Have you ever sat there with the television’s dull light illuminating the space around you? It’s quiet; you’re bored or you want to relax after a long day of work. “Let’s watch something” you say to your significant other(boothang), yourself, or your cat- you scroll over to Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Hulu,(whichever you prefer really) and it hits you. “what the hell do I watch?”
The choices are endless, and frankly by the time you can make a solid decision you’ve already wasted a good chunk of free time. But, I’m here to help.
In this series I’ll help you decide what to queue up or what to avoid as you scour the endless streaming services for your next dopamine hit, sleep aid, or deep dive into the world of cinematic storytelling.
Starting off by going into key basics of a show: Where you can watch it, the cast, genre, the official synopsis, and a little bit of background if it applies.
I know different people have different tastes in what shows they like, as well as how they like to consume their content. I’ll consider things like season status, episode counts, and run times so you have all the necessary information to make decision on whether to watch a show or not, even without a personalized opinion.
But it’s impossible for me to properly talk about shows without getting personal. Who would read anything written by some shmuck who didn’t even pay attention amirite?
I’m going to try my very best to avoid spoilers but I will not avoid bringing up things that I find as major flaws.
Let’s start talking Attack On Titan!
Table of Contents
- The Basics
- Stills from Attack on Titan
- How I watched It
- Should You watch Attack On Titan?
- How I recommend Watching It
Attack On Titan or 進撃の巨人(Shingeki no Kyojin)– in it’s native Japanese- was originally a Manga. I won’t go into that too much but there are few important things to note about the relationship between Anime/Manga.
Not all Manga get turned into Anime’s but most Anime’s are based off of a Popular Manga.
Manga are simply, Japanese comics. Stories can be of any genre, though some of the most common ones are Shounen/Shouju(Action Hero types), Slice of Life, Sci-Fi, Mystery/Horror, Sport, and Adventure just to name a few examples.
Not all Manga, and not all Anime can be easily categorized into a single genre.
Due to 5 current seasons of the show being out, finding a spoiler-free synopsis was tricky. I looked at a handful of different synopses and wrote my own.
My synopsis for Attack on Titan is as follows :
The last bastion of Humanity survives within the confines three grand walls. Wall Maria, Wall Rose, and Wall Sina protect them from a vicious enemy, the Titans. Mindless and voracious, they are humanities bane. Their origin is a mystery, but Eren and his father’s mysterious past hold the key to survival.
Season Status / Episode Count
Attack on Titan is still ongoing. The most recent Season, “Attack on Titan:The Final Season Part 2″(isn’t that an absolute mouthful) had aired it’s final episode on April 3, 2022.
Currently, there are a ton of fans absolutely fuming with the fact that the “Final Season” has just announced it’s 3rd part. I won’t talk about that here, but you’ll be able to read about why so many fans are fuming in a later article.
There are 5 Completed Seasons of Attack on Titan. Below I’ll provide Season Number, the studio that produced them, and where to watch, and any small things of note.
I will specially be talking about the English(sub) version of the anime.
|Season||Episode Count||Studio||Where to Watch||Anything Notable?|
|1||25||Wit||Hulu, Netflix, Crunchyroll||there is an episode 13.5 which serves as a recap of the first half of season 1|
|2||12||Wit||Hulu, Netflix, Crunchyroll|
|3||22||Wit||Hulu, Netflix, Crunchyroll|
|4b||12||MAPPA||Hulu, Crunchyroll||Continuation of previous arc|
With a total of 87 released episodes Attack on Titan might seem long but man, do episodes fly by.
Crunchyroll allows streaming for free but with Ads. A premium ad-free version is available.
Attack on Titan is considered to be a horror.
But genre in Anime isn’t concrete. Other key aspects of different genres blend in when the time is right(and sometimes isnt) to add more depth and flavor to the anime.
While Attack on Titan is categorized as a horror, it’s packed with action, adventure, mystery, and comedy.
There are some Shounen aspects to it as well, but I want to refrain from categorizing it in the same field as other massive anime such as Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach.
Attack on Titan is truly unique and was a massive success in both Japanese and American Markets.
Stills from Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan is visually intoxicating. I can sit here and talk about it for days, so instead I decided to go through every frame of episode 1 to give you some of my favorite stills without spoiling anything.
Episode 1 aired back in 2013. Animation has come a long way since then, and I promise you., so has Attack on Titan.
Our story starts off in Shiganshina, A city on the outer edge of their world. Surrounded by walls on all sides, it’s all they’ve ever really known.
Anime’s tend to have a large cast of main characters. These two, Eren(left) and Mikasa(right) are critical throughout the entire story. We also meet a 3rd muskateer, Armin, in the same episode.
Even simple scenes like two kids crossing a bridge and going through a gate are given so much care and detail. You can see the spaces between bricks in the wall, the sunshine reflecting off the stream, the splinters in the wood.
So much detail, for such a short second. When creators put care and effort into their work, it truly shines through.
