Heart-Wrenching Attack on Titan AU Fanfics – From Apoptosis to Obsession With Time

The Attack on Titan anime may be coming to a close, but that doesn't necessarily mean the characters' stories have to end. Like many popular series, Attack on Titan has inspired a good deal of fanfic. Fan fiction can pick right up from the end of a series, explore how characters might interact in an alternate universe, or even cross over with the cast of another anime. Whatever the taste, there's probably at least one fanfic out there for everyone. Some will even take a page from their source material and hit audiences with just as much heartache, if not more.

Part of what makes Attack on Titan such an enthralling ride -- all its wild action sequences aside -- is the emotional depth of the characters' relationships. As the series progresses they earn a place in fans' hearts, making the tragedies that befall them all the more painful. While there are fanfics where Eren and the gang lead much happier lives, some fans might prefer more harrowing, tear-jerking moments like those in the series. Those fans won't have to look too far, since these Attack on Titan AU fics offer all kinds of tragedy.

Apoptosis by revolvermonkcelot

Attack On Titan cast

While this fanfic, titled Apoptosis, technically takes place in Attack on Titan's universe, it does diverge from the canon through the introduction of a plague. The 104th, familiar with the destruction and terrors of Titans, are suddenly forced to contend with something they can't even see. Surviving against the Titans is hard enough, but now everyone also needs to avoid dying by infection.

Apoptosis pits the characters against two unknowable forces as they race to find a cure -- if one exists at all. Sure, the threat of a plague might be a bit too on the nose for some, but Apoptosis succeeds in taking the series' nail-biting tension and cranking it up to 11.

Obsession With Time by certifiedclown

Eren and Mikasa as Kids from Attack on Titan

Obsession With Time also deviates slightly from the franchise's canon storyline, this time with a time loop. Eren desperately tries to save his friends and family from the Titans, only to fail and be forced to do it all over again. Every failure amplifies his grief and guilt, but he's determined to get it right.

Attack on Titan is certainly rife with anguish, but Eren's seemingly endless cycle of horrors is a whole new level of suffering for the protagonist. His frustration transcends the page as he fights to break the cycle of misfortune once and for all.

The Long Way Down by revolvermonkcelot

Another Attack on Titan time loop AU, The Long Way Down focuses on the relationship between Jean and Marco. A popular ship among fans, this fic explores Jean's efforts as he tries to prevent Marco's death. Driven by love, Jean relives the traumas of every Titan encounter, only to be met with the same agonizing pain when he fails to save his best friend. Regardless of how a fan feels about this ship, The Long Way Down is sure to leave many clutching at the heart and holding back tears.

The Day He Died, and the Events That Followed by m4ddieb

Armin Gets Moritified In Attack On Titan

The Day He Died, and the Events That Followed takes place in a modern day setting, but that doesn't mean the members of the 104th are in the clear. Armin is the main character and, not unlike the other fanfic here, grief and coping with the loss of a loved one are core to his story. What makes it stand out, though, are the rarepair ships that drive the plot. Rarepairs may be a bit contentious for some fans, but there's no denying the emotional impact of this bittersweet tale of acceptance and love.

Born from the love of a dedicated fan base, fanfiction is a way to explore and enjoy new stories with familiar characters. Time loops, reincarnation AUs, or even a Wizarding World crossover, the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to fanfiction. As the Attack on Titan anime approaches its finale, these fanfic and more await for fans ready to start a new chapter.

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