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From Kodansha USA:
In this post-apocalytpic sci-fi story, humanity has been devastated by the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they came from or why they are bent on consuming mankind. Seemingly unintelligent, they have roamed the world for years, killing everyone they see. For the past century, what's left of man has hidden in a giant, three-walled city. People believe their 50-meter-high walls will protect them from the Titans, but the sudden appearance of an immense Titan is about to change everything.
Вторжение гигантов (Russian) الهجوم على العمالقة (Arabic) ผ่าพิภพไททัน (Thai) 进击的巨人 (Chinese) 進撃の巨人 (Japanese) 진격의 거인 (Korean) Atak Tytanów (Polish) Ataque a los Titanes (Spanish) Ataque dos Titãs (Portugese) Attack on Titan (English) L'attacco dei Giganti (Italian) L'Attaque des Titans (French)
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Strengths and weaknesses vary
Some may be confused by the diverging opinions, and I'll summarize it this way: Shingeki no Kyojin has many strengths and weaknesses, except both aren't consistent throughout the series (which is why people will have diverging opinions on the same elements).
The atmosphere: I was initially drawn to the series by the incredibly gritty atmosphere. The whole series was wrapped in despair, the gritty art style just reinforced this feeling. However, you eventually realize that a certain group has a much-below-average death rate. That, coupled with more revelations about the titans, just makes the atmosphere plunge. There's still some tension here and there, but those drawn in by that initial atmosphere may feel that something has disappeared. On the other hand...
The characters: The downside of seeing people die left and right is that you initially treat all the characters as soon-to-die fodders. That, coupled with initially very poor character characterization, meant that you didn't pay attention to them at all. However, as the series nears chapter 40, character development and revelations suddenly shoot through the roof, making the characters Much more interesting as well as more relevant as they reveal their proper roles in the plot. Speaking of which:
The plot: The plot is great, but the execution could be better. The author will constantly surprise you with the twists and revelations. However, the lack of foreshadowing is a weakness. Most people complain about the revelation of certain identities, but amazingly enough, I once saw one guy actually guess that part, using the very same scenes that the series used to explain. Still, the foreshadowing was very weak (even with that guy's in-depth explanation, many people weren't convinced and treated it like a stretch), and not helped by the art (see later). And some revelations really do come out of nowhere, because the characters involved barely do anything (let alone anything suspicious) until the actual revelations. As a result, though the plot revelations are enjoyable, you will also feel robbed of the opportunity to analyze past scenes and deduce the plot by yourself, and the abrupt introduction of new plot threads may make some readers feel like they're being force-fed, as opposed to a gradual build-up. Oh yeah, and some things just really dragged on.
The art: I love the titan art. I found the coarse art style confusing at first, but it quickly grows on you. On the other hand, character art... character art is mediocre at best. I mentioned the lack of foreshadowing before, and part of that is because the characters are so generic-looking that at first, you'll have a hard time remembering who is who (and it's hard to care since you expect them to die off). Also, I found the facial expressions quite poor. The relatively bland facial expressions are perhaps one of the main reasons many readers have a trouble empathizing with most of the cast. The morbid, grinning titan designs do a better job of conveying a sense of dread and horror than than the face of their victims.
In the end, you could enjoy the series more as the initially weak aspects become better executed later on (character development, more complex plot), or you could feel disappointment as the initially strong aspects wane (atmosphere, plot drags on). All said, this remains an extraordinary series. Though it could have been better with some structural adjustments.
Really the most amazing shounen i've ever read. i'm head over heel on this manga. the plot is incredible, it's so mysterious, the art is amazing, the charactere awsome, i usulaly diskile lot of charactere in manga but this one NONE of them di i dislike ! even the girls who are usually anoying were so good i actually liked them. the manga was so good, it filled me with so much emotion, saddness, eciting,happiness, and lot more. i fnished the manga really quick and could'nt wait to see how i'tll end. it was so good that after i've finished it i start the anime with the same exciting i was when reading the manga.; i SOOO recommend the manga. it's really impoissble dislike it if you like mystriouse thing, and if you don't mind it start of with children ( cause that was what almoste stop me from reading it, it's really a shame to stop because of that ! )
It's a nice manga but like jnatsumi said the anime is way better , I read chapter 1 before the anime came out when I was obsessed with horror but I dropped it as the art wasn't that good and the monsters weren't scary , the anime isn't scary either but the amazing action more than makes up for it and the deaths , oh my you'll cry for some characters so don't get attached to any of them.Watch the anime , it's a one in a hundred anime , a true gem
Dear Attack on Titan: Get well soon!
