Speaking with Crunchyroll, manga creator Hajime Isayama talked about straying from having direct romance themes in the story. Granted, there were hints, from Mikasa all but confessing to Eren, to Ymir’s goodbye letter to Historia expressing her dream of marrying her. And yet, we never got any actual, on-screen romance.
“Number one, it was embarrassing to me to write stories about love between characters,” Isayama said. “The other reason is that if I continued to go into those kinds of tangent stories, we might lose focus on the immediate main plot of the story. So I wasn’t really motivated to go in that direction.”
First of all, it is cute and commendable that Isayama outright acknowledges he can’t write a romance between the characters he creates, but also, this kind of makes sense. “Attack on Titan” is a dense enough story as it is, one with a very specific view of the world where the characters are desperately clinging onto slivers of hope while finding every reason to despair. Eren, Sasha, Levi, they don’t have time to think about what they’d do in a world without war, let alone to think about a romantic future, for better or worse.
But who knows? Maybe if Isayama ever returns to this world, perhaps in a spin-off about Levi, he can finally let his characters feel romantic feelings for each other.