Sunday, November 17, 2013

Manga Review: Attack on Titan, Volume 1, by Hajime Isayama

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Publish Date: June, 2012
Volumes: 12+
Spoilers?: Not really.


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.

Winner of the 2011 Kodansha Manga Award (Shonen) and nominated for the prestigious Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize for 2012.


At this point, I have heard a lot of really good things about this series. I’m majorly slow on anime, so I hadn’t expected to get around to that, but finally thought I’d pick up the manga when I got the chance. And I was extremely iffy.
First because it’s not my usual genre. I do romance, shojo, josei most of the time. I don’t mind action or dystopian or any of that, and tend to enjoy it in anime and manga, but I just don’t get around to it very much. Then there was the art. I’m very picky about art, and usually if I don’t like the look of it, I don’t want to read it. And the art wasn’t particularly bad in this series, but I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. But now I’m really glad that I picked it up.
I’ll start with the art. It’s very hard lines and rough around the edges and violent. Not normally what I like, but it grew on me by the end of the volume.
Next is the storyline, which is what I was sure would pull me in, if anything. And it did. There’s violence and yelling and titans and death. The human race has been secluded to a ring of a village inside a village inside a village, all surrounded/separated by tall walls to keep the titans out. And the titans are giant, man-eating monsters. They don’t communicate with the humans, their whole mind-set and body are much of a mystery or puzzle to the people trying to study them. Whenever they see humans, they kill and eat and step on them. And they are trying very hard to get to the humans inside the walls. And now there’s one, much taller than any of the rest, who can break down the wall.
They’ve been kept inside for over a hundred years at this point, and it seems like none of them have been fighting or training very well, and only a small number are even willing to fight the titans.
Which is when we start with Eren and Mikasa. Eren is the main character, determined to go out and fight the titans, figure them out, save the human race. Mikasa is his tough friend, silent but kickass, who is just trying to keep Eren from getting himself killed, and has the means to back him up.
I don’t want to spoil the contents of what happened in this book, because a lot happened to Eren and Mikasa. A lot of really terrible things. Including the ending, which I am positive is not the end of something. I’m intrigued and believing of Eren, and I really like Mikasa, as well as their friend, Armin.
At first, I was a little skeptical. Mainly because I was wondering how this series could keep going, why wouldn’t the titans just kill them straight off? Like, there’s only so much you can do before they actually eat you, right? But I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. 
There’s still a lot left to explore, especially the titans and how they work, more characters to meet I’m sure, they’ll probably go outside the wall at some point, Eren still has to kill a titan. There’s a lot left to do, this volume opened up a whole world and characters to explore. I’m definitely intrigued. And looking forward to getting the next volume.

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