Chances are you have already heard of Attack on Titan. An anime about a young man living in a world suppressed by man-eating Titans. A humanity at the brink of extinction. An exciting story concept to say the least.
This anime series review has been truly a long time past due particularly when I promised on the blog I will get around to reviewing this anime that so loved. While I had seen the anime as it was simulcasting in the Summer of 2013 I never reviewed it since very extraordinary anime are the ones I usually have a hard time reviewing. Plus, Attack on Titan, has gained quite the popularity so I dislike having to review overly popular anime. Yeah, call me a hipster if you want. I’ll still continue enjoying more obscure anime when I can. Still I wanted to review this anime since lately I have been seeing a few mentions that Attack on Titan is mostly popular with teens or even young adults because they feel they can relate to Attack on Titan since it depicts how, young adults, are sometimes in siege by a modern world so hard to keep up with. And while I see that could have some relation I don’t exactly believe that is the whole of what draws not just young adults to Attack on Titan but also adults. Since I certainly whole-heartedly believe Attack on Titan can draw in adults too and not just young adults since it has a universal message and many themes to hook individuals in. Making it easy for the anime series to gain a large fanbase across many cultures.
What I believe the biggest message Attack on Titan is imparting is that no matter if others are against you, you, can always achieve anything in which you believe in precisely because you believe in yourself and your abilities. You see this especially when Eren is in the court scene getting interrogated. Everyone doubts him and belives he is a monster but he basically has an outburst telling them all he doesn’t need them. That he can succeed without anyone since they won’t support him. To me that is heroic. Believing so passionately that you can do what you set your mind to even whilst knowing no one is willing to support you or believe in your vision.
Yet another example to this being the main message is that when Eren first wants to be a soldier he reaches a point where he is unsure if he can become part of the survey corps and one day slay the monstrous Titans. He is losing his determination over people making fun of him and how he cannot have the ability to do what is needed to reach his dream of becoming a Survey Corps soldier. At this moment within the anime he is doubting himself and even despairs. His despairing is such a signifying emotion of someone who knows his dream is often unattainable but as with us as humans, we, still want to believe. However naive that emotion may be. This message of believing in what you want to believe even if others go against you is what I believe makes this anime universal. Everyone wants to believe they are not misguided in their dreams and aspirations and that no matter what even if others don’t want to support them that they still matter. Matter enough to eventually be overcome. And that in itself is beautiful because making dreams a reality is making the impossible happen.
If that wasn’t enough Attack on Titan draws from numerous themes. With themes I bring up family bonds where Eren easily decides to avenge his mother after a murderous Titan kills her showing the greatest love a son can have for his mother and how he is willing to avenge her death. Then we have the common theme of friendship undertaken by the anime where Eren starts out feeling uncomfortable with most of the soldiers under Captain Levi and even fears Captain Levi. Yet, as the series progresses we see all their relationships with each other grow since they are all fighting toward the same goal. Not only that but they have to watch each other’s backs since they know they can all die at any moment against the onslaught of the incomprehensible Titans. Even deeper into the theme of relationships but on a different spectrum is the possibility of romance between Eren and Mikasa where you really have to think about whether it is family or romantic. And where do you draw the line? I mean it is okay, even, if they grew up as family more than anything?
With themes within the anime, Attack on Titan, honestly there are so many. I am sure I could glean more since the series is thriving with them but these are the most prominent.
Still taking all this into account the series has this message and various themes within a largely interesting story setting (man-eating Titans, the Fantasy) making the anime all the more refreshing.
A Look at the Whole of the Attack on Titan anime
The beauty in this anime lies in the soulful eyes of anime characters like Eren’s and the beautiful movement seen from the 3D Maneuver gear used in the anime. In general, the cinematography of the anime is most high. All thanks to Production I.G. in collaboration with WIT studio.
The Japanese Voice Cast-The most striking performances are given by Yuki Kaji, undoubtedly. His anger and viciousness against the Titans is quite beautiful to behold and his voice acting is quite passionate on the whole. Other than that, Hiroshi Kamiya‘s deadpan and cold attitude exhibited as Captain Levi is not something to laugh at either.
The English Voice Cast-Other than, Bryce Papenbrook‘s voice acting performance, the other voice actors were not all that intriguing to listen to. Bryce could be as passionate as Yuki Kaji but the rest of the English voice cast was passable. Not too bad but not great.
Humanity at the end of their rope and close to extinction. A real dystopia with a lot of thrill and suspense. Quite one of the most beautiful narratives have ever seen in my lifetime when it comes to anime.
Based in a Fantasy, dystopian setting if you will.
Opening Theme Songs
I choose to highlight only the OP theme songs since I thought they were the most impressive. All performed by Linked Horizon. While the first one was fitting and wonderful to see and listen to it was the second one, Jiyuu no Tsubasa, that stole my heart with the singing/music and also the luscious albeit graphic visuals.
Attack on Titan Part 1 Limited Edition + Attack on Titan Part 2 Limited Edition with Artbox Image Gallery
FUNimation Entertainment ultimately splurged with the cover art design of both releases and packaging. Despite the initial problems with the digipaks, they, did eventually pan out for the better and the artbooks inside Part 1 and Part 2 are more than worth everything since I could get to read an interview with Attack on Titan’s director, Tetsuro Araki, once I obtained one of the artbooks. If that wasn’t all there is also an interview with cute voice actor, Yuki Kaji!
FUNimation Entertainment-Subbed, Dubbed anime series