Okay this isn't a plot point but it's been bugging for a while. Why is it called Attack on Titan? Wouldn't the title Attack Of The Titans make more sense grammatically speaking?
Most likely they are trying to keep the double meaning of the Japanese title, which could be translated to either Advancing Titans or Advance Toward the Titans. If Attack on Titan is said with a pause or comma it becomes Attack on, Titan, which implies the Titan is the attacking party, like Advancing Titans, but if said as it is spelled it implies the Titan is the one being attacked, like Advance Toward the Titans.
Titan Attack or Attacking Titans would both work in that case.
Pixis mentions that if the Trost mission succeeds, it'll be the first human victory and the first time humans successfully advance on the Titans. It makes sense that the wording would be the way it is if humanity is trying to fight back for once.
This seems like one of those cases where deviating from the literal Japanese translation would have been a good idea.
The official English (or more accurately, Engrish) title is "Attack on Titan." The US licensors didn't come up with it; the original author likely did, or else one of his editors. "Attack of the Titans" would indeed be a loose but appropriate translation of "Shingeki no Kyojin"; however, it's worth noting that the spoken part of the theme song does indeed say "Attack on the Titans" in German.
It's also possibly that the somewhat confusing wording is supposed to reference the ambiguity of the setting, and the question of whether the Titans are the hunters or the hunted. The Titan Shifters add to the presumably-intentional confusion over who's supposed to be on the offensive.
A minor issue, but why do the human/Titan hybrids look much less human than the Titans themselves? The average Titan is a giant naked humanoid with disturbingly realistic features.Eren has an exaggerated Jaw with pointy ears, Reiner has glowing gold eyes and full body armor, Ymir has black eyes, jagged teeth, and pointy ears, while Bertolt and Anna lack skin.
Maybe it means that the humans themselves are the real monsters.
Probably just to make them look more distinctive and badass. The Rogue Titan looks cool as hell and menacing without treading into the Narm/Uncanny Valley territory of the other Titans, who are usually Fat Bastards and aren't admirable visually. This almost makes him appear noble; despite the jaw thing and ears (or maybe because of them) Roguey looks striking and fearsome in a way that instills admiration. Similarly, the Female Titan's lack of skin makes her eerie, and her realistic facial features offer a distinctive contrast that serves to make her oddly relatable while still remaining unsettling, etc. Also, the lack of skin could hold some Rule of Symbolism, considering the identities of the two main skinless Titans.
There's also the possibility that, as shapeshifters, they have subconscious control over their forms more. The normal Titans are all stuck in a basic "default" form due to being mindless, but the others have more choice. The Rogue is a Berserker; his Titan Form is a Glass Cannon. The Female Titan is a skilled fighter who makes strategic use of her ability to armor parts of her body. The Armored Titan is, well, armored. The Colossal Titan is just giant, but is quite skilled at the actual shifting process. The Dancing Titan is the closest to normal Titans, but she might be an odd case—we still don't know how Shifters are supposed to be made.
Why was the Female Titan crying after Levi gave it a beatdown? Did it just give up?
She kinda HAD to give up at that point because it was totally cut up and very tired besides. There was not really much of a chance to still catch Eren especially since it is implied (more strongly in the manga) that she was close to her limit to uphold in her Titan transformation as well (which quite frankly was about time, considering all the punishment she took). I am not sure about the tears because they might just be caused by her eyes getting gauged out. But she might actually feel despair about failing at her mission, especially considering how desperate all the Titan Shifters are to catch Eren later.
What I'd like to ask is why he 'gave up' on trying to kill the female Titan. It was completely defenseless, and could not compete with Levi's speed, much less Mikasa's on support. In the anime, Levi's attacks left the Female Titan completely incapable of hardening his skin-the clicher which Levi brought up that claimed she couldn't be killed. To save Eren? Killing that creature was entirely within his capabilities to do well before it left the forest. He made a terrible call.
actually considering the fact that 1. Levi's leg was broken and so it's likely that he wouldn't have been as effective, and 2. The Female Titan called backup, and 3. The troops were decimated, I would have to say that Levi made a good call.
Before he broke his leg, he had every chance to kill the Female Titan, and DID NOT TAKE IT. He was faster, stronger, and more mobile than it was. They could have easily-EASILY-killed the Female Titan and saved Eren straight after.
Rewatch the anime and listen to his words and his actions. Even though Levi did not show it, he was incredibly pissed that the Female Titan murdered his comrades he had been fighting beside for quite some time, however instead of going for revenge (Like Eren would do) he reminded himself that the highest priority was to save Eren, not to kill the Titan who slaughtered his comrades. Want more proof? When Misaka saw an opportunity to kill the Titan and went for it, Levi intercepted her due to the fact that he knew the Female Titan was luring them into a trap to take them out, and so he sacrificed his leg to prevent that. It didn't matter if he could have killed the Titan, his main priority was to save Eren, and get the hell out of there which he did flawlessly. It's a simple concept really.
More than anything Levi clearly states it's useless trying to kill her when she can crystallize her skin, which is why he decides they should just focus on rescuing Eren.
You remembered incorrectly. Levi's attacks DID NOT leave her unable to harden her skin. Mikasa simply stated he was attacking so fast she couldn't respond in time. That is she couldn't harden her skin against Levi because she doesn't know where he's attacking until it's too late. This does not apply if they go for the kill.
Why are swords the primary weapons? The manga states that it's because the swords, when swung fast enough, are the only things capable of piercing the nape. That doesn't make any sense. You think that they would use some kind of rifled, pneumatic hand-cannon or something. (The ammo would certainly weigh less that lugging 12 swords into battle. They could easily pierce the nape, shatter spinal cord, or kill an operator from a safe distance.
It's indicated that the metal used is far lighter than ordinary steel or iron.
Using that would require a greater degree of precision than using swords and they probably won't have the best aim while swinging mid-air. Plus, with the already limited amount of living humans and high levels of casualty, one wouldn't want to bear the risk of having friendly fires.
There are a lot of potential reasons, most of them boiling down to "it's just more pragmatic": for one thing, it's easier, faster, and cheaper to produce what amounts to giant-sized box-cutter blades than it would be to provide guns and ammunition for the entire army (they're living inside a Walled City; material resources are very limited), especially when those materials could be put to more productive use in cannons, and training someone to use a gun is automatically signing up to lose ammo in target practice. Further, they don't know what about the nape of the neck makes it a vital weak point in a Titan's body, and it's usually a large area. That's why the army teaches trainees to use two cuts, boosted by the 3D maneuver gear: to tear out the whole back of the neck in one shot, because a second opportunity isn't likely to arise.
It's a lot more than just "piercing the nape"; a successful cut takes out a chunk roughly the size of a person. It's even outright stated in the backstory that humanity had superior firepower in the past, but it didn't do any good since all the Titans did was regenerate. The current methods are simply one solution that has been developed over time, and more may arise over the course of the story.
Mind you, that explanation makes no sense in light of the Battle of Trost, where most of the Titans are explicitly said to have been cleaned up by cannon fire, but the story seems to be leading to there having been some other reason behind Humanity's fall than just their weaponry being inadequate.
That time it worked possibly because 1) there were many, many cannons firing at a relatively small space 2) they were explicitly using "High Explosive" shells 3) They had a clear line of sight on the back of their necks for once. I think the main reason that cannons weren't being used to target their weak spots is because they never line up a shot. Titans always go for humans that would be manning the guns and I imagine it would be next-to-impossible to move a cannon behind a Titan, fire it, then not have any of the others notice. They also didn't get a chance to aim wall-mounted cannons straight down at them before because the past three walls were quickly breached (not to mention the Colossal Titan taking out the cannons right at the start of Trost).
You don't have to hit the nape of the neck from behind, you just have to damage that spot enough to kill the Titan, so why haven't humans added simple rifling to their cannons to vastly increase accuracy and range? Why haven't they made further use of the wall-mounted cannons during Titan invasions?
Yes all cannons should be able to do more damage than a sword swing if hit. But consider what's shown. From what's shown, the cannons on Wall Maria (or rather, in front of) sucks. They're about Napoleonic tech, so can't hit anything with precision. The ones shown at the Battle of Trost are about Armstrong Gun level siege guns. In other words the technology in universe already advanced in 5 years what in real life took 50. And Eren seem pretty proud of them. If they are Armstrong Guns, then yes they have rifling. The thing is Colossal Titan took out the guns lining Wall Maria's barbican walls (effectively what Trost is). With those guns lost, there's no way to slow down Titans entering Trost. The initial Battle of Trost was the Garrison buying time for the evacuation. Titans don't run away. And there's no way Armstrong-level guns could reliably kill Titans when they're designed to hit something the size of a house. Using them in this circumstance would probably do more bad than good by hitting the troops engaged in melee, or damaging their anchors, or just in general causing so much smoke and havoc to make the fighting even more confusing. When they finally tried to retake Trost, those guns were used to great effect.
To the tropers above; that makes no sense. Are you seriously suggesting that maneuvering your entire body parallel with the spinal cord and boosting with a steam powered 'jet pack' is any easier than flanking the target and firing at a few dozen/hundred meters away? It would be challenging, but Marine Corps recruits are required to hit man sized targets at 500 meters away, I'm sure with training they could be taught how to use "shoot n' scoot" tactics. Friendly fire is laughable. Unless you're blind, stupid, or Dick Cheney, there is no way you could confuse your ally with a giant naked man. Don't tell me it's because they would be zipping around, because the use of firearms would render extremely close combat obsolete, in favor of baiting and ambush. Resource consumption clearly isn't an issue. If the military has the enough metal and man power to average 30 casualties per Titan kill (that includes lost 3D Gear, holsters, and blades), then I'm pretty sure they have enough to give their soldiers some guns and ammo. Finally, having a hail of high caliber bullets come from behind would effictively replace the double sword slash. Heck, if they made a repeating rifle (child's play for a nation that invented steam powered combat gear), each man would have several chances to strike the person inside the Titan.
Basically, yes. No gun can carry a large enough calibre to consistently hit the (once again) rather large target and yet still remain mobile enough to use in a variety of scenarios. Tanks are perhaps the one possibility, but while there seem to be remnants of technology, tanks are perhaps too much to ask for. If you were to use any calibre other than one large enough to get a 1 hit death, you also run the risk of the Titan collapsing and blocking the weak point, as well as simply wasting time while it regenerates the small arms fire. Guns in this setting have severe limitations, which is why we rarely see them. It's also worth noting that while Titans in a city (Zhigahnshina, Trost) are seemingly quite slow, they are capable of bursts of speed far faster than foot travel. Flanking and surrounding simply isn't an option without the increased mobility of the 3DMG or intentionally sacrificial tactics like those used at Trost.
I never suggested that the 3DG be done away with, only that rifled firearms replace swords as primary weapons. Frankly, I'm not sure if you realize just how powerful a rifle is. Rounds from standard issue assault weapons can go through concrete and plated metal. Hell, even old fashioned 19th/20th century rifles can pierce light armor. And if a Titan were to collapse, I doubt a 3 foot blade would fair any better than a gun.", unless you plan on carving through a still living Titan like a holiday bird.
I don't see how small calibre firearms would be able to tear out a rather large chunk of flesh fron a hard to reach spot, unless you have a good ROF and coordinated Improbable Aiming Skills. Especially if we take into account a moving target that might weave around a bit all the time. Also penetration power isn't really the point as killing Titans is not about piercing vital organs. It MIGHT work if they develop some kind of fragmenting Hollow-Point projectiles that actually tear open the flesh after impact but even that might do most of the damage deep inside the Titans body where it won't have any real effect and would still require some really good repeated shots within a few seconds. I think you can kinda compare that to either Highlander or the Mythbusters episode in which they tried to fell a tree with guns...which failed till they brought out More Dakka in form of a heavy stationary machinegun (and that was motionless target!). Slashing, explosives, or extreme blunt trauma (Titan Eren) are really the only effective way to get rid of the weakpoint.
