To You, in 2000 Years: The Fall of Shiganshina, Part 1
That Day: The Fall of Shiganshina, Part 2
A Dim Light Amid Despair: Humanity’s Comeback, Part 1
The Night of the Closing Ceremony: Humanity’s Comeback, Part 2
First Battle: The Struggle for Trost, Part 1
The World the Girl Saw: The Struggle for Trost, Part 2
Small Blade: The Struggle for Trost, Part 3
I Can Hear His Heartbeat: The Struggle for Trost, Part 4
Whereabouts of His Left Arm: The Struggle for Trost, Part 5
Response: The Struggle for Trost, Part 6
Idol: The Struggle for Trost, Part 7
Wound: The Struggle for Trost, Part 8
Primal Desire: The Struggle for Trost, Part 9
Can’t Look Into His Eyes Yet: Eve of the Counterattack, Part 1
Special Operations Squad: Eve of the Counterattack, Part 2
What Needs to be Done Now: Eve of the Counterattack, Part 3
Female Titan: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 1
Forest of Giant Trees: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 2
Bite: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 3
Erwin Smith: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 4
Crushing Blow: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 5
Defeated: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 6
Smile: Assault on Stohess, Part 1
Mercy: Assault on Stohess, Part 2
Wall: Assault on Stohess, Part 3
A post apocalyptic vision of the future where giants called Titans have pushed humanity to the brink of extinction, Attack On Titan is an interesting, realistically depicted anime. Despite an over-reliance of cliffhanger endings and a slightly lacklustre middle portion of the season, Attack On Titan is an anime that relies a lot more heavily on realistic characters and its engaging story. Unlike other animes, there isn’t much in the way of humour and the show is all the better for it, giving a good sense of urgency to the issues at hand.
The tale begins in the town of Shiganshina where we’re introduced to Eren Jaegar (Bryce Papenbrook), a young boy who wants to join the military to fight against the titans. As events unfold, the second half of the season sees the show open up with more emphasis on the world outside the massive walls that protect humanity from the titans. The story is very well constructed and despite some episodes feeling unnecessarily dragged out or feeling like filler episodes, on the whole the pacing and the episode structure works well. With the season split in half, the second part of this season changes up the art style and quickens the pacing. This change helps to bring some much needed vibrancy to the art style to avoid it becoming stale with a colour palette that stays similar through large periods of the show.
Its worth noting here too that along with some very good art is a great blend of CGI. It does stick out but the show works so well with it. Seeing the characters flying through the air or seeing the panned landscaped as the titans burst through the remains of abandoned houses are really well done and it never feels contrived or forced. For me though, I felt the second half of the season worked a lot better with this, with emphasis given to show the different regiments in the scouting division and the framing used to show endless rolling fields and trees before moving in close to the soldiers.
The characters themselves are generally well written too. With equal emphasis given to supporting characters along with Eren throughout, the unpredictable nature of characters being killed off by the titans gives a much needed sense of urgency. You genuinely don’t know if any character is safe and this is shown to devastating effect late on in the season during a tense battle in the forest with a female titan. Speaking of which, there’s a mystery woven through the latter episodes that engage the characters but not so much the audience. I won’t spoil too much but suffice to say, this was a little disappointing and too easy to figure out. Its one of the few negatives from a generally well written show.
Overall though, Attack On Titan is a very good anime. The plot is well constructed, with a quickened pace and heightened tension in the latter periods of this season. With well written characters and enough time given to develop them, the unpredictable nature of the titans killing characters off suddenly really helps build an uneasiness through large periods of this show. Its not perfect, with a disappointing mystery and a reliance on cliffhanger endings but on the whole, Attack On Titan is a very good anime and does the original manga comic justice with a great adaptation.
Verdict - 8/10