I’d been exploring all that Columbus’ Matsuricon had to offer on Friday, and to be honest, having a somewhat mediocre time as far as the panels go. One thing I had going for me was that, after that utterly terrible Zelda panel, things were likely to only improve from there. Don’t get me wrong—being at a con is better than not being at a con, but something just wasn’t hitting the mark. That was before A Slap On Titan broke down Matsuricon’s metaphorical Wall Maria, unleashing a collection of erotic fanficiton upon a crowd of mostly unsuspecting panel-goers. What ensued was deeply hilarious and hauntingly wondrous.
In case you’re wondering, A Slap On Titan is a group of creative individuals who have come together over their love of acting, anime, and (very dark) humor to parody the entire first season of Attack on Titan, episode by episode. I caught up with A Slap On Titan’s creator, Tom Andre, after Matsuricon to find out how the group got started, where they are going next, and why the hell they chose erotic fan-fiction of all things.
Cody: How long has A Slap on Titan been together doing comedy? I know the first parody video says 2014, so is that when the group started? Did certain members start by doing other things, and if so, what?
Tom: A Slap On Titan has been around since late 2013 when I gathered a group of friends together to tell them about my crazy idea to parody an anime. Some of the cast, like me and Casey, had acted extensively around Columbus and so had a bit of theatre and film background. Others were completely new to it, but everyone was fired up and passionate about making this show, and that made creating season 1 a total blast.
In the time since, we’ve grown as a group and become a lot more professional. Several of us now are working as videographers, photographers, and creative designers. The skills inherent to these professions translate into Slap and help us make it as good as possible. But at our core, we’re just a goofy group of friends who like to get together and make the best comedy we can.
Cody: It’s actually inspiring that something like this can come from a group of friends just setting out to have fun. What is it about Attack on Titan that made it the series you chose to parody? Was it simply because of the popularity the show enjoyed at the time or was there something fun about mixing comedy with the serious tone of the show?
Tom: Definitely the fun that comes with mixing humor into the dead-serious nature of the show! For a quick rundown, I started watching Attack on Titan when it originally came out in 2013. At the time it was unlike so many other anime series out there…the storyline was deadly serious, characters dropped like flies, and each episode I was on the edge of my seat wondering who was going to survive. While all this was going on, I came across to ShinigamiEater’s excellent Attack on Titan shorts, in which he parodied individual scenes from the show. They were hilarious, and it got me thinking how amazing it would be if someone parodied the entire show. It just seemed too perfect, that it had to be done. This thought became somewhat of a minor obsession for me, and I started writing out scenes for the fun of it.
The very first thought I had was that Armin, the adorable best friend, needed to be a complete sociopath. The next was that the town guards should be dicks to Eren, our main character, and it went from there. Before I knew it, I had written enough material to parody the first five episodes and it was the best comedy I’d ever made. I scheduled an initial production meet and invited friends I thought might be good for this. They had no idea what it was for, and many of them didn’t even know one another, but they still showed up at the meet and we did a read through of scripts. People started falling over laughing, and I knew we had something great going.
Cody: I absolutely loved the fan-fiction panel at Matsuricon. What was the inspiration for doing the panel? Fan-fiction and parody are very similar, so is that why the group was drawn toward doing a panel like that?
Tom: Implausible Fanfiction came about entirely by surprise! A few years back at ACEN – Chicago’s largest anime convention – we saw a spectacularly terrible panel on the worst fanfiction across the internet. It was clear that everyone in the audience wanted to be entertained by these lurid stories…but the presentation was so stale that the entire room grew bored and most people walked out within the first 10 minutes.
It was sad to see, because the stories themselves were genuinely hilarious. While we were walking back, the joke was made that we could do a far better panel, and then all the of the sudden there was this incredible moment of clarity where we all stopped and looked at each other and realized, “hey, we actually COULD do that,” and the idea was born!
Doing the research for this panel was absolutely nuts. I’d heard about how dark, how terrible some of these stories got, but man…I was not ready. I still have nightmares about the one tale of Thomas the Tank Engine rage-fucking Indiana Jones. We definitely lost our minds in the process (and probably part of our humanity) while searching for the craziest stories we could find. But in the end we found some true gems and went about trying to dramatically present them in the most entertaining way possible. We made sock puppets, created short-form videos, and even wrote some of our own stories. We went all out.
Implausible Fanfiction premiered at Matsuricon 2015 and it was a massive success! The room was packed and people were laughing nonstop. Even more surprising, they all stayed! The reception to it was so overwhelmingly positive that we knew we had to keep doing it. We’ve done so three times now, and it’s by far our most popular panel. For 2017 I’m hoping to bring it to Ohayocon, Animatic Con, Matsuricon and our dream convention, Colossalcon (fingers crossed)!
Cody: So, A Slap On Titan is currently up to episode 17 of Attack on Titan. What happens next for the gang once all 25 episodes are complete? I noticed that you have some more endeavors going on, like Star Wrecked and of course the panels, but will A Slap On Titan parody another anime down the road?
Tom: I honestly have no idea what’s happening for us beyond Episode 25 yet! I’ve got my head down in editing and scripting and haven’t made plans quite that far out. However, by that time I expect the second season of Attack on Titan will be out, and there’ll no doubt be demand for more episodes. I’ve got big plans for Star Wrecked, and a few other things under wraps (for now). Assuming we get big enough, I’ll launch a Patreon and see if we can make this into a full-on production studio. But no matter what happens, we’ll always be producing more content and keeping the laughter alive.
For more information on A Slap on Titan, visit their website, or just go straight to the YouTube channel and start watching! We’ll keep you posted on any appearances the group will be making at future cons, so stay tuned and be sure to check them out if you’re in the area. Trust me, the erotic fan-fiction will only haunt you long enough to not make it weird.