A high power shotgun could easily fix that problem: You don't need to aim very well and they could use it in combination with the 3D Gear. Not to mention the addition of Flechette rounds to the equation makes the idea of lugging 12 swords around seem very ridiculous and impractical. I've seen 12 gauge hunting shotguns tear through trees with no problem.
Fragmentation rounds or heavy caliber bullets (both of which can be carried by a modern sniper) could do the job easily. It's not like you have to blast the entire back of its neck off, you just have to terminate the man sized target within. And like I said, if a soldier can be taught how to align his/her body in just the right way to boost and tear out the nape, they can sure as hell be taught how to fire at a moving target with some semblance of accuracy.
Actually, as far as we know, you DO have to carve/blow out the large chunk of flesh with the person within, otherwise it would just regenerate. Just hitting it's heart/head would not kill it when it is in Titan-form. But honestly at the moment it is hard to say how exactly the Healing Factor works and when exactly it stops for the human "pilot". I would assume that there is some sort of two-sided healing, meaning that Titan and pilot keep each other healed when one is injured. All we know is that Titans have to have the back of their neck cleaved out completely and that would be almost impossible with firearms that a person can carry.
Seriously, I don't know why this is in the Headscratcher page it should have been obvious. The guns in this anime aren't some modern-day rifle that can be loaded with explosive and anti-tank rounds, the guns are Flintlocks for crying out loud. Flintlocks are horrible inaccurate have very short-range compared to modern-day guns and can only be fired one shot before needing not only to reload but replace the powder charge as well. And considering how large the Titans tend to be, I doubt the bullet will even pierce the skin or produce enough damage. The only firearm that can possible do damage is the cannon, which is very inaccurate.
I guess the real Headscratcher would be how a society could develop something as advanced as 3D maneuver gear but otherwise be stuck at an 18th Century level of technology.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Once they got an idea that might work they probably poured all their resources onto it to make it feasible (threat of getting eaten alive would be a good catalyst to speed things up). Once they had something that worked, maybe they decided to focus their crude infrastructure on that only? Guns got more and more advanced in real life because humans were fighting other humans wielding guns, why go through the trouble of developing semi-automatic rifles when no one's shooting back at you but rather trying to grab and eat you?
Chapter 51 reveals that the reason why cutting the nape is so effective is because it houses the nervous system of the original human before he turned into a Titan. Essentially, the Titan gets killed because its brain or spinal cord got sliced or blown out by a cannon ball. A tiny bullet wouldn't be able to ensure that it would damage the nervous system.
So maybe firearms alone aren't enough to finish off Titans, but even the long reload times and inaccuracy of flintlocks can't negate the huge range advantage firearms grant. Plus, the inaccuracy issue can easily be circumvented by rifling the barrel, which was around ever since muskets were around, and the long reload time could be solved by breech loading, which had come about at on 1836 with the invention of the Dreyse needle gun. The technology isn't that far off from the Brown Bess musket technology that the humans seem to use in this world. I can easily imagine a squad of soldiers specifically trained to fight, instead of close range with the swords, using rifles in conjunction with their 3DMG, shooting from one stationary position and then grappling away to the next. And perhaps instead of trying to hit the Titan's neck, they would focus on shooting the face to blind the Titan's eyes, or shooting at its legs to immobilize the Titan, thus making the job of the sword wielding soldier so much easier to come in behind the blinded, crippled Titan and finish it off.
Would it though? At over 200 yards the spent bullet from a browns bess couldn't penetrate a soldier's uniform. We're shown that point-blank range can hurt their eyes, but that doesn't say much. Arrows can penetrate armor at point-blank range. It was very special circumstances that got the weakest class of giants in point-blank range. Meanwhile a sword strike in universe would be much more powerful than real life due to the much higher speeds and the entire weight of the user behind the strike, so for all we know Titan skin and/or flesh could be as tough or tougher than medieval armor. So damaging the ankle from any range is unlikely with small arms. There's probably a maximum range where an in universe musket shot could hurt a Titan's eyes. The question is what that range is. If it's over 50 yards then the tactic you outlined would be useful. If it's under 15 then that tactic would be suicidal.
I agree with the above thought, except for one part, the flesh is clearly shown to be weak, most notably with that-one-guy that ended up being bit in half the first time we see Levi being awesome, he stabs his blade into the cheek of the titan, it isn't speed or their weight, it's the fact that the flesh is actually weak.
Why don't the Survey Corps or the military in general make greater use of lighter than air technology? It should be completely within their means to build and would provide huge advantages for purposes of scouting during the Survey Corps extramural excursions. A hot air balloon would grant them line of sight far exceeding what a scout on horseback could ever have, and be visible to the entire unit, thus expediting communication. During battle situations out in the open or in the city, where there are very few high objects for the 3DMG to lash on to, the balloons could provide a stable platform low enough for the soldiers to grapple on to, but high enough to be out of reach of the Titans. Plus, they could just chuck bombs positions in the balloons with impunity.
This, along with the questions about firearms being little more than flintlock, is revealed to be done on purpose as of Chapter 55. The government is purposely stifling technological growth and killing off anybody who has knowledge of people turning into Titans, who tried to make more advanced guns [a guy was killed for trying to invent a revolver], or even try to fly [killed off makers of a hot air balloon]
Why aren't the cities underground? This was partially explained in the Fridge logic section, but their explanations don't really hold up. Since the Titans don't attack crops or livestock, could they easily just keep the animals and plants on the surface, peep out from a hole in the hole in the ground, take what they need, and go back under? And don't tell me it's because of the little quakes their footsteps would make. It's established that the Titans are very light, and mining trusses could easily stabilize the tunnels.
It's very unhealthy for people to live underground for long periods of time, humans need to synthesize vitamin D using sunlight. Plus any underground settlements would need extensive ventilation, providing weak spots where Titans could enter. In addition, there are intrigues in the plot that suggest various entities with considerable power created the status quo.
If you were a cookie, would you want to live in a cookie jar, knowing that your life would just be a long wait in the dark until a giant hand came down from above to carry you to a gruesome, horrifying death?
And with the Headscratcher below, we have another answer: It's easier to make use of that convenient Walled City you found than to build an elaborate underground city.
Just try to keep that place lit. And every time you go up to take care of the crops there are probably Titans right there.
Chapter 51 has confirmed that there ARE underground cities. They just don't live in them solely. Which makes sense; the Wall were already there when they showed up, it's healthier to live above ground, and for 100 years they were safe. The above ground cities are just the better option. Not to mention, there's probably not enough room for every one below ground.
Building the Walls
Is it ever explained how humanity managed to build three fairly huge walls in the first place? The first one perhaps could be justified as it's not too big, but the other two walls I'd imagine would take quite a bit of manpower and materials to build considering how big of an area they're supposed to cover. Then again, we could always just chant the MST3K Mantra...
There are Colossal Titans within the Walls serving as its primary supports, kept dormant by being sealed up away from the sunlight. How the Hell they got there is still anyone's guess, though.
The runes on the manga's back cover are actually upside down Japanese. They mention, among other things, that the Walls were already there when the humans fled across the sea from the Titans. This explains the Wall Cult that calls them "Gods Gift to Humanity". No one knows where the Walls came from, and with recent revelations it's likely they are a trap.
Eren's mental state
Does Eren have some sort of personality disorder? He's awesome, but even before the death of his mother, he's shown some major warning signs.
Probably, but considering the state humanity's in, it's hard to think of it as a negative trait; Eren seems to have a pathological loathing for anyone and anything that preys upon humans, and immediately stops thinking of a person as human once they've done something to abuse or betray someone else. He's the Hunter, after all. Eren's rescue of Mikasa may be the reason Grisha gave him the ability to change into a Titan, because it means that even at his most psychotic, he won't lose his nerve to fight, and he won't forget whose side he's on.
Given the time frame, There Are No Therapists, and historically (even as recently as Vietnam) wartime mental healthcare has ... not been optimally helpful, to put it one way. After all, everyone is screwed up and there's only so much time you can spend with each soldier.
Other than Rule of Cool, why aren't there any modern firearms/weapons platforms in this series if it were really 2,000 years from the present? Did the Titans manage to wipe out all the military installations in Western Europe, along with the factories of several weapons manufacturers? For that matter, how could Titans nearly wipe out humanity in a world where we have remote control drones that can blow precisely human-sized holes from hundreds of yards away?
Because it's fiction. Given the mechanical complexity of the 3DMG, their technology should at the very least rival that of 1940's Europe. One doesn't simply construct a 3DMG in the middle-ages, a high level of technological diffusion into society is a prerequisite to even fathoming such a device. To further make it a reality, you need at minimum "WWII" advances in chemistry, engineering, and physics, among other disciplines. A society capable of building the 3DMG, fueled with the motivation of death-by-titan, would have weapons much more effective at combating giants than the terribly ineffective 3DMG. We're talking autocannons, anti-material rifles, recoilless rifles, mines, flame weapons, traps of all sorts, motorized vehicles, aircraft, and titan-specific weapons we haven't even thought of, like giant explosive bolas ŗ la Moonraker. And they'd be more creative with their employment too. Also, bear in mind that in reality creatures don't regenerate limbs and heads in seconds, ignoring the laws of physics. So giant, lumbering targets would be just that, big easy targets. Ultimately, the reason why there aren't modern weapons in Attack on Titan is because it'd become an entirely different show.
I believe that the "to you 2000 years in the future thing" is supposed to mean that they're 2000 years in the past.
Even if it were 2,000 years in the future, the Genius Bonus runes tell us that humanity mostly wiped itself out. There's a pretty good chance that even if modern weapons do exist, the Walled City doesn't have the means to produce them, and going into the outside world to find some is practically suicide. It doesn't matter how powerful modern weapons are anyway; the Titans regenerate and when they die, they dissolve. You can blow a human-sized hole in a Titan and kill it, but by the time anyone got there to examine the body, it would be gone. If humanity did fight the Titans that way, it could have been decades before anyone finally figured it out.
But even according to the Genius Bonus runes, humanity only turned on each other after they started fleeing from Titans. So the modern militaries of the world never thought to train their aircraft and missiles against this new threat, and instead decided to start World War 4? Also, we don't really need to examine a Titan body; we have cameras and digital recording. A registered kill can be reviewed later for analysis. You can't even argue lost technology, as the founders of the last city were allegedly the rich and powerful. There should've been at least one defense contractor among them, who still possessed knowledge of advanced weapon systems.
Dude. 2000 years in the past. None of this technology exists in the Attack on Titan world. Saying there should have been at least one defense contractor available to fight the Titans is like saying Megatron should have been there to defend Constantinople. More to the point, it doesn't say that humanity turned on each other after they fled from the Titans, it says that by the time the Titans showed up, humanity had already almost wiped itself out, and those able to flee to the Walls were only a small fraction of the extremely wealthy. Even currently in the story, knowledge of the history of the world and the outside world as a whole is considered taboo to the point of conspiracy. Of course you can't "argue lost technology", they never had it to begin with! The most advanced weapons tech they have are cannons, and you're wondering why they don't have Ti Vo?
Well, it says that at the time that they fled to the Walls, humanity had been wiped out by each other. So presumably, the Titans showed up, and then humans wiped each other out, and then they fled.
On the Gregorian calendar, the date would probably be something like 4100. It is intended to be the future, and it's implied that Titans appeared after humanity had already weakened themselves in a large war, or that there was another complicating factor. Who's to say what happened between now and the 2000 years that passed by before Titans appeared??
It's an alternate history. It does not take place in the future.
