A lot of people have been talking about how similar Attack on Titan and Seraph of the End are as of late and I agree. I decided to write a blog comparing the most basic similarities of the two.
Warning: This a very long post!
COMPARISON ONE: The trio with a hot head guy, somewhat quiet yet badass girl, and seemingly helpless dorky guy.
Both AoT and Seraph have trios containing these three types who are the main protagonists: Eren, Mikasa, and Armin, verses Yuuichirou, Shinoa, and Yoichi.
Eren vs. Yuu: I think Eren and Yuu are pretty similar in this area, but Eren is leading by a hair. Their personalities are slightly different as Eren is a bit more of a hothead while Yuu is a little bit more controlled. Their reasons for wanting to fight are also extremely similar: Yuu wants to kill all of the vampires, and Eren wants to kill all of the titans. I like Eren better because he is a more real-to-life character. For example: Eren goes through phases of denial and great fear when he transform into a titan, while Yuu doesn’t give too much other that a slightly surprised reaction when he finds out that the Hyakuya sect was involved in human experimentation. Eren’s processing of the information before accepting and questioning his condition seems more realistic than just skipping directly to an irrelevant question seems to be much more human.
Mikasa vs. Shinoa: These two are not nearly as similar as Yuu and Eren are. It is really hard to judge Shinoa’s character as her personality seems to switch around a lot. From what I have seen, I prefer Mikasa to Shinoa, but not by a large margin. Mikasa is one of those characters that I am incredible partial to. I love the contrast between Mikasa’s shared strength and weakness when it comes to Eren. While Mikasa is able to be strong for Eren and fight for his sake, she is also held back emotionally by her strong attachment to Eren. This shows the strongest during the attack on Trost, when Eren was thought to be dead. As much as i enjoy Mikasa’s character, I also really like Shinoa’s personality. Sadly though, her character seems a little wasted as she seems to make up most of the comedic relief of the show. Shinoa seems to be single-handedly pushing the plot forward, as almost every action of hers leads to a core discovery.
Armin vs. Yoichi: This is the matchup that really tips the scale for me. Yes, Yoichi does not get as much screen time, but it is easy to tell that Armin is a much deeper and more enjoyable character. While Yoichi just seems like a useless weakling (a role that anyone could play), Armin is an extremely intelligent and hard working character. I dislike Yoichi because he is the poster child for the “weak” character that has been let into the main protagonist faction out of some minute or minor deed. Armin had to work hard for years in order to just stay in the training corps, and faced being kicked out due to his physical weakness, Armin is one of the most mentally strong characters in AoT (alongside Erwin, Hange, Levi, and Pixis). Compared to Yoichi, who was is inconsistent in character, for he switches off from being the strongest to the weakest character in nearly identical situations. Yoichi’s character is not only inconsistent, but it also lacks fundamental purpose to the anime as a whole, as he doesn’t seem to add too much at all to the plot overall.
COMPARISON TWO: A supernatural enemy with larger forces, strength, and an appetite for humans.
Both AoT and Seraph have supernatural enemies that have a larger effective forced (compared to the trained protagonist units), are physically stronger than humans, and want to consume specifically humans.
Vampires vs. Titans: To clarify, the “titans” include titan shifters. I am including the titan shifters in this because similar to the vampires, both have defined personalities and bonds (unlike the average sludge-brain titan). I find the titans (and shifters) to be way more terrifying.
- Titans are much larger than the vampires in Seraph and the humans: this gives the titans both an advantage and a weakness all in one trait. While being large helps the titans destroy things and gives them overwhelming strength, their largeness also disables them from entering small spaces, and, because they are much larger than their surrounding and have predator (only frontal) vision, titans are easier to take down with 3DM gear.
- Normal titans are morally impactful because they move completely on instinct, without any intelligence or intent. The fact that humans can be so helpless against nearly brainless creatures is a huge hit to humanity’s moral. Abnormal titans are also terrifying because their quirks are both unknown and unpredictable, adding to the insult to humanity’s ability. Titan shifters have specialized abilities and intelligence, making them seem like an invincible enemy. The existence of shifters also inspires suspicion and anticipation from the government of normal citizens acquiring titan-shifting abilities, effectively redirecting political interest.
