A note of caution that this is a review for the first season of Attack on Titan and therefore my contain SPOILERS. Before I started watching Attack on Titan I knew relatively nothing about it. The first episode starts off introducing the main characters, Eren, Mikasa and Armin and the setting of the show. the last of humanity sits behind a wall where they have been hunted down by Titans. Humanoid giants who want nothing more than to eat mankind to extinction. It quickly sets the scene and suddenly the whole equilibrium that it just gave to the viewer is thrown straight into chaos. A colossal Titan appears, the very first sighting of its kind and kicks in the wall of humanities sanctuary, allowing hordes of idol titans the opportunity to spill in. What proceeds basically sets up the tone and feel for the rest of the season.
It is depressing. literally everyone is dying everywhere I mean it is not a happy Anime at all. However I do not mean this as a negative at all. The very somber tone really drew me into the world of Attack on Titan. I believed in humanities plight and battle for extinction. I was drawn into their desperation, I was involved. It has a Game of Thrones approach to characters in the sense that you begin to expect that just about any character can die. Especially the early stages, this feeling is very apparent and helps to build the tone further, however later on I did begin to think that there were characters who are ‘safe’, and this diminished the sense of peril somewhat but for every other character I truly did not know. It would make you like a character, really feel for them and then have them killed in the most gruesome manner. Titans chomping up comrades, as their friends watch. It is very visual and again this greatly adds to the sense of disgust and desperation of the humanities fight against the Titans. For some this might be too much but I personally think the shock value in this actually makes Attack on Titan what it is.
For the most part of season 1 the action is pretty constant and the story flows well, at one point nearer the end of the season before a major operation the pace slows down considerably. In this preparation for the operation the story does not extend much and the episodes feel like they are there to fill in time. Things really kick off after though but it was disappointing to see such a gripping anime lose some momentum. Fortunately it is only for two or three episodes and generally speaking the series is gripping and constantly moving throughout.
I also felt let down by the final confrontation of the series which built up so well, the tension was palpable, and the ensuing fight was not as epic as i had hoped. It also managed to literally provide no answers to the mysteries that had been created so there was no real payoff to watching the full series. I guess that is the Attack on Titan way though, even victories can conclude in small defeats or concessions. However it did wrap up season 1 and left A LOT of unanswered questions that I am keen to find out the answers too, it left me satisfied with a gripping and intense anime and craving plenty more of the same.
Basically watch this anime.