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REVIEW: Attack on Titan BD+DVD


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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 14082
Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:09 pm Reply with quote
Attack On Titan is all about the Rule of Cool over actual substance. In reality it would be simple to defeat the titans because they are slow and lumbering and not too bright. Even the weakest titans are shown to have incredible reaction speed but this defies basic biology. Just as a fly can easily avoid a human's clumsy attempts to swat it with bare hands, a human should be able to consistently dodge something as clumsy as a titan.

Practical ways to actually defeating them would be building palisade walls for funneling purposes which would lead to killzones of muddy ditches filled with sharp sticks and lined with concentrated cannon and musket emplacements. This would keep the titans pinned long enough for a single dude to come along and leisurely slice the neck. Another way to take out titans is to farm venomous snakes and extract the venom for use in arrows. Wouldn't kill a titan but it might slow it down so much that you can use direct cannon fire.

The whole concept of the 3DMG is wickedly cool in concept but completely unnecessary in execution, and opens the plot hole of how humanity can be so technologically backwards if they have something so advanced. In fact, given the titans' many weaknesses, one wonders how humanity even lost to them in the first place. Once the neck trick was known a single AH-64 or Mi-24 could take out dozens of titans in a single sortie with no worries about a counterattack (because titans can't fly). And obviously the fall of humanity wasn't quick or else they wouldn't have been able to build such an enormous system of walls. Therefore they must have had many years, which begs the question of why apart from the walls they capitulated so easily.

The mangaka has clearly painted himself into multiple corners on multiple fronts. Not that he really cares; he's making too much money.
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 730
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:22 pm Reply with quote
gedata wrote:
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.


It's so heavily advertised (by fans, mainly) and built up like a show where anyone can die because humans are mere snacks to the mighty Titans, but spoiler[by the end of the anime, the most significant death is still Eren's mom. Every other character with a decent number of lines or any real importance is very much alive.]

spoiler[Levi's squad] is borderline, but they got most of their character development in the battle where they all died, which seems to be par for the course for this series. Mostly they just meatgrind hordes of redshirts, and occasionally off a random secondary character to traumatize and/or motivate a primary character. It feels so distant that it's almost like a black comedy.
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smashwagon



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 50
Location: Dunedin, Florida
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:52 pm Reply with quote
"If you are weak or irrational or untalented, your life still has value because you are human, and you are part of that single voice that struggles against the bleak world of eat or be eaten. "

Keep writing like that Hope, and soon your words will turn up as inspirational quote memes. Nice review.

It is funny that everything is so mechanized to get to you emotionally in this series, so you want to deny Titan's power over you, but this show still has hooks not easily swept away.
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Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 3083
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:54 pm Reply with quote
Lately my feelings about death is that the average anime doesn't really understand how to kill off characters properly. The fallback is usually the good old "This guy totally had a girlfriend, or wanted to change the way the world works and is now dead" as opposed to actually making me care about the character. The act of watching a person survive means nothing when the characters are all one note characters and you don't really have an investment if they live or die.

Let me give you an example using Fullmetal Alchemist spoiler[ Maes Hughes death means something because they didn't then proceed to kill off 3 of Mustang's men 2 episodes later.] In other words that Death stands out as having meaning, and so even if that character dies early on it still means something.

I compared Attack On Titan to an 80's OVA where a lot of people die in quick succession because the show was only 6-13 episodes long. Whereas looking at Attack on Titan its answer is just to throw more one note characters at the titans and watch as they snap their neck and kill people.
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DangerMouse



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 3704
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:11 pm Reply with quote
Stark700 wrote:
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.


Yup, loved the hell out of this show. The wait for more of the anime is going to be hard.

SiLVER820 wrote:
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.


Totally agree with this. It's amazing how it has that message while simultaneously not really skimping or letting up at all on the darker atmosphere is at the same time. The review really nailed this aspect of the show.
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Doodleboy



Joined: 23 Dec 2013
Posts: 248
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:12 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Attack On Titan is all about the Rule of Cool over actual substance. In reality it would be simple to defeat the titans because they are slow and lumbering and not too bright. Even the weakest titans are shown to have incredible reaction speed but this defies basic biology. Just as a fly can easily avoid a human's clumsy attempts to swat it with bare hands, a human should be able to consistently dodge something as clumsy as a titan.

Practical ways to actually defeating them would be building palisade walls for funneling purposes which would lead to killzones of muddy ditches filled with sharp sticks and lined with concentrated cannon and musket emplacements. This would keep the titans pinned long enough for a single dude to come along and leisurely slice the neck. Another way to take out titans is to farm venomous snakes and extract the venom for use in arrows. Wouldn't kill a titan but it might slow it down so much that you can use direct cannon fire.

The whole concept of the 3DMG is wickedly cool in concept but completely unnecessary in execution, and opens the plot hole of how humanity can be so technologically backwards if they have something so advanced. In fact, given the titans' many weaknesses, one wonders how humanity even lost to them in the first place. Once the neck trick was known a single AH-64 or Mi-24 could take out dozens of titans in a single sortie with no worries about a counterattack (because titans can't fly). And obviously the fall of humanity wasn't quick or else they wouldn't have been able to build such an enormous system of walls. Therefore they must have had many years, which begs the question of why apart from the walls they capitulated so easily.

