These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Attack on Titan
This page is full of unmarked SPOILERS, being a long running story with a lot of mystery and conspiracy elements.
Adaptation Induced Plot Hole: Episode 25 shows Levi, getting Eren out of his Titan form in his 3D Maneuver Gear after defeating Annie, despite that he had an injured leg back in episode 22, which was emphasized several times. In the manga, he wasn't able to participate in capturing Annie because of his injury.
Better on DVD: One of the most recurrent complains about the anime is its supposedly slow pacing. However, this complain is way more common among those who watched the show in simulcast (and thus had to wait a whole week for each new episode) than among those who watched the whole thing in a few days.
Although in general the anime is well received, some of the character designs are causing this. Especially the fact that some of the female characters' lips are visible looking like lipstick. Mikasa is getting the brunt of this. Some are saying it ruins her character, others do not care and some like it.
Also Mikasa's abs◊. Some fans think it makes her hot, some find it to be a pleasantly refreshing body type for a female character, others don't really care while yet another handful of fans wish they've never seen it (which brings up all sorts of Double Standard issues with regards to the fan base).
There is a bit of Broken Base regarding the spelling of many characters. Whether people should accept the official spellings like Levi for example, or fan spellings like Rivaille.
The art style of the manga. Isayama seems to prefer shading and making shadows with crosshatching instead of the traditional solid inking methods. Some like this, feeling that it's a good match for the dark and gritty story, others don't care, and some think that it's a negative point. The anime represents this with bold outlines for most characters and objects, which most people don't seem to object to at all.
Some readers of the manga feel disappointed by the direction the story has taken after the Battle of Trost, having expected a survival story focusing on the humans fighting the Titans rather than on the Titans themselves. They often tend to claim that the series lost its potential with the path it has taken, and that the twists the manga provides concerning the Titans are cheap. Other like how the story has progressed, noting that the manga has answered some questions while providing others.
Dot Pixis' character stirred an outrage among the Korean fanbase especially when Isayama admitted that he was based off of Akiyama Yoshifuru, a general of the Imperial Japanese Army who has been involved with the deaths of hundreds of Chinese and Koreans. This has been linked to Isayama receiving death threats on his blog and an overall decline of interest in the series in Korea (i.e. the makers of this parody of the characters dancing to Shinhwa's "This Love" are considering dropping the project before finishing the final version because they disagreed with Isayama glorifying Akiyama).
The Titan Shifters. Some people lost all respect and sympathy for Bertolt, Reiner, and Annie upon discovering what they were responsible for and willing to do. Still, they remain very popular characters in different areas of the fandom.
The 25th episode's differences from the corresponding manga chapters, including Eren entering a sort of Super Mode while fighting Annie, Armin being replaced with Mikasa in some scenes, changing how Annie was finally defeated and her crystallization scene, and the "Titans in the wall"reveal being delayed until the episode's end (meaning none of the characters saw it). Some fans claim the show is Ruined Forever due to the changes in themes and character dynamics, some dislike the changes, but don't see them as a big deal, and some think the changes improve the plot.
Cargo Ship: Levi X Cleaning is a popular ship, and can get fairly insane, as evidenced here.
Crazy Awesome: Eren came across as this when he first appeared in his Titan form brutally murdering enemy Titans with a single punch, particularly when he punched a Titan so hard in the head that it flew straight off and crashed into a building on the other side of town.. The anime's last two episodes had two other scenes where he reaches this status including forcing his Titan transformation in a fit of rage despite suffering mortal wounds and later trying to eat the Female Titan.
Draco in Leather Pants: Rare female example with Annie. It's complicated since it's still too early in the story to judge whether they're actually villainous, and the other Titan Shifters also have this to some degree, but her rabid fans are already trying to paint her as a poor and hapless victim just trying to defend herself against unwarranted attacks even though she's been shown to have a sadistic streak not seen in the others. Ron the Death Eater also applies to them, to an extent.
Sasha for her potato scene, her comical expressions, her obsession with food, her dialogue, and her bizarre fighting style.
Bertolt, especially on certain imagebords, where he is hailed as a moeMemeticWoobie due to his awkward facial expressions and his nervous sweating. Character Polls suggest that the revelation of his Secret Identity has only increased his popularity with fans. This leaves many anime-only fans understandably confused.
