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REVIEW: Attack on Titan


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EighteenSky





PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:31 pm Reply with quote
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Although the plot of the series is usually straightforward, it also delivers some quality surprises.

There was only one real surprise early in and that was ruined later on, thought it was far too predictable. Predictability isn't necessarily a bad thing as other aspects can usually offset it, that wasn't the case here when almost every thing else bar the soundtrack was dreadful.

The pacing, utterly pointless fodder deaths (only one meaningful death and that was in the first episode!) and the setting ruined this show for me, it's easily the worst pacing I have ever seen in anime.
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terminus24



Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 304
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:38 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
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.

Okay, here's a plot summary of Attack on Titan/Gurren Lagann:
Humanity has been trapped (Behind Walls/Underground) for a long time, and everyone feels pretty much safe until a giant (Titan/Mecha) breaks through the (Walls/Ceiling) and drives people out of their homes. The main characters eventually (Join the Survey Corps/Form Team Gurren) and go on a quest to (The Basement/Teppelin) to that they can learn how to stop the (Titans/Gunmen).

Not the best comparison, but that's the first thing that came to mind while watching AoT.

And I have to say that it may have not been the popularity of it as much what people were saying about it that I didn't see in the series, but the fact that it was constantly being thrown in my face as "OMG THIS IS THE BEST ANIME THIS YEAR!!!" really raised my expectations, and then I just couldn't get past it's problems, so not only did I find that I didn't like it that much, but also I had pretty high expectations for it, which were nowhere near being met. And I find that things that aren't great are much more tolerable when I have zero expectations for them.
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jymmy



Joined: 11 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:59 pm Reply with quote
Anyway, I felt aspects of Attack on Titan ranged from average to quite good. Overall, Eren was only an average character, and although she was cool, Mikasa never showed a lot of depth or development. I thought Jean was by far the best character. His story felt much more real and compelling than Eren's more generic revenge quest. The story likes to throw crazy twists at you, but there's a thoroughness behind the plotting, although sometimes it overestimates this. For example, the Female Titan's role in the story seemed to treat spoiler[her human identity as a much more pivotal character than was really justified]. There's a similar issue with everyone bringing up Marco every three seconds. Regarding one of the later tweests from the manga, I've heard people say that until spoiler[the Colossal and Armoured Titans' identities were revealed they'd forgotten who those characters actually were], and I can almost agree.

terminus24 wrote:
Personally, I thought AoT was one of the worst shows of this year, with only Vividred Operation and Wanna Be The Strongest In The World! being worse.

Dude, Futari wa Milky Holmes, Brothers Conflict, Cyclops Shoujo Saipu, Photo Kano, Zettai Bouei Leviathan, Senran Kagura, Amnesia and several other actually bad anime all aired this year. I Wanna be the Strongest in the World! might end up there, but, you know, it's two episodes in at the moment so it's hard to say how good the character and themes will be developed.

I'm not saying your opinion on Attack on Titan is invalid, but I really wonder how you can rate it lower than a lot of shows I would be much more comfortable calling bad.

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.

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.

That's a good way of putting it, though I'd rate AoT a few levels higher.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:04 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
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 each other.

Granted.

terminus24 wrote:
Okay, here's a plot summary of Attack on Titan/Gurren Lagann:
Humanity has been trapped (Behind Walls/Underground) for a long time, and everyone feels pretty much safe until a giant (Titan/Mecha) breaks through the (Walls/Ceiling) and drives people out of their homes. The main characters eventually (Join the Survey Corps/Form Team Gurren) and go on a quest to (The Basement/Teppelin) to that they can learn how to stop the (Titans/Gunmen).

Not the best comparison, but that's the first thing that came to mind while watching AoT.

Except that you're completely ignoring things like tone and style, which are utterly different. You're really stretching to make that comparison.

Quote:
And I have to say that it may have not been the popularity of it as much what people were saying about it that I didn't see in the series, but the fact that it was constantly being thrown in my face as "OMG THIS IS THE BEST ANIME THIS YEAR!!!" really raised my expectations, and then I just couldn't get past it's problems, so not only did I find that I didn't like it that much, but also I had pretty high expectations for it, which were nowhere near being met. And I find that things that aren't great are much more tolerable when I have zero expectations for them.

