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Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack On Titan) Review

Hi guys! Its Titan Week here at Tokengeery and I am kicking this off with one of my favourite animes Attack On Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin).

From Bottom: Mikasa, Armin, Levi and Erin (Source)

Attack on Titan started as a Japanese Shonen manga by Hajime Isayama and has gradually become an anime, video game and live action movie watched by fans worldwide.

So what is this particular anime about?
One hundred years before the start of the story, the human race is nearly wiped out by the appearance of the Titans. Large, naked humanoid like creatures that devour humans, not for sustenance, but as far as we know for no apparent reason. A large wall is built around the human settlements by the survivors and humanity lives in relative safety for 100 years.

The story follows 3 young children, Erin, Mikasa and Armin; as they become teenagers and soldiers following the Titans' return.

If you've never seen Attack on Titan here's a peek at what's it like in a short AMV set to the James Bond Skyfall theme.

I was definitely late to the party with this one. I kept hearing people talking about 'Attack on Titan' and after seeing the anime style, I thought "Nah, Bro. This one isn't for me". After repeatedly hearing about it and then finding it on Netflix and the rumours of a live action movie (no longer rumours) I decided to find out what all the hype was about.

I was not disappointed
Episode One did not disappoint hooking you in with a tale of despair and woe for the human race. The Titans attack and break through the Wall surrounding the last of the human race. My absolutely favourite type of fantasy/scifi story is anything post-apocalyptic, so I thought I might as well give it a go. I mean I can't hate it, right?

So after episode 3 (my usually cut off for whether a story is any good), I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue. It had become quite slow and I couldn't understand what everybody loved about this anime. Frankly it was dry and boring and the drama of the first episode had not continued. No more Titans, we were introduced to more characters and there were lots of patriotic speeches (Yawn!) A week or so later I gave it another go and made it to episode 8. Wowza, completely unexpectedly it was 3:00 in the morning and I was still watching. I couldn't stop. The Titans return in spectacular fashion.

So after meeting all these great characters half of them are killed within minutes of the Titan return, I was like Wah!! I really liked that guy. Then out of the blue one of the major and I mean major characters dies. I felt like the Mountain had killed the Viper all over again (GoT Spoiler). Then another twist and another and I couldn't stop watching.

The Artistry
The only thing that kept me from loving it immediately was the animation style. Its not my favourite. Most animation now a days is becoming computer generated, and I feel like this anime relied heavily on this. It took me a while to adjust to this and then actually start to love it.

I found the drawing of the Titans just amazing to look at. It wasn't until I got a good look at the Colossal Titan, that I really started to love the look of the animation style and understand why the computer generated look worked so well. The muscles, tendons and sinew are drawn beautifully and the female Colossal Titan running and then jumping over Armin is spectacular to watch. The zombie like movement of the unintelligent Titans and the metallic way in which the mouths shut suggests robots gone wrong and this look captures it perfectly.

What I also started to like was the explanation of the 'Attack on Titan' technology particularly the Vertical Maneuvering System used by the military of which our main protagonists have joined and are now on the front lines of the fight against the Titans. This innovative grappling system allows them to be on a more level playing field with the ginormous Titans. This is where the computer generation of the buildings and background, with the characters rappelling through the air, actually does look glorious.

The Walls start to take on a persona of their own and you start to realise the vastness of these walls and how much it would have taken to build the three walls. The thing that struck me most was the thought that was put into the wall construction with the outcropping (of smaller towns) to attract the titans to those point on the wall as the Titans are attracted to large populations.

Favourite Characters
Mikasa, Erin's childhood friend comes off a little desperate at times but her reluctance to let Erin get hurt is explain in flashback when the pair first meet and he saves her from a particularly gruesome kidnapping. I started to like her a bit more after that and definitely looking forward to seeing her character grow.

Levi is a complete badass but I feel like this character hasn't really been explored fully as we only really meet him late on in the series. I loved this AMV about him which really made me chuckle. It really summed him up.

I plan to continue on with the manga as I have to know what happens next. Personally the anime's style has grown on me.

So what are the Titans? Season 2 of the anime has been delayed so that the manga has time to develop, so I'll be reading on to find out more. 

Got love for Attack on Titan, tell us in the comments.

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