If you haven't been living in a cave for the last couple of months, you might have heard of an anime circulating around called “Attack on Titan.” Known more formally in Japan as “Shingeki no Kyojin,” Attack on Titan has amassed a huge momentum amongst fans since its debut in manga in 2009. And then when they turned the series into an anime in 2013, things really began to take off in fevered raving. Suddenly, it seemed everywhere you went, it was “Have you seen Attack on Titan?!” or “I LOOOVE Attack on Titan!!” or “I'd sell my left nut to watch the next episode of Attack on Titan!”
Now, I don't outright consider myself an anime enthusiast. I definitely enjoy a lot of animes and grew up on several, but for the most part, I don't usually dive tentacle-deep into every anime just for the sake of watching a new one. So let that paint a portrait of how skeptical I was when my friend first told me I “had to watch Attack on Titan.” Even further driving the doubt home, I had heard of all of the ravings online for the show and doubted that something so popular would be so good (I've been burned by this notion before).
So needless to say, there was much eye rolling as we loaded up the first episode.
…..And then the episode started.
Suddenly, my life was changed forever.
Why, you ask?
BECAUSE NOW I LOVE ATTACK ON TITAN!
It's amazing in every way! It's better than I could have ever imagined and now I am hopelessly addicted! Honestly, I didn't think I would become this fanatical about the series, but it's so good that I cannot resist its Titany-allure.
But I know some of you out there either A) Have not heard of the series, B) Are not big into animes or C) Are robot infiltrators sent from the future to kill Sarah Connah. So allow me, very sensibly and without a trace of fanaticism, explain to you why you should be watching Attack on Titan.
1. The Grisly Horror of it all
So basically, to understand Attack on Titan, there are two things you need to know. One, that suddenly out of nowhere giant humanoids called titans showed up and started eating all humans until a series of colossal walls were erected to keep them out. And two, titans are fucking terrifying:
What this show does, better than any other anime I've seen, is present you with an enemy so scary and disturbing that it actually causes stress upon sight. Not only this, but they tell you right away that titans exist for the sole reason of eating humans. In every horrific, gruesome way imaginable.
The gore level is high with this series, and I loooooooooove it! About damn time that when an anime character loses two liters of blood, he dies from blood loss instead of covering it with a bandage.
Which brings me to my next point...
2. The Gravity of Danger
In Attack on Titan, the stakes are always high. Death is an ever-present threat and not a single character is safe from being some titan's lunch. And when I mean no one is safe, I mean NO ONE IS SAFE. Main characters, side character, characters only seen briefly in a background shot. EVERYONE.
Now when no character is exempt from dying and every battle might be their last, the whole gravity of the show weighs down so much that it demands to be taken seriously. Suddenly, the danger feels real because it is; characters might die with the wrong decision and there's a good chance they'll watch their teammates die in front of them. But at the same time, every time they make a brave assault or charge forward to save one another, it stands out because you know it could mean their very deaths. Every character is in danger and sometimes even your favorites will die. Think Game of Thrones, but with titans.
3. The TWISTS!
Thus far, I've talked briefly about the gruesomeness of the show and the impact that has had on the story, but I haven't really gone into the actual plot itself. But let me tell you, this story has plot. The story focuses on Eren Yeager and his friends, whom live behind giant walls that have kept the titans out for 100 years. Mankind was able to defend themselves enough to build the walls (using awesome titan-killing swords and cables that launch them in the sky like Spider-man). By the time the first episode takes place, you can guess where this is going and hijinks ensue. But better than the plot as a whole is Attack on Titan's twists. God, does this show have twists. But they're so carefully crafted, so masterfully blended in that by the time they hit you, you'll need a paper towel to clean up the remnants of your brain matter sprayed onto the walls. I won't spoil anything, but let's just say if you weren't hooked before episode 7, you will be by the episode's end.
4. The Music
Alright, I want to change gears for a second because I want to talk about something non-plot related. And that's the music of Attack on Titan. A lot of times, the music of shows are overlooked, even if they're phenomenal in every way. Which is exactly the case in Attack on Titan. Nearly every facet of its music is so perfect that it almost makes me cry deep, manly tears. If you don't believe me, just listen to the opening credits:
Not only this, but this series has one of the best scores I've ever heard in a show. It compliments the moment of the story so well and charges it with such emotion that you can't resist being drawn in. This is a clip of some of the show's soundtrack. And take my word, it's all fantastic, especially anything from 28:40-34:10:
That's not really a reason, it's just the closest audible sound I could make to describe my love of Attack on Titan. I mean, I'm serious, this like now one of my top favorite animes. I have plenty of other reasons as to why you should also watch the show, but we'd be here all day and that time could be better spent by you starting Attack on Titan.
I know that might sound very fanboyish, but I'm being serious when I say you should at least give the show a chance. It's a compelling story filled with powerful characters and if that doesn't entice you, then you're the one worse off for not trying it out.
Because honestly, if the sound of humans with swords fighting giant, humanoid man eaters doesn't sound appealing to you then happy trails, stranger. And good luck finding Sarah Connah.
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