Attack on Titan

Alt titles: Shingeki no Kyojin

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roriconfan's avatar By roriconfan on May 22, 2013

My Critical Overview video of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuksPExT32k

PROPER MINDSET

Attack on Titan (AOT hereon) is obviously going to be the most overhyped title of the year, pretty much like Madoka Magica and Sword Art Online (SAO) were in previous years. And just like those, it is not going to live up to the hype as pretty much no show ever does. It will end up being just like SAO; a high seller that will be talked about for some time but will otherwise be nothing but a big disappointment. And yes, I have read the manga so I know what I am talking about regarding later plot points.

Just like with all overhyped mediocrities the thing that made it so famous is mostly the premise. It has a setting where mankind is almost wiped out by giant monstrosities and gets cornered behind huge walls. They thought they were safe there until a giant manages to break down their fortifications and lets the monsters into civilian areas. Terror and death spread as people die defenceless by the thousands and the rest need to retreat to other fortified lands where they work almost as slaves to support the overpopulation and the lack of food. From this description you are presented with a most interesting action / survival / horror, which is very graphical and doesn’t hold back to depict gore as the giants chew and swallow people. You are really intrigued to find out how they can possibly survive against these monsters.

Sounds amazing enough for anyone to jump into the show but surely not because it is original. It is actually quite basic and overdone; there have been several similar stories over the years, from Blue Gender to Claymore. It just came out in an era where 90% of anime are effortless softporn and moe; so it sticks out easily. If it was made along with Death Note or Code Geass, it would get a fraction of the hype it has today. Also, it is not a harem with schools that pretends to be deep and serious by having an apocalyptic story that is there as nothing but unused backdrop, like in the cases of Chrome Shelled Regios or Total Eclipse. The main problem is still present though; the anime belongs to the shonen demographic and that translates to lots of eye-rolling moments.

1. Characterization is quite basic and even laughable at points despite the attempts to make the cast mature and serious.

Take the protagonist for example. So obnoxious! Remember Naruto and how he always screams “I WILL SAVE SASUKE DATEBAYO!” every 5 minutes to the point you want to strangle him? Well this one here is not any better since all he does is yelling “I WILL DEFEAT ALL THE GIANTS DATEBAYO!” It has that irritating always-angry, totally-stupid shonen thing you find pretty much everywhere and no amount of dramatic backdrop manages to make him anything more than that. This guy was BORN angry; not became because of the titans. And just like all typical shonen heroes he has special powers, special family, special friends, is plot armoured, and in general has everything working to his favour despite being nothing but yet another ill-mannered youth. But hey, we gotta pamper our main audience somehow and this effortless stereotype works just fine; so why try harder?

Other characters include:
- An aloof girl who loves potatoes and talks like a retard; because all shows need a comic relief idiot.
- A local aristocrat who exists to show what a selfish asshole he is, letting everyone die just so he can escape with his money and not thinking about it twice; since as well all know adults in shonen are all assholes and only teenagers are the goodhearted folks who do all the work and save the day.
- Kidnapers who kill and sell people for prostitutes, just so we can hate them and wish them dead 10 seconds after they are introduced.
- Some scaredy cat boy to be always crying and panicked just to show how cool is everyone else. Worthless and irritating as Reki from Claymore and yet another proof of why this show is not better than Claymore. They pretend he is a mastermind when it comes to planning ahead but in reality he is the only one who sometimes think while everyone else is an oblivious idiot. So technically he is a normal guy amongst retards.
- And let’s not forget the protagonist’s “not-blood-related-sister” who seems WAY too interested in him to the point she can’t exist without being his pet. How else would we have the obligatory brother-sister love thingy going on?

You can literally describe most of them in 10 words as the way they talk and act will border a slapstick comedy half the time. Everything they need to express, they do it by yelling or crying like maniacs, even when the situation hardly calls for them to act as such. I mean you see a guy in the first episode giving the severed hand of a dead soldier to his crying mother and saying with a serious face “This is all we could salvage. And by the way, your son died for nothing. HERP!” Lol man, what kind of a military leader is this guy? Was that supposed to make me feel sad? I am laughing at it. The show is filled with such scenes where you are supposed to take them seriously when they are completely retarded. You may be fooled to think they have depth since most of them get flashbacks full of tragic childhood moments and stuff; but let’s be honest, all secondary characters in shows like Naruto and Bleach have those too and they are still nothing but cardboards to the story and eventually one dimensional archetypes instead of real people. AOT is not any different, as each of them is there just to cry in a corner, show us his tragic past and then go to fight the giants until he realizes he is completely worthless before the hax skills of the main characters and simply stops caring afterwards. Literally all secondary characters are neglected and forgotten a few episodes after they are introduced.