What do you mean by "alternate history"? It can't take place 2000 years in the past (from 2013 C.E. in which would put it around 13 C.E.) because Hange references Real Life cannibalistic serial killers when naming her Titan test subjects: the legend of Sawney Bean comes from is based on 15th- or 16th-century Scotland (Sawney and Bean's namesake), Hamilton Howard "Albert" Fish was an 20th century American serial killer (a previous Titan whom as Albert was named after his preferred name), and Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo was a 20th century Soviet serial killer who died in 1994 (another previous Titan was named Chikatilo). The story taking place in an After the End version of our world, or one with an extremely similar history, makes the most sense so far. Unless you think Hange can see into the future with amazing detail, since in the anime she made it quite clear she isn't picking these names at random by describing the story of Sawney Bean to her squad while naming the Titans, when the legend doesn't exist until 15 or 16 thousand years after the time period you claim the series is set in.
An alternate history allows an author to pick and choose whether or not events from real history occurred or not. There are no rules governing what an author can make up, ignore, or include. We know very little about this world, except that it has analogs to some famous mass murderers and there is a part of the world analogous with Asia.
"Alternate" means "different". Why is this so difficult a concept to grasp? Who says Sawney Bean, in the Attack on Titan timeline, didn't exist a few thousand years sooner than in the real world?
To everyone above saying that it's "alternate history" and that it's "2000 years in the past". I want to inform you that that argument is absolutely ridiculous. 2000 years ago, the most advanced weapon humanity had was the catapult. A cannon would be even more futuristic to them than a plasma beam is to us (the invention of gunpowder alone happened 800 years later and the first cannons, the first ones, not the 18th century ones seen in the anime, were recorded to be used in battle in China in the 12th century, or the 1100s). Now, you're telling me people during the Roman Empire (trust me, this doesn't give off the Roman vibe) had the resources to invent not only firearms, but something as advanced as the 3D gear while running for their lives from Titans?
During a siege, usually it is a battle of attrition between the besieger and besieged. So, where do the humans get their resources, like metal, from? Unless they have a high stockpile but it's dwindling at an accelerated rate considering the amount of deaths in the series...
Well, the original.. uh, settlers, in the Walled City were supposedly the amazingly wealthy, so maybe they brought it with them? During some of the training chapters, they mention manufacturing as a chump's alternative to enlisting, so there's got to be at least one factory/refinery. Maybe there are iron mines somewhere within human territory. Of course, there's always the possibility that they don't use metal at all. All the stuff that looks like metal? Hardened Titan skin.
Would rules of attrition apply when the besieged "castle" is the size of most of Western Europe?
No and yes. The "siege" has forced the level of Schizo Tech we see; clearly, there is technology higher than what most people have access to, it's just very expensive. What little is used in the way of rare resources are the military's use of pressurized gas and their weaponry. We've seen that the blades they use are basically glorified razor blades and are definitely made as cheaply as possible, especially when considering there is resistance to change these designs based on input from the troops. The only other things shown are cannons, of which there are few, and of course the 3D Maneuver Gear, which seems to be at least partially aluminum based as it's lightweight and the way it sounds in the anime. Basically, what technology we do see is clearly being self-limited based on resource scarcity, and later on, the series may explore ramifications of these resources running out.
Bonus information states that they have massive deposits of natural resources within the Walls, such as natural gas and various minerals. In terms of resources, their largest concern is food since much of the land isn't focused on agriculture.
Titans Hiding Five Years Ago
I know that the Colossal and Armoured Titans use the 3DMG to escape and blend in with the humans but what about the incident 5 years ago, when Bert and Reiner weren't in the military yet? How did they run away from the Titans and safely enter the Inner Walls?
They were kids at the time. All they had to do was change back and blend in with the refugees, and nobody would have had any reason to question them.
In Episode 2 of the anime, li'l Annie can be seen lining up for rations. Later on, we see Bertolt and Reiner among the refugees as the plan to retake Wall Maria is announced.
There are many possibilities for the first time. It is mentioned that they believe Annie did participate in the attack on Wall Maria, luring in the hordes of Titans. If she was transformed, more than likely she would have been able to sneak the other two into the city and past other Titans. Another possibility is that they were not acting alone, and had help to get through the city without being harmed.
Why is Ymir called the Dancing Titan?
She jumps and swings around as if she were dancing. A Dance Battler.
Being of a smaller size means she can't just run around overpowering everything like the others, forcing her into the role of a Fragile Speedster.
The soldiers are constantly in the air and there is a possibility of them running out of gas or messing up and crashing, yet why do none of them wear helmets?
Apart from the artistic choice (helmets cover hair and sometimes faces; having a bunch of uniformed soldiers in helmets makes it harder to tell characters apart), it's because the helmet would do more harm than good. The technology level in the series means a helmet is just a metal hat, possibly with a leather pad inside it, which won't do anything to protect your head from any kind of high-speed impact. It would also obstruct peripheral vision and hearing, both of which are utterly crucial to being able to fight Titans effectively.
Not true. Motorcycle helmets were invented in the 1930s after the death of T.E. Lawrence (yes, as in Lawrence of Arabia) to reduce injuries from high speed impacts. The earliest of them were no more than "metal hats" and more sophisticated designs should be within the reach of a culture than can produce 3D Maneuver Gear.
Except no. The technology level and culture of the Walled Territory never extends past early-Victorian levels, and that's in the highly privileged Sina districts. The 3DMG is clearly displayed to be the only peice of regularly used Schizo Tech that the humans possess that exceeds 19th century constraints, and the design for those were revealed in the prequel material to be the work of a single man. Plus, there's the little factor of the upper echelons for some reason refusing to update the military's equipment for what is implied to be a couple of decades, meaning no one can make helmets standard even if the could make a practical design.
Titans attacking Titan Shifters
I know this is one of those mysteries that the story will probably cover eventually, but: Chapter 46 shows that Titan Shifters need to worry about being attacked by regular Titans just like anybody else, it's not just Eren. So why the Hell haven't they done something about it?
What? If you're asking why the Titans haven't attacked, it's because the Shifters are currently in trees. If you're asking why the Shifters haven't attacked the Titans, it's because all of them are in a critical condition after the last battle.
Good question. It does seem like they have almost as much to fear from the Titans as normal humans do, yet have been utilizing them as a weapon against mankind. It raises all sorts of questions concerning just how safe their homeland is from Titans, as well as the reason for attacking the Walls in the first place.
Cannons as knockback
Why has it not occurred to anyone to use the cannons to knock the Titans over or injure them and then have a team slice the nape of their necks while the Titans are reeling from the impact (especially if their heads are blown off)? This seems like it would solve a lot of problems with Titans getting back up and regenerating and would probably help dispel the fear of being eaten while doing so.
That would be extremely riskful to do, considering the very precise timing a maneuver like that would require. Add to the fact that Titans can sometimes regrow missing heads/limbs within seconds, you would have to be an ace of a soldier in order to pull that. Also, you would need a lot, and I mean a lot of cannon fire in order to incapacitate a large concentration of them all at once. Imagine moving in for the kill and then suddenly one sneaks up behind you.
It still seems like a better tactic than "Throw men at it and hope we kill it by the 30th casualty".
There are two battlefields for a Titan vs human smackdown: Scouting Legion expedition, where cannons are impractical to bring, or a town that the Colossal Titan breached, when the cannons would be hitting people's homes and fleeing evacuee crowds. There's a reason cannons are only used late into battle's or at relatively close range.
Scaling the Walls
So, if the Walls were already there when the first settlers came, how did the first settlers of the city scale the Walls to build a society in them?
They didn't scale them. The gates were probably open when they got there, and then they just closed it behind them.
Projectile Weapons versus Titans
As we've seen in Levi's first battle and Sasha's little storyline, low velocity projectile weapons like arrows are actually pretty effective in blinding or weakening the Titans, because the projectiles get stuck in the body and prevent a complete regeneration (especially of the eyes). Why has no one ever considered training some squads of archers as mobile support or outfitting some of the soldiers with small crossbows to effectively blind the slow moving Titans? Or use large, stationary harpoons to obstruct their movement without triggering their regeneration like the cannons do?
Squads that aren't outfitted with swords aren't able to kill Titans. That's also a squad with even more limited ammo than the guys with breakable swords. Further, while slow Titans like the Colossal might be easy to hit, most of them are actually outrageously fast, which makes that form of support risky at best... not even considering friendly fire. Last but not least, the Titan you aim your bow at is the only one you're able to focus on. Considering that during an attack, like Trost, Titans show up everywhere, it would be too easy for a squad to get blindsided and chomped on. As for the harpoons... ...That's actually pretty good. They'd have to be inside the town though to be any use, given how the Colossal Titan could easily swat wall-bound defenses before they were useful.
From what we've seen even squads with swords often aren't able to kill Titans and just act as cannon fodder to buy time (for the Garrison troops at least, veteran Scouts are a different matter). I just thought that using some archer-heavy squads in combination with the regular ones might help all those less skilled soldiers to actually get some kills on the weakened Titans instead of being slaughtered. They could just carry a lightweigth bow in addition to the regular 3D gear and switch a few spare blades for a decent supply of arrows (supply stations should be nearby anyway), thus keeping the mobility intact. Friendly fire should be less of a problem than colliding soldiers with 3D gears and can be avoided by coordinating the attacks properly. Of course it would require a different strategy and modified equipment but it is doable and can't be worse than those blind suicide rushes we've seen so far. Also, archers without 3D gear could be used as stationary defense at gates, walls, or towers. Those could even be composed of some half-trained militia who would be useless civilians otherwise.
Sasha knows how to use a bow because she used to be a hunter. Archers take a lot of training to be any good; add that to the 3 years of training for regular soldiers since they would be expected to be proficient with most of the same techniques (3DMG, physical fitness, swords if necessary), then you could have upwards of 5-7 years of training for an archery division. They simply don't represent that much of a return on investment, especially since regular soldiers are trained with rifles, if rarely used.
I'm not sure where you got that 2+ years of archery training from (serviceable archery can be taught within weeks, and professional level can be taught within within months), or why you assume that it couldn't be integrated into the daily curriculum to save time instead of being tacked on the end of training. Either way, I'd wager that 5-7 years for a 3DMG support unit with bow/crossbow sidearms and a few bolt quivers would be preferable to their horrific kill/causualty rate.
Archery fell out specifically in real life because it takes a minimum of 2 years to have an archer who's got enough skill and strength to hit targets at a distance; guns can be taught to be as effective with much less training, in a matter of weeks. There's also the fact that archers would be completely ineffective while moving with 3DMG, which is the exact opposite of what needs to be done in fights versus Titans. Bows simply aren't as effective as guns in the setting and regular soldiers are already taught how to use guns. The one positive is that they may prevent regeneration, but that seems to be situational at best.
2 years of archery training is a huge exaggeration if we are just talking about learning the skill. Sure, if you need to drill untrained peasants into an organized army of archers it would fit, but that would also include extensive formation drills, endurance training, and the ability to rain coordinated hails of arrows over long distances as it was a popular tactic during the medieval warfare. Training recruits that are already schooled in the common tactics and abilities of their style of warfare to use bows against large targets at short to medium distances with direct fire would at the most add a few additional months to the training, especially if they can work it into the preexisting curriculum. That's a small payoff for a type of mobile ranged weaponry that can actually be useful in contrast to the completely ineffectual guns. Or alternatively, you train them with crossbows, which can be done within a few weeks.
Bows probably are going to become pretty important at some point, given the fact that the opening theme (the first one, anyway) never shuts up about them, even though they've only been used once. So, my guess is they're going to be some of the specialized weapons developed as time goes on and humanity starts gearing its efforts toward defeating Titans, rather than acting as bait.
Dude, the song is metaphorical, the arrow thing is a symbol, just like everything else. You just said that we saw a bow used once: it was used by the only introduced character with past experience using one, and it just barely made an effective battle tactic against a single small Titan. Annoying Arrows are in full effect as far as the human side is concerned, stop trying to say otherwise.
I'm not saying otherwise. The above was my only comment in this headscratcher. It doesn't surprise me that bows haven't been in widespread use, since the goal was never to kill Titans as effectively as possible, just to distract them long enough for the civilians to escape. Yeah I know it's metaphorical, but it's still strange for a series that has only had one appearance of a bow to be talking about "taking up your bow and beginning the resistance", rather than, say, "unsheath your sword and begin the resistance". I'm just saying that they could be pretty useful in conjunction with other methods, and that as the humans target their methods more toward actually fighting, they may develop their use as a tactic.
