Graphic Novel Review: Attack on Titan V 1


May Contain Spoilers


I decided to give Attack on Titan a go after seeing a lot of positive reviews online, and because a co-worker is watching the anime series.  It’s also a post-apocalyptic story, and you all know how much I like those!  This first volume didn’t completely wow me, for the following reasons.

Most of humanity has been eaten by the Titans, enormous beings that stand about 50 feet tall.  The remaining humans have hidden behind a series of walled enclosures, surrounded by 100 foot tall walls.  Nobody knows much about the Titans, except that they have an endless appetite for humans, and they are hard to kill.  One hundred years after they first attacked, the Survey Corps goes Outside to gather information about their enemies, while everyone else cowers behind the walls.  It’s been a hundred years since the Titans last attacked, and while people are still terrified of being beyond the walls, they have become rather complacent within their fortress.

Eren plans to join the Survey Corps when he gets older, much to his mother’s dismay.  When the Titans attack again, breaking through one of the walls, and bringing death and destruction, Eren is forced to watch as his mother is consumed by one of the monsters.  With the walls breached, everyone is forced to fall back beyond one of the inner walls, losing even more land and lives to the Titans.

Years pass, and Eren and his adopted sister, Mikasa, have completed their military training, and have to decide which career path they wish to follow.  Eren longs to see what’s outside the walls, so he has decided to join the Survey Corps, despite the dangers.  Before he can make his declaration, the Titans attack again.  The last half of this volume followed the chaos of this second wall breach.  The young graduates are forced into the desperate battle, and Eren once again is forced to watch as his friends fall, one after another.

This series didn’t wow me.  The art is awkward and, dare I say, ugly.  Though functional, it didn’t grab me and it left me underwhelmed.  The action sequences are easy to follow and are much more fluid than the rest of the artwork.

The story is intriguing, but the presentation is a little confusing.  The jumps in time jarred me out of the story.  I guess the story on the whole felt a little uninspired, and I felt like I have read several series that are similar to Attack on Titan.  Young man watches family get killed, vows to kill his enemy, gets attacked himself, and has to fight despite overwhelming odds…Yeah, I’ve read that before.  There wasn’t much in this initial volume get me hooked, but since I checked out the next book, too, I’ll at least give it a read and see if I get a better feeling for the series after that.

Are you reading the series?  What do you think of it so far?

Grade: C

Review copy provided by my local library

About the book:

In this post-apocalytpic sci-fi story, humanity has been devastated by the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they came from or why they are bent on consuming mankind. Seemingly unintelligent, they have roamed the world for years, killing everyone they see. For the past century, what’s left of man has hidden in a giant, three-walled city. People believe their 100-meter-high walls will protect them from the Titans, but the sudden appearance of an immense Titan is about to change everything.
Winner of the 2011 Kodansha Manga Award (Shonen) and nominated for the prestigious Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize for 2012.

4 thoughts on “Graphic Novel Review: Attack on Titan V 1

  • February 18, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Didn’t read the series but I watched the anime. Based on the anime alone I don’t think I will be reading the manga. The anime is good but it isn’t great and I feel that the same can be said about the manga. I know that animes don’t always follow the manga but there isn’t much in the anime to really draw me in. I didn’t like Eren. I found his adopted sister Mikasa to be more interesting.

  • February 19, 2014 at 8:10 am

    @Alyn – I like Mikasa better, too!

  • February 19, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I didn’t read the manga but I watched the anime which I found quite gripping – it was difficult to stop watching the next episodes! The soundtrack in particular is also really beautiful. Perhaps the presentation of the manga let the overall story line down? 🙂

  • February 20, 2014 at 6:39 am

    @Selina – I’m not sure why it’s not clicking for me. I have two more volumes from the library; if they don’t wow me, I think I’ll move on to another series.

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