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  • This video is sponsored by Book Walker.

  • I want you to cast your mind back to 2013.

  • This current generation console war had just begun, Harlem Shake was a thing and Youtube rewind was...

  • full of Youtubers.

  • Now if you were to head towards the anime community however, what you would have found it...

  • This was the year Attack on Titan took over and I don't just mean for the anime fandom,

  • it blasted the shackles of the community to find a wider vast mainstream appeal which had never been done before for a single season...

  • Excuse me for a second...

  • ...for a single season of anime.

  • Conventions were flooded with people in a Survey Corps uniform, memes were absolutely

  • inescapable on the internet and somewhere in between all that Attack on Titan also aired.

  • I knew something was fucking weird when my

  • co-workers in my office job at that time started off handedly mentioning attack on Titan in the same conversation as Game of Thrones.

  • Mostly because people are saying: "IT'S BASICALLY LIKE GAME OF THRONES!" (excect it hasn't shit itself)

  • For anyone who's gotten into anime more recently is kind of hard to convey how unprecedented of phenomenon this show was.

  • There'd never been such a meteoric rise in the history of the medium and the only thing has come close is the One Punchy Boy.

  • Anime nowadays has become a much more accepted medium and I honestly think Attack on Titan was what set the ball rolling for that.

  • The franchise had the entire community in the palm of his hand and all it had to do to continue that hype train was anything...

  • and then it didn't.

  • But after four years it returns with season 2 and has been going strong since then with Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 Episode 12 Chapter 3 having just finished.

  • I'm not gonna pretend that the series isn't still immensely popular

  • but the hype is certainly just a fraction of what it was. Which is a shame because with this later season the series has evolved

  • and changed so much that as someone who is initially very lukewarm about the series, I think where it is right now

  • it's shaping up to be -

  • One of the greatest anime of the modern age.

  • And I don't use those words lightly.

  • What I'm trying to say is the Attack on Titan is pretty Great

  • and has turned into something pretty Great,

  • and as the series goes on it gets even more Great,

  • so I just wanted to make a video about how Great it was.

  • Originally this was just gonna be a short video talking about how good the new season is,

  • then the more I worked in it the more I realized I really couldn't do it justice without talking about the entire journey we took to get here.

  • Because every season is so vastly different from each other and yet builds on and adds to the overall experience.

  • There will be spoilers in this video

  • but I won't be spoiling anything from the latest season because it's my long-winded way of saying you should drop everything because this later season

  • is absolutely worth it.

  • So buckle up your seat belts, put your phone on silent,

  • take a break from your JoJo memes because it's gonna be a long one.

  • Because as one of the few people who waited all these years without buckling in to read the manga,

  • experiencing all this for the first time now, all I can say is...

  • I WAS ALL ALONG YOU FUCKERS! IT WAS WORTH IT!

  • If I can give season one credit for anything, it's that it immediately grabbed your attention until you can't look in any other direction.

  • I think many people can agree that the first few episodes is one of the best hooks you can find in anime.

  • In contrast to the rest of the season where you'll find a whole mixed bag of opinions ranging from:

  • I personally thought it was OK but lacking in a few places.

  • And I know everyone's given their two cents on this by now, so I'll try to avoid repeating any common things.

  • Yes, everyone got bored of seeing it everywhere. We all know you're not a real critic unless you complain about the...

  • And I really don't care if you're a special flower who thinks the second opening is better than the first.

  • 'Cause it's not (Set playback speed to 0.25 to see this frame)

  • So before I get into what I thought the series was lacking compared to what we have now,

  • I want to shine a spotlight about what I thought it was doing right entire time and what it continues to do to this day.

  • Aside form the obvious spectacle of the amazing action Isayama was able to craft is really believable world with what felt like a unique premise.

  • I've always loved the world building in Attack on Titan because it never needed huge exposition,

  • dumps of dialogue and lore to lend to his credibility that it existed because it just felt like it did.

