Ultron is available for £10 , and the band Electric Cake Orchestra commissioned me to draw them, so I did.
Anyway, from the title I think you know that I’ve started watching Attack on Titan.
I was recommended it by a few people, and thought I’d dive in (helps that its on Netflix) and now I have a few things to say about it. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably heard most of what I’ve been thinking, because its been the source of great conflict and confusion in my mind as of late. But first, here is a little explanation of what it is, and I’m going to remain as spoiler free as I can, but I will talk plot details.
Attack on Titan is an anime based on a Manga about a world where humanity has been pushed back to the brink of extinction by huge wandering giants called Titans. Desperately the survivors put up three huge walls in rings to protect themselves from the endless hordes of huge digestion machines, and developing spider-man like gas powered rigs to fight the Titans, who can only be slain by a slash to the back of the neck. But, after a 100 years of inactivity, the Titans get into the last human stronghold aided by several unique titans never before seen, including one the size of a mountain, and a third of our ground is lost. The action picks up 5 years later, where humanity is starting to fight back.
Its a really bleak series, which I like, the first two episodes are basically a block of anguish and tears, episode three and four are semi-uplifting military training montages, and the fifth is just a big ball of nihilism as the writers start offing people like there’s no tomorrow. Its beautiful really, when the first massacre starts and ends so suddenly, it just put a smile on my face.
The Titans are actually a menacing adversary. They’re big, naked, genital-less people with weird proportions that have the sole drive of eating people by the fist full. As the series progresses you learn more and more about these Titans, and how they make no sense, and their direct opposition to the laws of nature is creepy.
Their lack of any particular anger is refreshing, and if they were just another set of gnarling monsters it’d dull the banality of big people who will bite you in two. They’re just nightmare fuel, and the major reason I watch it, to see them grind people up and watch the characters struggle along. I also hunger for knowledge about what they are, and that’s one of the key draws to the show, it controls the flow of information well so you are left at the end of an episode already slicing up your day to fit a couple more in. Attack on Titan also has this great Fascist overtone to it. The Royalty in charge seem to be corrupt, or at least self serving, and the military have this “just go out and die” mentality, it feels like the little people are being played with by their rulers as much as the Titans, because they can’t feel, house or control the masses. Its all very interesting.
But its so intense. And not in an edge of your seat, THE WIRE kind of intensity, I mean theres all sorts of moments where people say things with such severity it makes me want to laugh.
During the above MAGIC POMEGRANATE scene I almost had an aneurysm. Its brilliant, nihilistic breakdowns and magic fruit. If theres one thing thats hard to puncture in the show its how the Overly dramatic, overly intense moments and the violent little psychopath main characters constant shouting detract away from a really good show. I keep going for the story and for the world’s lore, but there are moments I want to turn off because, say for example, two characters will have an argument about a potato or someone will say something and their clothes will billow from the sure drama of what they’re saying. Also, the melodramatic speeches are constant. People will scream about their own insignificance, the insignificance of humanity, the pointlessness of everything in the face of titan death, all the while bright light shooting from behind them, or intense atmospheric forces whipping their hair about.
I suppose in conclusion of this ramble, if it was bad, I wouldn’t be writing about it at all. Its a really good show, that just happens to embody all the criticisms I have heard of anime shows. Heck, I’ve taken the piss out of shows for the exact same things this displays, but the overall pros are much much better than the cons. There isn’t a cat themed comic relief character, which is nice, and everyone seems to hold their own, and its got good over all writing. I recommend it if you can get past the scene in the first episode where the father, a man who looks like MANY other characters in anime shows, promises to “show you the cellar I have been keeping a secret” which I was just all DUM-DUM-DUMMMM, FORESHADOWING! It has its ridiculous moments, but what doesn’t. And so what if some of the Titans look like your Grandfather?
I mean, the ridiulous moments aren’t as fun as Parasyte’s.. but then again, not many things are: