For the longest time, the anime neighborhood has been crammed with arguments surrounding Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach, as followers speculate which new anime might exchange these “Large 3” juggernauts. Whereas we should still not have a definitive reply to that query, the neighborhood has no less than shifted to a barely extra fashionable tackle it: What anime will exchange Assault on Titan?
To this point, a number of completely different anime have floated to the highest of that dialogue, with the frontrunners being Re:Zero, Demon Slayer, and JuJutsu Kaisen. On paper, they’re all good candidates: Every is on the prime of their style by way of recognition, storytelling, and animation, identical to Assault on Titan has been for the previous eight years.
In contrast to most Isakai, Re:Zero is an anime that isn’t afraid to strategy darkish and inhumane topics for the aim of characterization and telling an excellent story.
Equally, Demon Slayer’s unbelievable watercolor visuals and character designs assist put it a step above the remainder of the battle shonen collection that saturate the market.
JuJutsu Kaisen is much more spectacular, because it manages to attempt in each of these departments. The anime boasts a hilarious ensemble of characters and among the most lovely battle scene sakuga ever created in anime, not to mention amongst supernatural battle shonen.
But, regardless of how in style they’re, none of these anime can maintain a candle to the success Assault on Titan discovered within the mainstream, particularly within the west.
One of many predominant causes behind that really has to do with the anime style itself. From the skin wanting in, most anime isn’t too interesting to those that don’t usually watch them, principally because of the widespread, off-putting tropes dwelling to the medium. That may be something from lewd fan service to the best way tales are offered.
Let’s take every of the three anime talked about above for instance.
First, there’s Re:Zero. Its story is gritty and unforgettable, however its characters and world are far too area of interest outdoors of the Isakai style. Folks would take one have a look at the colourful hair and maid outfits and suppose, “not for me.”
Subsequent, there’s Demon Slayer. This is likely one of the most fantastically drawn items of works in anime at the moment, because of vibrant assault animations like Hinokami Kagura. But, additionally it is a typical shonen, that includes an easy story and naruto-ish quantities of pointless flashbacks that wouldn’t curiosity non-anime followers.
Then, there’s JuJutsu Kaisen. Whereas it has a full roster of wonderful characters and a unbelievable world, the intricacies of its energy system is certainly one thing that solely appeals to weebs. Mix this with the foolish jokes and referential writing and aspect tales, and the anime is a reasonably laborious promote to these outdoors the anime neighborhood.
Comparatively, Assault on Titan nails all of these areas after which some. Characters look cool however easy, its energy system is comparatively simple to grasp, and there was by no means any melodrama that deviated from the principle plot.
The truth is, there’s by no means a tonal shift or a filler arc all through the whole thing of Assault on Titan – which normally solely exist to offer levity or pad the plot. As a substitute, the whole time we comply with protagonist Eren Yeager, the present by no means deviates from its themes and messages.
That is significantly uncommon these days in anime, as nearly each collection, together with the three above, have no less than some semblance of change in tone that’s meant to both present levity or pad the plot.
Now, is that to say that Assault on Titan doesn’t have tropes as effectively? No, it completely does. Mikasa is a typical Yandere, Eren and the principle group have thick plot armor, and the ability creep is continually in flux so as to present new conflicts.
The distinction is that Assault on Titan is self-aware of those tropes to the purpose the place they deconstruct them.
Take Eren’s cliche chosen one-like brashness in Season 2 when he fights Reiner and Bertold. On this occasion, his anger causes him to battle his captors as an alternative of operating away. This finally results in somebody essential to him shedding their life.
In most different anime, particularly shonen, Eren’s willingness to leap headlong right into a battle can be displayed as commendable and courageous, and would possible have seen him win by sheer grit and willpower.
As a substitute, Assault on Titan punishes the protagonists for his or her rash conduct as an alternative of rewarding them. This feels much more real looking to how issues work in the true world, as you may’t simply go round doing what you need with out considering.
Assault on Titan doesn’t merely cease there with regards to exploring a extra real looking strategy to storytelling, although. The present’s themes are mired within the darker aspect of humanity, bearing on the cycle of conflict and hatred that it usually finds itself in on account of greed and selfishness.
Political scheming is rampant within the present’s world. It doesn’t matter what season you end up in all through Assault on Titan, there’s at all times somebody hiding info from the individuals or utilizing it as leverage for self-gain.
It isn’t merely politicians, although. At one level through the first season, a service provider is keen to let individuals be killed by Titans simply in order that their valuable cargo could be saved. He prioritized the livelihood of his enterprise over the wellbeing of girls and kids that have been proper in entrance of him.
One of these grim have a look at the world is surprisingly interesting to individuals in fashionable leisure, which is crammed with in style reveals about morally gray characters and tales, like Breaking Unhealthy.
On prime of all this, Assault on Titan additionally incorporates a phenomenal story that’s constructed on satisfying plot factors which have wonderful payoffs. It’s a narrative that one way or the other retains getting higher with every passing season.
As time went on, it turned clearer that collection creator Hajime Isayama had laid out an intricate story rife with wonderful plotlines, foreshadowing, and character growth. Content material that will have appeared trivial or annoying again when the present first began really turned out to trace at what was to come back as an alternative of obvious plot holes.
Nearly each different episode, Assault on Titan got here up with new and jarring twists that, whereas seemingly apparent in hindsight, blew our minds once they occurred.
Whether or not it was Reiner and Berthold’s reveal or the key of the basement, each query that was answered opened up the world and its characters whereas concurrently presenting much more attention-grabbing questions.
Whenever you add all of those up, it’s no surprise that Assault on Titan presently sits on the very prime of the anime mountain, particularly within the eyes of mainstream viewers.
Hajime Isayama actually simply caught lightning in a bottle with this anime, defying expectations with one of the crucial distinctive tales, characters, and course ever seen within the medium. As such, it’ll possible be a very long time till we see something that even comes near the success and mainstream attraction that Assault on Titan has achieved.
[Featured image Source: Crunchyroll and Production I.G]