Shingeki no Kyojin (TV) – Episode 1
Shingeki no Kyojin, translated as Attack on Titan, takes place in a world, where all people live inside a big area protected by 50-meter walls. Those walls were built to protect humans from their greatest threat – giants. It has now been 100 years since the last encounter of the two races, and everybody thinks the peace will last forever. One day, as the main characters Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arelet discuss the future, something terrible happens. With a loud explosion, a huge giant’s head arises from behind the supposedly unreachable wall, signaling the end of the peaceful days.
At first I didn’t see anything special in the synopsis of the anime. Just the typical fantasy-world story. What I saw greatly differed from my low expectations – the visuals were absolutely gorgeous, the characters were interesting and the plot development was promising to be good. What else to wait from an anime? Of course, can’t leave out the gore from the episode, since there was plenty of blood (though it was all shown undirectly). No strict censorship is a plus for me.
We didn’t really learn much about the characters, apart from Eren, Mikasa and a guard named Hannes, but that’s okay. As I read, the anime will last for two seasons, so there is plenty of time to show everything the authors want. Anyway, Eren is a famous doctor’s son, who thinks that humans are currently living like livestock – eternally shut behind their own stone walls. For this reason he wants to join the Recon Corps who go outside to kill giants and gather information about them. Reality is more harsh, though, as he learns that all the deaths in Recon Corps are mostly wasted, due to lack in actual progress. His resolve remains firm, even as his mother strongly objects her son’s decision.
Eren’s sister, Mikasa, is quieter, and with a different personality. Behind this outer appearance, she hides a strong will and physical power – enough to scare away they bullies in the neighbourhood. She is more obedient towards her parents, and at first does not approve much of Eren’s wish to join the Recon Corps. Her real thoughts remain a mystery to me for now.
The third main character is Armin, a friend of the two other kids. He is often bullied by neighbourhood boys, and has to be protected by Mikasa and Eren. Despite this, he seems to dislike being looked down upon and therefore accepting his friends’ protection and help. When the disaster happens, he hesitates and does not follow Eren as the boy runs off towards his house.
Finally there was Hannes, most likely just a side character, who saves the kids from one of the giants. He was one of the guards who were supposed to protect humans from a possible attack, but 100 years of peace made him think that there is nothing left to fear. Now his business is to mend the walls, which angers Eren.
There were no surprising voice actors here, as they all perfectly fit the roles. Hearing Kaji Yuki as Eren made me expect some things from the story, due to several of his recent main roles, but his personality doesn’t seem similar to Haruyuki’s or Shu’s initial attitude. The background music that I noticed was pleasnt and fit the atmosphere of the situations. The opening song wasn’t particularly to my liking, though, but the opening animation was good. No ending this episode – I wonder if there will be one in the future?
Finally, the animation and art were great. No outstanding visuals here, but the artistic feeling was original and contributed to the fantasy-world’s appearance. Backgrounds looked quite detailed, as did the characters themselves. Animation was very smooth, and I didn’t notice any strange movements or “blobs” as was the case with Aku no Hana. This episode really got my hopes up, and I will probably set Shingeki no Kyojin to the top of my watch-list for the season. For now I won’t heistate to give it a very high score, even for my standards: