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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 100-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) 进击的巨人 (Chinese) 進撃の巨人 (Japanese) 진격의 거인 (Korean) Angriff der Titanen (German) 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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I just want to say that you gotta take this slow...it has little hints all over allowing you to know what's going on if you put your mind to it.
I especially love how other than the existence of giants, everything else is perfectly realistic. The exploration of how the impossibility could be overcome is an intriguing read. The development of weapons(more or less detail design! no fantastical blackbox) and realistic tactics to fight against them in the open.
Contrary to what some feel, I do not think the flashbacks are fillers. They serve to understand how can a soldier be trained to battle against giants and to use the specially designed weapons effectively. They also add depth to characters mental makeup and how their perceptions change(or remain unchanged).
This is dark like berserk but unlike it, you can actually ask "why are giants eating humans?". This is non-sensical question in the frame of berserk world. Not so here. You can question and your answers will probably be given: just like in the real world. I hope it can maintain it's realism without resorting to hocus pocus plot elements.
I like how this manga doesn't show a happily ever after for everyone. Though some of the ones who died are minor characters, but it proves that the life of being constantly haunted by those giants is real and terrifying. With the deaths of the other characters, it makes me able to better understand what the other characters in the story felt with the deaths of their friends. This makes the story feels real.
i must first that this series dont really take to me. it feel disjointed, the pacing is wrong, the characters uninteresting, the anatomy is out of porpotion, the emotions dont get through, and some of the things here is illogical. however, it still very much interesting and the plot itself can carry this series forward and make you feel breathless for more.
WOW... this... is manga
There is a good reason why this isn't published in Jump. It is so gory and the graphic details horrifying. You have been warned by the mature tag. It will also, if ever published like this, make readers lose interest in most of their series.
Despite this, and I usually hesitate at stuff that has gore, this is what every mangaka should be aiming to write. Reading his work is like reading something that has no censorship (a lot of what you read is restrained, to a certain extent for various reasons), faulty plot, nothing. Everything is practically perfect: it is rich, realistic, intuitive. The concept is brilliantly captivating. Art wise, he sure has his anatomy down. His style is very fitting for the 3D maneuvers and swinging blades, and I feel that gore does not require very fine detail. Sometimes it will feel like the development pace is slow, or the author is deliberately hiding something, but keep reading. On the positive note, each chapter has plenty of content. The next volume will always top the previous fabulously. Guaranteed.
I do not see this ending anytime soon.
... Last updated on November 10th, 2011, 12:55pm
Response to Mytskine's Disappointment
@Mytskine: It's not disappointing. If you read carefully, you would notice how the mangaka dropped very good hints about the specialness of Eren very early on. But instead of a "wham!" instant revelation as common in many shoujjo manga, there is still emphasis on the main aspect of life: the survival against the titans. And honestly, a story would be boring if it was merely about a new power after a new power (e.g., Naruto). In here, there are several hints about how the giants came about, how Eren and his father play a role, and suspicions about each of the people, including the giants' backgrounds/history.
And honestly, a story that doesn't have intrigue would make for a boring read. B-O-R-I-N-G. If you want a simple-minded story, go read the easy peasy, oddly popular Naruto, One Piece, Reborn, and (maybe) Bleach.
On an unrelated note, did anyone get the dig against non-asians? Notice how skilled Mikasa is compared to everyone else (maybe Rivaille). It's an obvious bias that Asians are better, and for all we know she could be of Japanese descent.
... Last updated on August 17th, 2011, 4:46pm
First true psychological manga?
Is this the one we're looking for in the psychological area? Is this this the most suitable for our taste of thriller? I think, from a long-time manga reader perspective as I am, this manga, no, the whole story and its aspects are really perfect for its fancier of the genre. It has everything you need to build the tension and the thrill, all distinguish itself among its peers. I particularly like the dry humour and the reflective, if not contemplative, depiction of the nature, especially of human, as presented in the existence of titans. Although the story still lacks other elements such as economy or politics, like any other fantasy, the mystery is abundant, and the journey to the truth is underway, enough to keep the readers stay up.
Sasha and why she was nicknamed the potato girl... nearly fell out my seat laughing. Yea, overall it's got gore because soldiers are constantly being eaten. I don't like gore and horror and avoid mangas with either. Why did I pick this one then? The plot seemed interesting and I didn't notice the Horror category (fortunately). Although I don't like survival types usually, I like this one because it's more realistic. Yes, you can be put on an island by the government, yes a meteor can fall down to earth, and yes, your car may run off a cliff, but that's all amongst people and it deals with people fighting people. You don't often get a survival story that does not involve zombies (yuck) and icky radioactive creatures. Giants was a nice change and it felt very real. Why should humans not have a predator that feasts on them? What I also liked, was that humanity was trying to survive together, and it's not every man for him/herself with group activity only for survival. This is so much more real than that.
