The series of “Medieval Spiderman zipline-army vs the naked, derpfaced giants” reaches its halfway point.
I consider Shingeki no Kyojin as this season’s Sword Art Online, only that it did almost everything right. Both series have now skyrocketed in popularity while having a respectable fanbase and hype before the anime airings, so I can’t help but compare these two when I look back on everything before. What comprises the “almost everything”? Well let’s just take a look
While this is a half-season checkpoint, I decided to make the post a bit more interesting (more or less depending on one’s thoughts on SAO). SAO, as I have previously mentioned numerous times, gave me the premise of an action-adventure series set within a videogame. What I got out of it though in the end was a highschool romance with the action put to the side. My expectations were crushed after such a strong beginning. SnK (hah) on the other hand blew everyone away like SAO did in the first episode and then unleashed some hell once we got past the training arc (I can’t even consider it an arc I guess).
In short: SAO started off great and made a curve downwards while SnK boosted itself up and nearly stayed there.
So what made both starts so great? Introductions first of all were very well done. Both series drew us into a different world, whether it be the past or the near future. SAO’s setting was very relatable to the “target” audience and it drew us in into familiar yet new world. SnK’s setting was pretty obscure in general with the 3D Gear in the medieval setting, but the action to follow soon made us forget. While SAO’s premise and driving “plot” had already been done, SnK’s setting placed humans one peg below on the food chain, something I haven’t seen in recent memory. The first two episodes in SAO gave us a (false) preview of what was to come while SnK’s first few episode gave us a very detailed view of society within the walls. Primarily though, SnK gave us the want for retribution and anger, with fear mixed in to it. Seeing one’s own mother being devoured in front of you by a stupid looking, naked, freak of nature who only prey on humans for no apparent reason gives you, rather, shows you how enraged Eren is and how understandable his anger is.
While I could go on and compare these two series, that will come during the full-series review once Shingeki no Kyojin ends. Allow me to talk a bit more on the actual episodes 1-13 itself and I’ll be on my way.
So I already talked about emotional level of the series. Complimenting that is the extreme detail in the eyes of the characters. As one can learn many things from looking into another’s eye, SnK’s primary use of fear when the humans face the titans is so marvelously shown through the eyes. The art itself is great, the setting is definitely different from the usual anime backdrop and the characters and titans themselves are “pleasing” in a sense.
While I normally don’t talk about animation, I really have to give it to SnK here. The scenes where the characters are zipping across the city are just AMAZING. The fighting scenes mostly involve zipping around and going in for the kill so most of the time, we’re seeing the high-budget animation of everyone flying around.
For its plot and characters, I love the sheer hopelessness the characters feel. I can really see and hear the characters’ emotions during the fights and the character diversity is for once, varied and not so predictable as it’s not as cliched as a highschool. Eren, as almighty as a plot-armor wearing protagonist should be, ends up becoming “dead” and that was a pretty shocking blow, even if the summary already ruined that fact for me. Eren isn’t overpowered in a sense he can get everything how he wants it, and that feels nice if I’m still comparing it to SAO’s Kirito. Eren’s determination is clearly shown, and we see the reason for it while Kirito goes off saving girls instead of clearing the game, okay I’ll stop
And sweet JESUS, that music. The opening spawned a new meme and I remember when everyone was talking about it. I especially love the part when the Military force present arms, jump down the wall, shoot the titans in the face, and, oh hell: I LOVE THIS OPENING DAMMIT. It definitely gets my vote for opening of the year and it stands close to Jojo’s opening in my list. It gets you so pumped up for some titan killing…until we see humans get our asses kicked.
I apologize for the unorganized post but that’s basically what I feel about Shingek ino Kyojin. It’s atmospheric style truly makes us sense fear when everyone starts dying and makes us feel invigorated when character’s inspire others to combat. The actions scenes are top-notch, and the animation is extremely well done. The soundtrack invigorates us during action scenes and compliments the art style (and the opening is godlike). The characters display understandable emotions and with all things considered, it’s looking great.
I’ll be looking foward for more episodes of SnK and hope that it keeps up.