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YMMV: Attack on Titan
This page is full of unmarked SPOILERS, being a long running story with a lot of mystery and conspiracy elements.

  • Abandon Shipping: Some fans of Levi/Mikasa immediately made for the lifeboats after Chapter 56 revealed his last name, indicating he may possibly be related to her.
  • Accidental Innuendo: Chapter 53 has everyone worrying about how Eren can't harden. They're referring to his Titan form's crystallization ability, yes, but it's not hard to misinterpret.
  • Acronym Confusion: Some fans only refer to the anime by its English name, as not to confuse it with video game company SNK. On Tumblr, a lot of fans use the "snk" tag for posts pertaining to the series. Tags are case-insensitive, by the way. In 2012 one could easily find posts about SNK games under the tag; as of 2013, the tag is overwhelmingly about Attack on Titan. This has made SNK fans very unhappy.
  • Angel/Devil Shipping: Ymir and Krista are as basic an example as they come. Scarily, they're actually one of the batter-adjusted and more mutually-affectionate pairings in the show.
  • Angst Aversion: For all its popularity, some people are put off by the rather heavy use of Anyone Can Die, the many losses and pyrrhic victories the heroes go through and the overall grim tone of the series.
  • Arc Fatigue: The "Krista Is Royalty" plot and following kidnapping of her and Eren. Which not only switches to a mediocre "Overthrow the corrupt government" plot and shoves the Titans into the far background, but just keeps going and going and going...
  • Ass Pull: Some fans felt that the Coordinate and what it does was this, coming out of nowhere as an Eleventh Hour Superpower to save the day. Others disagree, and found it added a whole new layer to various events and mysteries throughout the series.
  • Author's Saving Throw: With the plot line mentioned in Arc Fatigue above, how did the author set into place the beginning of resolution for the long-winded arc? By Erwin putting his faith in his fellow men correctly, as the nobles and the Military Police are exposed for their treachery against humanity and the people within the Wall Rose rebel near-wholeheartedly against the monarchy. It's not over yet, though.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Eren. Many love him for his badassery and extreme determination, even if he's not their favorite character, but there are also those who think he's just a stereotypical hot-blooded shonen hero, his Titan Shifting abilities being his only saving grace from having no interesting traits.
    • Mikasa. Opinions are split on whether she is a two-dimensional Mary Sue with no meaningful flaws and little personality outside of her strength and feelings towards Eren, or a well-developed and fleshed out character whose flaws include those very feelings to begin with. A third group sort of likes her, but wishes she'd get individual character focus unrelated to Eren like in the Trost arc again to show her personality better.
    • Levi is starting to turn into one. While he's still insanely popular, and some people prefer the shift in focus to him over Eren due to the above, others believe he's turned into a Spotlight-Stealing Squad and consider him to be overexposed due to too much Pandering to the Base.
  • Better on DVD: One of the most recurrent complaints about the anime is its supposedly slow pacing. However, this complaint 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.
    • The DVD & Blu-ray releases also clean up a lot of the Special Effects Failure and other poor animations that were present in the initial broadcast, particularly noticeable in episodes 10 - 13 (as the animation team was getting rushed and undermanned at this point in time). This comparison video for episode 13 shows the difference.
  • Broken Base:
    • 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 don't 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).
    • 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. Others like how the story has progressed, noting that the manga has answered some questions while providing others.
    • Eren and Mikasa's relationship. The occasional but recurrent romantic undertones are enough to receive some flak from many viewers for different reasons, but it gets specially problematic when their status as adoptive siblings comes into place, since it's in a very gray area: they share no blood whatsoever and they lived together as siblings for (roughly) only one year. But, although they never use the words "brother" or "sister" with each other, they do refer themselves as "family". Hence, Incest Is Relative is all over the place in these discussions, with people falling in every camp imaginable.
    • Dot Pixis' character stirred an outrage among the Korean fanbase, especially when Isayama admitted that he was based off of Akiyama Yoshifuru, a historical general of the Imperial Japanese Army. This resulted in a heated debate over the general's war record, and also led to Isayama receiving death threats on his blog, as well as 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" ended up refusing to post the final version after they finished it 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.
