Oh dear Shingeki no Kyojin, where do I even begin. If you've talked with your friends about anime, then the couple anime that everyone talks about are Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Dragon Ball, and... Shingeki no Kyojin. What's the difference between Shingeki and the rest? Shingeki only has 25 episodes so far yet it's on par in popularity with the other super long, Americanized anime. Why is it popular? Well that's simply because it's stunningly amazing. Those people that call Shingeki no Kyojin "overrated" may not have the same taste as me, and that's perfectly fine, but in my honest opinion, Shingeki no Kyojin is
one of if not the greatest anime to be made. It's not popular for no reason.
The story is one of the most captivating stories I've ever seen. 100 years prior to the start of the anime, humanity has been on the bridge of extinction due to the monstrous humanoid Titans that devour humans. Now, present day in the anime, the remaining small population of mankind lives confined within 3 "heavenly" walls that are so tall and sturdy that even the titans can't break in. The most outward wall was named, Wall Maria, the middle wall was named Wall Rose, and the most outward wall named Wall Sina. Unfortunately for mankind, a colossal titan, one that is even bigger than the 50 meter heavenly walls, breaks Wall Maria, allowing the other titans to rampage the city, thus leading to another massacre of mankind. During this massacre, our main characters, Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman watch in horror as a horrifying titan rips their mother's head off, then gobbles her up whole. Vowing that he'd one day avenge mankind and exterminate all the titans, Eren Yeager trains to become a survey corp, brave heroic soldiers who go outside the walls, into the plains in order to fight the titans. But we soon find out, that Eren is much more special than he seems, not only is he a brave warrior, but he's also something else that could be the key to humanity's survival, but could also be humanity's destruction.
My 3-word thoughts on the anime: Epic, Dynamic, Masterpiece. The suspense build-up was absolutely amazing, yet there was still room for improvement; that shows just how epic this anime can get. The anime not only includes epic fights, but lots of dialogue, and for those of you that hate dialogue, I feel sorry for you people whom only watch for action. The anime includes lots of other things as well: there's lots of half-hearted, hilarious scenes, as well as sad, tragic scenes. The anime certainly has a good amount of gore, and will break your heart frequently (if you get attached to the characters). Many characters end up getting gobbled up mercilessly while trying to protect humanity in ways that are quite *shivers*. Have I teared up in the anime? As a matter of fact, I have.
Characters was another area (alongside every area) that was Shingeki's strongpoint. There's a diverse variety of characters that fight for humanity for all different reasons. There's trust, friendship, along with betrayals, and pains. There's comedy relief among many characters, especially Sasha "Potato Girl" Blouse. There are characters that people can definitely relate with, such as Armin Arlert, who wants to do the right thing and protect his friends, but can't seem to do much because of fear. Fear is something that haunts us all, and prevents us from doing things in life. Another character that people can somewhat relate with is Annie Leonhardt, who fights alongside humanity, yet fights opposed to humanity. What does that mean? Watch the anime. Why is she doing this? Because of her past scars, "scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real" (watch to find out more). There were too many characters to development fully, but certainly the main characters were developed to their max. Levi is certainly a fan-favorite character, because of the fact that he's cool, overpowered, badass, kind-in-the-heart, smart, straight-to-the-point, and most of all, hilarious with all his neat-freakiness. The main character, Eren Yeager is strong-hearted, and "special", but he's still not strong enough to defeat the titans. How he develops is one of the most interesting things, in this interesting-things-packed anime.
The art and music can be described in one word: WOW! The art drawings were absolutely stunning! From the characters/titans to the setting of the story to all the equipment used in battle. The characters all had a unique aspect to them. The settings of the anime were beautiful. The cities, and walls looked realistic, the plains that characters dreamed of seeing made me want to run outside to see for myself how beautiful nature really is, and how humans under appreciate the naturality of nature. The 3-D gear was something that really caught my eye, and will certainly catch other people's eyes as well. A new form of action that's never been seen before. The characters would literally fly from rooftop to rooftop slicing their swords at the titans at high-speeds that keep the viewers eyes locked onto the screen at all times. The soundtrack in the anime was epic as shit. The openings speak for themselves, they do the anime justice. The openings were epic and certainly set the mood of what was to come from the anime. "They're the prey, and we are the hunters!" The rest of the soundtrack in the anime was okayasgduyasgda AMAZING. How can one describe how amazing those German OSTs were. They fit in perfectly with the epicness of the anime, and certianly added tons of suspense to the 3-D maneuver gear action.
Of course, I may be over-thinking things, but the anime certainly included some themes while creating this masterpiece of an anime. The aspect of being confined in an area, doing the same daily routine every day. People seek to be free, and to seek adventure. Watch for this. Another theme that the anime incorporated was that of the cycle of life. Humans, we steal animals away from their families, we kill them, we eat them. What's so different from us, and the titans? The feelings of not being at the top of the food chain... Anyways, if you haven't already watched this anime and you're reading this review, then you've clearly been living under a rock all this time, and I definitely encourage you to watch this show even if it isn't your style of anime.
I started to follow the manga after watching the anime and quite frankly I don't see where and how the plot of Shingeki no Kyojin can suck, which in my humble opinion is awsome. You can understand the anime very well even without having read the manga. However, SNK isn't understood by many because it's a psychological manga .. SNK isn't just a succession of empty and meaningless clashes and, of uncontrolled violence, stereotyped heroes who fight the bad (like Bleach). Here are shown the darkest sides of the human psyche with great mastery: the desire to be the best but can't do it, the
difference between men, their different modes of action (just think about the speech when Eren was discovered in which they show the reactions of the inhabitants of the inner walls Rose) and their motivations, some of the questionable actions that seems to be made in the right and instead the Justice of others that superficially seems foolish and petty (such as the choice of sending refugees to rebuild the wall Mary), freedom and the fact that they don't understand that what others inculcate to us sometimes are nothing more than mental cages. We stop at the appearances only because it suits us ( the walls is a symbol of that). Omitting the main and masterfully developed theme of "Homo omini lupus".
In this anime there are no heroes! There are not brave men, without fear, that kill all the wicked. Here there are people who are fighting against their own fear and that sometimes they make it and sometimes not. The enemies aren't the giants !Although the anime does not say from where they come from and I won't do spoilers, it's repeated several times that the enemies are the human beings with their fear (who have surrendered to the giants without doing anything, ignoring and accepting to live like cattle) and the walls! But no one notices that because it would be too challenging to make two questions and wondering: "Why the walls ? Shouldn't they be their salvation?" and get an answer.
The fact that many people aren't well characterized, and that physically are not very different from each other isn't a coincidence .. Isayama is putting on the same level all human beings, he is saying that we are all like that guy who shoots himself alone after he surrendered to fear, that we are all as Vernam (who during the attack fled from Trost ), that there is some of us who is better than others, but that we all live under the same fears, and even if we react differently, we act according to substantially the same nature. It still tells us that we might be the protagonists of our life, choosing our destiny, but only if we are ready to go beyond the stereotypes and mindsets that others impose to us, only if only if we work with all our strength. Because living by what others tell us, from what they show us, isn't to live, but survive!
And in addition to all the various points of reflection that SNK has to offer (and there are many, not just those listed ), there is a plot full of twists and turns, the suspense. In short, it is a masterpiece.
Then, if you are used to an anime where the bad guys magically becomes good after a lesson or in which the characters acquire super powers from nothing or from old men who appearing in their minds... Well, ok ...... that ... that's original and profound ........
(Hope my english was not so bad) :)
Every once in a while, and even more frequently now than in the past, an anime appears that is completely and unequivocally shrouded in layers upon layers of hype and popularity from the anime community. It's the show that's on everyone lips, as well as everyone's TV screens. In the Fall of 2011, The Future Diary created an exceptional level of hype that had not been seen for quite some time. When the Summer of 2012 rolled along, it was time for Sword Art Online to take the spotlight, and its own popularity grew to
heights far beyond that of The Future Diary. Then, in the Spring of 2013, we were treated to what one could consider the Game of Thrones or the Breaking Bad of the anime industry in terms of sheer popularity; a show that completed engulfed the entire anime community, dwarfing even SAO in popularity, but is this anime truly worthy of the hype that it received?
Our story is set in an alternate universe where, 100 years prior to the events of the story, giant humanoid creatures known as Titans appeared and began consuming and decimating the human population, though with no apparent purpose for doing so. In response, the remainder of humanity built three enormous, circular walls to encompass their entire population and keep the Titans at bay. In this world, we meet three young children Eren Yeager, his adopted sister Mikasa, and their friend Armin, as they live out their peaceful lives in the southernmost city at the edge of the outer wall, Wall Maria. This soon changes, however, when a 60-meter Titan smashes through the main gate of Wall Maria, allowing Titans to freely enter the city and devour every human in sight, and forcing those who lived in the outer districts to retreat behind Wall Rose. During the chaos, Eren witnesses his mother being eaten by a Titan, and now he, Mikasa, and Armin have joined the military in the hopes of acquiring the skills necessary to take vengeance on the creatures that destroyed their lives.
This series, as a whole, has almost completely mastered the art of building suspense, mostly through the use of very long plot arcs. There always seems to be something constantly pushing towards a conclusion, but not actually getting there until several episode later, and that push factor creates a sensation of rarely ever wanting to stop watching for fear of the resolution being just after the episode you just watched. Additionally, this series is also a master of what I call the "morale builder," something that Gurren Lagann has shown mastery of in the past, and there are dozens of moments throughout the series where, no matter how grim and horrifying the situation, it provides an uplifting or rallying feeling that both immerses you in the world its sets up and makes you root for our heroes to the bitter end.
Speaking of grim and horrifying, that comparison to Game of Thrones earlier was far from being an off-handed comment. By this I mean that I hope you don't enjoy getting attached to characters, like I do, as you may find yourself curled up in a corner at some point. In the world of fiction, particularly in action series, there is a concept called "plot armor," which basically means that characters who seem crucial to the plot's progression and the show's stability as a whole are protected from death or other nasty fates that might await them. In this regard, the plot armor for Attack on Titan is about as thick as a used piece of tin foil, and deaths of major characters are frequent and often times unrelenting. In regards to this, and on a more personal note, there are only three anime that have actually made me legitimately cry before. Two of them were KyoAni series, and the third was Attack on Titan. This show really does not care about who your favorite character is, and if you've made it this far without having had the major deaths in the series spoiled for you yet, then consider yourself lucky.
