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REVIEW: Attack on Titan BD+DVD


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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 6182
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:32 am Reply with quote
One of my favorite series from last year. I agree with the pacing in the second half somewhat. I even recall a filler episode being added.
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Akane the Catgirl



Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 274
Location: Haifa, Israel

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:41 am Reply with quote
Well said, Hope! I myself only started watching the series when it came out on Toonami, and stopped at Episode Six. Already, I have become quite the fan of AoT, and it looks like I'm sticking with this gem until the end. I think what pulls me into this series is some of the moral ambiguity we're starting to see. You know how in Madoka Magica, there's a general theme of "people make mistakes and have to pay the piper"? I think we'll be seeing that a lot. I know Eren's learning that lesson as spoiler[he sits in Titan stomach acid.]

Another thing I like is seeing all those little scenes and flashbacks that actually have a lot of emotional depth. Here's some stuff I liked:

The part in Episode One where an old woman asks what happened to her son. The leader of the Survey Corps presents her with the son's arm, the last thing remaining of his corpse. When she asks if his sacrifice meant anything, the leader breaks down and admits it didn't.

Eren and Armin's bonding with Reiner and Bertholt over their lost hometowns in Episode Three. As we learn from the montage, Reiner and Bertholt's village was the first of many to be attacked by Titans. They didn't get any warning about them.

The flashback in Episode Five where a younger Armin shows Eren his book about what life was like outside. Here, he excitedly talks about oceans and mountains as if they were like Babylon or Ancient Egypt. This one hit certain emotional depths to me, seeing these little boys talk about things that they might not get to see in their lifetimes.

In Episode Six, we see a scout girl hopelessly trying to do CPR on her long-dead boyfriend. In the last episode, we saw them both alive, trying not to be separated as they go to work during the Battle of Trost.

Mikasa's backstory. OH HOLY F**K MIKASA'S BACKSTORY.

Also, Armin's b***h-screaming. Horrifying in-context, hilarious out-of-context.


Overall, I'm looking forward to seeing more of AoT. Thanks for the review!
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 7935

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:42 am Reply with quote
Without the ugly fleshy humanoid giants, it just becomes any other bug hunt story, like a medieval/steampunk Verhoeven's Starship Troopers, except the fanaticism to sign up and die isn't played as a joke here. The giants really are what make it so fascinating and plays into themes of humanity, cannibalism, and empathy without a word even needing to be said. Make them generic monsters and all of that is lost, there's no more eerily unnerving feeling surrounding things like the kaiju from Pacific Rim or any other kaiju film, same with the bugs from Troopers. Even the xenomorphs from Aliens become a joke if you place them in an open field in broad daylight.

That said, the characters tend to be major drawback for my watching aside from the horrid pacing during that Trost campaign, mainly because it focuses on Eren who can be a pain to watch and listen to. For the pacing, don't tell me it gets better when it's not watched weekly, I watched all those episode in a row, and it only made it worse.
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junmaedaisjesus



Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:49 am Reply with quote
The first ending theme song is just perfect and really suits Mikasa.

Can't wait for season 2.
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1335

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:50 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Every animal on the earth is more Free! than humans are...

The usual title auto-detect gaffe.
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Second Fire Shadow



Joined: 01 Apr 2013
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:55 am Reply with quote
I already love Attack On Titan and the dub is just the icing on the cake. It's fantastic.

However, I have a bit of an issue with Funimation overpricing of the first Blu ray set a bit.

Seriously $96!? Thank God I live in the UK and can get this for a fraction of the price. (£29)
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infamoustakai



Joined: 12 Jun 2014
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:01 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:

That said, the characters tend to be major drawback for my watching aside from the horrid pacing during that Trost campaign, mainly because it focuses on Eren who can be a pain to watch and listen to. For the pacing, don't tell me it gets better when it's not watched weekly, I watched all those episode in a row, and it only made it worse.


Agreed, with all of this. The characters, who could've given the show a lot of heart, are nothing but cardboard cut-outs. Making the show even more dull than it already is.