Sasha's arrows worked because she was using them at a very close range against a small Titan. Arrows have fallen out of use in the Walled City for the same reason they fell out of use in real life; the advent of the firearm made them obsolete, and firearms became obsolete with the advent of the 3DMG. We do see all of them being used effectively in the story, but arrows and guns require very specific circumstances (and, in the case of archery, trained specialists) to do so, and they still aren't anywhere near as effective as the 3DMG; if Sasha had hers when she confronted the Titan with it, she wouldn't have bothered with the bow at all.
It's one thing to become a proficient archer, it's another altogether to be expected to consistently be able to shoot the eye of a target from a 50-100 metre distance. Hell, that's practically impossible.
In addition to the above, we're not just talking about stationary targets here. The Titan's move in herky-jerky manners much of the time and are incredibly fast. You would need people who could fire their arrows with pinpoint accuracy in the eyes at a good enough distance that they're not in danger of being eaten or have a large enough mass of them able to hit joints with enough accuracy to disable them. Plus, much like the guns, they'd be nearly impossible to shoot accurately if you're on the move and standing still in the middle of a Titan attack is a really bad idea. If they could rig up some sort of highly mobile ballista platform they could move around and fire then we'd be in business.
Also to the people talking about how "easy" it is to train someone to be functionally effective with a bow, you're forgetting key details here. Part of the reason the bow was abandoned in favor of the crossbow was how easy it was to train. Point, shoot, and reload — that's all you need to use a crossbow in a massed group. But a bow requires technique to even hold properly, ability to aim it over a long distance and then firing it as part of the archery mass. Also, arrows only need to hit a human the slightest bit to potentially take them out of a fight, so a massed arrow barrage is incredibly deadly. With Titan's only about 5% of its body mass would be vulnerable to any real effect of the arrows and you have zero benefit to using them except in very rare situations. But even a crossbow requires a bit too much accuracy considering the situations that they regularly fight in.
Why use a bow when you could just use a gun? Flintlock revolvers were already being mass produced in 1822, and they would be perfect for the soldier to use while operating his 3DMG. Breech loading technology isn't that far off from musket tech. The Dreyse needle gun came out in 1836, and fired off a round every 6 seconds. The 3DMG could perhaps be modified to allow the user to simultaneously operate both the rifle, thus taking advantage of its greater range and accuracy over the handgun, and the harness system, thus maintaining his mobility.
So about those extra details about Berrik's death revealed in Chapter 47. The timing and location of his death suggest that all three boys possessed Titan powers when they encountered Ymir. So why didn't they use them to defend themselves?
Same reason Eren didn't turn into a Titan immediately at Trost. They may have not known how to control them until an offscreen event occurred, particularly if they were living as humans.
Since it happened close to the same time they attacked Wall Maria, that's pretty much impossible. That attack was coordinated, and both showed full control of their Titan forms. Though you could be right about them still being new enough to it that — like Eren — they hadn't built up enough stamina to function post-Transformation. It definitely raises a lot of questions about how skilled they were at the time, and what role Berrik was supposed to play in the whole thing.
Or perhaps unlike Eren, who was swallowed more or less whole, Ymir chewed Berrik up a bit before swallowing him, leaving him dead or unconscious by the time he went down the gullet?
How does anyone still have the desire to eat meat after seeing the Titans eat people?
Well, for one, they eat to survive unlike the Titans, and they actually kill and cook the meat before eating it, so it doesn't scream and beg for life.
Also, meat is a rare delicacy. When Eren and co. freak out upon finding out that Sasha stole meat from the upper brass, it wasn't just because she stole food from their superiors. It was because she stole their world's equivalent of edible gold.
The same way people ate meat throughout the vast bulk of history during which we were both predator and prey — because meat tastes great and is an important part of a balanced diet. As Mikasa often notes, the world is cruel. It's one of the series' themes that you're either a hunter or dinner.
The story takes place in the future; tanks are outright shown in flashbacks. As for why humanity's superior firepower didn't suceed, that is kind of one of the mysteries of the series, though it's hinted humanity had nearly expended itself in a massive war prior to Titans appearing. The current weaponry is simply what's most cost effective and can be produced with the limited industry left. And lastly, they didn't build the Walls.
In what chapter are tanks shown? I never recall seeing anything other than cannons being used.
There's a chance that this story doesn't take place after the end, though. Many fans are theorizing that To You in 2000 Years means that the story takes place in an alternate history, 2000 years in the past. More evidence to support this: When Hange recalls records of the era in which humans fought each other, she recalls a medieval knight and compares it to the Armored Titan. If this were after the end of our history, the era of knights would have been long since gone and forgotten.
As opposed to if it were 2000 years in the past, in which case the story would be taking place over a millennium before "the era of knights" even occurred.
Or perhaps the setting is simply an alternate history which is different from our own.
Titans finding people
So, how do the Titans actually locate people? I ask because it has bugged me that stealth hasn't been brought up as a reasonable means of facing the Titans. If it's just sight-based, then people could travel at night, and move slowly. If it's by sound, they could move in smaller groups, and again, move slowly/with minimal gear. If it's by smell, then using pungeant chemicals to hide their scent could be used. I understand that these methods wouldn't guarantee success, but it's odd that they're never even mentioned or tried. The series just seems to zigzag in regards to how easy/difficult it is for the Titans to find people. Jean hid in a building and was safe from a Titan; yet dozens of Titans swarmed the resupply building and the people hiding within. Not to mention how the Titans even knew that people were on the other side of the Walls. I can only assume that Titans locate people supernaturally, like a permanent detect human spell.
Well, most of the time when Titans are devouring and searching for humans, it's in a city that's overcrowded and is filled to the brim with humans. So, it's relitively easy to find humans. Also, most "normal" Titans appear to be using sight. Aberrant Titans, however, seem to be using supernatural means of detecting humans. Also, the problem with traveling at night is that humans can't see at night either, and would require using a lamp or some artificial light source, which would be the equivalent of putting a bullseye on yourself. As for how they get into buildings, most of the Titans that infiltrate buildings are about 3-4 meter Titans, which are small enough to get into the doorways if they crouch (and since they are anatomically similiar to humans they can do that), or they could have saw humans fleeing into/toward any building and try to get them.
Actually, travelling at night makes sense since Titans appear to be powered by sunlight and "power down" after a few hours in the dark. But, I suppose since it varies from Titan to Titan and they have a sample size of about 4 it makes sense that they would hesitate to do so since they don't have enough data to confirm the maximum amount of time it takes for them to "power down".
Where do their gas reserves come from? If they have a natural gas mine somewhere, they must be pretty reliant on it, but it's never been mentioned as a tactical concern when they are losing ground to the Titans. Unless it is located in the Inner Wall (and thus, all the highest class people are operating it, not something associated with mines usually), they seem to completely disregard the possibility of losing their gas reserves, and therefore, their ability to fight back, since they're helpless without 3D gear. So far, it's the only resource they have that has no explanation for how they got it. Besides the Walls, but that I trust to be an explained mystery.
It's explained in one of those in-between pages that the lands inside the Walls are rich in both minerals and gas. Also, apparently the innermost part has the largest deposits of it. Even those rich, more densely populated areas should have some sort of working-class consisting of miners, farmers, and such...someone has to do the physical work, after all. Also, I assume that those giant furnaces producing the hardened steel (also mentioned in one of the additional infos) are also in the inner part, since we have never directly seen them.
It's not emphasised much, but the lands inside the Walls are really, really big. Even if they're not all that resource-rich or were mostly depleted by the old world, with a population of only ~1 million people and relatively low demand thanks to the generally low tech level... they could probably mine for centuries without running out.
The bonus details reveals that the Walled City is roughly the same size as Alaska or Texas, which is comparable to some small countries. And considering that Middle-Eastern countries have been selling their own oil supplies to billions of people in other countries for over half a century and still have enough to keep chugging out, it's doubtful that they will run out any time soon. A city with less than 1 million people (250,000 people were sent to their death due to high food demands, so there are only 750,000 left), with relatively low demands, they really could keep it up for over a thousand years.
250,000 was stated to be 20% of the population, so they have a million now.
Actually, they said that they LOST 250,000 people which was 20% of the population. So, they have around 750,000 people, minus all the death as a result of the Battle of Trost.
20% of 1 million people is 200,000, not 250,000. It is, however, 20% of 1.25 million people.
And there's always the possibility that there's a reason the gas looks so similar to Titan steam...
Minor one: allegedly, the society within the Walls was set up a hundred years prior to the Colossal Titan's attack. A hundred years is not a very long time. Obvious-as-the-nose-on-Annie's-face conspiracy aside, how come everybody acts like it was an era ago, in an age lost to the mists of time? Granted, life expectancies might be shorter, but they actually should probably be right around modern-day numbers, given the fact that medicine seems pretty sophisticated, syringes and all. Oh, yeah, and, y'know, the ability toturn people into enormous rage monster death machines that come out of thin air). So, there should be people still alive whose parents or grandparents were on the original ships and who could explain, say, what this other continent/world/planet/thing was, under what circumstances the Titans showed up, how they knew these Walls existed, etc., etc. I guess most of these people would have been silenced by the government, but there's still this feeling that nobody remembers what it was like before the Titans, or even before the Walls. And the implication was that the time between the Titans' appearance and the flight to the Walls was quite brief. You know what I mean? It's like the world before the Titans is a legend now. Well...maybe a century is longer than I thought. Or maybe this'll be explained. I dunno. (I'm not accusing this manga of not making sense, by the way; I'm assuming there's a rational explanation related to the conspiracy. I'm not sure I could ever accuse AoT of anything. <3)
Armin mentions that his grandfather has a book about the outside world and Eren says the military police will bust him for it, right around the time he says his parents are "going outside". A hundred years isn't a long time, but think about all the other things piling up on that issue: the government bans knowledge of the outside and is not shy about ejecting people into the Godforsaken wilderness to preserve its resource management, medicine is relatively advanced but the conditions within the Walls leaves people prone to plague, and the Titans present a constant and handy threat for the royalty to use to coerce compliance from citizens. It wasn't a long time, no, but everyone who actually remembers the outside world has either been killed or folded into the conspiracy, while its culture and probably a strong propaganda machine have taught the younger generations (which, given the turnover rate, have probably been numerous) that the outside world is practically ancient history. For some perspective, the Great War began about a hundred years ago, and if we didn't teach about it in our history classes, you probably couldn't find a kid of Eren's or Mikasa's age (as of the start of the story, at least) who'd ever even heard of it.
It's said that the humans have been fighting the Titan's for A LOT longer than a mere century. It was only 100 years in which the humans found the Walled City and called it home, but the Titans have been attacking presumably decades before. It's also hinted that humanity has already wiped itself out, prior to the Titan attack and reduce all of humanity's knowledge and technology to Dark Age-level. And just because they have syringes doesn't mean that they have advance technology. Syringes were invented as early as the 9th century with hypodermic needles around 1844.
AHAHAHA BRILLIANT Isayama, you continue to amaze. Chapter 55 actually brought this up, concerning the government conspiracy. Erwin recounts how he realized that the accounts didn't add up, and that the people from the first generation of humans who entered the Walls should have been able to pass on their knowledge. So, consider this in the category of "weird conspiracy stuff". Oh, and also, to the troper above me, that's not quite correct. According to historical records, which may or may not be completely bollocks, it's been 107 years since the Titans appeared.
In fact Erwin suspects that the first generation of humans who entered the Walled City had their memories altered to forget their past knowledge of the Titans and the outside world. Since then the history taught in the Walls has been heavily sanitized by the government and anybody who publicly disagrees is quickly made to disappear by the Military Police.