    • On the Tumblr side of the fandom, the interpretation of various members of the cast as "People of Color" by social justice advocates. They see it as a progressive subversion of Monochrome Casting that pushes people to overlook their own prejudices, but others see it as a highly misguided application of political correctness that ignores the post-apocalyptic setting and characters' statements on the subject. Of note are Marco, who is a popular choice for such portrayals despite having the same skin tone as Jean in the anime, and Ymir, who is light-skinned in the manga but a little darker than her peers in the anime, and therefore widely assumed to be of African descent by the social justice fans. A third group exists which engages in it while acknowledging it as a Race Lift/AU with respect to the original canon—they only do it as a fun exercise in creativity. Reaches ridiculous levels when you get to the ones who attack others for portraying characters with overly light skin and accuse them of whitewashing. For giving characters the skin colors that they have in the actual anime or manga.
    • Annie's laughing after being outed as the Female Titan in Episode 23 is already causing this. Some people think this ruined her character, the laughing/blushing was unnecessary and just Fanservice, while others think it made her more unnerving and laughing/blushing was just a sign of her losing it completely after being exposed. Word of God says Annie's laughing and blushing after being outed as the Female Titan was drafted similarly in the manga, but regrettably omitted. It was meant to show Annie as more of a "normal person" than simply a bad one, according to Isayama, the laughing being a sense of "relief" on her part, as a result of all of her "fear, guilt and sadness" having an outlet.
    • 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.
    • The statement by the author that he has reconsidered what seemed to be a darker ending for the story due to the fanbase growing in size after the anime aired has been plenty controversial.
    • Inevitably, the English Dub of the anime. Even with just short trailers of the dub, there is still plenty of debate as to whether or not certain voices fit the characters, with Matthew Mercer as Levi being the most controversial. However, there is also a part of the fanbase that are fine with the voices, and instead are torn on the script writing: does the anime now sound too cheesy and less badass and so makes the show seem less real than before, or is the new dialogue just as badass, correctly translated, and even makes the characters more quirky?
      • The pronunciation of names in the English dub. The ADR director decided to pronounce them to their accurate German pronunciations, which caused some confusion and heat among the fanbase. Notable examples are Connie Springer (pronounced "Shpringah" in the dub) and Bertholdt Hoover (pronounced "Hoobah"). Some prefer the dub pronunciations and enjoy their accuracy, others think they sound silly and prefer to pronounce them in a more traditionally American way.
      • The Rogue Titan's roars in the dub. Some think the switch to a high pitched raptor-like sound ruined the badassery of them, while others think it made him sound more demonic and overall scarier.
    • Many characters - particularly the main three - tend to suffer from debate amongst the fandom as to whether they're flat or well-rounded. Things can get pretty heated sometimes.
    • Every single thing about the dub, from which voices fit to the acting to how the intro was edited when the first episode was originally shown on [adult swim]/Toonami.
      • Although the cut of the opening was revealed to be unintentional via Twitter.
    • The release of a third OVA centering around one of the 104th cadets' training days that turns into a rescue mission for Krista have also recieved some mixed reactions. People either enjoy it for seeing the characters back on screen with more comedy and badass sequences, while others found it to be pointless Padding and waste of an OVA that could have been spent on more canon material.
  • Cargo Ship: Levi x Cleaning is a popular ship, and can get fairly insane, as evidenced here.
  • Crack Pairing:
    • Erwin x Bertolt is becoming a popular crack-ship (partly due to the Sesame Street name overlap), often with a dash of Dom/Sub for flavor.
    • Also Rogue Titan x Female Titan, for obvious reasons.
  • Crazy Awesome: Eren came across as this when he first appeared in his Titan form brutally killing enemy Titans with a single Megaton 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.
  • Crossover Ship:
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Zackly torturing a captured noble. This wouldn't normally be funny, but the fact that the guy appears to be held in some kind of BDSM setup with a funnel up his ass can be funny to some.
