Attack on Titan Review

This is review number two hundred and forty nine. This anime is part of the Spring 2013 lineup. The anime I’ll be reviewing is probably the most hyped anime of the anime. It’s the most talked about and the most awesomest anime of the year. The Year!!! The anime I’ll be reviewing is Shingeki no Kyojin or Attack on Titans. It’s a twenty five episode anime about a guy that wants to kill all giant lumbering monsters that want to eat humans. This is an awesome show. It’s easily one of the stand outs of the year. Let’s read on.

Story

The anime is about the humans within a giant wall trying to survive the onslaught of Titans that have broken through. These monsters love to eat humans and they won’t stop until the species is extinct. Eren Yaeger has personally seen the horror the Titans can bring upon people and has since sworn to kill them all. Along with his two childhood friends, he decided to enroll in the army and train to be a Titan killer. Things aren’t as easy as it appears though because humans have always had the odds stacked against them when it comes to the Titans. Eren might have a strong spirit but it’s not enough if he wants to kill them all. Five years later, Eren stands face to face with the Colossal Titan that started it all. He finally has a chance to seek his revenge on the bastard that broke the wall and ruined everyone’s lives.

Taking the Pants Off

This is the anime of the year, right? I mean it doesn’t really take a genius to understand the awesomeness that is Attack on Titan. Just by looking at the promotional poster with Eren staring up at the Colossal Titan staring him down, you just had this feeling that this show will be awesome. Add the fact that it’s a Production IG show and you have an instant success right here. This was the most talked about Spring anime of the year. It’s hard to escape it. My facebook was flooded with a lot of Attack on Titan stuff. From that girl that loves potatoes to that gay kick Levi gave Eren, Attack on Titans is probably the hottest anime to ever come out of 2013. I’ve been dying to watch this anime ever since it aired and I finally had the chance to do so. I marathoned the show just the other night and I’m writing this review without a proper sleep because I’m still hung over with the anime. Attack on Titan is an adrenaline filled show with a lot of darkness to go along with it. It’s well rounded because of how massive the concept of the show has taken form as it progresses. A simple gore fest of a show about giant man eating monsters turned psychological, sociopolitical, character driven and it just shatters expectations at just about every possible moment. I write this review feeling absolutely pissed though. Attack on Titans is easily the best anime of 2013. I won’t deny that but it also has one of the most infuriating stories ever presented. Underneath all the breathtaking 3D maneuver Titan awesomeness lies a story so annoying that I wasn’t able to sleep thinking how mean and unfair the whole show was. I’ll get to that point soon. Anyways, this show is amazing. You don’t have to read my review. This is one of the best anime of 2013. It’s just that simple.

The premise of the anime is pretty straight forward and I think it’s the main appeal of the show. It’s about humans fighting giants that eat them. The show is about this guy named Eren that has sworn to one day kill all the Titans. He was among the unlucky souls that witnesses this gigantic Titan, that no one has seen before in mankind’s 100 year of refuge behind a fortified wall, kick a hole in the wall that separates the humans from the Titans. Eren saw his mother get eaten right in front of him and he has since had this fire in him dying to take revenge. This show is mostly about humans trying their best to fight off the Titans even though these monsters are near impossible to kill. As the show progresses, you’d see a lot of humans killed. They’d be torn apart, swallowed whole, their heads bitten off and some of them get trampled like little ants. You’ll also see a lot of awesome humans flying through the air though as they try and defeat a Titan. You’ll see Titans get their heads slashed off, their hands ripped to shreds and their bodies being blown apart. If you want carnage then you’ll see a lot of it in this show. There are enough uncomfortable scenes to really give the show an uncomfortable tone that you just can’t look away from. The fact that absolutely no one is safe and a significant character can die fairly easily just makes the whole thing that much more fun to watch. A word of caution though. This anime isn’t the gore fest you’d expect it to be. It’s not about the awesomeness of the Titans eating humans and the humans spilling guts all over the place. Surprisingly, this anime isn’t really gore. It’s more along the lines of a Shounen/Psychological anime. This was the toughest pitch in the anime. It asks the audience to abandon the gore potential they might get from the show and ask them to….sympathize with the characters.

As much as the idea of poor innocent humans being eaten by Titans in a gory detailed glorious scene of animation sounds epic, the anime isn’t really about that. It’s about something else and its actually brimming in a lot of ideas with brutal gore scenes being the last of its concern. The anime is divided into the first and second half. In the first half, you actually notice a lot of focus on the characters and the internal conflicts about the humans and very small scenes involving Titans being eaten by humans. You have about the first half to truly understand the appeal of the show. You need to keep in mind that the show is about the humans being backed in a desperate corner trying to survive and the focus is on the various characters trying their best to live. The show wasted a lot of episodes in the first half to bring that whole point across. The first half was so bogged down with flashbacks and time skips that you will truly feel impatient. I understand that they were laying the groundwork for more episodes to come but it affected the main appeal of the anime. I even admit to really wanting to see more innocent humans being picked up by a Titan and then promptly placed in their mouth as the human try desperately not to die. That unique kind of darkness is what made me watch the anime and the show was busy making us care about the characters. If the first half ended and you still didn’t care for the characters then there’s a good chance you won’t enjoy this anime. Even with the promise of humans being eaten, the show wanted the audience to root for the humans and to make them care for the poor humans as they struggle to survive.

