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REVIEW: Attack on Titan


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darkchibi07



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:28 am Reply with quote
I always wondered what the series would be like if it actually had the guts to spoiler[kill off Eren for good] and thus made Mikasa the real protagonist? Would we still have those special Titans like the Female Titan? And would Mikasa's development have not been "stunted" after spoiler[Titan Eren appeared]? That would be revolutionary execution for a shounen series like this.

Last edited by darkchibi07 on Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Leebo



Joined: 14 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:54 am Reply with quote
The "stunting" of Mikasa and the stretching of the source material seem like the same problem to me. The second half is way slower paced than it needed to be, and Mikasa really has nothing to do in that part, so it's emphasized. I'm hoping that doesn't happen with future content.
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Levitz9



Joined: 06 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:04 pm Reply with quote
I'm not sure I agree with the review on one (admittedly minor) part: I never really felt like Eren had much depth.

Most everything he did was fueled by anger, and if he ever messed up, the solution was "Remember, Eren, you're really, really mad!" When Eren met the Survey Corps, I figured he'd develop a little and learn to contain it. spoiler[Nope! It turns out he needs to go Super Eren and remember how much he hates Titans to keep up with the Female Titan!]

Make no mistake, Eren and Mikasa are great characters, and I like how Mikasa retained some semblance of agency by not being used for cheap cheesecake, but they both felt shallow at the end of the series. Their psychoses were justified, make no mistake, but I never felt like anything had been done to develop either of them past that point.

That said, I agree with everything put forth in this review. Theron, you did a good job. This is just a minor point I disagree with.
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anthony59237



Joined: 12 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:07 pm Reply with quote
darkchibi07 wrote:
I always wondered what the series would be like if it actually had the guts to spoiler[kill off Eren for good] and thus made Mikasa the real protagonist? Would we still have those special Titans like the Female Titan? And would Mikasa's development have not been "stunted" after spoiler[Titan Eren appeared]? That would be revolutionary execution for a shounen series like this.


I don't think that would work because spoiler[eren has the key to the basement and all]

And I don't think mikasa would have had any development. spoiler[She'd be dead if titan eren wasn't there]
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Leebo



Joined: 14 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:14 pm Reply with quote
anthony59237 wrote:
darkchibi07 wrote:
I always wondered what the series would be like if it actually had the guts to spoiler[kill off Eren for good] and thus made Mikasa the real protagonist? Would we still have those special Titans like the Female Titan? And would Mikasa's development have not been "stunted" after spoiler[Titan Eren appeared]? That would be revolutionary execution for a shounen series like this.


I don't think that would work because spoiler[eren has the key to the basement and all]

And I don't think mikasa would have had any development. spoiler[She'd be dead if titan eren wasn't there]


The hypothetical assumes the author would have changed the plot to allow those things to be handled differently.
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daichi383



Joined: 16 Sep 2009
Posts: 243
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:24 pm Reply with quote
Mikasa just didn't work for me and i never found her interesting to watch besides action scenes. I was told after you see her backstory you'll understand her better and she gets more developed but she never really does. She stays the same throughout while Armin is continually evolving along with Jean and others have well thought out personalities.

It seems the only qualities she has is being asian, liking eren and being really good in a fight. Its a shame really. Could've done something with her.

On the over emoting i guess you could say it's a problem but i've seen too much shounen to be able to tell now lol Wink

Good review though man. I agree with near enough everything you said.
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Leebo



Joined: 14 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:40 pm Reply with quote
I know it's probably not worth starting something about, but I feel like Theron is holding AoT to a different standard in some cases, with the grades at least.

Like, for example in his review of Asobi ni Iku yo, he gives the story an A- while AoT gets a B.

I personally am a big fan of both shows, but really, I think the Asobi score is pretty generous.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:53 pm Reply with quote
The writing in Cat Planet Cuties is cleverer, some of the character development is better, and the story is much better-paced. There's not a shred of doubt in my mind that it's the better-written of the two.

In fact, I would put AoT in the same category as SAO in the respect that it's enormously entertaining despite its writing rather than because of it.
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Leebo



Joined: 14 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:59 pm Reply with quote
I guess I wasn't considering the pacing in the score, even though I've already acknowledged in an earlier post that it's a problem, so yeah, that's reasonable. SAO is another beast entirely, I didn't enjoy that at all, almost entirely because of the writing.

The development I might disagree more on.
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sainta



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:15 pm Reply with quote
What I really liked is that they managed to keep all the tension even after the concept of Titan shifter were introduced. I was afraid of AoT going modern Resident Evil but it managed to keep its atmosphere. Probably episodes 21 and 22 were the most shocking. I know more than one guy who got sad when watching them.

I think I liked more the second half than the first half because of how the characters dealed with the Titans.
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terminus24



Joined: 19 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:30 pm Reply with quote
Personally, I thought AoT was one of the worst shows I've seen this year, with only Vividred Operation and Wanna Be The Strongest In The World! being worse. I just couldn't get past the awful pacing, the story felt too formulatic, and I didn't like the art style (which is a huge thing for me). Oh, and the hype for it made me expect waaay more. I can see why people would like it if they could get past it's flaws, but I just couldn't get past them.

