“OH MY GOD! THIS IS THE GREATEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!” Thank you, Bum, for displaying so perfectly what only the common man can display better: hype.
What Shingeki no Kyojin does so well is provide certain atmospheres. If something is to be perceived as scary, it is fairly dreadful to watch. If something is exciting, it is enamoring to watch. The type of mood that Shingeki no Kyojin exudes is executed very nicely. However, as nicely as this is executed, it still remains as its only true strength. Every other major category that one can judge an anime for is either dwindling or misses the mark.
I’ll just get this out of the way sooner rather than later. The artwork is nice. The characters look nice, though rather bold, somewhat similar to comic book characters of a western origin. Everything about Shingeki no Kyojin looks nice, but that’s to be expected when you have more money to put into it. This helps with the aforementioned mood that helps this title come off strong. The only thing that irritated me were the overly dramatic moments in the series that had no place. Mikasa staring into Eren’s eyes right before the final battle. The way her eye looks way too realistic and outright disgusting. There’s no need for that.
I think if anything, the characters were really the slow point of the show. Eren as a main character is similar to that of many heroes of today, excluding the buffet of soulless women swooning for him. He fights for what’s right and tries his best (as in “far too often”) to make the right choices that benefits everyone, while fighting for his own agenda. He’s a fine character, but not truly memorable. Mikasa is an interestingly uninteresting character. She basically dedicates her life to Eren and only seems to (truly) care about Eren’s safety, almost to the point of insanity. She’s one of the strongest (in terms of skill) characters in the entire story because why not? She expresses less personality than anyone else because why not? It just makes her dull. If it wasn’t for the little backstory we got, she might’ve been more than just uninteresting. Armin was my favorite character, and I have no idea why. I think I just liked his slow transition from a timid and useless character to a mildly timid and mildly useful character. I know I like him because every time he was in the face of danger, I was on edge. If my feelings are any indicator, Armin was a genuinely likable character.
Minor characters in the series are hit and miss. Some of them come off as worthless, while others receive more development because the author chooses to keep them around. Seriously, how did Potato Girl survive throughout the whole series? I think out of all of them, Jean was probably the best of the minor characters. He acts like a believable character, that being because he contradicts himself often, like a lot of people do in the face of danger.
There’s one more thing I have to clear up: girls, Levi is not that great. Get over yourselves.
There were two things I didn’t care for in terms of plot: recaps and thrill stoppers. I go into an episode and it’s showing me what happened three episodes ago. Shut up. I don’t care. I’ve seen that. I know what happened. I know of its “significance.” Stop questioning my memory. There was one episode that I recall showed three and a half minutes of simply recaps. Three and a half minutes of things I’ve already seen. If that doesn’t feel like filler, I don’t know what does. The other thing, thrill stoppers (SEE WHAT I DID THERE? RECAP!), were annoying because they ruined the flow to the show. We’re being chased by a titan. What are we gonna do? We might die. Let’s think of something that happened in the past for five minutes while this titan is chasing us. MEMORIES, MAKE ME WANT TO GO BACK THERE! Seriously, can’t you save this piece of story for another time? Like when the situation calls for it? I want to see how you deal with the titan, not your cute history with other people. These two things, along with other myriads of little plotholes, are what ruin Shingeki no Kyojin for me.
Is this title overrated? Absolutely. Why is it overrated? That’s to be decided. I think the fact that, amongst the fan service-filled titles that are so prevalent today, Shingeki no Kyojin stands out as something trying to be inherently different. People are so used to garbage titles that Shingeki no Kyojin, which at least tries to provide a modern epic, looks appealing in contrast. If anime were just a bunch of fighting shounen dramas, would the world hold To Love-ru as a masterpiece? Probably. I would hope to think I wouldn’t, but that’s just me.
Personal Score: B-
Critical Score: B-