  • It's the attention to detail that gave the world so much life and made it so interesting.

  • And I know I'm speaking very broadly here,

  • so let me give you a counter example.

  • Let's throw all this out of the window for a second and talk about Naruto. (Believe it!)

  • Naruto has a world with a rich lore that intertwines all the different clans and bloodlines, creating a believable history that you can totally immerse yourself into.

  • But there's one thing that's always bothered me about it.

  • What the fuck is the technology in this world?

  • These ninjas have cameras, computers, satellite dishes, bloody television sets and they are just randomly there and they're not there throughout the series.

  • These are all very small superficial things that shouldn't affect your overall enjoyment of the franchise,

  • but if you really think about it, it really fucks some of the worlds logic and raises way more questions than it should.

  • Like you have magic ninjas controlling mystical beast that could level entire cities with the single fart?

  • But having a whole room of meditating ninjas singing Kumbaya for chakra communication when wireless transmitters have clearly been used before?

  • What?!

  • Radio waves and satellite dishes obviously exist so why is important inventions like radar not a thing on the battlefield?

  • Or why is technology not more widely used in warfare in general?

  • And here you got Akatsuki using some high-level communication jutsu what is basically a Google Hangouts.

  • Christ guys, stop being so try-hard and just start a fucking discord server.

  • I'm not saying I want to see ninjas running around with fucking air pods

  • but if you're gonna add some of these elements in your fictional world for some kind of aesthetic reason,

  • while it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things and I'm sure some theory can explain it,

  • It just doesn't feel organic.

  • Now this all may sound like nitpicking to you cuz it totally is but the point I'm trying to get at is that

  • in the world of Attack on Titan everything just makes sense.

  • From the social-political structure, to the protocols for certain situations, to the wall having a religion, to the sophisticated mechanics of how the ODN gear works -

  • every aspect of this world seems to have been intricately crafted from the ground up.

  • The way it functions and develop seems like a logical product of the initial rules that is set and as the series goes on and more aspects get explored you're like:

  • "Oh, shit! Yeah! Of course that's how things work. I didn't think about that until now."

  • You can tell a lot of thoughts has been puts into even the tiniest details, even if they don't explain everything.

  • Like, I don't need a five-minute explanation on how they have an invention to get horses up and over the walls,

  • but it's there in the background and it's not exactly something you'd immediately think about, but yeah, of course they'd obviously need one.

  • Sometimes it's the smallest details that can lend the credibility of your world

  • and one thing that made Titans such a convincing threat was that they set up its rules then they dear to them under real world logic.

  • if you don't have anywhere to grapple onto -

  • If you run out of gas -

  • If you sustained an injury from some random debris, shot a landing or an ape thrown a fucking horse fastball at you -

  • Because of course you are.

  • This isn't the usual anime logic where you have high school kids being flung through five walls of pure concrete

  • and then no one's even remotely surprised when they dig through four tons of rubble with only a single scratch being like:

  • "you thought it was over"

  • Which is something everybody likes and has stayed consistent throughout the series.

  • But(t) to get back to why I never held the series in the highest regards,

  • the biggest problem about it was that after everything was said and done it all felt very superficial.

  • What I mean by that is a lot of the appeal came from shallower elements that were there to maximize impact but not really leave a lasting impression.

  • From the bombastic action

  • TO THE DRAMATIC SHOUTING

  • to soundtracks blaring in your face at full volume

  • There was always some kind of twist and turn to keep you watching even if it relied on cheap shock factor.

  • But I can't force feeding you something every episode so you never get a chance to rest and reflect on it.

  • Cheap thrills took priority over actually taking time to develop these characters with the possible exception of

  • Meaning most of them were just recognizable for a single quirk or were one no characters introduced for the purpose of being killed off.

