Warning: major spoilers for Attack on Titan! Since wrapping up its eleven-year journey earlier this year, Hajime Isayama's Attack on Titan has divided its fanbase with a decidedly difficult take on moral relativity, and the dangers inherent in the traditional depiction of shonen manga's "heroes vs monsters" narrative. Through many a twist and turn, Isayama both thrilled and challenged readers with what amounted to a long-form study on the dual nature of heroism and monstrosity, eventually capping off the story by plunging its protagonist, the tortured Eren Yeager, into the depths of irredeemable villain. Imperfect but strangely beautiful, Attack on Titan demonstrates that wrestling with demons can have unexpected consequences, and while something of a messy parable, it pulls no punches in the delivery. Attack on Titan began simply enough as a zombocalypse/monster hunting yarn featuring the members of the Survey Corps, a military regiment whose mission involves protecting the last vestiges of humanity from an army of cannibalistic giants. As the story expands beyond the confines of its original walled city, traitors are revealed within the ranks of the Survey Corps, including the very Titans whose actions led to the death of Eren's mother and the resulting lust for vengeance that drives him. Eventually, these traitors are revealed to themselves be victims of a fascist state known as Marley, indoctrinated from an early age into hating their ethnic kinsman in the walled city, known as Eldians, whose bloodline carries with it the latent power of the Titans.
As the series reaches its peak amid a labyrinth of nightmarish destruction, soul-crushing choices and pulse-pounding action, the origin of the Titans' powers is revealed to be magic in nature, granted by an ancient, luminous, centiped-like being whose abilities include reality-warping and genetic manipulation, known as "the Source of All Life." The Titans are a product of the original carrier of the Source, the ancestress of the Eldians, Ymir, who exists as a ghost in a metaphysical plane known as "the Coordinate," where she governs the Titans' power among her descendants. Enslaved in life by the cruel King Karl Fritz of the Eldians, then nothing more than a rural chieftain, Ymir bonded with the centiped-like vector of energy during her attempted execution for leaving the gate to King Fritz's pigpen open, becoming the first Titan. After her death, she became a being of immense power, responsible for sculpting the forms of all Titans, which explains the basis of their grotesque appearances as arising from childish fear. Much of the endgame in Attack on Titan is set up during Chapter 122 when Eren usurps the power of the Founding Titan from his half-brother (and archvillain) Zeke by breaking through to Ymir's spirit and allying himself to her, in the process manifesting himself as a gargantuan, skeletal ruin before unleashing a literal tidal wave of Colossal Titans to trample the world into oblivion.
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During the episode, Eren (who in the physical world is just a disembodied head, having been decapitated by Gabi) manages to seduce Ymir to his side by preying upon her desire to break free of the Eldian royal family's control and finally rid the world of the Titans, an act which Isayama hints is an emotional struggle for the childlike avatar of Ymir. The result of this seduction finds Eren taking upon the godlike powers of the Founding Titan and completing his total heel-turn by commencing an act of wanton destruction so terrible it leaves eighty percent of the world's population dead, brutally killed under the feet of millions upon millions millions of rampaging Titans Eren activated from the city's massive walls. This apocalypse was only turned back at the final hour thanks to the efforts of the surviving members of the Survey Corps and Marley's Eldian Warriors, at the cost of Eren's life. Following Eren's death in the penultimate chapter, Isayama reveals the final twist of the series: that Ymir obeyed the will of the royal family long after her death not out of fear or blind obedience, but out of honest love for King Fritz, who used her power to subjugate the world. Being a mirror to Ymir, the revelation in many ways casts Eren's actual struggle throughout the series as less of a vengeful but necessary fight for freedom, and more of a gradual coming to acceptance that his desire to destroy a world that constantly abuses innocent people outweighs his feelings of obligation to his friends.
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In other words, Attack on Titan is ultimately a story about what happens when hate conquers love. At the outset of the series, much of Eren's actions seem to be motivated by his desire to take back what he believes the Titans took from him, namely by avenging his mother's death and taking back the home in Shiganshina District he saw overrun by Titans. Along the way, he discovers his own Titan powers and with them, a way to solve what he believes to be his real problem: his own sense of powerlessness. As Eren grows more and more powerful with each unlikely victory, it becomes clear that none of his supposed previous emotional touchstones, such as his commitments to his friends and fellow soldiers Mikasa and Armin, are really the things that matter to him: what matters is transcending his own limitations and becoming powerful enough to disregard any human, relatable sense of morality. With Eren ultimately becoming the exact threat he set out to address, the series can obviously be seen as a Nietzschean parable, acting as a long-form realization of the admonition, "battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster." Isayama's thesis seems to be that a world of violence and cruelty is simply far more likely to create a champion of violence and cruelty than it is a true, classic savior, and this was always part of Eren's character. Eren is indeed a cynical figure at the end of the story, believing that the only way to ultimately save humanity is to callously murder it, but his story is not one that should be seen as unexpected or without precedent.
