Sunday, 30 June 2013

Attack on Titan

I like Attack on Titan.  A lot.  It’s messy, violent and is right up in your face.

What with the animated series recently appearing and gaining a huge audience, fans have been steadily noticing that the Attack on Titan manga has already been coming out quite a while.  For those yet to sample either version of the story the concept is simple:  Humanity has dwindled and the remaining survivors are forced to live inside a walled city.  The walls of the city are a final defence against giant humanoid monsters known as Titans who for reasons unknown continuously try to invade and eat as many people as possible.  The only way to kill a Titan is to carve a chunk out of the back of its neck, and by using a 3D Manoeuvre Gear users can catapult themselves up to heights sufficient enough to take the fight to the Titans.  Thus the battle for humanity’s survival is on.

Attack on Titan goes all out with its fantasy premise.  The Titans munch their ways through humans while themselves being carved into meaty chunks.  Needless to say there is a fair amount of blood flow in this one.  Our heroes are young and desperate to survive.  They’re inclined to act on impulse or forced into panic, and sudden life-depending decisions set the way for a manga that is tense as well as exciting.

The scrawled artwork has become a point of contention for several as Attack on Titan’s art often appears rushed and suffers occasional lapses in accurate proportions, proving to be a turnoff for many.  I personally do not mind it much as the story and characters are strong and the artwork conveys energy and movement in a raw and aggressive manner.  The presence of pristine or glossy artwork is not a prerequisite demand in my personal reading habits, although your mileage may vary.

With the likes of Naruto and Bleach being far too established and long in the tooth to recruit fresh audiences, it was about time a new title appeared to fill the gap.  I’m sure Shueisha desperately want it to be Toriko, but instead Kodansha have landed a massive hit with Attack on Titan which outsells the majority of the Shonen Jump library.  I’m not sure if this title will indicate a shift in power between Japanese publishing houses, but the competition can only be good for the readers.

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