Attack on Titan: A Fanbros Guide
What’s good folks, Boman here to give you another Fanbros Guide. Seeing how Funimation’s English dub of Attack on Titan premiered on Adult Swim’s Toonami block two weeks ago, I figured now would be a good time to get folks up to speed. What is Attack on Titan? Is the hype real? Most importantly, is it worth your time? The answers to these questions and more inside.
As always, mild spoilers ahead, but really though — you need to see this.
“ What is this Attack on Titan?”
Attack on Titan is the animated adaptation of Hajime Isayama’s widely successfully manga, Shingeki no Kyojin, that became an international sensation last year.
“Wait, ‘last year?’ Didn’t you say it premiered two weeks ago on Adult Swim?”
Yeah, it was basically simulcast, with streaming services like Hulu and Crunchyroll having official subs of the show available to American viewers the next day. It was as if everyone was watching it at the same time. People were hooked!
“Well, no one told me about it.”
Well, you must not have any friends that care about you.
“What you sa–“
It’s not like the old days. Many new Animes are made available on streaming services legally within 24hrs of airing in Japan. It being prominently featured on Hulu, plus the popularity of the manga meant more people were watching a subbed show on the internet than what would have been possible a few years ago. It was really hard to miss last summer.
“Ok, so what’s this show’s deal? What are Titans and why are people attacking them?”
The basic premise, around 100 years before the start of the show, these giant humanoid creatures called “Titans” appeared around the world and started eating humans. The last of Humanity fled to a territory protected by three concentric walls. Humanity experienced relative peace for 107 years, until two mysterious new Titans breached the outer wall, forcing Humanity to flee deeper within their small pot of land.
“Giant people, what’s so bad about that?”
The Titans are straight up freaky. They range from looking eerily complacent, to painfully disturbed. They are huge too. They show no outward intelligence. Nothing is known about Titans. The only thing for certain is that they eat people. Not for nutriment. Not for pleasure. Not for hatred. Eating people is the thing they do. If that wasn’t bad enough, they are extremely hard to kill, with only one known weak spot and the ability to regenerate limbs and recover from injury. Perphaps worst are the unpredictability of the Titans. Even a Titan off in the distance is a threatening foe, because one never knows what it might do.
“Man, that sounds intense.”
That’s not half of it. Imagine taking a group of desperate people and putting them in a confined space. Titans are only part of Humanity’s problems. Old faces like greed, hatred, racism and corruption are as much a concern as the Titans.
The show follows three main protagonists: Eren Yeager, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and their childhood friend Armin Arlert. The three saw firsthand the horrors of the Titans. After the initial breach, the three join the military along with other new recruits and things continue to go to hell.
“That’s sounds OK so far, but what’s with all the hype surrounding the show?”
The world and its characters are so damn interesting to watch. The show is filled with many genuinely shocking and tensioned filled moments and never once pretends that the characters are never not at a disadvantage. Many main and supporting characters die because of that. The Titans, with their mysterious nature, are like a classic horror monster. They are not really an antagonist but more an obstacle characters have to deal with. Audiences are naturally drawn in by intrigue and are constantly wondering who will survive the next battle.
“So what is it like Game of Thrones but Anime?”
I would say it’s more Battlestar, but still that doesn’t really capture the uniqueness of Attack on Titan. The show avoids many of the tropes that put off many non-fans of Anime and its themes really are universal. When there are so few people left, each life is more important to the survival of Humanity, each sacrifice weights heavy on the hearts of the survivors. Even victories can ring hollow, once all the casualties are added up. It’s a good allegory for the horrors of war. Plus it looks really good.
Awesome. Produced by Studio Wit with some help from Production I.G. (Ghost in a Shell) Attack on Titan is Wit’s first T.V. series, which is pretty damn impressive. Wit’s animation beautifully captures Isayama’s original illustrations. Two things really stand out about Attack on Titan. Most animated shows used black lines to outline characters and objects from the background, but with Attack on Titan these black lines are very thick and cause the characters to really standout and pop on screen. Secondly, the show’s heavy use of CGI isn’t for corner cutting or backgrounds like most American shows, but for its intense action scenes. It’s hard not to be amazed watching characters zip around on the “Spiderman like” 3D maneuvering gear used to fight Titans. On top of that the camera work is excellent, capturing the intensity of the battles.
“Let’s say ‘I’m interested.’ Tell me about his American dub.”
Some lines have been changed here and there. Other than that, it’s a pretty straight forward dub. Funimation has selected a competent cast to handle it. There are some new and old faces among the voices for those familiar with Funimation’s previous work. Of course there are some edits for the Adults Swim broadcast; however, unedited Blu-Ray and DVD boxsets will be hitting stores come June.
“OK, so I should probably give it a watch.”
Yes. The show is guaranteed to hook viewers by the first episode. If you missed Attack on Titan the first go around, there are aplenty opportunities for you to try it now.