7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A hundred years ago the Titans appeared, giant humanoids with an insatiable desire for humans. In a very short time the Titans drove humanity to the edge of extinction, corralled in a single city behind three sets of massive walls that are capable of keeping the Titans at bay. Everything changed however when two new types of Titan appeared, easily destroying the first wall and letting their fellows into humanities last refuge. Eren Jaeger, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and their friend Armin Arlert are survivors of this attack and join the military hoping to get revenge for the fallen and destroy the Titans.
'Attack on Titan' (or 'Shingeki no Kyojin' if you prefer) is a massively popular series, in both its anime and manga versions, and this volume includes the first thirteen episodes across two discs. The series has some very nice action, interesting characters and some quite gruesome moments throughout. The series definitely won't be to everyone's taste however as it can get quite gory and serious. There is some humour, mostly surrounding individual characters such as Sasha Blouse, and this humour does a good job of lighting the otherwise quite dark series. The plot of the series is interesting and entertaining with some very good plot twists as the story develops.
While I am not a great fan of some aspects of the animation used in the series (mostly the thick black lines surrounding the characters at some points), it is generally very well animated with some truly spectacular scenes and dynamic fights, as well as a good mix of traditional and CGI animation.
This volume includes both the English and Japanese dub and while I like the original Japanese better, the English version is still very well done with very little wrong with it in my opinion. There are a few differences between the dub and some translations I have seen but these are mostly just minor inconsequential things such as using Omni-directional Mobility Gear instead of 3D Manoeuvre Gear or using Scout Regiment instead of Survey Corps. All the voices used in the series are good with Josh Grelle as Armin, Ashly Burch as Sasha and R Bruce Elliott as Commander Dot Pixis being my favourites of the bunch. The only real voice that I wasn't much of a fan of was Bryce Papenbrook as Eren but I did get used to it eventually.
This first volume of the anime unfortunately has little in the way of special features with only a couple of episode commentaries. The volume doesn't even have the usual clean opening and closing animations, which is a real shame as the opening for this half of the series is easily one of the best around.
'Attack on Titan' is a very entertaining series with some brilliant moments throughout. This first volume is easily well worth a full five stars and I cannot wait for Part Two.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2015
Now let me make one thing clear; I do really like this series. My rating here comes entirely from how Manga UK has presented it, which I feel is severely lacking in two very important areas; First, and I suppose the lesser of the two, is the completely absurd authoring of the chapter-stops, which seem to have been just randomly slapped on in roughly four-minute intervals with no regard for whether it makes any sense to have a chapter-stop there. Like, want to skip the opening and get straight to the episode? Too bad, you're gonna have to manually fast-forward through it, because if you use the next chapter button, you'll get sent ahead to several minutes INTO the episode... probably in the middle of a conversation. Look Manga, designing chapter-stops for a TV-series is not hard to do. One for the opening, another for the episode up to the midway eye-catcher, another for the rest of the episode, one for the ending, and one last one for the next episode preview. And throw in another chapter for the prologue if the episode has one of those (which this show, more often than not, does.)
The bigger problem I have with this release though? The subtitles. Aside from several cases of blatant inaccuracy which I suppose one needs to understand Japanese to really catch, they also suffer from numerous typos, poor timing (Good luck reading the info given in the eye-catchers. They're typically divided across three separate subtitle-lines flashing by at less than a second each) and generally awkward phrasing... Well, admittedly I'm sort of going by other people's word on this, as I found the subtitles so distractingly bad that I turned them off less than five minutes into episode 1. And having looked into it, yes, this is specifically an issue with Manga UK's release, as they saw fit to redo the subtitles themselves for whatever reason. Look Manga, if you feel like you have to "localize" your subs to an UK audience, then that's not necessarily bad... but if you're not going to put ANY effort into making the resulting subtitles GOOD, you're only damaging the overall product.
Oh, and what's this I hear about Manga UK deliberately removing the on-disc extras from the American release just to make them exclusive to the "collectors' edition"? (And DVD-only at that, when the US release had these extras in HD.)