There are two trends that appear towards the first half of the anime and it represents the very core of the show. This would be the thing that replaces the carnage the show doesn’t want to glamorize. The first one is “Survival vs. Humanity”. Throughout the anime, it’s pretty clear that the humans are like poor little rats outnumbered by the hungry cats. As the show progresses, you witness a lot of humans in dire situations trying their best to survival. Things would actually get a bit ugly during some of the scenes because most humans would do anything to survive. There are people that would prioritize their money and wealth first before helping other humans desperately trying to flee the Titans. You would see countless scenes of soldiers running away while their comrades are being eaten by a Titan. Some would be scared sh*tless that they would leave others behind just so they won’t be eaten. Then there are stories about the people of the inner walls frowning upon the refugees hoping they would die just so they can live on in their secured wall. It gets pretty crazy. Hell, most of the heroic and self-righteous characters in the show would just bare their fangs just to survive and it really just ends there. The world is merciless. It’s a point the show tries to present to the audience early on in the first half. It’s a totally understandable thing as well. Seeing these Titans would make anyone desperate. I won’t be surprised if I stab anyone if I was in the same situation. I f*cking would. If it means not being eaten by a Titan then I’d do anything and you can guarantee that most of the characters in the show would have the same mindset as well.

Survival is just a piece of the show though. Opposite that is Humanity. Like I said, the show was selling sympathy points to the audience and it often hits hard with how most people would fight a Titan against all logic just so their families can be safe. How many soldiers are sacrificed their lives for the good of mankind? They would foolishly take on a Titan, with an obvious fact that they cannot win, just so others can be safe. It’s a nice reminder that the characters of the show aren’t just food for the Titans that you would see be ripped apart somewhere along the line. They’d cry for their comrades, swear revenge for the fallen, feel responsible for the deaths of others and even make sure their dead bodies can at least return home to their loved ones.  As much as the Titans would bring out the ugliness of people, some would also show a sign that they are still capable of compassion for others. At some point in the show, you would even feel grief along with the characters as they struggle with the fight against the Titans. It’s a really brilliant approach of the anime. Survival vs. Humanity is one of the basic cores of the show and it is really well executed as far as giving intrigue to the show.

Another aspect of the show that is really well done is “Hope vs. Despair”. The Titans are giant monsters that devour humans. They do not need to eat humans to survive. They were just created to kill them. They can live on without eating humans but they have nothing in mind but eating them. Scary enough, they don’t want to eat other creatures. Birds and forest animals can co-exist with Titans because they only want to eat humans. The humans have since built a giant wall that keeps Titans out and they are considered the last humans on Earth. They are on the brink of extinction against a creature they simply cannot beat. Titans can regenerate and heal their wounds, they possess super human strength and they are tough to kill. Cannons and Swords can only work in a small degree. When a human meets a Titan, they will most likely die and humans have since lived on with such a disadvantage hovering above their heads. Throughout the show, there is one thing that becomes certain. The humans are always at a disadvantage against the Titans. This anime isn’t a straight forward show about super awesome Titan killers fighting and winning against the monsters. Oh no. As much as I would’ve loved that cliché to actually happen in the show, it does not. The humans are always on the disadvantage and the show would often build you up with the idea that the humans can now fight back. It doesn’t happen though. For a handful of Titans being killed, bucket loads of humans are killed first. It really comes to a point where you feel the characters giving up. There is enough tragedy in the show to really convince you that the humans have no hope of winning against the Titans and they will all die soon. I am actually pretty glad how complex the story is that even if the show would build up a glimmer of hope, it gets easily shot down and the show enters an even deeper state of despair. It’s one of the really wonderful parts of the show. Despair is a common thing in the show. As it progresses, it just becomes more hopeless and hopeless. You would see a lot of plans about taking down a Titan and you can see how wonderful the plan is. It feels like the humans can actually come out on top but then the show would seriously turn things upside down and it’s like a car crashing into a watermelon stand. The plan would plunge into chaos and characters are killed left and right yet you seriously can’t look away because it’s so awesome to watch but you also feel the hopelessness of the show growing slightly bigger.

When there is despair, there is also hope. It’s not as profound as when the show turns things around and drowns the anime in despair. The hope is often found throughout the character monologues and flashbacks littered all over the show. As much as most situations would feel too hopeless, you can’t help but feel for a character still trying to scratch and claw his way into victory. He would have a strong desire to win and even with the odds stacked against the humans, you can still feel that the show would give us the sweet moment of the humans finally overcoming the odds and coming out on top. Even though a plan would involve a lot of people dying, some still cling onto hope that the plan can still work out and they can still win. It’s that strong resilience against tremendous amount of adversity that really makes you want to root for the characters. I have to admit that at some point in the show, I would be screaming at my laptop waiting for the moment humans can actually gain the advantage. Goddamn, this happens way too many times in the show that I often felt pissed that the show kept shying away from it. I commend the author for creating a really emotional show that you are easily caught up in it. The main idea of Hope vs. Despair and Survival vs. Humanity was a great way to establish a really compelling show. Notice I said “show” and not “story” and you should also notice that I haven’t actually dissected the various plot points of the show. It’s simple. The story sucks. I think most people are annoyed with the story as well and they are quick to call Attack on Titans not as grand as other people would claim it is. The biggest problem is really the story.

