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Attack On Titan Episode 1 First Impressions
Attack on Titan – or, as it’s called in Japan, Shingeki no Kyojin – recently aired the first episode of the the anime adaption of the award-winning manga it originated from. I have never seen the manga, and don’t plan to read it, so I can enjoy this anime from week-to-week without killing the sense of mystery. So far I’ve been quite pleased, as there seems to be plenty of mystery and plenty of reason to get excited about the release of each episode.
For the sake of your own personal enjoyment, I recommend watching the episode yourself, and thus will keep this article relatively spoiler-free, focusing more so on the technical aspects of the episode. There is plenty of nuance that should be experienced first-hand. With that said, please read on.
Attack on Titan is set in medieval times and follows a young man named Eren. Eren, his adopted sister Mikasa, and his parents live in a town that is surrounded by 50-metre-high walls. Why, you ask? In the world we’re thrown into, people live in constant threat of monstrous giants called Titans that roam the land and feast mercilessly on humans. For the past 100 years, people have lived peacefully, solely due to the massive walls that surround their town.
Recon teams are sent outside the walls in an attempt to learn the weaknesses of the Titans, but have never returned with any useful information whatsoever. Hope seems lost for the citizens of the town.
This sense of hopelessness has divided many of the townspeople; with some people wanting to stay put (few even considering the walls sacred), while others – our protagonist included – see this idea as absurd and consider it only a matter of time before the Titans breach the walls.
Much to Eren’s dismay, the town guard sit idly by drinking, and any hope of leaving the city has been crushed by government rule.
Eren’s strong sense of justice is set-up quickly within the first episode, whereas his adopted sister Mikasa is shrouded in mystery still, tending to be quiet and aloof, although for some reason, strikes fear into some people she encounters.
A good friend to the aforementioned duo, Armin, reinforces Eren’s viewpoints on the hopelessness of doing nothing against the threat of Titans.
As far as this main cast goes, there is enough revealed, as well as enough still to be uncovered, that a good balance is achieved in this sense. The same can be said for the supporting cast, although obviously less focus is placed on the supporting cast due to the constraints of time.
The Titans themselves are absolutely terrifying, looking exactly like large naked humans with exaggerated features and with constant grins on their faces. There is one particularly large giant that seems to breaks this trend, although looks just as creepy as it appears skinless and expressionless.
The design of the Titans was what really got me interested in the series (besides the absurd premise of it) and will no doubt be enough to spike many people’s curiosity.
This is complemented by the general art style of the show. Characters are drawn with thick outlines, which seem to separate them enough from, as well as compliment, the beautifully painted backdrops of each scene.
Many subtle lighting effects and used in conjunction with this, and go a long way – essentially acting as the cherry on a very aesthetically-pleasing proverbial cake.
The mood of the series is quite dark, and there really is no room for a sense of hope so far. This contrasts the colorful design of the series and personally, I found quite a lot of beauty in the dissonance this creates.
The characters have been set up quite well, and, even from the first episode, it’s apparent that there will be plenty of room for character development, as well as a good sense of mystery being kept intact.
I highly recommend this series to anyone seeking something new in their current anime lineup. It is definitely not for the faint of heart, and might come across as a bit too depressing for some people.From what I can tell, however, the series promises to pick up quite a lot and the eventual payoff will be all the more bittersweet as a result.