Anime Review: Attack on Titan

bureaucrats meeting

It has been a while, huh?

Well, I was busy migrating the site located on the root level of my domain name to a different platform, and the involvement with the layout took quite a bit of time, since I considered making it publicly available on the platform, that I might as well move this site over to that platform, so if the feeds stop working, I encourage you guys to visit the actual blog to get a new feed address.

Fortunately, I did not forget about this place and I was able to find the time to sit down and watch something on a streaming service that I subscribe to.

Today, I will be reviewing that show, which is called Attack on Titan.

Eren Yeager crying

Civilization has fallen a long time ago to giant, humanoid monsters that eat humans, and the last of humanity has taken up residence behind a fortress that has stood for so long that people no longer care about the outside.

However, some people, including three children, realize that the peace will not last long, and when the monsters come attacking, Eren Yeager, one of the three children, becomes resolved to kill every single one of those monsters after seeing his mother being consumed.

Hannes trying to cheer people up

I cannot say that I liked this show too much, if at all.

Luckily, this series did not bug me as much as The Garden of Words, so I can at least go on like usual.

I liked how it seemed like I was on an adventure.

While I cannot say that I was as immersed or invested in the series as I was with Railgun's Sisters arc, which took place in volumes 4-7 of the Railgun manga, or the confrontation between Akai and Kir, which took place in volumes 58 and 59 of Detective Conan, since I still felt like I was being taken on a ride.

If I had to say why, it was because the way things were animated seemed like I was on a ride, with how the motion speed along with the characters, instead of the characters just leaving the screen.

Now, I am not about to start judging an anime by its quality of animation, unless it was as bothersome as the artwork was for ef — A Tale of Memories, since I care more about seeing a story play out, but, compared to the anime that was made around the time that I first got into anime, this is definitely on a completely different level.

Maybe some of elders or peers would not be poking fun of anime if they had seen me watching this, instead of Death Note, since this had a bit more going on with camera work than just panning or close ups, though that would not be enough for me to actually be able to overlook the flaws of this series, seeing as there are people out there that think this is one of the best anime out there, just like people thought that DBZ was the best show ever, before it became viewed as trash.

Then again, that probably will not change the fact that they would prefer it if I watched the things that focused more on eye candy than anything else that makes a show truly great.

Nice job, Wit Studios.

Even though you have not gained my patronage, I can definitely see why people would be attracted to it as their first anime, especially considering how there were so many people praising this show when it originally aired back in 2013, and are probably happy to hear that another season will be airing this year, according to a report on Crunchyroll.

Hopefully, it can really step up its game with the newer episodes, otherwise the series would be losing the fans it gained, which is something that people in the creative fields cannot really afford, if they want to continue making a living.

I also liked how the reactions and things the characters did were fairly believable.

As much as I do not really like how I could not connect with the characters, they seemed to act fairly realistically for their situations.

One of the key things that needs to be present in a story or series that helps to make the audience feel connected is by having the actions of each character seem to be believable, and Wit Studio seem to be able to pick up on this fairly well, at least in the aspects of how any human would react.

While this is not quite at a level that I would have liked to see, I do have to give the staff at Wit Studio a thumbs up for at least doing the most basic of things. After all, that is the one thing that the entertainment industry tends to do right most of the time.

If they can actually do more than this, then they would be at least deserving of the praise they get, and I hope that the people over at Wit Studio improve even more.

Another nice thing about this show was how there was a ton of action.

Now, as I have gotten older, it might take more than a ton of action to get me interested in a work, but this series does not have too much of anything else that I could find in series that I find great and the series itself came across as one in which action would be the main emphasis, and Wit was able to deliver closest to my expectations in this area.

Even though there are a few places here and there where I did not care about what was going on, regardless of whether any action was present or not, I felt truly excited by the best fight scenes and it reminded me of the days when I enjoyed watching DBZ on television, as I have on the edge of my seat.

This is what I wanted to see from this series, even when it was being simulcasted, and Wit Studio mostly delivered.

After all, I do not think any fans of action series would be watching something if there was hardly any action that truly made them excited.

Of course, there would be people that would not have bothered with a series if there was nothing that they were interested in, which is probably why movies these days focus more on eye candy than story.

Still, that does not change the fact that this is one of the things about the series that I am most pleased about, and I hope that Wit Studio can deliver something on the level of the best fights found in A Certain Scientific Railgun. Nice job, Wit Studio.

The thing that I liked the most though was how I did not feel lost, even though I did not technically marathon this series.

Unlike many other books or anime, where I did not want to stop reading or watching for any reason, I did not feel like I just had to see the next episode, but I could still figure out what had happened.

Yes, my memory may be better than that of most people out there, but I could say that even if it was diminished that I still would not have felt as lost, and, as each episode aired on weekly basis, it shows that it did at least fit into that kind of schedule than A Certain Scientific Railgun S, which had some episodes that seemed to be less interesting the more time I was away from it.

Honestly, if anime series were more like this, I would probably be dealing with simulcasts more often than when series that catch my interest comes around.

