Attack on Titan Anime Review
Aired from Apr 7, 2013 to Sep 28, 2013
Rated R (according to MyAnimeList)
Major spoilers ahead!
Overrated. Best anime ever. The manga is better. An epic thrill ride. Stupid and bland. These are just a few of the many words that are used to describe Attack on Titan. Over the years, this anime has had many clashing opinions from both the haters and the lovers. Sort of like Sword Art Online in a way. It seems like you either love and adore it, or you despise it. For me, I thought it was a good anime, but nothing too spectacular. By now, you have probably either seen it or at least heard something about it. I know I’m a little late to the party. Still, I want to get my two cents in. Let’s get started, shall we?
Story of Attack on Titan
I’m sure you know the story by now. Humanity was nearly wiped out by titans years ago, thus forcing the surviving population into hiding. To keep this crisis from happening again and to survive, the survivors built three walls to withhold the titans and try to live the best life they could. All was peaceful for a long time. Until, disaster strikes humanity once again.
A colossal titan breaks down Wall Maria. Eren, our main protagonist is forced to witness all of this, along with his mother being brutally eaten by a titan. Terror strikes him as he flees his house and his mother. The people of Wall Maria flee to Wall Rose. After making it to safety, he meets up with his two good friends: Armin and Mikasa. Eren is fed up with how humanity currently lives. He is tired of being treated like cattle. From that day forward, he swears to kill every single titan on the earth.
Eren decides to join the military to achieve this goal. He eventually persuades his friends to do so along with him. For the next couple episodes, he is shown as a trainee with his buddies, trying to build up strength, speed, courage, and all the tools required to bring down a titan. During this time, he mentions how he has a key from his father to his basement. He doesn’t know what could be lying there, but it might give them a clue about the cause of titans and ways to destroy them all. Along with training, some back story is brought up and along with it, a little character development. Five years later, their training slows down to a halt and they are ready to do some actual work.
The three friends are positioned along Wall Rose, checking weapons and other miscellaneous things, when a titan attacks. More chaos ensues. The combination of high paced action scenes and gritty survival, makes this arc and whole story in general very tense and always left me on the edge of my seat. A couple characters we are introduced to die during this time. One especially important character dies. Eren.
Fast forward a episode or two, Eren comes back as a titan. I personally felt that I was cheaply tricked. The whole being able to turn into a giant titan thing that can destroy crap, made everything seem a little surreal. But, maybe that’s just me. The general sees Eren as a chance to reclaim the wall back for them so they don’t have to retreat anymore. They quickly devise a plan to plug up the hole in the wall.
I felt the whole plug the rock in the wall was dragged out a tiny bit too long, but didn’t really subtract that much from my personal enjoyment. The plan is successful, even though Eren lost control for a second, and humanity has its first real victory against the titans. I could feel the glory and victory radiating from my screen as I watched this episode.
Shortly afterwards, there is a trial held for Eren. To kill or to let him live? In the end, the survey corps gained control of Eren and decided to embark on a mission with him. Eren is seen as humanity’s best chance for survival. I feel like Eren is sort of Gary Stuish, but I’ll get to that when I review the characters. He felt a wee bit perfect for just being a kid.
The survey corps then explore the outside of the walls. They created a “human radar” warning system to try to minimize loses. I loved the clever idea of that. Everything goes well for a while with the system in effect. Sadly, they then have to face a female titan who is intelligent and drives them to the great forest. Fighting and running happens. Characters die. A depressing, but exhilarating arc. I think it was my favorite, as I felt captivated the whole time. For each character, there felt like there is a chance that they could die suddenly. That’s what I love about this anime and what it does extremely well. You just don’t know what is going to happen next.
In the end, they make it back to the city and eventually capture the female there. It turns out to be Annie. At the very end of the anime, she is crystallized and they put her underground to study her. Eren and his gang are determined not to give up, and also find out what’s in the basement. A frustrating ending, indeed.
I loved the story that Attack on Titan had. The suspense, the emotions of the characters, and the grim fate of it all made me fall in love with the story. The world was built each episode and it felt like it was all put together very solidly. The end of each episode always kept me guessing. The action scenes were excellent too. There are still many unanswered questions that will hopefully be answered in season two. A great and suspenseful story.