Well, I suppose it's an acceptable presentation if you want to watch it in English... But I for one am utterly disappointed by how Manga has treated this series, and I'm importing the Australian release for part 2. THEY apparently just used the material they got from FUNi as-is, including far more competent subtitles, logical chapter-stops and all the extras.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2014
There are quite a few highly acclaimed Anime's out there that have introduced people to the world of Anime, as well as gotten the attention of non-anime fans. Shows like that have been shows like Dragon Ball Z, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, etc. Attack on Titan is one of the biggest new Anime's available, and is one that has started off pretty well. But the question is, is Attack on Titan worth the hype that so many people have put on the show for the past year? Well, yes, it does deserve the hype, but I recommend going into the series not expecting too much to enjoy it to it's fullest.
Humanity is on the brink of extinction and hide three great walls; Wall Maria, Wall Rose, and Wall Sina. These walls are fifty feet high, and are so big that no Titan can break through it. Until the Colossal Titan comes along and makes a hole in the wall, so that other Titans can get through. Thus starts the mass slaughter of humanity.
Now, we've all heard about humanity having to fight back against things before, but Attack on Titan brings this idea in a unique way. There are so many questions to be asked, like why do the Titans look like humans, but the answers cannot be given yet. It's set up so that you know things about the situation before the main events begin, and then you learn what the characters learn. I like it when a series sticks you in with the same knowledge as the characters when a series begins, so that when something new comes along its surprising for both the viewer.
I really like this story because it feels so new, and unique, and it's one of the few Anime's that, so far, has no fillers. This means that you can easily go through the story, and purely enjoy the story, without being taken away from the main events and onto a story that serves no purpose. This series also deserves points for keeping you interested. For example; after the first couple episodes the endings of an episode end in such a way that makes you want the next one, then the next, then the next, until you've reached the end of all available episodes and all you can do is sit and wait for the next lot. I guess in terms of being addictive this show is like The Walking Dead, 24, Supernatural, and Game of Thrones; in other words its very addictive.
Now, how do I put this. Apart from the main characters, Eren, Mikasa, and Armin, anyone else can die at any given moment. Heck, even the three absolute main characters I just mentioned can die. They may have less likelihood of dying, but that doesn't mean that they can't. This show likes to practically scream this fact to you most of the time.
So, what can I say about the characters that are less likely to die at the drop of a hat? Well, Eren is one of those characters that is fueled by revenge for how the Titans have ruined his life, and has taken what he loves. He vows that he will kill every last Titan. In other words; he's the awesome emo of the series.
Armin is, bottom line, a coward and a smart ass. He'll cower as everyone around him dies, which plays a significant part in his character development, but when the situation calls for it he is a good tactician and can come up with a decent plan on the spot.
Finally, we have Mikasa. She's a character that is described to be perfect, which in itself is a flaw, as well as the fact that she is one of the coolest heroines of all time.
There's plenty of character's, and character development in this series, but if I try to explain in more detail it'll be delving into spoilers.
ANIMATION & SOUND
The animation of this series is done by a brand new studio called Wit Studio, which was founded by the producers at Production I.G (Ghost in the Shell, Neon Genesis Evangelion The End of Evangelion, FLCL, Blood The Last Vampire, anime scenes for Tales of games, and Psycho-Pass), as well as having production cooperation by them. So, the animation is pretty good. There are times when you can tell that they skimped on scenes due to budget, but then made up for it in other places. Mostly the moments when people are swinging around using they're Mobility Gear. There's also the very nice artwork as well. The backgrounds are beautiful, and the characters have thick black lines that distinguish themselves from the background. This maybe an art style for people to used to, but I really liked this style and accepted it straight away. I recommend that people look at some pictures and trailers because it looks very well done.
Next, is sound, but I'm just going to comment on the music first. I mean, it's very well done. It suits the scenes it's played, and a lot of the music does stand out. Especially the surprising vocal insert songs 'The Reluctant Heroes' and 'DOA', which are in English by the way. I recommend to buy the Anime's soundtrack mostly for those songs, but to buy the UK version not the import. The physical UK copy is provided by Anime Limited (A.K.A All the Anime), so why not support the official release over here and buy it rather than importing the same CD. This way we might see more Anime CD's being released in the future.
