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Paperback Writer
May 1, 2006



I just finished reading the manga. Actually felt satisfied with the big fight and how it was seemingly ending up until the centipede smoke turned everyone into a Titan and everything after. drat, so close to landing it.

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Captain Invictus
Apr 5, 2005


Clever Betty

Elias_Maluco posted:

I agree it seems off, but Im not convinced it wanst his decision

edit: my personal theory: the author had the proper ending all planned up but for some reason he decied it was too bleak, too dark, and decided to change to something more hopeful. Except it was too late to change it much since all building up was already laid down so he just cut some stuff, changed some details, shoehorned a love story conclusion for Eren and Mikasa, and, above all, changed the tone, giving it that weird "hey man thats a cool genocide you made just for us, you are really the best! "" vibe.

And thats what we got

The final chapter notes being by the editors and not the mangaka himself, you know, like one of the most popular anime/manga in the world should have, is what makes me go from "conspiracy theory" to "this is plausible"

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011




NGL it's exhausting to see people continue repeating the lies from that polygon article with zero examination. Also do these serious article writers talking about serious issues not care about the actual text of the series? No? Alright, let's keep our discussion shallow and insipid I'm sure that's gonna work out splendidly.

edit: like it's legitimately depressing to think that the big takeaway of this whole debacle is going to be that it doesn't matter what media says as long as it doesn't look fascist and also you're free to lie about a foreign creator to get them canceled if you repeat the lie long enough

GimmickMan fucked around with this message at 10:46 on Apr 24, 2021

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011





lol theyíre still saying that the general who died in 1930 served in WW2.

Not Keyser Soze
Mar 7, 2007

Endless Celestial Sex

GimmickMan posted:

NGL it's exhausting to see people continue repeating the lies from that polygon article with zero examination. Also do these serious article writers talking about serious issues not care about the actual text of the series? No? Alright, let's keep our discussion shallow and insipid I'm sure that's gonna work out splendidly.

Ccs posted:

lol they’re still saying that the general who died in 1930 served in WW2.

Every single time one of these articles refers to "World War II war criminal whatever" my eyes sort of glaze over and I stop paying attention.

Also, because there's no real vector for rebuttal when it comes to blog editorials I notice that so many of them use this same rhetorical cheat where they go "It could be that the truth is actually something that contradicts everything I've just said but I find that hard to believe and also I don't have a good argument for that so I'm going to pretend that can be hand waived away."

Ibram Gaunt
Jul 22, 2009

Remember, children... You brought this upon yourselves!


What a terrible article.

Captain Invictus
Apr 5, 2005


Clever Betty

the article reads like someone who wiki dived and asked a few people for their thoughts but never actually engaged with the series itself

pretty disappointed in geoff for praising that steaming pile tbh

LordMune
Nov 21, 2006

Helim needed to be invisible.


"its not fascist! its not fascist!!", i continue to insist as the protagonist dying a hero is gently reprimanded for his noble sacrifice of global genocide that paves the way for hypermilitarist ethno-states which will surely secure lasting world peace and transform into a corn cob

Light trolling aside, I am interested to hear about the strong anti-fascist themes that not only balance out but outweigh the manga's deliberately fascist aesthetic and plot elements, because I must have missed (or more likely forgotten) most of it.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




I donít think they exist other than the overall theme of ďwar brutalizes us all buy especially our children.Ē Which is a pretty strong theme but kind of undone by the ending in which doing a massive amount of violence and crushing a lot of children seems to have generally worked out for the characters we care about.

Itís a very thematically confused series. If these articles could actually engage with the material and stop repeating badly researched tripe then maybe they could make some interesting points.

Viridiant
Nov 7, 2009

I'm here


LordMune posted:

"its not fascist! its not fascist!!", i continue to insist as the protagonist dying a hero is gently reprimanded for his noble sacrifice of global genocide that paves the way for hypermilitarist ethno-states which will surely secure lasting world peace and transform into a corn cob

Light trolling aside, I am interested to hear about the strong anti-fascist themes that not only balance out but outweigh the manga's deliberately fascist aesthetic and plot elements, because I must have missed (or more likely forgotten) most of it.

Prior to the ending I might have had a good response to this.

