After watching the last episode of Attack on Titan just moments ago, I read through many discussion threads to see what other people thought of the series overall and thought I would post my own thoughts here. Since this was probably one of the most popular series in the last few years, it got quite a bit of attention, criticism, and hype from the audience. If you haven’t watched this show yet, please be warned that this post may contain spoilers.
I personally really enjoyed the series and consider it one of my favourites of all time. Prior to watching this series, I was aware of some of the hype surrounding it, but I never really paid attention or read into it. While it many consider it to be your typical shounen series, I feel that it manages to execute the story and action much stronger than other series. People often complained about the differences between the manga and anime but I honestly felt that the anime followed the source material quite well and even made improvements (putting events in chronological order).
Many people found the characters in this show to be quite one dimensional with little development over the course of the series. I personally thought that while they did stick to many cliches, the majority of them were given some backstory and some development throughout the series. Mikasa can be a bit clingy to Eren and she remains the same way throughout the series. However, it was established already that Eren is really all she has left in this world and owes her life to him which is why she devotes her loyalty and life to him. Aside from her, I felt that the other characters did have some growth but it may have been a bit difficult to notice due to the large cast involved. Eren under Levi’s command learns to control his emotions a bit better and rely on others. Jean was originally a coward at the beginning of the series but he has developed leadership capabilities. All of the characters managed to grow and change at least by a little bit from the beginning of the series to the end even though their development was not the main focus of the series.
Music & Soundtrack
|Bauklötze played during the female titan’s chase in the forest (Ep.22)|
This was one of the best elements of the show. Sawano Hiroyuki managed to compose another masterpiece when it came to the soundtrack for the show. All of the music used fit the overall mood of the show and manged to greatly enhance the impact of many scenes. I noticed at the beginning of the series, the tracks used were quite upbeat and gives a feeling of hope still which is reflected in the series. The beginning focuses on the upbringing of humanity’s hope for the future (training of the new corp members) as well as their first victory over the titans. Tracks like “The Reluctant Heroes” and “Doa” really managed to amp me up whenever they came on and gives an overall feel of hope for humanity. However, the second half of the series uses music that have a more depressing, grim, and despair theme to them. “Bauklötze”, and “Attack on Titan” managed to capture these themes brilliantly, especially when paired with the scenes where the squadron is facing impending doom.
Animation and Art
|Levi going to town on the female titan|
Production I.G. did a wonderful job when it came to the intense action scenes for Attack on Titan. The 3D maneuvering were visually stunning and were highly detailed. The art style, in my opinion, was very clean and made the characters look “realistic” (normal hair colours, hairstyles, overall “normal” appearances) which made it easier to appeal to a wider audience. The art was faithful to the manga’s but it seemed a lot more polished and clean looking which I personally preferred. There were quite a bit of still images used for scenes throughout the earlier part of the series. While it was likely used to save budget for the more intense scenes, I thought that they added dramatic effect when a still would appear and narration overlapping it. I don’t think there was much need to animate every single scene so I didn’t mind these cost cutting strategies.
In the end, I thought the series was well executed overall, improving some mistakes or sloppy parts from the source material. The anime could have cut back on the recaps at the beginning of nearly episode but I guess they needed to save budget and keep a certain pacing in mind to ensure they ended at the intended spot. Pacing was a bit slow at times as well but again, the director had a specific chapter they wanted to end the series at. Finally, I noticed a lot of people were enraged at the final scene of the anime due to it differentiating from the manga. However, I felt that this final scene fit the anime much better since everything is deescalating from the climax of the female titan battle and having a huge dramatic reveal like that would only re-escalate the show. The final speech by Erwin was a nice way to send off the show since after all of the sacrifices made, all the tragedy that occurred in the second half, they finally some idea on saving humanity despite the heavy costs.