Recap and review of season 1, full of spoilers, beware.
Attack on Titan is an anime series based on the manga by the same name. In the first season the series begins by focusing on Eren, Mikasa and Armin as they go from children to young adults. Their village is destroyed when titans breach the protective wall. Titans are generally giant humanoid creatures devoid of sex organs who seem to only exists to eat people. When they first showed up and slaughtered people, walls were built to keep them out. Three walls were built so that if one was breached, people could flee behind the next. When the titans breach wall Maria, Eren witnesses his mother being killed by a titan. He vows to kill all titans. Mikasa is devoted to Eren as he saved her when her family was killed and she was to be sold into slavery, she vows to go wherever he goes. She also seems to be the much stronger warrior. Armin eventually loses the last of his family and goes into soldier training with his two friends.
The training is hard but the three friends are adamant. Mikasa is a natural warrior and excels at everything. Armin is brilliant and though he is weaker, his mind makes up for it. Eren is fiercely devoted to the cause and refuses to give up, making him a worthwhile soldier. Eren has been determined to join the Scout regiment since he was a child, he wants to venture outside the walls and see the world and battle the titans.
Five years have passed since the attack on Wall Maria and the cadets have passed their lessons. The three friends want to join the scout regiment. As the cadets are assigned to their first district, the Colossal titan that started the attack on Wall Maria appears and destroys the gate to Trost district on Wall Rose. Eren leads the counter attack. During the battle many are lost. A titan is about to kill Armin when Eren shows up and saves him, but loses his arm and leg before being swallowed.
It looks like the humans will lose the battle when suddenly a titan begins fighting other titans. The soldiers take advantage of this opportunity to refill their gas canisters. As they return to the fight, the rogue titan continues to battle and when he finally falls, the cadets are shocked as Eren emerges from the nape of the titans neck, fully healed.
The cadets were not the only ones who witnessed Eren emerge from the titan and he now has to face the suspicions of his superiors. Mikasa and Armin rush to defend Eren, but are unable to sway the opinions of the scared leader. When Kitts orders the cannons to be fired on Eren, he transforms himself partially to protect Mikasa and Armin. When they continue to fail to convince Kitts Eren is no threat he orders the cannons to fire again but is stopped by Commander Pyxis.
Pyxis asks Eren if he can use his titan ability to save the people and they hatch a plan for him to block the gate with a giant bolder by transforming again. Though at first Titan Eren does not remember his friends and attacks them, Armin is able to get through to him and the plan ultimately prevails.
The military is not convinced Eren is safe but the scout regiment convinces them to let them take him with them to study and work with. Eren is excited to join the scouts. Shortly afterwards most of his cadet friends also join the regiment. All except Annie who joins the military police. After they arrive at scout headquarters, the unit leaves the walls on their first mission.
AS the unit spreads out into scouting formation, they are attacked. The titans are lead by a rare female titan who appears to possess intelligence. They realize she is similar to Eren, a human inside a titan. After a fierce battle they are able to capture the titan, but she escapes by calling other titans to devour her body. The team realizes she could be traveling in her human form but not in time to stop her from finding Eren and attacking him. Another titan battle resumes, eventually the female titan bites Eren from the nape of his titan body, but Captain Levi and Mikasa are able to save him and the regiment retreats.
The military leaders consider Eren a failure and risk and demand he be returned and face death. The scout regiment has a plan though. They out the human who becomes the female titan and are finally able to subdue her. Eren is allowed to return to the scout regiment and the team takes time to grieve those they lost.
This was a long first season, containing 25 episodes. I enjoyed the story as well as the artwork and style of animation. I loved the range and depth of the characters and the struggles they live through to become who they are. There were so many surprises and shocks and i admit I got emotional a few times. As I begin season 2 I just hope for more Mikasa and Levi. Season 2 is available on Crunchyroll.
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