  • Cry for the Devil: After certain revelations, quite a bit of time is devoted to showing Annie and later, Reiner and Bertolt in a sympathetic light. This makes it a bit of Fridge Brilliance, as all three are accurate reflections of real world Child Soldiers that commit atrocities. Annie's flashbacks to her childhood, as well as Reiner and Bertolt spiraling towards the Despair Event Horizon show that they are, as Word of God describes Annie, ordinary kids forced to do terrible things.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: To a degree. Not so much in the early parts, where it's mostly the story of a group of rookies trying to survive in a very deadly environment, but later manga chapters where the protagonists begin going up against a government conspiracy and the author starts pushing the Grey and Black Morality angle quite a bit, may cause this, particularly with the part about the protagonistic side engaging in Cold-Blooded Torture.
  • Die for Our Ship: Parodied with the Jean/Mikasa ship in reference to Jean's status as the fandom Butt Monkey, as seen here.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: 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 some of her more 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.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Chapter 54 has a Dirty Old Man accusing Armin of making him homosexual. While it further illustrates the depravity of characters in this scene and fits the nightmarish tone it sets, it also caps off a series of otherwise light jokes poking fun at Armin being so effeminate he could fool kidnappers searching for resident cutie, Historia.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Levi. Voted overwhelmingly as the most popular character in an official poll, with nearly twice as many votes as the main character Eren who was runner-up. Levi's unexpectedly huge fanbase has led to him getting his own spinoff manga with him as the main character.
    • 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's hailed as a moe Memetic Woobie 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.
    • Marco Bodt. Even though he's the series' first Sacrificial Lion at the end of the first major arc, as well as the least developed of the "important" 104th trainee squad, we still get plenty on his character, such as his Nice Guy tendencies and The Heart status as well as apparently being a natural-born leader.
  • 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.
    • In the anime, the spy that kills Gunther before the Female Titan appears a second time looks strangely masculine for being Annie note . This has led to many fans speculating whether or not she was working alone that time, though it could simply be the animators deliberately giving the spy an ambiguous body shape so people wouldn't recognize her.
  • Evil Is Cool: The Armored and Female Titan, at least until it's revealed who they are.
    • Kaney Ackerman for his antipersonnel 3D maneuvering gear skills and overall Clint Eastwood-like appearance, though he's not entirely without some hammy qualities.
  • Fandom Rivalry: See Acronym Confusion above.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • Levi's past, prior to the release of A Choice With No Regrets.
    • The Titan Shifters' pasts and motivations.
    • The following scenarios had Annie, or later Reiner and Bertolt succeeded in kidnapping Eren.
    • Bertolt sleeping in strange positions.
    • The events that led to Marco's death.
  • Fanon:
    • 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.
      • In Annie's visual novel however, it's revealed that the body she apologizes to is someone else.
    • 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's 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.
      • There is also a lot of speculation of Levi being Jewish due to his first name (although his namesake as revealed by Word of God was actually a fundamentalist Christian). His recently revealed family name, Ackermann, could point into a Ashkenazi direction instead.
    • Since the introduction of Levi's former mentor Kaney Ackerman, there seems to be a popular belief going around that the two of them had a parent-child relationship once.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Try to browse any tag for the series without coming across dozens of Eren/Levi fanart or fanfiction, it's virtually impossible. This has led to a good deal of Hype Backlash over the pairing's popularity, for people who either find the idea of them to be overrated or down right Squick, given their age difference. Meanwhile, other exceptionally popular pairings include:
    • Erwin and Levi, which often results in Ship-to-Ship Combat with fans of the above pairing.
    • Reiner and Bertolt, which triggered much flailing when Reiner turned out to be a Shipper on Deck for Bertolt and Annie.
    • Connie and Sasha are rarely paired with anyone else.
    • Levi and Mikasa, for being known as humanity's two strongest soldiers and having relatively similar personalities (though some of their fans left the ship after the story indicated they may be related.)
    • Jean and Marco, mostly because of the amount of Ho Yay they get in the anime and the fact that the latter's death has led to a lot of angsty fan art.
    • Jean and Armin has become a pretty popular ship, likely due to both being the most grounded members of the cast.
    • Jean and Eren have a decently sized fanbase as well, for people who, jokingly or not, view their interactions as Belligerent Sexual Tension.
    • Despite Bertolt's more or less canon feelings for Annie, she's most popularily shipped with either Eren or Armin, though Bertolt's feelings aren't revealed until late into the series.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Eren and Annie may have some of this, something Mikasa even accuses him of when he hesitates to fight.