Right now all I can do is shrug and say "Whoops!!!"

Schwarzwald
Jul 27, 2004

Don't Blink


GimmickMan posted:

NGL it's exhausting to see people continue repeating the lies from that polygon article with zero examination. Also do these serious article writers talking about serious issues not care about the actual text of the series? No? Alright, let's keep our discussion shallow and insipid I'm sure that's gonna work out splendidly.

edit: like it's legitimately depressing to think that the big takeaway of this whole debacle is going to be that it doesn't matter what media says as long as it doesn't look fascist and also you're free to lie about a foreign creator to get them canceled if you repeat the lie long enough

I wouldn't describe the article as being a discussion of AoT per se but rather how impossible conversation about and around it has become.

It read it as saying "we're not willing to come out one way or another on the series because the well is just too poisoned." That might be cowardly, but I'm impressed the article was willing to just come out and say that.

Elias_Maluco
Aug 23, 2007
I need to sleep

Viridiant posted:

Prior to the ending I might have had a good response to this.

Right now all I can do is shrug and say "Whoops!!!"

Pretty much

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



Schwarzwald posted:

I wouldn't describe the article as being a discussion of AoT per se but rather how impossible conversation about and around it has become.

It read it as saying "we're not willing to come out one way or another on the series because the well is just too poisoned." That might be cowardly, but I'm impressed the article was willing to just come out and say that.

I mean... Yeah, that's the part of it that I like. But also it repeats misinformation and doesn't fairly look at the pro-AoT side so it reads like it's taken a stance but is not committing to it. I don't think AoT is fascist but I can still say it has a bunch of things that can be interpreted as fascist and that the ending thematically shot itself in the foot by making genocide "save" the main characters. But I've yet to see someone from the opposite point of view acknowledge that the first 120 chapters of the story explain how fascist propaganda works and why that's a bad thing. It feels like a double standard.

Honestly, gently caress Isayama. Whether he deliberately sabotaged the ending, incompetently bungled it up trying to make it "happy" or was forced into it by the chief editor, the fact of the matter is we're stuck with a non-ending that makes the characters worse and hands a loaded gun to the cancel crowd. This sysyphean nightmare was already bad and he had to make it worse.

Like, to the guy asking about the fascist aesthetic, we were just talking about that two pages ago. That's how quickly the discourse rolls back to its starting point.

I guess on the plus side people will be more careful about slapping armbands on oppressed minorities in their comic books so that's a good thing.

Captain Invictus
Apr 5, 2005


Clever Betty

LordMune posted:

"its not fascist! its not fascist!!", i continue to insist as the protagonist dying a hero is gently reprimanded for his noble sacrifice of global genocide that paves the way for hypermilitarist ethno-states which will surely secure lasting world peace and transform into a corn cob

Light trolling aside, I am interested to hear about the strong anti-fascist themes that not only balance out but outweigh the manga's deliberately fascist aesthetic and plot elements, because I must have missed (or more likely forgotten) most of it.
until the ending what parts of the fascist aesthetic are portrayed in a positive light to you

it has never looked to me like it was good for anyone involved and always led to horrible death and tragedy. manipulation of enslaved minorities, purging of dissidents(like the protagonists themselves) through the use of the scouting legion to throw ambitious people who want to shake up the status quo into the grinder, the psychological manipulation of a subjugated population resulting in such a deeply-rooted unconscious self-loathing that Gabi so clearly paints for the reader, etc

and then the final chapter drops and they forgot the DO NOT CONGRATULATE HITLER note and here we are. It damages what came before it, but I don't think it entirely erases it. This isn't usagi drop, where the ending retroactively annihilated everything that came before it, the portrayals of horrific cruelty, segregation and suffering under the yoke of fascist regimes aren't changed because the protagonists suddenly had wild shifts of character at the finish line.

Even the final chapter has some good aspects to it. I liked that it makes a point to show that the people who saved the world are hated and reviled by the fascists who desired to eradicate the rest of humanity, and are exiled from their own homeland. Regardless of the stupid poo poo they're saying during that scene, gently caress's sake. the final chapter is such a loving chaos dunk of an ending that, yes, it poisons the discourse probably forever. christ.