2. SHHHHOOOOOCK FACTOOOOORRRR

If there is something quite un-shonen in AOT for the time it came out, that would be the numerous deaths of secondary characters. Not many convenient survivals and resurrections here; if you are caught by a giant, he is going to rip you to pieces and eat you while you are still alive and screaming. That makes the tension ten-fold compared to the average of its kind. That still doesn’t save it in the longrun of course since it is nothing but SHOCK FACTOR to make the audience gasp with blood and violence and not some actually tragic death of important characters you will never forget. You only notice the gore and not the people experiencing it. I will never forget the Nanto fighters in Hokuto no Ken because they were part of the plot and did far more than being emo in a corner before kicking the bucket. These here? Who are they? You will forget them 5 seconds after they are dead.

3. Plot Armoured (Titan?)

And I must point out the word “secondary” since major characters are plot armoured and have hax powers which dwarf everybody else in importance. You see, secondary characters serve only as cannon fodder in this show; they exist just to cry in corners, die miserably, and fool the unexpected to think no one is safe in this story. That is soooo not true. Main characters have Wolverine’s super fast regeneration and Spiderman’s super fast agility to forever survive any giant attack. They are oozing with the rule of cool and the audience is supposed to cheer for them as they wipe out armies of undefeatable (for everybody else) giants. So much for tension; it is still all about who is more overpowered and cool. You will eventually realize there is no actual tragedy and survival; it is all about magic superpowers like in the case of any run of the mill action shonen. And that is why AOT is yet another SAO.

4. AOT is a SHONEN oozing with coolness and not a mature or sensible SEINEN

That means it is NOT a mature story despite having mature themes; and if some think otherwise they are simply ignorant. I had a really hard time to keep going with all the cheesy dialogue, the 1 dimensional characterization, and the overused shonen shenanigans. And BOY are there lots of those and BOY do they ruin all attempts at having a serious survival or psychological story. You think the setting is serious? The enemy seems undefeatable at first but then some obnoxious emo teenagers get convenient superpowers and defeat them by the dozens. That’s right; everyone has jutsus and hidden evil powers inside them, just like in Naruto. And don’t give me any excuses of the sort “There is no other way such a story could be told.” I have read manga such as Biomeat Nectar, Parasyte, and Dragon Head, where you have a pretty similar situation and they didn’t have any of the crap that happens every 5 minutes in this show.

5. The mystery aspect is quite weak

At first you are thrilled to find out why the giants are eating people. They don’t need food to sustain themselves. They don’t have a personality or even intelligence which makes them grotesque and terrifying for not understanding their motivations. Well, as those are revealed later on, you realize there wasn’t much to it. Half the interest most will show in this anime derives from the gore (which is cheap and eventually shallow) and the other half is the mystery of the unworldly enemies (which will fade away as soon as it is eventually revealed). So even if you are watching this for the thrilling emotion, you are bound to hate it after you realize it wasn’t that good to begin with. It pretends to be far more than it actually is; and that is a most basic zombie apocalypse scenario. The city is the mall, the titans are the undead, and the steampunk spidermen are the people trying to survive.

6. Weak world-building

It is full of interesting ideas as far as the setting goes, from detailed maps of how the human lands are run, to blueprints of how their cannons and steam engines that make them fly work. Later on you get even basic politics and religious fanatism as the people react to the new giant attacks and all of a sudden some kids get hax powers. It makes it far more interesting than some generic RPG world full of fortified cities and wilderness crawling with monsters. It’s not TOO detailed though and the truth is most of them are there for show since they don’t matter much in the longrun. You think those rotating cannons, the titanium swords, or the steampunk spidermen do shit against the giants? All you need is a few angsty teens with hax superpowers nobody else can get even if they wish it all their lives and you are set. And even if you just stick to the setting itself, it is quite simple despite its secondary details. The whole world is basically either houses where people live in or wilderness where titans roam around. Many claim that since the story is a mystery you are supposed to slowly reveal, it is aexcused for everything to be so basic. That still doesn’t change the fact that all you know about the setting is that there are some giants surrounding a city that looks like 3 perfectly drawn homocentric circles. Even a baby can do better than this.

7. Slow pacing

The early episodes have extremely fast pacing but then it snails down to almost a halt. The first five minutes go wasted on summaries of things we saw just in the previous episode, and there are even recap episodes for events that don’t need more than a few minutes to describe. In a way this is a positive trait since it invests time into getting absorbed in the mood of the show. Much better to running through the events while leaving everyone and everything unfocused or not looked into. Sadly the mood is the only thing they focus on. Not much time is used to flesh out the characters or the setting, and in the longrun all secondary cast and the funky steampunk technologies are meaningless, neglected, and completely forgotten.