Rico's expanded role in the anime has earned her a fairly respectable number of fans, especially after she sliced a titan's eye open.
Mina is surprisingly well-liked, despite being little more than a Red Shirt.
Hange has gotten a lot of popularity among western fans on the internet.
Eren's squadmate from Episode 5, Mylius Zeramusky is gaining quite the fanbase on tumblr as "Background-Chan" despite only having a few minutes of screentime.
Marlo and Hitch, Annie's squadmates in the Military Police Brigade, have a growing fanbase that refers to them as the "Unicops".
Levi's Special Ops Squad have all gained a lot of popularity and respect, particularly after they died.
Epileptic Trees: Due to the mysterious nature of the Titans and the Titan Shifters there's no surprise that there are countless speculations.
The strange dreams Eren has at the very beginning of the story are also subject to this.
Annie and Mina are assumed to have been friends, since they were shown to have sat together for their meals and Annie is shown to be apologizing in horror when she sees Mina's dead body after the Battle of Trost.
Bertolt is often portrayed as a bookworm in fanart, likely because he's introduced in the Training Flashbacks reading a book.
Many fans like to think that the harnesses for the 3D Maneuver Gear leave distinct, rope burn-like bruising on those who use it, as often displayed in fan art.
Heck, the WMG section has an entire list dedicated to the things we're pretty sure about but have yet to be given clear confirmation of.
Many fans assume Levi/Rivaille is of French descent due to the "Rivaille" spelling of his name; however, Word of God says that the "Rivaille" spelling is a translation error and the correct spelling is "Levi".
It is popularly assumed among some parts of the Western fandom that various characters like Ymir, Bertolt, and Eren are of African, Indian, Arab, or other nonwhite descent due to having slightly darker complexions than some of the other characters, and the presence of non-European first names within the walls. Since the manga gives them the same pale complexion as all the other characters, these interpretations only apply to the anime adaptation.
Fan Nickname: Sasha became "Potato Girl" for obvious reasons.
Fridge Horror/Fridge Brilliance: Why does the Colossal Titan only kick in the door if he has full mobility and can likely take down all 20-something stories of that corner of the wall? Simple. There really are colossal titans lining the entirety of the inside of every wall as supposed. There was probably another titan in the way he did not want to wake, just like the cult did not want to wake the walled in titan in chapter 34.
Fridge Logic kicks in (pun intended) though when it comes to a simpler explanation: It's all the Colossal Titan can really do, given it's painfully slow mobility. It's job is to open the door for other Titans, then escape; appearing and delivering a point blank kick to the weakest point is by far the easiest choice. Trying to demolish the entire wall would take so much time it would leave itself open to attack.
Ditto for the fandom's friendship with the fan base of Pacific Rim.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: A surprisingly large percentage of fanfic (somewhere between 30-40% on fanfiction.net at least) for the show is written in Spanish and Indonesian.
Jean only ranks 9th on the official Japanese popularity polls. English viewers might be surprised at that, since he's easily one of the most popular characters in the West.
Growing the Beard: The Female Titan arc and the lead up to it, where focus diverts from the main trio and becomes more of an ensemble story is considered a vast improvement by some.
Harsher in Hindsight: Everything good involving Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie once you find out that they're human titans bent on wiping out humanity.
The Running Gag of Sasha stealing food, with the revelation that she once survived a major food shortage. The refugees from Wall Maria swarmed the area, and ended up leaving very little prey for the hunting-dependent village. Everyone in her village suffered, as a direct result and as happens sometimes in real life, she became obsessed with food.
Also, the Keflings games on Xbox and other consoles.note Basically taking the idea of Eren-Titan plugging the hole in the wall Up to Eleven by having a clothed Titan help the 'humans' (Keflings) build their town by carrying and placing buildings!
Jean and Armin has become a pretty popular ship, likely due to both being the most grounded members of the cast.
Hype Backlash: This is starting to happen with the anime, with some watchers denouncing the show for its slow pacing (arguably an attempt at averting Overtook the Manga) and the direction it has taken. In general, they complain about the shounen tropes the show includes and claim they ruin it and its Darker and Edgier atmosphere, having expected something more unique.
This has also happened with the manga. Some readers feel disappointed with the direction the story has taken, along with some revelations the manga has provided.
I Knew It: Many fans suspected the female titan to be Annie long before the revelation came due to the way it resembled her.
