Anime Review: Attack on Titan

Every few seasons, an Anime comes around, that every one seems to be talking about before it even started airing and once it actually starts and seems to be decent, the fanbase around it grows bigger and bigger with every episode until it seems to have consumed every other fanbase around it. It gets so popular that even people that usually don’t watch Anime get aware of it and start trying it out. This year’s spring season Anime “Attack on Titan” is nothing but a summary of exactly this phenomenon, as it started off strong and kept growing, until it was almost as big as the big 3 themselves. Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s topic shall be the immensely popular Anime from the spring season of 2013: Attack on Titan, or as others might say Shingeki no Kyojin!

Story:
Shingeki no Kyojin Review WallsThe story of Shingeki no Kyojin is set in a medieval alternative universe, in which the titans, giant naked humanoids that seem to not have any intelligence at all have suddenly started appearing and devouring humans. As it stands, they don’t eat humans out of hunger or any other reason that might kill them, but just for the pure pleasure. As it gets clear that humankind at this point is not able to go up against the titans, the surviving people build three gigantic walls, even higher than any titan that has been sighted so far and hide behind them. Flashing forward 100 years, we get to know our three main characters Eren, Mikasa and Armin. Eren’s and Armin’s plan is to one day leave the city of humans and wander through the huge world outside that they so far have only read and heard about. One day though, suddenly a gigantic titan, even taller than the walls built around the human city appears and destroys the wall built around the district our three main characters live in. A second abnormal titan called the “Armored Titan” then runs right into the second wall and destroys it as well. With all the Titans now coming into the human territory, panic goes around, since not even the military knows what to do at this point. Going back to our main characters, they get separated since Eren runs back to his house only to witness his mother to get eaten by a titan and then gets brought away by a military helper. In contrary to a lot of other people Eren, Mikasa and Armin get a space on the boat with fleeing people. Here it is that we get to hear Eren talking about the plan that will dominate the entire show for the first time! “I’m gonna kill all of the Titans!”

Shingeki no Kyojin Review cruelty

When it is to the deaths, Attack on Titan really is damn cruel…

Let me say one thing, before we get into the evaluation of the story: This show is cruel! Attack on Titan has no fear of killing of characters that either are really important or that you really get attached to and not a single character is safe only because he looks important, which is a major plus for the show, as it is really unpredictable and the plot twists and deaths come really surprising again and again, which is something that compliment the show itself amazingly well, since the story is a main selling point of the show as a whole. This already shows in the beginning as the show has one of the strongest starts that I have seen so far! What Attack on Titan does really well in it’s first episode is show the chaos that is brought to the city by the colossal Titan kicking the gate, as we see people getting devoured and panic overcoming others. Another fact that makes this show’s start amazing is it’s pacing. After episode 3, the show suddenly starts to speed up a whole lot, with an uncountable amount of Plot Twists in only a few episodes. It is so fast, that you feel like you almost can’t keep up with what the show has to offer you, leaving you sitting on the edge of the seat for the entire time! Unfortunately though, the show’s strongest point at the same time is one of it’s weakest. Later on, when it gets to the second part of the show, the pacing slows down, first to normal Shounen speed and after that even slower, which kind of bugged me personally because in comparison it just felt as if the show suddenly froze, even when it was moving at normal Shounen pacing. It eventually did speed up again, but not before leaving me a little disappointed several weeks in a row. That probably was a problem with me watching it weekly though, as the archs in Attack on Titan were with the exception of the first and last one always at least eight episodes long and it might have turned out to be a lot better if I would have marathoned it.

9.2/10

Shingeki no Kyojin Review Eren goal

Eren is really obsessed with his one goal of killing all the titans!

Characters:
The characters in Shingeki no Kyojin are nothing that we haven’t seen before to be honest. We have our normal cliched Shounen protagonist, that swears vengeance for his mother, who was killed by the titans. As such Eren is nothing really outstanding and pretty much remains what he was from episode 2 on. He only starts to change in the last few episodes, which in total is way too late, as it is quite easy to get annoyed of him at times. His stepsister Mikasa though, is even worse. While being a really interesting character at first, since she finally is a female character that really is strong, the only thing that stands out about her later, are her awesome fighting skills against the titans and her incredibly exaggerated affection for Eren since she doesn’t seem to care about anything but him, which in the end makes for a character that gets annoying as hell at times. The last main character is Armin, who is by far the most interesting of the trio. At first being stamped as the “Pussy” by many, Armin is the only one to really develop in the course of the show, realizing that he is not as insignificant as he thinks he is and in the end becomes a tactical badass, always being the one that has the right plan to go with. The supporting cast on the other hand for the most part is really well done. Almost none of the characters really feel one dimensional and they do get a lot more development as some of the main characters. Of course some aren’t as good as others, but many are a lot more two-dimensional than for example Mikasa or Eren.
In total the characters for Shingeki no Kyojin are by far the weakest part of it, since they feel way too static for the most part and only some of the Supporting Cast are able to save that a little, but that is not enough to balance it out in total. That does not mean, that the characters aren’t fun to watch at all, but later on, it became more and more obvious that character development was almost non-existent
7.6/10

Shingeki no Kyojin Review Moe Titan

Some of the Titans really do look weird…MOE TITAN FTW!

