Attack on Titan draws on the darkest parts of humanity. In this hopelessness, the viewer is compelled to look even deeper with each character as they are beautifully revealed. Attack on Titan is not a simple story or an answer to humanity’s failings. It is a destructive and horrific tale that harshly reveals society’s perverse gluttonous consumption of all that it holds so dearly.
Set in an alternate universe in the year 845, humanity is on the brink of extinction. Giants, some 15 meters tall, suddenly appear everywhere and began to devour all humans. There is no reason for these Titans’ unending hunger, nor an understanding of their ability to continuously regenerate. Only a spot on the nape of the neck seems to be the weak point of these marauding, sexless killers. With a hardened skin that is difficult to penetrate, the Titans seem unstoppable. So humanity retreats to a mega city comprised of 3 circular 50 meter walls that protect different social classes: Wall Maria, Wall Rose and the innermost Wall Sina.
After 100 years of peace within the confines of the mega city, the series introduces young Eren Yeager who lives behind the outer most wall – Maria. With his adopted sister, Eren witnesses a colossal Titan that towers over Wall Maria. With one kick the Titan punches a hole through the wall that protects his village. Waves of Titans move through his village consuming any human in their path. Just barely escaping and witnessing close ones devoured, Eren swears to kill every Titan. He joins the military who have developed a means to combat the Titans - the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment (VME). Weaponry using a strap-on high velocity pull system that is attached to titanium blades. A trigger on the handles activates the pulley system. Using the VME greatly taxes the muscles and ligaments and only an elite group can truly master fighting from a three – dimensional perspective.
From the first episode, you empathize with Eren’s frustrations. He feels the limitations the walls placed on humanity. He yearns to travel and join the Military’s Scout division. To find answers to why the Titans exist and why they left humanity alone for so long. After the destruction of his village, Eren’s questions take root in the series’ central plot. With each decision and revelation, the plot thickens and dips into murder, mystery, thriller and political intrigue.
Attack on Titan leaves you frustrated and disillusioned with the weight of Eren’s duty to protect humanity. You feel his anxiousness and fear of the unknown. At times you are terrified that any moment humanity could be wiped out. With the passionate soundtrack by Hiroyuki Sawano, the intense action scenes are greatly amplified and truly showcase the wonderful animation by Wit Studio and Production I.G. “Attack of Titan” is a superb and stimulating anime series. Like the VME – it reveals multi-dimensions of humanity’s darkest sins and enlightened hopes.
Reviewed by benMUSA
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