5 Reasons Why ‘Attack on Titan’ Is So Popular

Click in any websites about this season’s anime, and chance is likely that you’ll come across Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) almost immediately. Every anime fan is talking about it. Every anime fan is watching it. Its immense popularity is almost unprecedented, compared to other anime in recent years. But why is that the case?

*Warning: Contains spoilers*


Attack on TitanThe anime is adapted from the manga series of the same name, written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. Set in an alternate universe, Attack on Titan took place in year 743 when a group of titans, giant creatures that were 3 to 15 meters tall and looked strikingly similar to human beings, appeared out of nowhere and drove humanity almost into extinction. The survived men built three sets of tall, solid walls surrounding their capital to keep the titans out. A hundred and two years of peace followed, until suddenly a 60-meter titan began attacking the outermost wall. When the wall was broken, other titans entered the city to kill and eat civilians living in that area. Ten-year-old Eren Jaeger, who witnessed his own mother being consumed by a titan, vowed revenge against the titans and desired to wipe out their existence on earth. He joined the Training Corps that trained people to become soldiers to fight against the titans, and five years later, his first battle with the titans began…

On a glance, Attack on Titan has a rather simple plot that seems promising to sell. However, it has become such a sensation among anime fans that surprises everyone. In recent years we have popular series like K-On, Bakemonogatari and Puella Magi Madoka Magica, but these series are often criticized for various reasons. Attack on Titan, on the other hand, almost receives universal praise. I think there are five reasons why that’s the case.

5. Shounen/Hot-blooded-ness

Eren saving Armin from being swallowed by a titan
Eren saving Armin from being swallowed by a titan

Attack on Titan has a typical shounen storyline: Eren swearing to avenge his dead mother and his journey against very formidable opponents. He had encountered failure in training, but his strong and determined will of eliminating all titans made him overcome the obstacles and he became a strong soldier. Whenever there was a difficulty, he would remember his dead mother and did anything he could, however reckless his actions might be, to kill the titans. He despised people who only wanted a comfortable lifestyle and thought everyone should fight the titans. He was the typical protagonist you see in any shounen shows: passionate, courageous, acting before thinking.

Aside from Eren’s teenage rage, there are many moments in the anime where the people, citizens and soldiers, freaked out because of the titans. A character would then ask for them to remember those who had fought with their lives to protect them, and urge them to never give up, and then everyone would untie together. It almost sounds cliché that it happens once every couple episodes, but that’s why the positive message of the anime appeals to many. It’s almost like as long as they had faith, then everything would be alright.

4. Character appeal

A popular show demands lovable characters that viewers will talk about, particularly a great female character when the show’s target audience is adolescent males. Attack on Titan has Mikasa Ackerman, the female protagonist who was very loyal to Eren and would literally do anything for him. Her ambiguous relationship with Eren (step-sister/childhood friend/potential girlfriend) makes her a big talking point of the series. She was even willing to kill other soldiers if that meant protecting Eren’s life (as seen in episode 9 and 10). A lot of fan-arts online are about how protective/possessive Mikasa is over Eren, to the point that she is often considered the masculine husband in the relationship while Eren is the weak, needy wife. Gender stereotype, yes, but it successfully sparks discussion.

Fan-art of Armin in a dress. Source: http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=605557
Fan-art of Armin in a dress

Then we have Armin, Eren’s childhood friend who was the brain of the group. He was soft-spoken and physically weak, lacked confidence and worried a lot. However, when in danger he was the one who could come up with a plan to save everyone else. What made him appealing, however, were not his intellect but his feminine traits and appearance. Due to his femininity fans often joke that he is actually the real female protagonist of the series, and create fan-arts where he wears skirt and ‘successfully seduces’ all the males in his class. Much like Hideyoshi Kinoshita from Baka and Test, or Totsuka Saiga from My Teen Romantic Comedy, Armin is a boy that fans like to think of as a girl. Armin has become an androgynous male among fans. Even though this probably was not the intention of the production company, his character design again successfully sparks discussion among fans.

The other characters do not get as much appearances as Eren, Mikasa and Armin. However, fans will be sure to look forward to Levi, the proclaimed mankind’s strongest soldier. He is a favorite among manga readers, after all, for his coolness and his infamous shortness (160cm). As he was now properly introduced in episode 13, there would be more of him to come.

3. Lack of fan service

If you want to sell, you need fan service. That’s why we have series like Infinite Stratos and To-Love-Ru that have basically no content but only fan service. In contrary, there is almost not a scene of fan service so far in Attack of Titan (up to episode 13).

Krista, or as some like to say, what Armin looks like if he really is a girl
Krista, or as some like to say, what Armin looks like if he really is a girl

What about pretty female characters? There are different types of beautiful girls: Mikasa and Annie, the cool beauty; Sasha, the clumsy one and nicknamed as ‘Potato Girl’ due to her debut appearance; Krista, the kind ‘goddess’; and Ymir, the one romantically attached to Krista. However, apart from Mikasa the others were not featured prominently in the series so far. There was some yuri tension between Krista and Ymir, but it was not elaborated much. We don’t see any flash of panties or the female characters wearing swimsuits/sexy outfits for no particular reason. This allows the series to really focus on the plot, emphasizing more on the action of fighting titans than teenage romance.