The mangaka has clearly painted himself into multiple corners on multiple fronts. Not that he really cares; he's making too much money.


You know when watching any show you need to suspend your disbelief a little bit. You have to accept the story-world for what it is, and try to engage at what the author is trying to say.

Like any story with Giant Robots and Time Travel, both concepts inherently don't make sense.

Or Hannibal, which is pretty ridiculous as a police procedural... but that's not the point.

And a lot of the plot-holes you mentioned are kind of solved in story. The great walls for instance is explained. From all anecdotal evidence humanity got wiped out by the Titans during medieval to renaissance time-period. Pretty sure Titan's aren't susceptible to venom. Hell there are reveals later in the manga that might explain humanity's technology is so anachronistic.

So yes the world is unrealistic, so is the alchemy in FMA, so is Superman's capability of flight through sunlight. As long as it remains self-consistent it shouldn't matter. In Frosty the Snowman we accept a Snowman coming to life and playing with kids, we will not accept the snowman flying. So far Attack on Titan hasn't broken it's own rules and every sudden new reveal is shown to be hinted at throughout the story.

Let's say the Titans were very stoppable and not the great menace that they were, then I think the story would be weaker. It's a story about humanity becoming extinct and their reactions to this. This is the story of world crushing human existence, suddenly and irrationally. This is a world where even your best efforts and planning can all go to naught, where good people die unfair deaths.

And that's way more interesting then the nitty gritty details of the plausibility of the universe.
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brankoburcksen



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 125
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:13 pm Reply with quote
This is the best review I have read on ANN since Zac's reviews of Madoka Magica because Hope gets at the heart of what makes Attack on Titan so great. I read many comments about the series, but this is by far the best. Too often good shows do not get the attention they deserve, and when they do, people will scrutinize every perceivable flaw and forget the elements that make it rise above its possible shortcomings. Everyone (of an appropriate age) should give it a shot. There is still a lot more room for it to grow.
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Shadowrun20XX



Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 1897
Location: Vegas
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:09 pm Reply with quote
Attack on Titan may be a crowd favorite at the moment but everyone is about to get that Highschool of the Dead shock when nothing more gets released. Like people who want to see further into Berserk get rehash movies and side quests instead of any forward progression.

This series is on that path.
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Jayhosh



Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 956
Location: Millmont, Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:38 pm Reply with quote
Doodleboy wrote:
dtm42 wrote:
Attack On Titan is all about the Rule of Cool over actual substance. In reality it would be simple to defeat the titans because they are slow and lumbering and not too bright. Even the weakest titans are shown to have incredible reaction speed but this defies basic biology. Just as a fly can easily avoid a human's clumsy attempts to swat it with bare hands, a human should be able to consistently dodge something as clumsy as a titan.

Practical ways to actually defeating them would be building palisade walls for funneling purposes which would lead to killzones of muddy ditches filled with sharp sticks and lined with concentrated cannon and musket emplacements. This would keep the titans pinned long enough for a single dude to come along and leisurely slice the neck. Another way to take out titans is to farm venomous snakes and extract the venom for use in arrows. Wouldn't kill a titan but it might slow it down so much that you can use direct cannon fire.

The whole concept of the 3DMG is wickedly cool in concept but completely unnecessary in execution, and opens the plot hole of how humanity can be so technologically backwards if they have something so advanced. In fact, given the titans' many weaknesses, one wonders how humanity even lost to them in the first place. Once the neck trick was known a single AH-64 or Mi-24 could take out dozens of titans in a single sortie with no worries about a counterattack (because titans can't fly). And obviously the fall of humanity wasn't quick or else they wouldn't have been able to build such an enormous system of walls. Therefore they must have had many years, which begs the question of why apart from the walls they capitulated so easily.

The mangaka has clearly painted himself into multiple corners on multiple fronts. Not that he really cares; he's making too much money.


You know when watching any show you need to suspend your disbelief a little bit. You have to accept the story-world for what it is, and try to engage at what the author is trying to say.

Like any story with Giant Robots and Time Travel, both concepts inherently don't make sense.

Or Hannibal, which is pretty ridiculous as a police procedural... but that's not the point.

And a lot of the plot-holes you mentioned are kind of solved in story. The great walls for instance is explained. From all anecdotal evidence humanity got wiped out by the Titans during medieval to renaissance time-period. Pretty sure Titan's aren't susceptible to venom. Hell there are reveals later in the manga that might explain humanity's technology is so anachronistic.

So yes the world is unrealistic, so is the alchemy in FMA, so is Superman's capability of flight through sunlight. As long as it remains self-consistent it shouldn't matter. In Frosty the Snowman we accept a Snowman coming to life and playing with kids, we will not accept the snowman flying. So far Attack on Titan hasn't broken it's own rules and every sudden new reveal is shown to be hinted at throughout the story.