Finally is the dub. This is something that a lot of people will rant and rave about because of the whole Sub VS Dub thing, so it really comes down to which version you watch first. Both dubs are good, so it really comes down to what people prefer. The English dub is by the infamous Funimation (Dragon Ball Z, Fullmetal Alchemist, and the new Evangelion movies-1.11, 2.22, and 3.33), and they do a really good job of dubbing this series. I honestly can't say that this is a bad dub, because it's solid. We have Bryce Papenbrook (Zidane in Dissidia Final Fantasy, Kirito in Sword Art Online, and Rin Okumura in Blue Exorcist) as Eren Yeager, who provides a fantastic performance with some touching moments that brought the character to life. Josh Grelle (Akihisa Yoshii in Baka and Test, Ichika Orimura in Infinite Stratos, and Shido Itsuka in Date A Live) takes a step away from Anime comedies and brings a decent, and surprising, performance as Armin. Trina Nishimura (Lan Fan in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Sohara in Heaven's Lost Property, Makise in Steins;Gate, and Mari Illustrious Makinami in Evangelion 2.22, and 3.33) provides a solid performance as Mikasa, Mike McFarland (Jean Havoc in Fullmetal Alchemist, and Master Roshi in Dragon Ball) who also provides a solid performance as Jean Kirschtein, and Matthew Mercer (Melvin Voyager in Fullmetal Alchemist The Sacred Star of Milos, Chrom in Fire Emblem Awakening, and Leon S. Kennedy in Resident Evil) provides a fantastic performance as the awesome Levi. There's not just some well known actors/actresses in this, but also a decent amount of lesser known or new actor/actresses. We have Clifford Chapin (Howe in Jormungand: Perfect Order, and Kaito Yashio in Robotics;Notes) as Connie Springer, Austin Tindle (Ayumu Aikawa in Is This a Zombie?, and Accelerator in A Certain Magical Index/A Certain Scientific Railgun) as Marco Bodt, Ashly Burch as Sasha Braus, Scott Freeman (Yuuji Sakamoto in Baka and Test) as Ian Dietrich, Elizabeth Maxwell as Freckles, Robert McCollum (Goten in Dragon Ball GT) as Reiner Braun, R. Bruce Elliott (Captain Ginyu in Dragon Ball Z Kai) as Dot Pixis, and Morgan Garrett (Seraphim in Is This a Zombie?, and Kaori Kanzaki in A Certain Magical Index) as Rico Brzenska.
This is a great show that is as close to perfection as you can get with any show. It is by no means perfect but it is close. I can easily give this a recommendation to buy, because a great show like this deserves that much. If you are getting into anime, or are just interested in this show I still recommend that people watch it.
If you are already an Attack on Titan fan then you should know how good this is, to which I recommend that you buy the Collector's Edition if you're interested in special features. I also recommend that people buy the UK version and don't bother importing, because it is important that UK fans support Manga Entertainment and they're releases.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2014
If you wanna know i the English dub is good, the answer is yes! Mikasa, Armin and Eren are all voiced very competently, to the point where I wonder which dub I would prefer if I heard this one first! Mikasa seems a little more sarcastic, but it's possible that just may not have come across when simply reading subtitles. Also, all the supporting cast sound WONDERFUL. Sasha, Connie, Jean, the entire gang!
Anyway, this boxset contains the first 13 episodes of Attack on Titan. It is the first big story, so it's relatively self contained, with more to give if you want to watch the other series. Blu-Ray does this series a justice like no other. Seeing the gargantuan Titans in crystal clear definition re-applies just how huge and terrifying these monsters are, even to someone quite familiar with the brand!
That's not all, however, this also includes a small book explaining some of the concepts of Attack on Titan and the characters we are introduced to in the first few episodes. A welcome addition to any fans collection.
Also, there is commentary on a few episodes with the 3 main voice actors and the voice director. Listen to fun conversations between them, their experience with the show, the ways they researched into the show and good ol' fun banter! They say that Armin is voiced by a women in the Japanese dub! Learn something new everyday!
Lastly, there is a clear space in this boxset for the second set of episodes. These details, I think, are under appreciated and I just want to point out I love it!
If you want the genuine Attack on Titan experience, here it is. What is the series itself? Well, Walking Dead meets Highschool of the Dead with grappling hooks. Enjoy!