The above spread caught my attention. How terrifying! How grotesque! How… curious! The apparent cannibalistic giants devour helpless humans in a terrific scene of violence and ugliness. These are typical of Shingeki no Kyojin.
The premise of this manga is simple. In a post-apocalyptic world, humans have been driven to the brink of extinction by titans, mysterious humanoid beings of incredible size, stamina, and appetite for human lives. The remaining small populations of humans now hole up in medieval-styled settlements. Their only defenses are fortified walls reminiscent of the middle ages and elite soldiers armed with limited, but effective steam-punk ropes, hooks, and swords. With these, humans have managed to survive through time, until one day, a special titan appears and breaches the defenses. The ensuing slaughter motivates Eren to join the elite forces. Together with his friends, Mikasa and Armin, the three fight against titans, and in the process, unravel the mystery behind these entities and themselves.
Shingeki no Kyojin does something very impressive. It manages to keep the setting small, but the story large. In this Evangelion-like world, all the actions happen within a contained region. Yet, the implications extend beyond the mere characters, beyond the setting, to all of humanity. The juxtaposition of this scope creates a fascinating drama. The readers are forced to focus on only a few things—the little castle, the characters, their seemingly insignificant emotion—but these minutia never become tiresome, simply because every little passing detail have far broader consequences. Yes, this is a magnificent manga of the grandest scale that follows three friends in a small town.
Adding to this majestic feeling are the the titans. The colossal beings have a grotesque enormity to their appearance and size. They are terrifying and so awe-inspiring to behold. The aesthetics of Shingeki no Kyojin are by no means beautiful. However, there is just something so fascinating about its ugliness. The Dali-esque distortions to these titans, along with the ferocity and pace of the action, make this manga an intense, compelling read. There is never a dull moment nor a boring panel. I found myself catching up to the latest chapter in one read.
As my dinosaur friend Baka-Raptor may say, “Shit gets real.”
- This post done as a joint project between Baka-Raptor and me, where we both write about a manga or anime that the other enjoys. He wrote about Aoi Hana, and I about Shingeki no Kyojin.
Here are the respective posts:
Baka-Raptor on Aoi Hana
Baka-Raptor on Shingeki no Kyojin
Yi on Aoi Hana
Yi on Shingeki no Kyojin
- We are pitted against each other in the Aniblog Tourney:
So be sure to take a look and vote!
- As well, enjoy our lovely banter on Twitter.
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