Many people also predicted Titans being transformed humans.
Jerkass Woobie: Reiner, Bertolt, Annie, and Ymir have this is SPADES. There's no denying their crimes, but at the same time their portrayal as Tragic Villains fills a lot of fans with the desire to hug them.
Reiner is a genuinely caring guy, and was so crushed with guilt that the only way he could cope was to repress his real memories.
Bertolt admits that the only time he was happy was during the three years spent with the 104th, and recognizes that there's no way his friends will ever forgive him for what he's done. That he's more frightened of failing his mission than being killed by the others has some scary implications about those he's working for.
Ymir is a huge Jerkass towards others, and confesses she only got close to Krista in order to use her as a bargaining chip to save her own skin. Even so, she ended up falling in love with Krista and is genuinely terrified of being killed should the people she stole her powers from catch her.
Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Eren has more popular ships than any other member of the cast, as is common for main characters. Among the more popular ones are Eren/Mikasa, Eren/Levi, Eren/Annie, and Eren/Armin.
Levi, Levi, Levi, a million times Levi: Levi/Eren, Levi/Hange, Levi/Erwin, Levi/Petra, Levi/Mikasa, Levi/Cleaning, etc.
Armin, not as much as the former two, but has a few, Armin/Eren, Armin/Jean, Armin/Mikasa, Armin/Marco and Armin/Annie.
Les Yay: Ymir and Krista, who have many moments throughout the series. Word of Gay confirms that Ymir's feelings, at least, are romantic in nature. It gets the Portmanteau Couple Name YumiKuri (yumiru x kurisuta).
Mikasa and Annie, sometimes with a dash of Foe Yay due to their rivalry.
Mikasa and Sasha, thanks to that scene where Mikasa shoves bread into Sasha's mouth.
May be an Ascended Fanon, at least in the Chimi-chara specials, as in the most recent ones Jean gets the short straw in pretty much the entire episode (from being ignored by Mikasa, to being the only one without a group to work with and failing to show off in front of the aformentioned girl).
For some reason involving symbolism and a lack of effort to take it seriously, the walnut from the second ending.
The series begins with one, as Wall Maria is broken and 160,000 end up dying as a result. Subverted, as it turns out Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie are not only guilty about doing it, but deeply traumatized as a result of their crimes. Bertolt acknowledges that their crimes are too horrible to ever be forgiven, and that there's no way they can apologize or hope for redemption. It instead serves to further enforce the cruelty of the series, where children are the ones crossing the Horizon and only afterwards come to understand the consequences and learn to care.
The human traffickers from Mikasa's backstory started out by casually murdering a husband, with the intention of selling mother and daughter into sexual slavery. When the mother fights back, she's killed as well. The men lament that the 9-year old daughter won't be worth as much as her mother, due to her Mixed Ancestry. No one feels sorry when Eren and Mikasa kill them in self-defense.
The Beast Titan is pretty much a walking one, including having a ranking for Cruelty in the Official guidebook. It starts out by transforming the villagers of Ragako into a Titan horde, in order to "test" humanity and proceeds to commit acts of cruelty for no apparent reason other than because it can.
Most Wonderful Sound: The sounds Levi makes when he's taking on the Female Titan. It's just so glorious to hear his battle cries as he manages to nearly defeat the Female Titan on his own, considering many have fallen against it. Including Levi's own comrades, so his grunts were also a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
For that matter, there's also the bellowing roar of challenge/rage/announcing his presence that comes out whenever Eren shifts into his Titan form and/or does awesome things. His roars are described as humanity's anger, after all.
Narm Charm: ...until you see their Slasher Smile. What follows is a gruesome image of the human body getting torn to shreds by the teeth. By then, Narm fizzles out as it gives way to good-old Primal Fear. The horror sinks in that much deeper when you have your guard down. Like actual nightmares.
There's the scene that spawned the "Titan-san is late for school" meme. Civilians are trying to evacuate, when suddenly a Titan appears and runs towards them. That would be suspenseful... If the Titan wasn't running in a hilariously awkward way. You can see it here. The poor schmuck getting kicked out can be the icing on the cake if you're into this kind of humor.
Eren's titan fight with Titan!Reiner offers some rather funny positions as well.
Never Live It Down: Sasha and the potato incident, which is lampshaded in-universe by her and Jean in chapter 51.