People always do this about the most popular shows, especially when they're first airing. You always need to be wary of such overblown comments and not hold them against the show.

brankoburcksen: That is an interesting interpretation, and I don't think it's too much of a stretch, either.
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terminus24



Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 304
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:06 pm Reply with quote
jymmy wrote:

terminus24 wrote:
Personally, I thought AoT was one of the worst shows of this year, with only Vividred Operation and Wanna Be The Strongest In The World! being worse.

Dude, Futari wa Milky Holmes, Brothers Conflict, Cyclops Shoujo Saipu, Photo Kano, Zettai Bouei Leviathan, Senran Kagura, Amnesia and several other actually bad anime all aired this year. I Wanna be the Strongest in the World! might end up there, but, you know, it's two episodes in at the moment so it's hard to say how good the character and themes will be developed.

I'm not saying your opinion on Attack on Titan is invalid, but I really wonder how you can rate it lower than a lot of shows I would be much more comfortable calling bad.

It's one of the worst I've seen this year, and there's a good amount this year I haven't seen (and I'm not going to comment on shows I haven't seen), with pretty much all of those above in the 'haven't seen' category. I did edit that post, though, to clear up any misunderstanding.

Key wrote:

terminus24 wrote:
Okay, here's a plot summary of Attack on Titan/Gurren Lagann:
Humanity has been trapped (Behind Walls/Underground) for a long time, and everyone feels pretty much safe until a giant (Titan/Mecha) breaks through the (Walls/Ceiling) and drives people out of their homes. The main characters eventually (Join the Survey Corps/Form Team Gurren) and go on a quest to (The Basement/Teppelin) to that they can learn how to stop the (Titans/Gunmen).

Not the best comparison, but that's the first thing that came to mind while watching AoT.

Except that you're completely ignoring things like tone and style, which are utterly different. You're really stretching to make that comparison.

Quote:
And I have to say that it may have not been the popularity of it as much what people were saying about it that I didn't see in the series, but the fact that it was constantly being thrown in my face as "OMG THIS IS THE BEST ANIME THIS YEAR!!!" really raised my expectations, and then I just couldn't get past it's problems, so not only did I find that I didn't like it that much, but also I had pretty high expectations for it, which were nowhere near being met. And I find that things that aren't great are much more tolerable when I have zero expectations for them.

People always do this about the most popular shows, especially when they're first airing. You always need to be wary of such overblown comments and not hold them against the show.
I was just comparing the essential, stripped-down plots of the two series, and saying that they were essentially very similar, if not the same. I wasn't comparing the entire series with each other.

And I can't help it if others get me excited for something and it turns out being not good or mediocre, and it feels like a huge letdown, compared to having zero expectations and not feeling let down at a mediocre or bad performance, because, well, I wasn't really expecting anything from it. I feel like I may have enjoyed AoT better if I started following it when it began, before my head was full of the crazy hype, instead of halfway through the series, when I had crazy expectations from the show that it just wasn't meeting.


Last edited by terminus24 on Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:17 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Brent Allison
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:07 pm Reply with quote
I wanted to like this show, but I could only feel angry and depressed while watching each episode. Since I couldn't enjoy it and had to drop it, I feel like I've betrayed fandom somehow, or I'm less than a real fan because of it. Sorry folks.
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animemaster1
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Joined: 13 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:13 pm Reply with quote
Well, you can give the review an A- overall and a B in story, but to me it is a masterpiece that deserves a solid A in both categories. This has become one of my Top 5 animes of all time and I have seen in full over 200 animes in my life - so that is saying a lot. Hopefully it will get the proper sequel it deserves and make the series a piece for the ages.
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Leebo



Joined: 14 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:27 pm Reply with quote
Brent Allison wrote:
I wanted to like this show, but I could only feel angry and depressed while watching each episode. Since I couldn't enjoy it and had to drop it, I feel like I've betrayed fandom somehow, or I'm less than a real fan because of it. Sorry folks.


If you're being sincere, that's an unnecessary reaction. No one should force him or herself to watch something they don't want to watch when it comes to entertainment.
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Parse Error



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 590
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:37 pm Reply with quote
terminus24 wrote:
I was just comparing the essential, stripped-down plots of the two series, and saying that they were essentially very similar, if not the same.