Captain Invictus fucked around with this message at 17:12 on Apr 24, 2021

Eej
Jun 17, 2007

HEAVYARMS


I mean, the ending is that Paradis has become Hitler in the power vacuum but Armin and co are going to try to use words instead of force this time

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





If we're talking about themes, one manga Isayama said was a major influence was "We Did It!" (AKA Fugitive Boys, the name of the TV drama adaptation), which is about a teenager who pulls a prank that gets several people killed. The ending of that manga has him unable to be punished even when he tries to confess, forcing him to live with his guilt and self-loathing.

I suspect that at least one previous concept for the ending had Eren live, but his friends were unable to forgive him for his crimes, leaving them forever separated and trapping Eren with his guilt in knowing that he had done something unforgivable while also knowing that, given his nature as a person, he never could have found another solution.

The ending we got is a kludge, and it steps over its own themes in a lot of ways, but even then it goes "fascists bad, peaceful coexistence with other cultures good."

Indiana_Krom
Jun 18, 2007
Net Slacker

chiasaur11 posted:

If we're talking about themes, one manga Isayama said was a major influence was "We Did It!" (AKA Fugitive Boys, the name of the TV drama adaptation), which is about a teenager who pulls a prank that gets several people killed. The ending of that manga has him unable to be punished even when he tries to confess, forcing him to live with his guilt and self-loathing.

I suspect that at least one previous concept for the ending had Eren live, but his friends were unable to forgive him for his crimes, leaving them forever separated and trapping Eren with his guilt in knowing that he had done something unforgivable while also knowing that, given his nature as a person, he never could have found another solution.

Yes, this would have been a much better ending than we got.

On the upside, usually I'm a little sad when something I like ends, but the ending of AoT was so bad I don't really give a poo poo anymore.

ImpAtom
May 24, 2007



I understand a log of criticisms of the ending but I don't believe literally any point of the ending tries to imply the sudden Nazification of the island folk is a good thing considering literally every single character with a name is basically trying to find a resolve the situation without bloodshed, not cheering it on. Trying to imply it is remotely displayed as a good thing involves a whole lot of struggle. The forgiveness of Eren is more eeeeh but still.

YF-23
Feb 17, 2011

My god, it's full of cat!




The problem with the bombastic article headlines declaring AoT to be fascist apologia and most of the discourse surrounding that is that it mixes up the ideological influence of a work with a value judgement. For every "AoT is fascist" there is an unspoken "and therefore it's bad", and for every "actually it's not fascist" an unspoken "and therefore it's good". I don't really think Isayama was trying to make some particularly insightful political commentary with AoT, but thinking that he does is how you get people taking Hange saying "no! genocide is wrong!" as some sort of genius insight.

I personally consider AoT to be an amazing story with a tremendous payoff up to the basement reveal/Marley arc. This is in spite of the series containing what I perceive as a decidedly fascist subtext and worldview. The ending is bad because the rumbling, Ymir's backstory, and things like "thank you for your mistake turbohitler" is garbage writing more so than because it lacks an ideological refutation to that worldview. But there's people who were expecting that sort of clear statement and didn't get it so now we feelings of betrayal and conspiracy theories about editorial meddling because Coney was a bit too smart in the last pages.

Bifauxnen
Aug 11, 2010

Resurrected
Living in a lighthouse
The lions and the lambs ain't sleeping yet


ImpAtom posted:

I understand a log of criticisms of the ending but I don't believe literally any point of the ending tries to imply the sudden Nazification of the island folk is a good thing considering literally every single character with a name is basically trying to find a resolve the situation without bloodshed, not cheering it on. Trying to imply it is remotely displayed as a good thing involves a whole lot of struggle. The forgiveness of Eren is more eeeeh but still.


I agree with you overall that it's not meant to be shown as a good thing. But once again it's muddled all to hell and here I could see it as way more possible to view in a positive light, as they reference Eren's whole "if you don't fight, you can't win" ethos, a strong theme which has been with us since the beginning.

Compare to the time "dedicate your hearts" got a callback. It was very deliberately shown to be a twist, an eerie and ironic reference delivered by known fuckhead Floch in a clearly different context, and making us all feel delightfully uncomfortable with ever liking the phrase before. Floch pressuring individuals to violently beat a man just to prove their loyalty was a disturbing act, and we had time to really focus on it and see that moment for what it was.

