A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Attack on Titan is a violent and brutal entry in the anime genre not suited for children, tweens, or some younger teenagers. The scenes of battle are particularly intense: People lose limbs and heads and are swallowed by naked giants known as "Titans." Even off the battlefield, savage beatings and murder take place. Ethically the story is challenging, and even the more redeeming characters engage in extreme violence and threats. The storyline contains some surprises and even political intrigue, but make no mistake: The real draw is graphically violent, if well-animated, fight scenes.
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What's the story?
ATTACK ON TITAN is set in a city surrounded by a series of circular walls. These offer protection from the Titans, murderous giants who nearly consumed the human race 100 years ago. "Consumed" should be taken literally here; these Titans get their kicks from eating people, either whole or in pieces. When the protective walls are breached, military corps spring into action to contain the threat. Three young friends, would-be heroes of varying abilities, are motivated to enlist to fight against the Titans after witnessing their brutality firsthand. Their contributions will be vital in the battle to save humanity.
Is it any good?
As with many action-based anime shows, this series is pretty light on character development but tries to make up for it with lots of plot and fighting. While the main characters do experience some personal growth over the length of the show, it's overshadowed by the bloody battles they engage in. Action sequences employ some impressively realistic animation of high-wire acrobatics that allow military forces to scale buildings and meet the titanic Titans, which is fun to watch. But while the plot and story stand out against similar fare, the constant death and dismemberment make the show hard to justify for a tween and younger teen audience. This one is for action and horror fans only, with little in the way of crossover appeal.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence and plot. What would this show be like without fighting? How would its characters deal with conflict?
Main character Mikasa quickly becomes an important figure in the Survey Corps. Which qualities, aside from her skill as a fighter, make her such a successful soldier? How do those same qualities affect her personal friendships?
Armin may think himself a coward, but his loyalty to his friends trumps his perceived inferiority and pushes him to enlist. How can loyalty to friends both help and hinder our personal development?
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