Unfortunately, there is one minor flaw with this series. There are certain points, especially at some slightly slower moments in the series, where its gets a little too over-dramatic, to the point of almost being ridiculous. This was especially noticeable during what is now referred to as the "Boulder Arc," which encompasses roughly episodes 10-12. These moments are few and far between however, and are immediately drowned out once the hype builds back up again.
On the character front, for the sake of not getting your hopes up about the prospects of certain characters living, I'll talk only about the three main characters I mentioned earlier, with the knowledge that the rest of the cast, while incredibly massive in scale, still serves as a stellar group of vibrant personalities and ideals to create a surprisingly organic social environment. As for the big three, we'll start with Armin, who takes on the "smart one/strategist" archetype. While he is fairly generic and standard at the beginning of the series, we get to see him grow into being a more varied character at a constantly shifting rate, and his skills at strategy both on the battlefield and in complex conversations are practically unmatched, often allowing him the power to save the other two from the situations they get themselves into.
Next is Mikasa, who, for the majority of the series, is portrayed as being essentially flawless, taking on the role of the unstoppable badass Titan slayer fresh out of training who also makes time to coddle her adoptive brother, and this flawlessness is built up to the point of it almost being a flaw in itself. There are, however, a few quirks to her personality that make her feel more human, but at the same time make her seem even more distant. Her only notable "flaw" seems to be her undying loyalty and devotion to Eren, often throwing caution to the wind and bolting out against orders in order to make sure he's safe. This also leads to some rather disquieting moments where her own sanity seems to abandon her and, to put it lightly, causes her to act excessively hostile towards anyone who means ill will towards Eren.
Finally, we have Eren, our stereotypical "perseverance" character whose sole motivation for the majority of the season is taking revenge on the Titans, and while this does seem like a bit of a gaping flaw for the show's main character, it's actually both understandable and sort of refreshing. His intense focus on his own rage and desires for revenge slowly consumes part of who he is, which becomes especially present at several points throughout the series that I can't go further into detail on due to massive amounts of spoilers.
The animation was produced by Wit Studios, a new studio that serves as a surrogate of Production I.G. Regardless of its heritage, for a new studio to create such a massively impressive project is beyond incredible. Not only is the animation well-polished, but it also carries its own distinctive style, most notably in the fact that its characters are heavily outlined in varying thicknesses of black to make them pop out from the background. Speaking of backgrounds, the environments are shown to be incredibly rich and detailed despite how unvaried they may appear on the surface, and the action shots give us plenty of different perspectives on this environment. As for the action itself, Wit Studios has no qualms at all with handing out incredible fight sequences by the barrel-full via an in-world tool used by humanity's military known as 3D Maneuver Gear, allowing us to break away from standard ground combat and enter the world of high-flying intensity, with soldiers bolting off of every building in sight, into the air above them, and landing blade-first on the neck of a Titan. On course, all of these brilliant combinations of animation are to be expected from Araki, who has already brought us both the intensely stylized atmosphere of Death Note and the blood-pumping action of Guilty Crown.
The dub was produced by FUNimation, and, as someone who watched the subbed version first, I have no problems whatsoever recommending this dub. From heavy-hitting new favorites like Josh Grelle and Matthew Mercer to classic icons like Vic Mignogna and Caitlin Glass, Funimation has pulled out all the stop to create one of the best dubs this side of 2010. Grelle shuffles between nervously unstable and frantically stern for his portrayal as Armin, and Trina Nishimura pulls off both Mikasa's warmth and ferocity to near perfection. My only notable flaw with the dub is Bryce Papenbrook as Eren. To be fair, this is definitely Papenbrook's best performance yet, due in no small part to Mike McFarland's exceptional voice directing, but he does still tend to get a bit "Bryce-y" at some points and lets his excessively angsty style boil over, which is a rather dangerous idea considering Eren's character. Overall though, this is a minor blemish on an otherwise excellent dub.
The music was composed by Hiroyuki Sawano (Aldnoah.Zero, Kill la Kill), and this soundtrack is definitely one of the best to come out of anime in a long time, based in heavy orchestrations and laced throughout with electronica and hard rock. From the bombastic explosions of "E.M.A" and main theme "Attack on Titan" to the insert tracks of "The Reluctant Heroes" and "Doa," this soundtrack dabbles in the art of perfection on all fronts. If it seems like I'm being much more in-depth with the soundtrack than usual, it's because I've actually purchased the soundtrack on iTunes and have been listening to it practically non-stop, and I highly recommend making this purchase as well. Both opening themes, "Guren no Yumiya" and "Jiyuu no Tsubasa," were performed by Linked Horizon and give us massive eruptions of heavy rock combined with brass and vocal choirs (and on a quick aside, I'm one of the few people that actually preferred the second theme more than the first, though the first still kicks all sorts of ass). The first ending theme "Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai" by Yoko Hikasa gives us a rolling ballad to play us out of each episode, while the second ending theme "great escape" by Cinema Staff blasts through with a heavy rock track. Additionally, all of these tracks except "great escape" are available for purchase on iTunes, purchases that I also highly recommend.
Overall, Attack on Titan is simply an incredible experience, combining high-flying action that could even make ufotable nervous with a dark and nearly-overwhelming sense of fear and desperation, and this anime is more than deserving of the hype that it receives. However, as it stands right now, on November 4, 2014, the series is incomplete, and there has been no announcement of a second season yet. I highly doubt that this second season will never come however, and it has been reported that the original manga is planned to be finished in about four years’ time (which actually isn't that much material for a monthly manga). In the meantime, there will be plenty of specials and spin-offs to keep us satiated until season 2 is officially announced.
Attack on Titan is currently licensed by FUNimation and is available from them for both streaming and purchase.
In the 80's, Mobile Suit Gundam catapulted anime in Japan.
In the 90s, Dragon Ball Z broke the mainstream walls while Neon Genesis Evangelion opened the doors to the now indispensable late-night anime slots in Japan.
In the 2000s, Fullmetal Alchemist marked the peak of manga-to-anime adaptations while Code Geass & Death Note headed the class of those who introduced the new anti-hero genre.
And now, in 2013, Attack on Titan has shaken the industry once again.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 5 months, you should at least know what the story is about, and for the sake of staying spoiler free, I'm not
going into details on the plot.
Before I wrote this review, I wrote a different piece moments after watching the first episode stating that Attack on Titan had all the potential to become a landmark anime, knowing very little of how true that statement would turn out to be.
I have watched anime ever since I can remember. I have seen the very best and the worst that this industry has to offer. And I, like most of you, am very familiar with the relationship of manga-anime adaptation, which is the case of Attack on Titan. It is because of such experience and knowledge that I am able to say with so much confidence that Attack on Titan is the best anime series ever produced from any standpoint, at least, in the last decade.
Attack on Titan is such a well-done product that it has all the key strong points we all dream every series could have. By this I mean the story, characters, animation, OST, opening/ending sequences, art, directing, narrative, character development, and, most importantly, the "it" factor. These are all present with "A grade" production values.
First of all, I want to start with the OST. Simply put, Attack on Titan's soundtrack rivals that of Rurouni Kenshin and Evangelion. Period. Don't misunderstand, they are not similar by any means, they are simply equally as masterful. Check on the internet the impressions left by fans about the first soundtrack. And if you still don't believe me, tweet Hideo Kojima (creator of Metal Gear series) and ask his take on it.
The OST is extremely important in this show because it allows you to feel the many epic moments that dwell in this 25 episode marvel. This is where the directing and narrative play a big role. For those of you who have seen Death Note (same director), you will feel an extra feeling of similarity with Attack on Titan, as the show relies heavily on its intense emotional scenes which you most certainly will feel the first 2 minutes of episode #1.
It is in these scenes where the golden cast of characters shine. I cannot stress enough how unique the characters are. You could say they are the cream of the many accolades that Attack on Titan has. I'm still amazed by the quality of voice actors that just seem to just pop out in this show. The voices of so many main characters from hit series come together in Attack on Titan to help provide that epic feeling you start to get once episode #1 ends. Note I emphasize the voice acting because it's part of the anime but, obviously, not of the manga.
Another key strong point is the work and effort put on the OP/ED sequences. If you've come this far in my review then you most likely understand when I say that Openings and Ending sequences are crucial. They provide that extra excitement to the show. It's definitely something not all anime series take seriously. Fortunately, Wit Studio took them seriously, and then came "Guren no Yumiya". The second opening, "Jiyuu no Tsubasa" is outstanding and marvelous in its own way and the second ending, "great escape", fuels that adrenaline rush of excitement you will get after those killing cliffhangers. Having said that, the first OP, "Guren no Yumiya", is simply epic. If there was ever something to describe as epic, it would be this OP. I am certain that as of today, it is the greatest anime opening ever. I'm amazed by the amount of attention it got on the internet and the hundreds of parodies derived from it. It was simply a treat to our eyes. The song. The animation in the opening. The sync between the two. Epic.
You won't be skipping that opening.
In addition, an animation production is never as close to perfection without the animation and art being top class. Now, Attack on Titan has astonishing art, to the point where you are amazed of how far animation has come. The scenes where there is sunlight will leave you speechless. The animation, unlike the other aspects, is where some disagree. The only thing I have to say is I was extremely impressed throughout the whole show until I saw a certain scene in episode #11 where the 3D maneuver gear was used, and I was stunned. I was simply stunned. Then, of course, later episodes also take it to a whole new level, but you're probably gonna be used to that quality of greatness by then.
That's how ridiculously good Attack on Titan is.
Now, like the characters, the story is mostly work of the manga's author. This includes character development, which I believe is the key to the success and extreme popularity of the characters. Also, the story maybe the most original aspect of this series. Nothing you have seen before is in this show. Nothing. Much like EVA, Attack on Titan gives you a world of "dystopia", on-edge, and uncertainty, so full of potential that just when you think you have it figured it out, it turns around and leaves you speechless.
