Attack on Titan (Friday Rants)

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It’s been a while since I write up a “Daily Geek Rant”.  The original purpose is for me to at least write an entry a day, and for my readers to understand me better.  Well, I’ve been busy, and I don’t have much time.  Maybe I should just change the category to simply “Geek Rants”.  Anyway, I want to talk about my new found love of the manga series- Attack on Titan.

Attack on Titan, art and written by Hajime Isayama and published by Kodansha, is about a world where human population is facing extinction due to the rampaging Titans, giants humanoid creatures that kill and devour humans.  The remaining human populations build three strong, circular walls to protect them from the Titans.  The walls seem to be doing fine until one day  two unusual Titans break through the most exterior wall and human race is once again in great danger.

The story follows a boy named Eren Jager, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackermann and best friend Armin Arlert.  The three kids join the corps to fight, and try to understand where and what exactly the Titans are.

The series is bloody and unforgiving.  Ever since the first chapter we already see Eren’s mother being eaten alive by the Titans.  Later in the series, we even see Eren himself lost and arm and leg and being eaten alive by the Titans as well (even though he turns out to be okay.  More on it later).  Death happens frequently in the series, where it basically numbs you at the end.  So if you’re the type of person who’s offended easily with this kind of story, don’t pick up the series.

The writing of the series is phenomena.  Isayama Sensei is a wonderful writer with twists, and character developments.  He’s also great with the ups and downs of story-telling.  While reading the series, you don’t feel like the story is always heading towards violence and death.  And during down chapters, you don’t feel like the series is too slow, or event-less.  If anything, it feels like a great roller coaster ride, and every down moments are just preparation for what’s coming up next.

The twists are fun.  It turns out that the main character Eren can turn into a Titan.  That’s why when he’s eaten by a Titan, he’s turns out to be alive.  He simply transforms into a Titan and grows his limbs back.  There are also many other Titans in the series with clear signs of being a human transformed like how Eren is.  While the reasons and origins are unknown, it is clear that all the Titans in the series might all be humans and once, and some sort of failed experiments turned them into Titans.  Hopefully we can find out soon.

It is kind of bizarre that all of a sudden, so many people revealed that they can all turn into Titans.  While the reason of secrecy is obvious, It’s kind of hard to believe that they’re all in the same place at the same time.  While I don’t have problems with most of the characters turn out to be Titans, the character Ymir’s transformation is a problem for me.  The revelation of her being a Titan kills it for me, and the fact that our main character can be a Titan is no longer special.  Hopefully the author will watch out things like this more in the future, and stop making already existed characters Titans.

My biggest problem of the series is the art.  I haven’t seen a manga series with such poorly drawn art.  Characters are out of proportion, and facial expression is all messed up.    Sometimes I can’t even tell if a character is smiling, or angry.  However, the art problem has been improving since the debut chapter, so it’s a good thing.  If it wasn’t for the rich story Attack on Titan has,  I really wouldn’t keep reading the series.

The character I like the most is Sasha.  She’s such a comedic character that’s always eating, and getting herself in troubles.  My favorite moment is during the flashback where the characters’ training days are shown, and Sasha got into trouble for eating in front of the superior officer.  It turns out Sasha speaks in a dialect that she’s too embarrassed to let other people know.  Also, she’s an expert in bow and arrow.  She really is one of the funniest character in the series, and I hope nothing happen to her.

I also hope that this series doesn’t drag on to long.  This is not the type of story that takes forever to tell, and I don’t want it ending up like Gantz or Fullmetal Alchemist– strong beginning and weak endings.  Anyway, can’t wait to find out what the Titans are really about, and why some people can turn into Titans.

One Reply to “Attack on Titan (Friday Rants)”

  1. The anime’s art is much better, I hear. I can’t say, since I’ve only watched it, not read it.The storyline is a bit different though. I must know…how does Marco Bott fare in the mange? He’s one of my favorite characters.