Welcome to the second post in my N00b Reviews series!
Today I will be reviewing the Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) manga, which I chose after having watched the first series of the anime.
Last time in my Fairy Tail review, I mentioned being confused in regards to how you actually read manga, but I think I’ve finally sussed it out! It’s from right to left rather than left to right as is with Western books or magazines… Such a Noob 😐
Shingeki no Kyojin is a shōnen fantasy manga written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. It is set in a world where humanity lives inside walled cities due to their fear of roaming Titans (huge humanoid creatures). Very little is known about the Titans apart from the fact they seem to enjoy eating humans for no apparent reason.
The story focuses on a group of three childhood friends – Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert. After their section of the city gets attacked by an abnormal Titan (a Titan who is large and stronger than normal Titans) and Eren’s mother is graphically devoured, Eren vows to avenge her death by joining the military to fight back against the Titans.
Compared to Fairy Tail that I reviewed last week, Shingeki no Kyojin has a lot more text. This could be due to the nature of the story being a lot more complicated and darker, so there is a greater need for more text to explain the situation. Again, I really like the art style and layout of the manga, especially now that i’m coming to terms with how to read it correctly 😛
What I liked:
What I really enjoyed about the manga was that the characters were well written and as a reader I developed feelings for them and cared about what was going to happen to them next. This made the manga addictive and I couldn’t help but keep reading more! What I especially liked was the strong female characters like Mikasa Ackerman (one of the main characters) who is shown to be ranked top in the military training and often puts herself in the way of danger to save others. Another example later on in the series is Hanji San who is experimenting on two captured Titans and is shown to be both as brave and intelligent as the male characters – or probably even more so.
I also thought the extra details provided in the story about wall building and the mechanics of the three dimensional maneuver gear was fascinating and gave me a deeper insight and understanding into the weapons and defense systems in place. It felt like a fully-fleshed out world that the writer had spent so much time crafting that it was totally believe – even with giant humanoid monsters running around eating people. I also liked the fact that as the story progresses we find out more and more about the Titans at the same time as the characters do. It also keeps up a an air of mystery around them that keeps you wanting to read more.
What I disliked:
My only real complaint with the manga was some of the illustrations appeared too busy. It felt a bit like too much was going on at the same time and the drawings needed less detail to give more clarity to the important action panels, as you can see in this example:
How did it compare to the anime?
I found the manga was more straight into the action and didn’t focus as much time on the training as the anime did – basically less filler and more story. I also found the anime was in chronological order whereas there were moments where the manga featured a lot of flashbacks.
I really can’t stop reading this manga, someone help me?! I think I might be addicted! My only hope is I don’t go past the point of the anime otherwise I know I’m going to be disappointed with the anime in the same way that a book fan is nearly always disappointed with the film adaptation simply because it doesn’t match up the source material. It will be interesting to see how the live-action film coming out in Japan this year compares with both the manga and anime series.
Written by Marketing Whizz-Kid Jess Harcastle for Cosmic Anvil.