Oh, that will happen to you for the first time in episode #5. Guaranteed.
Finally, even IF all these characteristics of an anime series are top notch, it won't amount to its potential if it doesn't have that "IT" factor. Some series have the "IT" factor without having all of these production values. They tend have 3 or 4 at most. Those become popular because they give out that feeling of "amazing". Gintama, the greatest gag series ever, comes to mind. Its anime doesn't have overwhelming OST, or eye popping animation; it does have A class characters and A class story (among others), but that "IT" factor takes it to another level. Now, imagine having practically everything an anime series has to offer in A class value while also having that "IT" factor. Extremely rare. Eva rare. FMA rare. Attack on Titan is part of that elite group. This is why its popularity rose to highs only few series reach.
This is the first time I have ever written a detailed review of an anime series. I did it because this one deserves it. It's The anime series of my adult era. I can now relate to those anime fans who watched Evangelion almost 20 years ago. They knew they had something special, just like we do now with Attack on Titan.
In conclusion, Attack on Titan is, of course, like MS Gundam, DBZ, EVA, FMA, Geass, and Death Note, not perfect. Like any other piece of greatness it does have its negatives. Having said that, when you add up the good and the bad, you end up with a landmark anime series that is currently shaking the industry with its mesmerizing, sensational, emotional, intense, and inspiring first season. Just imagine the wait and the hype for season 2.
What kind of effect will Attack on Titan have on the anime/manga industry we love? Only time will tell...
In the meantime, this is simply the best anime series in the last 15 years. Enjoy.
In summary, Shingeki no Kyojin is a perfect anime to get somebody who loves action started on anime- I think it is literally the most mainstream anime ever made, and that is definitely not a bad thing. But with this comes downsides- ones not apparent to the viewer at first glance, but looking back on it after watching it around the time it first came out, definitely shine through.
Shingeki no Kyojin starts off with a roar- the first 2 episodes explode right out of the gate with high-octane action that also leaves mystery to draw the viewer in. Who
are the titans? What is in the basement? Why is Eren's dad so creepy? All this and more the viewer asks themselves as the end credits roll for episode 2.
Then episode 3 and 4 jump in. It's a training scene for Eren and his friends, and it's dead slow in comparison. But that's ok- it's episodes like this that reinforce character development and get the plot rolling. And soon, the episodes with action will begin again, right? That High-Octane, bloody, gory action we've all been waiting for!
Well, it does. But then shortly after, it grinds back to a halt. Why do I bring up the first 5 episodes out of all things to mention about Shingeki no Kyojin? Because it perfectly frames the pacing of the entire anime. First you're baited with that sweet, bloody action that makes you just stare at the screen in amazement of the beautiful animation and heart-pumping soundtrack, and next thing you know you have to sit through an hour of people arguing over the same issue over and over before going back to the action. This would be fine and acceptable if it actually resulted in plot and character development going somewhere- but rarely this bickering between Armin and Eren result in anything productive.
Actually, Shingeki no Kyojin seems to show perfectly how to pull off the ILLUSION of plot and character development- Eren struggling with his inner demons despite somehow going back to square 1 every 5 episodes, the Basement which has been explicitly mentioned as having "all the answers" being completely forgotten about while the group goes out to hunt titans, and Armin rehashing what we already know to other characters every episode or two. All of this combined create a huge mess that on first glance seems like a deep and interesting story, but only through reflection of a different lens you begin to notice how shallow the pool you're standing in really is. The characters are shallow, the story tries to go somewhere but the characters almost seem to prevent it from moving at all, and at some points the story tries to go to too many places at once, just confusing the viewer until the next trippy action scene kicks in.
I like to compare Shingeki no Kyojin to a Michael Bay film. This also makes it easier to understand what I'm trying to say (and trust me, it's not your fault- I have a hard time expressing what I feel in words sometimes).
Imagine Eren as Shia Labeouf, and Shingeki no Kyojin as a typical summer blockbuster by Michael Bay. Eren zips around the scenes of the movie, fighting bad-guys and pulling off amazing stunts with beautifully rendered graphics and an amazing ost- but then hardcut to Eren getting mad at himself and people around him but not actually advancing the plot for 1/3rd of the movie as the action grinds to a halt. Add some comedic relief (if you want a Bay comparison, the classic transformers out of place masturbation joke fits well) including possibly some potatoes after a traumatic scene and then slap on the illusion of having a deep plot and you have Shingeki no Kyojin. It's a typical summer blockbuster! You go in, watch it, enjoy it, then leave and forget about it! I'm really not saying you're not allowed to enjoy it because it's shallow and noisy, I'm just saying you shouldn't walk in expecting a revolutionary masterpiece of anime- which is what some critics are raising it up to be.
STORY- 4 : The story's foundations are put up well, but the actual progression falls flat as no questions are ever really answered and the plot never seems to want to go in a single direction.
ART- 9 : The art is amazing! There are some worse-off scenes and some animation glitches, but the art is one of the things that makes Shingeki no Kyojin stand out from the crowd. Even though I am not a huge fan of the anime itself, I have a massive poster above my computer of it as we speak.
SOUND- 10 : While the music and sound design is generic at worst, it is composed beautifully and always reinforces the mood set out by the show. I would highly recommend a download of the OST.
CHARACTER- 3 : Easily the worst part of Shingeki no Kyojin. Eren's constant back and forth attitude and behaviour that never goes anywhere, Armin's arguing with people that last an entire episode simply to recap what just happened on screen, Mikasa's constant fight to try and save everyone and pull everything together: it's just all poorly done.
ENJOYMENT- 6 : While watching Shingeki no Kyojin, I certainly enjoyed it- but I wouldn't say I enjoyed it the whole way through. Even while watching it, I noticed a lot of the fighting and arguing was going on too long, and let's not forget the 3-5 episodes of riding on horses. But the scenes that were enjoyable- notably the fight scenes and the pivotal plot twists certainly left a lot to talk about and were enjoyable enough to at least somewhat wipe away two annoying characters yelling at eachother on horses for 30 minutes.
OVERALL- 5: Watch it, get what you get out of it, but don't walk in expecting the next amazing revolutionary anime. Expect a summer blockbuster.
I started watching Shingeki no Kyojin a year ago, almost to the day that I am writing this. So I figured I would write a review on what has grown to be one of my favourite series of all time.
What I've noticed is that people tend to be very split about this anime; you either love it, or you hate it. Clearly, in my case, I love this entire series (the show, the manga, the side-stories, etc.) Now onto the actual review.
At its core, Shingeki no Kyojin is something that we have seen many times in the past: humanity is being attacked, therefore we
must defend ourselves. Many, many iconic shows start from this format. However, SNK (as I will be calling it for the rest of the review) takes this simple plot point and expands it into something very, very unique. We have the Titans: giant, humanoid creatures set on devouring humans. Because of the Titans, humanity has been driven behind three walls, with the population dwindling to less than 1% of our current population.
Each and every single plot point in this series is completely thought out and executed stunningly. There are so many twists that you won't be able to see coming. Hell, check out episode 8- you'll be shocked. Even the filler is thought out, and has important significance to the main story. The story of SNK goes even further in the manga. At the time of writing this review, there has been 59 chapters released, and we are just only starting to scratch the surface of this world.
Like most things out there, SNK does have its flaws. But the flaws are so minuscule that it's very, very hard to notice them. The brilliant storytelling of this series completely blew me away from episode 1, which is why it deserves a near perfect score.
If you have read the SNK manga, you'll know that the art, while it is good, isn't amazing. The anime cleaned up all of the character designs, leaving us with a beautiful result. While there were some minor changes in characters (ex Eren's eye colour, Levi's physique, etc,) the anime designs did stay pretty true to the original material. The designs match the characters' personalities completely, which is something that not a lot of shows can brag about.
And the animation is breathtaking. Every single sky we see, the birds eye views; the scenery in this anime is absolutely stunning. And the animation for the characters and their situations is pretty great, too. To me, this is digital animation to the finest degree. But again, as is the case with most shows, SNK does have some animation flaws. For example, in one episode, the same frame is shown about three times. The characters can also have a case of "far away face", but that is pretty common. Again, these flaws in animation are pretty small, and are barely noticeable when you are watching the show. They do not take away from the rest of the show.
The score for SNK was done by Hiroyuki Sawano. If you don't recognize his name, he also composed the score for things like Kill la Kill, Ao no Exorcist, and more recently Aldnoah.Zero. If I could use any one word to describe the sound of SNK, it would be flawless. The score matches every scene perfectly, mixing electronics with more orchestral pieces. If you don't have any interest in watching the show, I would still suggest you download the OSTs. The sound for this show blew me away. Even the background noises, the additional sound FX- they were all done to the utmost perfection.
The openings and endings for SNK were all absolutely amazing. It's no wonder that Guren no Yumiya in particular has landed on many "top 10 anime openings" lists. The songs will get stuck in your head, and refuse to leave. In my case, they have not left in a year, and that's something that is very hard to do in my case. Just check out the OPs and EDs online; you'll be amazed at how great they are.
And the voice acting is nothing to laugh at, either. With many shows that I've seen, I've noticed that the voices don't match with the characters. Either the voice is too weak, too bold, meek, etc- this is not the case with SNK. Each character is voiced perfectly; each voice matches the personality of the character. The passion put into the voice acting of the show is nothing to laugh at. The voice actors were able to portray each and every line and emotion perfectly, which is something very hard to do. The dub is a different story (but we don't talk about the dub....)
This is where most people decided whether they love or hate this show. To be fair, the characters in SNK can sometimes seem a little extreme with their personalities. However, I love them. For example, the main character Eren can seem very angry, very passionate. Some people hate this. They think he's just a trope amped up to the extreme. In my opinion, Eren's character was done perfectly. His "extreme" emotions fit his personality up to a T.
The personalities of each character in this show are fleshed out near perfectly, in my opinion. Again, some aspects can seem extreme, but that is part of the enjoyment of this series. Not one character is deemed as "perfect." They each have their flaws, which makes them seem very human and realistic. As the story goes on, each point in each characters' personality is explained in detail, even if it seems unimportant initially.
