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Attack on Titan 1 Paperback – June 19, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
For many of those who have never read the manga, the contents inside them are nearly exactly the same as it is in the anime. The only major difference is the order that some sequences occur in. So if you start worrying that some parts may be missing,they're not! You'll just get to them eventually.
Hajime has a very unique style that is unlike regular manga, so it does take some getting used to. But it still is very well written and good to enjoy whenever you want to see Attack On Titan, but don't have the time to watch it. Or if you just want to read the manga because the manga is amazing!
(I also got this as a group order with the fifth volume, it was one of the options. Go do that too.)
As for the feeble and completely inaccurate claims of xenophobia, etc, our handful of slower-witted readers have suggested, I'd actually say Attack on Titan is one of the MOST inclusive, non-xenophobic (and NON-MISOGYNISTIC, while we're at it!) manga to come out of Japan in the past two decades, especially in the popular shounen manga category. While most shounen manga like to stick to a heavily (or entirely) Japanese setting with mostly Japanese heroes (which is totally fine, since these stories were written by Japanese people for the Japanese market), AoT goes out of its way to a) set the story in an identifiably western land with identifiably western-looking characters with western-sounding names (German, in fact, for the majority: Jaeger, Franz, Thomas, Annie, Reiner, Bertholdt, Erwin, Armin, Levi). Though interestingly, the author Isayama Hajime goes a step further by making the population ethnically DIVERSE on top of that--we have Mikasa Ackerman, whose Asian heritage and Japanese name are discussed frankly to be what they are (Asian/Japanese). Then we have characters like Franz, Ymir and Hanji Zoe who have clearly darker coloring and facial features that make them identifiably black, middle-eastern, and either middle-eastern or Indian/South Asian, respectively.
In fact, in general, Isayama breaks so many molds of the "conventional look" of comics characters to make his characters visually diverse and inclusive--Mikasa Ackerman, the main heroine, is shown to be visually more muscular and thus, logically, *heavier* (yet still feminine and beautiful) than the main boy character (and her love interest) because she is blatantly shown to be physically stronger than him. There are very tall girls like Ymir and Nanaba, as well as very short ones who still kick butt (like Annie) or not (like Krista), girls with larger/not-cutely-Disney-Princess-like noses like Annie, boys who are petite and effeminate/delicate-looking like Armin, and boys who are super-tall (Bertholdt) or super-buff (Reiner) as well. The biggest badass in the entire series is a petite, muscular 30-something-year-old man who is SHORTER than almost all the kids and has the kind of baby face petite guys do in real life--but you would never see any of these types of people in any other manga (or western graphic novel, come to think of it. Especially the diversity among the women--western graphic novels require all major female characters to have the same slim, buxom body type and flawless, pretty faces with cute/petite noses, etc).
But even aside from all the awesome inclusiveness in the looks and personalities of the characters, what makes AoT so special to me is that Isayama also has a very wide, inclusive view of all types of people in his heart and that inclusiveness and ability to see all people, regardless of race, looks, attitudes, etc, as PEOPLE who are worthwhile and worth having compassion for, is what makes his cast and their relationships so striking, unique, memorable, and imbued with the power to touch the audience.
As for the whole premise of the story--of these humans, hiding (or more appropriately, TRAPPED) behind walls to hide from these giant, insensible, inhuman terrors--the POINT of the story is that the heroes and the handful of brave, perhaps foolish, people who join the Survey Corps are not content to live trapped inside the boundaries they were born into, even in the face of the deadly, terrifying hell that awaits them outside those boundaries. It's a story not just about the Japanese or any particular ethnic group--it's about humanity as a whole, and how magnificent the indomitable human spirit is that would choose freedom in the face of death-defying odds and fear over a life of safe complacency. It's the same struggle human beings the world over have faced since civilization began (Henry David Thoreau's "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation" essay, and "Just Around the Riverbend" from Pocahontas are just two of many, many examples)--do you stay in a safe, mind-numbing existence, or have the courage to push outside your safe zone and LIVE?
THAT is what Attack on Titan is about.
The folktale and fantasy elements contrast the post-apocalyptic elements: the culture is clearly a future version of the middle ages German city, and the technology is futuristic only in parts, but really most of the development is limited to steampunk-level technology. The modeling of the wall culture on German culture seems to both invoke fairy tales and fascism, which seems to loom in the background.
Another element in the manga is that no character seems to have plot armor and truly so--death looms for everyone. Violent deaths. That grimace at you. With too many teeth.
WARNING! Do NOT read the interview with the author at the end if you want to be surprised in volume two! It gives away a HUGE spoiler that ruins the suspense of the second volume. Do NOT read it until you're done with volume two! I wish I'd have known this prior to reading the interview. I'm unsure of who's idea it was to stick a huge spoiler in the first book!
But besides that, I would definitely recommend the series!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm looking forward to reading the entire set.