    • Mikasa herself also get this, with two major examples being Mikasa x Annie and Mikasa x Ymir.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Any pairing involving Bertolt, Annie, or Reiner with the other characters.
  • Fountain of Memes: Levi has been made fun of by the entire fanbase, kinda going with his Ensemble Darkhorse status. See here for most of his parodies.
  • 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 didn't wanna wake, just like the cult didn't wanna wake up 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 his painfully slow mobility. His 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, he'd be open for attack.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: One of the anime's omake makes a joke about Armin looking better in a bunnygirl suit than any of the girls. In a later manga chapter, Armin is captured while Disguised in Drag, and while tied up is molested by an old man who didn't know he was male.
  • Gateway Series: The anime seems to be the gateway anime of The New Tens for Western fans, thanks to its popularity on both Crunchyroll and the revived Toonami.
  • 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 (to give you an idea, the show got a Blu-ray release in Spain just a few months after the show ended in Japan, with a pretty quality dub to boot) and Indonesian. In fact, according to a user on DeviantArt, SNK is so popular in Spain that they have their own SNK themed conventions!
    • 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.
    • North Americans LOVE Attack on Titan, so much so that in early May it's going to be aired on the newly revived Toonami block on a good time slot!
  • 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 and as a direct result, she became obsessed with food.
    • Every single Titan kill, now that we know that all Titans are humans trapped in Titan form.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • If you've watched Brave Little Tailor, it can be amusing to see how many similarities these two shows share.
    • Basically any variation of Jack and the Beanstalk turns hilarious after this series.
    • Also, the Keflings games.note 
    • There's also Shadow of the Colossus, a Japanese PS2 game where you travel on horseback through a massive wasteland, slaying giants by attacking their weak point.
    • A story about fighting giants after said monsters destroy a wall meant to protect humans from them, where the main character's last name is Jaeger? Sounds vaguely familiar.
    • The meme of Eren being scrawny and Levi and Mikasa being obscenely muscled because of Word of God confirming that they both weigh more than him. Come Chapter 53, we find out that Eren is actually very muscular, and just has a lean build that makes it easy to hide.
    • Reiner commenting on the Female Titan having a "nice ass", when he knows it's Annie.
    • Krista/Historia, the All-Loving Hero and Friend to All Living Things often had fans compare her to a fairytale princess. Come Chapter 55, and it turns out she is a princess.
    • Yu Shimamura, who voices Annie, also does the voice for the little excited boy Eren sees when the 57th expedition returns in Episode 22. This is somewhat really ironic when the reason they're all so broken down is thanks to the Female Titan, and then you have Annie's voice actress being the only cheerful one welcoming them back and admiring how brave they are.
    • The Ship Tease between Eren and Annie when both their Japanese seiyuus played subtle love interests in Guilty Crown, where Shimamura's character also happens to crystallize herself at one point in front of Yuuki Kaji's character.
    • Remember the "Titan-san is late for anime school!" meme from way back when? Now there is a Junior High School AU manga spinoff where humans and Titans go to the same school.
    • The teaser poster for the third installment of The Hobbit series looks strikingly similar to Attack on Titan's iconic title poster. Parodied here.
    • Since the series started up, just about everyone's been crossed over with the series, more notably Spider-Man, who's been doing the swinging around buildings thing for decades. Then, they decide to actually do a crossover involving the web-slinger.
  • HSQ: Everywhere. The Drinking Game entry encourages taking a drink for every HSQ moment.
  • Ho Yay:
  • 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.
    • Regardless of it being anime or manga, some people feel the series as a whole is way too overhyped, especially since fans praise it as the "best series ever!" or Darker and Edgier than it really is, and it's virtually impossible to find an anime fan who hasn't seen or heard of it.
  • Internet Backdraft: As previously mentioned in Broken Base above, Dot Pixis' sparkled a massive Flame War over general Akiyama Yoshifuru's war record, with some detractors even thinking he was a World War II war criminal (despite having died long before it even took place). That said, some speculate that he may have played some part in the Port Arthur massacre, yet another point of friction between Japan and the countries they fought with during the early 20th century.
