So yeah, I'm sure you've all heard of Attack on titan somewhere by now. I've seen the show, read the manga, made my brother watch it (he's pretty much addicted to it, now), and it's a pretty swell show.
Along with the original material of the series in general, there are some key traits unique to this that, in all honestly, I wish weren't so unique to it, and are pretty good selling points. I wish we saw more of what we'll talk about here in other series, in other Anime because, well, this is pretty much unheard of.
Here are three things we'll cover, one journal for each.
1. There is next to NO FANSERVICE WHATSOEVER.
2. The female cast is amazing.
3. Mikasa is the ideal strong female character.
Okay, so first off, let's talk about fanservice. The anime industry (like pretty much everything else) is more of less failing nowadays, and over the last five years, this stuff has just gotten harder to watch because the fanservice has become increasingly pandering, raunchy and... well, just downright extreme. In a desperate bid to please the otaku demographic and sell a few more love pillows with soulless moeblobs printed on them, they've made sheer sex appeal more important than anything else. Now, I know some of you are going to say this shouldn't be an issue with a series like this because of the extreme violence and then we'll go on a different tangent altogether about the hypocrisy of seemingly celebrating violence while averting the dreaded yet ultimately harmless nipple.
Lemme just clear it up now that I really DON'T mind fanservice all that much... as long as the characters involved don't pretty much look like CHILDREN. Fanservice has it's place, you know? All things in moderation... but it doesn't have a place in a show like this. Because this is so serious and so much is done to pull the viewer into the world on screen, it would be a little distracting for the animators to try to make me horny at the same time with panty shots or whatever.
Now, something like Cutey Honey... I don't mind THAT kind of fanservice much, because it's not TRYING to be so serious. It doesn't feel like the minds behind it are trying to dupe me into thinking this shlock is anything deeper than it really is, and I don't see a problem with simply acknowledging how beautiful and womanly Honey is because she's an attractive character for her PERSONALITY as well as her looks (well... at least in NEW Cutey Honey. She's pretty much a ditzy airhead in everything else, which I don't find very charming at all. Some guys do, but I don't.).
See, the key thing here is that Honey is a funny little something called a "character", and not a construct created for her looks alone. She's fun and strong and interesting, so the fanservicey bits are pretty much an afterthought, though a nice little bonus all the same. While she may more often than not be marketed as just another pair of funbags made of the audience to oggle at, she's just a fun character to have around. In a way, the fanservice COMPLIMENTS her rather than detracts from her, at least when handled right, which is surprisingly hard to do and isn't always done well.
Part of Attack on Titan's appeal is simply what a huge f%$# you it is to the industry in general, and all the tropes that have been engendered and propagated to the point of stagnation. From the get go, the manga was rejected by a few publishers because it was too "out there". It didn't fit the spick an' span cookie cutter shape they were going for with Manga and Anime in general, see, and this makes it apparent just how far gone and how... PLASTIC the medium itself is, on paper and on-screen. No one ever expected it to somehow wind up being popular because... well, by their logic, it SHOULDN'T be. Hollywood has its focus groups... the Japanese have their own, equally silly ways of doing things.
So anyway, despite being so apparently niche and being published by a fairly more niche magazine, and having no apparent demand for anything like it, Attack on Titan rather miraculously became wildly successful, pretty much defying the very nature of the anime industry as we know it today. To me, this can only be a good thing that will prompt viewers to demand change, and assuming this continues to resonate so strongly in the future, well, I can't help being excited.
So anyway, yeah, I appreciate that this show has hardly any fanservice in it, because it doesn't need that, and this just proves that even in this ass backwards day and age, YES, you CAN still sell something with the merits of a GOOD STORY, DU'H!!!!!!
Next, we'll talk a bit about the cool female cast.