Attack on Titan Season 1 Review: the Art of Cliffhanger!

Attack on Titan Season 1 Review: the Art of Cliffhanger!

If you have talked with your friends about anime, then the couple anime that everyone talks about are Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Dragon Ball, My Hero Academia, and… Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan Season 1)!

But, what’s the difference between Attack on Titan Season 1 and the rest? Shingeki no Kyojin only has 25 episodes so far yet it’s on par in popularity with the other super long anime.

Why is Attack on Titan Season 1 that popular? Well, that’s simply because it’s stunningly breathtaking.

So, let’s review Attack on Titan Season 1!

Attack on Titan Season 1 Review: Information

  • Alternative Titles: Singeki no Kyojin, AoT, SnK
  • Japanese Title: 進撃の巨人
  • Type: TV Anime
  • Number of Episodes: 25
  • Status: Finished Airing
  • Aired: From April 7th, 2013 to September 29th, 2013
  • Premiered: Spring 2013
  • Producers: Production I.G, Dentsu, Mainichi Broadcasting System, Pony Canyon, Kodansha, Mad Box, Pony Canyon Enterprise
  • Licensors: Funimation
  • Studios: Wit Studio
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Military, Super Power
  • Demographics: Shounen
  • Rating: R – 17+ (violence & profanity)

The first season of the Attack on Titan anime tv series was produced by I.G Port‘s Wit Studio and directed by Tetsurō Araki, with Yasuko Kobayashi handling series composition and Kyōji Asano providing character designs.

Attack on Titan Season 1 covers the first story arcs (from chapters 1 to chapter 34) from the original manga series “Shingeki no Kyojin” by Hajime Isayama.

Attack on Titan Season 1 Review: Synopsis

Attack on Titan Season 1 Review: the Art of Cliffhanger!

Attack on Titan Season 1 is set in a world where humanity lives inside an island, known as Paradis Island, surrounded by gigantic walls due to the Titans, monstruous humanoid beings who eat humans (See why Titans eat humans here).

The story follows the adventures of Eren Yeager and his childhood friends (Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert) whose lives are changed forever after a Colossal Titan broke the wall of their homeland.

Vowing revenge and to reclaim the world from the Titans, Eren, Mikasa & Armin join the Scout Regiment (Corps Survey), an elite group of soldiers who fight Titans.

Attack on Titan Season 1 Review: Story

The story is one of the most captivating stories in the anime/manga world. 100 years prior to the beginning of the anime, humanity has been on the verge of extinction due to the Titans that eat humans.

Now, at the beginning of the story, the remaining small population of mankind lives confined within 3 enormous walls that are so high and resistant that even the titans can’t infiltrate.

The most outward wall was named, Wall Maria, the middle wall was named Wall Rose, and the most outward wall named Wall Sina.

Unfortunately for mankind, a colossal titan, one that is even bigger than the 50-meter gigantic walls, breaks Wall Maria, allowing the other titans to rampage the city, thus leading to another massacre of mankind.

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During this butchery, our main characters, Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman watch in horror as a creepy smiling titan rips their mother’s head off, then gobbles her up whole.

Vowing that he’d one day avenge mankind and exterminate all the titans, Eren Yeager trains to become a brave strong soldier who go outside the walls in order to exterminate the titans.

But we soon find out, that Eren Yeager is much more special than he seems to be, not only because he is a brave warrior, but he’s also something else that could be the key to humanity’s survival, but could also be humanity’s destruction.

3 Words can describe the Attack on Titan Season 1 anime: Epic, Dynamic, Masterpiece. The thriller build-up was absolutely astonishing, yet there was still room for improvement that shows just how epic this anime can get.

Attack on Titan Season 1 not only includes epic fights, but lots of dialogue. The anime includes lots of other things as well: there’s lots of half-hearted, hilarious scenes, as well as sad, and tragic moments.

Shingeki no Kyojin Season 1 certainly has a good amount of gore, and will break your heart frequently if you get attached to the characters.

Why Do Titans Eat Humans in Shingeki no Kyojin?

Attack on Titan Season 1 Review: Characters

Attack on Titan Season 1 Review: the Art of Cliffhanger!

Characters was another side that was Attack on Titan’s strong point. There is a different variety of characters that fight for humanity for all various reasons.

There is trust, friendship, sacrifice, along with betrayals, and suffering. There’s comedy relief among many characters, especially Sasha Blouse “Potato Girl”.

Levi Ackerman is certainly a fan-favorite character, because of the fact that he is cool, overpowered, badass, kind-in-the-heart, smart, straight-to-the-point, and most of all, hilarious with all his neat-freakiness.

