Hundreds of years ago, horrifying creatures which resembled humans appeared. These mindless, towering giants, called "titans," proved to be an existential threat, as they preyed on whatever humans they could find in order to satisfy a seemingly unending appetite. Unable to effectively combat the titans, mankind was forced to barricade themselves within large walls surrounding what may very well be humanity's last safe haven in the world.
In the present day, life within the walls has finally found peace, since the residents have not dealt with titans for many years. Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert are three young children who dream of experiencing all that the world has to offer, having grown up hearing stories of the wonders beyond the walls. But when the state of tranquility is suddenly shattered by the attack of a massive 60-meter titan, they quickly learn just how cruel the world can be. On that day, Eren makes a promise to himself that he will do whatever it takes to eradicate every single titan off the face of the Earth, with the hope that one day, humanity will once again be able to live outside the walls without fear.
Shingeki no Kyojin won the Kodansha Manga Award in the shounen category in 2011 and was nominated for both the 16th and 18th annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize as well as the 4th Manga Taishou Award. The series was the second highest selling manga series of 2013, with 15,933,801 copies sold.
It has received several spin-off series—both manga and novel; two guidebooks titled Inside and Outside were released on April 9 and September 9, 2013, featuring concept art, character profiles and interviews, which were combined into one and published by Kodansha USA on September 16, 2014; a drama CD created with the anime's staff was included in the January 2014 issue of the magazine; and a two-part live-action film directed by Shinji Higuchi was released in Japanese theaters on August 1 and September 15, 2015 respectively.
Shingeki no Kyojin has been published in English as Attack on Titan by Kodansha Comics USA since June 19, 2012 and in large-size 5-in-1 omnibus editions (subtitled Colossal Edition) since May 27, 2014. Kodansha USA's English release won the 2014 Harvey Award for Best American Edition of Foreign Material. Crunchyroll simulpublishes the manga digitally. The manga has also been published in French by Pika Édition, in Italian by Planet Manga, in German by Carlsen Comics, in Spanish by Norma Editorial in Spain and by Ovni Press in Argentina, in Portuguese by Panini Comics, in Polish by Japonica Polonica Fantasica, in Chinese by Tong Li Publishing Co., Ltd., in Filipino by VIVA-PSICOM Publishing Corporation, in Finnish by Sangatsu Manga, and in Russian by Azbooka.
I was unsure if I would ever find another manga good enough to deserve my reviewing. And after reading volume six of Shingeki no Kyojin I can safely say the wait is over. What a manga!
Throughout the history of action manga there have been hordes of fantastically evil creatures ganging up on any shounen hero that dares get in their way. Whether it be demons, hollows, or demons again one thing was always certain: Even though the characters appeared scared you knew everything would be okay. A main character can't die to one random monster out of the horde. They deserve noble deaths via
human vs human fights.
Shingeki no Kyojin abandons decades of stereotypes and does it in remarkable fashion. Never have I been so afraid, so physically frightened by "just another mob of pure evil monsters". In Shingeki the monster of choice happens to be giants. They don't have any special powers and in fact they aren't particularly massive considering they're giants. They walk, run, and even crawl around on the ground with blank, sometimes even silly faces and do nothing but eat and mangle every human in sight. This is something the mangaka has perfected despite the fact that this is the first manga he's ever written. Every single time a giant appears on the page your heart will start racing and your palms will become sweaty. Where do they come from and why do they devour humans despite having no anatomical need for it?
These are all questions the mangaka presents early and skillfully hasn't answered yet. He's also created an incredibly thought-out world with paragraphs at the end of most chapters explaining things that would bore readers if squeezed into speech bubbles. Including, but not limited to: three-dimensional flying gear, anatomy of a giant, construction of the cities three walls, battle formations, and a type of strange retractable sword. The world feels rich and thought-out and will almost certainly suck in anyone who gives Shingeki no Kyojin a chance.
I'm going to be perfectly honest and say that the artwork in the first two volumes is as close to shit as it gets. Actions aren't drawn very well, details aren't drawn very well, and its clear the mangaka had trouble drawing body proportions. But when volume three started it was almost like a switch was flipped and the art wasn't nearly as bad anymore. In fact, after having just finished the sixth volume, its among some of the better art I've seen in a manga. Characters are drawn very different from one another and have a crisp yet visibly sketchy feel to them. And the Giants! They slide around with their giant heads, oddly proportioned bodies, and silly facial expressions just creeping the shit out of me. The mangaka is very talented at drawing characters experiencing the scariest moment of their entire lives. What a bonus the art became in volume three, adding fear on top of fear to make one of the most chilling manga experiences even more so.