But making a passing callback to "if you don't fight, you can't win" here at the end, with just generic background shots of whole groups of Paradisians, it makes it feel more like a natural epilogue bookend at the end of the story. We don't have time to really dwell on what's wrong about it, and it's easy to gloss over it as repeating and reinforcing an established theme of the story, rather than questioning it.

LordMune
Nov 21, 2006

Helim needed to be invisible.


YF-23 posted:

This is in spite of the series containing what I perceive as a decidedly fascist subtext and worldview.

It's this. Zeke and Eren's ideological conflict boiling down to different flavors of genocide, the "good guys" ultimately triumphing through Mikasa's sublimation of her love into violence, the necessity of struggle - it's all presented through a fascist lens, and the "hopeful" note at the end rings hollow because in AoT's world force is the only thing that ultimately matters.

It doesn't go out of its way to say "Hitler is good actually" (except for when it does), it just says "Hitler is" and presents no meaningful contrast, much less an alternative.

Strawberry Pyramid
Dec 12, 2020

by Pragmatica


LordMune posted:

It's this. Zeke and Eren's ideological conflict boiling down to different flavors of genocide, the "good guys" ultimately triumphing through Mikasa's sublimation of her love into violence, the necessity of struggle - it's all presented through a fascist lens, and the "hopeful" note at the end rings hollow because in AoT's world force is the only thing that ultimately matters.

It doesn't go out of its way to say "Hitler is good actually" (except for when it does), it just says "Hitler is" and presents no meaningful contrast, much less an alternative.

It does however, go out of its way to say "The peaceniks, while admirable in theory, will handwring and twiddle their fingers while the guys with guns will Actually Do poo poo, the the latter will often kill the former sooner or later" at the same time, which is the real issue: it doesn't take a too hard stance on fascists, but boy does it have biting critique for doves in terms of getting results.

new kind of cat
May 8, 2007


So I just binged all 139 issues in the past few days, and that last issue sure was awkward and disappointing, mostly because the author never committed to any actual refutation of the characters insistence that destruction of enemies was the only course of survival. Yeah, sure, the cycle continues onward and all that, common lazy trope, but itís just hollow and unsatisfying here.

The surviving survey corps being ambassadors at the end just feels like an empty denouement, never mind all that sentimentality over Erenís hard choice of whatever. I was OK with Eren becoming the primary antagonist, that kid has always been a maniac since the very first pages. Reiner was absolutely correct when he said the worst person in the world to bear the power of the Founding Titan is Eren. The attempt in the last chapter to try and recontextualize all the terrible murder and earth flattening he did, well, that was the biggest letdown. Shoulda just committed to the heel turn, but I guess this was all inevitable once futuresight came into the narrative. Goddamn time loops.

That said, it was definitely a thrilling and wild ride. Thematic wish washiness aside, thereís a lot of great ideas and things to ponder, itís just too bad the narrative was too afraid to actually say anything conclusive about it.

I still canít believe Darius Zackly was a character that happened.

Relin
Oct 6, 2002

You have been a most worthy adversary, but in every game, there are winners and there are losers. And as you know, in this game, losers get robotizicized!

darius was good

new kind of cat
May 8, 2007


Relin posted:

darius was good

I wonít shame a man for his fetishes. It was just very unexpected and perhaps the biggest surprise of the entire narrative.

Eej
Jun 17, 2007

HEAVYARMS


It's very much in line with the idea that lovely people are the ones who make the grab for power

The United States
Jul 18, 2004

Please grab the extinguisher


Melman v2





Aaaand then of course the noble blood/slave blood thing is revealed to be literally true

The United States fucked around with this message at 00:36 on Apr 25, 2021

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


The United States posted:





Aaaand then of course the noble blood/slave blood thing is revealed to be literally true

Not actually. The nobles likely did not have Eldian blood due to being immune to the power. Also there was no slave blood thing.