Eren losing a leg getting eaten before managing a single Titan kill. Despite the fact that he gets better and goes on to kill plenty of Titans in his Titan form (he manages his first kill as a human at Castle Utgard) there's a cruel meme about his inability to kill titans despite his obsession with doing so going around.
The state of Marco's corpse after his death, which has left to a myriad of "half the man he used to be" jokes and the like.
Off Model: Some panels in the first 12 or so chapters of the manga... vary in artistic quality. Art Evolution definitely kicks in, but it can be a bit jarring for those who jump from the anime to the beginning of the manga.
This happens a lot in the anime as well, and certain key images have been noted to be recycled. As seen◊ here.◊
As of Chapter 51 there is a strong possibility that most Titans were once human beings. This means anyone is capable of turning into a Titan against their will, with no chance of ever turning back.
Ron the Death Eater: While they usually get more Draco in Leather Pants treatment, there are still people who like to portray Annie, Reiner, and Bertolt as worse than they are. Their Tragic Villain status is undeniable, but there are still some who don't think they have any redeemable traits and fully support Eren's vow to kill them as excruciatingly as possible, despite it being clear that things aren't that simple.
The Zhiganshina trio gets this as well, mostly Eren, though Mikasa and Armin get their fair share as well. Some people outright hate Eren for being "cruel" when he flipped out at Reiner and Bertolt for being traitors, somehow forgetting they indirectly killed his mother and several of his comrades. Likewise, Armin got a lot of hate when he bluffed to Bert about Annie being tortured to make him lose his cool, seemingly ignoring that his parents and comrades died because of him. And while the Shifters might be Tragic Villains, they are still enemies of humanity and are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.
Hell, just about every major character can fall victim to this, due to the setting's Grey and Gray Morality and frequently shifting alliances pitting popular characters against each other. For instance it's not uncommon to see fans accusing Erwin, Levi, or Ymir of being Complete Monsters with total Lack of Empathy due to their occasionally ruthless pragmatism and willingness to do things such as lie or engage in Batman Gambits. Yep, definitely crossing the Moral Event Horizon, obviously.
In a far less ambiguous (and ususally more comedic)example, Eren's parents are sometimes considered to be abusive, despite being shown to have been overall decent and supportive individuals, not just to their son, but to Mikasa as well. The most common way this manifests is through depicts of the father as being highly neglectful with the "evidence" being his leaving on a business trip the day the Colossal Titan appeared, despite the fact that he was stated to be a highly renowned doctor whose services were required throughout all of Wall Rose.
Rooting for the Empire: People don't want the Titans to destroy humanity, but it's easy to want Bertolt and Reiner to capture Eren, because their success would finally allow us to see who they're working for and advance the plot.
Ship Tease: There is some in the series and not really the focus, but it does have an effect of the character relations.
Jean's crush on Mikasa is one of several reasons for his hostility towards Eren.
Mikasa is utterly devoted to Eren, and blushes when Ian calls Eren her "boyfriend". Much later, she tearfully thanks him for everything he's done for her and seems to move in for a kiss when they're about to die, but Eren moves away and snaps her out of it.
Mikasa was able to get Eren out of his heroic bsod, and regain his heroic will. Saying that they'll always be together from now on.
Eren is close to Annie, being the only person thus far to manage to get her to genuinely smile. She teaches him to fight, and he is so unwilling to fight her after she's revealed to be the Female Titan that Mikasa accuses him of having feelings for Annie.
Petra is noted to adore Levi, and her father cheerfully talks to Levi about how he's eager to see his daughter get married. That this happens mere hours after Petra's death makes it a Tear Jerker.
Reiner mentally proposes marriage to Krista whenever she's kind to him, and refers to her as being "cute".
Ymir is utterly devoted to Krista, and Krista yells at Ymir for risking her life to protect her, demanding Ymir instead tear down the tower (which would have killed Krista and the others) rather than sacrifice herself. Taken a few words short of them becoming an Official Couple in chapter 50, with Krista declaring that they should live only for themselves and that she will never fear anything as long as they can be together.
Reiner teases Bertolt and suggests he should confess his feelings to Annie when their mission as spies is complete. Later, Armin successfully bluffs that Annie is being tortured in order to get Bertolt to lower his guard.
The Colossal Titan's head and hand creeping over Wall Maria.
