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.