The story of the anime isn’t really that bad. The emotional manipulations of the various scenes alone warrant it to be one of the best anime of 2013. The problem with the story is that a lot of questions are left unanswered and some aren’t even recognized by the show despite the damning effect it had in the entire series. Where did the Titans come from? How do they reproduce? Why do they only eat humans? Why do the Titans look like humans? Who built the three walls protecting the humans? How did they know that the nape was the weak point of a Titan? Is Mikasa seriously the only Asian left on Earth? There are a lot of questions that arises throughout the anime and the show never acknowledges any of them. You are seriously left in the dark as you watch the show and it seemingly feels like the show is making things up as it rolls along. I do understand the lack of backstory and explanations. It’s to give suspense to the show and to keep the audience engaged. It’s to make the audience think up of their own theories about the show and keep them intrigued till the very end. Most twists and surprises in the show happen unexpectedly that you really have no time to react. If the show gave us a clear explanation from the beginning then most twists wouldn’t have much potent of a shock and the show would feel cliché. At some point, most twists are predictable but because the show never acknowledges them itself then the shock is still intact and the show feels void of clichés. I think I like that part of the story. Cliché is minimal. I honestly thought Armin was a useless crybaby just basing off my years watching clichéd anime. Who would’ve thought he was actually the most dependable character in the show cleanly proving his worth more than the main character? The show knows how to twist the story in a way that the audience can never see coming and I like that aspect of it.

Ok, let’s bash the story some more. The questions being unanswered aren’t the only problem for the show. It also over compensates the lack of story progression with a lot of flashbacks. In the first half alone, flashbacks cuts the pace of a story. I remember when they were fighting a Titan and Eren’s squad got wiped out. The show suddenly, and without warning, featured a flashback about Mikasa and Eren. It was annoying and it ruins the anime a bit. This pattern was rampant. You already had enough talking among the characters and now it’s time to see them get killed but no, the anime does a flashback and halts the pacing so immensely that you suddenly feel impatient. The anime shy away from the main story so many times that it actually stopped progressing. I am serious. The rest of the episodes are branching subplots. The main story stopped developing fairly early in the show. That’s how stupid the whole story of the anime is even if it had some decent merit with the subplots. It left the audience too long in the dark that the main story never progressed past the first half. What does this mean?

No. f*cking. Pay off.

This is the biggest pain of all. I won’t expand much on this. The show just lacks decent pay off. You sit through twenty five episodes of nothing coming to fruition. Doesn’t that just sound so mean? To be fair, I think the manga is also feeding the information on a slow pace. I think the anime cut off so abruptly though that you have no choice but to read the manga afterwards. I’ll wait for a second season. I hope there is one.

The second half pretty much introduced a new chapter of the anime. The show didn’t resolve anything from the first half so you can consider the branching subplots from the second half still part of the main story. The entire show might feel like it was laying the ground work for the rest of the series and, honestly, another season would make everything clear. In the meantime, the second half featured a new story. The first half was mostly about the new graduates facing the same nightmare that happened five years ago. The colossal titan made a hole in the wall and all hell broke loose. Eren then gained a new resolve for killing all Titans. In the second half, the story expanded a bit and it featured the most elite Titan slayers in the world: the Recon Corps. These are the soldiers that venture outside the wall trying to make a base for mankind outside the walls. The second half is mostly about the Recon Corps venturing outside the walls but with some of the new graduates that recently faced hell tagging along with them. I don’t want to spoil much of the show but this is really where the story started to gain focus. Everything about the Titans was abandoned though and it transformed into something much different. Basically, the kind of hell the Recon Corps will experience this time around is something so big that it will shake the very foundation of the anime. Be warned though, the basics of the anime about Despair, Hope, Survival and Humanity is still an integral part of the second half and there is still a significant lack of pay off. There are a lot of people dying though and I guess that’s a good thing for the anime. The story slowly starts to take form even with a lot of questions still left unanswered.

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The characters in the anime are all pretty outstanding. The show made sure they are fleshed out and everything that happens benefits their growth in the end. The show focuses on the 104th squad of soldiers that felt the brunt of all the Titan attacks. Of course, our main hero is Eren Yaeger, the high spirited bastard that wants to kill all the Titans. He has absolute hatred for them and his strong pride makes him one compelling character. He is also one of the most annoying characters in the show. Despite his tough persona, this guy is a softie that needs urging from his friends. The story made sure Eren would be at the center of it all and yet this guy is the most incompetent character in the show. During moments where you need him to do something heroic, he would falter and suddenly doubts himself and goes emo at the drop of a hat. For godsakes, you honestly wanted him to stand atop but I don’t think that ever happens. Eren is a weak willed main character that has a lot of real life experiences waiting for him so he can grow into a more reliable character. The show knows that as well so he is often given some of the heaviest decisions and regrets hoping he would grow. There is significant change for his character. When you meet a Titan, you are really never the same and Eren’s transformation is certainly one of the best. If only he could grow a pair and actually prove useful for the show then I could really cheer for this stupid bastard.