Really, the only fan service you’ll get is the naked bodies of the titans.

2. Predictability

Eren Jaeger facing a titan
Eren Jaeger facing a titan

This is related to my first point about how the show is a typical shounen series. It makes the show very easy to follow. It’s very straight-forward and you don’t need to think too much about the plot, because it lays out everything for you. In other words, it tells, not shows. Most character’s thoughts were narrated thoroughly that it left almost no rooms for second-guessing what they really were thinking. Apart from Eren’s transformation into a giant titan, there is hardly any twist that is surprising.

Even the good guys and the bad guys are easy to distinguish. In episode five a wealthy merchant refused to let people pass through the gate as he wanted his cargo to go through first. An aristocrat also wanted a top-class general to stay by his side instead of going to the frontline, when a titan was attacking the city. Here, the rich were basically all portrayed as weak and needy, and were indifferent to the lives of the peasants. They were obviously the bad guys who did not give a damn about the lower class.

The good guys were people like Eren, who would fight with their lives. They felt sorry for the lives lost, but at the same time they fought hard so their comrades would not die in vain. Even those who originally were pessimistic about fighting the overwhelmingly powerful titans later were determined to engage in battles as well. All the soldiers were the good guys here, even if some were not as determined in eliminating the titans (Then, of course, anyone who reads the manga will know things will turn much complicated later on).

1. Easily generalized… to anything

The idea of Attack on Titan is about fighting against the monster that tried to ruin your life, when your seemingly content life so far is actually just an illusion of success. The lyrics of the OP echo this kind of passion.

“O pigs who laugh at the resolve to walk over corpses to move forward. Livestock complacency? False prosperity? Give us the freedom of dying starving wolves!”

Here’s a jab at the fake sense of prosperity and stability that humanity lived in. People knew the titans were out there, somewhere, but they chose to ignore the threat until it was too late. Eren saw through this and wanted to make a change. Like a dying, starving wolf, he preferred to live as a free individual rather than as a person trapped in this counterfeit utopia that would fall very soon.

A demonstration in Hong Kong with a titan model.
A demonstration in Hong Kong with a titan model

The ‘titans’ and the ‘people’ then become an interesting contrast of the ‘strong’ versus the ‘weak’. These titans could be generalized to anything: the government, the mainstream media, any influential, political, religious group. You name it. The point is that they are so powerful that you can never completely get rid of them in your life. Like the peasants in Attack on Titan, you either succumb to it and accept it as your fate, or try to resist their invasion by all means.

We can substitute ‘titan versus people’ with contrast such as ‘monarchy versus peasants’ or ‘rich versus poor’. There was also a brief mention of the unfairness of the class system in the anime, and the viewers can think of that as a jab at the wealthy in the world, like the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011. People also perceive this relation as a strong political message: some Japanese and Taiwanese think of the titans as the emerging China that poses a threat to Japan’s economy and culture; some Koreans think of the titan versus people’ idea as Japan’s reemerging militarism, as right-wing politicians return to the political stage in Japan’s recent election; some in Hong Kong see the titans as powerful businessmen and the Chinese government who are trying to dominate every aspect of their lives. Whether these claims are valid or not is another matter. The point is that everyone can easily put Attack on Titan’s situation into their own shoes. They can relate to the show in different ways.

Overall, Attack on Titan is a very entertaining anime of much passion and action. However, it lacks the substance to become an anime to be remembered. It tells too much and shows too little. Unlike anime like Shinsekai Yori or PsychoPass, it does not give people much room for thoughts, as everything is too clear-cut, either black or white. Let’s just hope the second-half of the season will get better.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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  1. I still have a few episodes to catch up but wow, I’m really excited for this show to become a huge success as a movie. I hope they widen their cast a little more to not just Asian roles since the manga says mikasa is the last Asian alive. But none the less this is going to be amazing. If this get good enough attention as well as designers and animations you can expect a lot of Titan followers to be behind this movie. I was super excited for pacific run but now I’m ecstatic to see this hit the big screens.

    This was a great manga and the anime kicked it over the edge, I am really hoping this gets the support it needs to have as well as its chance to become big like the marvel movies. This would be an amazing movie and I would sure as heck buy it once it hit DVD!


    • Indeed the manga does not follow up much on Mikasa being the last known Asian living within the walls. I don’t know if the author just forgets about it or if he’s saving that for later, given that now the manga is about revealing more identities of the titans. A movie will be great, although I think another season of anime may be more possible.

      • Shingeki

        Yea Levi kinda have an Asian complexion too and his last name was kinda a shocker… so I don’t think Mikasa is truly the last Asian within the wall.

        • Spoiler: Actually, she may be. Levi and Mikasa share a last name, but it was her mom who was Asian and dad who was Ackerman. So, Levi probably isn’t Asian like her.

