5 plot twists in Attack on Titan that were loved by fans (& 5 that were controversial)

The Yeagers are at the heart of many of Attack on Titan’s plot twists (Image via MAPPA Studios)
The Yeagers are at the heart of many of Attack on Titan’s plot twists (Image via MAPPA Studios)

Attack on Titan has had some of the most memorable plot twists in all of anime. From Annie being the Female Titan to the long-awaited secrets of the Yeager family basement, the series seems to be nothing but plot twists at times.

However, not every plot twist was well-received. Even with all its brilliance, there are some Attack on Titan plot twists that simply didn’t resonate with fans for one reason or another.

Here are five plot twists in Attack on Titan that were loved by fans and five more that were somewhat controversial.

Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinions of the writer and contains spoilers for Attack on Titan

Annie’s identity, 4 more Attack on Titan plot twists that fans loved

1) Eren’s basement


The secret of the Yeager family basement was essentially the main objective of Attack on Titan up until its third season.

When Marley’s existence and Grisha’s past were discovered, both fans and characters felt like the series’ grand purpose had finally been fulfilled. However, neither party realized that this was only the beginning of the end.

2) Eren’s influence on Grisha


A more recent plot twist that fans loved was Eren’s influence on Grisha through the Attack Titan. Zeke's gradual realization that his brother manipulated their father instead of being brainwashed by him is beautifully portrayed.

Fans further praised the dichotomous composure Eren displayed while his father was pushed into a state of near insanity.

3) Annie’s true identity


The Female Titan acted as Attack on Titan’s main antagonist for its first season, and the reveal that it was none other than Annie was praised by fans worldwide.

The trail of breadcrumbs that led to it had fans praising Isayama's writing for providing only enough hints while not fully confirming the plot.

The tease of her relationship with her father as her motivation also laid the foundation for later revelations the series would unveil. Annie’s true identity was undoubtedly one of the most beloved and impactful plot twists in the series.

4) Bertholdt/Reiner reveal


The revelation of Bertholdt and Reiner’s true identities was also incredibly well-received by fans.

The soundtrack used in this scene has become iconic in animanga and pop culture, even becoming somewhat of a meme in the Attack on Titan community. The writing here is also amazing, with perfect ambiance and tone for the eventual reveal.

5) Eren “dying”


Attack on Titan’s first season saw Trost District under attack by Titans, and Eren and his friends were sent out to fight them. As he swung through the town, Eren had his leg eaten by a Titan who appeared out of nowhere.

Eren ended up in the Titan's mouth, where he was swallowed and presumed dead. Obviously, this ended up not being the case, but fans were absolutely awestruck at what they had just witnessed at the time.

Erwin’s death, 4 other controversial Attack on Titan plot twists

1) Eren betrays the scouts


The first half of Attack on Titan’s final season saw Eren fully turn his back on the Scout Regiment. Much like the scouts themselves, fans absolutely hated the heel turn he made here, aligning himself with the Yeagerists and the New Eldian Empire.

Like the scouts, fans felt as though the Eren they knew and loved was fully gone. As a result, this twist is one of the most controversial in the entire series.

2) Eren fights Armin, hurts Mikasa


Similarly, Eren’s hurtful confrontation with Mikasa and his physical confrontation with Armin was painful for fans to watch. It essentially confirmed that the character they knew was dead and gone.

Fans felt awful for what Mikasa and Armin had to endure in this scene. Some fans even began turning on Eren here, labeling him the antagonist of the story instead of the protagonist.

3) Erwin’s death


The finality of Erwin’s death was another plot twist that divided the fanbase. Some fans praised Isayama’s choice to move forward with Armin. Others, however, felt the youngster wouldn’t be able to lead the scouts to victory. They believed that the ruthlessness the Survey Corps commander displayed would be needed in upcoming battles.

Even before his resurrection was an option, fans criticized his nearly pointless death. The Beast Titan ended up escaping in the end, essentially making Erwin’s sacrifice and that of the other scouts he led into battle meaningless.

4) Kenny’s death


While less of a plot twist than others on this list, the sudden death of Levi’s uncle was surely unexpected. For some, it was even a bad choice on Isayama’s part. Fans had hoped that Kenny would remain in the story because of his knowledge of Marley and the outside world, as well as his dynamic with Levi.

Regardless of why they wanted him to stick around, many fans wished to see more of the eldest Ackerman. Unfortunately for them, the story didn’t pan out in such a way.

5) Titans are humans


While a fantastic twist thematically and storywise, fans didn’t react very positively to this plot twist. Some fans hated the fact that the enemy ended up being humanity in the end. Meanwhile, others praised the subversion of expectations and introduction of the unknown.

Wherever fans stood, this was undoubtedly one of Attack on Titan’s most controversial revelations.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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