Staring: Yuki Kaji, Bryce Papenbrook, Yui Ishikawa, Trina Nishimura
“I’ll kill them. I’ll kill them all! I’ll wipe every one of them…off the face of this earth!”
I first learned about Attack on Titan by mostly hearing the fan response of everyone talking about how amazing it is. Now if you know me, when anything has an extremely loyal fan base around eight times out of ten, it turns out the thing in question is extremely over hyped and not really for me. As it turns out, this was the perfect thing for me.
Attack on Titan is about a boy named Eren Jaeger who lives in a small town surrounded by walls two hundred feet high. But not just any walls, walls that surround the last of all humanity with three layers. Why have walls? Well there are these tall humanoids called the Titans, who, only a hundred years earlier just showed up and brought humanity to its knees by devouring all of them. Eren longs for the outside world, but his dreams come to a end when suddenly a massive two hundred and fifty foot tall Titan just appears and smashes a giant hole in the wall causing all of the titans to come pouring in. Now its up to Eren and his friends, Mikasa and Armin, to gain a foothold in keeping all of humanity safe and killing all the titans.
I’ve heard the analogy that the entire series is like one big roller coaster hill that keeps going up, with the stakes equally being raised. This statement is more than accurate. Without going into any spoilers, by episode 5 if you aren’t hooked, there’s something wrong with you. This is truthfully the first anime I’ve ever watched completely from start to end within three days, I just couldn’t stop myself from watching it every second that I could. This show also really made me have a great interest into getting back into anime and trying new shows.
In most anime shows one can tell the quality of the show, mostly by how many frames it has, and Attack on Titan is quite varied but deservedly so. A few episodes are devoted solely to character development and over nine are dedicated to a single battle. This gives the show, not only great characters that we care about, but the since of scale and the importance of the battle, it also gives us some of the very best “flight” camera shots I’ve ever seen in any medium.
If I had to list any downsides its that some very rare times the plot twists can be seen coming just before they are reveled and also that the pacing can be jarring to say the least. These were very minor for me and never took away from enjoying the show.
The real saddest part about Attack on Titan is that the wait for season two might be until late 2015 but, I eagerly await its return. “Seid ihr das Essen? Nein, wir sind der Jäger!”
“We’re going to explore the outside world someday, right?”
Presented in a 1:78.1 aspect ratio, Attack on Titan shines in high def. Colors are strong here with deep reds from blood spray and high yellows of the sun taking center stage. Black levels are also great as well with them being deep and true. Edge jaggedness is nowhere to be found and pixilation is completely absent. I did notice a few animation differences between this edition and the original broadcast, but they in no way changed the overall story, and was done just to show more details (such as lines on a face) on characters.
I did notice a major change within the opening titles that is drastically different. The credits as they appear have changed from a font that was in the style of the show with a cut appearing through it timed with the music to a generic standard font with no slash. I found this to be disappointing considering how much it was fun to slash at my screen and see the cut appear.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I trust him. If he betrays us or goes berserk, I’ll put him down without hesitation.”
Featuring both a DTS-HD MA English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 mix Attack on Titan comes to life in a fierce assault to the sound field. Having originally watched the show in its native Japanese language track online, I decided to give the English track a try. While the effort is good, it feels very much hit and miss. At times the English track completely nails the level of emotion and characterization that the Japanese track fully brings. The biggest disappointment from the tracks is that the Japanese is only in a 2.0 while still good, it just doesn’t have the punch that the English 5.1 offers. Aside from that, dialogue is clean and clear with pans being extremely natural. Subwoofer usage is strong and surround sound speakers are in near constant use. Music is also sometimes playful, with it bouncing from speaker to speaker making it very fun.
As a side note, this is the second FUNimation disc to where I’ve noticed the opening and closing songs being much dampened in sound in regards to volume. The first time I popped in the disc I cranked up my receiver to jam with the opening song, but found my cranked up volume only playing it normally. Once the main show started however, the volume was extremely loud. I have no idea why one would make the intro and closer songs quieter but it’s a serious pet peeve of mine.
Packaging and Bonus Features
“You can’t hope for a horror story with a happy ending!”
With this edition, there is a standard and “Limited Edition” release. The limited edition comes with a lenticular cover art, and comes in a book style release with the blu rays in the front and the dvd’s in the back. I found it to be a bit too pricey considering there’s not really much to justify it costing around forty dollars more. It was limited to only 7,500 copies, but is sadly not numbered; making this number useless.
Bonus features for this set are good for an anime and really give the viewer something to remember. The set starts off with commentaries for episodes three and thirteen, which are good but I wish there was a commentary for every episode or a trivia track or something. Next up is an hour long making of that covers everything Attack on Titan, from the book to the whole process on how it’s made. Great stuff. Next up is a cute chibli mock up of the show using chibli characters and is done for comedic stuff. I personally didn’t really like it but I know a lot of people who would, its just not my thing. After that there’s an eyecatch gallery and textless opening and closing segments, just in case the titles were too big for ya.
Bonus features are as follows:
– Episode 3 and 13 commentaries
– The Making of Attack on Titan
– Chibli Theatre: Fly, Cadets, Fly!
– Eyecatch Gallery
– Textless Opening and Closing song
– U.S Trailer
– DVD copy
“I don’t want to lose what little family I have left”
Attack on Titan is lightning in a bottle, released in a perfect time for a re-emergence of anime into the mainstream. It combines incredible action, nail-biting suspense, Game of Thrones level twists and quiet dramatic moments that stay with the viewer long after watching. It might just be the new show for the anime generation. The blu ray set offers great video quality and good audio mixes that really put you in the action. Bonus features do offer great material, especially a behind the scenes section that is quite memorable. For the hardcore viewer I would only recommend the “Limited Edition” for those who have the extra money, but to all others id happily recommend the regular edition. Highly Recommended!