Shingeki no Kyojin or Attack on Titan is one the most hyped shows of the season. With the director of Death Note, Araki Tetsurou, and studio Production I.G. on board, the stakes are high for the manga adaptation. Does this opener live up to the acclaim of its drawn counterpart or fizzle in its giant shadow.
Araki Tetsurou is a director that is capable of brilliance and utter trash. While Death Note might be near and dear to many people’s hearts, Guilty Crown left a sour taste in many mouths. While its too early to tell what ilk this series will belong to it starts up on quite a good foot. Much of it can be credited to the excellent premise. The world is overrun with giants, or titans, who seem to only care about eating humans. As a last measure of defense a grand wall is erected to protect those who survived. For a hundred years, these people have known peace, until unforeseen calamity strikes. Somehow the titans are able to breach the wall and shower chaos on the denizens within.
This sets up the story for the young hero Eren who watches his mother killed in the havoc. He swears revenge upon the monsters that have ruined his home and looks to join the Legion, humanity’s last stand against the beast. While the angle might be a bit tired, the setting is unique enough to give the story originality. Honestly the Titans look to be unstoppable, and it seems unfathomable that mankind can deal with them. It’s this sense of oppression that drives both the plot and the characters themselves. In the first episode alone, we can see these psychological forces act as a strong current. It makes the cast instantly relatable and by the end of the twenty three minutes it is easy to share in Eren’s desire to destroy the Titans.
The strong storytelling is supported by excellent production which focuses on an attention to detail. Backgrounds are minutely manicured to etch out treetops, cobbled streets and wooden planks. The use of dark crisp lines makes the series look like a moving manga, which works to great effect. The music follows suit in quality, utilizing a full orchestral score to give a grand sense of scale, fitting for the giant Titans at hand.
This series has the makings of being one of the best series this season and hopefully Tetsurou doesn’t drop the ball with this show. It’s comforting to know that the series has the foundation of excellent source material, but sometimes that’s where shows flounder. Sometimes the strengths of the original material cannot be properly translated into another medium. Considering the strong start, I wouldn’t be too afraid of that. I will definitely be blogging this show in the upcoming weeks!