Each character in this series serves a purpose. The main characters, the main supporting characters, the regular supporting characters- each and every one of them is important. There is a lot of death in this show, but every single death we see is important to the story and the character development. And while some deaths may seem insignificant, they really aren't. The entire emotional journey of this series stems from the characters, and SNK has pretty powerful ones.
I'm not a fan of blood and gore. Really, I'm not. There have been several shows, live-action or animated, that I have had to drop because of their content. When a show like SNK, which has copious amounts of both blood and gore, can become one of my favourites, you know that it is amazing.
Every single episode of SNK had me captivated. Even the filler ones. Each and every episode was an emotional journey from start to finish. Waiting for the episodes to air every week was torture, because I so desperately wanted to see everything happen (even if I had already read the manga.) I loved every single episode, even the OVAs that have been released. Each release had me on edge, with both the show and the manga. Nothing was dull; everything was riveting.
There is a reason why this show doesn't score perfect. It has its flaws, as everything does. But there is also a reason why it scores so high.
Shingeki no Kyojin was one of the most popular, if not the MOST popular anime of 2013. There is a reason for this. There is a reason why so many people watch, read, and enjoy this series, even if they're not into anime or manga. There is a reason why there are copious amounts of fan works for this series. There is a reason why so much merchandise has been released. There is a reason why so many people cosplay characters from this series.
Like it or hate it, you really can't deny how popular it is. I personally love everything about it. Keep in mind that this is only my opinion; other people will tell you different things. But to me, Shingeki no Kyojin is stunning.
Attack on Titan is a particularly unique case for me. As such, my review needs to be broken up to properly analyze it.
Attack on Titan has an absolutely astounding setting. The sheer idea behind the setting, the exposition pieces, and the initial plot elements held the potential for it to be one of the best action anime ever. From the first three episodes, I could see how someone could believe this would be that one anime that is just absolutely amazing. It simply becomes disappointing as things continue. Long story short? The start is absolutely amazing. It's powerful. It's grabbing. It does everything
an introduction should do. The problem after that stems from the plot slowly becoming painfully predictable and a personal dissatisfaction with the protagonists in place as well as the decisions of various members of the cast completely destroying the story's credibility at times.
Art is completely subjective. I would not actually judge art based on someone's own opinion. You would really have to see it for yourself to deem whether it is "good" or not. As for me, it seemed fairly mediocre. The effort is there, but something with the art style simply does not jive with me. The settings are well done, but the characters are quite bland.
Finally. This is what I can praise Attack on Titan for. If anything, this series's soundtrack deserves to be remembered. It is excellent and its execution throughout the anime was not only strategic but tasteful. The tracks range from dark and depressing to powerful and moving pieces designed for a battle against a completely hopeless situation. In my opinion, the music in and of itself is the true beauty behind this anime.
The main protagonist Eren Jeager is heavily set on his goal to a fault. Some call this good writing, but given the setting, it actually works against the story and its credibility. It is literally almost difficult to not find the main character's obsession with revenge nostalgic and downright hilarious. If you don't like avenger-type characters, you will despise Eren beyond imagination by the time the story is over. The worst part? He finally starts developing three-quarters through and goes right back to the bratty child he was in the first few eps. The same can be said of Mikasa. This anime is one of the few to portray women with some form of decency, but Mikasa's obsession with Eren is a pretty sad window of how the author wants people to worship his poorly-designed protagonist. To boot, Mikasa literally has no flaws other than her obsession with Eren. No character flaws. No ability flaws. Her only real flaw is her obsession with Eren, which usually only winds up helping them, not causing them problems like it should. Your only real likable protagonist? Armin. He is one of maybe three characters we really see that has a solid character, solid flaws, and solid development based on those flaws and his interactions with other characters due to the plot. In all honesty, Armin should have been the main protagonist.
Now we move onto enjoyment. Despite vehemently despising roughly eighty-five percent of the cast, I enjoyed Attack on Titan. Is it a great action anime? Sure. Definitely! Is it realistic? Sad to say, but no it is not. Is it the most well-written anime ever? Astronomically far from it. If you're looking for an action anime to sit down and enjoy, this is a wonderful choice. If you're looking for an action anime with a strong plot and emphasis on lovable characters, I recommend pretending that you never heard the hype and staying far away from this anime.
With a heavy heart, I cannot give the anime anything higher than a 5/10 in good conscience. It had oodles of potential, but an irritating cast, some half-baked plot elements, and predictability ruined it. Mediocre at best.
Let's get straight to it! Shingeki no Kyojin is an incredibly gripping, action packed show, and it is certainly capable of converting non-anime watchers. When you begin to understand the plight of humanity versus the titans, you'll quickly begin to realize that this is a show of epic proportions - essentially it is an inter species war: and violence comes hand in hand with this theme, so squeamish viewers might want to look elsewhere.
The show is incredibly engaging, and intense because the combat animations are executed perfectly, giving a really personal front row seat throughout. Not only this but peril is constantly a reinforced aspect
of the anime, and what's scarier is the accurate scale of death that isn't afraid to engulf those that the viewer has become connected to.
I'm liking this logical order, because with death brings me to the next area i'd like to explain: Drama! Oh boy you'll be astounded by the dramatic, emotional and often angry outbursts of the characters. I personally would rank Shingeki no Kyojin highly in all of its presentation methods.
But that's not all, because in addition to being well presented, violent and dramatic, the show still then has the drive to steer you into corners via breakthroughs in the story. Another beautiful aspect of the show is that although the context would say that humanity had been surviving for over a century, the titans are still a great mystery to the present characters, therefore putting you (the viewer) on the front line for discovering more!
Despite how i'm in awe with so many parts of the anime, the story if i'm honest is a bit too linear, as in i don't think enough goes on behind the scenes of titan combat. The plot summary introductions are also a pain due to their repetitiveness, it really is easy to pick up the story line behind the show, yet to an extent where it almost feels like it's been dumbed down.
Nevertheless, i agree with the masses, this popular anime lives up to its reputation, and you really must see for yourself!
This anime made my mouth open wide for longer than 5 seconds more than a handful times. This is the type of world where more people get killed than the entirety of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. It exists in a timeless universe – not in the past, present or future of our world, but in a pocket universe where Titans existed long before the existence of machines. In this world, machines were not invented to improve humanity’s lifestyle, but for the continuous existence of humanity itself.
There’s lots of shouting (especially from Eren), lots of action, lots of character development, and lots
of tears. My friends weren’t kidding. I felt like my ear drums would break from all the intense shouting. I think my mind is forever scarred, what with how everyone got crushed like ants all the time. And my heart has become immune to all other fictional deaths, what with all the deaths I’ve experienced just from this show alone.
It teaches you a lot about what it takes to be a soldier, a survivor. Constantly, people have to be reminded to “FIGHT!” Some lines are repeated all over the anime that it kind of becomes engraved into your head and heart once you’re done with it.
It’s the kind of anime that sticks with you, the kind that leaves you with phantom faces with phantom voices following you around, making you feel as if you’re still living in that universe, even after you’ve told yourself that you’re done with it.
The concept of the villain, and of the world itself, is scary and genius. First off, the villain – the Titan – is basically a stupid giant human cannibal.
Unlike other villains, it doesn’t want revenge. It doesn’t want world domination. It doesn’t want power. It doesn’t need to eat. It has lived a hundred years without eating humans. But it is all it ever eats. It doesn’t eat animals. It wants only one thing – and this is just a theory, but it’s one that I can side with, and one that I love the most – to annihilate the existence of humanity.
Second, the fact that it looks human. It is, in every aspect, a human being, except for the fact that it doesn’t have two things; sexual organs, and a conscience. Countless times, characters had their feet rooted to the ground, unable to fight, and I think it’s because the image of a gigantic human biting off a human’s neck is just too fascinatingly cruel that they feel they cannot look away.
The world itself is scarier than the world of the Hunger Games. And I think what makes it scary is the fact that humanity has never won against the Titans, ever. For the past who-knows-how-many-years, Titans have been eating humans.
The humans in this world pretend that they have a system.
o matter what plan the humans think of, no matter how determined every single one of their skilled soldiers are, they will still be crushed in less than a second without remorse, without even a body to prove that you have existed. This is their anarchy, their ‘chaos’.
Every single man, woman and child in this world lived with losing a loved one as a social norm. It’s a dark fact I’d like everyone to consider. Everyone is already dead, in everyone else’s eyes. That’s what’s sad about this whole thing – even the humans think of other humans as just tiny insects with no importance. But it’s also beautiful, because sometimes, sometimes a character sees through that corrupted notion and calls everyone else out on it, making us realize it along the way too.
So you have a dark world, and an even darker society. Combine that with real-life everyday problems like corruption in the system, hierarchy in social status, differences in privileges and human rights and what do you get? Awesome badass characters who naiively try to fight against it.
The differences in character personality is great, too. There are a few who are extremely righteous, but most of them just really don’t care. They feign an act of indifference, but all for different reasons. But the fact that they had grieved over the death of a loved one united them.
And I think that’s brilliant. These clashes of personality, and this unity for one tragedy, has bonded them together, and changed them greatly. You get to see how much they have grown in a span of 5-7 years. That’s something I don’t usually see in anime.
You also get to witness the amazing 3D Maneuver Gear.
This made the whole world look kind of sci-fi, but also, kind of not. The 3D Maneuver Gears are as close as we can get to a ‘high tech’ fictional gadget in this world. Every other man made thing you see in the anime is pretty mundane. But the function of it makes the people actually fly. It’s a pretty brilliant concept, and I like how something as complicated as that is a seemingly-ordinary thing for them. Plus, it makes the animation really cool to watch. You gotta respect the amount of effort (and physics, I bet) put just to make sure each maneuver looks even just a little legit.
The music is amazing, too. There were some points where I gaped like a fish because “wHaT just happened omg” and the music dramatically intensified my feelings. So kudos to that! The animation was splendid, hands down. Especially, like I said, with the whole 3D Maneuver thing.