Characters of Attack on Titan
This to me, is what bogged the anime down a lot. The characters all felt bland and there wasn’t a whole lot of character development happening. Eren was your usual “never give up” determined dude. Mikasa had hardly any flaws. Her only flaw it seemed, was that she loved Eren and was obsessed with him. Armin was the best character on the show; having real flaws, strengths, and emotions. Most of the side characters were tossed away to be eaten by the titans! I wish they spent some more time developing the side characters, before they were merely blood stains on a window. You need to have more attachment to the charcaters before you can cry about their deaths. Anyhow, let me go onto more detail about our three main characters.
He is the main character of the story. Too bad he felt like a typical Gary Stue. During the whole story, he always ranted about how much he hated the titans and wanted to kill them all. Eren was your typical shounen character you could find anywhere. Really nothing special or new at all. When he started to turn into a titan himself, and harnessing the power, it felt like a little too much. Now it seemed like a big size and strength vs size and strength battle. He seemed too perfect for being a kid and people in the anime acted like he was the most amazing and dangerous thing on the planet. I wish there was more character development and he wasn’t as quite as bland.
God, Mikasa is overpowered. She can literally take down any titan flawlessly. Like I stated before, her only flaw is having feelings for Eren, which is hardly a flaw at all. I also didn’t like how emotionless she was. At times, it felt like a rock was standing there. The only time she shows any emotions is with Eren, and even then, not that much. What is up with that? She had little to none character development during the whole anime, just being strong and perfect for no apparent reason. I enjoyed having an awesome female protagonist, but she felt too powerful and flat.
My favorite character in the whole anime. At times, he showed weakness and was terrified of the whole world it seemed. Throughout the story, he eventually found the courage and strength to bring down those titans. Sure, he cried, but is that a crime? Armin was a lot more interesting than Eren who seemed tough all the time. I personally think he should have been the main character for Attack On Titan. Would have made a more interesting show.
Sound of Attack on Titan
I absolutely adore the first opening, but the second one, not as much. The first one always got me pumped for another episode of Attack on Titan. Also, the animation to go along with the opening was great too and really added to the tone of the show. The second one, I didn’t really like the singing, but by the end of the series, it started to grow on me and I enjoyed listening to it to some extent.
Both the ending themes were pleasing to the ears, with the second one slightly better than the first one. In the first ending, I swear, the animation and emotion you get of Mikasa is the most emotion you’ll ever get out of her. That’s how cold and emotionless she is. Along with the ending themes, there is some background music in Attack on Titan. Good background music, but nothing I would listen to on its own.
The Japanese voice actors were again excellent for this anime. I don’t have much to say for the English dubbed, as I only saw bits and pieces of episodes that were English dubbed. I thought the dub was fine, not the worst, nor the best.
Art of Attack on Titan
A lot of people debate over the art style. Some people love it and others hate it. Personally, I thought the art was quite beautiful and unique. Everything seemed to be animated smoothly, from the birds to the titan fights. There were a few still shots of the characters to save enough money to animate an amazing titan fight. Still, the animation was a very interesting style and made it stand out from other anime. The shading of the light looked magnificent. As animation goes, this was nice to look at and would make a awe-inspiring screensaver.
Personal Enjoyment of Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan had me entertained and interested in the story for most of the anime. There were a few moments were the story might have dragged a tiny bit or the characters were acting sort of stupid, but I still had a lot of fun watching it. At times, the bland and uninteresting characters did subtract from my enjoyment, but the thrill of the storyline made up for it to some extent. The action scenes also always peaked my interest. Overall, I enjoyed the anime a good amount, even though I felt like the characters dragged down the show.
Final notes and overall rating of Attack on Titan
Even though at times I really didn’t like the characters, I still thought Attack on Titan was a great survival story and I enjoyed all the action, wondering who would die next. Even though the idea of giant monsters eating everybody isn’t the most original idea out there, Attack on Titan portrayed the fight to survive amazingly well. The annoying thing is that the series ended without a real conclusion, but I have heard that there is a season two on its way. I hope that season will answer all our questions and maybe have more character development.
I give this anime a 7 out of 10. I honestly wish I could give it a higher score, but the characters just weren’t that great. Characters are an extremely important thing in any show. The characters on Attack on Titan needed to have more character! (Excuse my pun.) I would recommend this show to anybody who loves an exciting survival story. I’m going to watch season two when it comes out and possible review that in the future. I also don’t know if the manga is any better, but you could check it out if you want to. I guess you could say, Attack on Titan lives up to its hype to some extent.