Everybody is somebody. "What's the point of writing about a character with no personality or back story?" - Is what I imagine the mangaka asks himself before deciding to throw a new character into the mix. You'll find no blank-faced bad asses in this manga. You also won't find too many people with happy child-hoods either. Even though this is listed as a shounen it deals with very dark themes more suited for a seinen. Characters are often showed rattled and sometimes mentally scared from seeing their comrades get their heads bitten off in front of them. Either way, there is plenty of page time devoted to understanding characters and their roots.
The depth of the world is immense.
The art is very good (eventually).
Characters are deep.
The suspense is great.
The giants are TERRIFYING!
It's rare to find a manga that does so many different things so well. Whenever a new volume comes out I always know I'm in for another great experience I can't get anywhere else.
I can't give a perfect score to a manga with so few chapters so early in it's life span. But trust me; if the same amount of enjoyment I've experience in the first six volumes continues throughout the rest of the series it would be a 10 no doubt.
You've gotta give this manga a shot. It's doing things that haven't really been done before, or at least not to this level. I'm setting the standard right now: You can't call yourself a fan of manga without reading Shingeki no Kyojin. Now get reading!
*This review made possible by AironicallyHuman, who recommended this manga to me
Shingeki no kyojin otherwise known as Attack on Titan. This series before the anime wasn't popular in the west, but it was fairly popular in Japan being in the top 15/10 best selling manga in 2011/2012. After the airing of the anime it became a mega hit series.
Now before you give this review a not helpful vote because of the 10/10 score. At least read what I have to say before doing your deed. I'm more interested that you guys read my review than anything else. Now let's begin!
"Spoiler free review!"
Story: 10/10. The plot/story IMO is snk strongest point. "Titans" these monstrous looking creatures that
comes in different shapes and size. Their main and only goal is to eat "humans" 100 years ago humans where forced to live Inside the walls which are over 50 meters tall, to stop the titans from getting in. This series is full of mysteries for eg. who or what created the walls? Are titans natural creatures? Who created titan shifters? Why were they created? This is just a small dose of the amount of mysteries in snk. Snk is a mystery series with horror elements in it. The plot/story is snk strongest point, but it can be a disadvantage to the series itself. Why? Because the story is setup in a way where it doesn't spoon feed you answers right away, and if the readers don't pay attention to the story. They will forget things that were earlier "foreshadowed" also the series being a monthly manga doesn't help. A lot of complaint I've heard about the series is that it feels like the author is making up things as it goes or pulling things out of his ass. Now this isn't the case. Snk is one of those series that gets better when you reread it. When you reread the series you will see the amount of foreshadowing/hints the author puts in the early chapters of the series. Things that has been foreshadowed in the very first volume is now being answered currently in the latest chapters of the manga. What does this tells you? It tells you that the author has planned out everything already, and he already knows how the story will conclude. The world building in snk is impressive! The amount of details the author puts in his world building is just great. Thd mysteries of the series and the overall plot is just so engaging. You just want to know the answers. This is one of the reasons snk has a lot of theory threads around the net. You know the TV series called "lost" that's the vibes I get from snk story. Except snk will answer our question and not give us any bullshit....I'm not going to go there. Anyways read over this series at least once. You will have a better understanding of the overall plot. And you will be less likely to ask stupid questions. Sadly not everyone is willing or have the time to read over the series. Sigh.
Art: 8/10. You guys must be saying in your mind. "what!? O.O 8/10 for snk art? fanboy alert!" lol, let me explain why I gave it a 8/10. At first I didn't like the art. But I slowly started to like the art. The main reason is because the roughness in the art fits the horror theme very well In this series, I don't think the series would successfully have the "horror" feel to it if it had something like, the Levi spin off manga. I do have to say I don't think the art is as bad as people are making it out to be. I think the scan is mostly at fault for this, if you buy the actual volume you will notice it looks much better than the online scans. Compare crunchy roll scans with manga panda and mangastream scans you will see a difference in quality.
Characters: 8/10. A lot of people say snk characters are flat/one dimensional. You will also notice that most of the peeps that said it are anime only viewers. Now, the first 30+ chapters which is basically the 1st season of the anime are mostly use to introduce us to the big cast of characters. The author flesh out the 3 main characters which are Eren, Mikasa and Armin. The secondary characters are not shown too often so obviously the readers won't be too interested in them. And I'm not talking about redshirts characters I'm talking about the characters that we will get to grow with during the series. IMO. Armin and jean got the most development in the first 30 chapters, although they are both my least favorite characters. Now around chapter 35 is when the author starts to give focus on the secondary characters. And start to flesh them out more as in making us know their motives and also how they fit in the story/plot overall. There is a few more characters that needs some fleshing out/character development. But overall Isayama is doing a solid job with his character especially in a story driven series. About the female characters, I like how he balance it out as in making both the male and female cast both having important roles in the story.
