion because her heart only has so much room. And that’s the choice their enemies forced on them. She says this to someone who is trying to appeal to her for understanding/compassion. She also says in another episode a very simple line that I also really love “The world is a cruel place.” and that’s all she really needs to say. I don’t know, I just think it’s a good way to sum up the characters. The world isn’t a nice place so it’s either you just evolve with it or try to hold on to how things used to or should be.
Lol sorry for how philosophical this all sounds but I just really appreciate how the show does a great job at showing these conflicting characters and questions. It’s just all really interesting to me:)