So for the last few years basically two anime/manga have dominated conversations amongst other anime/manga fans and even those who are particularly interested in them but by proxy KNOW a fan and have been bombarded with the latest chapter updated and so on and so on. Those two have been Naruto Shippuden and Bleach. There have been others such as One Piece, Fairy Tail and the most recent, yet weirdly popular free!, the anime that was single handedly brought into conception by the rabid fangirls of Tumblr after seeing a commercial that features the now stars of the anime. Of course there is Korra, which is not an Anime but the show manages to evoke those same burning feelings, so it counts. But even so, when a Bleach or Naruto chapter is released, YOU KNOW IT.
In that vein, I don’t think in current times that there will another anime that will topple either of these empires, especially considering how successful Naruto is both in Japan and worldwide, HOWEVER there is one that has recently emerged that is so wildly popular that eventually, in my opinion, will be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the two colossal (my god, that is a pun, isn’t it?) manga series.
What anime/manga am I talking about?
Excuse me for a moment while I lose my absolute shit.
Not excited yet? Okay.
Still not there? Okay, that fine. Let me actually introduce the series to you.
Shingeki no Kyojin is a manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama in 2009. It’s not very deep; we’ve only got 25 episodes, however the manga is on it’s 11th volume. It’s gained notoriety and has amassed cult-like following from all over the globe (I am, too, a worshipper at the Church of Shinjeki, Hallelu!)
Which, on a very very shallow level, actually confuses me because it’s SAD AS ALL FUCKS.
WARNING! Although this introduction's goal is to provide very basic information, a spoiler or two will seep through. You've been warned.
The manga/anime follows three childhood friends Eren Jager, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlet. They live in the Shiganshina District, that is located within the outmost wall, Wall Maria. There are three walls, all at least 50 feet tall and serve as the first line of defense. These three walls are Wall Maria, Wall Rose, and Wall Sina. Everyone that is presumed to be alive, live inside these walls, and have created cities and kingdoms within.
So why is it safe inside the walls as opposed to outside of them?
Because of these assholes.
Who are they? Nobody fucking knows. All we know is that a centuries ago, they appeared from *waves hands wildly* SOMEWHERE, where they deem the human race (and ONLY the human race) their natural enemies and started to EAT THEM. Here’s the kicker. They don’t have a digestive system; this mass consuption of human beings isn’t for survival–they eat them because its’ the most entertaining way to dispose of them…us…whatever. So for the last century, after our ancestors failed to win this impromptu war, humankind has bunkered themselves behind the walls of Rose, Maria and Sina to survive. For the last 50 years, they’ve experienced peace and prosperity inside the walls. Until, he showed up.
So who are our heros? I have an obligatory compulsion to say “WHOEVER SURVIVE UNTIL TOMORROW,” but that a) doesn’t give valiant honor to EVERYONE that dies and two) we do have our three protagonist.
Eren, Misaka and Armin are childhood friends that were present inside of the Shiganshina District the day the Titans attacked.
The story basically follows these three as they recover physically and most of all, emotionally from the attack on Wall Maria and the lost of thousands and thousands of people, including most of their families.
Now I don’t want you to think that we’ve got these defenseless humans with only three walls to protect them from these human-hobbling mindless creatures set on the destruction of all man-kind. There is a military force that acts as the protectors of mankind. They are separated into three divisions:
The Stationary Guard act as your regular patrolmen; they are stationed in the various districts. For the last 50 years, I can imagine they’ve been serving the role as civilian police.
The Military Police are situated far inside of Wall Sina, and usually live a life of peace far more elevated than any other division. Only the top 10 percent of each training class are stationed under the Military Police.
Then we have the heart of action and sacrifice, the Scouting Legion. They travel outside of the walls to learn more about the Titans in hopes that there is a way to defeat them.
After the attack on Shiganshina, Eren, our main protagonist, vows to join the military. Mainly because it drives the plot and MOST IMPORTANTLY because he only has a range of emotions that are centered in anger and his default setting is…
Misaka, who is Eren’s adoptive sister and has been charged with protecting him since they were little because honestly, the girl is a fucking beast and I’M SCARED OF HER, follows his footsteps (she follows ALL of his footsteps if we’re going to be honest) and joins the Military ranks as well. Their friends, timid and shy, but an incredible strategist, Armin, joins, vowing to never leave his friends again.
There are so many other characters that you get to learn and fall in love with and hate a little and there is this complex trail of trying to understand but you can’t quite because you’re watching the anime and not the manga so you’re avoiding spoilers left and right but then you’re like me and you CAVE IN AND INHALE ALL THE CHAPTERS IN A NIGHT and then you cry because Jean and fucking Marco and people are dying and OH MY GOD is that…!!!….!!!!!
So trust me when I say, you’ll start watching this and won’t be able to stop (watching and possibly not crying if you are prone to fictional character attachment like myself). Lots and lots of fighting, lots of angst, lots of secrets and lots of Ewin (because he all silent and smart and ruthless and FINE). You should watch it.
This has been an introduction.
OH YEAH, and did I mention that the two opening themes make you want to kick someone’s ass?