    • I don’t believe the anime ever went out and said that Mikasa is the last Asian in the walls. Technically, her mother had more Asian blood than Mikasa does, unless that white guy in her house isn’t really her father. And Levi does look Asian, but do remember that you don’t have to be Asian to have black hair or be short, though those are stereotypical Asian traits. Of course, I don’t know the manga, so perhaps the manga says more than the anime on the topic of Mikasa’s ancestry.

      • It does. Spoiler: She’s got Ackerpowers.

        • Axe_Girl

          Akerpowers? Elaborate on your spoiler plz

          • You shouldn’t have asked but Ackerman are genetically modified beings, a side product of titan science.

  2. Dominique Kollie

    Great Article! I’ve been waiting for an Attack on Titan Article. This is easily the most enthralling series to come out this year. The last bullet point perfectly sums up why this series has so much appeal

    • Indeed no other series generate as much hype as Attack on Titan does so far this year. However, I’m concerned if it can live up to its hype. Right now I can see it being a good anime, but not necessarily a great one.

      • Dominique Kollie

        I think it will live up to the hype. If it goes according to script, I assume it will get less straight-forward, so they’ll leave a little to the imagination. That would keep the existing audience entertained while still staying fresh for new viewers

        • I watched the first season and I don’t think I ever, ever want to see this hyped up bullshit again. It’s nothing I’d take my time or put my effort forward to watch. I like my animes to be unpredictable and not about a bunch of whiny little bitches, crying every second. People are so hyped up about the whole “Oh, people are dying everywhere” trend.

          The music wasn’t memorable, I hate all the characters to be honest and I feel like they’re abusing people’s emotions towards drama and pulling it all together into another anime.

          Personally, I like animes that are unpredictable, that don’t drag on, and have some form of spirit to this. This anime is the driest piece of shit I’ve ever seen in my life. This is the anime. “Oh, my friend is dying. My brother’s dying. My aunt’s uncle’s nephew is dying.” and they complain for 5 minutes, people die, and it happens again, again and again.

          • I agree that this anime incorporates a lot of killing of characters for emotional manipulation. I disagree that it can be called bad because of it. The way it is executed in this anime is more artful and more consistently impacting than in any other source I’ve seen. AoT doesn’t just kill it’s characters blindly, it makes it perfectly clear to the audience that someone is about to die, then, through gut wrenching build-up, still catches the viewer off guard.

            I personally cannot tolerate Game of Thrones for the same reason you can’t tolerate AoT, so I understand where you’re coming from, but even I, who dislikes arbitrary killing, find myself feeling just as shocked and devastated as I was the first time watching every single time I go back and watch one of the tragic scenes.

            Also the music’s totally great. Vogel im Kafig, objectively one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve heard. Not sure how you justify that claim.

            • This is exactly how war times is buddy Your friend dies everyone around you dies In war times the crying the fear of being killed it’s all real AoT implemented it very well better than most where all the main characters live because there main characters Sure AoT killed a lot of ppl off but how they did it and the reasons was perfect like when Most the ROOKIES dying to Titans why because they lacked experience

          • So basically you’re just mad because people die? Yeah okaaaay. By the way – how was the music not memorable? Big orchestral action lacked theme music – boy you must have shittier taste in music than you do in anime – also, how can you hate the characters? I can understand not being a fan but hate? Grow up kid, just because it’s popular – no need to cry your little baby eyes out.

          • I’m not saying them dying is a bad thing, I’m saying it’s only popular BECAUSE people are dying left and right which is a new clique.

            The characters are bland as fuck, the writing is terrible, the reactions of the characters are very unrealistic, the plot becomes pretty damned predictable.

            There’s nothing interesting about the anime, the concept isn’t new and it’s not even done well. The anime just tries it’s hardest to be as dark as possible and that’s it.

            Even the character’s reactions to some character’s actions would leave me thinking “Wow. That would never fucking happen, ever.” It only seems realistic because the characters that aren’t important continue to die off.

            Also, if you’ve seen other anime openings, a lot are just as appealing as Attack on Titan. Attack on Titan’s opening is nothing special and is nothing memorable. But all YOU have to say, Jack, is “Durrr, you bad. You ugly.” without giving any reason to why the anime is good.

            I can point out some failures right now. For example, when Erin saves Mikasa as a kid, he kills two adults in a crafty way. Far too crafty for a kid first of all. Second of all, it was easy for him. Third of all, his reaction afterwards was “Durrr, they were monsters in human clothing. Durrr.” Yeah, cause a kid WOULDN’T be in shock after his first killings of humans. He’d be perfectly okay with it and not be left in shock.

            Not to mention the main character is an so full of himself and acts too damned rigid. Far more rigid than a character should care to be. Which, by the way, would make you a weak link.

            Then there’s Mikasa. She turned into one of the best killers of Titans out of NOWHERE? Not years, but weeks of training allowed her to do shit that thousands of years of training apparently couldn’t. Yeah, that’s some real action and some real development of character. There are characters that actually have to learn shit and not pull it out of their ass.

            Now, what do you have to say about yourself? “Oh, you’re terrible?” Good argument. Come back when you grow a brain kid

      • Nellie

        Yeah, same. I have to say, I was a little surprised to hear that there was so much hype. Had to check out what else was around to see if it was just because everything else was not-so-good. However, after reading this, I can understand more of what caused it now.

