by Kay Q
Attack on Titan or Shingeki no Kyojin (進撃の巨人) is arguably considered the most popular anime series for 2013. From the director of Death Note, Akari Tetsuro's most recent work is based off the highly successful manga series under the Shonen genre.
The series is set in a world where man-eating giants called Titans would appear and devour humans without reason or remorse. To survive, humans were forced to construct massive walls and live their lives under seclusion. For over a hundred years, the walls have provided safety for mankind, until a Colossal Titan appears and destroys the outer wall that borders between human civilization and the outside world. Eren the protagonist and his two friends Mikasa and Armin, who have lived their entire lives behind these walls, began to see the cruel nature from the outside world for the very first time, as the invading titans preyed on anyone in sight and destroyed the peace that mankind has cherished. After witnessing so much death and chaos, Eren vows to enact vengeance upon every single titan without mercy.
Attack on Titan has some of the most memorable characters among the anime universe, that it is easy to become immersed and emotionally attached to their affairs and well being. Eren's commitment towards eliminating the titans is unrivaled, while Armin's innovative approaches provide strategic advantages over the titans. The absence of fan service and 'kawaii' elements in the series allows Mikasa and other females to be portrayed as strong, determined characters, who embody the ideal attributes of feminism. This provides a stark contrast to the notoriously submissive and lewd personalities of female characters found in other animes.
In terms of sound, the Japanese voice cast have done a remarkable job keeping events intense and dramatic, and the dialogue audio fits perfectly to suit each character's respective appearance and personality. Combined with an epic, high tempo soundtrack composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, and you've got some memorable action and fight scenes that will become iconic in the anime world. To expand more on the action sequences, Attack on Titan employs a lot of stylistic violence that heavily emphasizes the use of close-up and tracking shots; this helps to provide a more intimate, adrenalin-rushed experience whenever combat ensues.
Another notable strength of Attack on Titan is its storytelling, there are very few dull moments as the characters face the risk of death on a regular basis, and its use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode leaves you dying to watch the next chapter in humanity's quest for vengeance. However, one flaw that I personally found was that some back-tracking stories tended to take the focus away from the current situation at hand, leading to an imbalance between the time the narrative takes place and the number of episodes required to present this scenario. Nonetheless, these back stories are crucial for character development, but it can also disrupt the audience's perception of time in the present tense situation, if only slightly.
Overall, Attack on Titan's debut season is a fantastic series for anime fans who are looking for a serious, violent and dramatic epic to get into. With Season 2 estimated to be released around early or mid 2015, the wait is agonizing; but as long as it stays faithful to the manga, while potentially matching or exceeding the sheer quality of Season 1, this wait will most likely be worth it.
On The Blu Ray:
Local distributor Madman has done a fantastic Job with the the transfer; it appears in a stunning 1080p. Due to it being an anime it scores a perfect 5 in the visual department. Audio wise we get a strong sound mix that will rock up your speakers, as it is still a new series, sound wise it has been appropriately created to get in involved with the action that is happening on screen, another perfect 5.
Madman has released a limited edition of the set and that is the one that we strongly recommend you get as it it housed in a beautiful deluxe box-set. It also has a 24 page book and includes the following:
The making of is very informative and goes in behind the scenes to the overall making of process. The AX footage at this stage appears to be an exclusive to our local edition as well.
We advise you hurry up and pick up while you can as it is limited; it can be purchased from Madman direct. There is still the standard edition which is also recommended you pick up ASAP.
Blu Ray overall:
Overall: 4.5 (Buy it!)