Attack on Titan – Season 1

Attack on Titan – Season 1

attack-on-titan-2One of the most highly-anticipated animes of last year, Attack on Titan was directed by Tetsuro Araki, who was also director for Death Note and Guilty Crown. In this story, giant humanoid creatures known as titans have nearly wipes out humanity, forcing them into a small walled-off area. When a giant sixty-metre titan breached the outermost wall, Eren Jeager’s mother is killed in the resulting carnage. Accompanied by friends Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Alert, Eren vows revenge against the titans, unbeknownst that he has the power to turn into a titan himself.

Attack on Titan is not my usual anime preferences, but it would have been crazy of me not to give it a chance when the whole community was raving about it. The first episode intrigued me. After two, I was hooked.

photo 5 (1) c

The animation is gritty and slick, and the colour setting suits the bleak situation impeccably. I had no qualms with the approach, because it was entirely justified. The series does well in establishing it’s world in very short order – an absolute must in a fast-paced storyline such as this.

photo 4 (2) cAttack on Titan is not optimistic and humorous. It does have it’s moments, but they are used only to reinforce the air f despair and brutality that living under constant feat of titan attach should bring. there is a lot on on-screen violence and it does not shy away from portraying a very harsh, post-apocalyptic setting in which humans are clearly on the verge of extinction.

photo 1 bThere are also a lot of parallels and subtext to be drawn from this anime, which also gives it a fascinating deeper level – the metaphorical take on the walls and the desperation of the younger generation fighting for their future to name two of the obvious ones. It really does have something for everyone, which is why so many watch it, after all. And also, it has a kick-ass opening them song that you should all watch here.

photo 5 (2) cIf only it kept up this pace and focus.

About halfway through the ‘Trost’ arc, something happened. I know writers became a bit lost and struggled to keep up with the schedule (only because it was so obvious. It was like someone had literally slammed on the animation brakes), but the change in pace made me, and I’m sure plenty of others, thing ‘What the hell? What are they trying to do now?’ Eventually, things do start to pick up again, but they are never quite the same. Viewers are left disengaged by the sudden tangent that it shoots off on, and as a result are no as immersed in the action as they once were. This is a noticeable lack of conflict in what should have been a series-ending epic titan fight. The Attack on Titan manga still isn;t finished – and I would guess that this is the reason for the anime’s lack of direction.

photo 2 (3) cAttack on Titan is a great ‘gateway’ anime. It has something for everyone and I would consider it a staple in anyones anime diet. Apart from the storyline drag in the middle, there really is nothing else for me to criticise. The death and gore are not overdone, and the fights scenes are tense because of the amount of sub-characters and the knowledge that no one is safe. It comprises a great balance of action and emotion, and comes with my own personal recommendation.