Attack On Titan starts out mild, almost peaceful even, with the appearance of perhaps one or two religious fanatics ranting and raving in the streets about how no one should be allowed to touch or “defile” the walls. The walls that surround the city, as they hint at, should be looked at as a divine sort of being which is more or less keeping them all from being driven to extinction. Eren, his sister Mikasa, and Erin’s best friend Arlen is the trio who the story revolves around , three kids with a rather twisted perception of the world, due to their first-hand experience at the terror of the “Titans”.
The Titans, these twisted giants, their sole purpose is to devour humanity to extinction. How they came to be, or why they hunt down humanity is unknown, simply that they are strong, they are many, and they are winning are the key concepts to know. Humanity as a whole is quite comfortable within their walls, until that is, the Titans break through. This is a world where not only do the strongest survive, in a very literal “dog eat dog” sense, but humanity is at it’s most corrupt as well. The system of government in place allows the strongest to retreat to the interior walls, away from the titans, feeding the weakest almost like cattle to the monsters they are destined to meet. The Titans are bizarre in appearance, generally naked, some spanning to 15 meters in height, and always on the prowl, usually moving slowly. However, they have a tendency to sneak up very fast on unsuspecting victims, and swallow them whole. Their faces are contorted in Smiles, and frowns, but no way to tell if they’re actually happy, sad, or even angry. Rather they each have their own constant facial expressions that never change. The animation is brutal, and by this a lot of blood ensues whenever the Titans show up. Limbs are generally flying, and the crowds are running and screaming.
Think of medieval times and Godzilla happens to show up out of the blue with all his buddies and they’re here for a buffet. That kind of panic! Soldiers stand strong in the face of their giant enemies, though after an encounter or two their will is broken, and at the near mention of facing these monsters again they’d rather kill themselves than face the possibility of being eaten alive by these monstrosities. This fear creates a psychological effect of terror that many struggle against inside their minds, and it is shown again and again as the story goes on, soldiers who think they can win against the titans, but when face to face with them, they panic, they run, and they die (or for those unlucky many, eaten alive).
Extras Include Commentary for Episodes 3 and 13. Also Included are an Eyecatch gallery, as well as a Textless version of the opening and closing songs for the show. However the most appealing of all the disc menu options, is the ability to choose marathon play, which allows seamless transition from episode to episode. Officially released in North America by Funimation on 6/3/2014 and also available on Netflix! The main difference, in this viewer’s experience is that Netflix has a lot more scenes cut out, but still follows to the general storyline.
In closing the storyline is fast-paced, the art both demonic and spectacular, and the expressions vivid. The theme I found highly intriguing, exploring the basic concepts of humanity struggling to unite against a predator higher than them on the food chain, and screaming stiff scared of them. The psychological effects portrayed in the many both significant and insignificant character’s expressions really bring out the “We’re All Gonna Die!” factor in the show. Especially how the walls that protect them really are what’s keeping humanity from falling to extinction in a medieval-like time. Definitely a must see for anyone with a hankering to see terrified screaming citizens being eaten alive by giant monsters. Although if you don’t like that sorta thing, I’d recommend changing the channel, it gets pretty gruesome and gory at in its best moments.