“Attack on Titan” takes place in a dystopian setting where humans live within the walls of a singular city, barricading themselves from the outside world where large, humanoid, man-eating creatures known as “Titans” roam. The series follows the story of Eren Yeager, a hotheaded young man who wishes to join the Recon Corps in an effort to eliminate the Titans from the world for good. He is aided by his foster sister Mikasa Ackerman and close friend Armin Arlert as they try to protect mankind from the verge of extinction.
The universe behind “Attack on Titan” is both fascinating and disturbingly dark. The series frequents references death and mortality, key themes that serve as both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it gives more meaning to the characters and their actions; while the idea of Titans attacking humanity may seem ridiculous in concept, the constant depiction of death ironically brings light to the livelihood of those who survive, making the struggles of each character seem more realistic while creating a serious undertone that makes them also feel human. However, it also adds an extra level of grimness that at times feels a tad bit unnecessary. The weak at heart should take note;this is not an anime for people who are easily irked by blood and gore.
Looking past that aspect, “Attack on Titan” tells a tense and heartfelt story that will have viewers gripping their seats as the series takes Eren and his friends on a journey that feels both interesting and mystifying. Each character has a unique personality and their own story to tell, even if it may not seem so from the very beginning. Eren, though strong-willed and passionate, can at times be overly aggressive and impulsive. His actions directly affect Mikasa, who wishes to protect her brother at all costs, even if it means risking her life. What results are quick successions of rash decisions that seem to fly in the face of common sense, and Armin’s attempts to diffuse these situations rub off as more or less pathetic. Nevertheless, it is such interactions between characters that makes them all the more interesting, and it becomes a fun meta-game to pick apart each and every one of them and try to figure out their motives.
Theme and characters aside, there is no doubt that the animation production in “Attack on Titan” is fantastic. Huge set pieces and high-octane action sequences give its world a sense of scope, an aspect amplified by the large Titans that wreak havoc over the city. However, some scenes feel a bit too drawn out, especially the long-winded dialogue sequences that only serve to stall the otherwise speedy narrative. The worst offender here is Armin, who always seems to have something uninteresting to say whenever Eren is facing yet another tough decision. Thankfully, such instances are relatively rare, and much of the anime focuses on the battles between humanity and the Titans, which is really what the series is all about anyway.
At the end of the day, “Attack on Titan” is an enjoyable anime series filled with action, humor, and great production values. Even if some moments feel relatively pointless or drawn out, it is difficult not to be fascinated by the world the series creates and the themes it introduces. Apart from a few dodgy moments here and there, “Attack on Titan” is most certainly a series to keep a close eye on just be sure to watch for the gore.
RECOMMENDED: “Attack on Titan” is the anime to watch this season with high action and a heartfelt story.