WARNING: The next incorporates spoilers for the Assault on Titan anime and manga.
Hajime Isayama’s Assault on Titan has a legacy nearly as sophisticated because the sequence’ personal historical past. Much more advanced nonetheless is the sequence’ relationship to time and place, which grew to become an increasing number of distorted as protagonist-turned-antagonist Eren Jeager amassed ever extra unbelievable Titan Shifter powers, together with with the ability to see each ahead and backward in time, to a sure extent. With this data, followers have been in a position to reassess even probably the most foundational parts of Assault on Titan, such because the that means of the sequence’ first manga chapter and anime episode’s shared title.
“To You, 2,000 Years From Now” was an odd identify when each the primary chapter and tailored episode had been launched (it is barely altered for the anime), and it stays unusual all through a lot of the remainder of Assault on Titan. 2,000 years from when? And who’s the “you?” Earlier than the manga concluded earlier this yr, time-travel theories had been plentiful within the sequence’ fandom, and for good motive. That title alone implies some form of future sight, which, earlier than Eren unlocking the total powers of two of his Titans confirmed this to be the case, had been compounded by small but vital clues: Ymir’s discovery of tinned meals in a overseas language at Utgard Citadel insinuated the existence of a complicated tradition prior to now or current, whereas Eren Kruger’s foreknowledge of Armin Alert and Mikasa Ackerman’s names years earlier than they had been born teased the Assault Titan’s true, time-manipulating energy.
Even earlier than Assault on Titan ended, the actual that means of this title, particularly, could possibly be discovered scattered in different contextual clues. In Chapter #55 of the manga (Episodes 39 – 40 of the anime), Commanding Chief Dot Pixis describes the Fritz bloodline as being “unbroken for 2,000 years.” This refers to the truth that two centuries in the past, Ymir Fritz grew to become the ‘mom of all Titans,’ being the primary human to ever achieve the ability of the giants from what’s later revealed to be an historic worm-like creature. Her final dwelling descendants through the time of Assault on Titan‘s story find yourself being Historia Reiss and Zeke, however, extra importantly, the “unbroken” half may additionally confer with Ymir’s Founding Titan, which, till it was stolen from the royal household by Eren and Zeke’s father, Grisha, hadn’t left her bloodline since her demise.
This makes “To You, 2,000 Years From Now” sound prefer it comes from Ymir Fritz’s perspective. It is not till Chapter #86 (Episodes 56 and 57 of the anime), nevertheless, that Ymir is revealed to be the Founding father of the Titans, which roughly confirms that standpoint, and never till Chapter #122 (which has but to be tailored within the anime) that her full origin because the enslaved spouse of King Karl Fritz, cursed to hold on his will from past the grave, is totally defined. That chapter additionally flips the primary’s title: “From You, 2,000 Years Ago,” because it appears to be like again into the previous slightly than ahead into the long run (or, the current, from our perspective.)
This explains what the “2,000” means and from whom the assertion originates, however what in regards to the all-important “you” half? For that, we are able to make an informed guess based mostly on the ultimate two chapters of Assault on Titan. Isayama retains readers guessing proper up till the previous couple of pages of his tumultuous story of inter-generational and racial violence as to how the chips will fall, and fall they do. Because of Eren being given entry to the Founding Titan’s full energy — and his mortal physique’s demise leaving him a mere consciousness suspended between life and demise — he learns that Ymir is equally trapped in a metaphysical hell of her personal making; her love for an abusive husband conserving each her and her Titan progeny from disappearing from the world.
Ymir desperately wanted somebody to do what she did not have the power to. That individual seems not to be Eren, as soon as presumed to be her liberator, however Mikasa, who kills what’s left of her beloved adopted brother — additionally the thing of her personal romantic affections — contained in the Founding Titan to finish each his reign of terror and the Titan race. As she does so, Eren lastly finds peace, having martyred himself as a typical enemy for the world to unite towards, whereas Ymir’s response is a straightforward smile, indication sufficient that that is what she wished, all alongside. Due to this fact, the “you” in “To You, 2,000 Years From Now” is most probably Mikasa. Two ladies, two centuries aside, trapped by their devotion to villainous males, lastly free.
Although there’s no time journey in Assault on Titan, the cyclical reality of the story additionally comes into full focus throughout Eren’s closing moments, in addition to Ymir’s: The sequence begins with him waking up from a bizarre dream beneath a tree on a hill, by which Mikasa bids him goodbye, and ends in the very same means. Later, Eren is buried below that very same tree. Like Ymir, Eren knew — with out actually figuring out — how his life would finish all alongside; tragedies neither of them may ever escape.