Scenic shots of flowers or landscapes appear in all forms of visual media. In Anime, the type of flower is specifically chosen based on it’s color or it’s cultural significance in Japan.
I’m not exactly sure if these had any meaning but hey, it’s pretty.
The show is filled with detailed close-ups of characters that do an amazing job of drawing you into the moment.
So this one is kind of a spoiler? It appears at the very end of Episode 1 and it’s what’s called a Titan. At this point in the episode we’ve already seen what Titans look like, and been told their place in this world.
But this Titan, is clearly different.
If I were to list all of the themes that pop up within Attack on Titan you’d be scrolling for quite a while. There is a whole slew of characters in the series with their own goals, desires, backgrounds and part of the overall story is how they found themselves “here”.
Where is “here” though?
“Here” is, in Attack on Titan, the apocalypse. The worst possible fear in your world has come to fruition. You are at the center of it all.
What do you do? How do you change?
It’s very clear why this show is labelled as a horror. The show can be genuinely terrifying at times and the first episode alone will show you how dark things can get and how quickly.
War, Famine, deep philosophical choices, over the top gore and violence… it’s all there. It’s impossible to go on about this specifically without some major spoilers.
“Never Giving Up” Trope
A common character trope in many Animes, this one definitely describes our MC and is partially seen in other characters within the Main Cast.
While the trope can sometimes get annoying, I would think that once an apocalyptic event happens, you kind of need to have that mentality unless you want to… you know, die a terrifying death.
This is a recurring theme throughout most of the characters and shown by events that occur throughout the show.
I don’t want to touch on it too much more, I find the trope pretty self-explanatory.
It’s not uncommon for manga and anime to draw inspiration from locations outside of Japan.
With names like Eren Yaegar, Armin, Erwin, and many more; alongside the obvious German Medieval architecture of the towns and cities… Attack on Titan has a clear German Influence, at least aesthetically.
Like any popular TV Show, Movie, or Anime there is always going to be a ton of controversy surrounding the content, the show, and it’s fans.
The Attack on Titan community, like the Anime community in general can be wildly toxic. If you’re like me and like to discuss content with others you’ll probably already understand what I’m getting at.
Whenever you have a massive following for a show you’ll always draw out trolls and keyboard warriors who view their opinions as the epitome of thought. The Attack on Titan community can be especially hostile because the fanbase for the series is that dedicated.
This creates an unwelcoming environment for people trying push the boundaries of their taste and it tends to throw people off from this incredible creative medium in the first place. Please stop. Let’s all enjoy things.
How I watched It
I don’t remember when I first saw Attack on Titan. The first season aired back in 2013, but I do remember already being caught up by the time the second season aired in 2017. That long gap between Seasons is not uncommon in the Anime world. I’ll be going into more depth about why those kinds of gaps happen in a future article.
I binged season 1 in 2 days. Have watched season 2 and onward on air date.
“You watched 25 episodes in 2 days?!” Hell yeah I did. And you know what? I’ve watched Attack on Titan 3 times now(excluding the lastest season) because it’s that good.
Should You watch Attack On Titan?
Attack on Titan is not a show for children. I repeat, do not show your child this show because you think “oh it’s animated, has to be for kids.” Or do, you’ll be the one paying for therapy.
Attack on Titan is filled with edge of your seat action, jaw-dropping plot twists, and fantastic animation. If you’re not a fan of Anime, it’s ok because you don’t need to be. I think this is one of those shows that anybody can truly appreciate.
The themes are straight forward and I fervently believe that anyone can connect with the characters and the story of Attack on Titan.
The community surrounding Anime, and especially Attack on Titan can be very toxic, so if you’re the kind of person that likes to share your opinions on content, be ready to be berated. Sad reality tbh.
Incredible cinematography compliments the story and draws you into the anime.
With 87 episodes released right now you’ll have plenty of content to watch.
I give Attack on Titan 9.5 Dead Scouts out of 10.
How I recommend Watching It
I think the best way to watch Attack on Titan is one cour, or arc, at a time. With a few days in between each.
Manga and Anime are broken up into clear and distinct story arcs that span half a season or a season. In the case of Attack on Titan’s final arc, it’s broken up into 3 seasons currently.
Nobody really knows for sure how much is left. Many assumed that the last two seasons that aired were going to be the very end of the show, but early on Manga readers knew that wasn’t going to be a possibility.
Condensing story arcs or adding filler episodes into a season is common, but not in the case of Attack on Titan. There are minor changes, but there are no critical changes to storyline.
Because of this, no matter what episode you’re on, you’re greeting by incredible writing that’ll constantly have you hooked.
Like any Anime I recommend, I recommend watching it in it’s mother language, Japanese. You can also watch it dubbed in English, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, and German. You can read more about the difference between subs vs dubs.
Below I’ve attached all the trailers for Attack on Titan.
Please note that if you watch anything past the S1 trailer there will be spoilers involved so view at your own discretion.
An important thing to note here is that Season 4 is where MAPPA took over as the Animation Studio for Attack on Titan. The difference in Animation Style and quality very obvious.