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The Fan-Favorite Character Fans Fear Might Be Killed Off In Attack On Titan

Don't you hate when you get corralled into a concentrically-walled city that is beset by giant monsters that enjoy eating human beings? It may not seem like that big of a deal to those of us in the real world, but on the anime series "Attack on Titan," it is pretty much par for the course. Now in its fourth and final season, "Attack on Titan" has become so much more than a story about giant monsters attacking a city and those defending it. As time has gone on, the hit anime series has gotten dedicated fans of the series to take stock on what makes a person a person, the nature of authority, and an homage to the Friedrich Nietzsche quote, "He who fights too long against dragons becomes a dragon himself."

Originally following Eren Jaeger (voiced in Japanese by Yûki Kaji and in English by Bryce Papenbrook), "Attack on Titan" sees Eren become a savior to the people, and then eventually become their nightmare, the embodiment of everything he once fought against. Considering the nature of anime, good guys turning bad guys and vice versa can often happen, as well as major character deaths. "Attack on Titan" does not shy away from brutal character deaths, as the very first episode establishes that not many are safe in a world full of cannibalistic humanoid kaiju. The deaths of Carla Jaeger, Bertholdt Hoover, Ymir Fritz, and Fay Jaeger are among the many deaths that still resonate with fans of the series. Now, it seems like one character is starting to make some individuals get a little worried about the character's future on the popular anime.

Fans are concerned about Jean's future

In March, user u/logic-pee started a conversation on the subreddit r/ShingekiNoKyojin by posting an image of Jean Kirschstein (voiced in Japanese by Kishô Taniyama and in English by Mike McFarland) and saying that he's getting too much screen time, and they are worried that the character may be killed before the completion of "Attack on Titan." Reddit commenter u/Your_Mother466 replied that they better not kill Jean off because they are becoming rather fond of the character, while u/neonglint asked why the original poster would be concerned. To this, Redditor u/bucken764 responded, "It's kind of a trope in this show that if it goes out of the way to make you like a character, they are about to get the axe."

U/TargetWeird said that they understand why some fans are concerned about Jean and added that this trope often gives off "The Walking Dead" vibes, which typically gives a character a fair amount of screen time before brutally killing them off. Some fans assuaged the doubts of others regarding the ultimate fate of Jean, with u/FedoraSkelton stating, "I get your worries, but I think this has more to do with Jean finally getting put in the position of a leader that has been foreshadowed since Season 1. Now that Eren's gone, I think a lot of people are going to look towards Jean as a leader. And I think we'll finally see the payoff of this when the group (I assume) goes to fight Eren." U/We_The_Raptors also agreed with this comment and said that Jean is finally getting main character screen time now that Eren is a villain.

It seems then that there are two distinct camps of thought when it comes to Jean: Some fans think that he is not long for this world, and others believe he is now the main character protected by predictable plot machinations.

The series creator said he created Jean to represent humanity

Amongst the most powerful "Attack on Titan" characters, Jean Kirschstein is a free-spirited and brash individual who has no qualms about expressing his opinion. Dedicated to defeating the Titans and helping free humanity from their presence, Jean may seem self-centered and impulsive. In truth, he is actually incredibly loyal to his fellow soldiers and considers human life to be precious. He feels incredible sorrow when he has to make tough decisions that result in the deaths of his comrades.

In a translated interview with the "Attack on Titan" manga creator Hajime Isayama from 2016, he said of the character, "In my own view, I created Jean and Armin as representatives of humanity. They are not bad people, but they are also not purely righteous people, either. Sometimes they have a sly [cunning] way of thinking, tell lies, and there are also times when they are confused. I wanted them to be characters whom readers can sympathize with and relate them to actual human beings. However, as the story progresses, Armin has grown to be an excellent individual, while Jean is left to be the only true representative of humans."

With these comments in mind, it appears as if Jean is an incredibly important character in terms of the thematic elements of "Attack on Titan." Now that Eren, the former main character of the show, is terrorizing humanity and threatening terrible acts of genocide, a new main character is needed to fill in the gap left by Eren. Luckily for fans of the show, it seems as if Jean is ready to step up to the proverbial plate, assuming he doesn't get eaten somewhere along the line!