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Halex

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Attack on Titan - Watching Guide

My preferred order for watching the anime. I'll keep updating the list as new material is released.
1 Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan

If this is your first time watching the anime, then you may want to leave the OVAs in between Season 1 & 2 for better pacing.

Watch - Episodes 1-3

WatchIlse's Notebook Episode 3 - Distress: Although this is a filler episode, it is pretty good and fits well at this point. You can watch it at the end of the series if you prefer.

Watch - Episodes 4-14

Watch - Episode 15 & Ilse's Notebook Episode 1 - Memoirs of a Recon Corps Member:  It is likely that this is the story Hange told Eren during their conversation at night, at 20:25 minutes of Episode 15. It is a good story that furthers the mystery of the Titans.

Watch - Episodes 16-25

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None of the Movies are worth watching so far, as they just condense the anime story. The live action movies are particularly awful.

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Information for Public Disclosure

Anime Timeline

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Why You Should Watch Attack on Titan?

So, of course, this is a dark show with great animation, awesome non-stop action scenes with brutal fights, and thrilling dramatic moments, with a story full of mysteries and likable characters, which is why most people like it. These characteristics alone are what the hype of this show is about, and while watching it for these motives makes for an entertaining experience, that is not what makes this show a masterpiece.

One of the characteristics that set this show apart is how the story easily evokes metaphors, analogies & symbolism across different cultures and demographics, you cannot help yourself but let your mind wander, although perhaps, this story is best understood by people who have fought hard for a dream against immeasurable obstacles and by people who have questioned the sanity of the society where they were born.

For example, from a psychological perspective, the walls can represent the limitations we or our society set for ourselves in order to protect us, but they also become the cage that binds us, leaving us unable to reach our full potential, our dreams, limiting our freedom. While the Titans can represent the obstacles that we must overtake in order to find that freedom, the problems of "Titanic" proportions that stand in our way, the fears we must overcome in order to go beyond the walls and reach our dreams.

Analogies to real-life history have been a matter of controversy in several countries. I'm not sure how much the author intended this to be, but unfortunately, the themes of corruption & segregation are still part of our current history and easily understood by people who live in regimens like that.

There is a lot of emphasis in the show about being a conformist vs people who dares to go beyond the walls despite the horrors they encounter and does an excellent job at exemplifying what it means to charge for your dreams against immeasurable odds. The show portrays both the worst and the best of humanity when they are in dire situations.

The story is built on deceit, the show has received some bad reviews by people who notice some contradictions & things that don't quite make sense and they quit watching making a quick judgment of the show, but in fact, what you see in this story is not always the truth and if you keep watching it will eventually make all sense. In fact, this is one of the highlights of the show that offers a great rewatch value, since as new information is revealed and the truth is cleared out, the story takes new shape as you rewatch it. And this happens 3-4 times, every time making you see the story from the perspective of other characters based on what was revealed and everything fits perfectly. This goes beyond adding new meaning to some events, but rather the story itself is created anew changing the way you perceive it. On the first watch is all about surprises, shock value, and mysteries; while on the second watch the veil is lifted and you can only wonder how they were able to deceive everyone with a straight face? What they were thinking? People who seem heroic at first are seen in a new light, events that seem insignificant at first become of great importance and characters that were relegated to the background take centerstage. You'll get to see that there were no wasted frames on each scene and everything has meaning. It all ties up with the theme of questioning the society we live in, questioning what we take for granted, how do you know you have not been deceived? How can you be sure the sea really exist if nobody you know has ever seen it? Would you be able to go beyond the walls, risking your life against the Titans, just to reach the mythical sea? Or would you conform to a society that says the walls will protect you? In this story, you as the viewer are being deceived and that makes you part of the experience you are seeing.

"Truth be told, very interesting story and very well layed out. The story flowed without feeling rushed. Every episode was like crack, you just had to watch the next one to see what happens. Although the story was kind of choppy in places because flashbacks seemed like they weren't very well planned out and were kind of random. I didn't mind this, but it was very random in the middle of an action scene to take a journey to the past and then return in the heat of battle. Overall the story was exceptionally well done and very interesting.

OVERALL Attack on Titan did not disappoint. There were a few things that did, but none of them were a huge bother. The overall experience was both fascinating and intense. Many situations throughout, you didn't know who was going to make it or not, which made for a great sense of suspense going into every battle. Definitely recommended." -Flint879

The dub is awesome!

