Fight To Live In Attack on Titan
I can't say I've every been confronted with the fear of death. I've had a few close calls driving, but nothing that stayed with me for longer than a few moments. But Attack on Titan, has stayed with me. When I watch it, my blood boils, my teeth clench, and I am on the edge of my seat.
The emotional roller coaster this show takes me on, is unreal. It goes from fear, to hate, to regret, all in just a short dialog. It's a show that can takes me from screaming and swinging my fists to nearly breaking into tears.
What's It All About?
The show is about a fictional city that's been walled up in three enormous walls call Maria, Rose and Sina, because the world has been taken over by super creatures called Titans. Initially, they were anywhere between 7 to 30-meters tall, and they lived only to devour humans. The humans of the world now live within the walls, just eating, sleeping, eating, sleeping day after day.
Within the walls, there are farmers, soldiers, merchants, politicians, and a few other types of people, but each seems to have their own motivations, and even under the duress of the Titans, there's endless levels of corruption. Each battle comes like a shining light, however, to reset the priorities of those involved.
Are There Any Battles?
The battles are severe, and they feel endless. It's one of the things I really like about the show. It's not just good-guy versus bad-guy, bad-guy gets upper-hand, but then good-guy finds a way to win. The battles are full of flawed humans in seemingly endless stand-offs. There are points where they are cornered, sweating and bleeding. There's battles where trained soldiers are hopelessly standing in fear, too scared to move. There's other times where brash soldiers rush in when they shouldn't, and wind up dead.
The other big thing here, is death. The blood and death is astronomical. You shouldn't get too attached to a character, because he or she will likely die soon. It's happening non-stop. This isn't a show that dances around the deaths of characters that have names. Everyone seems to be in play.
What really strikes me, though, is the hopelessness. People look like they're running out of time, and they know it. I've never felt this way in my life, but I can imagine someone in wartime, hunkered down in their home, with their hands over their head listening, as blasts strike nearby. At every explosion they'd be thinking this could be it.
That's what comes through as so powerfully--human beings feeling as though time is running out. Some look like they're struggling to eek out just a little more time, while others are wondering if it's worth the effort.
There's a brutal scene of a soldier meticulously preparing a single fire handgun, while he sits huddled with three other soldiers trapped in a building. He finally gets it ready, and says, "There." The soldier beside him asks what can that thing do, but he's already got the pistol in his mouth. It's the kind of thing that really brings home the feeling of despair.
Attack on Titan at Amazon
Who Can Make a Difference?
But where there's despair, there's always hope, and that's where the main characters come in--the brave unbeatable Mikasa, intelligent pacifist Armin, and ultimately driven Eren Yaeger. These three were friends long before the hopelessness, and they'll probably be friends long after, if they make it that long.
Eren, he's the one to watch. He's just a small young man, but he's driven by a hatred for the Titans, that won't allow him to die. Every time he thinks of the Titans, he's ready to bite down hard, and take them on single handed.
Eren's not big, he's not strong, he's not skilled, but there's more to him than meets the eye. And if he's given a chance, he can make a difference.
Anyway, I loved this anime series, and I think it's the best I've every seen. It's brutal, and bloody, and obviously not for everyone. It's full of corruption, love, atrocities and terror. It's also subtitled in English from Japanese, so be aware of that before you check it out. There is an English dubbed version in the works, but it's not complete, yet. But if you can tolerate subtitles, it is worth every second of it.
If this show sounds like it could be for you, don't just watch it. Take a deep breath, and get ready for Attack on Titan.