on 30 August 2014
Every now and then, each year, a certain manga suddenly appears in the spotlight and becomes popular. Not just that, but so popular everyone seems to know and talk about it. The question then, for everyone, is whether said manga is actually worth reading and lives up to the hype it has caused – something which is quite uncommon considering how this typically works for series. The popularity of Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) is undisputable, but worth the read? I certainly think so, as I will explain below.
Written by Hajime Isayama, Attack on Titan is one of those series which against all odds, presents an original concept and makes it work. Its story is simple: a threat has befell humanity as ‘Titans’ appeared out of nowhere and drove humans to near extinction after they began devouring one person after another. In order to avoid total annihilation and rebuild society, humans have been forced to live in a small section of the world where three walls defend them from the Titans devouring them.
The manga focuses around this premise, along with how the humans fight against the menace that the Titans suppose. The story of Attack on Titan develops beautifully. Not only it is an original concept, which hasn’t been seen a lot in this media, but it also plays and develops it well. Despite the concept behind the story having been played down in the past by other similar apocalyptic series, this doesn’t apply to it. It not only focuses on the sheer horror that the human-devouring Titans present, but also on the very real human society which still exists and attempts to rebuild itself. Attack on Titan succeeds in not leaving any of these elements behind, and paints a clear picture of its world as a whole via its story. It leaves no elements behind, and doesn’t let its complexity bring it down. The story of this series is amongst the greatest that I have seen, and a real pleasure to follow.
One of the elements which I like the most of Attack on Titan, however, is its art. Not only is it beautiful, but it manages to convey exactly the sheer horror the Titans present. Though it appears strange at times, this only makes it all the better, as it represents fantastically all which the story represents. Not only the emotions of the characters; but also glory, courage, sadness, happiness, and finally horror precisely when it is required to do so. It completely memorable, and probably amongst the best that I have had the pleasure to read in the last years. It mixes with all of the elements of the story perfectly, and instead carries them forward.
The character cast is wide, well-developed, and complex. They all have motivations and are truly products of their world. They are incredibly human, not only the main protagonists (Eren, Mikasa, and Armin), but also the other secondary ones. None seem to fall into the typical stereotypes one might imagine, something welcome. But best of all, is how the author treats the characters as the plot develops. There are no qualms about what happens to them, or how events affect them. Whether characters live or die, they do so in a way which is not only completely natural to the story in the manga, but also in a way in which a reader is immediately marked by. There is no ignoring any certain character, or little events. Everything is relevant, and the author certainly succeeds in conveying this.
These elements make Attack on Titan an incredibly enjoyable read. Not only is the story original, but the way it is drawn just makes it even greater. Hajime Isayama presents everything in the most realistic and human way, whether horrifying or courageous, and it is something which made reading Attack on Titan a truly enjoyable experience from the very start. There was no point at which I was bored, and instead I could only continue reading it.
Attack on Titan certainly lives up to the hype behind it – a rare occurrence considering how this usually is not the case – and does not disappoint. The way in which all its elements converge make it a truly enjoyable experience, which I recommend for anyone who is interested in manga or good fiction at all. It works perfectly, and I can’t wait to see how Hajime Isayama will continue to deveop it in the future. Attack on Titan is in every way, awesometacular, and fully deserves a rating of 5/5 and a complete recommendation. To not read it would be to miss a truly great work of fiction.
on 31 August 2014
Another fantastic installment in a fantastic series. Although the intrigue is nearly killing me, this book goes at least a little way to finally sort of theorizing an answer to at least one of the many intriguing questions which have been mystifying us since the start. However, if this series has one flaw it is the usage of the whole 'lets rescue Eren for the millionth time' subplot, which is getting really old and I suspect is merely being used to plug gaps and stretch out the story prolonging the intrigue, since this bit has already been used so many times it doesn't further the story at all. The moral and ethical dilemmas explored in this series never cease to engage and entertain, the mystery and intrigue with regard to the titans, the social organization of the setting and the individual's backstories makes one compelled to read on and the action is well-illustrated, like the titan's hilarious facial expressions.
on 30 August 2014
Somehow I found out about the Attack on Titan manga on YouTube. Immediately it caught by attention. This manga is full of suspense, excitement, nerve-wrecking drama - it has heroism, sacrifice, love, friendship, romance, and a fair bit of fighting scenes although the latter is not excessive and the storytelling will keep you coming back. It is addictive. You have been warned!!
I then checked out Attack on Titan on Wikipedia to find out a bit more about it. Turns out, as also noted by another very helpful review here on Amazon, the anime (cartoon on TV) with English subtitles goes all the way where the manga book ends about volume 8. So I ordered volumes 12 and 13 here. But I will order some more volumes because the manga is excellent!
The drawings suit the storytelling of Attack on Titan. In your mind you tell the additional story anyway. What I like most about this manga is how fast-paced it is. Indeed, the pace is punishing. I enjoyed reading the manga several times and I can see how I will keep coming back to it and read it more than once or twice.
two thumbs up for this one! Well worth the money-will keep you entertained for sure and here on Amazon fair price and easy delivery - all worked out in my case.