8. Overused tension gimmicks

The script heads for a constant thrill that because of the slow pacing makes every major event to last for several episodes, constantly ending with a cliffhanger. Although this can be a nice motivation for the audience to anticipate the next episode, they do it so many times and for events that could practically fit only one episode. Tension loses its meaning if it happens all the time without proper relaxation points and after awhile you no longer find it exciting or edgy exactly because it is always like. You get used to it, it doesn’t look awesome anymore, and because most of whatever happens in it is about people you don’t care about, it becomes boring.

9. Plot Driven

Although this is not an issue with everyone, it is still a problem. The characters have no control over the events of the show; they are just reacting to them. No matter what happens, they will never choose what to do next; the plot is going to force them into what to do next. It makes sense for that to happen in stories that have to do with death and survival but it sure makes them pass as drones and unable to progress or develop further on their own will, despite their hax superpowers. This takes away their significance, which is already very thin since you forget them 5 seconds after they die.

10. Incomplete

You don’t even get a resolution to all this mess, since the manga is still ongoing, far from over, and with an equally slow progress. You won’t get any reward at the end and you will have to wait years for a second season.

11. It looks nice but that is all

As far as the artwork goes, there are big aesthetic differences between the manga and the anime adaptation. The manga feels very crude when it comes to proportions and perspective. It has very rough outlines to the most part and it feels incompletely drawn at points or even with blunders in anatomy. I can’t say it was very annoying; it sort of improves later on and it fits in such a story that is based on crazy stuff. The anime has improved considerably these minor issues and even included a catchy chorus OST to make it even more intriguing. At the same time it censors most of the disgusting scenes where the giants are chewing people and replaced them with blood spills falling while the gore is left out of screen. If there is something I didn’t like, that would be the body figures. All giants seem to be randomly drawn and all human soldiers look like they have the exact same body figure AND uniform. It’s not like big boobs for girls or huge biceps for men would make it better but it sure feels weird to have everybody being skinny and flat-chested. The only thing that differs is the face and occasionally some rosy lips to point out THAT PERSON IS A GIRL. Furthermore, there are major quality drops throughout the show, since at some parts you get fluent animation and detailed artwork which make it look amazing, while in others you get static images and crude character figures which makes it look lame.

12. It is still a fun show to watch just for the excitement, instead of yet another moe school life thingy

I do agree though that as a whole AOT manages to build up tension right away. Even if you are aware of how corny it plays out it is still not holding back in violence; the average Narutard is definitely going to like it. It is also refreshing to see a show that is not about high school club ecchi comedies for once, as is the canon for almost all modern anime. As for me? After truly good manga such as Battle Angel Alita and Battle Royale, this was unintentional satire than tragic or scary. This is why no veteran reader or viewer is going to give it anything more than a good time waster status. Why? Because it is a silly shonen when it could easily be much better as a mature seinen.

As for the hype considering this show? In one year from now some other anime will come out to blow your brains out and people will be saying “That is truly awesome, unlike AOT.” Meaning, history will repeat and AOT will join the ranks of SAO.

And now for some excused scorings.

ART SECTION: 8/10
General Artwork 2/2 (dark and edgy)
Character Figures 1/2 (they all look the same)
Backgrounds 2/2 (mostly detailed)
Animation 1/2 (sometimes great, sometimes doesn’t exist)
Visual Effects 2/2 (nice tension gimmicks)

SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Voice Acting 1/3 (Naruto-level quality with lots of retarded screaming)
Music Themes 4/4 (kick ass)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)

STORY SECTION: 3/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 0/2 (slow as hell)
Complexity 1/2 (not much; the mysteries are not that great either)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 0/2 (none; the show is incomplete)

CHARACTER SECTION: 4/10
Presence 1/2 (generic or obnoxious)
Personality 2/2 (cheesy as hell but well founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 0/2 (overblown, minimal and practically unimportant)
Catharsis 0/2 (none; the show is incomplete)

VALUE SECTION: 6/10
Historical Value 1/3 (nothing new to add and will eventually be considered a time waster)
Rewatchability 1/3 (lots of stuff to skip since it is slow as hell)
Memorability 4/4 (currently hyped all the way to Andromeda)

ENJOYMENT SECTION: 5/10
Art 1/1 (looks nice)
Sound 1/2 (music yes, dialogues no)
Story 1/3 (generic zombie apocalypse and incomplete)
Characters 2/4 (puppets you will forget right away)

VERDICT: 5.5/10

3/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
4/10 characters
5.5/10 overall
joy2love4life's avatar By joy2love4life on Oct 26, 2013

Love this anime! It starts off kind of slow so you need to wait until the 5th or so episode before you decide if you want to stop watching. If you do keep going you will not be disappointed. The story is rich in character development, to the point where you actually find yourself rooting for everyone at some point, even if you hate the characters actions. There is an honesty and purety in how real issues of life are dealt with which makes me truly enjoy this anime. 