There are a lot of characters in the show. The focus is to gain sympathy so you’re seeing different perspectives of a situation. As the show progresses, the cast grows more and more. Some of them do die and you will feel sad for them but there are also recurring important characters that you can rely on to deliver the needed emotion for each scene of the anime. These characters also grow amazingly that you really can’t help but cheer for them. There is Armin Arlert, the strategist among the group. He is probably the weakest character starting out. He just has this “I’ll die in episode five” vibe with him and I honestly thought he won’t last long. I mean, all he does is cry and be cradled like a baby. I was seriously surprised when he became one of the best characters in the show. Armin is smart. He analyzes a situation, thinks of a plan to overcome it then does a risk success calculation that gives the humans a fighting chance against the Titans. As the show progresses, you honestly only see Armin doing some of the more meaningful moves in the show and he is even more fundamental that Eren. It’s unbelievable. Then there is Mikasa Ackerman, another main character. She is especially fond of Eren that she is willing to die just to be with him. She is also one of the best Titan slayers ever. In the show, she probably killed the most Titans and her unpredictable nature makes her a lot more intriguing. The way she fights is pretty amazing that you would often be smiling seeing her fight a Titan. She is a quiet person and she certainly lets her action do all the talking.

There are a lot of side characters and it will keep on growing. From Eren’s friends within the 104th squad to the various high ranking soldiers within the wall, there are a lot of character that gives us a clear picture of the status quo and the sociopolitical state of the humans. I think you’ll be most attached to the other side characters that fight alongside Eren though. These are characters that were introduced in the first half that continued to be important characters in the second half. After every battle, you honestly see them grow and I think that is a great part of the anime. There is Jean that wanted to be a military police and forever serve his days inside the safety of the innermost wall but after fighting a Titan and seeing the carnage, his ideals slowly change and his character really transformed. He was a smug douche in the first half but meeting a Titan would really change you. Then there is Sasha, the potato eating girl. She was so happy go lucky in the first half. She doesn’t care for rules and her mind is filled with nothing but food. She even became a comic relief for the show. The Titans came and she changed drastically. I like her character a lot because of how much she changed. It’s pretty interesting. The rest of the cast has their own unique transformations as well and you really just have to watch to truly understand how intriguing these characters are.

The high ranking officials are also pretty interesting as well. Some of them are scared sh*tless letting their fear control them and you can really see the desperation in their faces. Some of them are really interesting though. They can be calm and give orders to die to poor soldiers all with a straight face. Some of them would inspire people to fight. I still remember the speech made by Commander Pixis that convinced the soldiers that didn’t want to fight to gather up some courage. Something about letting them go back home but also telling them that they are letting their loved ones experience the hell they are going through. It was just a small speech but it was so powerful even I felt it ring through me. Some high ranking officers are completely concerned only about their own wellbeing and their status. It was interesting to see them flaunt their status not knowing the horrors of facing a Titan. It really gave us a clear idea of how the vertical society of the show is. These characters don’t really do much in the show but they really stood out in their own special way.

This is one hell of an anime. It’s really one of the best anime of the year. I’m a bit scared at Production IG. They seemingly prove countless times that they can really make top notch anime if they put effort to it yet they still f*cked up Guilty Crown. I think that Attack on Titans is one of those really awesome shows you just can’t help not to like. Everything about this show is amazing. From the animation to the characters, I think overall this show is outstanding. I have some complaints about the story but I think another season can easily make up for it. I did check the manga and the events that followed the anime will indeed shed some light on some of the important questions of the show. I think Production IG will deliver another season. With how much fanfare the first season got, it’s only natural to follow it with another season.

Sight and Sound

I think the show was set on a European backdrop. They mentioned Mikasa being the only “oriental” in the show so I think we can assume most of the characters aren’t from the Orient. This is why most of the characters are more American and European than anything else. The character design is very westernized with the use of heavy bold lines and almost no familiar anime feature is present like say, moe or Asian eyes (almond eyes so it doesn’t sound racist) and no one wears a kimono or something like that. A lot of the characters have blond hair, wide chin, and they have mostly western features. Character design is pretty decent. I think Hajime Isayama (the author) really made the series more original by setting the series outside Japan. The design is pretty plain though because the show wanted to emphasize how normal the humans are and how supernatural the Titans are. I do love the eyes though. Those amazingly detailed eyes are top notch. I think this was mostly Production IG’s touch on the show though. I always believe that this studio loves emphasizing the eyes and this ring true for the characters of Attack on Titans. No stand out feature design wise except the expressive eyes. The medieval setting was quite nice because it made the characters more plain but superbly badass when they have their 3D maneuver gear on and they start fighting some Titans. The outfits of the characters are nothing special but I love that 3D gear. When they fly through the air, swinging from place to place, their bland design makes them really special. It’s weird but I think it works great seeing plain characters fight supernatural Titans and I think that was the idea of each face off.

The Titans are also pretty interesting. They have flexible designs and no one looks alike. I think the Titans are actually more diverse than the humans. You can seriously see some Asian looking Titans, a Mexican one and hell even some creepy midget Titans. It adds to their creepiness because the Titans act unpredictably and their designs are unpredictable as well. With their shape and their sizes differing, I really love how imaginative you can be with the Titans. You can give them some facial hair, make them bald, make them look like skeletons, make them look like a pedophile and so much more. There are some standout designs though like the Colossal Titan that has no skin and you can see the muscles of the body as you gaze upon its proportionally sound exterior. There are a lot more but I think half the fun is seeing the rest of the Titans.

