A common compliant I hear for Attack on Titan is that it doesn't take the time to develop the characters that die and are just used to show how hopeless the situation is, making very light of human life. And honestly, I think people are looking this the wrong way. The body count in Attack on Titan is very high, most of the characters who died never had names or were not characterised enough for us to care if they were given names because why should we remember? "They're just fodder" as some would say. But if you look at it from a different angle, the way you see these peoples actually becomes a lot deeper. Instead of looking these characters as individuals look at them as a group and start to see what they represent. Soldiers. Well, no duh. But think about your experiences in real life, maybe someone you know has enlisted and you worry for their safety. Or they were unfortunate enough to die in the field of battle. Even if you have not had a close friend or a family member fight in a war, when you watch the news sometimes they will cover stories about soldiers who died and is being buried in their home town. And for most people this news won't depress you but when you see their family on screen crying for their lost one you can't help but feel sorry for them. It's a normal human reaction to sympathise with those who have experienced loss. For those who died fighting for what they believed in (Survey Corps), those who died by protecting others (Garrison), those who died by underestimating their enemies (Military Police) and those who died because of their inexperience (Trainees). And that's not mentioning the civilians that were in the wrong place at the wrong time. That's why I am so glad that the anime took the extra mile and made the scenes after both battles where they were tallying the casualties. They could have easily not gone through the effort and just used that time to make room for some more thrilling action scene by saying "this is how many people died and were injured". Cause when you hear that 16 million people lost their lives in World War 1 in History class; you let out a surprised but semi-invested "damn". But when you see pictures of bodies lined up or stacked on top of each other, a helicopter shot of a great big graveyard filled with fallen soldiers. Your surprised and semi-invested "damn" turns into honest sympathy. It's not going to ruin your day, but you are now certain that it must have been hard for the people of that time. And that's why it's effective and why honestly episode 22 is one of the best episodes in the series for me. Because I wasn't reaching for the tissue box when Levi removed Petra's badge from her uniform after she was horrifically killed in battle, threw her body and other off the carriages so that they can lighten their load to out speed the titans that were giving chase, giving the guy who caused the titans to chase them Petra's badge to comfort him when he was being selfish and kept a straight face when he meets Petra's doting father unknowing that his daughter has died in battle and they couldn't do him the courtesy of brining her body back. But the "holy fucking shit" I whispered under my breath when this was going on was just as emotionally gripping as those shows that did make me reach for something to wipe my tears. Showing the family members of Levi's squad was one of the most powerful and subtle things I have seen, and it came from one of the most over the top anime in history. And because of the military themes in Attack on Titan that's why it's more acceptable for this to happen: Spoiler Because it's not many people posing as the same character over and over again. When you dawn your uniform you are not an individual, you are part of a unit. A cog in the great big machine that is the Survey Corps, The Garrison or the Military Police. Sure people can chose to be specifically be one character like Eren or Levi, but you can get away with it as just being yourself. More so than I would say something like cosplaying as Fullmetal Alchemist's military soldiers. Because no matter how amazing FMA is, even the soldiers at Brigg's did not make as big of an impact as the soldiers in Attack on Titan. And it's because of everything that I've said above. The unity of characters, the roles they play; the one's who died for their beliefs, those who died because of the orders they were given, ect. The fact that even though we see them as one, every single person has family and has friends and we were shown that. And while this isn't the most prominent thing in the series it's still enough for me give the series points and it does give me appreciation for the series for dwelling on a rather hard topic to pull off right. Attack on Titan may seem like a simple series on the surface, but like any great anime it has layers that you can explore.