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.
The 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.
But, 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!