Attack on Titan is over a month out from its midseason return, and fans are eager to see what the show's final season closes with. To say fans are excited about the finale would understate things, so you can understand why the anime's team is already setting up merchandise deals. But now, the team is taking back one merch drop after Attack on Titan fans tied it to one of humanity's darkest moments.
For those who did not know, Attack on Titan's committee had announced plans in Japan to make some obscure merchandise for season four. One of these pieces was an Eldian Armband, a piece of cloth every Eldian had to wear in Marley to convey their heritage. These armbands are a major symbol of their oppression, and readers were quick to tie them to the armbands forced upon Jews during World War II.
Clearly, the armbands have a lot of history tied behind them, and their use in the manga itself isn't all that controversial. However, Attack on Titan fans drew a line when the anime's committee shared plans to sell armbands as merchandise. As you can imagine, the backlash was swift as fans globally were disgusted at the idea of commodifying these symbols of oppression. Even if they are fake, the items are rooted in some dark history, and the committee has listened.
The group released a statement this week confirming the armbands aren't being turned into merchandise. "The product set for production reproduces part of a character's costume that appears in Attack on Titan," the statement reads. "However, [the armband] is also considered a symbol of racial and ethnic discrimination. We recognize there was a lack of consideration in commercializing the item. We are very sorry."
Attack on Titan is no stranger to controversies at this point. However, it seems the committee was swift this time in addressing the issue. Now, fans are waiting to see how the rest of season four plays out, and readers know there is even more controversy to come in the months ahead.
What do you think about this latest Attack on Titan controversy? Do you think the committee made the right call? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.