Eren's mother being eaten alive.
Eren's return as a Titan and wailing on a Titan that was about to attack Mikasa.
Related to the above, Eren still swearing to erase titans from existence when within one's belly, missing an arm and a leg and with berserker tears running down his face, followed by the titan who ate him exploding and Titan!Eren emerging from its corpse.
Spoiled by the Format/Late Arrival Spoiler: The back of the published manga can cause this in two different ways since it features the top 10 of the of the 104th trainee corps. If you have read the first volume or seen enough episodes you can figure this out easily, and the fact they are in order from 1-10 going left to right helps. Well on the back of volume two Eren, the fifth from the left is transparent, which one would assume is to show he was killed in book 1, but if you look at the later books he goes back to being solid white which means that he gets better in book 2. Then when you get to book 5 Marco, the seventh from the left, is completely gone and continues to be missing from the following volumes which means that he is killed in book 4. However on book 9 this is almost played with since Annie's figure is missing just like Marco's despite how she has been captured and is "asleep" as opposed to being killed off permanently like he was, but it still spoils the fact that something happens to her in book 8 that takes her out of commission. Ignoring the images doesn't help either since there are casual spoilers in the little descriptions on each book such as Eren being a titan shifter and that there are others like him like the female titan.
Squick: In-universe and out when Hange goes into explicit details of the practices of a group of human cannibals in Episode 15. Some soldiers from the Garrison even start to puke.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The reaction some manga fans had to changes in the anime adaptation. In particular, the changes in episode 24 and 25 are a subject of much (sometimes heated) debate among the fans.
Too Cool to Live: Ian, The Special Operations Squad, Mike, Nanaba and Gerger. Basically, if a character is cool they will probably die soon.
Ugly Cute: A few Titans manage to fall under this, in particular the now memetic "Kawaii Titan".
Uncanny Valley: The Titans. Even the ones who have all their skin attached and basically look like large humans... there's just something off about them.
Used to interesting effect with the Titan Shifters. Eren and Ymir are both feral in appearance, with features unusual for Titans that make them more traditional monster and therefore less disturbing. The same goes for Reiner, whose appearance is almost mechanical in nature. This reflects their more heroic natures, with Eren and Ymir on the side of humanity while Reiner is Becoming the Mask. On the opposite end, Annie and Bertolt are essentially skinless humans, which makes them extremely disturbing to look at. This seems to match with their more hostile nature, as both are more devoted to their mission and perfectly fine slaughtering humans.
The Colossal Titan uses a variation: Its body is extremely disproportional in the rare occasion in which we manage to see it in its completeness: its legs are so big and thick they are almost comical, his head is tiny and his arms similarly are slightly longer than those of a human and extremely thin. The whole design makes a lot of sense, really, as something that big could need bigger feet to support its own weight, as well as lighter arms to be able to move them with some speed. This could also be a nod towards Bertolt's extremely weak will, as he is the only Titan Shifter with a form that is genuinely deformed.
Unfortunate Implications: Dot Pixis being portrayed as pretty cool guy despite being based on Akiyama Yoshifuru, a general of the Imperial Japanese Army. If you have a good knowledge of East Asian politics then you'll get the picture.
Viewer Gender Confusion: A frequent problem, because of the art style. Many characters have lean, athletic builds and several female characters have strong features that are more traditionally thought of as masculine. Without obvious clues such as long hair or names, some secondary or minor characters are easily mistaken as men. Primary examples include Hange (much to Isayama's amusement, but slightly clearer in the anime), Ymir prior to becoming a major character, and Nanaba.... who confuses Japanese and foreign viewers alike.
Visual Effects of Awesome: The anime is co-produced by Production I.G, so this is to be expected. Special mention goes to the highly-detailed backgrounds and drop-dead gorgeous maneuver gear scenes.
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: It may be one of the most relentlessly serious, dark, violent, and horrifying shonen manga in recent memory, easily on par with some of the grimmer seinen out there. There's even brief mention of kidnapping and the child sex trade in a flashback sequence.
The Woobie: Almost everybody qualifies. Eren, Mikasa, Armin and Connie all suffer the Orphan's Ordeal and all the other soldiers either suffer a Cruel and Unusual Death, witness their comrades suffering it, or see the half eaten and/or vomited corpses of their friends. Pretty sad stuff.