        For one thing, I cannot stand fan service. It’s stopped me from paying much attention to a lot of anime and manga out there, despite having a huge interest in animation. So I’m glad that it’s not really an issue in this one, and that you pointed that out!

        The manga is so far so good (reading through it slowly, just behind the anime at the moment).Yeah, same. I have to say, I was a little surprised to hear that there was so much hype. Had to check out what else was around to see if it was just because everything else was not-up-to-scratch. However, after reading this, I can understand more of what caused it now.

        For one thing, I cannot stand fan service. It’s stopped me from paying much attention to a lot of anime and manga out there, despite having a huge interest in animation. So I’m glad that it’s not really an issue in this one.

        I hope the show brings more attention to the manga too (reading through it slowly, just behind the anime at the moment). Glad it was picked up as an anime! Good stuff.

        • Nellie

          I have no idea what happened to that reply. =O Must’ve copied and pasted part of what I wrote before near the end of the reply by accident, sorry. x

        • I like the manga better, and I also hope more people will pay attention to the manga as well. Personally, a minimal amount of fan service is fine as long as it does not hinder the plot. It’s good for entertainment purpose most of the time, it’s just that many authors nowadays overuse it and makes terrible shows of nothing but fan service. Well, it sells, after all

        • Lord_Mega

          So could you recommend animes Better than attack on titan?

          • Shinsekai Yori, Mawaru Penguindrum, EVA, Mahou Shoujo Magica Madoka, SHIROBAKO, Bakemonogatari, Serial Experiment Lain, Clannad (AS), Humanity Has Declined…to name a few

            • Madoka Magica is good, FullMetal Alchemist is amazing and Another is pretty good though I wouldn’t say its better

          • So though Madoka Magica and FullMetal Alchemist are great, Deadman Wonderland is probably one of my favorite animes. Code Geass is ok and When They Cry was disturbing but really good

  3. Huan-Huan

    I have to say this is one for the books, I have seen all sorts of horror but this series looks very, very interesting. One of the most original series to date. Waiting for more…

    • It doesn’t have that much graphic horror. The idea of some titans easily crashing your city and eating the people is quite horrifying though, especially when the manga discusses more of what the titans are

  4. I haven’t watched this but I had seen several posts on various tumblrs and did check it out, but it didn’t relate to me. However looking at your writing I may have to go back and give it another chance 🙂

    • Do give it a chance! It’s quite entertaining, though I’ll recommend reading the manga as I think that things are better explained there and the atmosphere is tenser

  5. Camille Brouard

    I wasn’t sure what all the fuss is about, but I’ve had a skim over your article (I’d read it all through but spoilers!) and I am intrigued, I reckon I need to check this anime out! (I’m notoriously bad at keeping up with season releases.)

    • I thought it sounded pretty rubbish, from reading the blurb on the back of an English version. But later I bought a bilingual version because, well, I wanted something to read on the bullet train and there wasn’t much choice. Anyway it was a lot better than I expected!

  6. carlos cedillo


    • Bratwurst

      Agreed! Also plenty of strong female characters!

      **Though I have to disagree with the predictability part. I enjoyed the series because I didn’t see most major developments coming. The mythology of the series is very rich and very well developed. There’s also tons of things to speculate on, which makes reading/watching even more enjoyable.

      • Agreed. Though story wise it does seem a bit vague and uninformative at times, I do understand its mainly to keep the anime ongoing, but it does get to that point of frustration as you keep watching/reading. But its a minor complaint, the rest is all praise.

  7. Tracey Layner

    Heads up… Early sneak game preview for Spike Chunsoft’s Attack on Titan being done by Paul Munro and Rebecca Clarke returning to Gameplay Today ( https://www.gameplaytoday.com ) this November…

  8. Tristan

    I agree with your points, this is very well written. However, it’s the other soldiers that I’m finding memorable as characters. Like I choked up about Marco, and Reiner and Jean are two of my favourite characters (something tells me that Jean serves more of a purpose than is being let on).

    Annie and Sasha as well. There’s just the right amount of characters to not have overload. How different is the manga to the anime? are we talking Soul Eater levels or?

  9. I missed the VERY tiny spoiler sign, now I know Eren’s becoming a titan. Thank you…

  10. Ackerman

    well written friends i agree almost all of your point except for the Predictability. you see SnK main appeal for me besides the action and the drama is the mystery and how is this anime/manga(just for the information i do know the difference beetween anime and manga i give / sign because i watch the anime and read the manga.just a little trivia lol ok move on) is so unpredictable for example


    when eren getting eaten by titan(yes he DO survive but still) is totally unpredictable atleast for me because to kill the show main character? not even in my wild imagination or the fact that he is survive and can transform into a titan?,or when annie,bertolt and reiner is also a part of titan shifter and on the side of the bad guys is totally unpredictable(and the fact that it was reiner and bertolt the ones that destroy wall maria and the cause of the dead of eren’s mother),the fact that the giant wall that protecting humanity from titan is also made from a titan, and many more so when you say this show is “predictable” is realy funny and make me wondering are we watching/reading the same show? and there is still many mystery unsolved like the origin of the titan,or the key that eren’s dad give to him,can titan feel emotion or pain?,why is titan slaughtering humanity but not animal? animal and human is a living creature but why is titan only targetting human only?the true identity of ape titan,krista lenz origin(the depth),and many more(too many to list them all)


    and the mystery itself is one of the main appeal for me because i always like mystery genre,it play with my imagination or make me assume what will happen next? and SnK have it all. oops sorry for the long writing and my bad english lol and once again i say well written friends!