Then again, seeing how tiring the episodic formula of American television has become, I am glad that not all anime is like that, even if it is just as riddled with trash as American entertainment and the book industry, so this is probably something that I would not want to see more of.

Still, Wit Studio did do a good enough job that they deserve some praise.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked.

Because the animation made it feel like I was on a ride, the actions and reactions of the characters were fairly believable, even though I could not connect with them, as well as the fact that I did not feel lost, even when taking time away from the show, and that there was a ton of action, this series was fairly decent.

Reiner Braun commenting

Although this series had things to like, there are some issues.

First, I did not feel like I just had to watch this series.

Even though this series lacks many of the things that I enjoy in other series, there are things that I expect to get from every series, and that is something that makes me want to keep going, whether it is the wacky antics of Baka & Test or the intense moments of Rurouni Kenshin's Kyoto and Jinchu arcs.

However, that was nowhere to be found in this series at all, even when the things that were nice about this series came to a head.

Now, some of you guys might be thinking that this was because I was watching this dubbed, instead of subbed, as there are people out there that swear up and down that subbed anime is the best, when not all subtitles are equal, but this is one of the reasons why I did not really like the attention that this show was being simulcasted in 2013 and is present regardless of audio track.

What makes each person hooked on a show is subjective, but if a viewer does not have some reason to keep tuning in, they will stop.

If I had to say why, it is because of two reasons, which I originally planned to list as their own issues.

First, I did not feel excited by much of the fighting that occurred.

This series was shown to be an action-oriented series, but many of the battles felt rather lackluster.

Back when I got into anime, the fights were all rather intense or enjoyable, such as the fights that took place during the Dark Tournament Saga of Yu Yu Hakusho, Kenshin's fights with Sojiro and Shishio, and Goku's battle with Frieza on Namek, and each of those gave me a reason to keep on watching, as I wanted to see how the fights would end.

Here, however, there were only a few moments in which I felt like I was on the edge of my seat.

Really? Is this really a sign of a good action or fighting series, Wit? If you think that is the case, it is no wonder that I was so unimpressed by what few episodes I saw back in 2013, aside from pointless recap episode that FUNimation did not even bother putting up when I went to view it now.

Fans of action expect some of the same things that fans of thriller do, which I mentioned in my reviews of Death Note and The Whistler, and I do not even get those feelings from this series at all, which dissuades me from watching any of the new episodes are to come soon. In fact, I rarely got any feelings of excitement, anticipation, or anxiety that I got from Mikoto Misaka's fight with ITEM or Touma's fight with Accelerator in the Railgun portion of the Raildex universe.

Honestly, seeing this, I am not too sure how it even got on some people's top ten list, because the times where I did get feelings of excitement, anticipation, or anxiety only made the series passable at best.

The second reason why I did not feel like I just needed to continue was that I just did not care about anyone in this series.

In many of the great series out there, there are characters out there that receive just enough focus and show them struggling enough that I can get a feel for what they are going through and makes me feel for their loss or sympathize with their frustration, but this one does not allow me to get a feeling for what the characters are going through, even in the moments that truly matter.

Yes, almost everyone that can die in this series does and they do not exactly live in a peaceful world, but that does not change the fact that there are times when I truly need to get some feeling from a scene, and Wit Studio seem to not deliver at any moment during this series.

Mostly uninteresting action is one thing, but if I cannot connect to the characters when it matters the most, then I do not see how this series could be even remotely appealing, aside from animation than seems more advanced than the simplistic animation that permeated my childhood and teenage years.

The thing that I hated the most though was how there was a lack of an ending.

While the series is still ongoing in the manga, as chapters are still being released, and more episodes are to come, I still wanted to have an ending that could feel like there was more to come and make me want to watch this again, as well as its new episodes.

However, just like how the series was mostly dull, the ending its was also very much even less interesting than how many other series end before new episodes come out.

Really, Wit? I know that you did not have too much content to cover, but you could have still ended this better, since adaptations do not need to be faithful to the original to be good.

In fact, the way this ended made it feel like I wasted more time than I did when I did not watch this series, and cements my decision to not watch the new episodes that will be coming out this year.

This is why I do not usually try and cover what is popular just because it is, since I get let down more than when I find series on my own, either through manga or anime streaming services.

Unfortunately, the only way that the ending could have been much more satisfying was if the whole show was redone to the point where the elements that made me feel less invested in the series.

Thankfully, that was all that really bothered me, and nothing could make this series even worse, considering that I did not get the urge to just skip right to what I hated.

While all the issues lead back to the first one that I mentioned, which was how I did not feel like I just had to watch this, they all hurt the series enough that it could definitely not be called the best anime out there.

Despite the fact that there were things to like, the fact that the negatives made me not really feel invested in the series made this only good enough to kill time.

I only recommend this to fans of Attack on Titan, as they will be able to enjoy this the most, even if this series was able to either get people interested in or rekindle their interest in anime, but, if you want to check out what all the fuss is about, you are free to do so.

If you have watched this series, what are your thoughts on Attack on Titan? Please leave a comment and let everyone know why you liked it or hated it, especially if your reasons differ from mine or you disagree with me.

Also, if you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon, so that I can find more worthwhile anime to watch.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.