The idea of an afterlife is a standard theme all through anime, and Assault on Titan isn’t any totally different, with some characters believing it to be true. While some anime depart the thought considerably ambiguous, akin to Naruto the place Kakashi Hatake’s father, Sakumo Hatake, is supposedly ready in a purgatory state to see his son, and a few outright discover the afterlife, such because the Soul Society in Bleach, Assault on Titan takes an strategy primarily based extra in actuality. As demise is such a standard theme throughout the world of the collection, it is sensible that the query of religion and the afterlife is checked out by not solely the viewers but additionally the characters.
The idea of religion and the afterlife in Assault on Titan has extra connections to the actual world than in another anime. There are spiritual teams which have hooked up to a specific image and worship it as a beacon of divinity, with out bodily proof establishing its authenticity, such because the Church of the Partitions, and a few characters point out dealing with their comrades within the afterlife, which is a standard trope inside militaristic societies. Nonetheless, because of sure supernatural components linked to the Eldians, there’s extra proof that for his or her race particularly, there’s certainly an afterlife.
One main piece of proof of the thought of an afterlife is seen after Hange confronts the Rumbling Titans and is killed. He’s taken from the scorched, ash-filled battlefield to a nice, blue-sky scene, surrounded by others who’ve been killed in the course of the battle. He speaks with Erwin Smith and is in a panic for the protection of those that fled on the flying boat, however it’s Erwin who feedback that they escaped efficiently, after which he can see the flying boat within the sky. At this level, he’s lifeless, not close to demise. He was roasted, which Armin Arlert could have survived for a little bit longer, however was then crushed beneath the burden of a Colossal Titan. He was not getting ready to demise, in a position to witness the flying boat escape.
Nonetheless, there are additionally two different potentialities concerning his reunion with the Scout Division and witnessing the flying boat’s departure. The primary and fewer attention-grabbing one is that he merely imagines it throughout his ultimate second of consciousness. The second is because of Eren Yeager’s affect, passing on a visible expertise by way of the Paths into Hange’s thoughts to present him a sense of solace as he dies. Each of those situations are considerably unlikely or suggest that there’s extra to the state of affairs. The previous is unlikely because of Hange already being lifeless, and the latter would suggest that Eren has entry to the spirit of Hange after his demise to grant him this momentary solace, which in itself implies some form of soul and a tangible afterlife.
A typical theme throughout the collection that will not be noticed for its spiritual afterlife connections is the thought of reincarnation. When a Titan Shifter dies, the Titan they inherited is routinely transferred to a baby throughout the Eldian race, primarily being reincarnated into one other being. This in itself is a type of reincarnation, and it’s only doable because of the singular connection between all members of the Eldian race. Not like the opposite races of the Assault on Titan world, or at the least from what has been proven within the collection, the Eldians are linked by way of The Paths, a spot of single consciousness.
If Eldians are in a position to switch the ability of the Titan Shifters supernaturally by way of The Paths right into a new child because of their religious connection, it’s unlikely that the Eldians wouldn’t have some form of soul. The concept of a soul is the religious entity that’s inside a human kind, generally known as the reasoning behind consciousness, and The Paths is the world of all consciousness, just like that of the Buddhist perception in Nirvana. Buddhism believes within the thought of reincarnation, and plenty of anime collection are built-in with Buddhist beliefs and beliefs. Assault on Titan isn’t any totally different. This is able to suggest that Eldians go to The Paths not once they die however when the cycle of Titan rebirth has come to its conclusion. Earlier than that, they’re reincarnated alongside the ability of the Titan Shifters.
There may be proof of the afterlife in Assault on Titan because of the existence of The Paths, the cycle of Titan Shifter rebirth into Eldians and the visible imagery that Hange experiences post-death. Nonetheless, whereas these seem like types of goal proof, they’re nonetheless circumstantial because of the thought of an afterlife by no means being outright acknowledged, solely closely implied. Nonetheless, contemplating that the afterlife is routinely depicted in anime, it appears probably that Assault on Titan has some type of it, permitting for a measure of peace after the brutal existence and grotesque ends that most of the characters undergo all through the collection.