Anime is still Anime
My thoughts about Attack on Titan in the lights of this post.
Some background first. Attack on Titan, or Shingeki no Kyojin as called in Japan, is an ongoing anime adaptation of the best-seller manga of the same title, first published in 2009. The series won several awards in Japan and around the world, including the Kodansha Manga Awards in 2011. Quoting Wikipedia:
The story centers around the life of Eren Jaeger and his adoptive sister Mikasa Ackerman, who live in a world where the remnants of the human population live inside cities surrounded by enormous walls due to the sudden appearance of the Titans, gigantic humanoid creatures who devour humans seemingly without reason. Their lives are changed forever after the appearance of a colossal Titan brings about the destruction of their home and the death of their mother, spurring them to enter the army to battle the Titans themselves.
The series was well received by fans and critiques alike, save for some exceptions, mainly pertaining to the violence and its portrayal in both the anime and the manga.
I’m generally not into defending anime, or debating about tastes or cultural differences, but there are few points that I’d like to make about this anime, and anime in general:
- Shingeki is a top notch anime production. Nothing to argue about here, let’s move on.
- The anime adaptation is just a couple of months old. Give the characters and the plot some time. Twelve episodes are nothing in the lifespan of the series.
- Anime adaptions are made for a wider audience compared to the manga. Hence the easier-to-consume, diluted, more explicit storytelling. That’s also exactly why I don’t consider myself an anime fan. That said, the anime adaptation of Shingeki is on the high end of the spectrum, and anyone who has been watching anime in the last decade would agree.
- Anime are still anime, and there isn’t much you can do about that. If it’s not for you, it is not. It’s a huge industry, and individual opinions will change nothing about that.
- Shingeki is a top notch anime production. Not a typo, just wanted to emphasize this one. I won’t debate the story minutiae because a lot of it is lost in translation, both from manga to anime and from English to Japanese. It’s intense, engulfing, and most importantly, terrifying. And that’s the whole point.