Written by: Gary M. Kenny, CC2K Comics Editor
Thanks to Crunchyroll.com, I was able to freely stream the hit anime show: Attack on Titan. In Japan it’s titled: 進撃の巨人 Shingeki no Kyojin which loosely translates to Advancing Giants. It’s based off the manga written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. It’s an intense story about a closely knit trio, in a world where humanity was annihilated by giant humanoids known as Titans. We follow a young man named Eren Yeager, his adoptive sister named Mikasa Ackermann and their close genius friend named Armin Arlert, as they join a branch of humanity’s military that’s tasked with killing these various giants. This is not Jack and the Beanstalk, this is more of an intense story, where many of the supporting characters do get viciously eaten and killed.
Though there are some light hearted moments, this anime/manga is not kid friendly. There is a lot of loss in this tale, especially for Eren, Mikasa, and Armin. They all have real hardships that make Peter Parker’s origin seem like a field trip to an ice cream factory. The story takes place in a world where over 100 years ago giant creatures called Titans destroyed humanity. Various races, religions, and countries were completely wiped out. Those who survived now reside in a land that’s sealed by three giant surrounding walls (unbreachable by the Titans). Each wall holds a different group of people and the land and the walls take a somewhat bullseye shape.
The main characters are filled with the notion that they have to live outside the walls in order to take back their birthright. They feel this way until a massive Titan called a Colossal, breaches the first wall and lets a group of smaller Titans inside. The anime is overwhelming, there are a lot of story lines, not all the villains are Titans, character’s you’ve come to like pass away randomly and most in gruesome ways (ala Game of Thrones), and there is little break for the protagonist Eren. It’s wildly entertaining. You end of feeling for these characters because they don’t have anything and they are giving all of their souls for a cause. They are willingly giving their lives and are ordered to do so in show episodes.
Season 1 is episodes 1-25, unlike some anime in Japan which last only a few episodes it looks as if they are using an American model and having different seasons. Season 2 doesn’t premiere until August of 2015. The popularity in the states is in thanks to Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim which recently has been airing the 1st season (in English, i strongly consider you watch the show in Japanese with English subtitles) and was the way I discovered the show. There is talks of a live action movie coming in 2015 as well. Episodes 1-13 take place through the first five years since the Titans breached the wall. It shows the loss of family and home for many of the main characters and how they came to terms and joined the military. The remaining episodes show a plot twist about the Titans which I won’t spoil, however it does make the show more entertaining.
I like how Hajime Isayama came up with all the tech in the show. The military uses gas powered grappling hooks attached to their legs which make them spin like Spider-man across the city. They use gas powered blades/swords to attack and everything in this world seems a bit lofi steam punk. It’s visually fun to watch. Especially since they all dress with green hoods and brown leather jackets, swinging high and low attacking giants.
It’s a fun show when it comes to battles, an intense show when it comes to loss, and it does a great job balancing both. If you haven’t seen it, It’s worth your time checking out. Especially when you can stream it online for free through www.crunchyroll.com
4.0 out of 5.0
Gary is a husband, father, fireman, comic reader, gamer, body builder, and rocker. He also is a co-owner of a bakery in upstate NY. He likes to tell everyone his favorite band is the Beatles, when his actual favorite band is the Alkaline Trio.