Art:
If I was to describe the Animation of Attack on Titan in one word, it probably would be “inconsistent“! Attack on Titan has been produced by Wit Studios, a daughter studio of the highly acclaimed Production I.G. This is the first work that Wit Studios has ever done, which one can easily see at some points of this Anime. A problem that the Anime has a lot to fight with, is the distribution of the show’s budget. Whenever the show gets around to animate fast movement, most notably the usage of the 3D-Maneouver-Gear, a gear that is used to fight the titans by simply adding more mobility to the human body, the show looks bloody amazing, using 3D-camera movements to make every scene that it is used in a pure eyegasm. Huge credits for this go to Arawak Tetanus the director of this show, known for shows such as Death Note and High school of the dead, to invent this kind of style! Whenever the show slowed down a little though and fast movements wasn’t needed, Wit Studios never animated any more than they needed. There were many scenes that were either simple still screens or  just looked as if they were only halfway animated, which is a real shame, since they just could have taken a little budget out of the fast scenes and animated the slower scenes a lot better. Another thing that I realized about the art were the thick outlines that were surrounding every character. It was a little distracting while watching it for the first time, but the more often I saw it, the more used to it I got.
8.3/10

Look at the amazingness that is the Maneuver Gear!

Sound:
The Soundtrack for Shingeki no Kyojin was scored by Sawano Hiroyuki. A man that did already have quite some attention before going into this one as he was composer for Guilty Crown, which is known to have an amazing OST, but now after writing the music for Attack on Titan, he is the composer that everyone keeps talking about. The Soundtrack for this show is easily one of, if not THE best that I have ever heard. It ranges from really slow paced solo vocal songs, to epic choirs singing together with a well arranged orchestra, to techno influenced parts of the show. It is a Soundtrack that obviously knows the show it is attached to and the way it fits into the show is just amazing and is really good at getting your heart race during the scenes it wants you to get excited as well as get really depressed when the show wants you to be. The only complaint that I personally have with the music itself is really minor and didn’t even bother me personally. The Soundtrack as a total is used really often, especially the track “Attack on Titan”, which might lead to some people not liking them, cause they heard them to often. I personally though, couldn’t get enough from the Soundtrack and loved what they did with it! I don’t think I even have to talk about the Openings and Endings for the show do I? The first Opening “Guren no Yumiya” by Linked Horizon must by now be one of the most popular Openings out there and while the second Opening “Jiyuu no Tsubasa” sounds pretty cool as well, while being really good looking, it just didn’t get me as pumped for the show as much as the first one. The Endings on the other hand were the complete opposite, as the first ending was really nice to hear but the second one just blew everything out of the water.
9.8/10

Attack on Titan is without a doubt an amazing show and does a really good job at a lot of things, but at the same time there are many parts of it that just don’t seem to be completely right. While watching Shingeki no Kyojin I for the most of the time was really hooked and I was really enjoying a huge part of it, but there were episodes when it felt as if it was just dragged to have one more episode and maybe get even more money out of it. Episodes where almost nothing important happened but inner monologues, that didn’t change anything about the show itself at all. Fortunately these parts were rather rare.
So…Do I think that Attack on Titan deserves the hype that it gets, or is it just another overhyped show? To be honest, I think it deserves the hype for the most part, but as there are some points that just bored me, I can’t say that everything the show did was as amazing as the fanbase praises it to be. It is an amazing show and for the most part it does deserve it!
Now as I calculated all the scores that I gave Shingeki no Kyojin (Story, Characters, Art, Sound and my personal enjoyment), I give Attack on Titan a score of 8.84/10. It is an amazing show that has a few obvious flaws, but is really entertaining in total! As it stands now, Shingeki no Kyojin has been licensed by Funimation, but has no official release yet. It is available for legal streaming on both Crunchyroll and Funimation’s website.
With that I hope I could help you and I see you next time!

The AniStorm Podcast

So I have a little Announcement to make. As you might have guessed from the name of the post, I am now in a Podcast called “The AniStorm Podcast”! To give you a quick summary of what the whole thing is about, it basically consists of me and a few other random that I know through Twitter. The others are Tom, who has a Blog on Blogspot (http://thesarcasticbrit.blogspot.de/), Holden’s Asshole who pretty much is an idea from Podtaku and owns the Twitter @Holdens_Asshole , Mia who…apparently owns nothing (DAMNIT MIA!) and Dakota Broskie who has a Youtube Channel called “D-Bar Anime Reviews” (http://www.youtube.com/user/DakotaBroskie23)

We uploaded the first episode of the Podcast only a few hours ago, so if you want to, you can check it out on our Youtube Channel! (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCojdZHYSsYkeaxf9i6hNXDw)

With that I hope that you enjoy the Podcast itself and I am probably going to upload some seasonal Impression and some new Reviews soon, so look forward to that!
Greetings, kori!