Killing the Titans with your own gear
I can't remember if this was explained, but when Annie kills the two Titans that Hange was experimenting on why did she choose to use her own 3D Maneuver Gear, rather then use Marco's and show hers as at the inspection? I mean, if a person had two options for equipment to use, why would you show off the dead guys, something that could lead to your suspicion if you're recognized? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
It think it was explained once that each 3DMG is delicately finetuned on the user in terms of weigth, body strength and such. Using someone elses 3DMG might have caused her problems in such a risky task (like how Jean was much more clumsy with the other 3DMG he salvaged in Ep13). And I would assume that she never thought of someone noticing the difference from the outside anyway.
Going by the wikia here, but that doesn't seem to of been a restriction that was explained.
Not yet, no, but that's mainly because the 3DMG explanations are there for information we don't see in the story. We see pretty clearly that a 3DMG has to be custom-fitted to the user just by the way they're treated by the characters.
Uh... not it isn't. In fact, it seems pretty clear that the gear can be used interchangeably between people, you'd just need to adjust the harness, like with Eren during the balance practice. You could try and say that this is made clear during the Titan Attack when Mikasa runs out of gas, but you also have to keep in mind there — that Titans could attack at any moment, and stripping gear off would be impractical. Besides even if gear had to be specifically fitted to a user and couldn't be adjusted, Jean managed to just fine, and Annie is ranked higher then him among the trainees, so she SHOULD be able to do kill two bound Titans with Marco's gear.
It was outright stated in Chapter 32 and Episode 24 that 3DMG's are finetuned to the user and using a different one is more difficult. That's why Annie used her own for that difficult task of killing the two Titans that were under guard. And Jean in the anime did seem to move more clumsy with the salvaged gear especially for someone so skilled (I think he had almost the same 3DMG ranking as Annie).
It was explicitly stated at one point in the manga that, since killing Sonny and Bean meant performing the deed in the middle of military-controlled space, it required great skill and stealth to do without getting caught. The manga states that the perp would want to use their own gear because there ARE minor differences between sets of gear - not enough to make them unusable when swapped, but possibly enough to get you caught in a high-risk stealth operation if you're expecting to move at a certain speed and you suddenly find that your borrowed gear has lower gas propulsion speed. In all honesty, Annie did the right thing - no one would have caught on if Armin hadn't been the one standing right there, and hadn't been intimitely familiar with Marco's gear. If Armin weren't so observant, Annie would have likely gotten away with it.
The gear isn't finetuned to the user. Case in point, when Bertolt and Reiner kidnapped Eren, Reiner equipped himself with Eren's gear, while Bertolt took the gear of nameless soldier #231. If the gear was made for those individual people, then how can Reiner wear the gear of someone who is 70 pounds lighter than him with the same level of finesse that he normally has?
So after the reveal of the Wall Titans, why IS meat a delicacy? It seems to me they've got a supply of infinite meat right there.
In case you are referring to Titan-meat: It disappears quickly after the Titan dies and might not really be all that edible for humans, let alone filling.
Underground Cities, part 2
A common Fridge Logic on a certain Image Board includes Frodo Baggins asking why the humans don't just live underground considering they can produce a wide range of three 100-feet walls in a considerably short period of time.
As with a lot of the weirder aspects of the setting, this eventually gets commented upon, though not directly answered yet. Apparently, the church has some conspiracy to keep things the way they are that has been insinuated to matter more than the continued survival of the human race.
It can also be perfectly explained with practical reasons, such as the city lacking the technology necessary for the minimal infrastructure of an underground city. It could be difficult to build, and picking the necessary cattle and crops from the surface would be insanely dangerous. Underground cities exist since before current technology, but they need a very specific type of rock or soil or otherwise metal for the support. And it is very evident the city lacks the possibility of mining ores for such construction (or, you know, the actual excavation), that there are mines inside the Walls is mentioned in passing, but come on, any materials inside such a small area would hardly be enough for building anything long-standing. So, yeah, it is quite justified.
"Small"? If the information-available-for-public-disclosure can be believed, the area within Wall Maria is significantly larger than France (within Wall Rose is about 2/3 of the total). They've got all the raw material they could possibly want and more.
There's also the fact that giant Titans are walking about, so while they walk on the surface, all of the earth below it trembles, which could cause a cave-in for the underground city. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann provides an excellent example of this effect at work.
Titans are actually extremely lightweight.
It turns out that the humans aren't able to build the Walls on their own. The Walls were actually created (and filled) by dormant Titans.
Using 3 DMG
What are the means of operating the 3D maneuver gear? Considering that all the soldiers in the series are usually dual wielding blades when they use the gear to travel, there seems to be no practical mechanism of launching the hooks manually or aiming them. Even the design notes donít seem to have a description of how the user can release the hooks without his hands.
An omake following Chapter 3 shows an illustration◊ of how the Maneuver Gear operates: the blade handles each have a cable attached to one end along with two individual "triggers" for releasing and retracting the hooks.
I can see the triggers used to release and retract the hooks, as well as the gas switch to release the gas. Now... how do they attach or release blades at will?
Another trigger on the back of the sword guard that open the blade slot when held down. It isn't shown on the linked sketch because it isn't a part of the actual Maneuver Gear system.
Schizo Tech and tactics
If humans possess the technology needed to produce maneuver gear powerful enough to propel human beings at high speeds to attack the Titans with blades, why don't they just build guns that fire larger blades that can cut through Titans and hit their weak point without throwing people at them?
Some of the cannons do just this. It is explained in-universe that they are very inaccurate, and thus mostly ineffective.
It would still cost fewer lives and require much less training than the maneuver gear. When in doubt, More Dakka.
They do use the cannons when they can. Titans move fast and the cannons load slowly (shown when one is used on Eren and friends), so without Improbable Aiming Skills, you can't kill much of anything with them unless the conditions are just right. Garrison troops tend to use their Maneuver Gear as a last resort when the Titans get past the cannons, and the Survey Corps can't carry cannons out with them on their expeditions because they're immobile.
Remember that the military rejects all weapons not made to specification, even when the new design is superior. It's quite likely that advanced modern-style accurate artillery would make very short work of the kinds of attacks we've seen so far (dudes on the Walls with anti-materiel rifles would chew through most of them on their own!), and that the implied conspiracy knows this, and for whatever reason, doesn't want to make things too easy.
Dividing the rings into sections
Wait, why didn't they divide the rings into sections when building the Walls? That way, if one part of the Wall were to fall, you lose just one section, not the entire ring.
It could have something to do with limited resources.
It becomes Fridge Horror when you realise than the Walls are made of Titans. The Walls are massive enough to have possibly hundreds of Titans. By adding sections, you're also adding more Titans. The day those Walls come down completely...
Did the manga ever say if Titans could swim or not?
No, the manga never mentions if the Titans are actually able to swim, but it is presumed they are able to if they were able to get rid of all Orientals, seeing as Asia has a lot of countries separated by water (particularly South East Asia).
Is it even certain that the series plays on OUR Earth, languages aside? The geography of the world could always be different than the one we know. Though granted, Titans should be able to somehow cross water just fine considering they don't need to breathe.
Wasn't it said they weren't very dense? So they can't plunge underwater but might be able to bob up and down, paddle somewhat, and ride the current to the next patch of land. Though I would like to see what sharks think about swimming hunks of meat bobbing in the ocean.
The Titans would be able to regenerate from shark bites, and the larger ones would be able to kill sharks fairly easily.
The Titans don't seem to even notice other animals though. It is possible that sharks (and other carnivorous swimmers) never existed or went extinct in-universe as the possibility of the setting being an alternate reality is still uncertain.
Plan to reach Eren's house
I understand that Erwin had an ulterior motive in luring out and catching the Female Titan, but when they planned the route to Eren's house, why didn't they just run in a straight line out of the east gate, all the way across to the nearest section of Wall Maria, use the 3DMG to climb Wall Maria, and then walk along the top of the Wall, all the way to Zhiganshina? The Wall still exists, and the only damage is to the south gates, so the rest of the Wall is fine. You'd have to leave your horses at the bottom, but since the Titans don't eat horses, they would be fine, anyways. You could carry enough supplies with you on foot to keep the team fed, and avoid direct confrontation with the Titans. You risk having fewer supplies and no horses once you reach Zhiganshina, but from a pure logistical standpoint, the avoidance of battle and massively decreased loss of life is way more important when your mission is an information run, not a battle.
I don't remember the exact dimensions, but a troper formerly mentioned that the inside of Wall Maria has a larger surface area than France. The troops probably wouldn't be able to carry the resources to walk that far.
It's possible that that was never a real plan anyway. Chapter 40-something confirms that they have portable elevators capable of lifting horses and that cavalry can ride along the Wall, so if they seriously wanted to get to Zhiganshina rather than fake out the Female Titan, they would probably either do that, or just leave from near Trost, anyways. Among other things, they also conveniently forgot that Trost has a second gate into Maria; the river gate.
First off, the Female Titan was never a concern for Erwin when planning the expedition, he didn't even know about her until she attacked during the expedition. What he was worried about was a saboteur messing with information gathering projects. Second, the shortest path to a destination isn't always the best, especially when the most direct course is still over 62 miles of open terrain past man-eating giants, a winding path through any available cover on the route was the safer approach through Titan territory. Also, after five years of abandonment, it is a safe bet that the top of Wall Maria is no longer in an easily transversal state.
While I'm not complaining, is it ever explained how Mikasa ever achieved her enhanced physical strength and ability? I'm not sure how one could argue the power needed to pass a blade through someone's ribcage without some close scrutiny being paid. It wouldn't be a big deal normally —Rule of Cool would usually deal with it — but she clearly did not have it before the event.
I'd say i'ts the overall theme of the manga — you need to be willing to do stuff yourself in order to be strong. Eren, being the Determinator, has his Titan-shifting and mental control over mindless Titans. Mikasa is equally ruthless in her willingness to step up and get stuff done herself rather than falling into complacency.
It's implied during the scene where the trafficker is strangling Eren that her mental limits capping her physical capabilities were removed.
In the manga, Mikasa says something alone the lines of "since then, I've been able to master perfect self-control."
It's likely that it's related to Eren's Coordination abilities. Recall that when she attacked the kidnapper, we saw her brain...or...something...flashing and pulsing, in a similar effect to what happened in Ch50. Not only that, but both major instances of her nearly giving up — the kidnappers and just prior to Titan!Eren's debut — had Eren nearby. Also keep in mind that the first time, he was specifically telling her repeatedly to fight. The second time, he wasn't talking to her, but he was talking to himself about killing Titans. Coordination works via voice command. So yeah. Best guess is that she's telepathically bonded to Eren somehow, and so his determination in conjunction with her natural abilities is what makes her so capable. Now, you could say that the kidnapper incident couldn't have been Coordination, since Eren (probably, it's kinda vague) hadn't been injected yet, but that's my main reason for thinking that the injection wasn't the Coordinate, but rather a Shifter serum designed to make sure he would stay alive long enough to use it. "Get to the basement; this power will help you then," etc.
Chapter 63 implies that it may be a family trait on her father's side. One that is apparently shared by Kenny Ackerman and Captain Levi.
Is Eren really supposed to be this babied and taken care of? He's not useless, and these Dude In Distress situations are taking agency of a character who should be severely effective. The fact that he can turn into an Allied Titan should be exactly as advantageous and useful as that sounds, but no, they tell him not to use it or things like that. If he had ever gotten any kills with the Maneuver Gear combat, I wouldn't have a problem, but at least let him participate. You'll save more lives that way.
As useful as Eren is, it's known that he's not totally in control of his Titan form, and anyone who doesn't know him personally could see him as a mindless berserker who just attacks everything. And once the Female Titan arc starts, it's more about protecting humanity's greatest asset for when he's absolutely needed than not trusting him. This idea is reasonable, considering all his unassisted fights against intelligent Titans have resulted in him getting kidnapped.
