Here’s the thing. Whereas works like Psycho Pass seemed intelligent and were interesting on paper (and a failure in actual direction), what keeps Shingeki at bay from turning into these kinds of things is the rare moments of humanity we see enforced into the show. Take episode 1 for example. We see countless people being devoured by the Titans, and while it’s not pretty, the scene lacks empathy or even sympathy. There is nothing about death and war we haven’t seen in anime before, and to be frank, I was almost a little bored throughout the chaos. But when Eren’s mother, in a brief moment when Eren has already escaped, breaks down and confesses to not wanting to die and wanting to stay with Eren, that is something I’m interested in. Shingeki separates itself from other titles because while we’re so accustomed to seeing how many people are optimistic or even willing to sacrifice themselves in battle, the show makes us realize that people really aren’t built that way. These villagers have been caged in a false sense of security for a 100 years, and you think they’re going to just let themselves be killed with a triumphant smile on their face? No. Shingeki is constantly telling us that humans, when cornered and faced with their greatest fear, can turn into monsters and tragic people themselves. They give into their impulses – selfishness, cruelty, greed – which is far more brutal and terrifying, I think, than giant monsters just eating people.