    • Thanks for the long comment! The first thing I’m gonna say is that this article was written for the anime only, hence I was focusing solely on what the anime presents us (which did not get to the part of Annie at the time I wrote this article – if I remember correctly, I published this when episode 11 or 12 was out).

      What I meant by ‘predictability’ is that it tells, but it doesn’t really show. As in the examples I used in the article, we can clearly see who the bad guys are (those rich, fat bastards living inside the walls) and what each character is thinking, word-to-word, hence viewers do not get to second-guess what their real thoughts are.

      To clarify again, I did mention that things turned out differently in the manga later on, and that Eren’s transformation into a titan is a surprising twist. I personally enjoy reading the manga version much more than watching the anime,and I am surprised many times by how the manga developed. Yet, again, this article was about the first half of the anime only.

  11. Hi, I have to say, the thing that draws me in is the mystery of the titans, its got a very science fiction/fantasy mix, its hard to figure out where its going. But when I watch other anime, at some point, the heroes will win because they feel so emotional, they get angry, ect. this breaks the immersion or reality of the story for me. but in attack on titan, there is no easy way out.

    I would say that its not predictable at all, every plan the characters lay out goes wrong in unexpected ways. It always feels like the characters are surviving on the skin of their teeth. Character that you had grown attached to die without ceremony, it creates a sense that any character could die, or that the people we see get killed that we don’t know are just like the people who we do know that get killed. The gore is not gratuitous, its impactful. And its impactful because the series has established a feeling of authenticity for the world and its inhabitants.

    The thing that is so appealing about this anime is that it doesn’t treat its audience like idiots and it doesn’t treat its characters like ideological pawns. The titans are a fearsome, unknowable, unstoppable force. you can understand why characters like eren would risk their life to try to kill them, but you also understand those that would rather stay within wall sina(the innermost wall) and stay far away from titans. And can you blame them? not when you see the massive casualty’s that those that fight against the titans face. but you also see how important it is to fight in the first place.

    But I’m saying all this after having watched all of season 1,and read most of the manga. I understand that you have only watched up to episode five?

    • To reiterate my point from my previous comment:

      “What I meant by ‘predictability’ is that it tells, but it doesn’t really show. As in the examples I used in the article, we can clearly see who the bad guys are (those rich, fat bastards living inside the walls) and what each character is thinking, word-to-word, hence viewers do not get to second-guess what their real thoughts are.”

      In other words, it tells and does not show. That’s my main problem with the first half of the series (around the time this article is published), which I think gets better in the 2nd-half of the show. To some extent I do think the show is treating the audience like idiots by how straight-forward everything is, though again it gets better by the 2nd-half.

      Aaaand save for the first 2 episodes, I did read the whole manga before I watch the rest of the series, so I wasn’t sure why you assumed I’ve only watched up to episode 5. I do like the manga version more for showing more of the characters’ inner struggle, instead of the anime where it’s crystal clear what everyone is thinking.

  12. i just started watching and i love this show.
    Just wondering why everybody is scared of Mikasa…

  13. Katharine

    Great article! For me another selling point of SNK (and any good sci fi story/anime) is the world building. SNK does a great job of reiterating that (titans aside) this is not the world that we the viewers know. I’m thinking specifically of episode six where we learn of Mikasa’s past. Right off the bat we learn that Asians are rare and thus a profitable commodity in the sex/slave trade, but the implications of the SNK world go deeper than that. As you rightly point out, much of Eren’s drive stems from his mother’s death and normally we’d view this as the sole catalyst for his rage: murder of loved one = the desire/ability to murder in turn. Yet we learn in The Battle of Trost Part 2 that this isn’t the case. Eren, entirely on his own, plans and executes the brutal murder of two adults when he’s only nine years old, years before he loses his mother. We know Eren isn’t a sociopath and we’ve seen that he comes from a loving home… so his ability to kill at such a young age must stem, at least in part, from his environment. It makes the viewer wonder exactly what kind of world they’re living in that creates children like Eren.

  14. Jemarc Axinto

    In regards to twist, while there was a lot of things that could be easily predicted *SPOILERS?* such as the identity of the female titan, or the existence of the other classes of titans. Yes you could predict something MORE happening, but the actual occurrences are still surprising enough to keep it fresh. That and the game of “Who will die this time?” always keeps me going.

