Anime had a hit this year. One look at the Tumblr accounts of anime fandom, and you knew that everybody was gettin’ there Shingeki on. The series got so many eyeballs, that I was prompted to theorize why we enjoyed it so much. Though I wrote that after only about a third of the show’s episodes had aired, I still stand behind my argument. Any success Shingeki no Kyojin has is built upon the foundation of the corpses of its minor characters.
People talk about the series’ technical flaws (Aside: I am currently watching Violinist of Hamelin…you don’t know about still frames until you’ve watched Violinist of Hamelin. It makes Shingeki look like Do You Remember Love?), and, yeah, some of the characters didn’t turn out to be as interesting as we perhaps thought they would be. Yet, people kept watching, even those who complained most loudly about Shingeki‘s shortcomings.
I think this is because despite how you may feel about the show after you see an episode, the act of experiencing that episode is such a visceral and enjoyable experience. When you’ve got a truly credible threat to the lives of a show’s cast and the show isn’t afraid to use that threat kill them off, the tension, excitement and relief of the viewing experience are heightened.
Anime, both in eastern and western markets, really needed Shingeki. I am really happy about the inroads the show seems to be making and hope that the inevitable second season is as enjoyable as the first.