Who Are the Good Guys in Attack on Titan?
One of the things that we know about Attack on Titan is that different sides are fighting for a similar goal, which is to survive. But the problem is that they have to ensure they survive the onslaught of Eren Yeager, who might be the protagonist of the storyline but is far from the good guy because he decided to wreak havoc throughout the entire world for the sake of his friends. So, if that’s the case, who are the good guys in Attack on Titan?
The good guys in Attack on Titan are Eren’s friends because they attempted to stop him from destroying the world. However, the story has no real good guys because even Eren’s friends thought they needed a smaller Rumbling to destroy the allied forces.
The very fact that there are no real good guys on Attack on Titan highlights the reality of war and how different people do different things to survive. Of course, this means that even the “good guys” of the storyline did things that can be considered horrible when you look at it from an objective standpoint. Now, let’s talk more about who the good guys are in Attack on Titan.
The Good Guys in Attack on Titan
If there’s one thing that’s true about Attack on Titan, it’s that there are many things about the series that can make anyone wonder whether or not there are actually good guys in the storyline. Of course, during the early portion of the story, it was established that the good guys were the people living on Paradis Island as they were fighting off the titans that were invading their homes and eating people mindlessly. As such, Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and their friends from the Survey Corps were considered good guys.
But the situation changed when the real story of what happened in the past was revealed. The truth was that there was an entirely different world outside of Paradis Island and that the people with the power to become titans were called Eldians or the Subjects of Ymir. These people spent hundreds of years rampaging throughout the entire world to kill and subjugate different people under the Eldian Empire using the Power of the Titans. And when the Eldian king realized what they were doing was wrong a hundred years ago, he took some Eldians to Paradis Island and locked them up behind the walls while erasing their memories.
Nevertheless, the people of Marley and the rest of the world saw the Eldians as devils that needed to be killed or, at the very least, controlled due to what they did to the world during the height of the Eldian Empire. That was why they sent pure titans to Paradis and decided to send the Eldian warriors to take the Founding Titan. And it was the fact that Reiner and Bertholdt attacked Paradis using their titan forms that started the entire mess, as Eren lost his mother and ended up vowing to kill all of the titans in the world.
When Eren learned the truth and saw the future after making contact with Historia, he decided to do something about it by using the power of the Founding Titan to initiate the Rumbling, which allowed him to summon hundreds of thousands of Wall Titans to trample the entire world and destroy the rest of the world while keeping Paradis Island and his friends safe. The fact that Eren killed millions of lives means he was never the good guy in the story but was merely the protagonist. So, who are the good guys in Attack on Titan if that’s the case?
Upon realizing that Eren wanted to trample the entire world under the feet of his Wall Titans, his friends decided to take action. This group comprised the remnants of Hange’s Survey Corps that didn’t join the Yeagerists in taking over Paradis Island. We are talking about Mikasa, Armin, Jean, Connie, Hange, and Levi. We can even include the Eldian warriors on that list, as Reiner, Pieck, and Annie decided to join in the mission to stop Eren.
Of course, if you’ve read the manga, you would know that they succeeded in defeating Eren, whose plan involved dying at the hands of his friends so that the Power of the Titans would disappear from the face of the planet. And because of their efforts in the final battle against Eren, Mikasa and Armin were considered heroes.
There Are No Real Good Guys
But while we can say that the remnants of the Survey Corps and the remaining Marleyan Warriors were the good guys in Attack on Titan because they were responsible for stopping Eren in the final battle, the truth is that there are no real good guys in the storyline. And that’s because all of the characters involved in the story were willing to do whatever it took to survive and protect their own kind.
In that case, even Mikasa, Armin, and the rest of the Survey Corps did horrible things for the sake of their people. During the early part of the final season, they killed many Marleyan soldiers and innocent Eldians on Marley to save Eren during his attack on Liberio. Even Mikasa and Armin, to a certain extent, agreed with the original plan of Eren using a small-scale Rumbling to destroy the allied forces planning to attack Paradis Island.
That means that there were no real heroes and good guys in Attack on Titan because everyone was willing to kill and take lives if it meant protecting their own country. And this is where it becomes interesting because different people see things differently regarding who is good and who is bad in Attack on Titan.
It’s A Matter Of Perspective
In the end, it all boils down to the perspective of the characters in Attack on Titan regarding who is right and who is wrong. Of course, almost everyone except for the Yeagerists believed that what Eren did was wrong. But the circumstances that led to the Rumbling are what allow us to see why the topic of who is good and who is bad boils down to perspective.
For the Eldians that were living on Paradis Island, they viewed themselves as people that were simply defending themselves from the hatred of the world because they didn’t even know the history of the Eldians when their memories were wiped away. As such, their attack on Liberio and their plan of taking down the allied forces using a small-scale Rumbling were all fueled by their desire to protect themselves as the rest of the world viewed them as devils.
On the part of Marley and the rest of the world, they were victims of the horrible things that the Eldians did to them in the past. The Eldian Empire killed millions of people using the Power of the Titans, which was why the Eldians were viewed as devils with tainted blood. As such, the way that they treated the Eldians was rooted in their fear of the titans and what the Eldians could do if they decided to use the Power of the Titans to trample the entire world.
You can’t even fault the warriors for what they did. In the eyes of the Eldians living on Marley, they were the good guys because they were simply trying to make up for the sins of the Eldians by working for Marley. So, even if Reiner and the others were responsible for starting the entire war between Paradis Island and Marley, you can’t blame them for what they did because they were force-fed with lies about the nature of the islander Eldians as devils.
With all that said, there are no real good guys in Attack on Titan because everything boils down to the perspective of those involved in this war. This highlights the reality of an actual war, as all sides in a real war believe they are the good guys and are fighting for a just cause. But the reality is that there are no real good guys in a war because all sides involved commit horrible acts for the sake of their own goals.