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The whole thing about Reiner and Bertholt being the armored titan and colossal titan does not seem like it was something the author had been planning. It really felt out of the blue and ridiculous. As well as their motivation for suddenly becoming antagonists again.
Attack on Titan is definitely not a 10/10 manga. For all of the great points in the series, it has equally awful points- and vice versa. Many points are interesting, while others seem to have been thought up on the spot with no real planning put into them. Sadly, the awful points in the writing are starting to really out-weigh the great points as of chapter 48 and I think I will be dropping the series soon, unless the author really has something up his sleeve. As of now, I will give it a 5/10. 20 chapters earlier I probably would have given it an 8/10.
... Last updated on August 13th, 2013, 4:52pm
Not for me
I was very disappointed with this manga. It lacks many things, including a plausible plot and any interesting characters. I began reading because I thought the premise was interesting and had a lot of potential. I soon realized that while the original idea was interesting, the story and characters failed to deliver. The characters are horrible. You won't like them. I understand a story with some unlikeable characters, but when every single one of them is hateful there is no longer a reason for the reader to continue reading the story. Mikasa was the one character that was not painful to read, and even she can only carry you so far. Eren was a whining, pitiful disaster of a main character. His incompetence and rashness causes so many deaths but unfortunately and unbelievably not his own. I literally do not understand how this manga is supposed to be gritty and realistic.
... Last updated on November 23rd, 2013, 1:42am
I like it so far
I was almost lost among the crowd of those who believe that this is a man vs. titan manga rather than a man vs. man vs. titan manga. It wasn't looked in the inner cover of my volume 1 jp copy that I realized that Isayama had actually given is a few more clues that put a completely new twist on this series for me. It basically talks about how...
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
...the near annihilation of man was actually largely due to human/human violence rather than titans attacks, how it was mainly the rich and noble that were allowed to flee to the new land/continent in ships once the titans appeared, and how the walls already existed prior to their having arrived.
Then there's wall shifty wall cult and then the little info slip on the secret of the wall. I just believe that there is more to the story than some mindless man versus giant crap. I really didn't want to read another "We are human, hear us roar! Titans, eat my s***!" series. This series is not just black and white. It's distorted with as many grey areas as the world that we live in, and that's what I believe makes this series as great as it is so far. Everything that Eren believed to be "the truth" up until his very first day as an official soldier is constantly being challenged and threatened, and he's struggling with himself--just as many of un tend to do. Isayama more or less admitted that this manga is based on his inferiority complex, and it definitely shows. t'll be interesting to see how everything unfolds. I'll keep reading until I'm satisfied.
As far as the art work, in the beginning, I thought "This is kind of rough and unattractive." But, considering the nature of the story (violent, creepy, and depressing in many ways), I guess the rough style kind of stands to reason.
I'm not shoving my beliefs down anybody's throat, and I'm not here to review other people's reviews and criticize them. This is clearly just my opinion. Let me just recommend that you read a few chapters and see for yourself whether you like this one or not. Quite frankly, I love it.
... Last updated on August 1st, 2013, 7:18am
A few attack helicopters would do the job
This manga and the equivalent anime "Attack on Titan" seek to make us scared that the monsters will really win and destroy humanity. Nothing could be more horrible than that, if you want to tell a powerful story! However, mere GIANTNESS can't really do that job of inspiring existential terror, at least for me and other people who can't forget what era we're in. Humanity now has weapons that could defeat any enemy except maybe a bunch of aliens with technology far in advance of ours. That means that in order to set up any other convincing story of a fight for the survival of humanity, manga/anime normally, as here, starts out by divesting the Good Guys of all weaponry developed by humanity over approximately the last 150 years, and sticks us back in sword-wielding times.
