You Really Need To Watch Attack On Titan
It was right at the end of 2015. I was bored and had run out of shows to watch, so I took the advice of a friend, and started up the first episode of Attack on Titan. Six hours later, I was finishing the 18th episode and couldn’t bring myself to turn it off. Not since Breaking Bad had I watched a program that sucked me in so quickly, and was so tough to turn away from. I eventually did turn it off that night, but finished off the 25-episode season the next morning.
Attack on Titan is a masterpiece. The series is set 100 years after humanity has been devastated by the sudden arrival of the Titans; three-to-15-metre-tall monsters, who seemingly exist only to consume human beings. Somehow, the surviving humans managed to create a refuge for themselves, building a massive walled-in city, tall enough that even the titans had no way to get in.
Of course, how exciting could the series be if the titans didn’t get to wreak havoc? In the very first episode, the “Colossal Titan” appears. Living up to his name, this 60-metre-tall titan is able to peer over the wall. As quickly as the series begins, it becomes chaos, as the titan breaches the outer wall of the Shiganshina district, allowing the smaller titans to flood in.
This sets the scene for one of the most exciting anime series ever. Though completely outmatched by the titans, the humans fight back, and struggle to retake the precious territory that has been overrun, and ultimately try to find a way to end the threat of the titans forever.
While the action’s intense and the animation’s gorgeous, that’s not all there is to this series. The characters are all unique. They each have their own motivations, their own strengths and weaknesses, and grow as the series progresses. As much as it’s about humanity fighting the titans, the series is about these characters and how they’re coping with the horrors of their world.
Eren Jaeger’s an unusual protagonist, in that he’s consumed with a burning bloodlust and wishes to personally kill every titan to avenge those lost in the Shiganshina attack. His childhood friend, Mikasa Ackermann, joins the fight solely to protect Eren. She doesn’t care about her own life, and will risk everything to make sure he survives. Armin Arlelt is a pacifist, but he and Eren always dreamed of going outside the walls. He’s no fighter, but he enlists because he can’t allow himself to let his friends go alone.
The series doesn’t shy away from powerful, real-world themes. The refugees from Shiganshina and other areas ravaged by the titans face prejudice and resentment for taking up valuable food and resources from an already overpopulated inner-city. There’s internal conflict among enlistees, due to some wanting to be placed on duty within the walls, so they don’t actually have to fight titans, despite their training. There’s also a lot of grief. People die in this series, but it’s never glossed over and the impact is never lessened. As goofy as some of the titans look, their lethality is never compromised, and that makes every situation exciting and unpredictable.
Though the second season’s been delayed so the source material can get further ahead in the story before its release, the first one’s definitely worth watching. Be warned: once you start, you might not be able to stop until you’re at the end. Plan accordingly!
Season one of Attack on Titan is yours to love and own as a two-part Blu-ray or DVD set at Funimation and other online and offline retailers.