The whole show was very mediocre.
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
Posts: 908

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:04 pm Reply with quote
While he comes off as whiny, I actually like josh Grelle's version of Armin more than Marina Inoue's because I found really annoying hearing a woman's voice for Armin and the fact that he's a whiny character makes it even worse.
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SouthPacific



Joined: 24 Oct 2013
Posts: 460

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:06 pm Reply with quote
Second Fire Shadow wrote:

Seriously $96!? Thank God I live in the UK and can get this for a fraction of the price. (£29)


$96 is for the CE, the LE is $53.99.

And don't forget, even for a title of this magnitude Manga Entertainment will be going with a flimsy slipcover... And they put the extras on a DVD rather than on a BD because they "thought the US did the same thing"... Surprised

I thought the dubbed Armin did a really good job, Mikasa was ok, but dubbed Eren... That is hokey personified Mad. Thought the Japanese cast & direction was superior. Significantly stronger supporting cast as well.

Hoping for a German dub as I can understand the language & it fits with the settings & names in the show.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 1566

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:17 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
Without the ugly fleshy humanoid giants, it just becomes any other bug hunt story, like a medieval/steampunk Verhoeven's Starship Troopers, except the fanaticism to sign up and die isn't played as a joke here. The giants really are what make it so fascinating and plays into themes of humanity, cannibalism, and empathy without a word even needing to be said. Make them generic monsters and all of that is lost, there's no more eerily unnerving feeling surrounding things like the kaiju from Pacific Rim or any other kaiju film, same with the bugs from Troopers. Even the xenomorphs from Aliens become a joke if you place them in an open field in broad daylight.


Got everything but the Z word. An open field in broad daylight? Make it a cemetery and it sounds like a certain iconic movie about humanity, death and eating people.

I saw the first two {four? Could be four} episodes and I liked what I saw - except for the web slinging. As everyone knows, it's easier to take a giant down with some rope and a sword. I don't get that, I understood the cannons, I understood the running and hiding and the feeling of general hopelessness that most people felt but that the other part of humanity worked out a system of semi-aerial combat through a system of trial and error- where error equals death- that's just silly.

This is not a logical series, it's one that works off of nightmares, I get that. What bothers me is the fact that few if any nightmares or dreams even have a satisfying structure and then this series will devolve into is a one that's comprised of topper after topper; "This is the grisliest thing you'll ever see! No, this is! That bothered you? That has nothing on this!"

Oh and it's figurative cannon fodder {line em up, knock em down} versus literal cannon fodder {can't miss em, except for that fast one who's there because, yeah...}. If this series ends with everyone actually dead in the first episode, I'd be relieved .


Last edited by Animegomaniac on Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 7935

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:17 pm Reply with quote
Kadmos1 wrote:
While he comes off as whiny, I actually like josh Grelle's version of Armin more than Marina Inoue's because I found really annoying hearing a woman's voice for Armin and the fact that he's a whiny character makes it even worse.


Armin's Japanese voice has a sort of endearing "look out for the little guy" quality to it, so I had no problems when he spoke.

Animegomaniac wrote:
Got everything but the Z word. An open field in broad daylight? Make it a cemetery and it sounds like a certain iconic movie about humanity, death and eating people.


Zombies didn't even come to mind, honestly, because most zombie movies aren't about organized military campaigns fighting them back, but instead focus on Joe Normalguy and usually a coterie of idiots who cannot grasp the situation at hand (actually, that's a problem throughout Shingeki as well, they just still cannot believe what's happening, even after years?) I suppose for a medieval-equipped army, unstoppable zombies would present an issue, but zombie movies tend to focus on other non-infected humans as the main enemy, with the zombies only serving as a means to drive people to the edge.

