Attack on Titan – Anime review

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Over the past couple of seasons it has been hard to go anywhere without hearing the name Attack on Titan. The show has gained a huge fanbase very, very quickly for a number of different reasons which are quite evident upon watching the show. So, does Attack on Titan really live up to all the hype that surrounds it?

 Attack on Titan is set in a world ruled by giant, human eating, titans. A world in which humans live in fear within villages surrounded by huge walls, which they hope the Titans will never be able to break through. Sadly, one faithful day the titans do manage to break down the first wall, and this is where our story begins. The first episode of this 25 episode series introduces us to our three main characters, Eren, his sister Mikasa Ackerman, and their childhood friend, Armin Arlert. Besides introducing us to Eren, Mikasa and Armin the first episode also sees a giant titan destroying the first of the great walls surrounding the village the three live in, and once the titans start invading it means the end for a great deal of the humans. The following episode sees Eren trying to come to terms with the death of his mother thanks to the titans, and sees him swear revenge against them.

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The first episode is a very good taste of what the series has to offer at its best. It’s a fast paced show with very well done animation and more than impressive action scenes. The show isn’t avoid to go all out when it needs to either, even if this comes back to bite them further down the line. Yes, the first half of this series moves quickly and draws you in until you can’t even think about backing away from it. Sadly, this isn’t the same for the second half of Attack on Titan.attackontitan3The 11th to 13th episodes brought with them the reveal that Eren has the ability to turn into a titan, a shocking twist that surprised many and kept you interested in the series. However, at the same time the animation studios were beginning to struggle to keep up the quality of the series that we’d seen in earlier episodes, recaps at the beginning of the episodes were beginning to get longer, and finally a .5 episode was released to give the team just a weeks’ more time. Of course, the .5 episode reused animation from older episodes and acted as a recap of the story so far without including any new footage, and thus many of us could skip a week of Attack on Titan without missing out. Sadly though, as the series made its way into the second half you could tell the quality was iffy more often than not, and it certainly wasn’t pushed like it had been up until we reached the final episodes. attackontitan6 The pacing of Attack on Titan also became quite iffy quite quickly. One arc sees Eren and friends set out for his family’s basement in the hope of learning more about the secrets of the titans (a basement we never actually reach before the series ends), which is interesting for what it is, but is dragged on far too long. Largely my problem with this arc ofAttack on Titan is the same problem I had with the end of the first half of Blast of Tempest,where if you’re watching the episodes back to back then it doesn’t feel as badly paced as it did watching them week by week. Watching it week to week meant the story felt like it took a really, really slow turn with more discussion than was actually needed and a lot less action than we needed.
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All in all though Attack on Titan is handled pretty well all things considered. Once it gets you hooked it keeps you there, even if it has faults and can be a bit silly in what it does. It ended off its first season pretty well, managing to give us both a fairly satisfying ending while also leaving the way open for the series to continue at some point, as it no doubt will. A hit like this isn’t likely to be left along for too long, after all. The animation, pacing, story and characters can all be quite iffy at times but Attack on Titan just takes you along for the ride anyway and again, most of its faults are quite easily overlooked for everything that the series manages to do right. After 25 episodes it still managed to leave me wanting more too, so I’m looking forward to seeing more of it in the long run.

Attack on Titan isn’t an amazing series, but considering all the hype surrounding it, the show likely will end up the most memorable of 2013. When it puts the effort in it pulls off some very impressive action scenes which really does make the series.

Scores:

  • Overall: 7/10
  • Animation: 8
  • Story: 6
  • Soundtrack: 6
  • Characters: 6

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