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Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) Review

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Every year, there’s a show that premieres that enraptures us all, bringing people who couldn’t care less about anime in to the fold. Last year it seemed it was to be Sword Art Online that was doing that, but in 2013 Wit Studio and Production I.G delivered upon to us Shingeki no Kyojin, or Attack on Titan. Very few had seen a show filled with such dread, so much death, and such utter despair from its protagonists. Every week, more and more and more cast members died, and even the strongest characters looked on hopeless as the credits rolled. But now, Attack on Titan has reached its climactic 25th episode, so it’s time to see if the gigantic titan is worthy of your time, or simply a show that was built on hype and holds little substance over style.

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As we pointed out in our part 1 review for Attack on Titan (sorry for waiting until now to get the rest of our impressions up, life eh?) this show kicks off with a strong bang and rarely lets off the gas. Shortly after episode nine or ten, however, the show hits a long lull that we felt killed the motive for people to come back. It’s not until the late-teens that the show regains that earlier momentum and pushes to a conclusion that simply was not enough to sate long-time anime watchers thirst. Most of us knew that a 25 episode series would do nothing but give us a taste, but the smaller audience who are expecting a full blown beginning, middle, and end are in for a disappointment. Attack on Titan is based off of a very popular manga series of the same name, and was started when the series was at 25 chapters, so it’s only natural that it wouldn’t fully run the length of the series. It’s very likely it will either get an additional film ending, new season, or OVA series that will wrap it up as news is circulating that the mangaka’s ending the series soon.

Regardless of the series’ future, how was the conclusion to Attack on Titan? Well, like we said, the middling portion was too long and full of character development for non-essential characters for you to really get too involved with. Although, it did introduce us to more of the top-tier characters Eren, Mikasa, and Armin would interact with later on. More of Eren’s father’s story was touched upon, and there are sprinkling of hints and hearsay as to what the Titans really are. Even when they introduce the most destructive force the troops have ever dealt with, we’re left wondering “WTF?” as the credits roll. Sure, we get an adequate wrap-up to that arc, but, hello, there’s still a lot left to answer. Truth be told, it’s a pretty ingeniously diabolical way to get people to continue reading the manga now!

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We certainly believe that Attack on Titan is a strong idea, with a well-conceived and delivered opening, but the entertainment level falters for too long for anyone aside from anime veterans to stick with it. The production values stay solid throughout, and the music and voice acting is consistent. Watching the troops whip around a Titan to try and take it down is always fun, if not a bit bewildering when trying to figure out how they are doing all of that in an open field. But, hey, it’s anime; one’s suspension of disbelief is expected. If Attack on Titan has somehow managed to keep its momentum going as strong as it started and nearly finished with, it would go down as not only one of the finest animes of all time, but it’s apparent it would have helped new anime fans cross over in to the medium. A lackluster finale, poor story direction, and slow pacing unfortunately bog it down to a mere blip on the “Animes You Should Watch Sometime” radar. It will be nice to see it get an animated continuation whether that’s in a film or OVA/new series, but as it stands, this is all we’ll get on Erin and friends for now.

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Curtis Stone

Anime Guru
Like most people here, I've been watching anime for many, many year, and I owe blocks like Toonami for getting me into the medium. Shows like Dragonball Z and Ronin Warriors shaped my beginning years, while shows like Neon Genesis Evangleion and Cowboy Bebop showed me that there's some true artistic ability and expression found within anime (moreso than big burly dudes punching and screaming for hours on end). I try to watch all kinds of anime, but I stick closely to action and shonen, but I'm gravitating towards more slice-of-life series and films thanks to directors like Makoto Shinkai and Hayao Miyazaki. Anime is just another great, creative medium for telling stories, and I'm happy to share my thoughts on the series I enjoy with you!
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  • Chris

    What anime doesn’t have a slow medium haha, dragon ball z, let’s summon a spirit bomb over 9 episodes :)