How I became a weeb

Hi my name’s Daniel and I’m a weeb.

Prior to watching Attack on Titan, I hadn’t watched any anime tv series in over a decade. Once in a while I might watch a mainstream anime movie, but otherwise, anime just wasn’t part of my life.

That changed because of Attack on Titan.

For those unfamiliar with Attack on Titan, the basic premise of the show – at least in the beginning – is about the last settlement of humans protecting themselves from these ugly giants that have violently wiped out the rest of humanity. A boy named Eren and a branch of the military called the Survey Corps, also known as the Scouts, make it their mission to find out the truth about these Titans and destroy them.

If I had to put Attack on Titan into categories, I’d say it’s a mixture of action, drama, mystery, a bit of horror, medieval fantasy, and World War I.

Although I’m a fan of the show now, I did not immediately love it at the beginning.

The first few episodes of Attack on Titan felt kind of slow and depressing. There were some good moments, like the Struggle for Trost where the cadets got their first dose of reality in fighting Titans, but I stopped watching when Eren was revealed to be a Titan himself.

At that point it just felt like another show about some kid with special powers. There are so many shows like that. I wasn’t interested, and I stopped watching.

But Attack on Titan was really popular, and I couldn’t avoid hearing about it from the internets. So some time later I gave it another shot.

And I’m glad I did because the show got a lot more interesting. At the end of each episode, I couldn’t wait to find out what happens next. I binge watched the rest of the available episodes like an addict. And I’m gonna tell you why.

The plot of Attack on Titan is like no other show I’ve ever seen, with social political issues that mirror our own world, and relatable personal struggles and convictions of our heroes and villains. But more importantly, Attack on Titan has an endless series of plot twists that slowly reveal the complexity and depth of the world of Attack on Titan.

There are so many plot twists. Every time something is revealed, it changes how we see everything that’s happened and leaves us with more questions to think about. Why did Reiner and Bertholdt betray everyone? Who is the Beast Titan? What’s so important about Eren’s basement? Why does everyone want to kidnap Eren? Who is Kruger really?

You’re always left wanting more after each episode ends. And nearly every episode ends on a cliffhanger.

The epic and grand music of Attack on Titan is another reason I love this show. I often listen to its soundtrack when I exercise or take a shower or make love.

I’m not too articulate when it comes to music so I think it’ll be best if I just let you hear some of it for yourself.

The action sequences in Attack on Titan are awesome. Facing off Titans with the Omni-Directional Mobility gear and some box cutter looking blades makes for some really unique and exciting scenes. The way that the scouts fly around kind of resembles Spider-Man swinging around with his webs.

In season 4, the Titans are animated with CG and the action sequences are next level. Some people don’t like computer animation in anime, but I think the animation studio did a really great job. Honestly, it didn’t even occur to me that they were CG until I read that somewhere.

Other than some janky scenes with the Colossal and Attack Titan, and some scenes where the studio had to cut corners, everything else looks pretty great.

In terms of art and animation, I think Demon Slayer is probably the best I’ve seen for anime. But I would still rank Attack on Titan very high in terms of its art and animation.

Attack on Titan is one of those shows that has a lot of characters and I find some of them to be really interesting. I’ll go through a few of my favorites based on their interestingness.

Jean started out as kind of a dick who only cared for himself, but he inadvertently became a leader during the Struggle for Trost. I like him because he’s always really cynical.

Erwin was the commander of the Survey Corps. He was always serious – almost robotic – and completely dedicated to his mission of saving humanity at all costs.

Hannes was a soldier who didn’t take his job seriously until he saved Eren and Mikasa from a Titan while they were kids. He allowed Eren’s mother to die because of his lack of courage. And because of that he had to live with that guilt.

Reiner is a really complex character and difficult to summarize. In season 1 he was a side character and kind of everyone’s big brother. In season 2, he was the main antagonist. And by season 4, he’s physically and mentally exhausted and you just feel kind of sorry for him.

And finally, Eren, the protagonist of the show. Eren is the only main character I’ve seen in a show who is not even on screen for many episodes at a time. His backstory is really confusing and impossible to summarize in a paragraph so I won’t even try. It’s a wild ride watching him start out as this kid determined to kill all Titans and grow into this complete psychopath determined to commit genocide.

This isn’t a show where the good guys defeat the bad guys and everyone lives happily ever after. In fact, in season 4, there aren’t really good guys and bad guys anymore. There are just different characters and different factions with opposing goals and difficult decisions to make.

When I finally got caught up with the episodes and was waiting for the release of season 4 – the supposedly final season – I tried finding another anime to watch that would make me feel the way Attack on Titan did.

I tried several different anime. Some of them I was able to watch entire seasons, but most of them I gave up after a few episodes. None of them got me addicted the way that Attack on Titan did. The show is a masterpiece and it has incredible rewatch value.

When you rewatch Attack on Titan, you realize that the show has a ton of foreshadowing going on all the time. And very often there are things that don’t make any sense until a few or even many episodes later. Ymir’s backstory in season 2, for example, reveals a different world which you don’t start to learn about until near the end of season 3. And the show doesn’t really get into it until season 4.

When you watch Attack on Titan for the first time, like I said earlier, you see Eren turning into a genocidal psychopath. But when you rewatch the show, you see that Eren was kind of a psychopath the entire time. So I like the fact that rewatching the show is a totally different experience.

As of the making of this video, part 2 of the final season has ended, and there’s going to be a part 3 next year – which I assume will be the final final part of the final season. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ve just finished rewatching season 2, and I’m about to start season 3 again.

And that’s how I became a 40-year-old weeb.