How I Watched It
Attack On Titan was a relatively recent watch for me, I watched the whole thing across a week in October 2013. I watched on Cruchyroll, which I recommend despite the ads. At least if you watch stuff there then it goes towards audience statistics and stuff.
Why I Liked It
The Titans are, hands-down, the most creepy and most original enemies I’ve seen in a anime. They’re similar to zombies in some ways but at least with zombies you understand what they are; rotting humans. Titans seem like just oversized naked humans at first glance then you look further and see all the tiny discrepancies; the disproportioned limbs, the lack of genitalia or body hair, the unnatural movement, the omnipresent grin and that’s before you even get to the physiology. The fact that they don’t even need to eat humans is sickening especially when you see the regurgitated remains.
Humanity in AoT is also interesting. For a hundred years they were happy to exist entirely within the Walls, to the a ‘Wallist’ religious cult sprang up. I’m not sure is this is a shining example of human adaptability or a damning exploration of cowardice and complacency. Probably the later, as fear and hopelessness seem to be a recurring theme. You get the sense that after Wall Maria fell, a large proportion of humanity just resigned the species to extinction when the Colossal Titan comes back. I can’t help but wonder if I or all humans would do the same if faced with that situation.
The Military in the universe are another element. As is said in series, the contradiction of the trainees most capable of fighting Titans being the least likely to ever see one is powerful. But at the same time, I can’t help but sympathise with people like Jean wanting to live a long and peaceful life. I think Survey Corps must win the award for the most awe-inspiring military force ever. They are perfectly aware of the terror, hazard and seeming pointlessness of the job yet do it anyway in the name of hope and life beyond the Walls.
Other great things about AoT are the reaction of humanity to the refugees from Wall Mari and the Wallists.
Things I Don’t Like
Sometimes it falls prey to the ‘nonsensical rhetoric for the sake of looking cool’ trap. For example, Annie’s bizarre rant about the Military Police in Episode 4 where she seems to suggest that because of the Military Police recruitment quirk, humanity doesn’t deserve any protection. Even with later revelations about Annie’s character, it’s just annoyingly written.