So, he can't fight back against his opponents, and everyone just looks at him and says, 'Oh, poor baby. Be a good little damsel and stay on the sidelines, we'll take care of you.' You see, I'm proud when he tries to fight back, because it feels like he's actually trying when no one else can think he can do anything. This is the guy who killed two grown men with his own cunning at child age. I think there's some loss of competency here...or at least a perception of one from the Corps. Mikasa strikes me as knowing better mentally, but her actions dictate otherwise.
Well, yeah. They're not correct in being so protecting of Eren, but they're not portrayed as being so. The Female Titan slaughtering his friends was meant to show that he's better off taking the risk than missing the chance and wishing he had.
Also, if Eren did get to keep fighting the way he wanted to scot-free, the theme that the writer is trying to do would not be highlighted as much. Like most Japanese manga-ka (at least, the ones I am aware of), the writer of Attack on Titan wants to emphasize one thing — hard work is the best way. The author uses the Dude In Distress scenario just to make it easier for us to see just how 'bad' relying on the problem to be solved by others, or the 'easy way' is, when compared to Eren doing the stuff himself and taking the 'hard way' to ultimately succeed.
So, okay, we don't succeed and not use the means by which to actually succeed. How many people died in the scout forces protecting him? If there is no success, then what is the point to keeping him behind? They could have beaten the Female Titan working together.
You're forgetting the mission at hand. Everything that's been going on has been a distraction from the mission that Eren is actually on: getting back to the basement of his house. The reason he keeps ending up in distress and not sent to the front lines to make a full-on assault on Titankind is because he's too important to risk until he gets back to that basement and finds whatever his father wanted him (and pointedly him, not Mikasa) to find, which has always been assumed to be vital information about Titans. Unfortunately, there's a whole bunch of people who think they have better things for him to be doing, so he gets kidnapped all the time.
Then explain the lack of agency. Right now, Eren matters about as much as a Dude In Distress save when he finally decides to fight against his opponents. Others make him passive and without any ability to act on his own. Mikasa does more than he ever could, and Armin actually came into his own during the Battle of Trost with his quick thinking. Levi...it is Levi. But Eren — supposedly the main character — is seen as nothing more than a liability by the corps and the audience.
Liability? Are you serious? Jean expresses doubt that Eren is worth all the lives that get lost in saving him all the time, but Eren is still the closest thing humanity has to a superweapon, right down to the part where enemies afraid of his power want to steal him for themselves. Physically, outside of his Titan body, he's not more capable or experienced than most of the other Scouting Legionnaires. His lack of agency comes from the fact that he's still a soldier and still has to obey orders. Did you forget the part where he sealed up the breach in the Wall with a boulder? Or fought the Female Titan? Or controlled the Titans into attacking the Armored Titan? Or how the only way Reiner and Bertholdt could stop him from losing his shit and killing everyone was to cut off all his limbs? Are you complaining that he's not enough of a main character because he doesn't fuck off on all his responsibility, turn into a Titan, and just kill everything outside the Walls until he dies?
Eren is more a stratigic asset than anything else. The thing is using him correctly. Sending him out solo to fight titans would just waste this asset, as he would eventually become tired, and get overwhelmed and eaten by regular titans. It's been obvious that even with the power of his titan form, Eren needs support from regualer troops to be fully effective. Even if all he does is have enemies try to kidnap him, that is still a valuable resource, as they can anticipate their enemies goals, and move to counter them. Look at it this way. Even if Eren ends up just being an an Agro Sponge tank, that makes it easier for the Rougues live Levi to get their backstabs in.
That's a waste of resources on par with taking one sip of milk from the carton and dumping the rest down a drain. Eren isn't just a tank, he's the closest thing the Scouting Legion has to an answer key to the entire frickin' universe. Wasting him in direct combat (especially now that we know the M Ps are specialized to fight humans, as well as Titans} just so everybody else can get their sneak attack damage Dungeons & Dragons style basically means killing a bunch of normal Titans (which, given their numbers and what we know about them now) is a meaningless victory, won at the cost of the only hope they have for change.
Killing Titans at night
If the Titans are solar-powered and become dormant when cut off from sunlight, why don't the humans go out and kill them at night? Yes, I know visibility would be a problem with 3DMG, but they have torches, and by that light they could get clean shots on the necks of slow moving Titans with their firearms.
This is pretty much explained in-story. Torches just mean that the Titans can see them long before they see the Titans.
You might be overestimating how much light torches and other such light sources actually give off. It's really not a lot. If you really pushed your luck with an enormous and unwieldy chemical light source, you might have enough light to illuminate the whole Titan... but how do you find it in the first place?
You wouldn't need to have a great view of it, just enough to aim at the weak spot. As for finding one, they seem to be everywhere, and, y'know, Titans. And besides, they're dormant at night, it wouldn't be easy to attack, but it's better than going at them when they're active.
Again, it comes down to making yourself far easier to spot without helping your own visibility by much. The downsides of fighting Titans in the dark outweigh the benefits.
You're missing the point. It doesn't matter if the Titans see them, they can't move at night. You're walking up to a Titan that's completely unconscious, sluggish at best, and killing it in cold blood. It wouldn't even count as combat, just cleanup duty. My answer would probably be resources/time. Going out on expeditions just to slaughter random Titans at night probably wouldn't accomplish much, I think, and you'd have to make sure you could get back to the Walls by sunrise. Seems like it could've been a lot of help when Maria came down, though.
Finding out that Titans power down at night is one of Hange's more recent breakthroughs. They just plain didn't know that Titans can't move at night before then. Even so, the rates at which they become dormant are different for each, so properly organizing something like that would take more time and resources than the military has had available so far.
Expanding on that, it's been seen that the bigger Titans can still move well after they stop being exposed to sunlight. Smaller Titans would be simple to eliminate, but there's nothing stopping a big one from grabbing you before you're even close enough to see it.
Are there more Titan Shifters inside the Walls? If so, where did they come from? Do they have their own agendas separate from the ones of the main three? Do the Titan Shifters know they're Titan Shifters?
Carrying Kidnapped Victims
When Reiner/the Armored Titan was carrying Eren and Bertolt while being chased by Erwin and the rest, why didn't he just pop them inside him mouth as he did when he initially defeated Eren? Not only would that ensure Eren's incapacitation, it would allow him free use of his limbs. He could have crushed the Titans and the Survey Corps that way, rather than having Eren literally snatched right under his nose.
The insides of their mouths also look pretty fleshy and relatively soft. The Armored Titan's mouth is really more of a beak in a lot of ways. It might be that there wouldn't be enough room and he might accidentally crush them if he did; Bertholdt is pretty tall, after all.
When Annie popped Eren into her mouth, it was noted that she was a lot slower and didn't fight back. Sure, she was tired by that point, but maybe she might've accidentally bit him or swallowed him if she did.
Also, it's demonstrated that humans who aren't killed when the Titan eats them are killed in their stomachs due to the very high body temperature of the creature. Ymir only has Historia in her mouth/stomach for a very short time.
Titans fighting each other
In this comic, it seems like two Titans are fighting each other. As we know from the episode where Eren first transforms, Titans attacking each other is a rare occurence. Why did this happen?
Maybe because we've usually seen Titans in the presence of humans, where the drive to eat them probably overrides anything else they might do. When Titans are bored and alone, they might fight each other all the time.
It may have something to do with the implications that the Beast Titan created those Titans from humans just recently. We see one Titan that has limbs too small to move its body, and it even talks (albeit briefly and simply), something only one non-Shifter has been seen doing (and that in a flashback). It's entirely possible that "fresh" Titans are either more unpredictable, may not form Titan bodies correctly, or remember enough about themselves that hatred of Titans may cause them to attack other Titans, still seeing them as enemies. For added evidence on their unpredictability, we see another Titan disobeying the Beast and getting killed for it, while another waits until it's told it can eat a captive.
When Pastor Nick told Hange about Historia, he said something like "she may not know anything yet, but she can tell you everything she knows", and then "she may even know the truth unknown even to us". Now, it seems she really doesn't know anything. So, which is it, and how is it supposed to help? Or is it that Nick was prepared to tell the secrets of the Wall Cult to Historia because she was a Reiss, and then she would be free to decide if she wanted to share?
The last one.
When the Colossal Titan smashed the gate of Wall Rose, why didn't the humans destroy the wooden bridge that leads over the moats? The way it looks in Episode 5, it was the only way for the (non-aberrant) Titans to reach the city.
The moat wasn't all that deep, especially when the bigger Titans showed up in large numbers. Titans could have climbed up or built a living ramp if they were tenacious enough, which they always are.
Rose Inner Gate
After the Colossal Titan breached the outer gate of Wall Rose, why didn't the Armored Titan appear to do the same with the inner gate?
Because Reiner was either not in the right state of mind to transform, couldn't find a good hiding spot like Berthold, or both.
This was pretty clearly explained. It's because of Eren. The details aren't entirely clear yet, but the Shifter trio's mission was primarily to find the Coordinate, AKA Eren. That's why they stopped their attack halfway through when a mysterious Titan suddenly showed up.
Outside the Walls and back
How was Annie able to get all the way out to Wall Rose and back to attack the Survey Corps without anyone noticing her being gone? She's stationed with the military police and considering the amount of space between the Walls, it would seem to take at least a day to get out and back and I would think someone would notice her missing during that time.
The expedition didn't even last a full day. The Survey Corps left at maybe midday and returned at sunset. It is possible that Annie was simply on her day off, secured a horse and managed to make it back by night. She's a loner, so I doubt anyone payed her absence much mind.
In Wall Sina, Goodbye, it's revealed that she asked Hitch to report her as sick.
Kidnapping becomes escaping
Why did the Female Titan change her mind about kidnapping Eren in the middle of their second fight? I'm talking about when she angrily smashed his head in with her fist while he was down and he looks defeated, which made it look like a good opportunity for her to again tear his Titan head off and grab Eren like before. Instead, she looks at his beaten self, then turns and runs away. It doesn't make sense if it's because she was scared Mikasa or someone else would stop her, when she clearly tried to take him before he transformed.
She didn't think she could keep him. At that point she had to make a choice: run away and potentially save herself while Eren was down, or commit suicide by taking the time to pry Eren out of his body and then run like hell while avoiding Mikasa and the rest of the Legion.
But she still tried to take him earlier even though the threat of Mikasa and other Survey corps members stopping her was still as present. I'm guessing it wasn't so much the people who would try to save Eren so much as it was her suddenly getting scared of him, seeing how persistent he was to fight/kill her, and she was starting to lose her cool by then.
I'm guessing people rarely read the discussion page so I'm gonna ask here instead. It's revealed that the story and ending to SNK has been leaked (except for the fact that the ending itself apparently is changed now) in this video, so is that taken into account anywhere here, such as on the WMG page? (It explains everything about who created the Titans/Titan Shifters, for what cause, what's in the basement etc.) Or is it ignored here until it's actually confirmed in the story?
Doubtful, even if the information was accurate at the time of that video, it isn't now, on top of that, stories evolve over time when they're still on going, look at Naruto and Hitman Reborn as examples.
As far as I've read about that, it doesn't mention the Coordinate, it doesn't mention Ymir, it doesn't mention Monkey Trouble, and it doesn't mention the Reiss family or the government conspiracy, per se. It's pretty safe to say it was never accurate to begin with. On the other hand, the person who leaked it apparently was fired, so it's possible it was an earlier version of the story developed before Isayama started work on the manga, and he was fired because of that.
Fairly minor, but I'm a bit confused about how when the Female Titan shows up, it's mentioned several times that the rest of the Titans appear male. I get that some of them are pretty androgynous and it's not okay to assume you know the sex of someone based on appearances (morally, as well as logically since the Titans have such varied appearances). But this one from the opening ◊ looks just as "female" as the Female Titan, so why do they act like female-looking Titans don't exist?
If I don't recall wrong, then in the flashback of Eren and co. listening to the teacher talking about Titans he says that most Titans have a male appearance, not all of them.