Now I must admit the fight scenes will leave you on the edge of your seat, yelling ...screaming, trying to help the people move out of the way...the scenes end quickly but the intensity is unreal. 

Overall, its worth serious consideration.

9/10 story
8/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
sneezetease's avatar By sneezetease on Apr 26, 2014

best anime, best anything i have ever seen.

so the easy stuff out of the way- the soundtrack is unbelievable and incredibly unique as there are a lot of english lyrics.The instrumentals are amazing too, just chillling, they make the whole show. I could listen to the whole soundtrack without skipping a song and not dislike a single one. The animation! Amazing! During the battle scenes I could not look away! There was some just some beautiful beautiful art in here and the angles they shot from were stunning, it flowed perfectly! And the story was truly compelling.  Every single episode was totally awesome, there is NO SUCH THING AS FILLER IN THIS ANIME. I never felt a single second of dialouge or moment of action was wasted, it was all relevant or added artistic /emotional value.  The voice actors were impeccable. I can't use good enough words to describe all these things! Every single voice actor was amazing, totally authentic and flowy and full of emotion and power! Mikasa's voice epspecially struck me as soothing and beautiful whether it was filled with concern or she was fighting to the death. Eren was incredible too, as was Annie... just everyone! And the story was the best.  Every episiode ended with an enormous cliffhanger, new information and new mind effers, I just had to keep watching.  This was just so beautifully done it ruins all other animes for me because nothing will ever compare. Just a masterpiece from start to finish and I give almost full credit to the anime producers because if you read the manga it's a drag in comparison.  They completely made it their own and they made something so damn good, standing ovation! 

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
KingArthur13th's avatar By KingArthur13th on Jul 5, 2013

Attack on Titan, by far the most hyped anime series this year but unlike Sword Art Online, it is actually quite well deserving of most of the hype. Attack on Titan is a creation of a much darker shounen anime, a amazing survival series that just drags you in. Attack on Titan knows how to deliver the suspense and horror while getting you to fear for the character's safety. With the appearance of each Titan, you start to think about who's going to die now, how will the survivors escape, will someone bail out and go crazy? The only real negatives to point out in this show are the high number of still shots and slow story pacing which may be a hindrance to some viewers. The story centers around Eren Jaeger who wishes for vengeance against the Titans, a species of creatures that have been feeding on humankind for a little over a hundred years. The progression of each episode are pretty drawn out but surprisingly, the anime follows the manga with absolute accuracy except for a few short anime only moments.

Let's start right off with the bad news. As stated, Attack on Titan actually has great animation but it seems that there were a few problems over at Production I.G while they were animating this series. Mid season, more animators had to be brought in and combine this with the fact that the studio had to keep enough money stashed away in order to animate those glorious 3DMG scenes and Titan battle scenes, we're left with a couple more than average number of still shots for any given anime. For many that may not be a problem so lets move on the second issue with this series which is its slow pacing. Attack on Titan is a suspenseful series so keeping you on the edge of your seat is necessary and in order to do so, they drag out some interesting moments. Situations such as inspirational speeches, scenes of fear and mass hysteria, and moments of pure hopelessness can take up a good chunk of an episode. On a side note, some viewers have been turned off by Eren's constant angry mode which never seems to turn off but I really have nothing against that.

Now then, onto to the soundtrack. The Attack on Titan OST was produced by Hiroyuki Sawano, the guy who composed the Guilty Crown and Blue Exorcist soundtracks so we're already off to a good start. I've bought the album already and it's definitely as great as I thought it was gong to be. Sawano strikes again! The opening song, "Guren no Yumiya by Linked Horizon" has become such a hit that it has officially taken over "Gullie's Theme" as "the song that goes with everything." I still have yet to come across an "Attack on ....." video that hasn't put a smile on my face. The ending song, "The Beautiful Cruel World by Yoko Hikasa" is as beautiful as it's title. The second opening and ending songs have yet to be released so I have no comment on them but I hope they're as good as their predecessors.