  15. Michael

    I want to know who the colossal Titan is, and the armored one. It’s nice how I just picked it for the cover, yet later Eren turned into a Titan. Which added a new explosive enthusiasm for the series. Just you feeling when he first turns, and you know nothing of the series. I mean you never see it coming, it’s such a big surprise and gift of what the series has brought to the table. Unlike others I don’t want there to be a new movie for it, I would really just like a continuation of the first season. If they go to 3D model in it might backfire. I want nothing more, nothing less, they really raised the bar and I don’t want it to go any higher.

    • Michael

      Keep it 2D at least I would hate to see the series go to shit. I’m not saying like 3D in the movie theater I’m talking video game 3D. That call of duty kind of stuff

  16. Michael

    I know it will be awhile but I can’t wait for season 2. And to just repeat No 3D, I just saw some examples of how terrible the characters would look in the show if it was 3D

  17. Jordan

    Since this show has started airing on Toonami (hurray!) I think it would be cool if this article could be reworked and reintroduced to the main page somehow. The more people who give it a shot the better. I’m thinking of buying it when it comes out in Australia in June…. that or Psychopass.hmmm
    Also I can’t wait for seasonn 2!

  18. I watched the first two episodes and so far i think it sucks. Eren is the most unlikeable, annoying protagonist ever. All he does is scream and whine and cry.

    And how do the soldiers have all this sophisticated technology that allows them to zip through the forest on cables, but the only weapons they have to fight the Titans with are a couple of old Civil War-style cannons??

    • Valid point on the technology part. Based on the manga development so far, the people in power have hidden secrets about the titans, so we’ll just have to keep reading to see if that will be explained in the future on the technology part.

  19. Justin Wu who?

    Dumb ass article. Attack on Titan has become insanely popular. You failed to mention the emotional and tough decisions it brings out of people. Also, the show is RARELY predictable when considering those you believe may survive half the time do not.

    • How many times do I need to reiterate that this article is written based on the first-half of the series?

  20. jon whitley

    The only problem I have with this article is that attack on titan doesn’t take place in an alternate universe. It takes place on earth 2000 years from now. This is proven by two things, the presence of the “sawney bean” legend and the fact that mikasa is identified as oriental.

  21. Ayahime0

    After a few episodes,I still can’t seem to get into Attack on Titan. I know it’s great and all, but I still can’t seem to care and I don’t know why. It’s not like Bleach or Naruto. And also not like Sword Art Online; man, the memories! Ahem! Anyway, I guess Attack on Titan is just isn’t my type of stew.

  22. I want to say this is the greatest show ive ever watched. Its intense and is a solid story line. Tho there’s lots of crying in it i love this cant wait for season two

  23. My favorite characters are between mikasa and Armin!
    I love the plots of this show. The fact that this builds inspiration an promotes character. I just love it. I dont care much at all for the titans but rather the characters storylines. Armins intelligent and becomes a devoted loyal friend. It just makes me feel better to do just that. Then there mikasa. Touching character I might add. Never giving up. Then theres Eren. Easily losses control but is ready for anything and inspires his friends. I love it.

  24. Good *Lord*, this was the worst thing I’ve ever read.

    What about the fact that such a despairingly *hopeless* situation dwarfs any problems we might be experiencing in our own lives?

    ..what about that opening?

    Complete lack of insight, this dreck…


  26. mikasaka

    it too much lyke neon genesis evangay alien. i cant enjoy it. too much scream and drama. GAY. 0/999999

  27. Interesting but I do not agree at all, what you describe as a simple character (Eren) is actually quite dense, you’re talking about an angry and reckless typical shonen hero but many times in the show, we see the consequences of his recklessness (he causes many death because of that), it shows that you can’t just let your anger go or it will bring death, especially within the army, where calm and focus are needed if you want to analyse the battlefield.

    Moreover, many times we see him enjoying this power and killing, making going on a rampage and destroying everything around him. It shows that behind his noble image (saving humanity, avenge his mother and see the outside world), he’s in the end human, and such power makes him enjoy violence and killing, often smiling at this idea.

    He’s more twisted than he looks, and I think one of the reason of the success of this anime is its realism in human reaction and consequences, showed for exemple by many deaths, killing characters that you ended up liking instead of saving everybody like many shonen do.

    I liked this article but I’m a bit sad that the analysis staid on the surface and that you didn’t go deeper.

    Sorry if I did some mistakes, I’m french and english isn’t my native language.

    • Again, I have to emphasize this article is solely based on the first half of the anime season. I personally enjoy the 2nd half much more because of some of the elements you have mentioned, which wasn’t there in the first half.

  28. I’ll add something about titans, they do not represent rich/poors, the mangaka of shingeki no kyojin said in an interview that it represented (school) bullying, which is a big issue in japan, showing the fact that bullies just enjoy bullying and hurt people, just as titans don’t need to eat but just enjoy eating humans.

    • People always have to push their (in this case western) views on manga. It’s Japanese, the culture is different. Go to the source (like you did) instead of thinking you can just project you own views.

  29. I love this anime, and it never failed to shock me while I was watching it for the first time.

  30. You have to be trolling. Not going to be remembered? This is a unique anime in a hundred ways.

    • All anime are different and unique. This specific one will be hard to remember because all there is to it is a simple story that anyone could think off and halfass “action scenes”. Seriously, the lack of imagination in this story is so easy to notice.

  31. Sitebe

    Armin is actually a Girl or a boy

  32. This anime fucked me up, mentally for a few days. I watched the whole season on a weekend. Then,for a week or so I became so depressed, hopeless, struggling sleeping and when I sleep I wake up because of the night mares. I’m 29, by the way and I’ve seen hundreds of movies and animes of all generas and kinds. I think that the show is awesome and I’m waiting for the 2nd season but I don’t know why Attack of the Titans hat me on this very deep level. Wondering if anyone had a similar experience with it?

    • I’d watched the Anime over a weekend as well,and yes.It did touch me on a deep mental level but not in a terrifying way.AoT surely changes the way you view the world and I for one am more grateful to be receiving my daily bread ever since I’ve watched the Anime.It’s been a week already since I have watched it and many of the realisations that came with it are still shaping my world in a better way and making me a stronger person for it.It was mostly Mikasa’s character that did it for me(And even though she pushes herself harder and deeper into training than most others,the overnight improvement was actually sped up.Considering how most other characters had actually been training for far longer and not all necessarily slackers for that reason.).I don’t really hate Mikasa,and while I don’t drool over her either,I really admire her character.Her views of the world are very justified and not hard looking through when you try to yourself.For one it really changes the way you experience the world and makes one less of a slacker when he/she realizes what it means to push oneself harder and deeper into training for the sake of their loved ones and that the world is cruel and if one is not strong,he/she dies.
      AoT really reaches people deep down mentally and is a touching experience that’s gonna stick with one for long.I really don’t get the hate about it though as most points to why it is so awesome has been covered in depth,and in multiple articles.Criticism doesn’t really phaze me tho as I have been through the Anime myself and this is the most realistic Anime I’ve watched by a long shot (I’d watched Deadman Wonderland prior to this,so yea.I realize what a change in realism means.)

  33. amdeit88

    I believe that you could apply this to any anime, not just Attack On Titan. Naruto could have the same aspects, Dragon Ball Z could have the same aspects, etc. I don’t think that you should limit these five reasons to just one anime. If you have good character development, a good plot line, and good plot twists, then this would work well for almost any anime.

  34. AoT is a very accessible anime- the plot isn’t particularly difficult to follow, and the characters are clear-cut and individually defined. It’s often referred to as ‘entry-level’ anime, which is, in my opinion, part of the reason it’s so popular.

  35. AoTFanboy411

    AoT strikes a fine line between being unique enough to stand out from the tens of other anime that debuted in Summer 2013, but at the same time grounded in reality enough as not to alienate non-anime fans. Weather this will continue into the politics heavy season 2 remains to be seen.

  36. Jeremy

    Have to disagree when you talk about obvious badguys and goodguys.
    That greedy merchant is a good guy. If you read the manga, you know he selflessly allied himself with the survey corps and worked towards the rebuilding of trost and the protection of its people.
    And that “ignorant wall priest” is the same.
    Things get very blured in Attack on Titan between good and evil. Even the titan-shifters reveal themselves to not really be evil. The collosal, armoured and female titans are all revealed to be emotionally torn and full of sorrow for destroying the wall. Even Eren is sorry for having to fight them eventually.
    In the end, there are no real bad guys. Everyone thinks that what they’re doing is right. And these conflict with other people’s ideals.
    “War does no prove who is right, only who is left.”

  37. wanderingwarrior

    i just watched the entire first season in less than 24 hrs and i must say it was very interesting, touching, intense, and very dark. a few characters kinda spoiled it for me, Mikasa was just too good she kinda reminded me of chuck norris or steven seagal while soldiers were being eaten left and right she was breezing through them like butter not that its a bad thing however her development and demeannor was just too unreal for me to actually like her. the main character while good hearted seems overblown and way too ambitious despite the obvious scale of the situation need i mention he’s still a kid(i mean this guy is no kratos) but hey cant stop a guy from trying right? and then making him a titan???? they should have stuck to the script and kept it man against giants that would have given it a more urgent no one is going to save us vibe which in my opinion was the best route.
    on the flip side the story was very engrossing they did a very good job with the titans, from behaviour to looks they just make you really hate these things but god was i the only one rewinding all the female titan scene? in my opinion hands down she is the real star of the show! the pacing was great and the end was well……….. unpredictable still pissed he didn’t get that titan that ate his mother but you know what? that would have been cliched just like him becoming a titan. all in all this was a great anime not the most original but nonetheless great.

