Hong Kong Protesters See Parallels with Attack on Titan
posted on by Eric Stimson
Since September 26, a vast encampment of protesters, predominantly students, have demonstrated in the streets of Central, Hong Kong's financial district. Given the People's Republic of China's record of impatience with protests, the protesters have adopted a siege mentality, even going so far as to erect bamboo barriers to protect themselves and carrying umbrellas to shield themselves from tear gas. This has led some to draw comparisons with the latest hot export from Japan, Attack on Titan.
"Maybe we're Eren and Mikasa inside Wall Rose," mused a protester, identified only as Liu, when she was interviewed by the Japanese news site Zakzak. She explained that China's recent economic growth and rising international influence had made it a "Titan," and now it was assaulting the democracy within Hong Kong's walls. She is sympathetic to Eren and Mikasa's predicament.
Ire and mistrust have built up between the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong and the mainland Chinese government over the years since Hong Kong's accession to the People's Republic in 1997, but the current protests primarily stem from an August decision by the Chinese Communist Party to screen candidates for Hong Kong's chief executive (head of government). Protesters see this decision as a violation of the agreement whereby Hong Kong was transferred. They call for the resignation of the current chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, and a more open democratic process. The government has so far rejected their demands.
Hong Kongers are not alone in seeing themselves in Attack on Titan's embattled humans. Several commentators have suggested that the series is a metaphor for Japan's sense of siege by China and other powerful countries.