Initial Thoughts: Attack on Titan (No Spoilers)

By: 14thLord

Release: 2013
Category: Action, Horror
Also known as: Shingeki No Kyojin, Advancing Giants

Shingeki No Kyojin, Advancing Giants, or Attack on Titan. Ah anime's will always have a fun variety of names, wont they? Beginning in April, we're witness to our newest flavor of the week. Attack on Titan is currently still airing, and as of the time I wrote this, 13 episodes have come out (not including the recap episode). By the time I publish this though, a couple more should have followed.

With a week break to recap the events of the prior episodes, I decided to get my initial thoughts out. This is the mid-seasonal break, and would serve as a bridge between Chapters, where my opinion may vastly change. I first heard about this anime in June, where my friend described it as being influenced by old European stories about giants, with them attacking human cities. I instantly pictured the old Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, a live action series from the 1990's, and was immediately disinterested.

Despite my ill opinion, the night of AnimeNext, we went on a short marathon of the first few episodes until our party members began to pass out from exhaustion. The marathon started strong as we were all blown away by a intro sequence that couldn't be described as any less than “Epic.” Perhaps one of the most engaging opening soundtracks, we're first treated with a Medieval crest. Soon we get a picture of the titans and wow, does the intro look impressive. It really starts strong and shows off the European mythology that spawned its creation.

Once the first episode begins, we're treated by the whiny, arrogant, annoying little brat that happens to be our main character. Besides Erin, we meet Mikasa, his sister who we later learn was adopted, and Armin, the blond boy. For some reason, this characters hairstyle very much reminded me of old King Arthur stories. Whether that was intentional or not, we'll see.

The first episode ends with perhaps one of the most shocking scenes I've seen. It is there that we gain full perspective of the titans that was spoken of throughout the episode, and at last, does giants come off as threatening. Perhaps its all the goofy giants in modern culture now, that made this scene so unnerving.

Throughout the next many episodes, we're again and again treated with shocking imagery, and learn to respect and fear giants once more. Understanding the weakness of giants from lore, the creators of Attack on Titan gave them quite a few tricks. Not only are these titans impossible to kill except by a surgical strike to their Cervical vertebrae, there exists abnormal Titans. These abnormal giants are capable of many unpredictable traits, making them far more dangerous than the standard mindless creatures.

While Attack on Titan starts out fast and hard, it quickly loses its momentum. Starting at episode 5, we're treated with a NINE part long chapter, “Battle of Trost District”. In this chapter, we spend whole episodes with nothing significant happening to move the story long. We literally spend the entire Episode 12, following Erin who's unconscious. Yeah.

Characters: 6/10
Erin, our annoying main character that I absolutely HATED the first 3-4 episodes. After which, I remained indifferent. Armin, a useless and afraid kid who too, is part of our main cast. Finally we have Mikasa, our quiet, yet competent character for a change. Out of all the characters, Mikasa took the greatest shine to me, making me like her even more once we're treated with her back story. Almost every character is portrayed as being extremely afraid of the Titans, and while it may work to build up the audience's fear of these creatures, after the first few episodes I was left more annoyed than anything else.

Plot: 6/10
While it's constantly wowing the audience, the more we learn, the more weird things we learn. While at the moment, it's more annoying than interesting, we'll see whether or not these questions will have compelling answers. My answer is on it either turns out bad, or is just plot holes.

Fun Factor: 9/10
The art starts out as fresh and unnerving, especially for the titans. We're taken through a fearful journey and are quickly treated with action. The anime thus far has been quite eventful, except for episode 11 and 12 which was spent with the main characters just running and sleeping. We'll see if it regains the momentum.

Soundtrack & Art: 8/10
While the art starts out somewhat surreal and attention grabbing, it has slowly been devolving into what comes off as very generic of anime. While it's still very good, only in the very beginning does it come off as attention grabbing. The opening theme though is by far one of the more amazing and “Epic” intro's that I've seen in awhile.

Overall: 7/10
Attack on Titan starts out amazing. It really does. Perhaps if it wasn't for the horrible characters, I may of enjoyed it far more, but at the end of each episode I was instead left ranting in annoyance about how much I want them to get eaten.

The first two episodes are a must watch, with each episode weaker than the last. I'll come back at the end of the shows run, and we'll see how much my opinion may have changed.

Also I swear, if this turns out to be a mecha, with humans piloting these giants, I will RAGE. I don't know why, but I've been expecting it since episode 2, and nothing has shaken that opinion.

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