Another character that Shingeki no Kyojin fans can somewhat relate with is Annie Leonhardt, who fights alongside humanity, yet fights opposed to humanity. What does that mean? Watch Attack on Titan Season 1 to find the answer.

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There were too many characters to development fully, but certainly the main characters were developed to their max.

Let’s start with Armin Arlert who takes on the “smart one/strategist” archetype. While he is fairly generic and standard at the beginning of the series, we get to see him grow into being a more varied character at a constantly shifting rate, and his skills at strategy both on the battlefield and in complex conversations are practically unmatched, often allowing him the power to save Eren & Mikasa from the situations they get themselves into.

Next, we have Mikasa Ackerman, who, for the majority of the Attack on Titan Season 1, is portrayed as being essentially flawless, taking on the role of the unstoppable badass Titan slayer fresh out of training who also makes time to coddle her adoptive brother, and this flawlessness is built up to the point of it almost being a flaw in itself.

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There are, however, a few quirks to her personality that make her feel more human, but at the same time make her seem even more distant. Her only notable “flaw” seems to be her undying loyalty and devotion to Eren, often throwing caution to the wind and bolting out against orders in order to make sure he’s safe.

This also leads to some rather disquieting moments where her own sanity seems to abandon her and, to put it lightly, causes her to act excessively hostile towards anyone who means ill will towards Eren.

Finally, we have Eren, our stereotypical “perseverance” character whose sole motivation for the majority of the Attack on Titan Season 1 is taking revenge on the Titans, and while this does seem like a bit of a gaping flaw for the show’s main character, it’s actually both understandable and sort of refreshing.

His intense focus on his own rage and desires for revenge slowly consumes part of who he is, which becomes especially present at several points throughout the series that I can’t go further into detail on due to massive amounts of spoilers.

Are Levi Ackerman and Mikasa Ackerman related (Attack On Titan)?

Attack on Titan Season 1 Review: Music

“Feuerroter Pfeil und Bogen”

The OST, composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, is extremely important in this Attack on Titan Season 1 because it allows you to feel the many epic moments that dwell in this 25-episode marvel. This is where the directing and narrative play a big role.

For those of you who have seen Death Note (same director), you will feel an extra feeling of similarity with Attack on Titan Season 1, as the show relies heavily on its intense emotional scenes which you most certainly will feel the first 2 minutes of episode #1.

Another key strong point is the work and effort put on the OP/ED sequences. The opening theme song for the season’s first 13 episodes is “Feuerroter Pfeil und Bogen” by Linked Horizon, and the ending theme is “Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai” by Yōko Hikasa.

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For the rest of the season, the opening theme is “Die Flügel der Freiheit” also by Linked Horizon and the ending theme is “Great Escape” by Cinema Staff.

It’s definitely something not all anime series take seriously. Fortunately, Wit Studio took them seriously, and then came “Guren no Yumiya”.

The second opening, “Jiyuu no Tsubasa” is outstanding and marvelous in its own way and the second ending, “great escape”, fuels that adrenaline rush of excitement you will get after those killing cliffhangers.

Having said that, the first OP, “Guren no Yumiya”, is simply epic. If there was ever something to describe as epic, it would be this OP. I am certain that as of today, it is the greatest anime opening ever. I’m amazed by the amount of attention it got on the internet and the hundreds of parodies derived from it. It was simply a treat to our eyes.

“Die Flügel der Freiheit”

Attack on Titan Season 1 Review: Animation

The animation was produced by Wit Studio, a new studio that serves as a surrogate of Production I.G. Regardless of its heritage, for a new studio to create such a massively impressive project is beyond incredible.

Not only is the animation well-polished, but it also carries its own distinctive style, most notably in the fact that its characters are heavily outlined in varying thicknesses of black to make them pop out from the background.

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Speaking of backgrounds, the environments are shown to be incredibly rich and detailed despite how unvaried they may appear on the surface, and the action shots give us plenty of different perspectives on this environment.

As for the action itself, Wit Studio has no qualms at all with handing out incredible fight sequences by the barrel-full via an in-world tool used by humanity’s military known as 3D Maneuver Gear, allowing us to break away from standard ground combat and enter the world of high-flying intensity, with soldiers bolting off of every building in sight, into the air above them, and landing blade-first on the neck of a Titan.

Attack on Titan Season 1 Review: Conclusion

Overall, Attack on Titan Season 1 is simply an incredible experience, combining high-flying action that could even make Ufotable nervous with a dark and nearly-overwhelming sense of fear and desperation, and this anime is more than deserving of the hype that it receives.