  • The developments contributed to constant shocking and hype moments, but once the initial adrenaline wears off you've realized there was not much else there

  • OH MY GOD! THEY KILLED THE MAIN CHARACTER IN EPISODE 5!

  • Ha ha just kidding! He's actually a Titan. It was a prank. It's just prank bro.

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  • When I equate season 1 to is a rollercoaster ride.

  • And I'm not talking about those donkey pop-up coasters uou find in your local carnaval or whatever.

  • I'm talking Nemesis Inferno at Thorpe Park, King the car at Six Flags, the fucking

  • Attack on Titan riding Fuji-Q Japan... wait a minute

  • It was a high budget premium thrill ride but it was a thrill ride nonetheless.

  • Because of this when the show ended I undoubtedly had a great time watching it but looking back I had zero emotional attachment to it.

  • And that's how it was for a long, long, long-ass time...

  • And then

  • If the reception for season 1 was unbridled hype and excitement,

  • When season two aired it was much more like: "Hey guys, Attack on Titan season 2 it's coming out!"

  • Alright we can fix this. Can you get me the hype button please?

  • A lot of this can be attributed to the four year gap

  • but I think another big reason was that it was just vastly different in tone and pacing causing a lot of people to feel a bit underwhelmed by it in comparison.

  • Despite this however, it may come as a shock to many of you that I actually prefer to Attack on Titan Season 2 over Season 1!

  • Oh you know, it would be shocking if I didn't already make a video literally called "Why I Actually Preferred Attack On Titan S2 Over S1!"

  • Season 2 made me infinitely more invested in the franchise than I had ever been before and the way it was able to make me do this was by

  • stopping the rollercoaster, letting you get off the ride and just explore the theme park at a slower pace.

  • I swear this is where a theme park analogy ends, I just really want to go to Thorpe park.

  • It added a lot of these mystery elements which really enriched my interest in the world and added a layer of tension to it.

  • J.J. Abrams has this great little TED talk where he explains his theory behind the mystery box.

  • Where when watching a show or movie you can always find these mystery boxes where information is fed to you

  • but just enough is withheld to create a mystery and it's the withholding of the

  • information that is far more engaging for the viewer because we invest ourselves to find out

  • "What's in a box?!"

  • And that's exactly what happens here.

  • It constantly gave you these little tidbits and flashback of conversations that implied

  • that there was something much larger going on in the grand scheme of things

  • but not giving you enough information for any of it to make sense.

  • And it got you curious and invested to see what was in this mystery box,

  • which in the series was literally

  • "What's in a basement?"

  • There was real tension in the air because you didn't know what was going on.

  • Who was a Titan? Who was in there? Who wasn't?

  • What did this flashback mean? Why is there talking gorilla?

  • It can't be a talking gorilla because I'm already Winston.

  • And the more you found out the more questions that were raised.

  • There was a lot more emotions evoke than just shock and awe and improved me that the series could do more than one thing.

  • Also gave a good amount of screen time on characters who hardly got any before so much so that the main trio were barely there in the first half

  • and one of the most popular characters, Levi was almost non-existent.

  • Levi more like Lebye, amIright?

  • Season 2 managed to make you invest and care about these characters who you didn't even remember existed in season one.

  • Like I remember back when the first season was in the prime of his hype I actually got spoiled about the reveal of who the Colossal and Armored Titan was.

  • And my actual response back then was:

  • "Oh for fuck's sake! I can't believe the internet done this again!

  • This has ruined the entire fucking thing for me! Goddamn it, I'm so fuckin' pissed!

  • Wait, who?"

  • Bertholdt, Reiner, Ymir and Krista all took the spotlight for a good portion of the season and I ended up really liking all of them.

  • Which is incredible because going to this all I remember about them was -

  • I'm pretty sure you had two lines before.

  • You were a background character I think.

  • Cheap waifu baits.

  • I don't even think you're in season 1.

