Titan attacking a city
Image credit: Deviant Art

Attack on Titan and The Attack on Shonen Global Dominance

If you think watching vicious man-eating titans trying to eliminate humanity is something that would be too violent to ever become mainstream, you’d be very wrong. For those of you who need a recap, Attack on Titan is an anime and manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. The story is set in a world where humanity is confined inside cities surrounded by huge walls, which protect them from massive man-eating Titans. The story is spearheaded by the protagonist Eren Yeager, who vows to exterminate the Titans after a Titan decimates his hometown and eats his mother in front of him (Yikes).

Anime is a niche form of entertainment for Japanese animated shows, with genres ranging from drama, action, romance, fantasy, historical fiction and many more. AOT (Attack on Titan) in particular is a Seinen. Translating to “youth”, it’s a more mature genre, which can include gorey battles and complex themes. That AOT is becoming mainstream despite its genre just highlights the anticipation that season 4 holds.

After the tragic events of the Shinganshima attack which saw Titans break through the walls and destroy Eren’s hometown we flash forward 2 years to see the trio of friends Armin, Mikasa and Eren faced with a new enemy nation in Marley! These crazy events that lead to season 4 includes memory alternating, betrayal and blurred lines between good and bad guys.

My only critique of the show is that I feel the pacing of season 4 is too fast, we have so much content to explore from the manga, but a limited number of episodes. However, I suppose wanting more episodes is always a good sign of a great show.  Some of the brilliance showcased in season 4 can be attributed to character development, Armin starts off as a weak frightened character with a prodigy level intellect. Armin, in season 4, displays grit, determination and guts. He does so in ‘blazing’ fashion (if you’ve seen the anime, you’ll understand), casting his fears aside to help secure a crucial victory for humanity.

Eren in season 4 is a polarising figure, he takes a brutal approach to achieve his ideals, love it or hate it Eren Yeager is stealing the show. Season 4 is the Eren show and I love it. His actions are justified and plausible through foreshadowing; it doesn’t feel forced and he feels like a credible anti-hero. That is encapsulated with this line he delivers from season 4, “The people who push themselves into hell see a different hell from the rest of us. They also see something beyond that hell.”

Hajime Isayama stated in an interview that his original ending would involve killing every main character. However, he also said he felt this ending would be ‘irresponsible’ so if you’re a team Levi or Team Eren, there is hope yet. If you’re not convinced to watch this masterpiece you can’t refute the numbers, Attack on Titan only has 33 manga volumes and is still the 25th best-selling manga ever, compared with number 1, One Piece which has a staggering 97 volumes.  Had Attack on Titan  been longer it may be the best-selling manga ever. Finally, as Eren Jeager says, “Nothing can suppress a human’s curiosity” so go give Attack on Titan a watch.