What it’s about: Humanity is no longer the dominant species. Several hundred years ago, a horde of gigantic, carnivorous, but thankfully unintelligent giants appeared with no explanation, killing everyone in their path. The only survivors huddle fearfully inside gigantic walled cities with a tech level somewhere between the Renaissance and Steampunk. Fighting back simply isn’t an option. Until, one day, the Titans break through the walls, and they are left with no other choice.
Why you should watch it: Attack on Titan is probably the most hyped show of the past couple of years and, honestly, it deserves most of it. The soundtrack is utterly fantastic, the action sequences (featuring the steampunk equivalent of soldiers equipped as Spiderman) are breathtaking, and the animation in general is gorgeous. On top of that, it’s actually a good story, and has one of the strongest set of opening episodes that I’ve ever seen in an anime, managing to get the audience pumped up right from Episode 1.
Caveats: The weakest point of the show is in its lurching pacing. After the adrenaline rush of the opening episodes it falls into a lull, followed by a brief explosion back into action and then it drags again. And so on. I would have absolutely hated to have tried watching this week-by-week, but most of the weaknesses are mitigated simply by binging through – something that’s all too easy to do.
Themes: Living under terror, the horror of war. Also the standard shounen themes of believing in one’s friends and trusting in one’s self.