- It seems much easier to kill vampires (of every level) than it is to kill titans. With Vampires, you (assuming proper armor) can still take them out and get into a one on one sword fight, in which the duel is battled on the same grounds as a normal sword fight. The only thing that sets vampires apart from humans, physically, is their increased strength and agility. The way that humans are portrayed is simply over powered, and the vampires are incredibly stupid an unaware, which seems inaccurate, as vampires are also hunted by the Four Horsemen of John. On the other hand, even normal titans are significantly harder to kill (almost impossible without 3DM gear) and can regenerate entire limbs with time. There is little likelihood that your fight with a titan will be not be interrupted, increasing the risk factor of starting a fight in the first place. Additionally abnormal titans are even more difficult to kill as they seem to have a greatly raised agility. Titan shifters are a whole other story. They are effectively larger humans, with the same ratio of strength and size. A larger, malicious, human has the same strengths of normal titans, in addition to human strengths, yet the titan shifters have fewer weaknesses, as they have the basic knowledge of how to protect themselves.
- The way titans kill humans is just pure brutal. The vampires suck humans dry or till organ failure due to lack of blood happens, and also have decapitation and attacks with physical weapons. This one is pretty close to me but seeing normal titans crush, rip apart, and consume people, only to dump the bodies (or throw them up) later. Titan shifters are also more interesting because they are humans with true emotions, allowing them the ability to understand their own actions.
COMPARISON THREE: Main protagonists want to join an elite soldier group that will allow them to fight against the monsters and get revenge/kill them all.
Eren and Yuuichirou are trying to join the elite organizations that fight off the monsters. Eren wants to join the Scouting Legion/Survey Corps and Yuu wants to join the Moon Demon Company.
I personally prefer Eren’s situation in this case, mostly because Eren had to earn his position, while Yuu was, in essence, only let in because he was a “special” case. Eren trained for three years and his hard work put him in the top ten of his class. When he joined the Survey Corps (pre-Trost), Eren was still only considered an obnoxious and naïve kid who has a lot of enthusiasm and skill when it came to killing titans. Eren was only ever a normal solider, and received no special treatment throughout his training. It was only later that Eren became a “special case” due to government’s discovery of Eren’s special titan shifting ability. Even when Eren was provisionally let in to the Survey Corps, he was treated like a monster and had to constantly watch himself and work to win the others’ trust. Yuu’s case is fundamentally different because from the time he emerged from the Vampire hole, he was already promised a spot in the Company. Yuu’s only task/the only work he had to put in was to gain a “friend.” While Eren had to learn all of the basic skills and qualify to be a solider through several tests, Yuu only had to prove that he could be compatible with just one other human being. Eren’s journey is much more meaningfull and significant to his full development as a character.
COMPARISON FOUR: The setting of inside the wall and training.
The setting of hiding inside the perimeter of a protective wall is incredibly similar between the two. I feel like Attack on Titan addresses the implications of this being and issue thousands much better. Seraph mentioned the wall, and how “free” people don’t live outside of it, but there really is not much said about what the wall means. On the other hand, AoT clearly explained throughout the series the ideology behind the wall, and by showing the psychological effect of the wall being broken, the viewer is better able to understand the full effect of the terror from the wall being broken. “We live like cattle!” (priests that worship the walls). Another part of the setting is the training aspect that the shows have. Attack on Titan shows the almost all the training in the first couple of episodes, While Seraph of the End has moments of training every couple of episodes (the gaining of the dark swords, the sword level up, ect). I actually don’t like how Seraph uses the training episodes as an excuse to add character development. I think that gaining a new skill does not necessarily progress the characters themselves, and is kind of a cop out of supplying perhaps a more meaningful learning moment.
COMPARISON FIVE: Giant slaughter in the first scenes of the series.
Both series sport a gory first episode that establishes a sense of purpose for the main character.
I actually like both of these of on a fairly equal level. I prefer Seraph’s first episode because it clearly establishes the premise of the show (not that AoT’s premier doesn’t), and it outlines the emotional torment of Yuu. I prefer AoT’s premier because it set a baseline for the relationships between characters, and because it focused more on the context of the series as a whole.
Well you have heard my reasons for liking AoT better! I still like Seraph of the End as a series of this type, I just prefer Attack on Titan in comparison. Feel free to comment your thoughts 🙂