First Impressions – Shingeki no Kyojin

I hope you like suffering :3

Even before this episode came out, I was pumped up just to watch this. When the original material has too much accolades under its belt, there are usually reasons behind it. So, I’m glad to be joining Cools in a tag for this; been a while hasn’t it?
I was incredibly hyped for this as well. It has promising names and points in almost every category to the point where it seems like a surefire hit. Although not everyone may like the genre (giant, horrifying Titans massacring a village as children are traumatized), it really is what I would consider the gem of the season. Kyo and I always know what’s good ;D

Everything has an End

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Kyokai// Since we were kids, we have been taught that nothing is for forever. If something has a beginning, it would have an ending because no person or thing is immortal except for a higher being depicted under many names in different religions. So, when town folk of the supposed only human civilization of this story became complacent and overly protected inside their boundaries, they were cruelly taken out of their reverie and crushed without much mercy. It really breaks your heart the way it’s shown but that’s the brilliance of this work, not letting you take a calming breath before everything falls. It has more impact because the characters give you enough time to connect from the calm but strong Mikasa, loud and over-emotional Eren to the quiet and resolute Armin.

For a hundred years, they were prepared for the wolves to come but somewhere down the line, the three giant walls made them forget about the horrors outside. It’s sad to see Eren’s pleas of protecting the city seriously go by unnoticed and with such a big loss, which is not entirely Recon Corps’ fault. Though, it can be debated that even with full preparation, Titans are too strong an opponent for the little humans. When a series begins with the horror of the inevitable finally happening, you can only expect more bloodshed and tragedies to come. But this won’t just go by as a Titan rampage because the humans still have a heart that has a mix of emotions including, love, hatred, revenge, fear, ambition and so much more, driving them towards impossible. They will strike back and I’ll definitely be around to watch in glee the progress unfold. As I said, everything ends and Titans would too.

Taking Down A Giant

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Overcooled // Just as Kyokai says, the entire first episode does an excellent job showing how the town is blissfully ignorant, in denial, or a mix of both. Yet amongst all these villagers who choose to turn a blind eye to the threat are the Recon Corps. Eren idolizes them because unlike the citizens who hide behind the walls, these guys go out on field missions. They survey the land, study Titans in hopes of finding a weak spot, and do their best to slowly cut down their numbers using their high-flying weaponry. They can’t hide from the cold hard reality because it’s smacking them across the face every day. The Recon Corps are an interesting contrast from the rest of the city because they are actively trying to fortify their defenses and fight off Titans. Eren sees them as wonderful heroes who are bravely doing what no one else has the guts to do. Normally, these would be the knights in shining armour who come home to fanfare and feasts. What I like about Shingeki no Kyojin is that these guys are just regular dudes who are scared out of their minds.

Casualties aside, they’re so emotionally drained from field missions that they grimly trudge back into town like it’s funeral procession. In a way, I suppose it is. They can’t even look anyone in the eye, and they tearfully admit nothing is going right and their efforts are being wasted. People like Hannes who are supposed to protect the city completely turn tail and run in the face of these monstrosities, abandoning heroic notions such as self-sacrifice and determination. They’re not glorious heroes who fight these Titans and win by the skin of their teeth…they’re just some guys who are scared shitless and doing their best to hold on. It’s a much more normal reaction. Hey, I’d run if a giant flesh-eating creature started stomping around my city no matter what kind of fancy weapon I had strapped around my hips.

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Me too, lady. Me too.

The Recon Corps are supposed to be the one hope of the city, and they’re completely overpowered right from episode 1. It’s great! I love how powerful these things are coming across as. This means that eventually when they do kill one, it will be an amazing feat a la Shadow of the Colossus gameplay. For now…these guys represent an ideal more than an actually effective defense squadron. I think Eren idolizes them for that ideal more than the actual people and what they do, because they don’t actually seem to accomplish much. Once people like him start fighting, I get the feeling the Recon Corps will be more effective in their missions and won’t have to avoid eye contact when they come back from a hard day’s work. Not that they have a city to come back to anymore.


