17th Sep2014

‘Attack on Titan: Part 1’ Blu-ray Review

by Paul Metcalf


Attack on Titan is set in a world where giants known as Titans have almost brought humanity to extinction. Appearing out of nowhere they have one hunger and that is to consume people, apparently not through a need but for enjoyment. The last known human outpost is a country surrounded by huge walls created to not only keep the Titans out but the humans in. When a huge Titan attacks the wall and breaks through Eren Yeager, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and friend Armin Alert flee. As they escape Eren watches in horror as his mother is vowing to get revenge whatever it takes.

Above is a good introduction to the story of Attack on Titan but it’s best not to go too much into what happens next as part of the fun of the anime is to have the plot revealed as it is meant to be. Safe to say though there are plenty of twists to the tale that keeps the audience on edge as to what is coming next. It’s a surprise that the audience doesn’t get confused by the number of changes the plot takes as nothing can be trusted to stay as you would expect it to. The fact that Eren isn’t all he seems to be will come as no surprise though. It’s something we often see in anime that we have a main character with a special trait of some kind, and this is no different. In the first thirteen episodes we get a good taste of what Attack on Titan is, and how damn near perfect it is too. Though I did find that the last few episodes slowed down a little too much and the characters spent way too much time explaining their emotions when they finally get down to the action it’s worth the wait.

It is in this action where Attack on Titan: Part 1 really shows its quality. I was not surprised to read that Tetsuro Araki the director also worked on Death Note as there is a similar feeling in the style you see on-screen, and as a fan of Death Note I loved this. The action comes thick and fast with characters flying through the streets on wires used to gain the needed height to attack the Titans at their weak spots keeps everything hectic, but thankfully it doesn’t get confusing. The Titans themselves for the most part are big and stupid and very zombielike in nature, though we never really find out what they truly are. The “anomaly” Titans are more interesting coming in different forms which also show more intelligence and maybe some planning behind their attacks. Like a game of chess between human and Titan not all plans seem as mindless as the humans believe.

When looking for a meaning behind Attack on Titan you can see elements such as the effects of war, children becoming adults and even the hierarchy of society. Something that becomes very apparent is that the Titans may be a symptom of the problem within the society, but the real culprit is the very society fighting against them. The country of humans are not only kept from the outside world by the huge walls, but the people are also segregated from each other in a way that the hierarchy of social groups is in full effect. If a section of the walled off country is lost by Titans incursion through the wall then many times the people left there to be forgotten about, with much more important people are forgotten about. In many ways the Titans represent the problems that can’t be hidden from, you can’t keep the outside world out forever. There are many similarities that can be seen with Attack on Titan and real life there, however fantastical the story may seem.

Attack on Titan: Part 1 was an excellent introduction for me to an anime that is very easy to get hooked on. The story is deep yet easy to understand and the horror is relatable in a human way that makes the gore we see on-screen feel all too close to home. The Titans may be like zombies, they may just be stupid giants but the way they are represented hit home to the audience because they look just like us, and that probably is the whole point. If you are a fan of anime or are one of those people who always wanted to watch some but never knew where to start? Attack on Titan: Part 1 is an excellent doorway to a whole new world.

***** 5/5

Attack on Titan: Part 1 is an excellent introduction to the anime and will leave you wanting more. Sometimes when you hear too much praise about something it’s easy to just cynically not believe the hype, in this case buy into it…it’s worth it. Attack on Titan: Part 1 is available in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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