Yea, the art wasn't top notch, but I'm not bashing it. Maybe a 8/10? It goes well with the subplot. Granted, that when the hidden ability (I'm not spoiling the story because it's a category) is revealed, the humanity trial was too much for me... got quite bored and it dragged on...................... but then again that's exactly how humans are: self-serving and self-righteous with no regard for the greater picture other than themselves. Now that the story is about giants again, I'm very much looking forward to a continuation of what's been so far.
Back on the reality of it for one more moment, it makes fear real too. If you're a soldier, you can die as soon as you get on the battlefield before you see any action. No fame, no glory, no anything. The fear made the whole story much more realistic, yet allowed me to get into the soldiers' heads to understand how they think. Everything was initially presented as how worthwhile it is to fight the giants that the aspect is able to engulf the reader, because let's face it: how many of us would sign up for such a suicidal mission?
Overall, I found it an enjoyable passing of time and await its completion. This is the type of story you want to read in one or two seatings. It would be much too confusing to keep up with it chapter by chapter.
... Last updated on August 14th, 2011, 3:05pm
Loses its pace, but still interesting and very dark
As others mentioned, volume 3 was disappointing, which was a shame after 2 great volumes. Volumes 4-5 seem a bit better than #3, but I'm definitively on the fence about what my opinion of the series is.
The story is very dark, with HUGE pressure being applied on the characters and on humanity in general - as such, it's compelling and the action is gripping, as the soldiers are constantly getting DECIMATED by the giants.
It's also interesting to see a fairly realistic response from humanity: you have the sick corporate interests from the merchant class, a complex set of personalities leading the armed forces and various parts of society, and the despair from the soldiers who have trouble committing themselves to a fight they feel they can't win.
All-in-all, it would be great, if only the pacing was better and there were fewer flashbacks. If you like dark, hard-hitting action and don't mind lots of gore, then you'll probably like the series.
A disapointing series
There are many positive comments, so I'll try to show a different point of view. I reckon this manga is good enough to give it a try. But don't judge it until you read at least 4 volumes.
Some people think its artwork is sub-par, but I kinda liked this style, although a few drawings were quite off. Another good point IMO is that the story starts on a fast pace, and the author does not try to explain everything. All seems quite plausible but parts of it stay mysterious. The mangaka also managed to add a few personal touches to the cliché main characters: three teenagers, a "working hard with hidden talent hero", a "cool and mute perfect warrior" and a "pure mastermind". Japanese readers have a soft spot for "working hard" heroes.
But like many shounen manga, it starts with some good ideas, then doesn't know where to go from there. Manga editors know that a good start makes faithful readers, and they are right: it's hard to drop something that was interesting. The first two volumes were quite good, but the third one really slowed down. Many flashbacks were unrelated to the current situation, to the point I felt the need to check I didn't skip some pages. And the fourth volume is dramatically worse: about 15 pages make the story progress (10 at the beginning and 5 at the end, just to keep readers hooked). The rest is fillers, mostly some training memories. That's too much for me, I'm dropping out.
When I picked up this series, I expected nothing from it. I mean, the story is about humans living in a city surrounded by a 50m wall to defend them against giants that eat them. O_o That's what I thought. The art wasn't exactly pretty but I wanted to see what it was like and within the first few pages, you are presented with the concept of the whole manga. Giants. Gigantic giants. That eat humans. The story immediately flashes to a fight scene that looks simplistic but that has never been seen before. As I progressed through the manga, I came to realise that the art was really good for this theme: it's dark and edgy, giving it this rough look that goes really well with the scenes. Don't expect flowers and sunshine: there's is gore everywhere and you are spared no details. Human nature at it's best (worst?) is also portrayed, for example when the guards assigned to help the civilians flee instead of fighting the giants. I felt that volume 1 was kind of slow but it was necessary for you to understand the whole story. Volume 2 onwards is unbelievable. In a good way. I am extremely curious about
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
how Eren is able to turn into a giant and what his father is hiding in that basement
. The characters are great. Eren is the strong-willed youth who has vowed revenge, Mikasa is the uber-powerful female lead that will not allow anything to hurt those she loves and Amin is the coward strategist that delivers when push comes to shove. I am eagerly awaiting more of this manga.