Attack on Titan – Review
Attack on Titan:
Original Air Dates: April 7th, 2013 – September 29th, 2013
Synopsis: After the appearance of humanoid giants (known only as Titans) civilization crumbled. Titans were unstoppable as they seemingly attacked mankind for but one purpose: to eat humans. Forced to retreat, mankind built a massive series of walls to protect themselves, essentially boxing the last of the humans within, safe from the unstoppable hordes of Titans. One hundred years have passed and mankind has become complacent within the walls, no longer fearing the hordes of Titans beyond their sanctuary, secure in their belief that these towering barriers are impenetrable. Eren Yeager, a young boy, is dissatisfied with his life within the walls. He yearns to venture outside, to explore the world that is now firmly within the grasp of the Titans. Eren seeks to one day join the Survey Corps, a section of the human military whose purpose is to venture beyond the walls and battle with the Titans in hopes of one day learning the secret to their existence. Mikasa, Eren’s “sister” is against his one day joining the Recon Corps, as are his parents. But things take a terrible turn when a Titan, far more powerful than any seen before, easily smashes through the walls thought to be impenetrable. Eren and Mikasa are powerless as their everyday lives are shattered beneath the might of the Titans. Is this the end of humanity?
Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: With Attack on Titan’s second season finally looming in the distance it’s high time we had a review for the 1st season. Of all the Spring/Summer 2013 anime this is definitely one of the few worth going back for. Not only does it have one of the most engaging stories of that period, but its artistic direction, music and more are to die for. The opening few episodes might feel a tad slow, particularly after we get past the explosive first episode, and I know I myself wasn’t entirely hooked from the start, but it’s well worth staying with until it picks up a few episodes in.
Linny: Attack on Titan is one of the most popular series in recent years and even helped anime become somewhat more mainstream. For me, it did a great job of hooking you in right from its very first episode, presenting just enough mystery, action and drama to grab the audience’s attention and imagination, leaving you eager to find out more. The show does a commendable job of balancing action, drama, suspense and comedy to present a story that’s intense without feeling ridiculous or overwhelming.
Tom: Once we get into the meat of Attack on Titan’s story, and witness a certain shocking revelation, is where the show really shines. Outside of a few pacing issues there’s very little fault I find with Attack on Titan as a whole. It has great characters, an intriguing story and plenty of suspense. There’s complaints I have with the manga, and material likely to be covered over the series’ second season, but what’s offered here is phenomenal. There are a couple smaller issues however, the first being Eren, our lead character himself.
Linny: Eren isn’t a perfect protagonist in that his character can be annoying and frustrating at times though it was clearly done to inject some extra drama into the story. Attack on Titan also has a tendency to be somewhat mysterious and under explores a lot of its cast in an attempt to maintain that air of mystery, but that can also feel like another source of frustration or annoyance for people who prefer to know characters in more detail.
Tom: Attack on Titan’s greater mysteries mostly go unanswered by the end of its twenty-five episode run. In fact, more questions are raised than directly addressed. At the time of my first viewing I didn’t know where any of it might lead, but having read the manga I can say there’s concrete details and explanations for near everything presented here. The trouble is whether those answers will indeed be satisfying. And I’m kind of leaning towards no for most audiences. The reveals are a bit ‘out there’ and while they contain very much the same tone and attitude as the rest of the series, they’re likely to be more unsatisfying than many would have imagined. That’s not really a fault of what’s here though, and if you’re okay with answers that may not satisfy, this first season’s build up is right on the money, doing more than enough to suck most audiences in and firmly entice them to the franchise.
Linny: The plot of Attack on Titan is definitely its biggest strength and Season 1 does an amazing job of adapting the source material into a story that does it justice. Now that it’s been several years since the conclusion of the first season, and the story continues in manga form with an upcoming second season, the fear back then of the story ending abruptly without answering any of its mysteries has been swayed. And speaking of the early years, unless you are a diehard fan of manga over anime, Attack on Titan , the early story is BEST experienced through the show as the art in the manga is downright painful. For all the criticisms one might have about the animation or style of the show, I would argue that it actually lends itself well to the dismal atmosphere of the story and while there are noticeable dips in quality every now and then, it’s still paradise compared to what you’d find in the manga.
Tom: Attack on Titan isn’t perfect, like its die-hard fan base might want you to believe. But it is definitely deserving of its long-awaited upcoming sequel. If you’re comfortable with its high levels of violence, and enjoy a fantasy world steeped in mystery, it’s almost a must watch. We’re finally on the cusp of a proper follow up, and it’ll be interesting to see if the audience from almost four years ago is still eagerly waiting. But for anyone who hasn’t jumped in yet, now seems the perfect time.
Linny: Attack on Titan has basically become one of the staples of modern anime. One would be hard pressed to find an anime fan who hasn’t heard of or watched the show and its first opening song is iconic in and of itself. If you’ve been living under a rock or are new to anime and enjoy stories of desperate survival with lots of action and violence, Attack on Titan is a must watch.