The hype of 2013 leading to an ending that closed off lots of action and questions throughout its run. With an anime that has a lot of hype, comes a lot of conflict between haters and people who genuine enjoy the anime. Shingeki no Kyojin is an anime that made peaks in sales and getting fans world wide, but is it really worth watching?
The concept of humanity being at the brink of extinction, this is one emphasizes it's fight for survival and the ups and downs of their fight for victory. With the first episode starting off with a great clincher to get you
excited for the rest of series, you get a little view of how each character is and their view point towards the situation.
Due to the story of humans being driven to extinction, you often get an anime that can be a hit or a miss depending on how they unravel it throughout the series. Humans are declining with titans appearing onto earth and they eventually make a wall tall enough to the point where even the tallest titan can't break through.
With the show being a fight for survival, it does an excellent job actually dragging out the battle to its actual length. With anime these days battle scenes are usually only an episode with the exception of it being mostly dialog. Attack on Titan has arcs of each fight against the titans or progress in the story. You're given arcs that focus on a battle to take back a city, an expedition outside the walls, and even a battle taking place inside their safest town.
Throughout the anime you get stories of some characters past and they're definitely something that makes each character enjoyable and much more interesting to watch as the series progresses forward. The characters are mainly focuses on Eren, Mikasa and Armin. They're what drives the story and is the foundation for all the events that happen.
You have the main character Eren, a boy who does before he thinks. This often gets him into a lot of fights and is what drives his friends to do more than they expect they can do. With his mother being eaten in front of him, you get a lot of realism towards his feelings to the situation and an actual reason for his hate rather than the generic hero title.
Second you have Mikasa, a girl who is brave and does anything to protect Eren. They're not related, but they're brother and step-sister, but act just like siblings. They bicker and often get into fights due to different feelings and agreements. She's usually level-headed and very mature, but you'll see when something happens to Eren, she breaks down and becomes very agitated.
Lastly you have Armin, hes the brains of the group and emotional support for both of them. While lacking in physical strength he excels in strategy and decision making. While not being the main focus of the anime, he's probably the character with the most development. At the start hes weak and afraid, but towards the end he becomes mentally strong and definitely a changed person due to the events that occur to him and his friends.
With anime being military themed, you're given characters who are joined in with them due to squads and become their friends. You have characters who disagree with a lot of what they do, and some that are just like them and get along well. The side characters are also important for what happens and really drive the story with their back stories and talent that they bring to the group.
Known for having excellent art, I have nothing to say that can disagree with that. The art through the entire anime stays at top quality and even has detail in every aspect of the show. With all the scenery being changed constantly through the battles, you see buildings that were once standing being ruined and detail in everything. You can see the emotion on all of the characters faces as they witness their comrades being eaten alive.
The scenery seems to be staged in what seems like Europe, you see a lot of forests and old-style buildings. With all the scene changes you can see detail in everything such as trees, buildings and even the clothes that the characters wear. It makes it feel like the Middle Ages or so, with the wool and texture the clothes has.
Thanks to the theme of extiction, you get 2 wonderful openings to hype you for the anime. With the first half being set around emphasizing their survival, you get an opening that has lots of action and despair to give the feeling of struggle the characters are going through. The second half is more towards the counter attack that mankind has and their subtle victories and their path towards winning against the titans. The opening gives that feeling of excitement and shows their steps to becoming closer to surviving and prospering once again. With battles happening constantly and emotion going across the board with characters dying, or even victory, you get excellent background music to support those feelings even more.
Overall this anime is something that lives up to its hype and does a good job having a really serious tone, but also giving off some comedy to balance it out. The story is something that has been done often, but this is one that emphasizes humanities survival. The art is top quality and is the best of the 2013 season to make every battle scene beautiful and movements very clean. The characters were all really well developed and really makes the viewer sad when they die, even though they've only just been introduced a few episodes ago. Anyone who enjoys an action or looking for a great anime to pass time, this is definitely worth checking out.
So what on earth? What have I done?
How am I not able to feel the stun?...
I will write about "Attack on Titan" here;
but yeah, I'm no fanboy trying to endear
myself to mainstream now or in the longer run.
I turned towards this show unbiased
considering its popularity at highest.
I wanted to see if this action show at least
conveys more meanings than being a bloody feast.
But in the end: people and story at its driest.
So hundreds of years ago, the humankind
is letting itself be completely confined
by dim-witted looking titans there
inside a 50-meter wall ensnare
and is now searching for ways to get behind.
Then suddenly, a 60-meter giant attacks
more titans are making their tracks.
The wall can't hold it anymore
and so the humans are fighting another war.
Their enemies won't give them more time to relax!
The first few episodes are quite intense,
experiencing human's crumbling defence,
getting their normal lives torn up again,
having to survive in a diminishing den,
and nearly losing their last kind of sense.
We follow Eren, who has to sustain
his mother's loss, indeed a great pain.
He wants to kick some titan's ass
and finally falls into the shounen mass,
always acting like tightened by an angry chain.
Accompanied by one of the few
more normal humans, Mikasa, whose true
intention is to save her Eren
and so she's getting ears more barren
despite her strength she would rather sue.
The third in league, weak fair-haired Armin, stays
the cowardly one with a frightened face.
He tends to think far more than others
but is mostly hindering his brothers.
He needs lots of time to realise his place.
So maybe you would think that some other
guys inside these walls don't try to bother,
but instead act more heroic inside this hell.
You see, Commander Levi's the only one memorable;
he wouldn't even trade his tenacity for his mother.
All in all, these characters just won't try
to develop properly and we ask why?
Why haven't they used episodes five to twelve
to let them build some features or delve
into their motivations or what they go by?
Seriously, you won't remember any other names.
They die like flies and only the main remains.
So I really wondered the whole time where
the more seasoned soldiers would deign to dare
to get into the fight, but you know what it claims...
And then, the probably most important thing:
What are the titans? Ruled by a king?
What are their bloody true intentions?
Hinder humanity from some kind of interventions?
We aren't informed, and that's a serious sting.
However, the style and art does kind of save all it
from falling into a much more deeper pit.
Detailed architecture and nice quality,
although the animations strive for equality,
but the art got me astounded, I must admit!
What you will hear is mostly amazing.
The music improves the already fast pacing
but cannot reach my most favourite sides
like Code Geass with "Stories" provides.
So it's epic, and rather the common saving.
Special mention for an awesome opening theme
mixing German and Japanese for deserved esteem.
It conveys this rather intimidating mood,
lets us taste of the upcoming action food.
Believing the whole show's that epic: it stays a dream.
Now summarizing art and sound: they're nice;
but paying with a decent story at least twice.
Man, there are so many episodes for fill,
the pacing is off, the direction needs skill,
inferring that eight episodes clearly would suffice.
Some people will ask how I can say
this show is average and carried away...
It has nothing like a memorable plot
and tends to dramatize quite a lot,
just not worth for every fan to stay!
I can't deny the certain amount of joy
the first few episodes deliver, oh boy!
But after that, it's nothing new...
No inspirations I aim to pursue...
Its part to perplex hardly evens the one to annoy.
So this practically concludes my review.
"Do not believe the hype" became so true!
If you like some standard action shows,
then Attack on Titan doesn't have much to oppose,
but otherwise it isn't worth any ballyhoo.
Shingeki no Kyojin is an amazingly written story with a very dark premise and a lot of action. This is definitely not a series for the faint of heart, especially those with fears of man-eating giants that don't even have the decency to kill you before they eat you (sometimes). The story keeps you guessing as it progresses, there's a new reveal that completely destroys what you thought you knew and makes you wonder just how far the rabbit hole goes. The characters are very relatable and you really do want to see them succeed. What makes this series unique however is the protagonists very
rarely ever win a battle. Every mission the cast engage in usually ends in a blood bath, but it's not without purpose. The gruesome deaths we witness just cements how high the stakes are in this story, and the determination of the protagonists to push forward is very inspiring.
Another unique thing about the cast is they are rather three-dimensional in comparison to a lot of anime and manga I've seen. Where I expect some characters to be completely flat jerkasses or emotionless bastards, there's always something that really makes you like them. The series also makes a point of establishing that no matter what you see on the outside, the characters certainly feel and act human deep down. This makes it really heart breaking when you see characters you like die in the line of duty, and only makes you want to see the good guys succeed all the more, which serves to make their victories so much sweeter.
tl;dr, This series is a must-read/watch. If you have a weak stomach or a phobia for cannibalistic slasher smiles, give it a miss. Otherwise, give it your full attention.
If you’re an anime or manga patron, you’ve more than likely heard of, if you haven’t already read or seen, a series entitled Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan). Based on the popular manga, Shingeki no Kyojin had been made into an anime in 2013, that had literally taken the entire world by storm. It's even been airing on American Television alongside other popular shows such as One Piece and Naruto. It’s popularity is getting to the point where it’s damn near impossible to say the word “anime” without someone bringing up Shingeki no Kyojin. But is Shingeki no Kyojin worth the hype?
years prior to the start of the series, mankind was plagued by their predators, The Titans, gigantic humanoid creatures whose only purpose in existence is to devour humans, despite having no apparent need to eat in order to survive. Humanity was driven to the brink of extinction. The few surviving humans built a society behind 50-meter walls that kept the Titans out. The walls were named Maria, the outermost wall, Rose, the middle, and Sina, the interior. There, humanity enjoyed a century of peace... Until... Our main characters, teenage boy Eren Yeager and his foster sister Mikasa Ackerman witness something horrific... The city's "divine" walls are destroyed by a colossal titan that appears out of thin air. As the smaller titans flood the city, the two kids watch in horror as their mother along with thousands of other humans are eaten alive. Eren vows to murder every single titan and take revenge for all of mankind. And so, mankind finds their secret weapon in defeating the Titans...
First thing you may be wondering, is this anime as epic as everyone says it is, and is it filled with amazing action scenes? Well eh, I guess you could say that it's a tiny bit, not too much, but just a teeny bit ... IT'S DEFINITELY EPIC. This anime's introduction of the 3D maneuver gear was certainly an creative pleasant to the say the least, surprise. The way the characters jump/literally fly from rooftop to rooftop, swinging their dual swords at Titans, screaming their lungs at every second leaves the viewers mouths opened, and their eyes glued onto the screen. May I add that the soundtrack in this anime is arguably the best set of music in an anime ever. It's epic music certainly adds to the suspense of every single episode in Shingeki no Kyojin. The only thing I'd say took away from the EPICness in Shingeki, was that there was awfully too many dialogue scenes... Although some were pretty nerve-wrecking, others seemed to be useless and pointless.
