My Boss Asked Me to Write About ‘Attack on Titan’ but this is What Happened

How Shingeki no Kyojin Changed the way I look at adulting

There was a time in my life when I also dreamt of becoming a cosplayer, an animator, and a graphic novelist. It was the obvious fascination with anime that led to those childhood fantasies.  Growing up, I’ve always pictured myself doing something related to those Japanese animations.

But life happened. Adults could totally relate to how we no longer have time to binge-watch new series and read manga simply because… there are so many things to do (and bills to pay). You will reach a certain age when you’ll no longer have time to do the things that you have been accustomed to do – yeah kiddos, reality sucks. Now, what’s left of me is that longtime dream of visiting Japan and experiencing for real the culture that brought the great anime series of my time.

2020 Plot Twist

Then 2020 happened. In the midst of lockdowns, quarantines, and ‘work from home’ scenarios, I’ve found clients online who tasked me to write articles of various niches – from weeds to vapes to startups and TV shows. One of them commissioned me to write a short listicle on the Shingeki no Kyojin fandom.

It was rather an easy task. ‘Googleable’ as we put it. But what came after was the curiosity of my younger self. Fascinatingly, I was convinced by my own write-up to watch the whole three seasons (4th season ongoing as of this writing) in just a week. Impatient with the weekly installment on Netflix, I found myself reading the manga to know how the story continues to unfold.

And as if it was not enough, I joined several online forums (hello, Discord people) to read more discussions, rumors, and updates. I even began to be so keen on Twitter trends relating to AOT and Isayama. (Dami kong time).

The Sudden Interest with ‘Attack on Titan’

It was the unusual brutality that first got me so interested in Attack on Titan. Growing up with Samurai X, Naruto, Tokyo Ghoul, and Death Note made me witness a number of deaths – but not as brutal as AOT. Hajime Isayama has this weird way of making you feel so attached to all characters by giving the audience enough backstory before actually killing them. No dramas. No flashbacks. They just die. Sometimes, without having the chance to fight back for their lives (insert Sasha).

Then there’s this weird play of characters. One stuck in unrequited love. A scaredy-cat. Someone who’s destined to either save or extinct humanity. And that big chance of having to kill each other to put an end to this 12-year series.

But what I like the most is how these characters evolved through the years. It takes great manipulative writing skills to develop an overly aggressive character to someone so calm – and scary at the same time. It’s like watching how Harry Potter grow from the Sorcerer’s Stone to Deathly Hallows or how Woody matured all through the Toy Story movie installations. I often joke with Jeya about how twisted and genius Isayama is for coming up with this kind of plot.

What Happened After I Wrote the ‘Attack on Titan’ Article

I’m no longer writing for the client who contracted me for that AOT article. But I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with one of my first love: the love for great stories, for unnerving characters, and mindboggling episodes. With one more chapter left, I could only hope that it would end on a satisfying note. ‘Cause happy ending is just not Isayama’s thing. And we love him for that.

Because that’s the reality of life. We don’t always get what we want. But sometimes out of nowhere, the universe will open an opportunity to make you realize that life, despite all its inconveniences, is still worth living.