Galilei Donna: First Impression

This first impression is still SPOILER FREE! It doesn’t go beyond the things said in the Synopsis! However I still would recommend to watch the episode before reading this since it will make things a bit clearer (I am not gonna give a summary!)

Galilei Donna First Impression Goldfish

This probably is the most badass Goldfish I have ever seen!

Due to a Synopsis that didn’t say anything about the show itself, I was pretty scared about what was to come out of this Anime, as it could’ve been anything, from an actionoriented shounen to a pure Slice of Life Anime and as I now watched the first episode, I am pretty sure that this is going to turn out a lot better than I expected it to do! From what we saw so far, there has been quite some action and there already are a lot of unanswered questions. The first half of this episode, was something that really impressed me! Ranging from a start that was confusing as heck over a decent Opening to some scenes that were incredibly intense to watch. The thing that probably helped that first episode the most, was the really well done atmosphere that I felt throughout the whole first 10 minutes. After that span of time, it went into something a little more lighthearted, which is not a bad thing, but I just hope for the intensity of this start to come back later. So far though, this show really gripped me and I am looking forward to see more of this!

Ore no Nounai: First Impression

This first impression is still SPOILER FREE! It doesn’t go beyond the things said in the Synopsis! However I still would recommend to watch the episode before reading this since it will make things a bit clearer (I am not gonna give a summary!)

Ore no Nounai First Impression Choice

I like how they integrated the choices into the world!

Damn…I guess I’ve come across something really weird again…Ore no Nounai is an Anime that I only wanted to watch, due to the Synopsis being one of the weirdest things I have seen in a while. Now that I have actually started the show I have to say that the weird concept of a boy having to face decisions in his head suprisingly works better than I would’ve imagined…Even though the Anime itself still is really weird. So far it feels a little awkward watching this show, the same way that WataMote felt while I was watching it, but this Anime’s humor is something that pleases me a lot more than WataMote’s. Still I thought that at one point the episode was really just dragged out and another problem is something that us people watching the sub would not be really important for, but the Soundtrack is way too loud, making it hard to understand people at times.

Kikou Shoujo wa Kizutsukanai: First Impression

This first impression is still SPOILER FREE! It doesn’t go beyond the things said in the Synopsis! However I still would recommend to watch the episode before reading this since it will make things a bit clearer (I am not gonna give a summary!)

Kikou Shoujo wa Kizutsukanai First Impression Dark Hair

Why would a european with black hair be that weird? I JUST DONT UNDERSTAND!

This Anime is something that I’ve been thinking over again and again and I was not sure if I should pick this up or not, since the concept itself seemed to be pretty cool but in total I just was not sure whether it would be good itself. Now that I have picked it up though, I am rather surprised by how well it worked and the thing that probably surprised me the most is just how well Kinji Yoshimoto (Director of Queensblade…) was able to handle the fightscenes. It was a lot of fun just watching them fight and I am pretty happy I decided to watch this, although the sexual undertones it has between Raishin and Yaya are a little…how do I put this? Weird…I guess…The Animation looked pretty good, something I wouldn’t have expected out of Studio Lerche, which was the same studio that did Danganronpa. Only some bad looking CGI at some points was a little annoying but in total this did a lot better than I thought it would!

Score: 8/10

Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova: First Impression

This first impression is still SPOILER FREE! It doesn’t go beyond the things said in the Synopsis! However I still would recommend to watch the episode before reading this since it will make things a bit clearer (I am not gonna give a summary!)

Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio First Impression Iona

She probably is the only reason I am gonna be going on to watch this show…and the concept!

This Anime is something I had on my Radar for quite some time, even though I didn’t think of it really often, I was pretty intrigued in how this world was going to work and well…let’s say I’m a little disappointed. This show, so far has done nothing to actually grip me. The world seems a lot more boring than it is and the only thing that actually caught my interest so far is the ship itself, since the main characters seems to be pretty dull and the other characters didn’t have any screen time yet. That said I am still kind of looking forward to the next episode, for the most part though that is due to me hoping that it is going to be better. I also think I saw quite some CG-Animation, not only in the foreground but also in the background, which kinda annoyed me as I am not a big fan of CGI if it is done badly and that’s what happened in this episode. In total the episode really didn’t do a good job in introducing the viewer to the world and characters even though it still seems quite interesting.

Score: 5,5/10