That Day, the Red Scarf, and the Boy who Dreamt Beyond the Walls -A Special AOT Tribute by AniRadio+
That day, under a tree above a hill overlooking the town, a boy awoke from the longest dream, with tears in his eyes. How’d knew that this man is humanity’s unsung hero, for a future without fear of monstrous beings who once ruled over the land. How’d knew that his sad, tragic yet fulfilling end has come.
The world is evil. Humanity has trodden the surface of the earth as lone victims, caught in the sea of “monsters” and adversities that changed the flow of life.
Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan has set an uncanny parallelism to this vile world. When the manga started way back 2009, it brought about an “awakening” to the reality of this system - one that is easily corruptible by mundane desires and greed for power.
Humanity is only good or evil because the circumstances called for.
The series laid a great pool of well-written characters that embodied different personalities and took stances that speak of wisdom, insurmountable strength with numbers and unwavering determination. It had the masses agree and/or disagree with these characters’ unfathomable thoughts and resolve, yet they are forces to reckon with.
For years, Attack on Titan has been an unceasing war - a battle to death against sworn enemies and a fight against one’s own ideals and people. The tragedies of a battlefield and the internal conflicts had shown how man can rise from the muddy pit and turn weakness into terrifying power. How a naïve, little boy came about to becoming a horrendous manslaughter figurehead to save the future of his friends and of his race while digging his own grave. It speaks of love that is uncommon, unparalleled, and selfless - unpopular to a dark, post-apocalyptic fiction series ever written.
Eren Yeager is the driving force. He is the maneuver that steered the wheel of fate for Eldia and its reclamation. His actions might not be the best nor something to look up to, his sin cannot be atoned for, his crimes unforgivable, his plays scrutinized and debated, his actions unbefitting and reckless; his growth as the main character is magnanimous and misleading, confusing the audience of his context. Enigmatic yet meaningful. Unjustifiable yet valid. One thing that strikes most of his set-up is his unsolicited and steadfast drive without faltering in his steps. If by being the “pawn of the devil” can he eradicate fear and restore peace, he chose to walk alone and bear the weight. But he also wanted to be saved - his true emotions buried too deep for someone to reach and took notice. Yet his grim fate must happen for a greater tomorrow for humanity. If that is not love, then what else can be a nobler sacrifice? A tragic but a proper and just ending.
Armin Arlelt is the vessel of hope. Mikasa Ackerman is the key. Both displayed a huge growth as they overcame their doubts and set aside personal feelings for mankind. Despite the anguish over losing a friend, they upheld their ideologies of a better world for everyone, be it within or beyond the walls.
The red scarf is Eren’s symbol of affection to Mikasa - a soliloquy of the “good” in this cruel world. She became a part of his world and a meaning to his existence when he wrapped the shawl after he saved her back then. Now, it holds the same repertoire of his unrelenting, though suppressed, love that protects and holds no hate nor grudges.
What would have happened if Mikasa had thought of Eren differently? Would that spark of love enough to turn the tables? Would Eren’s “make-dream” be real? These will remain in thoughts. “What if’s”.
It has been a great 11 years and 7 months with Attack on Titan running around. It is a work of art, being able to move the audience with a wave of emotions and hope for a brighter future. Eren might have left, but his “rumbling” will go down in history as a wise resolution and fair endgame that will change the world as we know it.
Fly high, Eren!
Despite what life throws, like Eren, let us keep moving forward until our problems, “demons” and struggles become mere steppingstones to our glory. The future will not come upon unless we take a step ahead. Devote your hearts!
That day the world knew of a masterpiece. Today has become a cherished and lasting memory, a constant reminder that the world is vicious, but man is strong and free.
Thank you, Hajime Isayama, for sharing a great story that is Attack on Titan. The world is a better place with works of splendor.
Now the real battle continues. Tatakae!