Debuting in 2013, the Attack on Titan anime quickly rose in fame and popularity among anime fan groups. This is due to the show’s meticulously hand-drawn art style compelling narrative about a world thrown into terror and fear by a mysterious and unrelenting enemy.
The opening season of the show outlines a plot in which the entire human race exists —and thrives — within three 50-meter-tall concentric walls. They stand to defend humanity from the show’s primary antagonists, titans, who share some characteristics of their appearances with humans, specifically men, but are wildly tall and strong, often standing up to 15 meters tall. Their only discernible goal is to consume humans, and the anime does not hold back depictions of blood and gore for their viewer base.
That being said, the majority of humanity is largely unbothered by the presence of the titans because the titans are outside the wall, and everyone else is inside. This precarious balance of homeostasis ends when one day, a titan taller than the walls appears and kicks a whole in the outermost wall. Humanity is forced to retreat, and many lives are lost in the process, initiating the Attack on Titan’s primary narrative.
Since that first season in 2013 — and the subsequent ones in the late 2010s and early 2020s — the show’s story has evolved into a tale about war and the consequences it brings. It aims to highlight the inevitable devastation and suffering achieved by allowing a culture prop itself up using imperialism and abuse against groups of people arbitrarily placed into a category of ‘other.’ Attack on Titan shows the cyclical nature of war by fleshing out the show’s characters and world that exists around them.
The wide cast of main characters includes cleverly written personas that feel unique and alive. Their personalities and relationships are developed in ways that allow viewers to peek into the characters’ lives. The audience can also see how young adults might react to the trauma associated with being suddenly forced into an increasingly dangerous world full of monsters and men. Additionally, each episode is carefully crafted to include the thrill involved with battling the overwhelming force of the titans, along with asking and answering deep questions about the world at a pace that keeps viewers engaged at all times.
The last episodes of the final season are currently upon us, with a production schedule that will bring us to the anime’s end in a few short weeks. From 2013 to 2022, Attack on Titan has had a long and eventful run that will surely cement its place as a successful attempt to tell a subversive and interesting story.