But unfortunately that fictional trope "distances" the reader from the situation presented, since everyone in the real world today knows, I think, that we no longer do any serious fighting with swords. With that distancing comes a diminution in the terror induced by the story.
I suspect that this trope works in Japan because the days of sword wielding are close to the hearts and imaginations of its people. However, that is not the case in the rest of the world, and I bet this kind of thing falls flat much more often in Europe and the rest of the West than we realize.
It certainly did with me.
... Last updated on July 31st, 2013, 8:41am
Anime vs. Magan
If you are reading the reviews, trying to decide whether or not to watch the anime before manga or the other way around --I have to tell you right now: Watch the anime first. The anime follows the manga's story line pretty much exactly. You won't miss anything by not reading the manga (at least straight away).
If you have been watching the anime and trying to decide whether to read the manga also: Don't. Don't read the manga. Just watch the anime. Seriously. The anime is so much better than the manga. The episodes will catch up to the manga eventually. The art in the anime is better. The soundtrack is good, and the animation is to die for. This kind of plot needs good animation because of all the fight scenes--and the anime carried that out superbly.
I unfortunately did not heed the warnings of some reviewers and went ahead and read the manga as well. Now, the anime is not as exciting as it was for me because I already knew what was going to happen. The animation is still very impressive, but the plot doesn't draw me in as much as it did initially anymore. A shame.
So, don't read the manga. Just watch the anime. Seriously.
Unless you are very squeamish, read/watch it and decide for yourself.
This is shonen for grownups. Not because it is gory, but because its tone comes off as a much more realistic take on how humans handle crises than most shonen. I like that their manoeuvring gear has limitations, and that it is all too easy for characters to mess up or get eaten; it's a nice change from shonen series where everyone is overpowered and everything goes off flawlessly. This is a series in which we really feel that the main characters are up against the odds, and that really makes the series more addictive.
I feel most people overstate the gore. Yes, there are people being eaten by giants, but this is not particularly graphic (anime being less graphic than the manga, too) and warrants a 'young adult/16+' rating). I'm not a fan of gratuitous gore or suffering, but the series never crossed that line to me. It's less gory than a lot of horror films, but what makes it more affecting is that we lose characters we've gotten to know and care about as the story progresses. And not after long, grand battles: fortunes can reverse in split-seconds in this series. This not only adds realism but keeps the reader on edge; almost anybody in the series can die, and there's always the risk there's a titan behind the next corner or a new plot twist that will jeopardise your favourite characters.
It is also one of the rare series with seriously badass female characters that completely hold their own amongst the boys. Tired of girls who mope in the background in a bikini and are incompetent in fight scenes? Meet some capable women who aren't dressed ridiculously and who aren't there for fanservice! Despite this, I haven't fallen in love with the characters quite as much as I did for series such as FMA, but I still found them engaging and likeable, even when they rely on common shonen tropes. Eren's stock shonen main character 'enthusiasm over brains' approach grates much less than Naruto, and Levi takes the 'sullen antihero' to a new level by literally never smiling. Ever. Yet somehow comes across as less irritating than counterparts like Sasuke. Even Armin, who is permanently crying manages to become an asset to the team. You won't find truly ground-breaking characters here, but you will find plenty to care about.
The main negative would, apart from the slightly depressing realism would be the pacing. Personally, I enjoy more relaxed pacing as it lets us find out more about characters and how they react to what's happening, but I'm aware others may like their shonen more fast-paced. There is an air of mystery around the titans and many of the characters that you will either find deliciously tantalising, or else just plain irritating. If you're impatient this might not be the series for you. I can only say that you'll have to try it to see if it works for you.
It has a lot of drama...the shape-shifters do admittedly ruin the balance of the whole human VS Titan theme, but I think it has very good psychological aspects and characterization. The art style isn't my favorite, but it's not bad and furthermore, the art isn't important in light of the story. Better to have a good story with so-so art than the reverse, imo.