Monday, October 14, 2013

Anime Review: Shingeki no Kyojin

SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN: The lack of plot armour renders this show incredibly realistic



A hundred years ago, giant humanoids called Titans have forced humanity to retreat into a system of three walls. The humans have lived in peace inside these walls, until a colossal titan suddenly appears and breaches the outermost wall. This has forced the humans to retreat deeper into the wall system, and on the process, Eren Jaeger witnesses his mother killed by the breaching titans. Now, together with his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and friend Armin Arlert, he enlists in the military and swears to kill all the titans, to avenge his mother and to save humanity from total destruction.

The first thing that captured my attention is the animation. The art style is crisp and incredibly detailed. The characters are outlined with a thick black stroke, separating them from the background. The style overall is very refreshing.

I’m also very impressed on the writing of Shingeki no Kyojin. Yes, the first episode is quite slow. It dumps information relevant for world building. But what I like about these information is the fact that they are not just used to establish the world.

They have also set the tone of the show. They have successfully portrayed a sense of immediate danger. But after this information dump, which covers practically the first half of the first episode, the show is a rollercoaster ride. It has also successfully triggered an emotional reaction right in the end of the first episode, and that is really impressive.

This rollercoaster ride is consistent up to the end of the first major arc, which is about ten episodes or so. The story slows down again to make room for another series of world building and character development. Then it dashes again for a thrilling ride. That’s basically the pattern of the storytelling. It is very rhythmic, and it delivers the things it has to deliver in its current rhythm.

What makes the major arcs very thrilling is the fact that the characters don’t have plot armour, meaning that they could actually die even though it would prove to be inconvenient for the author. This is the very reason why the major arcs are very compelling. The viewers just don’t have an idea who will survive or die, and how the survivors will react to the situation brought upon by the deaths of their comrades. This tends to result to shocking sequences, and it opens the characters to development.

Speaking of characters, Shingeki no Kyojin has a lot to offer. The primary characters, Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert, have very harmonic personalities. They blend well together. The secondary characters, even though they are not dissected enough, are not bland. They have their own unique qualities, and sometimes they could even get to the point that the viewers will gain favouritism.

This favouritism is one of the reasons why the deaths of these characters become even more shocking. I must say that the lack of plot armour and the creation of interesting characters are a good combination.

Another good thing about Shingeki no Kyojin is how it embeds music to its scenes. The soundtracks are perfectly suited to the emotion they want to portray. The sense of desperation is heightened when necessary. The drama is intensified when necessary. The action is more hyped when necessary.

The action sequences of Shingeki no Kyojin is top-notch. The scenes where the characters use their manoeuvre gears are animated extremely well, and it is surprisingly consistent all throughout the series.

3d manoeuvre gears

Overall, Shingeki no Kyojin is one of those amazing, almost-perfect anime titles that come out once in a while. With an interesting story, decent character development, superb music and animation, it is one of those titles that will be sensationalized.

But does Shingeki no Kyojin deserve the hype it gets? It definitely does. But as much as I like the series, I still couldn’t give it a perfect score. Like I said earlier, there are certain parts that seem to slow down the plot development. Aside from that, the story is not entirely finished, so a full judgment can’t really be made regarding it. The only thing I could do now is to wait for the next season, and once the whole story is already told, then a full judgment could finally be made. But as far as this season goes, it is amazing. I recommend this anime to those who love tragic stories. They’re in for a rollercoaster ride!

Related posts:
           Character Analysis: Mikasa Ackerman


8 comments:

  1. Awesome review! I mean it! Shingeki no Kyojin was a pleasant surprise for me. I have never thought to see anime this thrilling and so good. Eager for a second season. I´ll link your blog on my own if that´s ok with you.
    Cheers

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I'm also looking forward for the second season! And, linking my blog is always a gratitude. :)

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    2. You are linked. Tell me if you want the name different there for your blog. If you would like, you could also link my own in yours as well. Let´s keep in touch!

      Many good vibes in your starting blog!

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    3. Thanks! And I followed you in blogger. Hope you follow back and add my blog to your reading list! Nice to meet other reviewers here.

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  2. Best Attack on Titan Scouting Legion Mikasa Ackerman cosplay costume online. She is the female protagonist of the series and the adopted sister of Eren. After graduating as the top of her batch, she later joins Scouting Legion with Eren and Armin.
    Sasha Braus (Sasha Burausu) was part of the 104th Trainees Squad, and a compulsive food hoarder with an overly polite way of speech. She is one of the new recruits that came in together with Eren and Mikasa, Sasha joins the Scouting Legion despite being terrified of Titans. Just enjoy Sasha Braus cosplay costume in www.cosplayfield.com please!

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  3. Agreed, SNK was one great ride! Its intensity and suspense is one of its best attributes, along with the sense of dread. However, I also agree that it is not perfect. The pacing was off at times, and Eren is not the most interesting protagonist. Also, this is very much a first season to a longer series, which is not bad, but it did not have closure. Can' wait for the second though! Excellent review; I linked to it at the end of my review today.

    On a side note, after SNK's massive success, I have noticed several anime this year with similar lack of plot armor and sense of dread, which is great to see. I enjoy a good light shounen, but the darker ones, if executed well, really standout.

    -James

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    1. SNK is definitely one of those standouts that come once in a while, similar how SAO has been hyped and PMMM in the year before that. I'm looking forward to its next season, and I hope the quality doesn't diminish just so the author could cater to popular demand (like how Naruto and other popular titles tend to downslide in quality because they try to stretch and stretch the story because of demand, or something like that). Thanks for the link!

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