Image from official Attack on Titan season one cover art
by Max Mwaniki, staff writer
With tons of new anime recently coming out, the question of which new anime is setting the current standard gets asked more and more. Attack on Titan has excelled in story and character development, animation and consistency. Attack on Titan has outshined all current animes in these categories to prove that it is one of the best animes of all time and is defining the new standard.
In the history of anime, there have been certain ones defined as the “top three or even the “greatest” of their time. These animes set the standard of what’s to be expected for all the others. Icons like Naruto, DragonBall and One Piece were known as the perfect examples of what’s expected. For example, Naruto is considered one of the best for its in-depth plots and animation when it comes to character models and fight scenes. The same is seen in the Dragonball and One Piece series where the level of quality in the anime is consistent. Attack on Titan does all the same things as these older animes, but at a higher level.
Attack on Titan is a story set in a world where humanity lives inside of three walls that separate them from man-eating Titans that threaten to end all the known human life. The story follows main character Eren Yeager, who swore at a young age to exterminate all Titans and prevent the end of humanity. As time goes on, characters have to face harsh realities and learn more about the strange world and circumstances they are in, while dealing with corruption and brutality. Currently there are three seasons of AOT out, and the fourth and final season is currently being developed. Throughout the first three seasons, the character and story development is phenomenal. The writers behind AOT show how no one is safe and the reality of death at any moment affects the atmosphere, forcing the story and characters to develop. It makes every scene tense and forces characters to make decisions about life and death, sometimes for themselves and sometimes for the other characters. AOT is not shy about cutting off your favorites, either. Tragedy and grief give characters arcs that span two episodes to whole seasons for some characters, making the series very dynamic.
AOT does a great job of balancing multiple plots at once and covering a wide range of topics that make each character a key component to the story. With every episode, new dynamics and problems are added to the plot. Many anime have filler episodes that have no relation to the plot, but AOT’s creators made sure every episode is essential, impacting the development of the story, something that you rarely see in the world of anime.
Animation and consistency is almost just as important as story and character development. Going back to older anime, animation was never really a key judging point when it came to ranking an anime. As technology and production quality started to advance, animation studios and companies formed to make sure that the quality is impressive and pleasing for viewers. Often shows’ animation will jump between high quality and low quality depending on if the episode has fighting or is not important and bland. With this being said, AOT’s animation is really good. They have kept a consistent and high quality animation in every episode by making every episode have action and important moments.
Attack on Titan is an amazing anime that is still improving. It meets all the criteria to become an iconic anime in history. Recently, AOT was the number one most popular show in the U.S, and it has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. To top it off, not a single episode of Attack on Titan has been rated lower than an 8.0 according to IMDb. When an anime with stats like these continuously puts out high quality episodes, it’s hard for others to compete. But until a contender emerges, it is safe to say Attack on Titan has set the new standard for anime and is well on its way to being one of the most iconic animes of our time.