Attack on Titan is well into its final story arc, and the manga has become more intense than ever. The title is about to set off a war between Paradis and Marley’s allied army, but readers aren’t too worried about the fight right now.
No, they have a bigger concern to address. After all, Attack on Titan made some heavy nods to the Holocaust in its recent chapter, and readers are not sure how to feel.
Attack on Titan chapter 114 begins with a rather sobering scene. A young Zeke is seen in Marley with his parents. Grisha Jaeger is holding his son and telling the boy they will never be able to leave the Eldian section of Marley, and the older man wears a band on his arm baring a star.
“It’s as small as a birdcage compared to the rest of the world. We’ll never be able to leave it,” Grisha says. “We’re going to have to live here until the day we die.”
As the scene continues, the family is confronted by a janitor who throws water on the group and accuses them of being devils. The man says the family and their “kind” should exterminated, referring to their Eldian heritage.
“You descendants of devils who’ve massacred every last thing you could. It’s only natural for your kind to be exterminated,” the old man yells.
Yeah, Attack on Titan's whole "Jews used to rule and brutally oppress the world and fled after losing a war and are the only people who can turn into Titans and literally eat people" thing is, y'know, pretty gross and maybe a reason not to buy/read/watch it, just FYI. //t.co/i27vBXItje— Jessica Price (@Delafina777) February 11, 2019
“Look at you, breeding that little brat of yours! Why’d you give birth to another devil!”
The connection between the Eldians and Jews is impossible to overlook here. In the Holocaust, Jews were segregated and picked on much the same. They were subjected to cruelties like forced sterilization before Nazi Germany forced them into labor and eventually death camps. Attack on Titan is well on its way to such an extreme treatment of Eldians, but fans are more concerned about how this comparison plays out with its main characters now that they're grown.
After becoming a Titan himself, Zeke has decided his race is in the wrong and wishes to exterminate them through forced sterilization. The character's alliance with Eren, the series' long-held protagonist, suggests the younger boy is in on the ploy too. This persecuted turnaround has got quite a few fans feeling upset, and only time will tell whether Attack on Titan can make this touchy plot twist work.
So, what do you make of this controversy? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!
Attack on Titan was originally created by Hajime Isayama, and the series has since been collected into 23 volumes as of 2017. It's set in a world where the last remnants of humanity live within a walled city in order to escape the danger of the Titans, a race of giants monsters that eats humans. The lead character, Eren Yeager, ends up joining the military with his two childhood friends Mikasa and Armin after the Titans break through the wall and attack his hometown. Now Eren, Mikasa, and Armin must survive in a world where they not only have the Titans to fear, but the very humans they are trying to save.