Why You Should Read/Watch Attack On Titan
Authored by Hajime Isayama, Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) started airing in 2013. It is based on the manga released in 2009. It is an animated TV show which has become the face of the anime community in recent times. There are a total of 4 seasons and the anime is still running.
Attack on Titan also appeals to people who are not used to the way anime works. Its way of presenting the animation in a realistic way makes it much more appealing also to non-anime viewers.
The story is plotted up to the most minuscule details, everything that you watch is connected in such a way that a scene in season three is related to another scene in season one. You don’t often expect what’s about to happen, if it does happen in a certain way it’s still not exactly the way you might have predicted.
It is incredibly well written and the characters are given time for character development. The plot is not just limited to the main character, the side characters are detailed thoughtfully too.
It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world overtaken by lumbering man-eating Titans. To survive the constant onslaught of these beasts humanity has set up massive walls to keep the Titans out.
The anime follows the story of Eren, Mikasa, and Armin. Three friends live within the walls. One day everything changes when the Colossal Tian appears. A special Titan that easily takes out the wall, allowing other Titans to swarm inside. On this day, Eren loses his mother and he goes on a path to kill every single Titan.
Years pass and the three main protagonists enlist in the military. Throughout the series, these characters try to seek the answers about the Titans’ origins, Why this Colossal Titan appeared and then disappear at will, and whether humanity can survive beyond the walls?
The writing is nothing short of excellent, the way I see it, the story of Attack on Titan can be thought of as layers. Once you think you understand all of it, the answers are finally within reach, everything changes and you are once again left clueless.
This feat is so difficult to pull off that many shows have lost track when trying to do so. The most prominent example is “Lost”, which did not make much sense to me. Attack on Titan however seemingly always has a clear goal and a structured storyline. It allows the writers to pull the rug from under any time without losing the audience.
The first season is mostly about world-building, so at times you feel it to be lacking a bit of pace, with season two, however, you know what is going on and the story starts to make sense.
Respect towards the Audience
This is one of the few shows where the writers respect your intelligence and don’t simply hand you all the answers. Numerous episodes start off in locations and with characters that you know, absolutely nothing about. Incredibly important story information is sometimes delivered to you at random moments in the episodes.
The storytelling of Attack on Titan really is layered and designed to make you feel like you don’t understand what is going on. But, once the answer is finally revealed you are left with awe of appreciation.
Check Inspirational quotes from the anime: https://animeloved.com/blog/best-inspirational-quotes-of-attack-on-titan/
I understand that animation is not indicative of whether a show is worth a while but it still adds to the experience. The animation in the series is stunning. It is ironic since the Manga has some of the ugliest panels you probably have ever seen.
Love and care are put in every scene of the anime, battle scenes in particular. There is so much going on as the traditional 2-D animation goes on with the 3-D background.
Music in Openings and Endings
The soundtrack and openings in particular are fantastic. You can listen to any of the five OPs and you will be greeted by some of the best music anime has to offer.
[We are the Hunters and they are the Prey]
The first opening introduces you to the dark and dreary world of Titans and humans fighting for their survival. The sheer scale of walls and the Titans introduce the anime and the hype music adds to it. It then throws you into the raw carnage of battle as the trainee protagonists fight these huge creatures.
The second opening takes place when all of these trainees have been inducted into the Survey corps. Our protagonists are full-fledged soldiers. The intro sounds much like a National Anthem. It gives a sense of patriotism and loyalty to this fictional country.
The third opening gives us a sense of deepening mystery as the plot continues to develop as everything is not what it seems. The song urges us to offer up our hearts and sacrifice for the greater good.
The fourth opening kicks off season three. It is not as epic as others, indicates this part of the anime focuses a lot on the past of our protagonists. No Titans show up in this opening indicating that the first half of the season indulges in the conflict between the humans.
The fifth opening of the anime is an absolute banger. It echos back to the first opening indicating that this part of the season is back on slashing the Titans.
Check similar OPs that slap: https://animeloved.com/blog/best-anime-ops-openings-that-slap/
No Fanservice and Distance from Stereotypes
This anime is void of the stereotypes associated with any typical anime. It is free from stereotypical anime tropes like panty shots, kids saving the day, unproportionate body types unless you count Titans, and over-sexualizing female characters.
It is clear that in society there are no general rules, the females fight alongside the males and are not shown to be any less or more capable than their male counterparts.
The show is Dark, almost as dark as Game of Thrones. There are plenty of developed and main characters in the cast but no one is safe and can die at any moment. There are so many deaths for even the smallest of victories that it does not feels like a victory.
The characters and the viewers are left with the feeling that the life they have traded is even worth it. Halfway through the show, it is revealed who the bad guys are but their point of view seems acceptable too.
The plot is not as simple as it seems, it is full of cliffhangers. What starts as a story of protecting a city from mindless Titans gets complicated as the characters start to wonder what they are fighting for.
Many questions start lingering, Where did the Titans come from, Who built the walls? The government is shady and full of secrets and the secret of the basement. The show builds on the suspense without spoiling the details.
And, when you rewatch the show, you can get hints of all these things happening, that you did not notice. It becomes a whole new anime after another watch.
Read similar Mangas that are Dark: https://animeloved.com/blog/top-30-dark-manga/
The Pay-Off Moments
The pay-off moments in the show rival anything I have ever seen before. Specifically, mentioning one of the most satisfying moments in anime history- Captain Levi Vs Beast Titan.
This standalone moment was a masterclass in slicing Titans by Professor Levi.
Watch more satisfying moments: https://animeloved.com/blog/20-best-satisfying-anime-moments/
Attention to Details
The one thing that animated media has going for them compared to real-life films is the ability to incorporate unrealistic aspects without completely drawing attention to the obscurity of these details within the environment.
When executed correctly animated media can give more to offer in terms of endless possibilities while holding on to a somewhat realistic feel. This is where Attack on Titan truly excels.
Attack on Titan on paper is about humans flying in the air with grappling hooks and fighting giant Titans. However, the way the world of Attack on Titan is shown to the audience the way the characters are different in their own different ways of thinking allows the viewer to relate to different characters.
The amount of detail put in the show to make the actions feel as realistic as possible within an unrealistic setting is where the attention to detail is able to hold onto the audience’s interest without losing the intensity of the situation.
Humans are trying to survive and win their own freedoms, each time a character dies without getting to see the results in which they are fighting for makes the audience feel remorse, and the action sequences are impactful.
On top of that, the psychological effects each death leaves on the characters still alive are enough to feel the emotions each character is feeling.
Some details that make a lot of sense:
Levi is shorter because he was malnourished as a child.
You can clearly see the handprint of Colossal Titan left on the wall.
Eren gets flashbacks of his mom very often as a traumatized child should.
Mikasa shows signs of separation anxiety that are creatively built upon throughout the story.
The symbolism between birds that are free to fly compared to flowers that are free to live but unable to escape from their planted setting.
Also, Check Life Lessons from the anime: https://animeloved.com/blog/best-life-lessons-of-attack-on-titan/