Anime Review: Attack on Titan (First Season)

Welcome and thanks for visiting Anime Rants! FYI, this will be simpler and shorter than my normal reviews.

Visual Elements: 10/10

I don’t know much about art or what makes good animation, but even I can tell that Attack on Titan was something else, especially for 2013. Maybe it’s because of the great scenes with soldiers flying through the air using ODM gear. Maybe it’s the particular art-style, which makes the simple character designs so much more memorable. Maybe it’s the eerie realism of the way the Titans are drawn, or the way they manage to look so frightening/imposing. There is always beautiful scenery and background images, excellent lighting and shading, thrilling action sequences perfect in both choreography and animated execution. It’s all of these things, and maybe more I’m forgetting; they all help make the astounding visual experience of Attack on Titan.

Audio Elements: 10/10

Sound effects in this series are pretty much perfect, helping to create terrific audio quality. The voice-acting is great and I simply adore the voices and performances of most of the Japanese seiyuu. My favorites are probably Ishikawa Yui (Mikasa), Taniyama Kishou (Jean), Hosoya Yoshimasa (Reiner), Kobayashi Yuu (Sasha), and Romi Park (Hange). Some of the most talented of the seiyuu are Hiroshi Kamiya (Levi), Ono Daisuke (Erwin), Inoue Marina (Armin), and Kaji Yuki (Eren). Now I’ll stop talking about the seiyuu before this section becomes 4 or 5 paragraphs.

Music and songs are amazing. OP 1 is “Crimson Bow and Arrow,” and OP 2 is “Wings of Freedom,” both by Linked Horizon. The first ED is “A Beautiful, Cruel World,” by Yoko Hikasa, and the second is “Great Escape” by Cinema Staff. My favorite is the first ED. The instrumental OST is stunning, too. Some of my favorite songs tracks and tracks are: “Attan Titan” (main theme with vocals by Mika Kobayashi, “The Reluctant Heroes,” (song with vocals by MPI), “Omni-Directional Movement Gear,” “Army Attack,” the song “DOA” by Aimee Blackschleger, “Titan Shinkou,” “Female Titan Extermination,” (Annie’s Theme), and “XL-TT.” There are others in the full OST I want to mention, but translations for the titles are unavailable.

Story Elements: 9/10

The originality and creativity of AoT’s story is plainly apparent. For the most part, the series is structured well, though I have a few complaints of things being too rushed or too slow here and there. The content delivery is excellent. From horror, to inspiration, thrills, mystery, emotional moments, and even some mild comedy, Attack on Titan handles everything right. I think the mystery aspect, though, can be difficult to pick up on the first time around. If you don’t stop to consider all sorts of possibilities and guesses, you’ll be completely thrown for a loop by the seemingly nonsensical plot twists.

I like the themes in this series, especially the over-arching message that the world is both cruel and beautiful. This also a series that handles character death well, with, strangely enough, is something I really like in anime. The world-building is good as well, as facts about the Titans, life within the walls, and the military forces are revealed slowly and steadily.

Character Elements: 8/10

Character concepts are solid. Levi Ackerman, Erwin Smith, and Zoe Hange are brilliantly written and one-of-a-kind. Almost all the characters are refreshing with their personalities and concepts; can you think of another character quite like Sasha? The pace and regularity at which we learn about these characters and see their development is good, but not the best ever. I’ve always thought, for instance, there wasn’t enough character development for Reiner and Bertholdt. Character growth/ progress happens, but slowly and irregularly. For example, Mikasa misreads Eren and stays overprotective of him for most of the series.

Regardless of minor complaints, the characters in Attack on Titan are memorable in a good way. They are all a mix of interesting (Levi), admirable (Erwin), complex (Annie), entertaining (Connie), and relatable (Armin, Jean, others). I love that there’s a good mix of male and female characters, and some of the female ones are as strong, brave, and badass as the males.

Personal Enjoyment: 9/10

I enjoyed almost every little thing about Attack on Titan. It’s so much fun for me that I’ve watched the first seaon 7 times all the way through and read the corresponding chapters/volumes of the manga, too. What’s not to love about this series?

You’ll notice I added number scores for each of the five categories (visuals, audio, story, characters, and enjoyment). The numbers run from 1 (so bad it shouldn’t exist) to 10 (perfect/ masterpiece). 5 would be average, 6 fine, 7 good, 8 excellent, and 9 magnificent. To get the overall series score, I add up those five numbers and divide by five to find the average. Thus,

Overall Series Score: 9.2/10.0 Magnificent

My Opinion on Attack on Titan Characters MBTI

Eren: ISFP
Mikasa: ISFJ
Armin: INTP
Jean: ESTJ
Connie: ESFP
Sasha: ESFP
Annie: INFJ
Reiner: ESFJ
Bertholdt: INFP
Levi: ISTP
Erwin: ENTJ
Hange: ENTP

Thank you oh-so-very much for taking a look at my review today! Your readership is appreciated more than you know! Please be safe and well. Mata Ashita, nee!

Image credit: Shingeki no Kyojin. Dir. T Araki. Wit Studio. 2019.

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