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An Essay on The Significance of the Sea in Attack on Titan

attack on titan significance of the sea

Attack on titan Armin-Mikasa sea gif

“A salt lake so big that merchants could spend their whole lives and still couldn’t get all the salt”

Attack on Titan’s blockbuster fighting sequences and spectacular world-building have caused ripples in the anime community, and it grew to be one of the most significant anime of this decade where every season added a layer of complexity from socio-political structure to character development.

Every element of the series fits into the logic of the world and has significant cause and effect in the outcome of the war, which shifts the story from a protagonist’s point of view to a much wider sense of understanding.

Attack on titan Mikasa cutie

So many things could be nit-picked from the plot and made into their own article of explanation, but one of the things that stuck out was the metaphor of the sea and how it played a significant role in Eren’s life, which is why you are reading this, so stick around till the end.

Armin’s book of the world beyond the walls

“According to this book, the majority of this world is covered in a body of water called the sea. What’s more, it says the sea is made out of saltwater.”

Freedom was a costly thing for the people inside the walls. Although wall Maria was safe till then, Eren and Armin had seen the scout regiment returning in blood, sweat and tears from beyond the walls and they were well aware of the dangers beyond.

Being in the outskirts, they had experienced the lack of freedom that comes with security but there was no harm in exploring beyond the walls from inside their minds. Hence the specifics of lands made of ice, fields of sand and the sea became the epitome of freedom for our young protagonists.

The youthful dream

“There’s more than just titans beyond the wall, I joined the scouts so I could see all that”

As reality came crashing down on our favorite trio, unpleasant situations made them push themselves beyond their limits. After their losses in wall Maria and humanity struggling to cope up, the sea acted as a reminder of the freedom that they were fighting for and that all the chaos had a definite end.

The Illusion of freedom

“On the other side of the sea… is freedom. That’s what I always believed. But I was wrong. On the other side of the sea…. are enemies.”

After all the cards had been dealt, the innocence of young Eren and Armin collapses into the impending doom that awaits on the other side of the sea. This begs the question of the very notion of freedom for the people inside the walls in the eyes of Eren and if peace would ever be an option no matter what they did.

Eren was a virtuous character from childhood, from helping others to always fighting for the right thing, but as the story unfolded, each belief of Eren was slowly shattered, the sea being the pinnacle of the end to his virtuous life.

In real-life, war often bears literature, religion, and philosophy along with it. Attack on Titan having such a close resemblance to reality also includes the same and the metaphor of the sea is a way to show how the reality of success or freedom can be compared to what you might think it is, i.e. an unattainable concept.

Attack on titan Mikasa dance


Also Read:Manhwa Recommendations – I am The Sorcerer King: Is it like Solo Leveling?
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