Eren's motivation was always revenge, as quickly and effortlessly as possible. He always relied on his Titan abilities in fighting rather than genuine skill like someone such as Captain Levi, and he clearly falls into the "chosen hero" archetype at his father's (and future self's) own hand. In this way, Isayama takes a common trope and points out that, if someone were designated as a "chosen hero" from a young age, the odds are that no matter how morally pure this person is believed to be, they will not grow up to be a spotless hero. Aside from the obvious pitfalls and growing pains of developing a nuanced personality and moral inventory, the pressure would likely be too much for a person to take if such a responsibility was thrust upon them. This axiom is the beating heart of realism in the horrific yet fantastical world of Isayama's moral fable. It is these qualities, despite the often left-field approach Isayama takes in unfolding his story, that make Attack on Titan such a brilliant and cohesive narrative at the consummation of its arc.
Sword Art Online is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara with accompanying illustrations drawn by abec. The series takes place in the near-future and focuses on various virtual reality MMORPG worlds. ASCII Media Works began publishing the novels on April 10, 2009 under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. Russia. With more than 16 million copies in print worldwide, there are future plans for publications in Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Vietnam and others. Kawahara also began writing a parallel series of light novels titled Sword Art Online: Progressive, a spin-off that focuses on the clearing of Aincrad, unlike the Aincrad stories of the main series. As of June 10, 2021, eight volumes have been published as part of the Progressive series. In addition to the original storyline of Sword Art Online and Sword Art Online: Progressive, Kawahara has also written and published Sword Art Online side stories. Accel World, have been sold at Comitia, Dengeki Bunko's Fair and have come along with the limited edition Blu-Ray/DVD Sword Art Online compilation volumes.
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Before Sword Art Online was published, Kawahara had posted Sword Art Online novels on his website and there are still a few side stories on Sword Art Online, although the original novels have been removed. In addition, Kawahara has published a side story of Sword Art Online in one of his other works, Accel World. In the tenth volume of Accel World, there is a chapter where it depicts a cross over between Sword Art Online and Accel World. Several of the side stories that he has released are in a collection called the Sword Art Online Material Edition, sold at the Comitia dōjinshi-selling event, which range from novels to manga. However, all of the art in the Material Editions is drawn by Kawahara himself. Aside from the light novels written by Kawahara, there are also two spin-offs written by other authors with supervision by him. The first one is Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online series written by Keiichi Sigsawa and illustrated by Kouhaku Kuroboshi, while the other is Sword Art Online Alternative: Clover's Regret, written by Watase Souichirou and illustrated by Ginta. While both of these series take place in the same world as the main series written by Kawahara, they each feature different characters as the focus compared to the main series.
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Sword Art Online"Light Novel and Manga Release Details Listed". Kawahara, Reki (22 April 2014). Sword Art Online 1: Aincrad.(10 August 2009).2〉アインクラッド (電撃文庫) (in Japanese). Sword Art Online 2: Aincrad.(10 December 2009).3〉フェアリィ・ダンス (電撃文庫) (in Japanese). Sword Art Online 3: Fairy Dance.(April 2010). 4〉フェアリィ・ダンス (電撃文庫) (in Japanese). Sword Art Online 4: Fairy Dance.(August 2010).5〉ファントム・バレット (電撃文庫) (in Japanese).
Sword Art Online 5. Yen On.(December 2010).(6) (電撃文庫) (in Japanese). Sword Art Online 6. Yen On.(April 2011).7〉マザーズ・ロザリオ (電撃文庫) (in Japanese). Sword Art Online 7. Yen On.(August 2011).8〉アーリー・アンド・レイト (電撃文庫) (in Japanese). Sword Art Online 8. Yen On.(10 February 2012).(9) (電撃文庫) (in Japanese). Sword Art Online 9. Yen On.(July 2012). 10〉アリシゼーション・ランニング (電撃文庫) (in Japanese).