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Animation is outstanding. This is Production fudging IG we are talking about. The animation is one element of the show that really makes it superbly outstanding. When a character fights a Titan, I think the swinging scenes are the best thing you can ever watch. The camera angle is very much alive following the character. The angles are static and it changes as fast as the camera and the character’s body position. This is topped off with the characters dancing through the air so beautifully. It comes to a point where you are really beside the character as they gracefully glide through the air. You can also see the amazing detail work for the scene and the way the CG effects are used to enhance the experience. It is a great highlight for the show. The fight scenes are pretty short. Some characters are swatted by a Titan, some are eaten, and some would slice up a Titans body. The quality of the animation is high and there is a sound pacing because you often feel caught up in the fight scenes no matter how linear they are. The characters would often interact with the background as well smashing some buildings and destroying the streets. The animation is really a great part of the show. During normal scenes, you do see the usual Production IG thing where eyes don’t blink and only the mouth is moving but nothing that makes the high quality animation look cheap.

The anime isn’t about gore. There are some graphic scenes but they aren’t really that bad. It’s not grotesque. It’s more psychologically disturbing than anything else. You’ll see a Titan eat a person but it isn’t that graphic. It happens fast and the show would often cut away at the gruesome parts. I remember how a Titan had a victim by the limbs and it pulled hard. The show cuts away immediately. In the second half, you can see some victims being squashed but it’s not really gory. You’ll see blood but that’s it. Sadly, no guts. I personally wanted to see some 80s quality brutality or maybe some Jojo Bizarre Adventure level of grotesque but I think we have promptly left the era of gore. It’s a shame but I do see the gore distracting the potential of the story so it is a bittersweet thing for me.

The anime has two OP. The first one is “Guren no Yumiya” by Linked Horizon. This is a strong song about oppression and being freedom. It actually sounds a bit political with the way it was arranged. This was a loud song as well though. I can’t hear much of the singer’s voice because of the orchestra that runs through the song. It’s very loud but it gives the show a really medieval charm. The OP sequence features all the characters, some awesome animation and a short montage of the first half. It captures the essence of the show in a short amount of time. It’s really cool. The second one is “Jiyuu no Tsubasa” by Linked Horizon. This is a really awesome song. It felt like a strong battle cry that signifies the intensity of the second half. It also gave off a reassuring victory for the humans. The song has the same loud orchestral arrangement but I also love the German lines of the song. It felt a bit ominous yet cheerful. The guitar solo during the intermission was also a nice touch. The song is pretty much about fighting till you’re dead. It’s a nice theme for the second half. The OP sequence featured all the important characters and a small introduction of the events for the second half. I love the way it pans outside the wall because of how the show now focuses on the Recon Squad. It is a bit spoiler-ish though but that’s just me.

The anime has two ED as well. The first one is “Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai” by Yoko Hikasa. This is a very solemn love song. It has a nice progression and I do love Yoko’s voice. I think this was a nice touch considering how the show wanted sympathy to be felt all throughout the show. It has a solid verse and Yoko really did a good job on the chorus. The ED sequence features Mikasa running through the woods and then being surrounded by knives only to grow up facing Eren who has a strong mean face. The animation is really pretty specially with the pastel like effect of the colors giving off a dream like vibe that compliments the content of the sequence. The second ED is “great escape” by Cinema Staff. This is a pretty ambiguous song about finding your true self. It sounds a bit emo with the dark lines about escaping the abyss but the cool calm voice of the singer oddly gives the song a reassuring personality. The ED sequence features a walnut rolling through the ground and the characters fighting a Titan. If you look hard, you can see a little foreshadowing by the anime on events to come. Notice that Eren and Mikasa are on one side of the wall and Annie along with Reiner and the other side characters are on the other side. What does that mean?!

Overall Score

9/10 “When you see a Titan eat a human, you would rate the anime a nine as well.”

You can’t go wrong with this anime. The action is amazing, the story is well paced albeit upsetting, the characters are thoroughly fleshed and the amount of violence is fulfilling. If you love seeing giant monsters eat up innocent people then you’ll enjoy this anime. There isn’t a lot of gore but if you like graphic anime then this anime will work for you. If you like really engaging and mind blowing anime then you’ll like this show. As they say, this is a “once-in-a-decade” hit. Don’t even think twice. I highly recommend it.

33 thoughts on “Attack on Titan Review

  1. “the girl who loves potatoes” – ha ha ha, bless Sasha or “potatoe girl”. This anime is just pure awesome. There is no reason as to why Production I.G or studio wit can not continue with a second series. The demand is pretty high. And the way it ended leaves a lot, but I won’t spoil it for you ;). I found Armin to be my fav character. Annie, strangely enough was also my favourite. Boy hell does Levi kick ass. “gay kick to the face” xDD, well it must be done in a prim and proper way, other wise Levi would have to clean his boots…twice. Good review.

    • Levi was a surprise for me. I was expecting the smug kind of character that looks down on everyone but actually has a heart of gold but he has been unpredictable throughout the entire series. I think his enigmatic persona actually draw people to him despite his limited role in the role.
      glad you liked this long ass review. 🙂

      • I would say the same as well. Levi came across as that. But then he really surprised me as well. Especially when it came to Petra. Man that was hard to watch, Petra’ death. I came to like her character as well. Your welcome :).

        • oh damn, Levi ordering the troops to dump the body so they can escape. That was painful especially after he gave a long look at Petra’s dead body roll off the cart. Her death was certainly a surprise. I honestly thought she’ll live longer but wow.

  2. I heard Isayama based his designs for the Titans on drunk people he encountered during late nights out in Tokyo…

    Not a bad effort for a recent 27 yr old mangaka, although he might want to start answering the questions to some of his own mysteries soon. Currently he’s still too hyped on drawing despair and action scenes,IMO.