Isayama was once asked about Female Titans in an interview. He answered rather vaguely that they exist, but are rare. Make of that what you will.
Isayama understands that Rule34 exists, and as such is doing what he can to either mess with the audience — Colossal Titan body pillow comes to mind — or avert any sort of sex appeal to the Titans. Annie was purposely made in a way that could not be fantasized about, except for a select few.
It could just be that they only mean "female-bodied" Titans. The Female Titan has breasts and curves; the Titan in the OP (which isn't canon to the manga and wasn't in the anime) has what appears to be a masculine chest.
Knowledge of the Walls
Why do the Wall Cult and the Reiss family know so much about the Walls? The walls were never built by them in the first place, so surely they shouldn't know any more about them than the average person?
I'm guessing that's for future revelations to explain.
One of the theories (in-universe) is that there are a few Titan-Shifters among the Reiss family, so they'd have a better position to understand everything.
Assuming this is our world, where in the world could this series take place? The radius of Wall Maria is 480 Km according to the wiki, which would make the total area inside the Walls around 724,000 Km2 (for comparison, the area of France is 640,679 Km2 the U.S. State of Texas is 696,241 Km2,and Germany is 357,168 Km2). Most of the names are of Germanic origin, but the area inside the Walls are is much larger than Germany.
Well, this could be a plot point, so it's just speculation. As you said, we have to assume that this is in our world, and that's a big assumption right there. The theory I hear kicked around most often is that it's somewhere in Russia, but I've heard people speculate that the people aren't native to the area; there's an implication that the humans had to cross an ocean to get to where they are now, meaning they could be ethnic Germans (and scant other Europeans) who sailed to the Americas. Of course, the European castles that apparently pre-date the Wall seems to imply Europe. However, there are ways to explain that away. In the end, the only thing we can do is keep reading. And again, all this is making the assumption that it takes place on Earth. And also, that the Writer did his math properly.
Also, we have this useful little tool that you can play around with. It's a map of the world with the apparent dimensions of the Walls overlayed on it. http://davidmear.com/snk/map/
Another question that could be asked about the Walled City is why it's having so many problems with overpopulation, especially if the map above is taken into account. Unless the land that the Walls surround and encase is very infertile, then supporting a little over one million people and a small amount of livestock should not be difficult, let alone require the forced deaths of 250,000 people to prevent famine. The Walled City is roughly the same size as France or Texas, both of which have much, much larger populations, but could very easily sustain an overall population of one million if it was necessary. And if it's truly in Europe like it's implied, then the Walled City is likely located in an area that's known for relatively medium to high crop yields. They would probably even have an abundance of resources to spare, so long as they don't squander them like a bunch of pre-French Revolution fools. Which, of course, makes one wonder if the nobles inside of Wall Sina are purposely keeping the population down for their own purposes...
Land mass isn't a good indicator of crop yield. If it was there would be no famine. We need to consider 1) Agricultural technology, 2) food stores, and 3) amount of land that could be opened up for cultivation under short notice. For 1)in Modern times crop seed:harvest ratio is 1:30 minimum. In Medieval times, a year with 1:7 is considered incredibly good, 1:3 or 1:4 is normal, and 1:3 is minimum necessary to break even (1 for seed 2 for food). 2) All food stores between Maria and Rose are lost. It's stated the people within Rose hasn't been as careful rationing. 3) How much land could be cleared for farming and how long would it take to do so. Land mass isn't the issue here.
The population of Agricultural society has always kept pace with food availability. So as explained above it's very realistic to assume there is just slightly more food than the minimum needed to support the existing population. We don't know the population or cultivated land distribution, but it's stated the fall of Maria resulted in 20% loss in population and 30% loss in land. Now if both are even, then the refuges from Maria would have been 30% of humanity. I highly doubt any government in history has ever had food stores to deal with that kind of population pressure. So suddenly 70% of cultivated land have to support 100% of humanity. If Maria fell in summer (not unreasonable given what's shown in first episode), it would be too late to try to open up new land for that year's harvest. So, it's not unreasonable to think that the food stores within Rose and the harvest of year 845 would not be enough to sustain the entire population until the harvest of 846. The further from 846, the better it would be as more land comes under cultivation. But they have to get through 846 in one piece first. There is no way there wouldn't have been extreme social upheavals had the 20% of the population not been driven out.
The ancient Egyptians were known for storing immense amounts of grains during years of plenty in order to weather through years of scarcity. It wasn't unusual for them to be able to provide for very high percentages of the population during times of poor weather or crop failure, perhaps dating all the way back to 5000 B.C. Similar methods were also used in Ancient China, Persia, and Turkey. Of course, despite being much older than this particular storyline, these cultures were well-aware of potential famine, didn't take times of plenty for granted, and actively employed any agricultural or storage methods that could possibly see them through times of scarcity. When they didn't remain vigilant, dynastic upheaval and war tended to erupt in their lands. It's very possible that the Walled City, even without Wall Maria, would be quite capable of providing for the entire population in that lost year, but they simply grew lazy, careless, and ignorant of the Titan threat (as evidenced in the first chapters when Eren outright compares society's complacency to livestock), which then led to them not storing or harvesting extra food in case of a catastrophic attack. Many people within Wall Sina are also shown to be living in extreme luxury, so it's likely that a large chunk of past harvests or food stores have been squandered there as well. Just because they can produce enough food doesn't mean that they are producing it. So, 200,000+ people probably died because of the agricultural carelessness of the Walled City's government and interior farmers.
A few things come to mind here, first is that they do not appear to have refrigeration which goes a long way towards food preservation. It's not that they shouldn't have massive grain stores from the good years but that may be the limit of their ability to store food long term. As for ignorant to the Titan threat there wasn't one. According to the story they've had a century of peace. The only people who've seen Titans up close are the scouts who volunteer to leave the walls, after them you just have soldiers who've patrolled the wall and seen Titans clamoring to get into the city. It's probable that no living person has had a Titan attack their home as of the start of the story. So they have good reason to be fairly complacent. We also have no idea how fertile the soil is where they live.
They actually have special yeast to help with food preservation. But in any case preserving food for two or three years even with modern techniques is hard (unless non-perishable foods). Keep in mind the grain storage of ancient (and modern) cultures were never designed to support a full 1/5th of the population for an entire year because even in the worst of harvests that simply doesn't happen because bad harvests are usually local events. And usually they are bad harvest. Not entire crop failures. Especially not entire crop failures in 1/3 of the nation. (Ancient Egypt is a bit special as everything depended on the Nile). The worst famines were when climate change (little ice age, volcanic irruption, etc) caused an entire nation to suffer bad harvest and entire regions of harvest to fail. It'll be like if the population of every state in the American South minus Texas are suddenly without food. I have no doubt the USA would have to resort to foreign aid if this happens. Not to mention it's not unlikely that considerable amount of food stores were stored within the lands lost between Maria and Rose, and those stores would have been the most full judging from Armin's statements. So not only did they loose considerable farm land, they also lost considerable stores of food they were saving for bad harvests.
To the Basement
So, what's stopping Eren and co. from going to that basement? Couldn't Eren transform into a Titan and travel there himself that way? Perhaps the threat of being attacked by Titans was a good reason not to before, but now that it turns out he can control them, it would seem like the perfect opportunity, at least for them to discuss it.
Eren cannot sustain his Titan form for more than a few hours, and he currently does not know how to properly control Titans yet. Also, Eren has no way of plugging the hole without the Survey Corps' assistance, and that's assuming there's even a boulder they can find to plug the Wall with. The Survey Corps is currently very low on manpower and funding due to their repeated failures. That's why they must do the coup first; it's the only way to steal all the power within the Walls so that they may pour all their resources into reclaiming Maria.
How did Bertold Hoover manage to covertly transform at the Battle of Trost? We see that the gate was closed when he appeared, so it's unlikely he came through there. The only other way to get to the other side would be using his 3D Gear, but that would have to attract a lot of attention, especially since we know that there were people stationed at the gate and they all survived. How did Eren's team not notice him when he went over the Wall? For that matter, how did he get back inside without any of them noticing? Eren had his eyes on the outside of the gate when the colossus disappeared, while the rest of his team was looking from the other side, and guardsmen appear to guard the gate immediately afterwards.
Probably a Hand Wave. However, what probably happened is that Bert, who as a part of the 104th also had to clean the Wall, snuck off on his own and, by some miracle, managed to make his way over to the gate without being seen the exact moment Eren started inner monologuing.
Nature of the trap
The nature of the trap for the Female Titan confuses me. Before the expedition, they only knew of two hostile Titan Shifters: The Colossus Titan and the Armored Titan. No other hostile Shifter had ever been seen. So, does it bug anyone else that the Titan Shifter trap they prepared would have been useless on either of the known Shifters? The Colossus would simply be too big. The spikes, as they were aimed, would have only hit his legs, leaving his arms free to take swipes and free himself. And the Armored Titan is capable of shrugging off cannon blasts and bursting through Walls with precisely no damage, so any plan which includes breaking his skin seems like a doomed proposition.
Erwin is just THAT good! But seriously, I think Erwin just looked at what resources they had, which was very little, and decided hell, let's wing it and hope that it's a normal Titan like Eren, and got very lucky.
How did the trap work?
For that matter, how did the trap work on the Female Titan? How are a handful of wooden cannons sturdy enough to keep her from any movement, despite the Female Titan previously showing enough strength to break one of the giant trees with ease?
The basic idea is More Dakka. They used so much that it somehow worked. In Episode 25, it actually DID fail because they didn't have enough cannons.
The hooks are going through her muscles preventing them from contracting or relaxing so she can't move period.
It's also stated that when she heals it pulls the hooks in deeper, causing even more damage if she tries to move, yes in episode 25 it was because they didn't have enough of the wooden cannons, but they clearly had her top half constrained, it was that her legs were free to kick the wooden cannons apart, so she could move her arms and get away
Lack of lightning
In the first episode, why isn't the Armored Titan's appearance preceded by a lightning strike like every other shift we've seen? The Colossal Titan was heralded by the lightning in the previous episode, so was it just Early Installment Weirdness, or was there a special reason for it? Something else maybe?
Hand Wave. Most definitely a Hand Wave. Plus, I think if there was a second lightning bolt, that would be too big of a clue for the big Titan Shifter secret.
He simply hid and transform some where the light and explosion wouldn't be noticed.
We didn't see him appear. He didn't show up until he walked into the area. So presumably, he transformed earlier on, then walked to his attack position.
The transformation lightning is very difficult not to notice. It is possible that Reiner transformed simultaneously with Bertolt, so only one transformation was heard.
Faces of Titans
If the Titans that attacked Wall Rose were from Connie Springer's village... Why didn't Connie recognize any of their faces during the attack?
Eren and Ymir show that Titans can have different faces than the humans they come from, and that's on top of the fact that Connie probably would write off any similarities as coincidence. The idea that Titans were transformed humans hadn't even crossed his mind at that point.
Connie didn't encounter any Titans before reaching Rakago village, where of course he kinda sorta DID recognize the House Titan. That night at Castle Utgard well it was dark and he was by his own dialogue trying to go into denial. Hell maybe he did just hey combat going on and no way that Titan could be Mr Schmitz from next door, right... right?!
Whoa, whoa, whoa... The leader of the Military Police's Central 1st Brigade — the guy who killed Historia's mother and just kidnapped her and Eren — is Captain Ackerman. Eren's adopted sister/wannabe girlfriend's name is Mikasa Ackerman. Coincidence? ... or could he be a paternal relative?
Does anyone know how heavy the Titans are? They're described as being impossibly light, and Hange managed to punt a severed head easily. But if they're that light, a cannon blast should send them flying, and a strong enough human could lift them.
I can't say exactly how much heavier they are, but they are still heavy enough to crush horses underfoot and their bodies are made solid enough that they can smash through stone walls and bridges. They don't really leave craters in the ground when they walk, which they probably should, so they must not be heavy enough to crush pavement. I'd have to guess that they're light for their size, but not light enough to easily lift, per se.
