In a medieval world, humankind has dwindled to numbers facing extinction, living in a city surrounded by multiple stone walls. These walls are fifty metres high and protect the townsfolk from the ‘Titans’ – horrifying, humanoid giants with a hankering for human flesh. Terrifying as the outside world may be (multiple attempts by soldiers to expand the human’s territory have all ended in failure and massive loss of life), the outer wall does seem to be doing the trick, and has done so for the last 100 years. For Eren and his adopted sister Mikasa, life is peaceful….but Eren is tired of it, and doesn’t want to be stuck living ‘like cattle’ trapped behind walls any longer. He yearns to join the soldiers and venture outside, but his mother demands he reconsider. Then, just after the guards insist the city will always be safe from the Titans, a never-before-seen, 60-metre tall tower of horrifying giant casually comes along and breaks down the wall, letting all the other Titans in and causing death and destruction everywhere and that’s just typical, isn’t it.

Mikasa is really cute and also pretty badass so I like her already.

Here’s a show that had quite a lot of expectations to fill – the manga it’s based on was a Kodansha Award winner after all, so I’ve been interested in it for some time. I was going to read the manga first, but I decided to wait for the anime so I could go into it with no expectations.
…This show is terrifying. It’s not just that it’s an apocalyptic scenario set in the middle-ages, it’s not just that the humans are forced to fight against a gigantic, nigh-unbeatable enemy that can casually scoop them up and eat them without a second thought, it’s not just the crushing sense of despair and hopelessness about the entire battle to preserve the human race…it’s all that, sure, but most of all DAMMIT JUST LOOK AT THOSE FREAKING TITANS THEY SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF ME. Mostly humanoid but uncanny valley enough to be horrible, these are some pretty well-designed monsters sure to get the biggest emotional reaction because they are honestly, genuinely scary. Damn they are scary. And then the sixty metre tall one for some reason has no skin and is all bones and muscle and gaaaAAH its like the original mangaka created the designs out of pure nightmares.
Because of all this horror, though, I felt a real connection to the plight of the characters. I’m going to guess that this series is going to be full of despair but the concept of hope will also be very important. It’s worth noting that although the overall tone is quite grim, there is a few rather light moments here and there, mostly to do with how badass Mikasa is. I really want to know more about her, and  I’m really interested in how this fight pans out and of course I definitely want to know exactly what the flying shit is up with these titans in the first place (not one of the humans knows).
I thought that, for the most part, the animation and art was quite distinctive and good, and there’s a real sense of place in this medieval town. The anime does kind of overuse speedlines and dramatic wind in parts that feel really out-of-place to me, though.
It was a strong first episode that succeeded in both scaring the shit out of me and making me want to watch more. I don’t think I’d blog it though; for one the manga is still going so this will probably end up continuing for a long time, and also my reviews will probably just be variations of NOPE NOPE NOPE DAMMIT NOPE.


Out of 5,