I know, a lot of you are probably in shock. I can hear your thoughts now. “Seriously?!” “How can you like that show?! It has all the subtlety of a jackhammer that is backed up by a wrecking ball! One Direction has more nuance than that! You go on and on about your love of great stories. So what the hell is this doing on here?!” Valid complaints, I admit. This show has a lot of flaws that, if it were most anything else, would make me absolutely hate it. There are so many elements that should work against this series in every single way. And to be fair, they often do. But I have to admit it, I love this series. I love it so freakin’ much.
To be fair, this series is one thing and one thing only – adrenaline. Pure, unbridled adrenaline. I guess this is a kinda review but not really. There will be no score at the end. It is just me talking about it. I don’t do reviews on TV shows. I might do a First Take or a SION post, but never reviews. There is just too much to talk about with a series to give it a proper review.
Attack on Titan is all about motion, action and adrenaline. There isn’t a second that goes by in this series that isn’t high-octane action, with a pinch of enough mild moments to not wear your body out before it even starts. If anything, the calculated way that they mix adrenaline and contemplative moments seems almost perfectly-coordinated. It is that good.
This brings us to the next thing about the series that I love – motion. The motion in this show is always break-neck speeds, but done in a way that is so well-animated that it is feels like choreographed stunts. This series was made by the same people who made High School of the Dead, and it really shows. This series has Madhouse’s signature style of motion all over it, and bless the series for it. No joke, the fast-paced action and how they perfectly-capture it works so well.
Which brings us to the next thing to talk about – the scale. This is a series all about scale. The scale of the Walls around the city. The scale of the buildings. The scale of the Titans. The scale of the soldiers. Everything is about size and how size is used. These people took on the Michael Bay style of scaling something and improved on it, vastly so. When they want to show off the scale of the series, they do it almost impeccably. It makes every action scene that much better to watch. What’s more, it never falters. Ever. There is not a single action scene in this series that falls flat. I have no idea if they knew how big this series would get, but whoever the animation team was behind this, they clearly took their time to get it right.
That’s not to say that everything in this show is perfect. The lack of subtlety sometimes does work against it. This series was also made by the person who made Death Note, and while I love that series to death (it is one of my favorite anime of all time), that series has all the subtlety of a ham sandwich. It is over-the-top almost constantly. So is this series. Sometimes it is funny. Other times, it is ham-fisted and WAY too corny. Then there are the Titans themselves. Sometimes they look absolutely awesome. No joke, some of these monsters earn all the epicness they are given. Those creepy smiles that they all seem to have, open-mouthed, unrealistically long and with HUGE teeth. There are some, though, where I guess they ran out of money for the series, and they drew the STUPIDEST faces on them. The scowling female Titan is my favorite. Her face looks so fake that it is more than a little funny. I suppose the almost-film quality animation had to falter somewhere.
Another issue I have is that the gore factor in this series is REALLY overhyped. This show can be bloody, but there is almost no true gore. False advertising. I was expecting this series to be a bloody mess, but it keeps cutting away at the good stuff. What gives?!
Part of me is curious what the story behind this series was. They devoted a TON of quality animation to this series. That kind of financial investment, was that all on faith that this series would be huge? Was there a model that they were going off of? I am curious to find out what got them to invest so much into something I had never heard of before Tumblr absolutely exploded because of.
So yeah, I love this series. I love it to death. Call me sad or into terrible shows. In a lot of ways, this show is so utterly-cliche. The characters have all the depth of a trampoline. The element that truly keeps the series going is the plot. It does have a lot of twists and turns. And the more that you learn about what the Titans truly are, the more interesting it becomes. There are growing hints that they are not some abstract monster, but a man-made creation. Part of some darker purpose. That is interesting. In a way, that is sequel-bait, but I refused to believe that FUNimation hasn’t thrown money at this series. After all, it is big on a level that Fullmetal Alchemist is. So yeah, we’ll see where it goes next.
Until next time, a quote,
“It’s sad, what most people here are willing to settle for, in exchange for some fleeting sense of security. You know? And make no mistake, it absolutely is fleeting.” -Armin Arlet, Attack on Titan