The United States
Jul 18, 2004

Please grab the extinguisher


Melman v2

MonsterEnvy posted:

Not actually. The nobles likely did not have Eldian blood due to being immune to the power. Also there was no slave blood thing.
That's exactly what the noble was saying. Using Mr. Force-fed-his-own-poo poo's terminology, Noble Blood = non Eldian, Slave Blood = Eldian, and only the Eldians were subject to Royal Brainwashing, which is why he's calling them slaves, other than the fact that he's a colossal dick.

Relin
Oct 6, 2002

You have been a most worthy adversary, but in every game, there are winners and there are losers. And as you know, in this game, losers get robotizicized!

huh i thought they just knew the truth from word of mouth

McTimmy
Feb 29, 2008


They are Eldians, their families just haven't bred with Ymir's spine-eating bloodlines.

bees x1000
Jun 11, 2020

Love and Anger


Aye, there's a distinction, Subject of Ymir are Eldians, but Eldians are not necessarily Subjects of Ymir (though at this point virtually all of them are). It's been confused over thousands of years and it doesn't really come up much in the story.

bees x1000 fucked around with this message at 01:33 on Apr 25, 2021

Strawberry Pyramid
Dec 12, 2020

by Pragmatica


It's a touch odd and raises a few questions when the most simple answer would have been "their ancestors were non-Eldian minorities in Paradis territory who, once persecuted, were then given elevated status in exchange for their complicity in the mindwipe scheme." As is, there's the implication there was and is a sub-group within the Eldian ethnicity that carefully avoided ever breeding with anyone of Ymir's bloodline.

So, Hapsburgian inbreeding ahoy, I guess.

Tenkaris
Feb 10, 2006

Marcel, if you press that button...



I didnít really get that impression but maybe I was wrong. I thought it was just the Asians and the Ackermans who were immune, and anyone else just gained the knowledge post-mind wipe and the founding titan was lost to do any more memory modifications.

But then I always wasnít sure if Rod Reiss was just a coward unwilling to take on the powers or actually had some sort of genetic problem that made him unable to safely take it on. I wasnít sure if his Titan form was because of improper administration of the spinal fluid, or because he was not suited to become a Titan at all.

I need to re-read the whole thing but honestly kind of like Game of Thrones now that the ending is out and itís pretty bad it kind of kills my desire to go back knowing the letdown.

bees x1000
Jun 11, 2020

Love and Anger


the first 138 chapters are still pretty good tho imo

The United States
Jul 18, 2004

Please grab the extinguisher


Melman v2

Bad stuff happens when you lick poo poo off the ground ok?





Ccs
Feb 25, 2011





Me trying to get the Covid vaccine any way I can

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Well, you know I've been conspiracy-mongering since the chapter dropped. Figured I should present some possible counter-evidence.

Editor interview, don't know how to take it, but... well.

Feels odd still, but in a completely different direction than it felt odd earlier. gently caress if I know what to do with this one.

Elias_Maluco
Aug 23, 2007
I need to sleep

ImpAtom posted:

I understand a log of criticisms of the ending but I don't believe literally any point of the ending tries to imply the sudden Nazification of the island folk is a good thing considering literally every single character with a name is basically trying to find a resolve the situation without bloodshed, not cheering it on. Trying to imply it is remotely displayed as a good thing involves a whole lot of struggle. The forgiveness of Eren is more eeeeh but still.

It kinda does, really. The seemingly fascist militaristic tyranny is kinda presented as a necessary step after the rumbling, to protect the island. And now, after Paradis is invincible and the worlds only superpower, the libs, I mean, Armin and the Good Guys (the ones who thanked Eren for his well-intentioned genocide) step in to bring democracy and diplomacy back

I know it doenst literally says that but it seems implied in the tone, which is "all went according to the plan, all is well"

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Viridiant
Nov 7, 2009

I'm here


Yeah Isayama really doesn't do enough to present fascism as something you should never turn to, and this only gets more pronounced as it gets closer to the ending. Is it presented as bad? Absolutely. Is any viable alternative ever seriously presented? No, not really. Isayama seems to present it as a necessary evil, because whenever a "good" character is asked to provide an alternative, their answer is always to either be silent, or to stutter out a half-formed idea that makes them look naive.

Isayama has an extremely bleak view of humanity. I don't think he LIKES fascism, but I think he believes in it enough to raise some questions.

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