Just came across this great interview on Nikkei Asian Review, in which Joji Wada, president of Wit studio and producer of Attack on Titan anime, reflects on the series success:
“Wada recently talked with The Nikkei about the show’s appeal and what Japan’s anime industry as a whole can offer global audiences.
Q: What aspect of the original manga did you like?
A: In the story, humans live in a society surrounded by walls. The main character begins to wonder about his surroundings, but just as he is about to see the outside world, humans are attacked by the Titans. I think this story speaks to the hearts of people from all generations, both in Japan and in other countries. The main character’s situation resembles that which young Japanese people or U.S. and European businessmen find themselves in now. The former is protected by the “wall” of university, but after graduation, they are suddenly thrown into a tough reality in which there is no more lifetime employment. The latter is forced to compete in the dog-eat-dog world of global society. This is a story everyone can relate to. Personally, I felt the story was directly linked to the circumstance I was in, as I had just left a company and started my own.”
You can read more here.