Nape and Humans
I've only seen the anime and I might have missed something but when experimenting on the Titans, did it ever occur to anyone to try and find a human around the neck area considering that's how they found Eren?
They try that later in the manga. They can't find them because the humans are fully absorbed into the Titan body.
This is more of a question about the author than the series itself: why does Isayama hate fanservice? I mean, he seems to go out of his way to avert it or turn it into Fan Disservice.
Not so much "hate" as just trying not to detract from the story. Fanservice would be a distraction from the serious plot.
Because if you're reading a mystery/war story about conspiracies, life-or-death battles against humanoid abominations, and the deconstruction of Black and White Morality and all you care about is whether or not you get to see tits and ass, you deserve to be disappointed.
Considering Mikasa's rock hard abs, I think he has a different idea of fanservice.
Faking way into military
How did Ymir manage to join the 104th? From dialogue surrounding Annie, Bertolt, and Reiner, I get the impression that someone would need some form of identification to actually join the military. Presumably, the Shifter trio either collaborated to falsify some form of ID, or (as is kind of implied by Ymir) have someone else inside the Walls that could do it for them. Ymir wouldn't have either of those things — how would she be able to pull it off? Am I just overthinking this?
Would a 12-year-old really need an I.D to live within the Walls? Heck, they all escaped from Wall Maria as far as the military was concerned; they'd most likely think that they lost their I.D's or simply never had them at that age. They could easily get a new I.D through the military.
It isn't so much "living within the Walls" that caught me, just the military part of it. That works for me, though, thanks.
The series opens in year 845... But 845 years *from when*? It's obviously not 845 CE, nor is it 845 years from when Titans appeared or when the city was founded.
They clearly have their own calendar that's different than ours, since it takes place in the future, so it's been 845 years since the start of the new calendar and there may or may not have been a specific event that prompted them to change calendars.
A good theory for MWG is that it's from the devastating war that knocked humanity back into the dark ages. Considering the tech shown is roughly 1845 CE, maybe the war knocked humanity to the tech level of 1000 CE and then everything redeveloped at the same pace?
Becoming a Shifter
Eren gets eaten and turns into a Titan Shifter, Ymir eats a Titan Shifter and she turns into a Titan Shifter? Is Eren just the oddity in this case maybe because of whatever his dad was giving him?
Eren was always a Shifter, it just took a life threatening situation to bring it out. The implication is that whatever Grisha injected Eren with is what gave him his Shifting ability. So, in a sense, yeah, Eren is an unusual case compared to Ymir.
It's noted in chapter 62 and clarified in chapter 63 that Grisha Yeager was a Titan shifter, specifically one who developed or procured a formula to cause Titanization. He administered this to Eren, and then allowed himself to be eaten, which granted Eren both his shifting ability, and the coordinate ability.
Not becoming a Shifter
If eating a Shifter gives a Titan their abilities, why didn't the Titan who ate Eren do so?
Because he didn't die, I suppose. He broke out before his powers were absorbed.
How exactly was Eren able to reach Armin to save him from the bearded titan in Episode 5? With one leg, no less. Also, he was a good 20 feet away from the Titan, lying on the ground. Considering how much pain a recently torn off leg would produce, I would doubt he'd have enough stamina to walk, let alone jump to the Titan, which already had Armin inches away from the esophagus. I don't know, kind of seems like a cheap Deus ex Machina to me.
Using his 3D gear + adrenaline rush + Rule of Cool all together I guess.
Or just being a Titan Shifter.
Doctor Jaeger's living situation
Why is a doctor who saved a lot of people from a plague living in the outer ring? One would think that curing a plague would give Eren's dad some prestige and a spot further in the city.
It's worth noting that the neighborhood they live in isn't poor and hopeless; modest, but not too terrible. It's possible he just liked living there.
Considering he had some kind of creepy secret in his basement and married a woman who looks alarmingly like royalty, he might be living there because he's hiding from the authorities.
Then there's the fact he's a shifter...
1000 years in the future
If it's 1000 years in the future, why didn't the governments just nuke the Titans into molten slag? I don't care how good your healing factor is, a nuclear bomb to the face will end you.
That's just a fan theory, and even if they could we don't know if the government is intentionally keeping the Titans around or not.
This seems simple enough. First and foremost, nukes are a lot less powerful than your giving them credit for. Google up Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there were survivors. Scores of them and they were ordinary humans. A Titan that wasn't at ground zero or was behind cover might very well survive a nuke and then regenerate. Second, Titans seem to be relatively difficult to herd in most cases, the problem there being where would you nuke? If you blanket the planet you'd take us out too. Third, it's heavily implied the Beast Titan can simply make humans into Titans at will and nobody knew about him until recently. If you miss him you receive nothing. He'll find some more humans and turn them. In that way, the Titans have all the worst factors of a kaiju (size and strength) and a zombie plague (if you didn't kill them all you didn't solve the problem.) Even knowing what we know though, it's possible they did try that and that's why humanity is trapped inside the Walls.
How do they get their zip-lines back for the 3D gear? If it's a hook that pierces stone and smaller hooks pop out to remain hooked into said stone to make a sharp turn, which would wrap around the building, how would they get the zip line back? The angle would be too much when they try to retract it back wouldn't it? Or if they try to break it down, wouldn't it just pull them back to where the zip-line was?
Maybe the barbs can retract when the lines need to be released from a wall.
Cities around the walls
Maybe I missing something, but when I'm looking at the map and it seems that the cities are built in little bubbles around the main walls. So why was losing one city fatal to the entire wall at that tier? It seems there should be three more cities on Wall Maria that are at the worst cut off from receiving food from the interior, but otherwise still secure.
Those cities are a tiny fraction of the outer region (more people live in rural settlements in the large areas in between the Walls), and they'd quickly starve because they don't have any farmland.
Titans show so little interest in animals and are easily lured by large masses of humans. In fact, that's the rationale of the cities. Patrolling the entire Wall to keep it clear of Titans was impossible, so the cities were put together to keep the Titans concentrated in fewer places, and many animals like cows can be trained to return home. They likely wouldn't bother any crops, either. They probably wouldn't be able to maintain their current populations but in addition to that, they should be able to destroy some buildings and plant crops inside the cities.
The case of Shiganshina being lost meaning all of Wall Maria was doomed was only because of The Armored Titan busting the gate between the rest of the land and the town itself, thus granting the other titans free access to all of Wall Maria. Had the gate been left alone and sealed, then only Eren's hometown would have been lost.
Setting the trap
The Scouts routinely lose 30-50% of their number every time they venture outside the Walls. When and how did the the scouts set up the trap for the Female Type Titan? Even with 3DMG getting those cannons into place would take time, probably an hour or more. The front of the formation was at most a few miles ahead of Eren and on horse back a few miles a head equates to at maximum a half hour. (An in shape human can run 3 miles in under 20 minutes. A horse can do it considerably faster.) So, it stretches belief that the people in the front of the formation had enough time to set up ahead of Eren.
Don't think of them as cannons. They don't seem to operate as standard artillery batteries. Rather, think of them as Katyusha rocket launchers. All they need to do is have the launchers pre-loaded, something that can be done before the expedition. Then when they see a good spot, they'll just park the launchers in the right direction and fire. Or wait and fire in this case. Most of the time setting up rocket batteries is calibrating the range to fire at targets miles away. Not needed when you're firing point blank. It's not at all surprising the command squad and other support squads could set it up in maybe 15 minutes.
Hannes with the scout insignia
Hannes is a member of the Garrison, right? So how come in episode 4 he has the Wings of Freedom on his jacket instead of the insignia of the Garrison?
Could have just been an animation oversight.
Shifting while healing
Maybe it will be explained later in the manga, but how could Eren do his first Titan Shift after losing an arm and a leg when it's later explained that they could not transform while healing?
While it wasn't explained out right, the thing that would make the most sense was that Eren hadn't activated his shifter abilities yet, and thus wasn't healing until he had already transformed into a titan.
It's also likely that they had just expended too much energy in their Titan forms, and wouldn't have been able to transform even if their physical bodies were fine. The Armored and Colossal Titans both mention that while they're in better shape than the other two, it's not by much, which is why they're resting as well. There's a sequence later where they're testing the limits of his Titan form; he transforms three times, keeping the form active as long as he can every time. The second and third forms are significantly weaker and stupider than the first one, and at the end he almost fully fuses to the Titan body, to the point that his face rips off when they pull him out.
So the human beings had several decades to prepare themselves for another titan attack. Then why didn't they spend that time to put as much research as possible in defense mechanisms, like manufacturing more mobile cannons that can recharge faster, or ways to fix a big hole in the wall quickly? Why didn't they build massive underground tunnels to hide when the titans attack? They simply put up those walls and then go about their business as usual. That's ... pretty shortsighted, considering.
The government has been assassinating people developing technologies they deem dangerous, such as revolvers and hot air balloons. And they have some dark secret related to the walls and the Titans, as well.
It's also your basic EvilVsOblivion situation. So long as the governement suppressess technology that could permenantly defeat the Titans, then humanity has to remain united behind them to survive.
Ilse and the Aberrant
In the side story about Ilse Langner, why does the Aberrant react that way towards her?
Because she looks like Ymir, with the same black hair and freckles.
And when it finally does kill her?
It's because she's gotten frustrated with it and lashed out at it. Ymir is usually very calm and snarky. That's how it realized that Ilse wasn't Ymir.
It is implied that the Ape Titan and Titan Shifters possess an ability to control the behaviour of regular Titans. It is also implied that Ymir "stole" this ability, and may have used it to exert her will upon lesser Titans. The Talking Titan may have initially mistaken Ilse for Ymir, but eventually realised it was not her either due to the difference in their demeanours or the fact that she could not use Ymir's ability, and perhaps even both of these reasons. It is interesting to note that the Titan appeared to be restraining itself from eating Ilse, but since she could not control it as Ymir herself may have been able to, it soon succumbed to instinct and devoured her.
Petra is too young for marriage?
Given the life expectancy of Scouts why did Petra's father think she was too young for marriage?
The scouts don't appear to marry any earlier than anyone else. For everyone except the scouts, life expectancy is actually pretty good, and Petra's age (mid-twenties at the latest) is a bit early for that. True, from one perspective marrying off the scouts early would be a good idea, in the same way that no one raises a fuss when a soldier fresh out of high school gets married before going off to war. But the Walls already have an overpopulation problem, and the scouts were always slated for death anyway, it's just the secret police didn't see the need to bother killing them, since they knew the titans would do the job for them. Encouraging them to get married and have kids would cause their dangerous ideas and ideals to spread.
What overpopulation problem?
Given how vast the interior of the walls is, how is there an overpopulation problem? Is the soil so poor that they can't grow much food even on such vast tracts of land?
I'm guessing it's more of an infrastructure problem than a strict overpopulation problem. In time, they could establish the farms and such necessary to provide for the entire population within just the inner two walls, or maybe even the inner-most wall. However, at the beginning of the series, that does not exist. The sources of food are spread out over the entirety of the terrain between the three walls. Which means that when a wall is lost, humanity has suddenly lost a large amount of its food sources and supplies, without an equally large population loss. Since establishing new sources and supplies of food takes time, they are unable to provide for the population despite the land providing the theoretical means to do so.
Titans are specifically stated to be very light. Light enough that punting their heads is apparently surprisingly easy. Granted Eren is really the only one we see consistently doing it but Titans are apparently quite capable of hitting a lot harder than their bodies can actually hold up against. Given how they seem to form from and dissolve back into steam it's possibly they are actually primarily air instead of water like humans are. However they are just as likely, not counting the Armor Titan or Annie who both have excuses for why they can do it , do do things that creatures who are light enough to punt just shouldn't have the necessary mass to accomplish. How hard you hit isn't entirely dependent on how fast you're going, some of it a lot of it, comes from your mass and density.