Attack on Titan Final Thoughts

Genki Attack on Titan Final Thoughts Banner

Huge Spoilers and a huge wayward post listing things I loved about it.

Attack on Titan Fight to WinI started reading the manga in 2011 (it began publication in 2009) around the time news came out it was going to get a live-action film adaptation. I was reading a lot of dystopian manga like Eden: It’s an Endless World and King of Thorn and I was immediately drawn to Attack on Titan’s story of survival in a strange world full of mysteries and giants gobbling up cool looking characters. It had many elements that only anime and manga seem to do that I love such as an intriguing dystopian world, slight tweaking of gender roles – intelligent males and aggressive and confident female characters, and a boatload of existentialism that pointed out the cages humans make for themselves and give fancy labels like society, family and religion. I’m no anarchist but I do like a story which tears these things down or at least questions them and to see characters do their best to survive in the world and transcend their circumstances.

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Flowers of Evil / Aku no Hana First Impression

Flowers of Evil Anime Image

Aku no Hana

Director: Hiroshi Nagahama, Assistant Director: Tetsuo Hirakawa, Original Creator: Shuuzou Oshimi, Series Composition: Aki Itami, Character Designer: Hidekazu Shimamura, Art Director: Kentaro Akiyama
Voice Actors: Youko Hikasa, Shinichirou Ueda, Mariya Ise, Sayuri Hara
Studio: Zexcs

This was not one of my picks from the Spring 2013 anime season. When I was writing the synopsis for it during the spring season guide for Anime UK News I was very uncertain about it. I mean, on the one hand it sounds initially unpromising, a middle school student named Takao Kasuga steals the gym clothes of the girl he has a crush on, Nanako Saeki. Great.

But things get really interesting when we find out that he was spied stealing the clothes by a fellow student, the strange, creepy and rebellious loner named Sawa Nakamura. The class is shocked and Saeki is upset so Sawa is sitting on explosive information. Instead of informing people about Kasuga’s indiscretion, Sawa uses this information as a way to control Kasuga and draw him into her own twisted world. Kasuga has a difficult choice: Play her game or be revealed to the class as a perv.

After the spring season started and I was disappointed with Devil Survivor 2, I was drawn to this because I kept reading about how viewer reactions were extreme.

The art style has proven controversial amongst fans of the manga and anime in general. It is very different to that of the original manga by Shuzo Oshimi due to its use of rotoscoping, a technique where animators trace over live-action scenes frame by frame.

Aku no Hana Manga and Anime Comparison Image

There are real actors portraying the characters.

Aku no Hana Live Action Characters

Some hate it for this change but there is an opposing camp who love it. I am in the latter camp and not because I like being different (which I do). I have thought about this deeply (for once) and I have come to the conclusion that Aku no Hana is one of the most intentionally disturbing anime I have seen¹ and it is thanks to its art style.

I like it a lot because it is different and it is very effective at delivering this twisted existential love (?) story which captures adolescent feelings in a unique way.

Anybody walking in expecting bishounen or wild hair styles will be shocked. The characters look much more like normal human beings than in most other shows.

Aku no Hana Kasuga Walking Down the Street

Rotoscoping lends the features and movements of the characters an added weight to every scene. They constantly move and react to the world in real ways and while some of the detailing is off (faces can disappear), the visuals are never boring and always have an impact. Indeed, their faces are very expressive thanks to the technique. It feels like watching real people. It is perfect for conveying both huge and subtle changes in emotional tones, priceless for monitoring the reactions of certain disturbed characters and their tormented prey as well as the moments when the blossoming of love, hope and admiration appear.

