Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Attack on Titan

Review: Attack on Titan (anime)

It has been a harsh winter here in the Northeastern United States, with records low temperatures keeping many people indoors even more than usual. With the usual fandom shows that our household enjoys (Dr. Who, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Sherlock etc.) being between seasons we turned to Netflix on the recommendation of one of our fellow staffers here at Sector3. He recommended an anime series called "Attack on Titan." We knew nothing of the show going in other than it had a 5 star rating on Netflix and the high praise from our friend/staffer.

Since watching the show, my fiance and I have adopted this series as one of our favorite Animes. This was something that hadn't often happened in the past....my fiance and I agreeing on anime series. When either of us turned on Netflix, it was unspoken that we were about to watch the next chapter in this epic saga.

Now, for a spoiler free review.....

The show is 1 season of 25 episode, each around 24 minutes long. The entire run is available to stream on Netflix (where it boasts a 5 star rating). This IS NOT a family-friendly anime! So, you have been warned. If you have kids watch "Sgt. Frog" or "Princess Tutu", they are both family-friendly and quality animes that they will most likely love.

Plot: Spoiler Free
The series follows the story of Eren Yeager, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and their friend Armin Arlert. The setting is a combination of steam punk and fantasy with some of the most beautiful animation that you could possibly hope for. The friends live in a walled city that was constructed to protect the kingdom from colossal Titans for the last 100 years. But, that  peace and security from ancient Titans comes literally, crashing down around them when the walls are breached and humanity is once again under the threat of extinction. Following the attack and death of Eren's mother, the young friends vow revenge and enlist to fight back against the Titans. The character motivations and interactions propel the plot and build a cast that you find yourself caring about. The monsters are always a threat and never taken lightly. The plot could easily suffer from repetiveness, but it doesn't due to each episode propeling this unfolding universe in a compelling direction often times in unpredictable ways and leading to intriguing cliff-hangers. There are a lot of casualties and no character is ever safe from a grisly death. The episodes each tackle individual chapters of the narrative, which moves at a swift pace taking the characters through several years in just a few episodes. But that does not rush or hinder the pace of the plot. Simply put, the story and characters are fantastic.

Warning: There are subtitles...... this is not a voice dubbed anime. But, do not be foolish and let that turn you away from giving this show the chance it deserves! It has won awards and critical acclaim, has had huge market success; 15.9 million copies of manga sold and a even more popular anime for a reason.....it is that damn good.

So bundle up, stay warm and at all costs.....defend the damn wall.

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