Let's say the Titans were very stoppable and not the great menace that they were, then I think the story would be weaker. It's a story about humanity becoming extinct and their reactions to this. This is the story of world crushing human existence, suddenly and irrationally. This is a world where even your best efforts and planning can all go to naught, where good people die unfair deaths.

And that's way more interesting then the nitty gritty details of the plausibility of the universe.


Good points. I think some people are so wrapped up in attempting to discover flaws in this series that they tend to forget what any type of entertainment is really about: Enjoyment. And like you said, the in-universe laws are established early on and built upon, but never broken. So what's the problem. Anyway, this show has a lot going for it regardless of the world or characters at hand (although of course they are of the utmost importance).

Maybe I'm just too easily impressed, but I find the main characters to be perfectly "deep." Except for maybe Eren, but at least he had that arc with Levi's squad where he wasn't a total bitch. These days anything or any character is considered stock or cardboard, there's a moniker for everything. Any anime or piece of media in general can be rightfully critized and that's a fact. But at least I can enjoy them for what they are. And naturally, a show that's more popular than the others will likewise garner more criticism as well. It's just a ratio adjustment. So anyway, that's my idealistic view on the whole matter, and I suppose the extremely cynical anime fandom as a whole.

And to user brankoburcksen, in the midst of all the scrutiny we also tend to forget that if it's that popular in the first place then it already has a large group of people who enjoy it for that reason. There's always going to be a negative vocal minority online that only appears larger than what it actually is because the rest are too preoccupied watching the anime they enjoy. And in the end, isn't it your own enjoyment of things that really matters?
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Chagen46



Joined: 27 Jun 2010
Posts: 4377
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:21 pm Reply with quote
AoT is a terrible series which is only liked because edgy teenagers can think they're watching Mature Stuff for Mature Adults when it's a gigantic load of badly-paced awfully animated tripe.

[EDIT: You can disagree all you want. Just don't be a condescending dickhead about it. -TK]
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normajean19



Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 81
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:23 pm Reply with quote
Shadowrun20XX wrote:
Attack on Titan may be a crowd favorite at the moment but everyone is about to get that Highschool of the Dead shock when nothing more gets released. Like people who want to see further into Berserk get rehash movies and side quests instead of any forward progression.

This series is on that path.

Not really sure how you can say that, since HotD has never had the kind of popularity that Attack on Titan has. Not to mention the fact that AoT's source material shows no sign of slowing down soon, while HotD hasn't had a new chapter in over a year.
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terminus24



Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 304
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:32 pm Reply with quote
I didn't really like AoT at all (possibly the only shows that I watched last year that I felt were worse were Blazblue and Vividred Operation), mainly for two reasons:

1: The slow speed the slow went at was utterly abysmal (I really don't get how anyone could think the pacing was good), and then add in the five minutes at the beginning of each show for the recaps (sometimes of recaps) and the OP and there was even less content than there already was in each episode. Overall this was the biggest hurdle for me.

2. I started AoT after the first half had aired, and by that time all the hype had made me think it would be all these things it wasn't, so it was generally a disappointment.

I will admit, some of the battles were pretty cool, I really liked the last half of the last episode, and the soundtrack was great- but overall, I felt the flaws were so great that the good parts were completely overshadowed by the bad.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1709
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:28 pm Reply with quote
terminus24 wrote:


2. I started AoT after the first half had aired, and by that time all the hype had made me think it would be all these things it wasn't, so it was generally a disappointment.


I can understand that. The few times I've gone into any anime with a hopeful "It's gonna' be like this" mindset, I end up disappointed (except with Madoka, which I knew was going to be dark; I just didn't realize HOW dark it got.)

At least for AoT, I jumped in pretty early on, and I even skipped the ANN previews of it because I just didn't have any info on it--I thought the Titans were some sort of Greek mythology callback. So when the first two episodes got shown at our college anime club, in the dark, with blasting sound, I was hooked. Nowadays, I try to go in with as few expectations as possible; it sets me up for fewer disappointments and far more pleasant surprises. Usually.
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scriver058



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 115
Location: NY
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:38 pm Reply with quote
Exaar wrote:

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].

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".]


First thing, spoiler[ that boulder is only mentioned as a possibility for plugging that hole somewhere around the 4-6th episode I believe, but is dismissed due to humanity not having the tech to move it. Only after Eren discovers his titan powers and confers with that commander do they actually concoct and enact a plan to move the boulder, which really only takes 2 eps. No pacing issues there.

As far as the other titans and that boulder, I think it's pretty clear that no normal titan has the strength to move that boulder, otherwise it would've been moved by outside titans soon after being put in place. And it's true that the Colossal or Armored titans could show up and smash that wall in again, but in the meantime they can't leave that hole open for titans to pour through and lose another wall.]
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scriver058



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 115
Location: NY
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:01 pm Reply with quote
Excellent review, echoes what I've said about the show not being perfect but immensely entertaining, well crafted in all respects and deserving of all it's hype. Have had my limited edition since Tuesday and the BDs look and sound great. The dub is also great, found Armin slightly more annoying in english for some reason but I really enjoyed Mikasa and Eren's dub voices, made them more interesting.
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