Attack on Titan or Titan Smorgasburg?

Attack on Titan has produced many articles and no doubt much expenditure of midnight oil on the blogosphere.  Certain reviews claimed that it has a slow start, but overall positive things have been said about this rather unique show with a high production value–if the animation is anything by which to judge.  During a period of boredom one day, I decided to give this show a shot, especially since the monster-slaying genre is so dear to my heart.


At any rate, I remember delighting in the great visuals and animation provided by this show.  The frequent use of still images was interesting to see and contained beautiful detail.  While I found the characters to be rather mundane, the setting and plot made up that defect; though I confess that Mikasa was an interesting childhood friend character.  I quickly came to the conclusion that this show was a cross between Claymore and Chrome Shelled Regios, both of which I enjoyed–the former greatly and the latter to a small degree.

claymore_1_640The second episode allowed us to see a scene of carnage as countless victims fall to the titans’ vicious attack, including the protagonist’s own mother.  I became embroiled in the protagonist’s anger toward the titans and his desire to rid the world of these monsters.  So, it was with great expectancy that I endured the boot camp episodes.  (I say endured because its impossible to enjoy a boot camp filled with stock characters.)  How I waited to see the main character’s revenge!  However, my perseverance ended with episode five.  Rather than a rousing counterattack by our heroes, we find that they themselves are getting slaughtered as a repeat of the second episode ensues.  Even the hero gets swallowed and loses an arm!  This resulted in my desire to see the humans mount a counteroffensive fizzle out.  A writer can only torture the audience so much.




Another thing which irritated me was the ridiculous method they devised to slay the titans.  Going after them on wires as if they are in a Kung Fu movie!  Seriously?  An easier solution with their technology would have been to form masses of pike men supported by people wielding powerful two handed weapons: pole axes, claymores, true two handed swords, halberds, battle-axes, etc.  The pikemen should form bristling, coruscating forests of 30 foot pikes in order to halt the titans’ movements and give the other men cover to cut down the titans’ Achilles tendons so that the titans fall to the ground where they may be more easily dispatched.  Also, the roads of these towns should be booby-trapped so that whenever something with the weight of a titan steps on it, they fall into a pit of sharpened steel rods so that they can be finished off.  They should also be willing to set the towns on fire whenever the titans invade in order to stall their movements.  (They can’t be impervious to fire, can they?)  As you can tell, I’ve given too much thought about this, but it comes of being a medievalist.

1336937170375Imagen7aBut, it was mostly the utter hopelessness of these five episodes which made me decide to drop the show.  All the hero’s hopes and oaths turned out to be mere bluster.  It seems as if the humanity of this world is about to be wiped out, and the show failed to make me care deeply enough about their fate.  But, if it does get more hopeful after episode five, please let me know.  I’m not a masochistic reader!

A famous monster slayer, St. George!

A famous monster slayer, St. George!


6 comments on “Attack on Titan or Titan Smorgasburg?

  1. Viridian says:

    It does get more hopeful after episode 5. I would advise watching until at least episode 8, more if possible, before coming to a conclusion about the series.

    More character development comes into play in recent episodes as well. (If it makes any difference, I haven’t read the manga, so I can’t say if the hopeful stuff will last or if the characters get more sympathetic as time goes on.)

    As for the battle idea, it would work, except that it requires a lot of people, and they can only down as many titans as they can get in the path of. With the maneuver gear, one good soldier can easily down numerous titans and not have to wait through a whole process of cutting tendons and skewering feet.
    Also, while the porcupine-like formation may stick a titan’s foot, the bigger ones are likely to just overpower and step on all the soldiers, hence killing the bulk of them. Given how many people don’t pass the training I highly doubt the military has the extra soldiers to spare.

    I have no clue about the fire resistance of titans however.

    Interesting insight, though. I don’t believe I’ve heard of anyone dropping the series BECAUSE of episode 5. If anything it spurs people to keep watching.
    I’m also surprised future episodes haven’t been spoiled for you yet. How do you stay away from spoilers so well? What’s your secret?! I must know~


    • Glad to hear that it becomes more hopeful after episode 5. In that case, I will give it one more episode. I’m behind on watching so many anime that I usually give shows 2 or 3 episodes to hook me unless I take particular interest in the show. So, after being frustrated for 5 episodes, I was ready to call it quits despite what I had read.

      I suppose that my little idea would only work on the average titan, which is the same height or a little higher than a house. But, it has the merit in that the pikemen would not have to be as highly trained as the ones with the cutting weapons. (Being surrounded by comrades and not needing to get too close because of the length of the pikes help quell fear.). But, there is the small population problem and the fact that certain titans would be too big for the pikemen to be of use. I still think that it would allow people of more ordinary talents to help dispatch and impede the advance of the titans, rather than just being refugees.

      Now for my little secret concerning spoilers: as a Classics major and English minor, I practically always know how stories will turn out and have ceased to care about the surprises. Rather, I find myself interested in how each individual author presents his ideas and all the little details one find in these stories. Such an attitude makes me very callous concerning spoilers and makes it dangerous for people who care about that kind of thing to read any articles on this blog. 🙂

      With Attack on Titan, the atmosphere of despair and rather banal characters combined to make me cease watching it. But, I’ll generously give it one more episode.


      • Viridian says:

        Alright. The next episode is a flashback/backstory episode though. I think it’s very possible you will simply drop the series again, given that the despair never completely leaves, just lightens up a bit. ┐( ̄ヮ ̄)┌

        Interesting spoiler secret. I find I’m slowly turning into a person who doesn’t care about spoilers, largely because I’m more aware of story tropes now and can guess them more easily (though certainly not as easily as a Classics Major…) Only the occasional show, like Attack on Titan, makes me want to avoid spoilers for the show at all costs. Someone’s spoiling something else airing this season? Don’t care. Can spoil. 🙂


      • I actually watched up to episode 9 before deciding to drop the show. I’ve decided that the main reason I don’t care for this show might very well be that it’s over-dramatized. The key to having a very dramatic show is that the characters must be likable enough for the viewers to care about their fate. And if that degree of drama and suffering is as high as in Attack on Titan, then the viewers must be head over heels in love with the characters, which is not so in my case.

        At least, I’ve found the material for a post on the necessity of sympathy in drama, which will also come out as a paper on Max Scheler’s ideas about sympathy for a philosophy class. So, I find myself rather grateful to Attack on Titan for these things.

        I decided to take a peak at your blog. I should very much like to read a post about what you have to say about anime. If you’re a bit of a perfectionist and think that the drafts you’re working on are coming out sub par, just remember perhaps the only worthwhile thing Voltaire said: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”


      • Viridian says:

        Oooo, that new post sounds very interesting! I totally understand where you’re coming from with Attack on Titan. I find it rather over-dramatic myself, though I do like the characters for the most part, so that contributes to my enjoyment of the anime.

        Thanks for words of encouragement, too. I am a bit of a perfectionist, in addition to being self-conscious about my lack of writing skill and experience. I put the blog on hold to start as a summer project because I never found the time during the school year, so I may post some things soon. Most of the drafts are probably long past their relevancy, but oh well.


      • Well, I tend to write a lot about older shows myself. Mostly, this is because I’m behind on current anime. There’s one blogger, The Subtle Doctor, who always writes about old anime:; but, he’s still very enjoyable to read and his suggesting background music for his posts is very unique. If anything, his blog proves that there’s no expiration date on articles–unless your doing the ol’ episode by episode review of a series. Something I shall never do on this blog. 🙂


Legens, scribe sententias tuas.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s