Attack on Titan, also known as Shingeki no Kyojin, is one of the most popular anime around. Based on a manga by Isayama Hajime, it depicts a post-apocalyptic world where humanoid, man-eating monsters called Titans have forced humanity to live behind a series of walls. After 100 years of peace, the wall is suddenly breached. Teeangers Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert join the Survey Corps, a military branch dedicated to rescuing humanity from the Titan’s grip on them.
Sounds awesome, right? That’s what a lot of people thought... until they actually watched it. Unfortunately, Attack on Titan doesn't live up to its exciting premise. For reasons ranging from poor pacing and an unsatisfying plot, Attack on Titan is not as great as people make it seem.
Like Dragon Ball Z and the Zelda franchise, there are many dumb things about Attack on Titan, despite its widespread popularity. Attack on Titan is just one of the most overrated anime of all time, and a cursory examination will prove that it really doesn't deserve all the hype.
Also, obviously, MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD.
If you think Eren has no character development just check out the best Eren Yeager quotes.
Mikasa's Backstory Is Handled TerriblyPhoto: Wit Studio, Production I.G.
Mikasa Ackerman, one of the main characters in Attack on Titan, has a horrific backstory. As a little girl, her parents were murdered in front of her eyes by slave traders, who then kidnapped her with the intention of selling her into sexual slavery. Eren rescues her after murdering two of her kidnappers. When a third slaver appears and starts choking Eren, Eren screams at Mikasa to fight, and she does. She murders the third kidnapper and saves Eren, allowing the two of them to escape. After that, Eren's parents adopt the now orphaned Mikasa, and the two of them develop a sibling-like bond.
That's all well and good, but the incident never really comes up again after that. It's used to explain why Mikasa is so attached to Eren, and why she can sometimes be cavalier about death, but beyond that, it's not mentioned. Parental death might be common trope in anime, but you know what isn't? Sexual slavery. Mikasa was kidnapped so that she could be sold into sexual slavery. While the kidnappers weren't successful, this is still very much a thing that happened, and for the rest of the series it's completely ignored.
Not only is this serious topic swept under the rug, but the fact that the victim is Mikasa, a Japanese girl, is incredibly twisted. Remember, the Japanese imperial army actively sold Korean women into sexual slavery. One character in Attack on Titan, Dot Pixis, is a tribute to a general from the Imperial Japanese Army. That's like if a Christian German author based one of his good guys off of a renowned Nazi, then wrote a scene where a Christian German girl was sent to Treblinka.Is this a good point?
The Titans Show Up The Instant They're Mentioned, After Being Absent For 100 YearsPhoto: Wit Studio, Production I.G
In the first episode of Attack on Titan, Armin gives a dramatic speech about how everyone is too complacent, and just because the Titans haven’t shown up for 100 years doesn’t mean that they never will. Not one second after the words leave his mouth, a Titan kicks down the wall and all hell breaks loose.
Coincidences happen, sure, but relying on them to get your point across is just lazy writing.Is this a good point?
The Manga Art Is Super UglyPhoto: Kodansha, Hajime Isayama
Considering the high production value of the anime, the sloppy manga art is actually pretty surprising if you aren’t expecting it. Isayama doesn’t seem to have a grasp on how human anatomy works, which is kind of important in a series that takes liberties with people's form and structure. What's worse is, unlike some other manga, the art doesn’t seem to improve at all as the series progresses.Is this a good point?
The Cliffhanger At The End Is Just AnnoyingPhoto: Wit Studio, Production I.G.
At the end of the first season, we find out that the Female Titan, who has been terrorizing the Survey Corps, is actually Annie, one of the cadets. The season ends with Annie trapped in a crystalline substance, unwilling and unable to explain what motivated any of her actions. We see a couple of flashbacks featuring her dad telling her that he supports her, but all that does is add to the confusion. Oh, and we don't find out what's up with the mysterious basement door that Eren's creepy dad wants him to unlock.
While it's unfair to expect that a series to reveal all of its secrets in the first season, the fact that we end without so much as a hint as to Annie's motives is less intriguing than it is frustrating. Rather than creating suspense, it just creates a sense that the writers didn't know what they were doing.Is this a good point?