Saturday, June 1, 2013

So There's This Show About Giants Destroying the Earth...

"So there's this new show about giants destroying the earth and it's fuckin' bangin'"

This was literally what a good friend of mine posted on my Facebook the day after my first post two weeks ago.  I had read online about such a show, called "Shingeki no Kyoujin" or "Giant's Advance" (literal translation).  However, everything I've seen about this show translates it as "Attack on Titan", and as far as I know that's the official we'll run with it.

Attack on Titan is a newish show from the Spring 2013 season, the adaptation of the manga written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama, getting into its eighth episode.  Chances are good that you've heard something about this from your friends or other people who keep up with current anime, 'cause I certainly have.  Almost directly after my friend's post on my wall, I noticed a lot more of my friends were posting about it.

"More Attack on Titan.."

"What material to make Mikasa's and Eran's jackets out of..."

Anyways, I decided that today I would spend some downtime picking up the first episode for a first impression or what have you and, well, the first episode quickly became the second episode.

What I'm trying to say is this show is fuckin' bangin'.

The first episode wastes no time hooking its audience, almost immediately after the show starts we get our first titan, looming over a population of petrified humans.

This is literally the first minute of the first episode.  That is not to say, however, that there's no exposition.  After this sequence, with audience securely on board (at least, I was at this point), we meet our apparent hero, Eran Jaeger and his far more badass adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman.  They're maybe thirteen or fourteen, living in Shiganshima, a walled city that stands as a part of humanity's last bastion again the people-eating titans, a race of giants (little taller than an two or three-story building).  With the wall well taller than the average titan could reach and thicker than they could break, the people live in relative peace, or at least they had for 100 years.

We learn about this group called the Scouting Legion, men that go outside the wall, trying reclaim some lands in the name of humanity (kind of like the Night's Watch in the Song of Fire and Ice series), and combat the titans using kickass grappling hooks.  Eran dreams of joining the Scouting Legion, but the view is negatively received by friends and family (we are lead to assume that joining the Legion almost certainly leads to an early grave).  Anyhow, it's a normal day when a bolt of lightning comes down outside the town and a gianter  titan rises up over the wall, bringing the episode right back where it started.

So this super titan smashes a hole in the wall and that's when the shit hits the fan.  Titans flood into the city, smashing buildings and snatching up villagers.  The episode ends with Eran and Mikasa having to watch their mother get devoured.  Pretty intense stuff, sent more than a few shudders down my spine.

 Episode 2 definitely cooled down some, with some scenes of titanic rampage, but focused more on the evacuation of Shiganshima and of Eran's reaction to his entire life falling to pieces at the hands of the titans.

Some time passes, and a bit of monologuing reveals that more and more people have been sent out to try to reclaim some of what was lost with no real success.  Episode 2 ends with Eran, Mikasa, and their friend Armin as recruits in the Scouting Legion.

I'll be honest, I had some reservations about this show at first.  I got a few looks at the not-skinless titans and I they reminded me of the Akira-era art style, which I wasn't really thrilled with.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the art style really worked well with the setting and pace of the show.  The animation looked really smooth and I'm looking forward to seeing it put to good use for some intense acrobatic tomfoolery with grappling hooks.

Long story short - So there's this new show about giants destroying the earth and it's fuckin' bangin'!

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