    • someone was pissed at the anime. haha
      the manga is actually starting to get good. it still had the same bullsh*t style of storytelling but the twists and surprises never stop to amaze me.

  3. After watching the series, I (like many others) ran out to nab the manga to see what all the hubbub was about. The art style is.. unique. IG did a fantastic job polishing the untempered art style, but I wonder if they didn’t go far enough on the design of the Titans (The manga has a fantastic Uncanny Valley effect – emphasizing the disproportions of arms, legs, head, and torso).

    But the more I read of the manga, the more I got the (unfortunate) impression that this really wasn’t going anywhere…

    It dangles the carrot of intrigue just far enough ahead of you without really resolving anything. -And I doubt it ever will-. Given its popularity, we’ll see another season. But where the manga will drag on for 30+ volumes without any payoff, an anime will cut its losses and run. Me? I’ve already written it off as a loss.

    • you didn’t like the Titans? I saw the manga version and I agree, they were designed to be nothing but menacing. The ones in the anime were a bit funny at times often being stereotypical characters. For ogdsakes, one of them looked like Santa. It had its moments. Also, I think the big twist of the manga would make sense if the Titans actually resemble humans a bit instead of the dis proportioned nightmares the manga gave us.

      LOL. I agree, the author is dangling the carrot way too long. I’ll watch the second season and savor it as I write a review but I’d most likely move on to other series worthy of my fanboy hype as well. (i.e. the new sailormoon anime they promised) XD

  4. Attack on Titan is, well, it’s an interesting case for me. I enjoyed it quite a bit and admittedly I find it to be an utterly fantastic adaptation, but I wouldn’t say I have as much praise for it as most people seem to. I guess a good part of that is that I already read the manga, so there weren’t any new surprises for me or anything like that, though I forgot a lot since I first started it years ago. But I think one of the big things is that the anime just didn’t get to cover a whole lot. The time restrictions meant the anime really couldn’t get through much of what I really enjoyed in the manga and as a result, development didn’t happen for most of the cast. I’d say, for example, Jean got good development for that amount of time and that’s why he’s one of my personal favorites in the anime, and Levi is just an awesome character in general so it’s easy to like him, but I felt the main cast’s development was pretty limited. The main three definitely got stronger and more determined than before and like you mentioned, Armin certainly proved his worth as things went on, but I didn’t get the vibe things really changed a whole lot for them characterwise. Most of my issues with the anime weren’t really the anime’s “fault” per say though, just things that inevitably held it back a bit.

    I probably sound a tad critical, and perhaps I am. Many people say it’s the best anime of 2013, though I personally disagree. For me at least, things like Monogatari Series: Second Season, Little Busters!: Refrain, and Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu were the highlights of the year and as enjoyable as Attack on Titan was, I can’t say I would consider it one of the greatest things ever. All that said though, I would still deem it a very good series and as a fan of the manga, I can say that once they make a second season (and seeing its popularity I don’t see why they wouldn’t make one, it just needs time for the manga to progress), a lot more greatness can be expected. My favorite parts of the series would probably fall under the S2 material and seeing how well the manga was adapted with the first season, I think it’s very possible I’ll enjoy S2 more than the manga if the adaptation quality is retained, or rather improved since the animation will undoubtedly be better by the time it’s actually released. I have high hopes for the future of AoT and I’ll definitely enjoy what’s to come.

    • I think character development was apt. It was effective. I mean, after all the flashbacks and the sad moments where they cry over the dead, there was a pretty decent character development. I actually love the character development in the show. It made Titan battles more exciting and it made some deaths more personal. That’s just me though.

      Plot aside, AoT had an original premise. It was fresh in a sense that even if you didn’t like the story, one look at the promo picture is enough to make you want to watch it. I think that’s a powerful statement from the show. It can draw anyone in simply by its sheer awesomeness. You may not like the outcome of the show but in the end, you still watched it and I bet anyone who see the soldiers flying in the air fighting a Titan would be enough to make them watch it. AoT has appeal no other anime have. It’s a best of the year contender for me, no doubt.

      • I felt more of that was for the sake of story development than for the characters. I suppose in the case of Jean it definitely served as major character development, but for everyone else, that in itself didn’t really do a whole lot on its own. Sure, the main trio was definitely made aware of the horrors of the Titans and grew stronger on a result, but that could be said about pretty much every character of any relevance in the series so it’s hardly unique development for them. Admittedly I found the flashback with Eren rescuing Mikasa to be quite good and for me that was probably one of the high points as far as development went for those two, but that seemed to be about it for them. Another big problem was the fact that most of the side cast felt pretty one-dimensional and had even less development, as a lot of them just felt like they were there rather than doing anything particularly noteworthy. That said though, the side cast does become a lot more relevant later on so I can’t really criticize the anime too harshly for that on the assumption that a second season is ahead.

        It certainly does have a style to it that looks intriguing and is easy to get into. Something about seeing the humans fight the Titans is undoubtedly entertaining even for those who aren’t so invested in the story or the cast. Especially with the anime and its great production values. I suppose it’s not quite like most other action Shounens out there, but I wouldn’t call it revolutionary either. I was reminded a lot of Claymore when I read the manga for it and as far as the shock value goes, I definitely got a bit of a Berserk vibe (a MUCH more mild version considering, well, a number of factors, but nonetheless) and I think I’ve heard people say the same about Gantz but I have yet to read that. It does have its own style to it and the use of the 3D Maneuver Gear within its established setting is quite unlike most other anime out there, but it does share quite a few parallels with some other series too.

