The official English title for Hajime Isayama’s magnum opus might be a bit of a mistranslation. Shingeki no Kyojin’s English translation isn’t Attack on Titan. The series uses that misdirection to divert viewers’ attention away from the series’ primary objective or its most central element.
Now, there might be several reasons for this diversion. One such reason is our understanding of the story. Even the author stated that the title of the series was a bit far-fetched and outlandish, in his opinion. This can be thought to be one of the many situations in anime where names are used as deliberate extensions of the plot itself.
The Actual Translation for Attack on Titan’s Japanese Title, Shingeki no Kyojin
The Japanese title of the series is Shingeki no Kyojin, which can be translated in several ways. There is an inherent ambiguity in Japanese regarding possession and the subject in that phrase. The words in the phrase can be broken into three parts. Shingeki translates to Advance or Attack in a strategic sense. The no signifies the possession on behalf of the subject, and Kyojin means giant or, more relevantly, titan.
The original Japanese title can also be translated as The Attack of the Titans, which is quite suitable considering the early circumstances of the series rather than Attack on Titan. The exciting part is that the official English version of Shingeki no Kyojin is part of the ruse and adds more ambiguity to the title. Only after we learn more about the protagonist’s Attack Titan and eight other Titan shifters do we understand which translation the author Isayama Hajime was trying to divert us from. He also thought that the original translations were a bit outlandish for considering the actual premise of the series.
Story of the Attack Titan in Attack on Titan
The Titan of the Attack, or what we know as The Attack Titan, is one of the nine Titans initially created in Eldia. The powers of this beast were passed from one person to another through anthropophagy. We saw the powers of The Attack Titan being passed from Dr. Grisha Jaeger to his son Eren early in the first season. Audiences finally get an insight into the significance and reasoning behind Grisha’s actions on the day the Colossal Titan destroyed the wall. Dr. Grisha Jaeger inherited the powers of the Attack Titan from Eren Kruger, an individual known to the Eldian Resistance against Marley as The Owl. He finally opens up his true identity as an Eldian after several years of betraying and turning his people into True Titans.