FEAR THERE BE GIANTS: ‘Attack On Titan’ Brings The Dread

How did I talk myself into this?

It didn’t take long after getting my daughter into anime to find a show that she wanted no part of.  Who could blame her?  The image of a skinless giant peering over an immense wall (the “cover” image for Attack on Titan on Netflix) could intimidate anyone.  Although my curiosity was peaked, I didn’t press her and let it go for a while.  However, after seeing her watch stuff like the crazy Deadman Wonderland on her own, I was done with her excuses.  It was time to see what all the fuss was about.

Holy hell.

First, let me say that Attack isn’t particularly gory.  Most of the violence is implied rather than gloriously displayed for shock value.  No, you won’t be getting off that easy.  The terror comes in extremely subtle ways.  You’ll hear a lot of convincing military bravado in one moment, and the next you’ll see nothing but scared soldiers simultaneously running towards and away from danger. The fear expressed on their faces and in their dialogue make for very uncomfortable viewing, far harder to watch than limbs and blood flying around.

The titans are absolutely brutal, serving up death via mastication with a horrible smile.  The fact that the enemy never says anything (nor is it revealed where they came from or why they are attacking) just drives up the tension tenfold.  Some of them merely meander around looking for prey, while others run and jump like giant psychotic athletes. Every encounter is absolutely terrifying, with their mere presence causing most of the humans to lose their minds and their courage.

Although the show is mostly doom and gloom, there are sparks of light that will keep you watching. The three leads all have their moments of glory, and you’ll relish in every micro victory, particularly after watching them go through so much unmitigated trauma.  However, don’t get attached to ANYONE else.  This is a horrible situation, so death comes quickly and often.  You won’t get a chance to mourn anyone, just like the characters, before another character is slaughtered by a titan.  The enemy shows absolutely no mercy and neither does the script.

So, why would anyone put themselves through this?  Simply put, Attack on Titan will remind you what problems really are.  I couldn’t help but watch it with a fascination about our own world, whether or not we could come together to met such a formidable foe head on.  War is nothing new for humanity, but a global threat would make our silly differences vanish instantly.  Like the soldiers on Attack, most of us are dealing with our individual concerns as best as we can, sometimes making horrible mistakes in judgment due to fear, sometimes having shining moments of conviction.  We all want to live and live well.  This show will make you examine your priorities a LOT better.

We can all get along if motivated enough.  Let’s hope we get our act together before a very large shoe drops.

Were you brave enough to tackle the titans?
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