One Piece, Naruto, Death Note, Bleach… all of these are successful manga/anime that came out during the 2000’s. But after 2010 arrived, it seemed like there wasn’t any promising manga or anime for the new decade. They were OK. We had good stuff like Sword Art Online… but there wasn’t anything epic enough to be remembered for years and years to come.
Then, a manga called Attack on Titan (originally, Shingeki no Kyojin) started being serialized in 2009. But it wasn’t until the anime came out last year, though, that the show actually became incredibly popular. Attack on Titan‘s success has grown SO MUCH in the latest months that it’s become the most sold manga in the first half of 2014. This is the first time that a manga actually unseats One Piece in years and it pretty much doubles every other manga in the list with more than 8M copies! And the show’s popularity doesn’t only come from Japan either, it is a worldwide phenomena with fans from all over the world (and sometimes it’s even people who don’t usually watch anime).
But what is it that makes it so popular? Today, we’re gonna break down the show to see what is it that hooks people (and might hook you) so much.So here’s our top 5 reasons why you should be watching this. NOTE: This article is spoiler-free and it’s only gonna be referring the anime, not the manga.
1. THE PLOT
Sure, apocalyptic shows like The Walking Dead seem to be in lately and the concept of a species threatening to extinguish humanity is not exactly new. But the way the story is told and executed is really good. Also, the plot keeps changing and growing with every episode so it’s never the same. Everytime you get used to a certain scenario, something will happen that will change the landscape completely. This especially goes for episodes 1 to 10, after that, the pacing is a bit off. But it’s still thrilling and interesting nonetheless.
Without giving too much away, I’ll say that Attack on Titan is one of those shows that is full of plot twists and nothing is what it looks like. We’re asked lots of questions from the beginning and we are given lots of mysteries like “what was Eren’s father hiding in the basement?”.
2. THE ANIMATION
The drawing and the computer-made animation were one of the first things that caught my eye when I first started watching this anime. The colours are incredibly vivid, the drawing is very detailed and the animations and crazy camera angles during the fast action sequences are just sick. It actually makes you feel like you were there. And if you don’t believe how real it feels, check out this, this, and this. Also, these gifs for the crazy animation:
3. THE CHARACTERS
This is actually one of the things that lots of casual viewers don’t like but fans love. Why? Because the show makes you grow very attached of the lead trio (Eren, Mikasa and Armin), but does a poor job of introducing the rest of the side characters. There are a lot and they’re introduced very quickly so it’s very hard to care about them once the battle starts. This could be blamed on the pacing, among other things. However, if you give the show a re-watch, you’ll realize that all the characters are unique in its own way and have different motives for joining the army, as well as different points of view. The fact that there’s so many characters and backstories only makes the show even more rich and interesting.
4. THE TITANS ARE SO CREEPY
OK, this is actually what first got my attention and the reason I got into this show. I remember seeing this panel from the manga (not gonna put it here cause it’s spoilery) and I was really creeped out. The enemy in this story are titans. Titans are human-looking giants (with no genitals) who wander around eating humans for no reason. They’re believed to not have any kind of intelligence. And they’re creepy, REAL CREEPY:
This is not some show about a bunch of friends fighting evil and having a good time. These people are TRAUMATIZED, they face horror everyday. They watch their friends get eaten in the most sadistic way. If you add that to the awesome animation, this is one of the reasons why this show feels so real and makes you so invested in the story. The show has lots of violence and gore. It’s not too bad, but it’s more than you usually see on popular animes. So if you’re too sensitive to gore and blood… yeah, don’t watch this.
5. THE SOUNDTRACK
Oh but the openings are SO GOOD. You can listen to them (and watch them) here and here. I even got them on my iPod and I get chills everytime I listen to them. They just fit the theme of the show perfectly and you can listen to them over and over again and it never gets tiring. The soundtrack that plays during the scenes is also brilliant. Sometimes it’s so good that you don’t even notice it because it just goes so well with what’s happening on the story. It’s not the best soundtrack that I’ve heard in anime (that should go to Death Note or Elfen Lied) and I don’t find myself listening to it outside of the show but it’s still really good.
In conclusion, you should at least give this show a chance. Try watching the first episode and I guarantee you that you’ll have to watch the next one immediately. Attack on Titan is still a reasonably new show and it’s very easy to catch up with it quickly and start reading the manga as well. Besides, the fandom is awesome and very active and they have LOTS of fanart, fanfiction, crack videos and creative content like parody songs. Definitely, a fandom you should join!