What Is Attack on Titan Salute & Where Does It Come From?
Attack on Titan is memorable for a whole lot of things. From the most epic opening themes to Petra’s meme–made death, the salute of the Survey Corps unit is as memorable too. But we can bet that while watching brave Eldians salute, you wondered at least once what is the meaning of the salute in Attack on Titan.
Salute in Attack on Titan is a gesture when soldiers press their fists on their chests. They are really dedicating their hearts since so many of them died and will die during their missions. The origin of the salute is unknown, but it is often that even in real-life situations, people press their hands on their chests when they bow, salute, or clench their fists in protest.
As we are currently waiting on the last season of the anime and trying to compose ourselves after reading the manga „Shinzou wo sasageyo“ is repeated numerous times, so if you wish to know more about those iconic words and Survey Corps, read on!
What are the Survey Corps?
The Survey Corps is the branch of the Attack on Titan’s army most actively involved in the direct study of Titans, human expansion, and outside exploration. They had the best soldiers who are the most skilled in using vertical maneuvering equipment, which gets them on top of the Titans so they can slash their napes and kill them.
While we read the manga and watch the anime we actually follow the “adventures” of the Survey Corps and their members as they try to stay alive and discover the truth about their origin and purpose. Eren, Mikasa and Armin joined the most “hardcore” of all the military units so it makes sense that their salute would be equally strong in expression.
How do you salute in Attack on Titan?
Survey Corps salute by putting their clenched fist on their chest, right where the heart is, as they say the words „Shinzou wo sasageyo“ or „Dedicate your hearts“ as a response to their leader (in most anime scenes it’s Erwin) who does it first.
What is the Survey Corps motto?
The Survey Corps motto is never officially stated but can definitely be „Dedicate your hearts“.
Their leader Erwin often told them things that were in the context which is the same as the salute. As they march into battle he told them “For humanity’s sake, dedicate your hearts!” and has repeated such words many times.
Also, the Survey Corps have always been extremely dependent on one another, since about 10% of training groups would end up in their regiment. They had an unspoken agreement to trust each other, especially Erwin and be completely open with each other. It isn’t a motto, but they definitely had to live by it.
Survey Corps have a lot of symbolism around their name, as from the clenched fist we talked about, to their insignia which represents the „Wings of Freedom“ for they were trying to expand beyond the walls and find the truth about themselves and the rest of the world.
Where is the AOT salute from?
It is a very simple, and in real life, quite common salute. Clenching the fist while saluting is usually associated with left-wing movements, from BLM to anti-fascists of the Second World War.
Eldians are, as we later find out, put in camps, exactly like ghettos, treated like second-class citizens and must wear a yellow or red armband with the „Eldian star“ drawn on it. It is a situation way too similar to the horrors that happened to the Jews during WW2 to not associate the fist in their salute with the need for freedom they felt.
Attack on Titan itself has a lot of political contexts and it had us guessing what influenced it, but we can only assume that the oppressed Eldians are inspired by civil rights movements happening during the 20th and 21st centuries.
Now as we wait on the ending to unravel you finally know what might have inspired the author to make the Survey Corps salute as powerful and iconic as he did. So follow us and don’t forget to „Dedicate your hearts!“ (to something else other than dying in a weird position by the bottom of a pine tree).