What’s become universally accepted as Spring 2013’s most anticipated anime, Shingeki no Kyojin finally makes its debut. A debut that makes me excited and ecstatic to see one of my favourite manga being adapted.
Before we even get to the story, let’s talk about the fantastic production that Production I.G’s new formed subsidiary Wit Studio is in charge of. Straight away I was in awe of just how great the animation and soundtrack are, leaving my jaw on the floor for a little longer. It’s great to see the I.G animation companies putting up so much cash – I like to think of it as effort and confidence – into this adaptation. Everything from the OP to the first glimpse at the action scenes leaves much to be desired.
Putting to one side the fact that we’ve been teased with such great production values from the beginning, it’s hard to talk about the story with the same level of enthusiasm. There’s a reason for that; Shingeki no Kyojin is a slow starter. It took a good 7-10 chapters before I was completely absorbed by the series, so even I understand that aside from looking phenomenal, it has yet to give many a reason to stick with the story. That said, the episode does a pretty good job of setting the mood/tone of the series whilst giving us an ending which pushes the story along.
We’re introduced to our main trio of characters: Eren, Mikasa and later on, Armin. Eren takes the lead as our disgruntled youth who hates the ‘livestock lifestyle’ the human race has adopted. He protests this vehemently, by belittling the stationed troops and showing his full support for the scouting legion because his curiosity – called human nature by his father – cannot be contained.
Eren sure is admirable for wanting to help out and join the scouting legion, but it doesn’t look that good to others. Not only have they produced no results, they can’t even tell a mother who just lost her son that his death wasn’t in vain. A perfect way to sum up the desperate times in which the story takes place: a mother is forced to ask how useful her son’s death was, and the commanding officer can’t even say it was.
As I said, all the events until (and after) now have set the atmosphere of the series. That was essentially the first episode’s job; not giving that much attention to the plot, but giving us the overview of the situation. Shingeki no Kyojin‘s story is taking place in a world of inner struggle, confinement and the unknown. A more psychological approach to the dark fantasy genre, which can only serve to make us think about issues as they are brought up. The manga itself takes a very “case study” approach when examining the characters and the human race.
To bring the first episode to a close, we’re given one more big event: a titan invasion. With the way the episode started, this was what we were building up to for the entirety of the episode. It ended on an uncensored and bloody note, reminding us once again that we’re in for one hell of a dark series. I’d consider the end, the official kick-start of Shingeki no Kyojin‘s potential rise to greatness.