Aku no Hana Saekis Emotional Shift

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Devil Survivor 2 The Animation First Impression

Devil Survivor 2 The Animation Title

Devil Survivor 2 The Animation         Devil Survivor 2 Poster

Director: Seiji Kishi, Series Composition: Makoto Uezu, Music: Kotaro Nakagawa

Voice Actors: Aya Uchida, Hiroshi Kamiya, Junichi Suwabe, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Takahiro Sakurai, Ami Koshimizu, Kana Asumi, Kikuko Inoue, Yuka Iguchi

Studio: Bridge

My first impression of the anime? It’s dull. Here’s a post full of why.

Devil Survivor 2 Kuzue and Daichi

Kuzue Hibiki and his friend Shijima Daichi are on the verge of going to college. They meet in Shibuya and discuss what they will do in their future. Daichi has dreams of going on dates and trips and playing around while Kuzue feels a degree of uncertainty about his future. Then Diachi introduces Kuzue to a phone app called Nicaea.

Devil Survivor 2 Dead Face Reveal
If you register with the app you can take a picture of a friend and see the face of your friend when they die. These short videos are called Dead Face clips and they are all the rage because people want to see how their friends will die.

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My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected First Impressions

My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected

Director: Ai Yoshimura, Series Composition: Shotaro Suga, Character Designer: My Youth Romantic Comedy PosterYuu Shindou, Original Creator: Wataru Watari

Voice Actors: Takuya Eguchi, Saori Hayami, Ami Koshimizu, Aoi Yūki, Mai Nakahara, Marina Inoue, Takashi Kondo

Studio: Brain Base

Ha, the second anime I viewed from my Spring Preview Picks turned out to be this one with an elaborate title My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected (Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru). It catches the attention of everyone I mention it too. I loved it so here is a long post full of images like Attack on Titan. I’m keeping it relatively simple with plenty of images to avoid boring you guys to death.

I totally underestimated how smart the show would be. Anybody who loves school-based anime and those cynical about such things (and life in general) will find something here.

Japanese writers and directors manage to capture how I feel as a person far better than anyone from a culture closer to my own. The comedy Fine, Totally Fine brought home to me everything I feel and some of the ways I act in my post-adolescent drift towards adulthood while the central character in the anime My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected was pretty much cynical me during high school… well a more extreme outsider version of me…

My Youth Rom Com SNAFU Hachibana Resentment

The anime follows Hikigaya Hachiman who is a pretty antisocial high school student with no friends or girlfriend and a very, very cynical view on life.  His thoughts on those fellow students taking part in clubs and activities and falling in love are not kind: The people who enjoy their youth will eventually fall apart.

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Attack on Titan First Impression

Attack on TitanAttack on Titan Poster

Director: Tetsuro Araki, Series Composition: Yasuko Kobayashi, Original Manga: Hajime Isayama

Voice Actors: Yuuki Kaji, Yui Ishikawa, Marina Inoue, Hiro Shimono, Yu Kobayashi

Studio: Wit Studio, Production I.G.

Attack on Titan was the first anime I decided to watch from the latest season. The hype surrounding it was huge and I helped perpetuate it over at AUKN and here by repeatedly singing the praises of the staff and manga in previews. It is genuinely justified because the manga is a dark, shocking and moving and even inspiring. A really Attack on Titan Fight to Wingreat read.

I must admit I am not far into the manga but I feel the translation to the screen via anime has been perfect and captures the action brilliantly. Which is why this post is long, full of spoilers and littered with images 😉

The world of Attack on Titan sees the human race on the brink of extinction brought on by a sudden attack from wave upon wave of man-eating giants known as Titans. Mankind only survived because it sealed itself in a medieval style city with a series of three progressively higher walls around fifty metres tall which were taller than the biggest of giants. 100 years later and people live in peace in this city.

attack on titan city

The city is richly painted with a range of colours and intricately detailed in a European style. There are canals, fields and farms, windmills, mock-Tudor (not medieval, I know) houses, stone battlements and town squares and huge gates.

attack on titan city view

attack on titan erens house

The art direction is fantastic with so much detail. Just look at the flowers.

attack on titan flowers

So beautiful. Isn’t it soothing?

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