[Attack on Titan is rated R – 17+ for profanity and violence. Please be aware before watching the title.]
I went around and around regarding how I should begin this post; it seemed like a specific hook was necessary, something fantastic and interesting yet seemingly light-hearted that would draw readership to my narrative with a smile and shake of the head. “That’s Shoujo,” they would think. “Forever of that peculiar fashion.” However, it occurs to me that such an opening can’t hope to equal my experiences with Attack on Titan, and I shan’t do said experiences the disservice of watering down something that was, for me, such an altering piece of media.
I knew enough as I began. Enter our antagonists: enormous, humanoidal “titans” that feast on human flesh. There are soldiers that fight against them. Humanity is ensconced within a walled fortress, but one day that wall is breached. The main character himself (highlight for spoiler) –> turns into one of these giants. And on it goes.
What I didn’t know was the complexity of the narrative, nor just how far humanity would be wiling to go to save itself from utter annihilation (or, conversely, to delude itself regarding its own fragile safety). I did not know about the heartless abet necessary design that went into the concentrically ringed city. I did not know about the mystery surrounding the walls, nor the wall-worshiping cult, nor that titans and their origination remained a mystery to the humans. I did not know that these blood-thirsty beings consumed humans not out of necessity, but pleasure.
And I think that, in the end, it was all of these things that I didn’t know that had me sticking with AoT through a three-day, working binge-watch to the detriment of my sleep schedule. I needed to uncover the truth behind Eren and the truth behind their world. As I’d reach a probable closing of one knowledge gap, another would reliably spring in its place. There was always a cliffhanger, always more to see. It was a portrait of “humanity in peril.” And I loved it.
The blocking, atmosphere, and mise-en-scene were well planned within a fully believable (abet fantastic) setting reminiscent of a long-since-forgotten Europe. In addition, the art style and execution was interesting from my first encounter. As I watched, I could not tell if it had streamlined itself into something more common, or if I had simply grown used to its unique line work. All in all, I felt that the style really fit the work as a whole, and I was incredibly pleased with it.
The voice casting (I watched the dub) left nothing desired. With Bryce Papenbrook behind Erin Yeager, Trina Nishimura behind Mikasa Ackerman, and our beloved Josh Grelle (who is the nicest guy in person!) as Armin Arlert, I was taken. When one added the talents of voice actors like Matthew Mercer and many others (Caitlin Glass, J. Michael Tatum, Vic Mignogna—no this isn’t Ouran!), the casting came together seamlessly. In addition to these old favorites, I’ve now been introduced to countless new voices as well!
(As a side note, Josh Grelle also narrated AoT, and he did so in what would later become his Katsuki Yuri voice, so if you think THAT wasn’t a shock to my system, think again.)
(Also, if someone writes a good AoT and YOI fanfiction crossover, I’ll read that so fast! Who doesn’t want to see Victor and Yuri dropped into that kind of world?!)
There was never an episode that lent it self to series abandonment. Each new encounter with the media was a rush of emotion and sheer desire to know WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? I’d heard Attack on Titan criticized for its lack of human bonding and relationship, but I didn’t see such a flaw present in any capacity; what I did note was the formation of multiple relationships occurring both subtly and overtly in the context of a species-extinction level catastrophe. While I’m willing to debate the point, I feel that the argument against these formations and preservations holds no ground.
Attack on Titan was an analysis on the perseverance of human spirit through one of the most horrifying, dehumanizing scenarios possible. It was a look into our greatest, inborn flaws and strengths.
I personally can not wait for season 3 coming out in 2018, but I’d like to hear from you.
What do you think about Attack on Titan? Let me know in the comments below!
It was my love of Attack on Titan that partially motivated me to jump into Tokyo Ghoul.