Secondly... is this plot depressing? Yup. Are there multiple scenes that have brought me to tears? Yup. Have I witnessed characters I love meet their end in horribly gruesome ways? Yup. This is not an anime for the faint-hearted. Shingeki no Kyojin will ruthlessly rip your heart out, throw it into a grinder, then turn it into processed dog food time after time after time ... after time again. This anime is also quite gory, so if you can't stand that, I'd... still recommend you to give Shingeki no Kyojin a try.
As for me, what I had wondered the most were, is this plot deep (theme)? efficiently written? And enjoyable to watch? Is there an explanation for everything that happens or is it one of those anime that something happens for no reason or leaves me going What happened to the _____ or how did he/she even know _____.
The storyline itself has no contradictions, is full to the brim with plot twists that are almost impossible to predict. And most importantly, it is VERY enjoyable to watch.
(Skip if you don't care about historical information + deep themes) Well I will say that the plot has a deep theme. The circle of life and escaping every-day routine and achieving freedom (humans trapped within walls, never seeing the ocean, mountains, volcanoes, forests, plains, and never having an adventure until...) concept is included in the plot. What was also quite intriguing that you probably didn't know was in Shingeki no Kyojin was the use of Norse Allusions. Narrative tales for centuries have, for centuries, been borrowing and re-constructing myths from previous generations in order to create new tales to amuse and inspire. Mythology has been incorporated into many stories to provide emphasis on major themes and create a more complex universe for the reader to experience. “Shingeki no Kyojin” written by Hajime Isayama draws extensive inspiration Nordic myth such as Snorri’s “Gylfaginning” and “Prose Edda,” creating integral elements and parallels within the story by incorporating fundamental Norse ideologies into the fictional universe’s framework. It is these elements of inter-textuality that create a context in which hermetic moments can be experienced, while expressing creativity through the literary tradition of interpretation through connotation. As for the circle of life, humans for once are on the side of the preys. Why is it wrong for titans to eat us, while it's okay for us to (raise and) kill animals in order to eat them? In this world, the strong are the predators, and the weak are the preys. The strong steal all and win all, the weak get stolen from and lose all. That's just how this rotten world (in reality) works. The anime delves into the "strength" of humans vs the titans. Escaping everyday routine has been a theme in many famous stories, such as "The Dubliners" (read it, very famous). How can a person live when doing the same thing over... and over... and over everyday. How would you feel if you were confined within a small amount of space and never allowed to go outside of that tiny space because you would get eaten mercilessly by a predator out there?
The art and sound in the anime is absolutely spectacular. The soundtrack of Shingeki no Kyojin, composed by Hiruko Sawano is (insert the greatest positive word you can think of). The openings were absolutely incredible as well, and I'm sure that everyone, whether or not you've seen the anime has heard of and fairly enjoyed/absolutely loved the opening, "Guren Yumiya". I believe it's the most famous anime song ever. The art is fairly nicely drawn up, and the drawn up 3D maneuver gear certainly was well made. I must say in terms of visuals, the titans were drawn up to perfection! Their faces are disgustingly disfigured and what is up their skin/teeth! They look creepy as fuck, which is great! As for the characters, each person was fairly well drawn up... Although I wouldn't say great! and the horses/skies/plains (nature) was absolutely beautiful and realistically drawn. I must mention that the freedom of wing capes were quite desirable, very cool capes/art.
Eren is anything but a traditional protagonist. While a typical hero is driven by a great sense of morality, honor, pride, or a desire to make the world a better place for everyone’s sake and not just their own, Eren takes every stereotype and crushes it. Having lost his mother to Titian, monsters that he already despised to begin with, Eren’s motivation to join the military and eradicate the Titans are based purely on his bloodthirsty need for revenge, not his desire to improve the world. While it is true that he has expressed that he wants to see the world outside the walls, he didn’t really show initiative (his crazy hatred) until his mother died (although he did plan on joining the recon corps).Perhaps my favorite trait of Eren is that, even though he’s the main protagonist, he is pretty weak as a fighter. That is a quality that makes Eren very real. He’s not an overpowered main character; he’s human. He has powers, but his powers are pretty much the only reason he’s still alive. He’s not some kind of god, and he’s far from invincible. He’s, at the core, just a very angry boy that has lost his mother and wants to avenge her, and he does so with an unbreakable spirit.
As for Mikasa Ackerman, she is a quiet and withdrawn girl and maintains a near constant stoic expression, except when Eren is in danger. Mikasa's attachment to Eren may or not not go beyond feelings of siblings (well, she is adopted). Mikasa is one of those characters that people will love because first off she's beautiful, secondly she's funny and somewhat kind and mean at the same time, and to top it off, and last not but least she's the concrete definition of badass (kicks some Titan ass).
Last but not least our 3rd main character Armin Arlert, a cowardly smart boy who possesses a sharp mind and a natural intuition for strategy which has proven useful on many occasions. Armin Arlert is a character that some will hate for his cowardice and "no fightingness" but others will like because he actually uses his brain, and you have to feel bad for him for being so very human (fear).
Why did I present dragging info on the characters? Because, their charactistics all add so much to the anime. All the other characters in Shingeki no Kyojin are quite likeable, it's just a shame that a lot of them will die out one by one before your eyes. And of course, I will have to mention Levi because he's obviously the most popular character in Shingeki no Kyojin. Why? Well because first of all, he's smart, secondly he's always composed, thirdly he kicks everyones ass, both humans and titans, fourthly he wants to protect people and is in a way a "jesus" figure to mankind, and lastly and most importantly, his fetish for always cleaning makes him a hilarious character.
Even though the whole concept of naked giants devouring humans sounds a little weird at first, the main idea behind it (that is, humans not being on top of the food chain anymore) is pretty well done and the plot grows into an epic adventure that you would regret not watching. Overall the anime is very enjoyable and although some people may call it overrated (it can't be everyone's favorite anime...) I will tell you that you'd regret not watching it for sure. Epic is written all over the anime.
Conclusion: I guess it's a bit overrated considering it could become the most popular anime of all time, but it's certainly not as bad as a lot of haters claim it is. I guess the hate can't be helped though since with popularity and greatness comes hate. But, people can have different perspectives on things, that's what makes humans so great right? That concludes my review, thanks for reading!~
It pains me in a way to not give Attack on Titan anything but a 10. I completely understand why this show got so popular so fast. I also understand why everybody is impatiently waiting for season 2. I want to say that it is really as flawless as people say it is.
But I can't. While I would genuinely recommend this show, I am still a critic. I still have to acknowledge that this show has problems.
As good as this show is, and it is very, very good, I cannot with a good conscience say that it does not have glaring flaws. The biggest is
the simple fact that this show has too much talk. I know that dialogue is crucial to telling a story and developing character, but there is a time and a place for it. There were several occasions where they have a really good story coming up in what should be the very next episode, but the show digs its heels into the ground and spends an entire episode talking about what was coming. It just seems like whenever this show can build up momentum, it feels the need to deploy the drag chute. This show is not nearly fast-paced enough. But this problem also appears within the action. There are so many five minute long conversations, or inner monologues, or flashback sessions smack in the middle of an action scene. The pacing of this show seriously needs work.
Thankfully, the good aspects of this show trump the bad ones hundredfold. The action is incredible, the art is distinctive, and the voice acting is some of the best that I have ever seen. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. But it is by all means worth watching.
This will be my first ever review on this website, and I figured it best to start with the one series most fresh in my mind. Attack on Titan was one of the most rewarding anime experiences I've ever had. Unique premise, serious characters and a vivid soundtrack and art style make the first season of this show one to remember. I will keep this review spoiler free, as to not ruin the experience for anyone else.
Sometimes animes will fall into the trap of taking themselves too seriously. The main difference about AOT is that it deserves the afforementioned comment.
Humanity is on the brink of extinction, being overrun by several meter tall human-like "titans" that terrorize and eat humans for just the pleasure of it. Humankind has succumbed to building three giant walls to protect themselves against the giants, and all was safe and sound....until the first wall was breached by an abnormally gigantic Titan, allowing the smaller ones to get in and annihilate the city. Eventually the invasion stopped, but the damage had already been done... The number of casualties was astronomical. The story continues by following Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert as they join the military in hopes of avenging the titan's invasion and The death of Eren's mother. Throughout the series, their efforts are pivotal in regaining a stronghold in the apocalyptic world.
One thing I love and hate about this series is the character development. It's just so damn good. At the same token, it occasionally feels so gut punching when a new character's past is explained, and then they are soon after another casualty in the struggle to survive. The amount of emotions that are invoked while one watches AOT are tremendous. I often found myself speaking out loud during a characters close brush with death or laughing during one of Sasha's hungry outbursts. The story in itself is also unique. I had been hearing wayyyy too many of the same plots floating around recently, so it was a breath of fresh air to experience AOT firsthand... At the recommendation of so many friends.
The art style depicted in this series is also quite incredible. Influences by Claymore and Casshern Sins are apparent, drawing from past experience of AOTs writer, Yasuko Kobayashi. I love how dark and gritty the character models can be, and how vivid the backgrounds are drawn. The music is also epic and fanfareish. The 2 openings also represent the growth of the story and are both extremely catchy.
In a nutshell, AOT is an anime not to be missed by any fan, especially if you love action and greatly developed characters. I can't wait until the second season rolls our way soon.
What would happen if humanity was no longer on the top of the food chain? How would we adapt, and how would our perception of the world change? Tetsurō Araki came to answer these questions with the release of his latest series. It is a tale of tragedy and revenge; of uplifting hope and crushing sadness. A love letter to the struggle of humanity and its destructive nature. This is Attack On Titan.