  • Iron Woobie: Armin may be the most emotionally sensitive of the 104th cadets and exposed to challenges and grief nearly on par with Eren and Mikasa, but he never appears fazed too long at a time and continues to impress people with his intelligence and maturity.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks:
    • Many haters think this, in particular because Tumblr shows interest in the anime.
    • Levi is a specific-character example; his overwhelming popularity with fans (including Yaoi Fangirls) has led to some backlash in the English-speaking fandom (mostly on /a/, but also on Tumblr.
  • It Was His Sled: Eren can turn into a Titan, and doesn't actually die early on.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Reiner, Bertolt, Annie, and Ymir. 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.
    • Annie Leonhart's weeping when she fails to capture Eren, as well as her obvious affection for the very father that put her through Training from Hell and indoctrinated her with the belief that Humans Are the Real Monsters, firmly puts her in this territory, even though she gets the highest human kill count out of them all.
    • Reiner Braun 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 Hoover 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. The fact 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. We've got 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, Armin/Annie, Armin/Sasha, and Armin/Erwin.
    • Hange also has a respectable amount; Levi/Hange, Hange/Erwin, Hange/Petra, Hange/Rico, Hange/Moblit, Hange/Mike, Hange/Titans, even Hange/Armin and Hange/Sasha in some parts.
    • Jean counts as well, Jean/Marco, Jean/Eren, Jean/Mikasa, Jean/Armin, Jean/Bertolt...
  • Les Yay:
    • Ymir and Krista, who have many moments throughout the series. Word of Gay confirms that their relationship is 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.
    • Hange and Petra, despite their limited interactions in both anime and manga.
  • LGBT Fanbase: The series' numerous characters of ambiguous sexual orientation or gender have drawn a strong fanbase of not only gay fans, but also a strong trans following. Also, in a Biglobe poll of which characters gay manga readers wanted as their boyfriend, two characters from the series (Jean and Reiner) made the top 10.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Erwin Smith, a handsome and brilliant commander willing to do whatever it takes for humanity to survive. When the series discusses He Who Fights Monsters, they are usually talking about Erwin. It helps that he's partially inspired by the original Magnificent Bastard, Erwin Rommel.
  • Meme Acknowledgment: The parody Spoof on Titan, made by Hajime Isayama himself, pokes fun at some of the fandom's memes and shipping pairs.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • For some reason involving symbolism and a lack of effort to take it seriously, the walnut from the second ending.
    • They didn't build the walls to protect mankind from the Titans. They built the walls to protect the Titans from Captain Levi.
  • Memetic Bystander:
    • Mylius Zeramuski, one of Eren's ill-fated teammates from episode 5. He gains the nickname "Background-chan" for being used as a stock background character in the official parodies. It probably helps that he looks like an Expy of Yu Narukami.
    • There's also Nifa, nicknamed Legout for her resemblance to a Palette Swap Armin. (Actually based on an older joke.) She eventually becomes more than a bystander as a member of Hange's squad, prior to being killed off.
    • Commander Meowington, or that one cat that appeared in the background in one of the later episodes next to a pool of blood and didn't seem to care about the Titan attack.
    • Now we have this guy on the left from the Isle's Notebook OVA, who got a lot of attention because of his attractive design. Fans have named him "Nikolas Colton," they gave him an article on the wiki (which was later taken down), are planning a petition to make him an official character, and he's even getting fan art.
    • Parkour Baker, one of the Recon Corps members from Episode 24 who ambushes Annie, is seen for all of five seconds. That hasn't stopped him from gaining a pretty sizable following.
  • Memetic Loser: Jean. In canon, his loser status consists of crushing on the oblivious Mikasa and generally being second best to Eren; over the series, he develops into a capable soldier and gains some humility. In fanon, his loserdom is shown through anything from being hopelessly in love with Eren to Mikasa outright hating him. Rule of Funny may be the culprit.
  • Memetic Molester: Fanarts often depict Mikasa as a stalker or yandere for Eren. Some of her close ups from Episode 24 helped. In the superdeformed OVAs, it's basically an Ascended Meme.
