Double Review!!! Shingeki No Kyojin Episodes #1 and #2
This anime is HUGE right now! Actually, this entire franchise has received a massive boom in popularity. And frankly, it’s pretty easy to see why. The anime, directed by Tetsurou Araki and based on the equally popular manga by Hajime Isayama is so unique and so captivating, that millions of people are already hooked. Including me…
The story is about humans being on the brink of extinction thanks to the threat of giants called “Titans”. The story mainly follows three children: Eren, Mikasa and Armin, as they grow up and train to become strong enough to beat the titans…
I love the Shingeki No Kyojin (Attack on Titan) manga. It’s one of the most intriguing titles I’ve ever had the privilege to read. It’s certainly not your conventional manga style, as even though the characters may have slightly manga characteristics in appearance, everything is drawn with sketchy lines and a mix of Western and Japanese styles. Personally I love it, but it’s not for everyone.
Now when I heard that one of my most favourite manga was being made into an anime in Spring 2013, I got excited. Sure, I’d be happier to see Sora No Otoshimono III released, but it’s still really friggin’ awesome. However, like anyone, I was a bit skeptical. Would it live up to the quality of the manga, or would it be a disappointment?
I can now happily say, it’s even better than I expected.
The first episode runs just like the first couple of chapters of the manga. We get introduced to our main three characters, and also the family of Eren and some side characters. But the first thing I noticed was the sheer similarity with the manga. I was unsure whether the fluidity and style of the manga art would be captured so well in the animated form, but I can safely say it does a great job. It’s just like seeing the manga brought to life.
One thing, if you don’t like depressing stuff, then this anime is NOT for you. As most of us know, at the start of the story, and at the end of the first episode, Eren and Mikasa’s mother gets killed by a Titan, and a MONSTROUSLY HUGE Titan starts to attack the walled city which the humans live in.
Note: I seriously can’t stop listening to the opening for this anime: “Guren no Yumiya”. You can listen to it here:
Oh yeah, and it seriously does go with anything:
As you can see by the above image, the Titans are rather extremely intimidating. The anime and manga do a fantastic job of depicting how horrific these creatures are, and you can’t help getting sweaty palms when you see a horde of them storm the city. It really is quite something. Also, the Titan above is the one that kills Eren and Mikasa’s mother. Eek.
As for the humans, yeah I do like the designs. Eren has a lot of emotional moments, and these are very well done in terms of his facial expressions. Maybe his voice is a little too mature for his age, I think he is only like 14 or something at the start of this series. Armin was pretty wimpy in the manga, but I still think he’s cute and I can’t help rooting for him. Mikasa is my favourite though, as she’s tough, but not tsundere, and I like that.
Shingeki No Kyojin reminds me of Claymore. Aside from the Westernised character designs and the medieval themes, this anime also has a certain animation theme. I often found that with Claymore, there could be some excellent and fluid action scenes, but sometimes the animation would look like paper cut-outs when depicting characters walking or interacting with landscapes. Shingeki No Kyojin is no different, and the fact that often the characters have thick outlines compared to the background sometimes isn’t a great help in this regard.
However, the action scenes are very very good, and I love the colour palette they’ve used here. Like Claymore, everything has a bleak tone, and nothing is ever considerably bright or vivid apart from fire or sunsets. I like the orange tones which cascade throughout the city, it somehow fits in perfectly with the style of the manga and the anime.
All in all, I really love this series so far. The first episode was a hit for me. Please, if you think you’ll like it then check it out.
A strong first episode doesn’t always mean a good series, and plenty of anime have fallen fault to this trend. However, Attack on Titan is most certainly not one of them.
We start episode 2 where we left off, Eren’s mother has just been killed, and now the entire city is in danger of Titan attack (note, no matter how tempted I am, there will be no Teen Titans references…). Everyone is trying to get evacuated, and Armin, Eren and Mikasa are caught up in it all. The story mainly follows the evacuation process, and how Wall Maria is broken down by some new, enhanced Titan:
Literally thousands are massacred, and it looks like there is little hope for the human’s futures. So, still enraged by his mother’s death, Eren vows to fight against the Titans, as do Armin and Mikasa. The episode ends showing their new positions, and the three of them all grown up…
I don’t like how Mikasa’s character design is suddenly so much more feminine here. I mean, before she looked a lot more androgynous and I liked that aspect, as it made her into more than just an object. But…yeah this is a major downside to the episode. I hope Mikasa doesn’t become the new face of hugging pillows…
But that aside, this episode is excellent, and shows so much promise for the series as a whole. I am a little concerned that this series is only running for 25 or so episodes when the manga is hardly through it’s run yet, but maybe that just means a second season? With the popularity so far, I wouldn’t be surprised.
This anime looks set to be epic. I highly recommend that anyone reading this watches it and sees for themselves just how excellent it is. I suppose that it won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but nonetheless I urge people to at least give it a shot. You may be pleasantly surprised…
Also, Armin is adorable.