        • Actually, the side characters are major players in the story. In the manga, the focus was on the side characters themselves. A friend told me. The next arc would focus on the rest of the Recon Corps new recruits. 🙂
          I dunno. I liked how the show builds a character. It’s the very reason why I feel mad when the humans can’t win. I am also waiting for a victory cheer from the characters I’m invested in.

          It’s no where near revolutionary. I never said that. It was original in a sense that it had such a refreshing premise. I could say it is like Claymore with how it has a similar setting. Gantz and Berserker though? I dunno. That’s overreaching it. Why find tropes similar to other anime in the first place? I don’t understand that thought process?

          • That is true, the manga gives much more characterization and relevance to the side cast in later arcs so I have no doubt in my mind that I will love season 2. S1 just didn’t get to cover enough of the story so a lot of the character development felt very limited to me and the Female Titan arc only scratches the surface on the whole Titan mystery. There’s a whole lot to look forward to and once that S2 is made, I have no doubt fans will have a lot to enjoy as long as Production I.G puts out the same quality adaptation as S1.

            AoT certainly does a good job of building atmosphere, it really does drive home the despair that’s ever present and really makes things exciting when the good guys do make any (even if extremely minor) victory or even just progress in general.

            I think what bugs me is that a lot of other people do say it’s revolutionary. It may not be your everyday Shounen action and I would say it’s darker in tone than a vast majority of the mainstream Shounens out there but I’ve seen far too many people say it’s the type of series that’s “never been done before” or that it’s “unlike any other series out there”, etc. Not a bad thing to have a lot of love for a series you like but it seems like some people say a lot about series like that simply because they don’t actually know a whole lot about what else is out there. There’s definitely a lot of frustration when I think back to how people kept saying “Best anime 2013” and whatnot even back when the anime first started airing in spring. It’s not a bad series by any means, but I see a whole lot of people make claims like that without truly having enough of a foundation for those statements to really have any ground. Where’s the love for White Album 2? Or Little Busters!: Refrain? I would say Monogatari S2 but it feels like it rightfully DOES have a lot of love so no complaints there.

            But all that isn’t to say that Attack on Titan is a bad series. By no means would I say I disliked it, and while I would disagree with people who think it’s one of the greatest anime out there, it was a great ride for sure and from reading through the manga, I’m almost certain that I will love S2 lots more and I’m sure a bunch of other fans will as well. The story has a lot more to offer than what S1 presented and there are still many mysteries still uncovered by the manga. The nice thing about AoT is that most of my big gripes with S1 will be remedied by the existence of S2, provided, of course, that they don’t screw up in adapting it.

            • you shouldn’t be bothered with what other people like. People call AoT the best anime of 2013 is fine. It’s their opinion and. really, we only stand by our opinions as well. I mean, people think Sword Art Online is best anime of 2012. Doesn’t bother me. I’m sure you’ll come to take these opinions with a grain of salt.

              As for the “never been done before” thing in AoT. I think that’s true. The story is awful but the author wants people to make up their own theories about the show and it sparks some pretty great conversations among fans. This is probably the only anime I’ve seen that accounts for the fans in every single step that it takes. It’s smart not to reveal much to keep people tuning in while also making sure the fans are actively involved. It’s pretty amazing.

              I’m sure a second season will come. I can’t wait for it. It’s going to be awesome.

              • It’s certainly true that it all comes down to opinion in the end and there’s nothing wrong with people having Shingeki as their favorite anime. I’ve met a lot of people who love DBZ and while I can’t say I have the same feelings for it, there’s nothing wrong with having a passion for what you enjoy. My problem, however, is not with WHAT they love but rather HOW they express their love for it. Even before the halfway point of the year people were saying that Shingeki was going to be the best anime of the year and proclaiming it to be one of the greatest series ever, back before it had more than 5 episodes. Call me critical but I don’t think any series can justify that sort of reaction in that small amount of time, and it really does irritate me when people make big absolute statements like that without any ground for it. I suppose it’s true that Shingeki did have the manga before it so manga fans (like me) did know what to expect and had that story to base opinions upon, but that’s not true of a lot of watchers and even then, it was far too early to make statements like that. I just want fans to give these series time and to think before they make bold proclamations, especially since a series may not turn out as well as they expect. I remember at the very beginning of SAO, it was ranked in the top 30 on MAL and people were extremely hyped for it all, but now SAO’s gathered a notorious reputation and people criticize it all over the place. Perhaps it’s too much to ask, but I really do think people should be more open-minded and try new things before declaring what they’ve seen is “anime of the year” or things like that, particularly when the year hardly even kicked in.

                The mystery and conspiracy aspect certainly is a big draw of the series. Even with the manga right now, what I enjoy most about it is seeing how the story unfolds and watching as more is revealed about the plot and the characters, and this is why I for one really enjoy the manga. Sadly, so little was presented in the anime that even the possibility for the more interesting questions could not arise as things really only picked up by the Female Titan arc and the story becomes much more complex beyond this point.

                With all the popularity the series has, it’d be no surprise if a season 2 was on the way, and with what happens later on, I know I’ll love it. As long as Production I.G keeps up the quality, it should certainly surpass season 1.

