Ladies and Gentleman, step right up and meet the best manga you will read all year! Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama follows three teenagers as they enter the military, make friends, learn how to kill giant humanoid creatures hell bent on eating everyone, and get beaten up by their superior officer, AU Clean-Freak Napoleon.
This review may contain mild spoilers for this series (What I consider spoilers might not be what you consider spoilers but I thought that I’d put it out there just in case). READERS YE BE WARNED!
For eons, humans ruled the natural world. But a century ago, everything changed when the Titans appeared. Giant, grotesque parodies of the human form, these sexless monsters consumed all but a few thousand human beings, who took refuge behind giant walls. Today, the threat of the Titans is a distant memory, and a boy named Eren yearns to explore the world beyond the wall. But what began as a childish dream will become an all-too-real nightmare when a Titan finally knocks a hole in the wall, and humanity is once again on the brink of extinction.
Long story short, I have REALLY gotten into reading manga lately. Black Butler, Tokyo Ghoul and, Wow! What a Shocker, Attack on Titian. AOT has very quickly become one of my absolute favourite manga series and the anime adaptation is just as completely awesome (but I’ll get to that a bit later).
Looking at other works that have giants in them, you start to see this pattern where the giants in question are these stupid, bumbling, idiots which pretty much act like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum and destroying stuff. While the titans in AOT are by no means intelligent creatures (actually, I would go as far to say that potatoes have more intellectual capabilities then they do), the sheer number and strength of the titans have caused humans to be bumped down a rung on the food chain. And the icing on the cake? Just as the humans are starting to feel safe, the gigantic walls that they built to hide behind are breached by the titans and tons of people are killed, fairly easily demonstrating that humanity’s greatest threat is still a giant goddamn THREAT (see what I did there?).
The majority of the characters in AOT are fairly unmemorable except for the main few that I just LOVE! The main lead characters are Eren, Mikasa, and Armin, and while I adore the angry little psycho that is Eren Jaeger, Mikasa and Armin aren’t exactly faves of mine. This is mainly due to: Armin, while smart, being mostly useless, and Mikasa, while a bad-ass, being WAAAYYYY to overprotective of Eren. While the main characters are pretty good, my favourite characters in the WHOLE SERIES are Levi Ackerman (AU clean freak Napoleon), Hange Zoe (Ms Frizzle on crack), and Erwin Smith (Voted “Best Eyebrows” 2013 – present). Why? Because Levi is just AWESOME and he seems to hate nearly everyone except for a choice few Survey Corps members; because Hange has no binary gender and really only cares about science; and because ERWIN SMITH HAS HIS EPIC EYEBROWS!
I’ll be honest and admit that I broke my ‘source material first’ rule and watched the anime before reading the manga. That being said, both are equally as freaking awesome! The art in the manga is quite detailed but definitely not as polished as the animations in the anime (unsurprising with them being different mediums and all). You can definitely tell that it is all hand-drawn as some of the body proportions are a little off. In saying that, any and all weird flaws are made up for by how the titans are drawn. Most, if not all, of the titans have horribly unsettling, and permanent, smiles on their faces and occasionally have purposefully off body proportions. For a manga about giant humanoid things that eat people there is relatively low levels of gore-ishness. While when a human is eaten there is the necessary blood and quite a high number of dead bodies, as the manga is in black and white it doesn’t seem as horrible as it potentially would in colour.
I am honestly not even surprised that such a high number of people consider Attack on Titan their favourite manga (and that Levi is their favourite character). If the storyline continues to deliver on the crazy stunts and epic fights that have been in the manga thus far, I would definitely say that when the series does come to a close it will be EPIC!
- The thought put into how the 3DM/ODM gear actually works (and the explanations on the episode/chapter separator pages)
- Sasha and her potato
- “Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Commandant Keith Shadis and you will grow to hate me!” – Attack on Titan Anime Episode 2
- Levi’s expression during most of his social encounters
- The Attack Titan’s Abs