Friday, 14 March 2014

Anime Review: Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)

Right, until now I am still suffering from a serious insomnia and therefore is a good time to watch yet another anime. This time I have decided to watch the one which was quite the talk in town several years ago which is Sword Art Online, and I thought maybe before I start watching it I should start writing for the one which was the hype last year. I had finished watching Shingeki no Kyojin quite some time ago but didn't bother to write a review of it until now for some reason. Shingeki no Kyojin (henceforth shall be known as 'SnK') is almost as influential as most mainstream anime, so you'll probably hate me for this review if you're a die-hard fan. In short, this anime is bad. Rest assured however, this is not the worst anime I've came across. Given the popularity of this anime, I assumed that you had already watched it and I am going to include a bit of spoilers.

The Colossal Titan a.k.a. The Human Muscular System
Title: Shingeki no Kyojin a.k.a. Attack on Titan (For your information, Shingeki no Kyojin does not mean Attack on Titan)

What is it about: The entire humanity was wiped out by titans. Only a small city survived the invasion. Eventually even the city was wiped out. Therefore the titans win. The end... Or is it?

Review: I didn't exactly have a fond memory of SnK. This anime was recommended to me by a friend of mine, and the first scene he showed me was the last part of the first episode where the main character Eren's mom was eaten alive by titans. It took me a few weeks to recover from that trauma, so it didn't exactly gave me a good first impression. Somehow after that I managed to summon all my courage to watch the entire series.

After I watched the whole of episode 1, I have to say it isn't that bad. In fact it is rather interesting as the city was attacked by the Colossal titan, which is the SnK mascot titan. The Colossal Titan is supposedly to most powerful of titans, and it is the only reason which kept me watching this anime. Unfortunately, the Colossal Titan appeared no more than 2 minutes in the first episode. Subsequently, he pretty much stopped appearing anymore and things turned out pretty ugly from then on as the titans begin their invasion to the villages in the city. The anime did a good job explaining the maps of the city, the government et cetera but really, nobody cares. For one thing I watched this anime denying every logic that ever existed, and you will have to do that to enjoy this anime. I could question so many things like where exactly did the titan came from and how did the remaining human population managed to build the wall guarding their territory, but I just couldn't be bothered.

Okay so the titans finally managed to infiltrate the remains of human civilization after a few hundred years (I don't know why), and the humans are to fight them off. Yes, this anime is set in the medieval eras where there are no modern weapons yet. However, they did invent a machine that allows them so so-called move in a 3-dimensional manner ala Spiderman style. If they can do that, why do they still fight the titans with disposable paper cutters? I can assure you the Japanese katana which I believe existed way before cannons are invented works much better that the weapons they are currently using. They had cannons by the way, which were medieval and completely useless.

I started watching this anime with a full expectation that there will be loads of violence involved. I wasn't disappointed. However, I did expect the titans to be slayed in a brutal manner as they did the humans. I wanted an all-out war with the titans. In this perspective, I was disappointed. It was a losing battle all the way. I understand that the titans are invincible, but I didn't expect that their only weak point is located behind their neck. This means that no matter how you attack the titans, they won't die unless you attack that particular weak spot, and in the entire series all everyone did is slash the titans' neck and they die. I find that really lame. I was expecting the battle to be like that of Monster Hunter, but unfortunately that's no the case.

Another thing I realized is that everyone in this anime are expendables, and they pretty much lived to be killed. It doesn't matter who you are, if you are not among the main characters or someone the plot absolutely requires, you die. It also doesn't matter if you are just an innocent girl, you die. You could argue that this makes the anime more realistic, but unfortunately anime isn't reality. Don't get me wrong. Realism is an important aspect of an anime, but realism has never existed in SnK to begin with. Towards the end of SnK, not many people are left. Also, the main character is supposed to be dead already in the beginning of this anime but nope, because his name is Eren Jaegar, he gets special treatments as I shall explain soon.

Now, I'd like to give my opinions regarding the characters of SnK. Most of them are not likable especially the main character of all people. Eren is the epitome of main characters that is most despicable. He does pretty much nothing in the entire series except complaining, but because he is gifted with special powers, he got to be the main character. Speaking of Eren's power, I am referring to his ability to transform into a titan. So in the end, it's titan versus titan. Say goodbye to all of humanity's glory.

And then there's Mikasa. She is not unlikable, but I just don't understand why is she so obsessed with Eren who gave her the cold shoulder every time. I get it that Eren saved her life once, but that doesn't justify Eren's mean attitude towards Mikasa for no apparent reason and also Mikasa's intense obsession towards Eren. Also, Mikasa is pretty when she is young as shown in the first episodes. When she grew up, she looks pretty okay I guess. Her colored lips looked weird though. She cut her hair after demanded by Eren because he thinks she looks better that way. I beg to differ.

In the midst of all the unlikable characters, we fortunately did have Armin whom I considered the one and only character who is completely likable, although many seems to disagree with me. I do agree he is weak, but who vouched for Eren's innocence and supported him when he's on trial? Armin did. Who devised effective strategies to resist the titans instead of hiding in one corner whimpering and just waiting to die? Armin did. Who ultimately discovered the traitor amongst their own people? Armin did. So I'd say screw Eren, Armin should be the main character instead. Poor Armin is too underrated.

Finally while we're still discussing the characters, I have to say that the titans look terribly weird and ugly at that. They look downright retarded. They came in different designs, but most of them  basically looked like oversized nude human who are suffering from Down syndrome. They also do not have genitals. Perhaps they are suffering from Klinefelter syndrome too. For some reason, this is an exception to several important crucial-to-the-plot titans such as the Colossal Titan and the Eren titan. I'd love to see an epic battle between human and Colossal Titan, but I guess that won't be happening anytime soon because the Colossal Titan has never be shown itself or mentioned again after the first few episodes. They did in fact however brought up several formidable titans to go against Eren and the rest of humanity, among them being the main antagonist who is the traitor I was talking about earlier. She was defeated at the end of the series, but that didn't exactly make things better as the anime ends in a cliffhanger with much unanswered questions.

In conclusion, there will probably be a season 2 to SnK but I certainly won't be watching it unless curiosity got the better of me. I heard that the manga of SnK is still ongoing and it's not going to stop anytime soon, hinting that SnK is going to be draggy and long-winded just like many of the mainstream anime. Well, if you are going to watch SnK any, try not to get too attached to a character. Chances are they will die in a pretty horrible way.

Rating: 3/10

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