There is couple reason why Attack on titan so popular.
[ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!]
People live in world that full of threaten. Giant titan attacks and eat human being. Audience will full of sympathetic on those characters who living and struggle survival under titan duress. Audience wants character alive or survival under attack.
When EP01 comes out with an epic impact ending – Eren’s lost his family. Eren shout out he wants to destroy every titan.
Audience will expect Eren will achieve his goal.
Although giant monsters attack human being is not a new theme on animation history.
It looks like Middle Ages Spiderman swinging and slaying giant zombies. Who don’t like it? Compare with other animation series. Attack on titan more focus on detail of titan slays human being and reaction of people. This series is not like others. Attack on titan shows real humanity. The dark side of humanity. It’s like a bloody class movies (such as saw, biochemistry), so peculiar, so compelling.
Attack on titan is not only a normal animation series that talking about how giant monster attack on mankind and human being how to fight back. Attack on titan full with mystery, for example, why titan only attack on human? Titan do not need food. They do not attack on other creatures but human. Titan have great resilience almost immortal. Titan kills human for fun? Titan maybe was transformed from human, and Titan has wisdom. There is some way human could transform to titan. After EP05, Eren could turns into giant and fight back to titans. It comes with a new mystery – Why human could turn into titan as well? Many truths of history will be digged out like peeling an onion. Those suspense become main plot of this animation series. The main reason audience watch this series.
Character‘s personality construct so well in Attack on Titan.
No only main characters but also minor part.
In first EP01, Eren’s uncle is a solider. His duty is defend city when titan attack city –which titans does not appear in past 50 years. Soldiers are joking in peace. When the real titan attack city, soldiers do not fight back as the supposed to do, instead of it, they feels fear and start escape. Main characters have different reason to join Army, Eren wants avenge and freedom, as top soldier in the 104th training corps he gives up the military police corps which good treatment and join in recon corps which deadly danger and direct fight with titan. Eren has souls of never give up when he faces dangers. Mikasa fights for Eren. Some people trained for defend highborn, this will give them a great chance to stay far away from battle field. The expression of humanity shows so real in this animation series. Audiences are attracted by those real humanity. More real, it is much easier to think deeply.
5. Social Reflection
If we though walls are our home. Titans are troubles that we face in daily life. If we need to kill giants to live better. Those troubles are things that we must pass thought. Just like daily life, titans not only comes from outside the wall, but also comes from inside. In Attack on titan, there are some human who can transform to titan hide in walls. Maybe they are friends and battle companions. And some day they will betray human. Armies, highborn are the trouble makers that brings difficulties for defeat titans.
The theme of attack on titan resonates with subconscious of most people. In fact, this work same as our social in many settings. Like law of the jungle. And the first line of lyrics is “They are the prey and we are the hunters!” in this lyric “hunters” refer to human being, but in fact titan is capturing human. So this words express the dissatisfied and disgrace of human. In our life, who is the prey and who is the hunter, we need think about it. In animation, there are many scenes to describe the state of human who saw titan was eating human. They are fear, flustered and lose their head. They are soldiers, but escape from titan and watch titan to eat battle companions. When battle companions’ three dimensional maneuver need gas, supply corps dare to fill gas for them under the attack on titan. Those all the same as facts in our real life. Humanity shows in “attack on titan”. Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride all show in “attack on titan”. Life is same, we are not only getting troubles form social also comes from the place we call home, such as relationship, family issues and so on.
Attack on titan gives people a feeling of fever blood, a hopeless of weak life, a longing of future, a lust of homeland, all of them are consonance with audience. A successful animation does not how good drawing it is; how touching it is. It really need drive people to consider the deep meaning and carry audience into the environment of story. Although animation is illusions, it reflects the ruthless of facts. Before the benefits, the selfishness and greed is more horrible than threaten of titan. This animation wants to tell us that titan is not horrible, the horrible is we don’t have the brave of defeating titan.