Finally we come to the characters which I will also include a little something about the Titans. First the Titans. LMAO, I don't know if  Hajime Isayama (manga creator) himself designed each and every Titan individually or he got someone else to do it for him but god dammit these creatures are just too awesome. Each Titan seems to be made specifically for meme purposes. There are just so many Titans to date that each have there own group of followers just because of their respective memes. Who ever designed the Titans must have been having a lot of fun doing so because I know I would have.

Okay now it's time for the characters. The only names you'll need to remember in this series for now are the main trio, Eren, Mikasa, Armin and maybe the other top ten students. Each of the top ten members get a chance to shine and each in their own way add a little something more to the series, especially Jean who is struggling with being a leader. The Attack on Titan cast struggle with their roles as military soldiers fighting in a war that seems practically hopeless. They're challenged mentally, physically and emotionally which after a short time becomes incredibly exhausting as their hopes are constantly brick walled by the coming onslaught of the Titans. All in all, the cast of Attack on Titan are pretty good, each equipped with an amazing voice actor.

8/10 story
9.5/10 animation
10/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
9.2/10 overall
lionsdaemon's avatar By lionsdaemon on Dec 23, 2013

 ~ The following review may contain spoilers for the anime. Readers discretion is advised~

Story:

In a far future where mankind began as new. As humans live there normal life within the Walls, protected from the outside world. But one day they receive a grim reminder of the world they life in. One day the Colossal Titan appears and breaks the gate of the first wall. Now titans are walking into the wall and now they must fight the titans or the human race will be exterminated for good.

The story is a basic Godzilla thing only made a million times worse. It's about the MAJOR plot twists that's making this good.

Characters:

The main Character in this anime is Eren Jeäger. A boy who has big dreams and the stupid habit to talk and not think and just say anything that pops-up in his mind. His development in the anime is amazing. But there is one thing about him that ticks me off. And that is the fact that he's a fuckig crybaby!!! He does develop, but his personality is just very irritating.

The lead female character is Mikasa Ackerman. And fuck yea!!! She could have been the main character for this anime. Mikasa is "that" awesome. She has a stone-cold personality and where Eren goes, she goes. Bitch on Eren and she will hunt you down until she can kick your ass! Mikasa is an amazing lead character she brings all the action in this anime! And backs down for nothing! She is pretty much an anti-titan-killing machine!

The last character I wanne talk about is Levi. And he's pretty much Mikasa, only the a girl and without the Eren fetish! Levi is such a badass and just an amazing person for major development!

The supporting cast is great. They bring a lot of fun moments in the begin. And when someone dies you must become a brick 'cause you will cry when they die!

Music:

Those OPENINGS!!!! Holy GODDAMN! The openings of Attack on Titan are both done by: "Revo" and "Sound Horizon". Well, Revo is Sound Horizon. There are a lot of people who say that the first opening is the best.

Well, I prefer the second. I mean have you ever heard a Japanese person sing GOOD German? And the guitar solo at the begin! Hell yea! Now the OST's are good too. Some orchestra, epic singing. There is only one thing. The song DOA, when you listen to it it sound waaaay to much like" Something In Your Mouth" from: Nickelback. Just saying.

Development:

25 episodes of pure epicness? Not really, there are a lot of filler episodes and the anime needs them. There aren't beach episodes and I thank god but then again, where do you want to put them. The anime has a begin from at least 5 episodes, goes uphills, then falls faster than a baby bird and then learns to fly high with his wings of freedom! (too obvious?)

There is only one thing and that is that I think I would have enjoyed the development more, if all the seprated chapters where put together as OVA's. I think I would have loved that more. The characters have enough time to develop, but they don't do it at one point. The reason for this is the " slow pacing" At one point it loops 5 years in 2 episodes. And next time it takes 5 episodes for a day?!?! It is because of that the characters could not develop as they had to in my eyes. They had the time, they took waaaaaay to much for nothing at all.

Animations:

The animations of this anime where done by: Production I.G and Studio "WIT" (Wit is Dutch for "white" just so you guys know). And Attack on Titan has some goddamn well done animations and especially when it comes to the 3D-maneuver gear. It's fucking well done!  There are things here and there that aren't that great. And that is if you watch the anime frame by frame. And if you stop at the right time it's one giant blur. 

 And with this I present the score for Attack on Titan:

Story: 7,2 out of 10

Characters: 7 out of 10

Music: PERFECT 10

Development: 6 out of 10

Animations: 8,5 out of 10

Enjoyment: PERFECT 10

 

And Attack on Titan ends with a amazing score of 8,11 out of 10

Full review over @: Kingsnetwork.com

7/10 story
8/10 animation
10/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall