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Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan





Kennedy Unthank

TV Series Review

“The walls are salvation,” cries a street preacher as Eren Jaegar and Mikasa Ackermann pass by.

And, in a sense, he’s right. The walls are the only thing that stand between what’s left of humanity and certain death. Because roaming outside the 50-meter-high walls are the titans—giant mindless humanoids who care for little more than chomping down on people.

According to the history books, these titans suddenly appeared and wiped out the world’s entire population—save for those who were able to get behind the walls. They’re particularly difficult monsters to slay, since the roughly 10-meter-tall creatures can only be killed via a slice through the nape. It’s why the remaining humans brave enough to face the giants zip around on omni-directional mobility gear—harnesses equipped with gas-powered grappling hooks—and wield fearsome swords.

And they have other survival strategies, too. Members of the military’s Scout Regiment leaves the safety of the walls in the hopes of establishing new settlements. Of course, most people think that the Scout Regiment’s members are merely serving themselves up as titan food. In fact, the average person is rather content to spend the rest of their days within the relative safety of the walls.

But then an explosion blows through their complacency.

Looking up, the people see a horrible sight: a titan, taller than the walls, peering down at them. It lifts its foot and, as easy as kicking a ball, blasts a hole through the wall, allowing hundreds of titans to wander in. Hundreds, thousands, die, including Eren’s mother, who is eaten right in front of him.

“At that terrible moment, in our hearts, we knew,” Eren says. “Home was a pen; humanity, cattle.”

Not everyone died that day—the country was designed with three concentric circular walls, so many, including Eren and Mikasa, are able to flee into the next one. But now, everyone knows it’s only a matter of time until that giant titan appears once more and does the same as he did before.

And few are as angry as Eren. He pledges to join the Scout Regiment. And he’ll slay every last titan—every last enemy—who threatens humanity’s survival.

A Titan in the Anime Industry

Don’t get too attached to anyone, a fan of Attack on Titan will likely tell you. Because in the world of titans, anyone can die in a moment.

The popular anime contends for the genre’s bloodiest of all time. Through the course of the show, hundreds of people die in horrific ways—from being eaten alive to being crushed by rocks or buildings. If blood or severed limbs—animated or no—make you queasy, then you’ll definitely want to avoid Attack on Titan. Another element to consider: The titans, albeit without genitals, wander about naked.

And as the show progresses, certain themes will emerge: the cost of revenge, the power of sacrifice and the damage of prejudice among them. We’ll also see explorations into generational consequences and how they shape the children who are burdened with them.

But, once again, those themes are explored through Olympic-size swimming pools full of blood. We witness some horrific deaths, including suicides. Some spiritual elements pop up in later seasons, too. And swearing, including the s-word and “g-dd–n,” pop up, too.

It’ll be up to you to determine if you’ll build your own wall against this titan in the anime industry.

Episode Reviews

Sept. 28, 2013 – S1, E1: “To You, in 2000 Years/The Fall of Shigashina, Part 1”

Eren recounts the events of the day when titans broke through the wall and destroyed his home.

In the intro sequence, the lyrics state that “prayers won’t solve anything.”

A woman’s legs are broken, and she is picked up by a titan and eaten. When the Scout Regiment returns from a failed expedition, a mother is handed the severed arm of her soldier son, as it was all that remained of the man. Other men are in shock, bloodied or suffering broken bones. Buildings are destroyed and people are crushed as titans step on them. A titan is killed when its nape is cut with a quick spurt of blood.

The titans are all naked but have no genitals, instead resembling an unclothed doll. (Their buttocks are always seen, however.)

A preacher claims that the walls “are a bulwark gifted by God,” “bastions of faith” and the “will of heaven manifest.”

Some guards are buzzed or intoxicated, drinking while on the job.

We hear two instances of “b–tard,” and one use each of “d–n,” “crap” and “h—.” God’s name is used in vain once.

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Kennedy Unthank

Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He thinks the ending of Lost “wasn’t that bad.”

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