Where’s God in Attack on Titan?

Ohayo gozaimas! Sorry for the lack of posts on Friday everyone; I had a CLEP test that day and the rest of the day was filled with stuff that kept me really busy. I do plan to make up for it though, with a special mid-week post that should land somewhere around Wednesday, so keep your eyes peeled. As always, leave me a Like and a comment below if you like what you see; it helps keep my self-esteem up and lets me know you guys enjoy my posts. Now, without further ado…let’s a-do it!

Attack on Titan is a pretty hopeless anime. I don’t mean that there is no hope for the anime itself, but that the core story centers on a feeling of hopelessness and loss that is inherently understood by both the characters within the story and the viewers watching it. Humanity is all but wiped out from the attack of the ravenous Titans, whose sole purpose appears to be the extinction of humanity.

They lack any understandable motive, such as greed, power, or even hatred; they eat and destroy humans whenever they want to. Banding together to avoid destruction, the last remnants of humanity create three concentric walls to defend themselves, and humanity is safe from the Titans until the appearance of the Colossal Titan, a Titan that is over 50 meters tall, which breaks down the outermost wall and brings with it a horde of Titans. Cue the music, and the episode starts off in earnest.  Attack on Titan is a show that is good at drawing the viewer in with the overall plot of the show, if not for the main characters themselves. As the story progresses, you learn more and more about the world they inhabit, which leads to more and more questions, some of which are answered, and some of which are left to the viewer to stew on. As humanity fights, as the main characters unearth more information about the Titans and how to fight them, it becomes clear that humanity has been losing its battle since day one.

Every encounter with the Titans only serves to slow their rampage for a short time, and there is no explanation for the way Titans act, what they are, or where they come from. Their world is a bleak one, populated by people who can only hope to live to see the next day, trying their best to live as best they can before they die. In their desperation, people turn to whatever they can to give them comfort. Some people turn to the Capital and its riches, hoping to live in comfort for as long as they can: this is the downfall of the Military Police and the corruption at their core. Some turn to the Survey Corps, hoping to live out their lives fighting, rather than waiting to die behind the walls. And some turn to the walls themselves, worshiping the man-made barriers as gifts from God. It’s ironic that the Church of the Walls, that organization that should be the closest to God, is actually the farthest from Him. But…where is God in Attack on Titan?

where is god in attack on titan

He seems to be absent, having left humanity to fend for themselves against a threat they do not understand. And that is how it feels to be a Christian sometimes: when the world seems to be closing in, when circumstances overtake us, when those around us betray us, or the culture seems to ostracize us at every turn, we turn to God looking for answers…and He seems to have disappeared. This feeling is also prevalent at times in the Bible, especially in the life of David: the Psalms are full of David crying out to God in his troubles. Psalm 13 even starts with “How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will you hide for face from me?” Even we Christians feel like God has abandoned us at times. But does He? God promises in Deuteronomy that He will “never leave us not forsake us”…so then why do we feel forgotten? There are several reasons: sometimes we are cut off from Him because of our sin, sometimes, it’s because He wants us to learn to rely solely on Him. But whatever the reason, God is still at work in our lives, no matter how dark things become, and no matter how lost we feel. He always provides a way of escape and deliverance for us, whether it’s in the form of an encouraging friend, a new job, or even a Titan-Shifter. We won’t always understand how God works, or why He does what He does. But through faith, we can have assurance that God will always work everything together for our good, and for the advancement of His kingdom.  

Sam

I'm a student who loves God and manages to balance school, games, books, anime, and Asian culture while staying slightly sane.

  • LilliAnn Sutherlin (L.A.S.)

    Wow I never understood why my friends liked this show but now I think I kinda get it (though it’s still not my cup of tea) thanks for writing an article that took the deep side of a popular anime and brought it out to light.