Attack on Titan has been built up by the fan community as the greatest shonen, serial, action/adventure show since, I don't know, since Naruto. (Which, was great until right after Sasuke left and they had to crap out like 52 filler episodes to let the manga get ahead of the anime production again, from which I heard it never recovered. And shit, is Naruto even still on the air? I gave up on it, but hope it got its shit together, but I honestly don't know, but whatever... Moving on.) All I knew about Titan (up until I actually sat down to watch it) was that there were these skinless giants who liked to peek over giant, medieval-looking walls to look down at soldiers bearing swords, who also had weird boxes strapped to their legs. It looked plain stupid to me. All the stills and production art I'd seen for Titan made it look like it was simply trying too hard to be cool with its strange visuals.
But despite me thinking it looked pretty lame, Titan was still THE show to watch for the season. Every fanboy was jizzing over how fucking amazing it was, and every fangirl was busting like gushers all over their computers while talking about how brutal and life-altering the entire production was. So I downloaded the whole thing and Cupcake and I flew through it all in a collected 4 days (far from a record pace, but shit's been crazy around here lately, so this is pretty damn impressive).
Then, I became a believer.
Attack on Titan is intense; it starts off with a gi-fucking-gantic bang and keeps its shit up until the very end. It is a truly remarkable show. It begins with a simple (but bizarre) hook — humanity has come close to extinction thanks to the appearance of giant, retarded-looking, humanoid creatures called "Titans" that stroll around eating all the normal-sized people they can find — and took it much farther than I ever thought they would. It looks like a silly, mindless action show, but becomes pretty heavy with lots of good drama, features actual terrifying casualties, and stars a huge cast of characters of which none were stupid or annoying. Though quite a few died, I wished that none of them did (usually you root for at least one or two loser characters to bite it during the course of a series like this).
"Okay, okay," you bellow, like a fat, mad, hungry hippo just waiting for the marbles to hit the playing field. "What the fuck is it all about! FEED ME NOW!" Attack on Titan takes place in the future — at least 100 years in the future, but I don't think we're ever really told. Humanity is almost dead. Silent giants, known as Titans (creatures between 4 and 16 meters tall that look like they all have mental issues) suddenly appeared one day and started eating people left and right. Seriously, they are almost indestructible, naked, genitalia-free mongos that never get full and only eat humans (not any kind of plant or any other animal, just humans). Mankind pretty much shit its collective pants, but the last remnants of the species built a giant wall around itself — actually three humongous walls, one inside the other inside the other — and just lived life as peacefully as it could, just like the Earth Kingdom in Ba Sing Se!
So what's left of humanity (which is only a tiny fraction of what they started with) is holed up inside its pretty little gates, but a boy named Eren Jaeger wants more. He idolizes the military's expeditionary forces who range out beyond the outer gate to try and find a way to rid the world of every last Titan once and for all. This expeditionary force usually suffers heavy casualties with every mission, but that doesn't stop a dreamer like Eren.
Soon Eren, his adopted (bad-ass mothafucka) sister (Mikasa), and their wimpy, brainy friend (Armin) all get caught up in death, destruction, and dismay when a HUMONGOUS Titan (larger than anything anybody has ever seen, and just as large as the defending wall) suddenly appears at their town's outer rampart, and KICKS THE FUCK IN the gate to the outside, letting in all his smaller (but still up to 16 meters tall), more mongotastic brethren to trod through their city eating every human they come across.
After a hasty and bloody retreat into the inner walls, humanity loses a giant portion of their land to the advancing behemoths, and things become desperate again. Eren and his friends then decide to join the military in order to do whatever they can to end the titanic madness that is engulfing mankind.
THIS is when AoT starts getting amazing. Up until this point the story had been frightening, brutal, bloody, and intense as fuck, but as soon as Eren and his crew grow up a bit and join the military, that's when things get pants-pissingly great! The action portrayed in this thing when the humans have to attack the Titan onslaught is some of the fastest-paced and coolest choreographed violence I've ever witnessed. See, all the soldiers in the show have these cool pulley and zip-lining, gas-powered, grappling hooks that they can shoot out from their steam-punky belts. This 3D Maneuvering Gear allows them to fly vertically up to the Titan's level, swoop around like a patented Marvel web-slinger through the city streets, and fly away from danger quicker than you can say "Help! A retarded-looking Titan just ate my baby!" They're speedy as fuck, and animated amazingly well. It is one of the coolest and best-applied attack methods I've seen in an action show such as this. Yeah, I know it was probably originally just a cheap gimmick to make the action look cooler than it already was, but it works for this universe. And, like Spidey, there's only a limit to how often the soldiers can use these grappling zip lines before needing to replenish their (gas) supplies, so it even lends itself to add extra drama to the whole ordeal... Not that it really needed it.
Anyway, there are quite a few mysteries to solve in this series (What are the Titans? How did the humans build those giant effing walls? What's the deal with Eren's power?), and the pace is pretty good the whole way through (though The Chief would argue that point). It's just a damn good, extremely violent at times, action adventure show. The only thing that really just makes me wonder about it though is where does the English title for this series come from? This show should be called "Attack OF THE Titans," or "ATTACK the Titans," or pretty much anything else. But its weirdly-stated name does nothing to take away from the awesomeness within, so that's all I have to say about that.
Attack on Titan is something I've never seen the likes of before. Sure, it has the same "one-focus, one-goal oriented teenage protagonist who never gives up" that most shonen stories do. And yes, it's got shit-tons of brutal, horrific violence going on in order to make you feel a palpable sense of dread, and mayhaps to also cause you to throw-up a little in your mouth. But the world, the setting, and the story are all unique and pretty damn fresh, and even though the art style and character designs were not my cup of tea, I still loved the high holy hell out of it all. And I rock out to the music too! Not just the opening and ending theme songs, but the songs and tunes in the middle of the episodes when all hell is breaking loose as well... They kick all kinds of ass!
I could not understand any of the science or physics behind this Japanese program, but it did turn out to be pretty entertaining in the end. There were just lots of parts of this show where I wondered if Skippy the Developmentally-Challenged Wonder-Sloth had come up with them. For example, the actual size of the titular Titans in the program, there is no way a humanoid could grow to that size and still be able to actually move with any agility at all, let alone run, let alone not have his/her/its bones shatter from the sheer mass of its own body when it just tried to stand up. And do not even get me started on the size of that gate-towering, skinless beast that started all the trouble to begin with. Unpossible, I say!
Next let's look at those specialized belts that the soldiers in the weird leathery uniforms use to suddenly jump up to the giant humanoids' faces in order to try and slice out a chunk of their necks. There's no possible physical way that such a small belt could shoot a projectile (like that heavy grappling hook) 5 stories up and 2 blocks over, let alone have the power to then pull a 170lb soldier (maybe 200lbs when you throw in those sword boxes and other weapons) that far once it starts to rewind. No-sir-ee-bob. And those walls! How did they possibly assemble those, especially with super quick, ever-hungry Titans roaming the Earth eating every human on site! You can just chalk it up to being a silly Japanese television program, but I chalk it up as simply bad science. Go back to school, all you silly little writers. You have lots to learn.
Oh god, really? We're reviewing THIS now? I saw this Attack the Titans when it first came out, and I bet it's just as lame now as it was then. All those fat, lumbering retards causing all that damage, running around and just attacking everybody else. The lame action with terrible strategies that somehow won the game for the heroes in the end. It was all just too unrealistic for me. I just couldn't root for the main players and their team. Though I thought Denzel was pretty good in it.