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First Impressions: Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin

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Hi guys, here’s a new feature that we’re going to be testing out for the site: introducing First Impressions! Most of these segments will probably pertain to both television and anime shows, but we may also extend this segment for games (once we get some preview copies of course!). The purpose of this segment is to introduce readers to some new shows and such, so quite a bit of this segment will be based on the first few episodes of a given show. So, without further ado, shall we begin?

[1]

Imagine a world where most of humanity has been wiped out, and the dominating force behind the world are giant beings known as Titans. These same Titans brought about the end of human domination, devouring them until only a few remained. In order to protect themselves against the Titans, humans built several walls as a defense mechanism, living in villages within the walls in order to survive. Each wall towers to 50 meters high and named Wall Maria (the outermost wall), Wall Rose, and Wall Sina (the innermost wall), and they have provided peace for humanity for over a century. One day, however, humanity was reminded of the grim truth: they had feared the Titans.

This is the world of Attack on Titan (also known as Shingeki no Kyojin).

The story follows a boy named Eren Yeager, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman, and their friend, Armin Arlelt. Eren dreams of something that has been forbidden by the goverment: going outside of the walls. His idealisms are strong, a tad too strong for a boy of his age. Perhaps it was the fact that he may have grown up too fast, or perhaps it was childhood ignorance: nevertheless, his dream was to join the Recon Corps in order to fight the Titans.

Mikasa is a stone-cold girl who cares quite deeply for Eren, after all, Eren had saved her after her family was brutally murdered. She’s a genius and a prodigy, and her presence alone intimidates even the roughest of bullies. With her gift for intellect and surprising strength, she carries a strong will and has devoted her life to protecting Eren.

As for Armin, he’s quite weak but representative of “normal” children. He has been beaten up before by stating the same ideals as Eren dreamed of, however, he had no capability to fight back. In the end, however, after a series of traumatic events, he takes up arms, joining Eren and Mikasa in their fight against the Titans.

The anime has an interesting graphical style, which pays tribute to older, classic anime but mixes new animation-style techniques. Attack on Titan is set in the late 1st century, with the story officially beginning around the year 845. During this time, a Titan who towered over 60 meters tall appears from the sky, crushing Wall Maria and setting off the events for the story.

In terms of weaponry, human soldiers use a variety of old weapons, such as cannons and swords, however, they have also integrated the use of an interesting movement-based weapon: the Three-Dimensional Movement Gear. This weapon is strapped around the soldier’s waist and allows for better mobility when fighting the Titans.

Story-wise, everything is emotionally charged from the very beginning. We begin with a rather disturbing series of images and then taken immediately to a rather tranquil scene. Character development is top notch, and it really allows the viewer to better empathize with each of the main characters, as well as some of the minor characters. There’s a sense of mystery that grips the viewer almost as soon as the first episode begins, and the following episode quickly leads us towards the beginning of human retaliation. After the Titan’s attack on Wall Maria, humanity was left without hope as hundreds of Titans poured into the village, however, this is quickly reversed as Eren vows to wipe the Titans from existence.

Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin has been one of the most anticipated animes ever since its announcement a few months back, and it delivers a solid story, incredible character development, and depth–all in just the first two episodes. The series itself is a standard 25 episodes, and it has been confirmed that the anime will run for a good part of 2013. Additionally, a live-action film for the series is in development, however, there have been a few problems as of late. For you manga readers, the Attack on Titan manga has been running since 2009, with 10 volumes already available, with more still being planned for the future. If you’ve been looking for something to fill your time, the Spring 2013 anime releases have been quite good so far, but Attack on Titan is looking to be one that you won’t want to miss!

If you want to read the manga, you can click here to read it, but if you’d rather watch the anime, then you can click here

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