  5. Though I had not watched the series I had though SPOILER had a guess that Eren was a Titan SPOILER END I think the Titans are created as a sort of lab experiment and the humans involved are also experiments. I think this is one of the animes which inspired Pacific Rim. And yeah I think in the end breaking out to the real world will mean total hive sentization of the Titans. Sorry being a story geek here. 🙂

    • I think Pacific Rim was more of a tribute to mecha anime than AoT. As for that experiment thing, I dunno. If the Titans are an experiment gone wrong then why is it only attacking humans? They leave other creatures alone and that’s really the iffy part for me.
      The anime ended right where the story about the Titans was actually getting clearer and I am really tempted to try the manga.

      • Probably because they resemble humans alot. It’s like they need the human DNA to functional and keep themselves intact like zombies. Also I think there are people who probably can move about without being killed by Titans. Maybe the Titans are anchored to only certain bloodlines which are now inside the wall. Sorry, I am theorizing but I find that very interesting.

  6. OH on a further note Eren looks like he is the One Piece star and the Titans look a lot like Japanese demons in fact in Blood C Saya fought creatures like this too

      • Though I did not like Blood C I did always like Saya in all the adaptations. A very cool character and yeah she would do some major damage. All the Furikimons and Titans have much in common.

  7. Very well thought out review. I am also starting out my blog about anime but its nowhere near as good as yours. Hope you can visit it sometime and tell me what you think. I could learn a thing or two from you.

    • hey, good luck on your blogging journey. The best advice I can give is just keep on posting. Keep your blog active and people will eventually see the effort you put into it. As long as you love what your doing, people will see that in your work. 🙂 High page views and comments are just perks. They don’t mean anything at all as long as you love what you do. 🙂

  8. I got attached to a lot of characters…who died…more specifically in episode 21. Also, everyone was hating on Jiyuu No Tsubasa, but I love that song!!

  9. The manga is not even remotely advanced enough to fill up a 24 episodes anime. And 12 episodes is way to short for such an epic story. IG fucked this up just like Gonzo did with Gantz.
    Nevertheless, i completely agree whith your 9/10. The animation was amazing, the characters are incredible and there are few animes with such a great setting.

    • how did they mess it up? a lot of anime end prematurely. Most anime is just a promotional tool for the manga anyways. What AoT presented was epic enough to make people crave for it. I think there is enough material now for a second season. I can’t wait for it. 🙂

  10. the problems on the pacing and the lack of plot developement made AoT not as awsome as it coud have been.
    Some critics hit on this very hard. Of course, the hype didn’t help at all.
    But dont get me wrong. I love Attack on titan, it’s one of my top 10 favorites.
    I am hoping a second season will blow our minds even more than the first one. 😉

  11. The eyes are the thing that do it for me. It’s a good anime but it took me ages to get through it. Ages….. So long. But I kept coming back to it. Mainly for the characters and their stories.

  12. This was the most talked about Spring anime of the year. It’s hard to escape it.

    ^ And here you said earlier that hype kills an anime and the viewing for you 🙂

    If the first half ended and you still didn’t care for the characters then there’s a good chance you won’t enjoy this anime.

    ^ That, is an incredibly true statement. However, you’d miss out on Captain Levi!

    Cliché is minimal. I honestly thought Armin was a useless crybaby just basing off my years watching clichéd anime. Who would’ve thought he was actually the most dependable character in the show cleanly proving his worth more than the main character?

    ^ Armin was the typical commander/tactical genius/friend who backs up main character , nothing particularly “un-Cliché”. Honestly, there was a whole lot of Cliché in this anime, but since it was presented slightly differently, it comes across as less so. It did feel rather Cliché, however, centering around the main characters, motivations, and the whole plot.

    The anime shy away from the main story so many times that it actually stopped progressing. I am serious.

    ^ Engrish! I swear man, the engrish.
    But still, this is a very good point… The main story flies out the window, and we have no idea what progress is made.

    Eren is a weak willed main character that has a lot of real life experiences waiting for him so he can grow into a more reliable character. The show knows that as well so he is often given some of the heaviest decisions and regrets hoping he would grow.

    ^ They were giving him the “Shinji” Evangelion treatment. He “apparently” wants to kill these Titans, but has to make up his mind to fight them after…already fighting them?!?!?!
    That was a true drawback.

    You can’t go wrong with this anime.

    ^ Only thing I can truly disagree with xD. They could’ve added most of the filler or flashbacks at different portions, but that would lessen the cliff hanger effect. But the main issue, was that Eren turned out to be another Cliché main male protagonist, with his badass female interest, that has “supposedly” strong motivations, but continually fails to act on them. Honestly, there were many other things that he could’ve though of or done that would have been much easier for him and would’ve saved more lives!

    • The problem is that the manga itself follows a pattern where it dumps too many flashbacks and fillers. Production IG adapted the manga to a tee.That means incorporating the rather trollish storytelling of the mangaka as well. The story is really just a minor drawback. The thing that sets this show apart is the stunning animation and the wonderfully fleshed out characters.

  13. Reblogged this on aevumus ♠ and commented:
    I am actually watching Attack on Titan now. Which is good seeing that the 2nd TV series/season will come out next year so I am happy if they do make the series as cool as the manga is. Personally, I did see some glaring flaws in this anime too but I will re-watch the series and so I put TPAB’s review on besides his review allowed me to actually think on a few things myself for my review. So, enjoy this for now.

Thoughts~

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