  38. chikinnugget

    that true thew statement at the end it black or white no grey

  39. Seriously I think attack on Titan isn’t even good. It’s fucking shit compared to others. The story is straightforward and short. Most of the “action scenes” are people swinging around slashing at giant naked dudes’s. Most of the fans are little kids or weeaboos with no lives

    • Malcolm

      You claim that Attack on Titan is too “straightforward,” but it seems that all you care about are the action scenes. If that’s the case, then I am led to believe that most of the shows you watch are shallow anyway.
      By now, I have seen enough shows that I can say that I am a fan of anime, but many of the shows I watch I do not finish because I do not find them to be very good. Attack on Titan, contrarily to what many people have said, is not at all black or white, not at all shallow. Justin Wu, the writer of the article, said that the show has no depth because the story is easy to follow; that was very stupid of him to say. Would you ever continue watching a show that just made no sense? Now, let me explain to you further why the show is not shallow, since you have so heavily criticized it and the people watching it.
      I will start by saying that I am not an action lover. Some of my favorites shows are also romances, comedies, and horrors, but I can appreciate any show as long as the characters’ actions make sense and story is consistent. Eren is belligerent by nature, and it naturally fits into his personality to hate and spite the titans who killed his mother and keep humans confined to a small world within the walls. I like that the story is not all action, that the show elaborates on some of the societal problems. For example, after the first wall came down and humans retreated behind the next wall, the show took time to explain that the overpopulation caused a food shortage, to which the government responded by sending people out to “reclaim” the lost territory, knowing that there was virtually no chance of survival for these people. The show even went into the feasibility of titans and 3D maneuvering devices, making it, in my eyes, more a science fiction than a fantasy. I also appreciated that Attack on Titan gave dimension to many of the characters that appeared in the story, even if they were not main characters. For example, the show explored the dynamic of a group of newly recruited military police, and while it developed the characters enough for them to be likable, none of them except Annie (the Female Titan) had much airtime on the show.
      People have said the show is black and white, and I just wonder if they understand how to think properly (don’t worry–it happens to everyone sometime). One obvious example: Eren hates titans, yet Eren is a titan. While he may be humanity’s greatest hope of survival, his very existence is questionable for many who have feared titans their whole life. While some recognize the opportunity that Eren could bring for turning the tides, others would rather not take a chance, rather not understand how a titan can also call himself a human. Eren himself is shown to struggle with what he is, and the only clue he has is the key to his basement, where his father conducted experiments. Another example of how Attack on Titan is not black and white: Eren has been placed in situations where his adherence to a plan of action meant almost certain death for some of his comrades. Should he trust the others’ judgement and go through with their plan, or should he take matters into his own hands, and try to keep the others from being hurt? Those are the kinds of agonizing decisions that Eren had to come to grips with. What were his own limits, and how much was he willing to accept the sacrifices that other people made, oftentimes on his behalf?
      While I cannot say the same for most shows that I watch, Attack on Titan is a very good show. I don’t care if I am called a “little kid” or a “weeaboo” (whatever that is).

  40. Attack on Titan definitely makes it into my top five favorite animes/mangas. It is all the things you say about it, but so much more. It’s beautifully animated, scored, and voice acted as well. The visual components are just as compelling as the story and all the characters. It really is worth a watch, it grabbed me in just the first episode.

  41. nuribirdie

    I agree with your article.It likely close to reality.yes, we are not fighting the titan in real worlds but this anime reflects yourself actually. How strong your will, and how hard when we try to back to right path. since its full of darkness,i’m hardly laugh in the funny scenes haha. I dont know about mikasa fangirl or fanboy over there, but armin does seems like a girl. and why don’t you come up with levixeren chemistry?they’re not into any bromance but i always see too many levixeren shippers.i’m salute this story because there’s no such fan service (panties,huge boobs). But i wouldn’t mind if producer put a bit romance scene (especially shounen-ai) hahahaah

  42. manganatic.xyz

    I personally love this anime that the moment i start watching it, I do not want to leave my seat anymore until I finish the whole episode. This literally is one of my favorite anime.

  43. I think this pretty much sums it up. I like the fact that a lot of lives were lost, because it felt more real that way. It was sad, but, what canyou do? And I am completely obsessed with Levi. This has got to be right up there with my other favourite anime, Darker than Black.

  44. AoT sucks

    What you forgot to put down was overrated garbage. Seriously there are tons of shows better odd than this adapted without fan service that get lack of praise. This is what we call overhyped, because people are mindless sheep and are afraid to say something bad about popular shows they go with the consensus and pretend to like it.

  45. Jacob Votava

    No. This is wrong, if you think it’s predictable– what are you? [Spoiler alert ahead]

    Like seriously, in the begining of the show I had no clue that there would be civilaztion outside the walls– much less that titans were transformed humans.

    There’s so much more– how can you–

    Ah. Nevermind.

    • To be fair, most manga is VERY predictable. Easy examples: from the beginning of Naruto you could predict he would end up as Hokage, same with Full Metal Alchemist and the brothers being reunited in the flesh. Most protagonists survive everything and at the end get what they want.

      However, it’s the journey. Not the destination.

  46. thats dumb, just…

    really? what is this. it is an anime to be remembered this is the best anime so shut the heck up. thank you

  47. AoT sucks, you need to shut the hell up

  48. shasha farted

  49. Very good article. Just the facts, and not some kind of politically charged rant or projection like some authors here.

    For some reason I never started reading (I don’t watch anime) Attack on Titan. It’s very popular, yet I don’t really like the art. However, this article has pulled me on board, and I’m starting to read it RIGHT NOW!


  50. It seems like Titan works well with the familiar.

  51. Eren Yeager

    This aged like milk

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