Enjoyment: 10/10. This series is very enjoyable. Not only it has a great story but also it has plenty of action in it that gives me goosebumps. I also like how strategic the fights are in attack on titan especially when it comes to titan vs titan fight. There is no get angry enough and you will win type of fights. Female titan vs eren is a good eg. And I'm not talking about the anime filler with fire titan eren. Or power of friendship defeat the bad guys. If you don't stay calm and think logically you are going to lose. Finding weaknesses and exploiting them is what attack on titan fights are about. Eren vs armored titan is another good eg to that. overall I enjoy the living hell out of this series. The conspiracy, the mystery, the action/horror it all makes this series a series to remember.
Overall: 10/10. As I said before, if you want full enjoyment for this series. Re read it. If you are caught up and you're lost on the plot or you just feel you're forgetting things. Just reread it, pay attention and analyze everything. When you reread this series you will notice a lot of things you didn't notice the first time. Its also funny when you're rereading the manga and you know all the traitors in the series. You will also see how suspicious they were. Anyways time to wrap things up. Don't breeze through the chapters when reading it, take your time and enjoy the series for what it's. Whoever that has made it this far, thnx for reading! And I hope you have a wonderful day.
I will be concise. This review is based on the manga till the end of volume 3.
Shingeki no Kyojin is a unique manga, in that it is bears more of a resemblance to Western fiction than to Japanese fiction. In some ways, it is similar to Gantz, but overall it borrows heavily from western steampunk and fantasy novels.
Even though I'm only 3 volumes in, it is apparent that the story has immense potential.
The immense world around the small area in which the story is set is shrouded in mystery. Absolutely nothing can be guessed about it at this point. In the future, the
manga will most probably involve revelations and discoveries about this world.
Incidents in the protagonists' past are being gradually revealed. The main character seems to have some form of memory loss. While this may seem cliché, so far it has being handled well.
The author appears to have an extensive understanding of the world he has created, in the vein of JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth.
In addition, the steampunk technology used is fairly believable, and even explained at the end of chapters.
I must confess the revelation of the main character's power took me completely by surprise. This leads me to believe that the author will handle plot twists very well.
The art, while not bad by any means, has a tendency to be slightly rough. It is completely hand drawn. The illustrations of the giants are quite impressive, and character design is unique. Backgrounds are some times less detailed, while distant shots of characters tend to be "derpy". None of this takes away from enjoyment.
Note that the art has steadily improved through the chapters.
There is a multitude of characters besides the protagonists that may be important later on.
Character emotions are handled quite well and are very believable.
The main characters all have rather engaging, if somewhat cliché personalities.
So far, there hasn't been too much character development, but this far in, that is only to be expected.
Action scenes well done and never seem drawn-out. There is a fairly large amount of blood and gore. Story pacing is excellent. Never a boring moment.
This is definitely one for the long run.
Is it money, love, property, or something else? Well, everyone has his or her own ideas but for there's one thing we all have in common and that's the fact that we are all living beings that breathes in and out. We live by and enjoy life as best as we can. But what if that right is certainly put into jeopardy? What if a day comes when the place we live in no longer remains safe? Well, those are probably questions not many of us think about too often but for Mankind in this manga, those
questions are people's heads every single day of their lives.
Unfortunately, one day, some of those questions finally came with answers..in the worst way possible.
Shingeki no Kyojin (or by its more commonly known English title "Attack on Titan") is a Japanese manga written by Hajime Isayama. The series takes place in an alternative setting of the middle ages, a dark times when mankind is threatened by the appearances of giants. The human population is in jeopardy and often times, fear fuels both hatred and determination to live and eradicates the titans that threatens their very lives every day.
Well for starters, I am pleased to say that Shingeki no Kyojin is a great manga to have in almost anyone's collection. I am not very familiar with the author. However, what I am familiar with is the way he presents his piece of work. By the name of the title "Attack on Titan", one may assume that the manga is related to a fantasy/adventure type genre series. Of course, you would be right if that was your assumption. However, this series marks more of a dark fantasy tale of horror and tragedy as from the very first chapters, we learn of the consequences Mankind starts dealing with.
