Shingeki no Kyoujin Episode 1: The Fall of the First Wall [First Impression]
Humans have retreated to a walled city that protects what is left of the human territory in order to protect themselves from the attacks of giants (called “Titans”), with three main walls . Eren, and his adoptive sister Mikasa, live in the outer city until, one day, the giant break a hole in the wall, causing the loss of the outmost wall city. The Scouting Legion, a group that travels outside of the walls to gather information about the giants returns many soldiers fewer, and it is revealed that the mission has not progressed. Eren and Mikasa attempt to save their mother from a collapsed house while the rest of the city flees, but are eventually dragged away by one of the members of the Stationary Troops.
This anime has been on my to-watch list since it was announced, since I have been following the manga. As a seinen/drama/tragedy, this is not any of your typical light anime fare. The heavy emphasis on the tragedy aspect is what makes this story stand out, especially since the overall fight, to any person, seems doomed.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The episode begins where the episode ends, with the giant breaching the first wall. A typical giant is about 5-7 meters tall, but somehow, a Colossal Titan (about 60 meters tall) takes on the 50-meter human wall, causing the humans to retreat into the next ring in their city. I think in the illustration of the different “kinds” of troops, you can see just how heavy the responsibility for defending the last of mankind is. While the Stationary Troops defend the wall, they are somewhat complacent, as giants have not actively tried to breach the wall in a long time. However, the Scouting Legion, is possibly the most active in knowledge gathering, though that knowledge comes at a price. Eren is pretty much the most childish at this point, as he actively wants to join the Legion, and had not actually seen the danger that comes with the job.
And, oh man, those action sequences. So the Legion and Troops are equipped with swords and “3D Maneuver Gear” and if you think that’s weird…well, this is the only way you even have a chance. Giants are much larger than humans, and Production IG put a lot of emphasis on the action sequences. I have not seen action sequences with this much foreshortening in a while, and with all the flying through the air, it is just going to get crazier. This is going to be a great action anime, if you’re not watching for the growth and drama of the characters.
The drama was really heavy, and the anime did a great job in setting the scene of a fragile human world. When you see Eren and Mikasa’s mother being eaten, or the fallen Legion’s arm fragment, you understand just how desperate this fight is. You can’t help but be drawn into the drama and stories of each of the characters, and no matter how doomed it becomes, you can’t help watching.
That’s not to say that this show doesn’t have its light moments. I really like the little touches of meeting Eren’s father, Mikasa throwing Eren when he does something dumb, and the best part, when they intervene in the bullying of Armin, the bullies aren’t afraid of Eren, they’re afraid of Mikasa.
The animation style really fits with the gritty feel of the story- the lines, the colours, the backgrounds. I haven’t seen anything like this in a while, and it’s a good change. Polished is nice, but this really feels more realistic.
Opening: FRIG THAT WAS EPIC. They actually acknowledge the manga in the opening, which is something I haven’t seen before. The music, the emphasis on the “duty” of having to fight instead of giving up is what makes the rest of the show have so much more impact. Survival of the fittest, fight or die. Next week, can’t come soon enough!
Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
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