  • Memetic Mutation: Now has its own page.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Eren's intense Titan hatred and murderous tendencies already as a child gets blown up in a lot of parodies, even some official ones. The usual scenario is that simply mentioning Titans is enough to hit his Berserk Button.
  • Memetic Sex God: Erwin and Levi both get this from the fandom, sometimes as a couple.
  • Mentor Ship: Eren and Annie (manga).
  • Misaimed Fandom: Those who ship Levi/Eren (or are against it, as it may be) out of the belief that Levi is genuinely a Bastard Boyfriend who kicked Eren at the court trial out of sadism, even though he reveals it's an act and apologizes in the very next scene. It's one thing to make use of Alternate Character Interpretations and another to ignore canon so you can cite scenes out of context as proof your Fetish Fuel or Ron the Death Eater interpretation is the real one.
  • Moe:
    • Armin and Krista. The anime increases the former's moe factor by having him voiced by Marina Inoue.
    • Bertolt seems to get this treatment among some fans, probably because of his Extreme Doormat personality. This seems to have bled into the official parodies, which tend to play up his shy tendencies.
    • Though it's questionably canon, little Jean deserves a mention.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • 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 Annoying Sound: Sasha screaming "KAMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII" in Episode 3.
  • 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.
  • Music to Invade Poland to: Die Flügel der Freiheit fits the trope quite nicely, starting off like a German marching song
  • Narm:
    • Several Titans boil down to giant wobbly nudists smiling like they're stoned out of their minds... 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.
    • Sometimes when Eren in Titan form yells in the Japanese dub, it's hard not to let out a little giggle now and again.
    • 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.
    • In Episode 24, the dramatic zoom in on Eren looking completely bonkers as he's about to transform is both awesome and hilarious at the same time.
    • Doubles as Narm Charm, Kaney's pose when he enters the bar looking for Levi in Chapter 58 has already spawned several jokes and parodies.
    • Sometimes, the narm comes in the form of accidental black comedy, such as the example with Castle Utgard and that poor mook.
    • The Spanish dub gets hit by this due to Mikasa's name, since it sounds exactly the same as "my house" in Spanish, mi casa. They didn't give her a Dub Name Change, so every time someone says sentences like "Mikasa is awesome" or "Where is Mikasa?", it sounds unintentionally funny.
    • Eren's speech to the jury in episode 14 was cool in the Japanese dub, but in the English dub it's kind of cringe-worthy.
    • Isabel's death, though a major mix of Nightmare Fuel and Tearjerker, is also hard to take seriously. She literally falls onto the butt of a titan and then another one eats her. The image makes it look like a titan biting into another titan's butt and blood spraying from the wound.
  • 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 and 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 supposed obsession with doing so going around.
    • The state of Marco's corpse after his death, which has lead to a myriad of "Half the Man He Used to Be" jokes and the like.
  • One True Threesome: To be expected, thanks to multiple Power Trios.
    • Eren, Mikasa, and Armin are the most prominent.
    • Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie are sometimes paired this way, though Annie's opinion of the other two remains unaddressed in canon.
    • Erwin, Levi, and Hange are popular as well. Sometimes, it becomes a foursome with Mike included for good measure.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Even during a century of peace, Titans would just wander around the Walls, sitting and waiting for an opportunity to get in. The majority of the human population just adopted the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality and just went on living, until that fateful day that humankind received a grim reminder that they lived in fear of the Titans. After the breach of Wall Maria, humanity has been living in constant fear that the remaining Walls will be breached again.
    • With the discovery of Eren being a Titan Shifter, how many more are living among normal people?
    • As of Chapter 51, there's 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're still enemies of humanity and are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.
    • 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 having a total Lack of Empathy due to their occasionally ruthless pragmatism and willingness to do things such as lie or engage in Batman Gambits.
      • In a far less ambiguous (and usually 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. Similarly, the false report that they attacked wall Rose again actually got some readers momentarily excited for their return.
  • Saved by the Fans: Sasha Blouse was supposed to die in earlier chapters, but becoming an Ensemble Darkhorse spared her life.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: There's been some conflict between fans of Levi x Eren and Erwin x Levi, as well as Mikasa x Eren and Annie x Eren.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The Colossal Titan's head and hand creeping over Wall Maria.
