Attack on Titan (Spoilers?) @ 10:12 am
Thanks to revolutionaryjo — , last night I finished #24 of Attack on Titan/Shingaki no Kyojin. When I mentioned in passing that I was watching this finally, a reader of my Bleach fanfic said that s/he couldn't decide whether or not to look forward to or dread the day I started writing SnK fanfic.
I'm never going to write in this universe.
Though it has a military structure that totally appeals to me (because unlike Bleach, the various units actually function a lot more like real military divisions,) the universe the characters exist in is unrelentingly grim. The situation itself is no more horrible than a lot of shonen stories. The future is a place where humanity has been forced to retreat behind walls because
There's even a lot of intriguing politics. There are spies and traitors in our ranks. It's unclear whether or not the whole thing is a farce, ie a giant set-up by the powers that be to keep humanity cowering and afraid and completely malleable and heavily taxed.
Normally, this would be a winning combination for me. But, the author is really extremely 'realistic' in his approach to war and casualties... heavy on the casual part of that, which is to say, like in a real war, people die stupid, meaningless deaths, sometimes very much random and unfair. Very, very few people get to be heroes. Even the hero of the story, Eren, doesn't always get to be heroic. Sometimes his superpower goes out of control, and sometimes he can't call it up, and sometimes he's ASKED to waste human lives for a greater goal (which also sometimes doesn't work out, even if the effort is valiant.)
That last bit is the part that has caused an utter lack of "FEELS." I care about what happens in this story, but the situation has forced me to divest in everyone. I have one character I like, but the words "DOOMED" seem so clearly printed on his face, that I refuse to imagine anything beyond THIS MOMENT.
SnK should also be a prime candidate for fic from me, because they skip over a lot of the more interesting times--boot camp is given two or three episodes before we get a timeskip and then training with the advance scout troop also gets only a few episodes. This is where the FEELS fail. Possibly more attention is given these times in the manga, because the speed at which we head into action means that I miss out on the little moments that could make these characters stand out. It shrinks the world rather than expand it for me. If we had several episodes of life at boot camp, I might give a few more 3-D maneuvering f*cks.
Yet I'm expected to keep track of all these white people. The other problem about SnK is that no one really stands out physically. Several people (being military and all) have the same hair color and hair style and there's not a single person of color. Which, I presume can be blamed on the fact that this takes place in some kind of pseudo-Germany/Europe, but last time I checked the Moors had made an in-road into Europe SOME TIME AGO. It's kind of creepy, in fact, that it is CANON that Mikasa is Asian and THUS IS CONSIDERED VERY RARE. I have no idea if that's meant to strike the kind of fear it does into my heart, but, if we have more Gunthers and Heinricks I'm going to start thinking that they're intentionally echoing Nazis.
The uniform certainly does.
So, perhaps if I read the manga I'll start sympathizing with the mindless Titans?
It will be interesting to see why
Annie is one of them. Her motivations are currently unclear and it's fascinating to me that the times that she powers-up/rips free/calls others to eat her while in her Titan form is whenever someone threatens to cut off her limbs. Had she been experimented on? Is Eren's creepy-ass scientist dad somehow to blame with his Silence of the Lambs basement? My theory about why all the Titans are attracted to Eren and why they're always trying to capture him? Dad is the villain. He's created all the variants, including all the ones who are ultra-intelligent and he's done it at the behest of the government.
But, even with all this, I have very little interest in investing in this fandom beyond being a reader/watcher. if I had any FEELS it would have been focused on Jean/Marco AND ONE OF THEM IS ALREADY DEAD. It's kind of hard to write a sweeping romance with a F*CKING GHOST (although SnK fan writers/artist are sure doing their damnedest.)
So, yeah. NO. Just NO.