Of course they are, once you boil things down to the point of "monters/aliens/bad people/whoever attack city/country/species/planet/interstellar empire/wherever, then heroes assemble and go on quest to make peace with/defeat/exterminate/whatever these enemies." That also means Gurren Lagann is basically the same as countless other stories over the past few thousand years, so your point still doesn't make any sense.
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brankoburcksen



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:06 pm Reply with quote
A while back I read the AV Club reviews for the third season of The Walking Dead. One of the shortcomings it brought up was how the consistent need to survive driving the plot limited the character development. Because the characters were always focused on staying alive, other sides to their personality could not be explored. I wondered if this was not the same problem AoT suffers from because everyone is in constant danger or everything they do revolves around titans.

The current show-runner for Dead (#3 I think) said the current season will focus on how the characters retain their humanity in such an unforgiving world. This intrigued me since AoT explored this same conflict albeit in a more overt way. What exactly would be the strengths and weaknesses of being subversive or overt about this theme?

spoiler[Jean has quickly become one of my favorite characters. He is not just butting heads with Eren but Armin as well. In the last episode he actually speaks out against sacrificing your humanity to achieve the goals they desire. I like how they do not just blindly say to the audience, "Giving up your humanity is the only way to change anything." Jean makes this an argument worth exploring. I only wonder, is the point of making this subject so overt meant to make the audience think on the question themselves rather than just see how the plot works things out?]
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:15 pm Reply with quote
I like how when nudity is properly done the complaints go really down, sure the titans have no genitals or nipples, but neither do the girls in kill la kill ; yet barely nobody complains about the giant naked titans including the female one, yet a lot of people complained about klk's nudity; in this case I say it is because in AoT the nudity si necessary for the plot and does not feel tackled on; even the review said that aot has no fanservice.
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Leebo



Joined: 14 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:15 pm Reply with quote
brankoburcksen wrote:
A while back I read the AV Club reviews for the third season of The Walking Dead. One of the shortcomings it brought up was how the consistent need to survive driving the plot limited the character development. Because the characters were always focused on staying alive, other sides to their personality could not be explored. I wondered if this was not the same problem AoT suffers from because everyone is in constant danger or everything they do revolves around titans.


Yeah, that's true.

spoiler[The vast majority of the show takes place on 3 or 4 separate days with a couple of time gaps in between.]

Granted, that's the author's choice for how to set things up, so it's not really an excuse.
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jymmy



Joined: 11 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:16 pm Reply with quote
animemaster1 wrote:
Well, you can give the review an A- overall and a B in story, but to me it is a masterpiece that deserves a solid A in both categories. This has become one of my Top 5 animes of all time and I have seen in full over 200 animes in my life - so that is saying a lot. Hopefully it will get the proper sequel it deserves and make the series a piece for the ages.

spoiler[The plural of "anime" is "anime".]
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rheiders



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
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Location: Colorful Colorado :)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:21 pm Reply with quote
Brent Allison wrote:
I wanted to like this show, but I could only feel angry and depressed while watching each episode. Since I couldn't enjoy it and had to drop it, I feel like I've betrayed fandom somehow, or I'm less than a real fan because of it. Sorry folks.

If anyone tells you this just because you didn't like a particular piece of entertainment, they're the ones in the wrong. There's no such thing as a "real" or "fake" fan--if you like anime, then you are an anime fan. Smile
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Thatguy3331



Joined: 18 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:34 pm Reply with quote
Personally I liked Attack of the giant stupid naked people. Just not as much as everybody else.

I know I'll chased off with pitch-forks and torches for saying this, but I feel as though I can take this series a lot more seriously in the manga rather than the anime. I don't know but I can at the very least sympathize and feel for manga!Eren more than Anime!Eren who at times I was kind of getting annoyed by. I also agree that Mikasa has wasted potential, but at the very least it's nowhere NEAR the wasted potential episode 2!Asuna had from SAO. That said I felt Armin was the one I mostly liked especially his interactions with Jean.

As you could have guess before I couldn't really take this anime as seriously as others have because due to it's over the top nature (and don't get me wrong I have don't usually have issues with being over the top) I think I laughed a lot more than I dropped my jaw. I especially felt this way for the titans, yes they are indeed a credible threat but I never found them to be scary. I wasn't *just* trying to be a sarcastic asshole whenever I said Attack on Titan was one of the best comedies of the year.

I'd be lying though if I said I didn't find this fun though; I will continue on to read the manga and I can't say I was ever bored. It's not my favorite series ever or anything but this is a damn good series so far, I'll just be throwing Jabs at it every chance I can.
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