I also didn't think about zombies because they're so overblown and overused in media that it gets numbing. That aside, I believe the whole appeal of zombies and zombie preparedness is being able to shoot at and kill humans but feel zero remorse or regret over doing so. It's some kind of primal urge to kill other people that's unleashed in a way that won't offend anyone. "I can't wait to kill people but face zero repercussions over doing so!" That sort of line of thinking doesn't really come up in Shingeki, as the giants are super hard to kill and require years of intense training, and after that the chances of survival are still nothing. With zombies, any goddamn redneck can fire off a gun in the general direction of a zombie and eventually hope to hit it with enough rounds. Even people who despise guns and have had no training could still manage it. The element of immediate death and danger isn't even close.
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Exaar



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 276
Location: Delaware

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:34 pm Reply with quote
While I did like this show a lot (I already have this BD set on my shelf), I think that I have to disagree with this review on a couple of points. I thought the series was very good, but there are a couple of negative points that keep it from reaching 'great'.

The blurb says "the pacing is unusual, but time is never wasted", but I find that to be, IMO, pretty flat-out untrue. The show wastes loads of time. Pacing is by far its biggest issue. There is absolutely no excuse for spoiler[it taking eight damn episodes to move that boulder like 30 feet].

I also kind of disagree with the assertion that the plot is in any way smart. It's /fun/, for sure, and entertaining, but there are a whole lot of 'what, really?' dumb things going on that the show tries to sell as "SO EPIC OMG" when anyone looking at them wonders how exactly that decision came to be made.

spoiler[The obvious example is again, that stupid boulder. Why the hell did they think putting a big rock over the hole would stop the Titans? The WALL didn't stop them- the Colossal Titan just needs to show up again and kick the dumb rock! Or.. any Titan! If Eren could move it, it follows that any OTHER Titan could just push the damn thing out of the way! How was that in any way a good solution to that problem? Yet everyone in the show was like "OH MAN, WE'RE SAVED".]

I want to stress again that I absolutely enjoyed this show and have already purchased this BD set. I just think it gets a little too much credit a lot of the time - it's a good, fun shonen action show, but it really isn't anything special (other than the production values of course, which were fantastic).

Also, I got kind of tired of spoiler[ everyone being whiny and crying about their dead friends all the time. Yes, it's completely realistic and yes, the first time or two its very emotional and effecting. But by like, the 40th time they're sitting around weeping about how horrible it all is, it stops being tragic and starts being annoying/almost comical. It's good to have that sort of emotional baggage in a show, but I think this one went overboard and sort of ruined its effectiveness by over-using it.]

That said! Still a good show, definitely one of the highlights of last year.

Also to people complaining about the price, Amazon has the standard edition for 31 dollars on BD. That's where I got it. Absolutely worth that price.
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Nemui_Nezumi



Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Posts: 327
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:21 pm Reply with quote
SouthPacific wrote:
Hoping for a German dub as I can understand the language & it fits with the settings & names in the show.


me too!

I'm not the type to buy the same stuff more than once but I'm just way too curious to hear how they would sound in german c:
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gedata



Joined: 04 May 2013
Posts: 182

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:15 pm Reply with quote
Exaar wrote:
Also, I got kind of tired of spoiler[ everyone being whiny and crying about their dead friends all the time. Yes, it's completely realistic and yes, the first time or two its very emotional and effecting. But by like, the 40th time they're sitting around weeping about how horrible it all is, it stops being tragic and starts being annoying/almost comical. It's good to have that sort of emotional baggage in a show, but I think this one went overboard and sort of ruined its effectiveness by over-using it.]

That said! Still a good show, definitely one of the highlights of last year.

Also to people complaining about the price, Amazon has the standard edition for 31 dollars on BD. That's where I got it. Absolutely worth that price.


spoiler[I could live with the crying if anyone who died received much characterization prior. Anyone who does hasn't yet]

The only exception in this anime *2nd set spoilers* spoiler[was Levi's team I guess.]

I guess my issue with this show is that the core cast has about as much chance as dying as a character from One Piece does, or it least that's how it feels to me. That's really more of an issue with the anime and manga as a whole then just this set alone mind you.
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SiLVER820



Joined: 13 Apr 2013
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:33 pm Reply with quote
I agree with Hope on the pacing. I was never bored and enjoyed the focus to character interaction.

I also love that, despite the dark atmosphere, the show presents such a wonderful, empathetic message.


Last edited by SiLVER820 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:42 pm; edited 2 times in total
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