Attack on Titan

TV review by
Edie Nugent, Common Sense Media
Attack on Titan TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Extreme violence, bloodshed are center stage in hit anime.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 31 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 145 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

There are clear demonstrations of courage and teamwork, but much of the content is violent and disturbing enough that it nearly drowns out these more positive themes. Self-reliance and fortitude are important to this tale of Davids fighting scary Goliaths. While the lead characters are fighting for the greater good, their motivations are frequently revenge-based.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main characters are a mixed bag of positive and negative qualities. Eren is hotheaded and impulsive, but he does exhibit positive qualities, such as loyalty to his friends and family and bravery in his quest to fight for freedom. Mikasa is an incredibly capable warrior, compartmentalizing her emotions effectively and resorting to violence only when necessary. Her presence can be somewhat menacing to other characters. Initially cowardly, Armin evolves in the series to become an important figure in the battle against the Titans, using his intelligence to bolster their offensive strategy.

Violence

In the first episode, Eren's mother is gleefully bitten in two by one of the titular "Titans." Grisly scenes of death and dismemberment are present: brutal beatings, flying teeth, and lots of blood. Though the consequences of violence (both from the Titans and the human military offense) are shown, this does little to mitigate the way the series revels in the shock value of its gore.

Sex

The show is far from sexual, with little to no innuendo, flirting, or kissing. Nonsexual nudity is present, however, as the male and female Titans are naked. The creatures are unable to reproduce, as they lack reproductive organs, and their bodies resemble undressed Barbie dolls.

Language

Some occasional instances of "f--k" and "s--t" are present in the subtitles, but more often language such as "ass" and insults such as "idiot" are employed.

Consumerism

Attack on Titan has a relatively small number of products associated with it, including a live-action movie, several video games, and a few books, which include the manga (Japanese comics) series the show was based on.

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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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byTora N. March 7, 2017

CSM Over-Exaggeates Again

This show is incredible. Awesome plot twists, amazing characters, an emotional roller coaster, and overall a masterpiece. Of course, CSM blows it out of proport... Continue reading
Adult Written byJacubWilliams1234 March 18, 2020

AMAZING!!!

I LOVE this show! Although there is a lot of violence, this show does also have some positive messages such as working together and never giving up. I let my 1... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byArmin's Girl April 14, 2017

Amazing, but it varies on your child's maturity

I'm 13, and I watched this when I was 12. It is absolutely amazing, and I would definitely recommend seeing it if you're an Anime fan, if you like... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byHayden W. July 12, 2016

Great anime, but not for younger kids or teens.

This anime as become one of my favorites, each season has gotten better than the las in my opinion, but I'll stick to talking about the content itself. I f... Continue reading

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?

TV details

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Themes & Topics

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