The main character of the story is a young boy named Eren. Throughout his childhood, he has lived with his foster sister Mikasa Ackerman, his best friend Armin Arlart, and his mother. On the surface, readers may find his character to be impulsive, violent, and often or not acts without thinking. In other words, he is the type of guy that resorts to action rather than strategy. Unfortunately for him and his family, violence and action comes no less than from the giants. We are quickly introduced to a colossal titan from the very beginning as it makes history that levers the walls which stood between Mankind and the giants. Although not seemingly realistic, we can can imagine the people going through as the giants makes their way through and shattering the peace that Mankind has built for nearly a century. It is staggering and more so after these tragic events that would change Eren and his life forever.
Luckily, Eren seemingly follows a path of valor and plays the role of a protagonist rather than as a vengeful anti-hero. Although he displays his thoughts of vengeance at many times, Eren keeps his mind in check that what he's doing is for sake of Mankind and its existence. Speaking of which, Mikasa also plays her roles well. For a female character, she is very intelligent, resourceful, and independent enough to land some kills against the giants themselves. We can see easily that Mikasa plays the anti-thesis of the gender role from the middle ages as she displays superhuman like behavior throughout the manga.
The other characters throughout the manga also gets their own development, spotlights, and in more mysterious ways; some that holds secrets where we may never have imagined them to be. Among these secrets involves the giants and Eren's identity. Speaking of which, at many occasions, the manga explores the theme of identity and what people sees themselves as. For example, Armin Arlart is often confused about his place as a member of the military. He often seems to blame himself as being useless despite his ability to help out others at crucial times that have saved the lives of his dear friends. Mankind itself also begins to mount resistance and making its race a name for the giants to fear. Every drop of blood is a loss for humanity and with population staggering, everyone tries to contribute their efforts against their ultimate enemy – the Giants.
Well, that of course brings us to the very horror that started it all. The Giants.
The manga captures the horror of what Giants truly are. On the surface, they have humanoid-like structure such as their facial features and similarly shaped body resemblance with the same amount. However, what they lack is empathy and seemingly exist for the purposes to kill. Rather than feeding, these Giants are the true adversaries and destroyers of Mankind. However at the same time, the series inspires mystery as to their origins and how they came to exist in such a world. Nevertheless, their behavior spells out more words than action as they live to devour humans and make Mankind a living nightmare. Among other factors, the titans are classified differently for variant types. There are the normal titans, armored titan, muscular titan, ape-like titan, hairy titan, and of course the Colossal titan that started the conflict all over again. They are true horrors and the executioners of Mankind.
The manga series adapts the medieval-like feeling well. At many times, we can see that Mankind really did put effort into creating the peace they desired. The outer later of Wall Maria stands tall and proud as it has outlasted over a century. Among other factors are the inner walls, cannons, and guns. Most curiously though is the usage of a device known as the Three Dimensional Maneuver Gear. The device functions as both a tool and weapon used against the giants for those who have enough skills. Those who truly wishes to protect Mankind and challenge against the giants enlists in the military for crude training against what they both fear and hate.
Among other things, there seems to be some symbolism throughout the manga. The walls stands for both a physical feature but also seems to symbolize the way Mankind seems to isolate themselves as an united race. Mankind knows that without cooperation, death will likely resurface and blood will be spilled. Then, there's the idea of survival of the fittest. If we look carefully, those who have the skills, intellect, and determination will have the potential to make it through. Those that are weak, reliant, and doubting themselves are the first to die. It is a cruel world and the giants themselves makes that world into reality.
While the realism of the the series is a bit weak, I do find that horrors portrayed in this manga is well executed. The giants seems to lack motive to killing people but when they do, it always ends brutal that leaves behind both physical and mental scars. Some of these may never be healed. In more than one way, the giants plays the role of the super power as they strives to dominate against humanity. More curiously enough, not all of them are as mindless as we may think. But nonetheless, the giants are the horrors that mankind must deal with. The gore and violence presented gives readers a visually sense of just how serious the situation is. It's a cruel, cruel world out there.
There are many questions that needs answers still with this manga. However, by the way of Mankind's expressions, they are not very patient. This manga published by Kodansha is ultimately a piece of work that I enjoyed reading so far. There are some distractions occasionally with the gore and may frustrate readers with the mystery aspect of the work, especially in regards to Mankind's ultimate enemy. However, it has collected enough interests with the origins of its presentation, delivery, artwork, and for me is an enjoyable read. It's a horrific tale that questions how fragile lives can be in a world that rains of blood, terror, and destruction.
[Note: This is my first manga review. Feedback is welcome]