Posting from Tintagel

AoT intro magic symphony

April 09, 2017 | 7 Minute Read

Coincidence. Just a couple of days ago I wondered why I like SnK so much.
I won’t say anything revolutionary. I’m impressed by the Attack on Titan new opening. I’m confused by the ending. Or not. One thing is obvious - everything OP/ED is going in a not ordinary way.

Devote you heart! / Opfert eure Herzen! [心臓を捧げよ! Shinzō o Sasageyo!]
The moment depicted below is my official favorite.

  • evolution

There are mainly reptiles - including legendary dinosaurs and marine reptiles - there and mammals, which are descendants of reptiles. Reptiles are also bird ancestors but birds are in minority in that scene, I don’t see any of them besides a flightless ostrich(?) somewhere behind - if it is, it’s presently the largest bird on Earth. There are also a few selected fish like batoidea or tuna(?)) - another large species. Fish are ancestors of every subsequent vertebrate.
Summarizing, the anthropoid is coming in company of large - if not the largest - mammals and reptiles (including extinct giant species). Noticeable intelligent species like the dolphin or orca are missing as well as the mammoth which played its role in history of mankind before it vanished.

  • food chain

Visible/recognizable mammals are mostly - or solely - herbivores (elephant, hippo, giraffe, zebra, camel(?)). Whale is an exception - carnivorous, predatory and the largest earthly animal (the Blue Whale is the largest known animal which has ever existed).[1] Reptiles are mixed - crocodile is an evident carnivore and apex predator, the extinct species - only Parasaurolophus is herbivorous, Mosasaurus(?), Plesiosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex are carnivorous and predatory, moreover T-Rex is apex predatory and the largest carnivore in its erstwhile environment. Even chosen fish are not so random - both are large carnivores and predators.
Summarizing, the anthropoid is coming in company of large - if not the largest - mammals and reptiles (including extinct giant species), where majority are predatory reptiles, likely apex predators. Thought-provoking why not a wolf, tiger, lion, bear. No predatory mammals except the whale, a giant animal living in the ocean.

In the final OP moment all of those creatures are moving forward and wiping off myriad standing still human beings from the face of Earth, step by step.
The whole wipe-out scene looks somehow familiar to me - End of Evangelion, Human Instrumentality Project - the forced evolution of humanity.[2]
One more thing makes me think NGE - the glowing ‘heart’ inside every human or not-human being, in the OP grande finale especially.
In the Eva-universe, invading Angels possessed an organ located within the core - S2 engine - limitless source of energy or immortality and infinite power. It was the Fruit of Life opposite to the Fruit of Knowledge possessed by humans - man’s ability to cogitate.[2] Does it ring a bell? Science is the power of man. /Gendo Ikari/

Yes, breaking the food chain by one of its links is enough sin.
Human, at the beginning, wasn’t common prey and wasn’t a typical predator, at the end.
Content leads to conclusion - Human was self-proclaimed apex predator to everything. Titan is apex predator to human.

  • prey-predator dependence

Simba - But, Dad, don’t we eat the antelope?
Mufasa - Yes, Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eats grass. So we are all connected in the great Circle of Life. /The Lion King/

Predation is a natural following of the instinct. It is associated with the food chain cooperation and the coexistence in the natural environment. Predatory is not cruel. Carnivores are hunting, protecting (territory, offspring, resources, own life) and keeping the balance of the ecosystem - they control the local population of their - usually herbivore - preys.
Insects and the rest of invertebrates. Fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. Extincted species and those living currently. Whale eating fish and Anomalocaris eating a trilobite.
Quoting the expert [3] - OP already pays homage to Jurassic Park 3 with the shot of a T. rex clamping down on a Spinosaurus’ neck.

  • circle of life

It represents birth, survival and death, a constant loop. It means that death is not the end but the seed of some other life. An animal becomes food for another animal. Plants feed animals. Bacteria exist everywhere. That’s a cause why life originated from water.
Antelope can fight with lions before she dies. Hippopotamus can stand up for its territory. When fox - carnivore, predator - dies, it’ll become food for crows/ravens as scavengers, for omnivores.
How to force human to return to that cycle where war doesn’t look the same, in the way the mankind is used to. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. /Albert Einstein/

Let’s get back to the previous openings. The same artist - Linked Horizon, the same unstoppable, exhilarating performance.
Feuerroter Pfeil und Bogen / Crimson Bow and Arrow [紅蓮の弓矢 Guren no Yumiya]
Sie sind das Essen und Wir sind die Jaeger! / Are you the food? No, we are the hunter!
False safety. Livestock in the cage. Soldier recruits equipped 3DMG. Mankind faces against the paradox - if an animal was born in captivity, it doesn’t want to escape, because it’s definition of freedom is different.
Die Flügel der Freiheit / The Wings of Freedom [自由の翼 Jiyū no Tsubasa]
It’s dedicated to professional soldiers with 3DMG weapon conception detailed and exposed. The goal is to fight for freedom and survive for desire to fly away like a bird. Perhaps all of the mankind doesn’t deserve it but the Survey Corps veterans do and the others who believe in them.

The Bird at Dusk [夕暮れの鳥 Yūgure no Tori] by Shinsei Kamattechan outro is most of all different. It’s created and performed by the SnK manga author’s favorite artist. The vision indeed includes amount of smuggled manga spoilers, that’s true. Anyway, they are not suggested in such a simple way. Honestly, a certain picture is confusing even for advanced manga fans. The exposed vintage and its final message are dusky. Birds fly away again.
According to the confirmation that Hajime Isayama was involved in mentioned ED screenplay it may suggest that he smuggled there what he has told lately - I want a good ending. Whatever it means.

[1] Gregory S. Paul “The Evolution of Dinosaurs and their World” (The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs)
[2] Evageeks
[3] I’d like to thank my friend Evangelion Addict - You’re irreplaceable source of knowledge about dinos. I learnt that dino-prehistory is really fascinating. Thank you a lot!