The exact location and time place of AOT is unknown, but based off of the clothing, architectural style and character names it is safe to say that the
series is located around Germany and takes place during the 17th century. Humanity has locked itself away behind three impossibly tall walls named Maria, Rose and Sina. After the outer most wall, Maria is assaulted and damaged titans flood in, starting our tale of woe.
The story of AOT is quite simple, but not in a bad way. Yasuko Kobayashi (the anime writer) didn't over complicate the plot with half baked symbolism or conspiracy pandering. AOT knows exactly where it wants to go and doesn't waste any time getting there. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying the series is dull, far from it actually; I just find it refreshing to watch a show that doesn't spend the first half trying to convince about me how cool and artsy it is. I knew exactly what I was getting, and AOT never changed that. In addition to the narrative, the actual setting is wonderfully crafted. While removed from reality AOT never strays to far from the believable. Everything fits from a historical point of view; the powerful religious presence, the centralized political structure, the proper use of period weaponry. The only problem with the story its pacing. While fine for most the show it does tend to drag between episodes 10-15. The show presents our characters with a simple task that takes them far too long to complete.
On a side note I found a lot of similarities between AOT and the average mecha story line. While AOT is leaps and bounds over most generic mechas I couldn't help, but make some connections. Angry new-comer discovers hidden robot (titan power), uses robot to avenge loved one, fights others with similar robots, gets butt whooped, gets stronger, defeats opponent, rinse and repeat. I just thought it was an interesting notion.
I'll start off this section by saying that, for the most part, AOT was animated by a brand new studio with no other anime under its belt. Studio Wit is a surrogate of the well know studio Production I.G.; so its member clearly have experience, but until AOT they had never worked directly on a project as a singular group. So with this in mind it is literally astonishing how much quality this show has. Seriously, if Attack On Titan were a fruit it would be dripping with the succulent juices of grandeur. Most shows allocate their budgets to the most "important" parts of each episode, i.e. the action scenes. In turn this causes most of the scenes involving dialogue and plot development to come off as unimportant and lack luster; when in reality these scene are just as, if not more, important than the ones involving action. However, the animation for AOT never falters; each scene is given the same amount of care as the others. In addition, this show has an air of excitement about it. I could tell AOT was more than just another job to Studio Wit; they truly care about this series.
Not only is the animation beautiful, the art style itself is brilliant. The varying thicknesses of black borders around each character and object helps to add an increased field of depth during scenes of rapid movement. This creates a sense of urgency whenever the characters use their 3DM/ODM gear, only maximizing the excitement the show puts off. The art of AOT is perfect, literally.
The OST for Attack On Titan should be used as model to teach young composers about the necessary elements that make up a great soundtrack. While not perfect, the OST hits every note it needs to, and then continues on to become even better than required. Even though all the tracks are great in their own right; a few of them managed to reach the "anime peak of greatness status". Those would include the two openings of the series. Which are easily up there with "Cowboy Bebop" and "Baccano!" (btw second opening is best....let the fighting ensue). Sound design on the other hand sits right at the average mark. Most of the sounds are over used, and were never that great to start. So, after a while it can leave a bad taste in your mouth. It works for what it is, but isn't anything to write home about.
As the astute reader you are, I'm sure you have figured out that I will always watch the English dub if available. So how is the Attack On Titan dub? The best way to describe it would be unique. I say that, because some of the voice actors Funimation picked require a certain taste. For example, Bryce Papenbrook choose voice Eren in a very forceful manner. It reminds me how most people sound when they smash their toe; jaw clinched with a slight growl in their voice. Personally, I rather enjoyed the English dub, but I understand that I am in the minority of this one. I would recommend to watch the first four episodes in dub, and decide where to go from there.
In the character department I would compare AOT to the critically acclaimed video game "The Last Of Us". I understand that not everyone is a gamer as I am, but just bare with me here. The characters in both of these are as unoriginal as they come. However, they weave such a unique story and have such interesting development, that in turn, they become fresh and a great enjoyment to watch. Some of the development is a bit rushed at times, but it always comes from a natural progression and doesn't feel forced in the slightest. As any anime junkie would know, that is an accomplishment on its own; especially in this sea of generic rom-coms and forced love triangles. My main complaint is the lack of development for side characters. Some get their deserved screen time, but others only receive some kind of goofy quirk as to be memorable without actually accomplishing anything. We have potato girl (Sasha), bald dude (Connie) and freckles kid (Marco). I want to know their stories and what kind of people they are beyond their stereotypical traits.
All flaws aside, Attack On Titan is one of the most entertaining shows I ever had the pleasure of watching; I can't wait of season 2 to be released. The action is exciting, the story is tense and the animation is beautiful. I give it a rating of Must Watch on my scale of recommendation.
Try The First Couple Episodes
Run For Your Life-Worst
As usual I recommend you buy a copy, and help support our local dubbing companies and the anime industry as a whole. However, just taking the time to watch it is of greater importance.
As a final statement I recommend that you take my numerical scores with a grain of salt; as numerical scores are easily skewed and each person has their own understanding of the 1-10 scale.
I don't think this review will make me very popular, because I didn't really like Attack on Titan. The first time I tried watching it, I found the first episode so boring and discomforting that I stopped right there. However, as the hype increased and people were hailing it as the best anime of the season, I thought I should give it another shot. The next time I tried watching it, I got to about episode 10 and gave up again. It was too much of a struggle for me. Though after 10 episodes I had started to see the value of the show.
I'm sorry, I really am, but there are fundamental structure and pacing issues with AoT. The basic premise is fascinating—a post-apocalyptic world that was ravaged by an almost biblical plague. All of humanity trapped behind walls that are failing to protect them from the monsters outside—but it's execution is lacking. The world, which appears to be richly structured, is never actually elaborated upon: how did they build the walls? What type of social hierarchy exists as a result of the wall? It spends about three episodes on a single battle and then rushes through the training: we go through 5 years in a matter of 3 episodes and then spend another three episodes on what is about a 4 hour period.
There are also some bizarre story telling choices: [SPOILERS] the protagonist is dead for two whole episodes and in that time they decide it's the best moment to do a flashback to a different character's childhood, while we're still in the middle of a battle sequence. I don't care about her childhood and relationship with the main character: all of the characters are currently in mortal danger and the main character is dead. This is simply not the time. [END SPOILER] There are also general pacing issues: it feels slow, yet we aren't given time to get to know the characters so when the inevitably die, it's hard to really care.
The episodes also have a flat out depressing emotional arc. They start with a smidgen of hope that is just continually stomped down until the end of the episode. I'm sorry, but I like my characters to have a win at least SOME of the time.
There is also something lacking in the Titans as enemies. They aren't smart, quick, or focused. Watching battle sequences with them is like watching a bunch of flies swarm around someones head. It's just not very interesting.
The art is outstanding. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It's gorgeous. The backgrounds are rich, the motion is fluid, and the characters just look good. There is CG, but it's well integrated, and the colors are appealing and appropriate. The only caveat I might have is that it's sometimes a little hard to tell characters apart (but when there as many of them as there in AoT, it's inevitably difficult).
The soundtrack is appropriate and distinctive, the voice acting is strong, and the sound effects don't sound unnatural. I only knocked a point off because the opening theme is sometimes a bit much (I was skipping it by episode 3).
Eren is just not a very engaging protagonist. He's a jerk from the moment we meet him, and it feels like he's a jerk for no good reason. He then "redeems" himself by deciding to commit his life to a suicidal pursuit of revenge. I found it's tough to appreciate his character, though I did enjoy his inspirational qualities and his defiance of the hopeless state of humanity.
The side character come off as rather flat. They almost all fit into stereotypes that have predictable story lines. I do enjoy Jean, though, and I would be curious to see if he becomes the essential ally to Eren that I suspect him to be.
It was fun on occasion, but overall it was not very enjoyable or challenging.
This is definitely a good series—and for those who enjoy dark, battle driven series, particularly fantasy, I highly suggest it (though I warn that I loved Code Geass, another dark, battle driven series, but disliked this). I hesitate, however to call it great.
Attack on Titan is one of the manga turned to anime on recent period. It is an Action anime with focus on tragedy and very dark tone, yet maintaining some Shonen-esque messages such as trust and overcoming fears.
While the story isn't as rich as other shows in general, it is rather a very fresh take on human tragedy without reusing much of the usual apocalypse elements. There is also much lore in the world to keep creative fans making fanworks and adaptions of the world of Attack on Titan. The thrill element is very high and makes you eager to see what's next.
Keep in mind
this anime covers only a portion of the manga and stops at the end of an arc. You will have to wait for the 2nd season or continue on in the manga.
The visuals are extremely unique in style and well done. The value here nearly matches an OVA/Movie feels.
People are digging the opening song of the show as well as some soundtracks. However for me it is good but other than the opening, I didn't feel much uniqueness to the soundtracks or specific themes to get attached with. Voice acting is good enough but there is no memorable voice so far.
There are lots of variety of characters and they have high appealing. However, in term of design and visual uniqueness, it is very limited since everyone is sticking to his uniform.
The action scenes are well done specially nearing the ending of the show.
If you are into action, thrill, tragedy and want something that feels new, do not miss this anime.
If there was ever an anime experience that would leave you needing therapy, marathon-watching Shingeki no Kyojin is it. Perhaps this is the best way to watch this series; by the end, you'd be so emotionally exhausted and mangled, you'll know what total despair is like. Not since Berserk have I seen an anime capable of utterly destroying... hope. Yet in spite of its soul-crushing hopelessness, Shingeki no Kyojin is entirely about hope. Without it, mankind would have nothing.
In this world, giants roam the land. These "titans" (as it's been anglicised) prey on human beings. They are brutal, violent and unstoppable. Their arrival is as
mysterious as their motives. They do not eat to live. They do not eat anything else. They consume human beings and vomit them out. Humans have become worse than livestock on the food chain. At least sheep or cows are eaten for a reason. There is no discernible purpose for why the titans eat humans. They just do, and living with this fear and confusion behind the giant walls of the last known stronghold is the dwindled population of all of humanity. They've been able to keep the titans out for over a hundred years. Life in a cage, but life nonetheless.