    • Eren and Mikasa's mother being eaten alive.
    • The arrival of the Rogue Titan, smashing in another Titan's face and saving Mikasa in the process.
      • Related to the above, Eren still swearing to erase Titans from existence when within one's stomach, 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.
  • Special Effects Failure: This hilarious moment in episode 13 when a Titan foot stomping on the ground causes blue stones to appear instead of regular debris. This can be blamed on a Troubled Production consisting of a rushed schedule and a lack of animators.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Word of God acknowledges Muv-Luv Alternative as a core influence and inspiration, and it shows.
  • 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've read the first volume or seen enough episodes, you can figure this out easily, and the fact that they're in order from 1-10 going left to right helps. On the back of volume two, Eren, the fifth from the left, is transparent, which one would assume is to show that 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.
    • This happens again with the cover of Volume 14, which prominently shows that Erwin has lost his right arm.
  • Squick/No Yay: In a similar situation to Thor x Loki, some fans acknowledge the undertones of Mikasa's feelings for Eren, and are aware of a lack of blood relation between the two, but still refuse to ship them because they were raised as siblings. Although it sometimes seems like Mikasa doesn't consider them to be siblings, while Eren does. There's also a second group who don't mind their sibling status, but are still put off from shipping them due to the inequality in their dynamic and Mikasa's borderline obsession with him, alternatively leading to the Values Dissonance mentioned below.
  • Stoic Woobie: Levi has experienced nearly all his closest friends and comrades killed in various cruel ways from before the beginning of the series up until now, but has kept a mostly expressionless face throughout. Mikasa would also count to a lesser degree.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The reaction some manga fans had to changes in the anime adaptation. In particular, the changes in Episodes 24 and 25 are a subject of much (sometimes heated) debate among the fans.
    • This is also people's reactions to how titans sound in the English dub, especially the Rogue Titan. Some people think that now he sounds less like rage incarnate and more like an autotuned T. Rex.
  • Too Cool to Live: Ian, The Special Operations Squad, Mike, Nanaba, and Gerger.
  • True Art Is Angsty: If the serie's immense popularity is anything to go by.
  • 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: His body is extremely disproportional in the rare occasion in which we manage to see him in his completeness: his legs are so big and thick, 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's the only Titan Shifter with a form that's genuinely deformed.
  • Values Dissonance: Mikasa's devotion to Eren can come across as somewhat sexist to certain Western viewers, due to differing social values. While, to a Japanese audience, her devotion is a clear example of Pillars of Moral Character, to a Western audience her behavior can come across as making her a Satellite Love Interest. And considering their status as adoptive siblings, that can lead to a heavy dose of Squick for many viewers. It turns into a bit of Fridge Brilliance, due to Mikasa's Asian heritage in an otherwise Western-style culture. Eren himself is the one to scold her for putting him before everything else.
  • 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. Take a look.
  • 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 a brief mention of kidnapping and the child sex trade in a flashback sequence, and Episode 23 briefly implies the existence of prostitutes in general.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The OVA featuring all of Isayama's troll previews adapted into a half hour long plot. Complete insanity ensues.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Armin is sometimes a victim of this trope, being physically weak but absolutely brilliant. It extends even into the series marketing, with Levi frequently replacing him as the third member of the Power Trio.
  • Win Back the Crowd: A meta example. Many people who weren't into anime (or had since grown out of it) have checked out the show thanks to its growing popularity, and it's caused the anime fandom as a whole to be back in the game on social media sites like Tumblr.
    • Complaints that the story moves too slowly seems to have been answered by everything after Chapter 50, with most of the proceeding chapters being a Wham Episode of sorts.
  • 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. Krista seems to be the woobie champion thus far, having gone through an Orphan's Ordeal even while her parents and grandparents were alive, coupled with parental abuse from her estranged mom — and that all before her father's servants gave her mother a bad case of Slashed Throat — on his orders, while Krista watched. And her mother's last words were "I wish you were never born." And then there's the whole thing with Ymir, the closest person she had in her entire life, leaving her behind to escape with other Titan Shifters...

alternative title(s): Shingeki No Kyojin
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