  • It's in taking time to establish these characters and building up the mystery of the world

  • I felt they were setting up a story with an actual foundation rather than setting up the next big shocking moment.

  • And that's honestly why I preferred this season.

  • It felt less like a string of moments and more like a narrative that followed a set of characters with their own drives and motivations

  • with moments that organically resulted from it.

  • Because there was still some great moments, even if they came there on lower quantity.

  • Now, while I can understand that as a standalone season

  • not everyone will agree that this slow methodical build-up was more entertaining than the action-packed thrill ride,

  • I don't think anyone can argue about the results that this foundation paved the way for.

  • Season 2 was where we had some breathing room to really get to know the characters more,

  • Season 3 straight-up explored aspects of them we've never seen before by putting them in really interesting scenarios.

  • Because out of nowhere the series turns into this political thriller where it's all about scheming, conspiracies, vying for power and more importantly

  • some good-old human on human killing action.

  • Gun was a simple premise of the heroic humans versus the monstrous Titans

  • and while a big reason for the show's popularity and appeal was the fact that this was a conflict so simple anyone could get behind it,

  • it was refreshing to see these characters be put in a morally gray situation.

  • Levi and the whole Hanji squad went from these simple badass characters who were really good at fighting titans

  • to decisive cutthroat soldiers who didn't hesitate to get the hands dirty in order to get the job done.

  • And we get to see the young trainees we grew up with having to make that same difficult decision of joining them in killing fellow humans or...

  • dying.

  • And I just enjoy seeing them be putting in moral dilemmas where they like:

  • "What the fuck?! Why are we fighting humans?!"

  • "Because humans are trying to kill us now!"

  • "Where are the titans?! I thought this show is called Attack on Titan!"

  • "We can call it Attack on Mikasa's Sweet Ass With Sugar On Top if we'll get you just shut the fuck up and kill that bloke over there!"

  • There wasn't any new revolutionary writing technique on display here.

  • All Isayama did was put his characters in interesting scenarios to see how they would react.

  • And it worked.

  • It really added a layer of complexity when the enemy wasn't just some mindless giant zombie

  • but a human being acting with their own reasons,

  • meaning the resulting consequences of everyone's actions had far more weight than ever used to.

  • Once again we get a swap on the character to getting the majority of the focus, is Levi

  • went from having a minute of screen time to being in every episode.

  • Lebye more Lehye.

  • Ok, that's the last time, I swear to God

  • And it's really cemented the strengths showcased last season that the series really isn't dependent on anyone character to carry this show

  • because they all can.

  • It doesn't matter if some characters had like 10 minutes of screen time before the series is able to bring any character to the forefront and make them interesting.

  • Or so, the other thing is allow the season to do was to have outstanding moments that didn't need to rely on action.

  • In fact, the best scenes purely revolved around character decisions, like the phenomenal scene with Historia AKA

  • So the scene basically revolves around is whether she should accept her heritage or reject it.

  • Now, I'm not really an animated guy when watching anime. There could be this really hype scene and

  • Cool

  • So I surprised even myself, when the waifu formerly known as Krista smacks a vial out of the hand,

  • I've visibly lapped out my seat and shouted -

  • YES! YOU FUCKING GO, GIRL!

  • God, I fucking love this moment so much.

  • And what I loved about it was that like the rest of the season Isayama presented a difficult character choice

  • and you genuinely did not know what they would choose

  • especially because what she chose to do was the harder choice.

  • By doing this not only does she have to reject her father and a more cushty life

  • but also her right to attain the power of essentially a titan God,

  • meaning humanity will now have to go down in unknown but far more challenging path.

  • So it give this so much more weight when she chooses not only to reject all that

  • but fucking do it by judo flipping her dick father, breaking his back,

  • smacking Eren in a head and telling him to stop being such a bloody cry-baby,

  • landing the killing blow so the public will have faith in her as a new queen and then just for good measure

  • having the balls to punch Levi all in a good day's work.