AJ's Corner / Television / TV Reviews

TV Review: Attack on Titan (2013)

New Post! Yay! Yeah, I know that news has been pretty slow lately. So, I’m legitimately trying to make up for it by doing new original post pieces.

So, this is where this came from.

Is it me or are we not doing enough where television–and awesome sauce anime–is concerned? Well, we are obviously trying to fix that by doing reviews for not just movies, but for television too, which has strangely morphed into some campaign to bring good entertainment back in the wake of the “online television movement”.

And since I am all sorts of behind on current television and overall life (I haven’t even seen the latest season of OITNB guys!). I thought, what better way to ease myself back into it than with anime?

This summer, I started casually watching–binged actually–a new series on Netflix called Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人 Shingeki no Kyojin). While Attack on Titan is also a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama and began its original run back in 2011, it is fairly new to the United States, the country in which I live.

The premise is pretty simple: There are big-ass monsters that crave human flesh; so run.

Alright, I was just kidding. The plot is straightforward in that it’s a problem/result type of series. Since humanity is kind of on the brink of extinction, (that’s like the theme for a lot of stuff lately) mankind has been herded and penned into these series of walls that were created to keep the creatures at bay. The show centers around the lives of protagonist Eren Jaeger, his adoptive sister Mikasa Ackerman, and their friend Armin Arlert. But when a Colossal Titan brings about the destruction of Eren’s hometown (and the death of his mother), it spurs Eren and his childhood friends to enter the army.

I already told you that large humanoid monsters, called “Titans”, prey and attack humans without hesitation and for unknown reasons, but those aren’t the only mysteries the show has to offer (like where did the Titans originate?).

Along with the creation of walls, humanity has formed a military whose entire purpose is dealing with Titans. In the process, they began to manufacture and implement some really cool technology that makes for really interesting fighting and well…travelling scenes.

That’s all I will divulge plot-wise because I am not in the business of spoiling.

The English dubbed version currently airs weekly on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim/Toonami block and while the promos did a great job of luring me in, the show itself did a horrible job of keeping me there. I, instead, came across the Japanese subbed version and become a parasitic lump on the couch for two days straight.

The difference between the two, despite it being the same show, was uncanny. This is not to say the series itself isn’t a good one but the problem, however, lies with the English voice cast. Is it me or are the voices in English dub severely lacking something? It’s not like back in the day when you could listen to a character and without seeing them know exactly who they are. It’s hard to explain. The best way I can say this is by saying each character had an individual voice.

Examples: pretty much anybody off of the main casts of Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, and even Naruto .

The same, let’s say 12, English voice actors weren’t in constant rotation and in every friggin’ English dubbed anime you came across. And that is what helped make them unique. In the dubbed version of Attack on Titan, nobody’s voice went where it should have and it distracts from the overall plot, which is pretty bad-ass to honest. But in the subbed version, everything was intense including the dialog, which is how it should be. People were getting eaten for God’s sake.

Like I said, everything is intense and even the animation goes so far just to be so friggin’ intense. When the intro to the series comes on with “Crimson Bow and Arrow” by Linked Horizon , you already know its real. Honestly, the entire season felt like a single movie. With the mind-blowing animation and the Original Soundtrack, it feels like nothing else I’ve seen from an anime. Never before have I seen such a fantastic movie quality production from start to finish and in the end have it not be a movie.

Then, there are the characters. As I hope you all have deduced by now, I am a female, therefore I love it when you a have a main female character that goes out there and kicks all of the ass. I love it even more when you resign the more “support” type of roles to a male character Armin, especially one that knows what he is doing despite his physical setbacks. This being said, the fact that Mikasa serves as Eren’s, the main character, protector of sorts and at the same time becomes the epitome of a modern feminist character–as she not only takes care of Eren, but she can independently handle things on her own–is pretty damn awesome. Eren gets knocked on his ass by multiple female characters regularly, which is humorous to watch.

Moving on, the dynamic of the central group of Eren, Mikasa and Armin reminds me of the set up of “team 7” from Naruto (before Sasuke left and sh*t got real). Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Knuckleheaded dude that is somehow the main focus and possesses “ultra” power, cool ass, barely speaking prodigy and that person that relies on intelligence to make up for their physical failings.

The amount of growth the main cast and even the supporting cast go through over the course of the first season alone is humongous. Of course, most of it is spurred on by the simple fact that death is real and given the things they go through on the daily, there is no room for fear or self-doubt. This is shown most prominently in characters Armin and Jean.

Overall: All-in-all it’s a pretty good series especially after coming off of other anime like Sword Art Online. As expected from director Tetsuro Araki–who also directed Death Note (2006)–Attack on Titan is pretty damn close to sheer perfection. If the violence and gore is up there, which it definitely is, then action and plot is beyond up there. And if you have the choice or the chance to watch the Japanese sub, do it! It is so much better. 

AttackOnTitanmanga_anime

In July 2014, it was revealed that two films will be released in summer 2015, with August 15, 2015 being touted for the release date of the second season. I actually can see why it has become such a commercial success. I mean, it even spawned the funniest GIFs.

Are there any other must-watch anime or television shows that are worth a review and a discussion? Do you agree with my rating? Heck, how was your day? Comment below!

Image(s): dailydot.com, Buzzfeed, dillingham.deviantart.com, allkpop.com, shingekinokyojin.deviantart.com, twitchfilm.com

 

 

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5 thoughts on “TV Review: Attack on Titan (2013)

  1. Pingback: 2014 MTV Video Music Awards: A Recap | Sublime Zoo

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