Right now I've been telling friends, ranting to instructors, and pretty much having an internal fit over the series 'Attack on Titan'（進撃の巨人/Shingeki no Kyojin). It's a shonen manga series that is immensely popular, and right now the anime series is on air.
I've never read it, or watched it, but I've been practically inhaling everything I can on the internet in terms of spoilers and fan interpretations/discussions.
So far, I think the story is fantastic, the setting is so well thought-out, and the characters are really captivating (Levi or Reveille or whatever your English name is, holy possums is his character so enthralling and his design is just fantastic).
But the gore, the violence, makes me go "oh god why why I just can't do this I ca-ahh-n't!!! *sob*". I know it's integral to the story because it's about survival, the frailty of humanity, sins, and the condition of man. It gets quite gritty and philosophical. But personally, it's just...
The designs of the 'giants' makes me want to scream and cry. I'm not kidding.
And the anime series looks fabulous. The quality is amazing, and the opening song is so darn perfect I got goosebumps when I first saw it.
Then, there're my thoughts around the blurry line between what is for 'shonen' and what is for 'adult/ippan' audiences.
The magazine the manga is serialized is a 'shonen' genre, but its selling point is that it focuses on dark fantasy/grittier content, so the target audience is slightly older (probably the older end of teens).
The anime is aired on a late-night slot, which in theory means that the original 'teen' audience is excluded. But in the anime version, the violence and gore of the manga is subdued in some forms (obviously, since the medium means the casual viewer can stumble across it and so it has to keep in mind a more varied viewership).
The franchise seems to have a bit of a confusion in terms of target audience, probably due to its immense popularity and its need to cater to the widest possible audience range. I just feel that there is a reason why 'Attack on Titan' was not serialized on a seinen/ippan (general audience) magazine, and that through multi-platform extensions and extensive media attention, it's actually losing that core 'older teen' audience. Maybe I'm thinking too much.
((And I'm not even gonna start about the North American market and how things like 'Attack on Titan' would never fly here because of cultural perceptions around the medium and whatnot.))