Humanity is a fragile ideal. The concept of humanity is one that is difficult to grasp, the notion that we (humans) can create a term to describe our conscience is intriguing. Is humanity a term just to describe our species? Or does it describe a base conscience of our species?
For those who haven’t seen the show…SPOILERS! Duh.
This post will use an anime which is set in a dystopian future/past to help display the ideas behind the concept. The anime Attack On Titan. The anime is set 100 years after gigantic humanoids called titans appeared and nearly wiped out humanity. The few remaining factions decided to build 3 walls to hide behind from the oncoming onslaught. These walls are Wall Maria (outermost wall), Wall Rose (middle wall) and Wall Sina (innermost wall).
It has been these 3 walls that humans have lived an uneasy peace, terrified of the titan menace. The anime begins behind these walls when a 60-meter titan appears (more commonly referred to as the colossal titan) and kicks a hole in an adjacent district of Wall Maria. At this point, only a few humans had actually witnessed a titan in person, so the appearance of this unknown entity was significant. Reaffirming the terror in the remaining populous. If that wasn’t enough another titan appeared, an armoured titan which clean broke through the next gate, the gate straight through Wall Maria, it is hear that the story properly begins.
The story revolves around 3 young cadets, Eren Yaeger, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert, who after years of training are ready to join one of 3 factions where they will be stationed for most their remaining lives.
These factions are as follows; the Military Police, whose job it is to ensure order within the walls, only the best cadets can enter the MP’s, the ones who have honed their skills the most are the least likely to actually see a titan if they join this faction. The Garrison Regiment, who improve and look after the defences along the walls making them ready for the next titan assault, they also maintain the walls. Finally, the Scout Regiment, whose job it is to explore outside of the walls, in titan territory, to risk their lives to find a way for humanity to finally live outside of the walls.
As I’ve said previously titans are giant humanoid creatures who resemble the male form, they have no other feeling other than hunger. Yet, they don’t need nourishment, they don’t get hungry, their only desire is to consume humans. Titans predominantly come in a variation of sizes ranging between 3 and 15 feet tall. These titans will head to the closest human and attempt to consume them, regardless of injury. Other common titans are abnormals who have the ability to jump and run and don’t act in a predictable way like ‘normal’ titans. They will choose a specific human to attack regardless of those closest to them.
During the first season, we learn of other classes of titans, such as the colossus and armoured. Another titan type we discover is the attack titan, this titan is Eren Yaeger, who somehow was given the ability to transform by his father who has since vanished. We also find the female titan, who we discover is like Eren and able to transform from human form into a titan.
The trailer for Attack On Titan season 2 has offered us a glimpse of the new classes of titans that will be appearing in the show. If you do research please be aware the manga is significantly ahead of the anime, therefore beware a lot of the information will include all the information from the manga. Attack On Titan Season 2 is scheduled for release this coming year.
Humanity: Is Unity Achievable?
As with the anime, our society is full of issues within government and business. Corruption and lack of empathy are commonplace.
To use an example, in one of the earlier episodes of season 1, we see a merchant blocking the only exit out of the Trost district which is being invaded by titans, we see loads of people behind the wagon scared for their lives being unable to escape because of the greed of one man. When one of the protagonists, Mikasa saves the people from an abnormal running towards the gate, the merchant demands that she control the ‘rabble’ and help get the wagon through, citing the fact that since most of the money in their society comes from the merchant guild that he is paying her wages therefore is it her duty to protect him and his goods.
Another example of corruption or rather selfishness is when the commander of the Garrison regiment, Dot Pyxis is playing chess with one of the lords of their society when he hears about the breach in the Trost district. The lord tries to keep the commander in his personal estate, to protect him and him alone, not the rest of the population and not Trost district which is currently being invaded.
These two examples show that in their world, the rich and powerful have no care for the rest of the population, as long as they keep their lives they are content. The issues have caused the remaining section of humanity to live in poverty with significant difference in the social classes, the richer you are, the further in you are. The innermost wall, Wall Sina will only house the rich and powerful and have the highest concentration of MP’s. They are furthest away from any danger and in scenes which show the distinct differences in their lives from those in the outer walls, we see just how much they are out of touch with the real world and the problems it faces. This ability to ignore reality or omit reality from the press allows such inequalities to fester and grow.
The anime tells us what humanity has to do to survive. It has to unite to face the oncoming threat, or face extinction. There will be no other alternative, those in the scouts risking their lives to help get humanity outside will be destroyed first, they are ridiculed and the people hate that their taxes are being used in their ‘fruitless’ attempts to find new places to expand and settle outside of the walls. The complacency expressed show how far humanity has to be pushed to come together and unite.
In current society we are at a junction, climate change is a real and serious threat for our way of life, yet oil companies are lining their pockets and finding new methods to get more fossil fuels out of the ground. Some politicians are ignoring the proven scientific evidence that climate change is real, some businesses are trying to stop and make environmental agencies change the good they are doing.
It is 2017 and we are at a crucial point in our history. Extreme nationalism is rising, hate is breeding more hate and poverty is increasing. Instead of unity, humanity is becoming more divided. To survive, we must accept the fact that we must progress and unite and not regress and divide, progression and unity will be the only way we can help ourselves survive the coming crises.