The Major Attack On Titan Cameo Only Hardcore Manga Fans Noticed

"Attack on Titan" is not the first show that comes to mind when you think of Easter egg hunting or cameo catching. This is mostly due to the fact that the show is set in an alternate fantasy world, one that happens to feature giant, man-eating monsters. Sure, there are cities and technology that resemble our own, but the show is far enough removed from clear-cut parallels to avoid having to add historical figures or obvious connections to our reality.

Still that doesn't mean "Attack on Titan" doesn't poke fun at its audience now and then. After all, we had not one, but two parody anime shows that moved the characters to a school setting. This latest season upped the ante and added one of the weirdest possible Easter eggs the show could have done, and only hardcore manga fans noticed.

This article contains spoilers for the final season of "Attack on Titan."

Not even anime can escape multiverse fever

The third episode of this final season of "Attack on Titan," titled "Two Brothers," had a lot going on. Falco killed his brother, turned into a Titan, and ate Galliard, Zeke seemingly took control of the Founding Titan, oh, and Eren got his head blown off by a 360-no-scoping Gabi. Though Eren did not die, he did have some weird visions as he made contact with his brother Zeke and entered the mystical Paths that connects all Eldians. 

In that vision, we saw brief shots of Eren's memories from across the show's story — present, past, and future. But what made the moment special for hardcore fans were the blink-and-you-miss-it cameos of Mikasa and Armin. Not the Mikasa and Armin anime fans are familiar with, mind you, but the versions of the characters from the parody previews in creator Hajime Isayama's original manga.

You see, despite "Attack on Titan" having a rather bleak tone, Isayama would often end chapters of the manga with hilariously bizarre fake previews for the next episode. Rather than actually give fans a taste of what's coming next, these previews would feature the characters in outlandish scenarios, like a "Raging Cooking Battle Arc," teasing the arrival of Jean's mom as the next big villain, turning Mikasa into a "stylish gal," or Armin encountering a tiny Titan in his bedroom that offers to eat his bullies in exchange for friendship. The bests of these were known as "Attack on School Castes," a recurring gag that imagines the manga's characters as high-schoolers, like Jean being the school bad boy, Reiner as a jock, Levi serving as a janitor. Here we meet Armin the otaku, and Mikasa the goth, dubbed by fans as "Gothkasa."

Thankfully, the cameos don't stop there. That same episode also includes a brief flash of Reiner at a sauna, surrounded by Jean and Levi. This is also a hilarious reference to the manga, specifically the cover of the magazine that hosts "Attack on Titan." The cover for the issue containing the penultimate chapter features a drawing by creator Hajime Isayama of all the major male characters naked at a sauna, probably in reference to Isayama's own comments about wanting to open one himself.

Better call... a titan?

Though you won't hear characters repeating one-liners from other movies or shows, Isayama has been known to draw chararacters from shows he likes as Titans in the manga. In chapter 86, he draw a few Titans to look like characters from "Game of Thrones," including Tyrion, Littlefinger, Missandei and Margaery.

While these references don't always make the transition to the anime, some do. A few weeks ago, an episode included a Titan that looked suspiciously like Saul Goodman from "Better Call Saul." 

These references are vague and quick enough that they are not distracting to the overall episode, but still make for cool little easter eggs for fans. As for the Gothkasa and Nerd Armin cameos, they don't necessarily mean there's a multiverse the show will explore, but it's still a nod to the fans and the source material. And when the story gets as bleak as it is, what harm is there in a bit of fun?