I first heard about this anime about a year ago, but it came up in a conversation recently and I finally checked it out, and ended up watching the first season in two days. So I rather liked it obviously.
But talk about a heady mix, plenty of people have been losing their shit over it I gather and I can see why, it’s like critical mass of goodstuff. So many associations crossed my mind as I was watching, as a superficial starting point it might be seen as something like Evangelion: Steam Punk Edition, but just off the top of my head I was flashing on flying Kung fu movies and Dark City and Incredible Hulk (particularly the TV, Ang Lee strain) and all sorts of stylistic homages that I couldn’t even keep track of.
Right as I was consciously feeling extra complimentary towards Attack on Titan for being notably less en vogue than what you expect from this genre, was also about when a lot of tropes were unmasked all at once. And while I wouldn’t say it was a major disappointment, at that point the territory felt more familiar which killed some of the initial WTF atmosphere for me. I think I have a pretty firm handle on where the whole thing has to be going.
Which brings me to why I wanted to post here, Attack on Titan is more reminiscent of the Panzer Dragoon series than anything I have ever seen. Not in any obvious or overt way, although I’m sure I could come up with fifty little parallels if I tried they are largely oblique as well, but without getting into spoiler territory perhaps the most notable element I can pin down is the sense of attention to details and the plausible quality of the weapon designs. Even though the execution is hyperbolic (this is still an action anime after all) it is easy to buy their technology as an evolutionary product of necessity, a threat specific system. It’s built off of a lot of ninja tropes that may be a little closer to reality as well, which is a bonus.
I don’t know if anyone else will feel the same way about the PD connection, but I’m virtually certain there must have been some influence, it’s just too much. Perhaps imagine how a story beginning in the town of Zoah at a time when they were the only human population left in the world might play out, then the parallel might seem clear? I’m sure many have seen it already but to anyone who has not I can’t recommend it enough. Now we still have over a year before the next installment though… oh well this may just be he first Manga I have to get into!
The scene where they are being chased by the female Titan in the forest is one of my favourite scenes of all time. You can sense everyone’s fear.
If you watch the film Cabin in the Woods, you can pretend that the ending was how Attack on Titan began.
Like in real life, the aristocrats were hiding behind the less fortunate and using them as shields. Some things never change, even in animes.
This anime has a lot of potential. I just hope it doesn’t wander into Dragon Ball Z territory.
Let’s kill some Titans!
Yeah and that’s another aspect that impresses even compared to other good anime, characters get butchered, and not only the obvious token deaths or “red shirt” attrition you usually get either. That’s important in generating real dramatic tension.
So much I could say about that chapter too Geoffrey, what I think it must lead to and why, but you know… And maybe it’s already been revealed in the Manga but I’m definitely avoiding any spoilers for myself on this one. Also yep, some very good music, just a wonderful production through and through.
I tried to get into it and was just rubbed the wrong way. I think it has excellent animation. The problem I have is: it’s just too gross for me. What is this obsession the Japanese have with death? Watching people get murdered and or eaten, makes me feel uneasy (I know it’s not happening all the time and there is plenty of character development).
Well…the death of Mikasa’s parents really did it in for me. It gave me the feeling that most people in their world are like rabid animals. Predator’s preying on pray (I guess that’s true and analogous for the Titans; probably the point they were trying to get across). Watching that innocent girl become somewhat a necessary monster, was kind of horrifying. I guess it’s the subject matter: Kill or be killed, survival of the fittest, the harsh realities of nature…are they trying to give me PTSD!
Yeah I can see how it would cross a line for a lot of people, and you have to have a certain visceral response to enjoy it. Although Panzer Dragoon doesn’t resort to such blunt trauma to get the message across, I think that is ultimately the real defining characteristic that connects them for me, the palpable sense of desperation. There’s literally thousands of these post-appolcalyptic / dystopic stories in the Manga and JRPG lexicon, but it’s very rare when they succeed as anything more than the de rigueur trope that they basically are.
What?! Are you telling me giant naked Japanese men, running around eating people, doesn’t remind you of Panzer Dragoon?! (sarcasm)
I guess certain themes like: a reduced population, walled in society (Town of Zoah) slightly echo Panzer Dragoon. The giant Japanese men really ruin the mood though…LOL…
The funny thing is the Titans themselves seem more Miyazaki-ish in a way, taking some cues from the surreal style of Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle perhaps.
Still, I seem to remember one of those titans had a leering face that looked a lot like Craymen… coincidence?
This series sounds intriguing; I’ll have to investigate. So long as there are no zombies - I’m sick of zombies!
Yeah about that… umm, they kind of are zombies basically. But they aren’t just zombies, I wouldn’t say anyway, not just zombies by another name. But they may not be outside the continuum of zombiedom either, I’m hoping that it at least avoids ‘that’ ubiquitous Biohazard trope in the end but it’s not entirely clear. A very good sense of mystery to it though.
AoT isn’t the most gory work of fiction I’ve seen. Perhaps I have been desensitized to violence. Some things were actually cut from the Manga too to be a bit less graphic (see Mina).
The Titans do strike you as unnatural, however (most of them don’t seem to be conscious of their actions. They act on instinct). But isn’t that the whole point?
Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next series.