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Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) – CM Review November 7, 2013

Posted by coolmikeol in Anime, Otaku.
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Attack on Titan

Shingeki no Kyojin, also known as Attack on Titan is a manga/anime series that became a big hit with its action and drama themes in a world ruled by human eating titans. Here is a quick synopsis from My Anime List:

Several hundred years ago, humans were nearly exterminated by titans. Titans are typically several stories tall, seem to have no intelligence, devour human beings and, worst of all, seem to do it for the pleasure rather than as a food source. A small percentage of humanity survived by walling themselves in a city protected by extremely high walls, even taller than the biggest of titans.Flash forward to the present and the city has not seen a titan in over 100 years. Teenage boy Eren and his foster sister Mikasa witness something horrific as the city 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 is eaten alive. Eren vows that he will murder every single titan and take revenge for all of mankind.

This anime clearly was the hit of the year, similar to how Sword Art Online was the previous year. I believe that AOT achieved this because of the more straight-up-action less moe direction that this series took versus how many generic animes seem to go. Before the anime started airing, I remember seeing it in the list for the Spring 2013 anime season, but I disregarded watching it because I was interested in other animes that were to air at the time, also not aware of the growing hype for it. When it finally started airing, I remember hearing and seeing rave reviews about it. The first episode of AOT I saw was at my local anime club, and indeed it did look interesting, but I didn’t immediately start to follow it. It was only towards the last few episodes of the series did I start catching up with AOT, so I was able to finish the anime when the anime ended as well. Alright enough talk about how I got into watching AOT, now let me review the actual anime.

Attack on Titan was different from many animes I’ve seen before, mainly its art style which made a friend of mine not watch it for a bit until he got used to it, and also its brutal drama and action scenes, especially of those sometimes creepy titans which resemble giant humans, albeit most with no real intelligence, though there are some exceptions to that rule which falls under the SPOILER category. The first few episodes set a decent buildup of general storyline and “training” of our characters, then once things got rolling I felt that the general pacing of the the story was progressing consistently. Towards the end of the season however I started to wonder how they were going to end it, because the main characters were dealing with internal conflicts with others they knew and were not tackling the main problem of the source of the titans which the beginning structured to us viewers was the objective to save mankind. (I’m speaking vaguely in this paragraph to try to not spoil anything for anyone who doesn’t want spoilers.) The end of the season was done well in my opinion because it was able to end the arc that was going on and transition it back to what the main objective is, stopping the titans. When I say “transition”, I mean into another season. Of course nothing has been officially announced at the moment, but due to its popularity and the fact that the creator of AOT has said that he already knows how long the series will go and how it will end, I feel that its only a matter of time until AOT gets its beloved second season to end the story.

There is a lot of mystery in this series as well, which were not really answered in this season. There’s so much that can be shown in 25 episodes, I know that. I think there was only three to four story arcs shown in the anime, which mostly just introduced characters and built them up. Some of the questions I have still revolve around the main objective of the main character, the Titans. They’re these mysterious (variable) massive beings that seem to aimlessly exist with the uncanny resemblance to ourselves in appearance. We don’t know how long Titans have existed, though I assume that the AOT world at some point did not have titans around. Also the walls that protect the last of mankind, who and how were they actually built? I know that it was mentioned a few times in the series about it that gods built it or something, but there has to be a more logical reason for how they were built. If they built it because of the titans, wouldn’t it have taken a massive amount of time, time that the titans could of easily used to either attack wall builders or destroy what was being built? The walls are so large and massive that I don’t believe humans built the thing. The last main question that the series aims to answer is the origin of Titans (SPOILER) and how some humans have the ability to turn themselves into titans as well. We know of two who can, and its been hinted that more of these people exist. I myself don’t like spoilers, and I particularly hate it when I stumble across an image on Google that looks like something I shouldn’t be seeing yet, something to ruin the moment of seeing it the first time in the anime. I don’t like to think back to the potential spoiler I saw, but it hints at other specific characters I did not think about that could be Titans as well. All of these questions comes from myself who has only watched the anime and has not read the manga. I like to keep myself guessing until the end to make it interesting. You wouldn’t want to watch something where you knew the end or answers to right?

The music in this anime was made by Sawano Hiroyuki, the same guy who composed the music for the animes Guilty Crown and Blue Exorcist, and the Japanese TV Series Team Medical Dragon. I was quite surprised with the music, as it can always make or break a show. I’m glad that he produced the music as I love how he builds up his themes, and also because I didn’t want some middle age sounding music or something that looks as if it would go with the setting of the series. Just my quick thoughts about that.

Overall, I felt that AOT was good, but not overly great. I was not one of those people who got caught up in the hype, though I do admit that the reason that I checked it out was because I heard that it was good from others, which is how I tend to start watching certain animes. At some of the anime conventions I’ve been to this year (Fanime, Anime Expo), I’ve seen so many AOT cosplayers, complete with their own versions of the maneuver gear, that the amount would easily outnumber the amount of gear wielding characters in the series. (It would of been cool to see everyone in AOT cosplay at said conventions get together to do a massive salute pose, but they tended to be small to medium sized unorganized groupings.) I would like to see the continuation and completion of the AOT storyline animated, and will await for that moment like a lot of fans will as well. Like I said before, the reason why I felt it stood out beyond many animes this year was because of its strong characters, interesting storyline, and deviation from the cute animes that pop up each and every anime season. I think of it as the thorny bush that holds something valuable within. Of course there are more arguments about why AOT is either a good or bad anime, but this post doesn’t aim to side with either, it’s just to put my opinions out there about an anime I’ve watched.

Anime Expo 2013 391

Mikasa AOT cosplay photo. Taken at Anime Expo 2013.

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