2 Attack on Titan: Ilse's Notebook

Attack on Titan: Ilse's Notebook

Watch Episodes 1 & 3. at the end of Season 1 or as stated above within the timeline.

Skip Ilse's Notebook Episode 2 - The Sudden Visitor: This is a filler episode that it's just fluff, using a cooking contest for comedic relief.

3 Attack on Titan: Lost Girls

Attack on Titan: Lost Girls

Optional

Although considered canon, it was written by someone else, Hiroshi Seko, who did the script for some of the anime episodes.

The First 2 Episodes: Wall Sina, Goodbye, are an ok story, not great. Chronologically fits best between Episodes 16 & 17 of the First Season, but if this is your first time watching the series, then is better to leave it at the end of Season 1, in order to avoid major spoilers.

Skip The Last Episode (#3): Lost in the Cruel World. This is just a 'what if' scenario of what could have happened if Mikasa's family was still together. A total waste of time in my opinion.

4 Attack on Titan: No Regrets

Attack on Titan: No Regrets

Watch.

This was also written by someone else, Gun Snark and illustrated by Hikaru Suruga, but it is also considered canon. The story follows Levi before he joins the Survey Corps.

This is a good backstory in my opinion that shows a different part of their world, and it definitely captures the feel of the series.

5 Attack on Titan 2nd Season

Attack on Titan 2nd Season

Watch. Continuation of the story.

6 Attack on Titan 3rd Season

Attack on Titan 3rd Season

Watch. Continuation of the story.

7 Attack on Titan 3rd Season: Part II

Attack on Titan 3rd Season: Part II

Watch. Continuation of the story.

8 Attack on Titan: The Final Season

Attack on Titan: The Final Season

Watch. (Upcoming) Continuation of the story.

9 Attack on Titan: Junior High

Attack on Titan: Junior High

Optional, Some people like it, although I recommend skipping. Try the first episode and see if you like it, it seems 'hit or miss' kind of show.

10 Attack on Titan Picture Drama

Attack on Titan Picture Drama

Skip, although some people like it, I think there are better comedy shows out there. This show 'is filled with the characters being dumb or childish, being put into situations cliché to slice of life/high school shows... It includes the fact that most of them are still hormone ridden teenagers as well as students and kids that want to socialize. It still includes a bit of titan slaying or training excersises but is more focused on the comedy and slice of life feel.' -swagmaster420

11 Attack on Titan: Since That Day

Attack on Titan: Since That Day

Skip, it's just a recap.

12 Attack on Titan Movie 1: Crimson Bow and Arrow

Attack on Titan Movie 1: Crimson Bow and Arrow

Skip, this is a compilation film, watch the first season instead.

13 Attack on Titan Movie 2: The Wings of Freedom

Attack on Titan Movie 2: The Wings of Freedom

Skip, this is a compilation film, watch the first season instead.

14 Attack on Titan Movie 3: The Roar of Awakening

Attack on Titan Movie 3: The Roar of Awakening

Skip, this is a compilation film, watch the second season instead.

15 Attack on Titan Movie 4: Chronicle

Attack on Titan Movie 4: Chronicle

Skip, this is a recap film of the first three seasons. Watch the full seasons instead.

16 Attack on Titan 3rd Season Specials

Attack on Titan 3rd Season Specials

Skip. It's just lame chibi humor.

17 Attack on Skytree

Attack on Skytree

Skip, this is just a commercial for the Attack on Titan Attraction at Tokyo Skytree.

18 Attack on Titan in the Dome: Heishi-tachi no Hoshizora

Attack on Titan in the Dome: Heishi-tachi no Hoshizora

Skip. This is a planetarium film from the Attack on Titan Attraction at Tokyo Skytree.

Comments

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xKayliex Oct 24, 2020

Thank you for the watching guide, but I must disagree with a point you made about the Lost Girls ova. The third episode about Mikasa wasn't a waste, it was more so to add to her characterization and explore her psychology with her relationship and feelings for Eren.

Starra Aug 24, 2018

No Chuugakkou? While it's purely filler and doesn't really add anything by watching it, if you're a big enough fan of the series you'll probably enjoy it. It's not essential but I feel like it should still be listed since it's more than just an OVA.

Also, worth noting that at this point all the movies are recaps.