Every few seasons have a certain show where everybody has some serious hype for this one action series. Last year’s was Sword Art Online and I believe I’ve made it clear that it wasn’t the greatest thing ever and the hype it got was understandable but for me, the majority of the series is overrated.
Comparing series is something I generall do not do but when the such a disparity between two hyped series seems very relevant in praising a show and pointing out how some direction should be taken instead of the other, I think it would be beneficial in getting two birds with one stone so why the hell not. The art of comparison shall be used here to either bring out the best or the worst of Attack on Titan’s performance these past few months
So does Attack on Titan live up to its hype? We’ll find out
Earlier in the year, I had a half-way post giving my thoughts on the series at around episode 12. Suffice to say, I compared SAO and SnK there too and the latter came out on top. But allow me to address those points individually again.
But first, the omni-present character list.
- Eren: Eren’s rage is understandable when compared to other protagonists. Whilst many are motivated for personal glory or for the safety of others, Eren is simply wanting to wipe out the titans that killed his family and friends. Plus he’s pretty hyped but for most of the time, he’s not really in the action in human form. The titan form is his main showcasing of his abilities but even then, it’s still a struggle to keep his sanity intact and not get summarily executed by his own allies. It sort of sucks to be Eren, seeing your friends die and have your close ones get hurt while you’re unable to do too much in the given circumstances.
- Armin: While Eren has his angst and utility issues going on, Armin is having the same fight with himself. Since he’s the middleman between the unique Eren and the badass Mikasa, he finds himself being a burden to his friends. That mentality leaves much room for his developmental process that eventually strengthens his resolve to stay alive with his friends. Armin pretty much has the most development shown onscreen while Eren is just being used too much for him to speak out.
- Mikasa: Probably the claimant for one of more badass female leads to show up in a series like this. She’s somewhat fanservice material but her abs should make any inadequate male feel emasculated (I’m not exempted, those are some serious abs). However, she’s not without her weaknesses, she’s still a girl inside and she requires Eren to bring herself to do anything. She captures both her strength and femininity quite well.
- Recon Squad: Erwin is one shady mofo who’s plan no one even knows at this point. Levi is a crowd favorite but I don’t have too much going for him. I mean if he can pull all that shit off, why doesn’t he take more action? I honestly think if he helped in his squad’s endeavors, some people would have ended up surviving.
- Survivors: Speaking of survivors, we have a bunch of guys that were introduced but made it through the 26 episode gauntlet. The graduating class had the most survivors with guys like Connie, Reiner, Christa, Sasha, and others. One character stood out from that entire crowd and that person is Jean. While everyone is prone to give in to their fears, Jean has the leadership potential that gives him the heavy burden of ensuring everyone’s survival. While his insistence on being part of the Military Police was apparent, his eventual switch says many things about him.
- Titans: Not much to say here but since I’ve read the manga, I know a few characters within the category of Titan so I won’t say too much other than the non-important ones look so idiotic to a point it makes you mad that humanity can’t overcome them.
Moving on to the comparison
Both first episodes from SnK and SAO were probably THE strongest first episode “chains” were extremely entertaining and were perfect from transitioning from the start all the way to the first major arc. That being said, SAO started us off immediately with the first episode while SnK needed 2 episodes for us to formally into the action (In Eren’s case). Suffice to say, both started with a blast, but who ends up with a wimper?
Everyone knows that I put huge emphasis on characters when it comes down to it. Both Eren and Kirito are loud kids with unyielding ambition. When it comes down to it though, Kirito is playing a game while Eren is risking some serious shit cause he’s fighting things many times his size. Eren does have a bit of plot armor but its the group of friends and allies that keep him alive. Eren knows that while he’s unique, he still isn’t the strongest. On the other spectrum, Kirito works alone and really doesn’t need the help which creates some thick plot armor.
What other characters matter in these two series? Well SAO only has Kirito for you to care about. Asuna is the supposed female lead but she doesn’t do anything major. Compare that to SnK’s humongous cast that usually restarts every few months. The series loves making some quick but hearty character development and then completely crushing them beneath the foot or jaws of a titan. One big word out to Mikasa for being an extremely prominent female character I’ve seen in a while (not that I see those kinds of series but hey). She’s the action-type girl who kicks a lot of ass but still is that weak-girly girl before her loved one. Comparing her to Asuna is just unfair. That kind of applies to everyone else too. Jean, Armin, and a handful of others make for a colorful cast plenty of diversity and depth while SAO just focuses on Kirito and him alone. Kirito doesn’t even have that much diversity only one of his friends die so you know where I’m placing my vote.
Effectively, you could consider Shingeki no Kyojin as “SAO done right”. I mean, people knew what they were in store for in SAO with the light novels and people knew what to expect with SnK’s manga so it really is a matter of source material when we talk about adaptations. SnK was able to keep my attention for the entirety of its 25 episode run while SAO started dying off when bad romance was becoming the main element of the series. Without a doubt, SnK’s action takes the cake when it comes down to it. Sure SAO had all the fancy colors and swords but you can’t really compete anything SAO has when the 3D Gear is used in SnK with its dynamic camera angle. I’m not the biggest advocate or critic that’s heavy on music but I will mention that SnK (and SAO to an extent) had GREAT music that fit very well with its action sequences.
If anything, I’d complain about the flashbacks and the fact that us humans barely ever win. Other than that though, there’s not really much to else to actually criticize. Shingeki no Kyojin is without a doubt a series that deserves all the hype it is getting. The action is fast paced and beautifully done, the music is extremely invigorating, and the While it isn’t as deep as Fate/Zero, it’s definitely one of the “gems” that grace us each year.
With that said, Shingeki no Kyojin recieves an overall “extreme” recommendation from me to be watched. If that’s not enough, I’ll use numbers to emphasize this: It gets 9.0/10
You think I wouldn’t have a pretty picture? Think again