Shingeki no Kyojin begins with the protagonist Eren Jaeger questioning whether this kind of life is worth it. Freedom does not mean breathing boxed in, awaiting death. That's not life and he vows to use whatever power he has to fight the titans. With him is Mikasa, a girl adopted by his family, and his friend Armin. While Eren is strong-willed and rash, Mikasa is calculated and fierce and Armin is thoughtful and soft-hearted; the trio play off one another's strengths and weaknesses in order to survive. And this anime becomes a war for survival.
Eren makes for a dependable protagonist. He carries the series well, despite having some "shounen hero" tendencies but perhaps his enthusiasm is necessary in a world where people drop their swords and flee in the face of danger or who opt to police within the safe walls of the rich inner cities. However, Mikasa is probably the show's great hero. Powerful, naturally gifted and determined, she carries Eren whenever he falls. As he is her only family, she is terribly protective of him. She lives entirely for him, and this may seem to be the only detriment to her character, but her loyalty to him is understandable when you learn of their past. Armin will be nobody's favourite off the bat. Wimpy, small and unable to fight, he has developed his intellect instead. The other characters are well-crafted and have distinct personalities (though they are just as many "Who's that again?" ones as well). Some of the stand-outs are Levi, a very short, extremely experienced and talented captain, Sasha, a girl who seems to gladly choose getting punched in the face by her superiors if it means she can get a potato, Annie, who like Mikasa is very strong and capable, and Jean, a spoiled and cowardly soldier who eventually becomes someone whose growth you can possibly be proud of. It's easy to like them... but maybe it's not entirely wise.
One of Shingeki no Kyojin's characteristics is that nothing and nobody is safe. It is not afraid of itself. It does not shy away from brutalising its audience or characters because honestly, this is a horrible place and time to be alive. It constantly reminds you of human mortality and fragility. Some people might tell you "don't get attached to anyone". Sound advice, but you won't take it. The characters in this series are constructed so well that you will root for them as they pick up their swords and then cry out in disbelieving grief as you see them crushed like a mosquito. Blood and then silence. It's not entirely right to say "nobody is safe" as plot-immortality applies to certain characters and that is quite evident. Although the anime is going to make you doubt yourself.
Gone are the anime physics where someone can go flying into a wall and can get up without a scratch. If someone flies into a wall in this anime, that's it. Game over, man. Game over. This is no anime for children; it is a complete bloodbath. It is not afraid to show you crushed limbs, torn-away faces, stinking, steaming bones, people's necks being snapped like chickens. It doesn't shy away from letting you hear screams of people facing their last moment on earth.
But it's not the violence alone that will sock you hard ones to the stomach -- it's the story itself. The concepts behind what is presented and also actual events will have you reeling. The second arc of this anime more or less will have you screaming "NO, IT CAN'T BE". Because you simply don't want to believe what you're seeing or who it involves. The entire series will have you holding your head wondering what is going on. The characters themselves don't really know, and you share that confusion with them. Shingeki no Kyojin's story is by far one of the most creative and well-crafted in modern anime history. It has the right tone, focus and content. It develops surprisingly at every turn. This is an anime you cannot necessarily lay out a trajectory for in terms of what is going to happen. You take every episode like it is tomorrow -- you ultimately cannot know what can or will happen.
Visually, it boasts some finely animated fight scenes, especially when the soldiers use their gear to go "flying" through the city. This gear is pretty inventive and can be likened to Spider-Man's web-slinging. The soldiers train to be agile and precise using this gear as it catapults them through the air. The best users of this know how to manoeuvre throughout a city block, across a titan's back or across the sky as though it were their first nature. The animation makes sure to keep you on your toes during action scenes, angling shots to keep momentum or knowing just how close to do a close-up for the best effect. The dark lines and general colourlessness of the art style keeps with the tone of the overall series. However, you can see where budgetary shortcuts were had, and while nothing to deter from the series, it is not quite perfect. Music-wise, the sound builds on the horror and the dramatic tension, and while some tracks are certainly recognisable as you watch on, they aren't entirely memorable.
Shingeki no Kyojin is all about experiencing it. You can have time later to think about what's happening or to theorise, but there is no time for that in the midst of watching. There are only held breaths, churning stomachs, wide eyes and feelings of absolute horror. There are times when humanity seems to be getting somewhere, where you think, okay, there's a chance now. Hope. It exists somewhere, as small as it might be, hidden in the depths of crushing losses and corpses and city rubble. It's there, and that's what Eren and his friends will give their lives to find.
It's nice to have an anime this popular that isn't just tsundere school rom-com no' 10746 for a change. But does that alone make said anime great? No, not really.
This is a spoiler free review.
*Insert synopsis here*
Aside from the monsters being replaced with Titans and the interesting weaponry the people have, we've definitely seen similar stories in anime before, whether it's Claymore, Blue Gender and maybe even Highschool of the Dead.
Leaving that aside though, it doesn't do a very good job with its narrative. The story relies on coincidences, has forced exposition, uneventful pacing and it also has unexplored themes that are tossed away as
soon as they're raised.
The setting in general is poorly explored. For example, they make it clear that there's a slave trade going on within these walls, but that issue is never raised again. Apparently they also have religious sects that worship these walls as deities or something, but that's never explored either, aside from killing them off in an ironic and disrespectful manner (hah! that'll teach those religious people for having faith and hope!). There are even social classes among citizens, and of course, the higher the class, the more evil you are (that's how it works in cliché land), but even that is just there to show us what good people the main characters are by comparison.. They also present corruption within the military and competition amongst its different branches. Granted, the latter is explored a little, but the former is hardly touched and is just there to shock you. So despite how rich the setting seems at first, at the end of the day all you will care for is the fight against the titans since the rest just remains background decoration.
It's a common thing to say that the first episode is Amazing, but I wasn't impressed. To me, the first episode is also the first mistake it made. It seemed deliberately rushed in an attempt to make the audience gasp at the sudden deaths of characters we know nothing about (pure shock effect).
This is the first mistake because the pacing does slow down significantly later on and I think the first episode was the only one worthy of getting fleshed out more, instead of diving in to the massacre straight away. The rest of the episodes don't even exploit most of their slow pacing very well. It has a habit of slowing down deliberately in order to end most episodes on a cliffhanger. Sure, it might raise the tension, but it also serves to make the series less eventful inside its already limited number of episodes (which means less of a story).
And maybe I'm just nitpicking here, but the exposition insults me. It assumes I'm a retard who can't put 2 and 2 together and the characters have to go out of their way to explain things about their world that they should already know just by being born there. This show could've had no dialogue whatsoever and I still could've picked up on a great deal of what's going on. So the script just comes off as amaturish.
And like I said, the story also relies on occurrences that are not very likely, but because it involves the main characters, anything is possible. It's nothing that bad or distracting, but I'm still gonna go on a limb here and say; that's not good storytelling.
Lastly, it just ends in the middle of nowhere and leaves you with nothing but another cliffhanger (surprise, surprise).
To be fair though, the setting is still pretty creative (as unexplored as it is) and it does do a decent job in foreshadowing some interesting plot twists and gradually revealing mysteries, mainly about the Titans. But that's pretty much it and even that is incomplete for now.
These are tired shonen characters who are completely out of place.
You have a Mary Sue who's super strong for no good reason, the smart one and mr angry pants.
Granted, Eren, the angry one has good reasons to be angry, it's completely understandable. Unfortunately, that's pretty much all he is and it's probably not the best idea to have him as a main character since it gets old really fast.
You also have Mikasa who's an absolute perfect being for some reason (I gave up on questioning it). We can't make her flawed of course since that'd mean she'll have room for character depth, we can't have that. And there's simply nothing to remember her for besides her relationship with Eren, being perfect and her sexy lips. So yeah, a lame character with no development and the most ludicrous backstory I've seen in a while, which also happens to be Eren's backstory. Which explains why she's his pet.
The third character is Armin, the weak but smart one. I guess he's ok, since he does seem to grow more than the other two.. Aside from that he's forgettable as well since this show's characterization in general is very shonenish and obnoxious in an otherwise dark setting. "The power of friendship!" (ok, they don't actually say that, but they come pretty close).
By the way, these 3 characters are each supposed to complete each other with their traits, which is a nice idea, but that fact is stated directly to the viewer, much like everything else in this series (so much for subtlety).
There's also another notable character named Jean, who's kinda like the Vegeta or the rival in a shonen series. And much like Vegeta, he's the only one who goes through actual growth and he even reacts to the events in a way that resembles a human being. Too bad he wasn't the main character, he suits the grim setting much better than the others.
The secondary characters are defined mainly by their quirks or their looks and there are others who are just evil for the sake of being hated by the audience and aren't shown more than once. Many secondary characters aren't fleshed out and the vast majority of deaths in this series are of nameless characters or ones you don't remember. It's understandable considering the circumstances, but that just makes the main cast appear more plot armored than they already are.
On the other hand, the characterization of common people during the intense moments is pretty decent. Probably a little over the top at times, but I still think it was handled rather well with how they panic and such.
Overall the characters could've been worse, I mean at least they have character consistency, they are given some focus and I should probably applaud them for not being overly sexualized, which is a very rare thing in anime these days. But I have no clue what people see in them since most of them are pretty simple and feel ridiculously out of place.
*Art & Sound*
I'll cover this part more briefly.
The character designs are kind of unique, I guess. I actually like the thick outlines the artwork has, you really don't see those much anymore. The surroundings look beautiful, both the forests and the towns. Everything just seems gigantic. The animation itself (while not always consistent) is great and the battles with the 3d camera movement is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Though I wasn't too thrilled about most of the Titan designs, and some are significantly cooler than others.
The opening song is arguably one of the best openings in recent years, it's just masterful (too bad opening 2 happened midway). Same goes for the soundtrack in general which is beautifully intense and makes everything seem more epic. The voice acting is nothing special and maybe even over the top, but I realize that the script probably told them to scream a lot, which is not always easy to pull off so give them some slack.
I enjoyed some of it, but from a point on I mainly just watched it apathetically. I do concede that it's not a boring watch, that's for sure.
I've been mostly negative in this review, but to be fair it was still a fine show, or at least passable in some respects and the production values are great. But I doubt it will stand the test of time