Anime Hits: Attack on Titan Overview

Tom is here today to share his unique insight on the batshit crazy series Attack on Titan.


Now, I’m the res­i­dent ex­pert on bat­shit crazy, around these parts.  I’ve seen things that have trig­gered Vietnam flash­backs, which is re­al­ly weird, as I was born years af­ter it had end­ed.  I’ve pushed my­self — face-first and scream­ing mad­ly — into just about every crazy thing I can find.  I’ve built up some­thing of an im­mu­ni­ty to most mun­dane forms of crazy.

That said, Attack on Titan is not your garden-variety crazy.  This is the kind where the cam­era fades into a padded room, and there’s a dude in a strait­jack­et, bab­bling and yelling at some­thing un­seen.  I would know, I’ve been in the strait­jack­et.  But I can safe­ly say I nev­er thought about eat­ing oth­er peo­ple (a lie), ram­pag­ing through cities (also a lie), po­lit­i­cal in­trigue (yet an­oth­er lie), or fly­ing around a city on Spiderman-esque zi­plines (ok, that’s not a lie).

I just wish I had thought of do­ing it with a re­al­ly wicked German and Japanese theme song. Seriously, that song just gets the adren­a­line pump­ing faster than the pos­si­bil­i­ty of the po­lice find­ing the body in your fridge.

So let me set this all up for you.  Humanity is liv­ing in one gi­ant city, lined with con­cen­tric cir­cles of walls.  One out­er wall, two in­ner walls, di­vid­ing the en­tire world of hu­man­i­ty up like some sort of me­dieval Escape From New York.


Opening_Single_Art_Previewed-200x300Why are they in this cage?  Well, out­side the wall is a met­ric ass-ton of these gi­ant hu­manoids.  I’m talk­ing so large that the only way to de­fend against them is hav­ing walls too big for them to climb.  They’re more or less gi­gan­tic, fer­al hu­mans.  And those gi­ants (the tit­u­lar Titans) are cannibals.

You didn’t read that wrong, an en­tire race of can­ni­bal­is­tic gi­ants.  And they want to play hide-n-seek with the hu­mans in the walls.  Oh, and did I men­tion one of them looks like a flayed anatom­i­cal dis­play?  Yeah, there’s that, too.  All mus­cles and sinew and bones and such.  The creepi­est part is that, due to not hav­ing lips, he con­stant­ly looks as if he’s got this huge grin on his face.

So what do the hu­mans do?  Well, for the most part, they run away to hide in the walls, be­cause there’s 15-meter tall can­ni­bals at the gates.  What would you do, in that sit­u­a­tion? Beyond that, hu­man­i­ty does have a mil­i­tary, meant to safe­guard the rest of the penned-in cat­tle, as well as at­tack the ti­tans, us­ing a crazy bit of gear that al­lows them to zip-line at re­al­ly high speeds, pret­ty much any­where.  Long as the line can an­chor it­self on 2 points, you can zip around like some kind of anti-cannibal superhero.

shingeki_no_kyojin__attack_on_titan__by_artdan24-d6cxixw-300x300Now, by this point, you’ve prob­a­bly got a good many ques­tions.  I’m not go­ing to an­swer any of them, in part be­cause even the man­ga has not giv­en suf­fi­cient an­swers to work out some sane and at least co­her­ent pic­ture of just what is go­ing on.  You think you’ve got one an­swer, but 50 more ques­tions pop right up.  A few of those get an­swers, and sud­den­ly you’re even more lost.  I’m up to date on the man­ga, and I’ve still got ques­tions that I re­al­ly can­not fig­ure out any ra­tio­nal an­swers to.  Hajime Isayama ap­par­ent­ly is mad­der than ol’ Tom, here.  Mad enough that, every month, I’m prac­ti­cal­ly falling over my­self in wait of the new is­sue.  I even start­ed go­ing to Crunchyroll to get it as fast as hu­man­ly pos­si­ble.  For some, the drug of choice is hero­in.  For me, the drug’s gi­gan­tic can­ni­bals.  To each his own, right?

With the se­ries al­ready get­ting one amaz­ing ani­me sea­son (with sea­son two on the way), as well as an up­com­ing live-action adap­ta­tion, we’re all go­ing to be see­ing more of the ti­tans.  Luckily, I don’t think anyone’s gonna be ac­tu­al­ly eat­en by one (though I would not be ad­verse to the idea of throw­ing a few to the ti­tans), but frankly just watch­ing one chew up an an­i­mat­ed hu­man is spine-chilling.  Frankly, the live ac­tion adap­ta­tion is some­thing my fond­est night­mares are made of, and I will have it once it comes to the US.  I need my ti­tan fix.

So if you like hor­ror, ac­tion, a great and mys­te­ri­ous plot, or just to sit there and won­der what some­one is smok­ing, Attack on Titan may well be up your alley.

(Disclosure: The ver­sion of Attack on Titan re­viewed by the writer was watched via

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I’m that crazy guy that writes things and hosts the Graded PointFive comics podcast.

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