That said, I totally felt that AoT's plot was essentially Gurren Lagann.


Last edited by terminus24 on Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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brankoburcksen



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:04 pm Reply with quote
I really like that comparison with Cat Planet Cuties and SAO. You can forgive the baser elements with Cuties because it is well written whereas with SAO its treatment of female characters bludgeons a hole in its story structure that becomes even more apparent in its second half.

It surprised me, with the exception of Mikasa, how well AoT handles men and women. It's not like it is a feminist manifesto. However, it makes a wise and rather forward looking presentation by not calling attention to gender roles. At the same time, in subtle ways, it does not allow you to lose sight of the traditional values in this world. All the top commanders in the military are men. They are ruled by a king. There are references to brothels and sex trafficking. We see things from the perspective of the lower classes whereas the wealthy look more traditional. By and large, it is still a patriarchal society.

spoiler[There was one intriguing interpretation floating around that Eren's titan shifting ability is reminiscent of someone piloting a mecha. Even the backstory of a boy's father giving his son the ability to control a power that will turn the tide of a war draws a lot of parallels. Basically, titan shifters are this world's version of a mecha. That got me thinking back to when Mikasa somehow broke the floor with her bear feet when she charged the third kidnapper in that flashback. She suddenly had this revelation and gained superhuman strength. I humorously thought, "If Eren is this series version of a mecha pilot, than Mikasa might be its version of a magical girl." Then I thought, "Who knows?"]
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iatheia



Joined: 20 Jun 2009
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:10 pm Reply with quote
I just can't get excited about this series any more. I definitely did in the beginning, but somewhere along the way I remembered an ark in the Humanity Has Declined when they were stuck in a manga and they wanted to keep the ratings high, so they ended each chapter on a cliffhanger. "Gasp, I am your father!" - "Gasp, I am actually your sister" - "Gasp, we are actually on an abandoned space station" et cetera. The result is a bunch of nonsense that cannot logically be tied together in any case even if they tried. That's the sense I am getting from AoT now.
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Zac
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Joined: 05 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:13 pm Reply with quote
terminus24 wrote:

That said, I totally felt that AoT's plot was essentially Gurren Lagann.


This makes absolutely no sense.

Also, it is completely invalid to criticize a show based on its relative or perceived popularity. It is not the duty of a critic or even a consumer to "temper" how popular something is - respond to it as a work of fiction, a piece of entertainment, an artistic endeavor - but if your only response is "humph, this shouldn't be as popular as it is because I don't like it as much as these other people do" then you're not engaging in criticism or analysis, you're just being petty.

Key wrote:
The writing in Cat Planet Cuties is cleverer, some of the character development is better, and the story is much better-paced. There's not a shred of doubt in my mind that it's the better-written of the two.


They're also trying to achieve completely different things and have literally nothing in common, as you know, so the scores are not relative to eachother.
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rheiders



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
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Location: Colorful Colorado :)

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:27 pm Reply with quote
brankoburcksen wrote:
It surprised me, with the exception of Mikasa, how well AoT handles men and women. It's not like it is a feminist manifesto. However, it makes a wise and rather forward looking presentation by not calling attention to gender roles. At the same time, in subtle ways, it does not allow you to lose sight of the traditional values in this world. All the top commanders in the military are men. They are ruled by a king. There are references to brothels and sex trafficking. We see things from the perspective of the lower classes whereas the wealthy look more traditional. By and large, it is still a patriarchal society.

I agree with this, except that I would include Mikasa in praising the series' treatment of female characters. I enjoyed the gender role reversal in Mikasa and Eren's relationship, in which Mikasa plays a protective role and Eren plays an emotional role. This was especially refreshing because it's not a simple matter of making Eren extremely feminine and Mikasa extremely masculine. Mikasa is protective in a feminine way and Eren is emotional in a masculine way. Normally I would be irritated by a female character whose entire motivation is a man, but I think Mikasa and Eren's backstories give a good, complex explanation for her feelings. And really, that's all I want--female characters who are interesting and complexly written, regardless of how "strong" or "independent" they are. Smile (Mikasa is definitely the former, but the latter would depend on context.)

I also like that the character designs for female characters are as varied and interesting as the male designs rather than all being same-faced anime cute. In general, Isayama just doesn't seem at all interested in traditional gender roles and stereotypes, which I respect even though (and perhaps because) it seems largely unintentional. It also makes sense for the story since, with the human population hovering right around one million, enforcing baseless gender roles should be the last of anyone's concerns.

---
I fall on the "this is one of the better shows to come out this year" side of things. I really enjoyed it all the way through and was actually pretty impressed by the development of the characters, especially Jean and Armin. I really enjoyed the squad leaders as well, which was a surprise because I'm usually indifferent towards characters like Levi. Mostly, though, I think the high level of suspense and exciting twists and turns work very well in the series' favor. The build-up portions drag sometimes, yes, but for me, the pay-off is always enough to immediately forgive everything preceding xD I like that I can tell Isayama has the whole thing planned through pretty thoroughly, as well. There are some pretty insane twists that would feel like ass-pulls anywhere else, but I felt the pieces fit together pretty well here.
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