Final Thoughts

My most favourite first episode of this season, hands down. It had everything perfect from pacing to connection with characters, leaving me awe-struck and staring in wonder. I felt like watching a Hollywood disaster movie and though I was horror-struck at the developments, I could not peel my eyes away from the screen. A very few titles can boast such a feat so if this is not on your list, get it on in a hurry. The initial world building, location scoping to their innate fears were all readily presented one after the other from the eyes of ambitious Eren, who knows his own limitations but tries harder to overcome them. This instant connection was the catalyst of experiencing his own discomfort and dread. The final message being, survival of the fittest. Do whatever to save your own hide and even when we can’t blame the kids for not saving their mother, it was still appalling to watch. Be ready for more such shocks, which I think would be aplenty.

From the info already available, this will be a two cour series so even when the manga is ongoing, hopefully, we’ll cover some volumes worth of material. From what I’ve heard, the adaptation is excellent and true to the material so it’s in the right hands. In the coming episodes, I would really like to see Eren’s father surviving and supplying him with some interesting information that might have a connection to the secret in their basement that he referred to. Being a doctor, I’m sure he has researched the giants and knows more than a common man; maybe a hint to their weakness? I hope so. Also, the remaining cast because there’s one dude voiced by Kamiyan I’m waiting for, plus some other from Recon Corps. So, don’t forget to tune into Overcooled’s reviews on weekly basis as she’ll keep you updated on the horrific happenings of this action saga down pat.

Haha, I had pretty much the same reaction as Kyo. I think my jaw was unhinged the entire time the Titans were attacking. It’s brilliant that the Titans breaking the wall is such a powerful moment despite knowing it’s going to happen. The build-up is incredible. They manage to almost completely explain how the city works and what the inhabitants are like without just dumping boring monologues on you. It’s incredibly efficient where it needs to be with time, and then it lingers on the moments it knows need some sinking in. The more dramatic moments are really exaggerated, but in the best way possible. For example, we all knew that old lady wasn’t going to unwrap a kitten or tickets to Disneyland when she was handed that bloody parcel. It was totally an arm. But it was shown so deliberately, slowly, and with so much flourish that it became more than “dumb old broad unwraps hand of her old son, whatever” to “WHOAAA, THAT’S TOTALLY HIS ARM!!!!”. The scene where Eren’s mom wishes them a tearful farewell is yet another super dramatic scene that hams it up in the best way possible. I especially like how she admits to wanting them to stay before getting eaten like a cheeto someone found between the couch cushions.

Speaking of being eaten…those Titans are terrifying. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the people in the show and ignoring the (almost literal) elephant in the room. They’re not just really tall and ugly humans. They are tall, ugly and horrifying humans. They have the kind of face that could give you nightmares just looking at screenshots of them. Although they’re human faces, they’re off in the the slightest way so that it makes you feel uncomfortable. One of them doesn’t even have skin. That in itself always freaks me out because then I imagine trying to touch things without skin and getting hurt by everything. Anyways, these guys are creepy and I LOVE IT so I’m sticking around. Best show of the season so far? I think so.

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A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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43 Responses to “First Impressions – Shingeki no Kyojin”

  1. skylion says:

    Thank you for the coverage, very good job.

    OMG, That scene. You know. That one. I’m pretty jaded and take things in a blase manner most of the time. But when the mother, tearfully begged them not to leave, I could feel my knees pull up to my chin. It wasn’t until my video player stopped that I could feel any of the tension leave my shoulders.

    If the staff can pack this sort of punch in all the areas of storytelling they can convey, we gots us a winner.

    Und wir sind J&auml:ger!

    • skylion says:

      …wow, my html coding stinks to high heaven…..

    • Liza says:

      I agree about the scene with the mom being so emotional. I actually didn’t pick up she was lying about her legs being crushed until that titan picked her up and saw her kicking. T_T I think what really hit it home was after the kids were being taken away by Hanes and how she broke down begging them not to go.

      • Overcooled says:

        I usually hate scenes that blatantly try to beg for your sympathy, but it was pulled off so well that I actually felt bad. From start to finish, it was just amazing.

    • Namika says:

      THAT SCENE, it was just amazing. I had my both hands covering my mouth as I watched it and I almost teared up. It was so good, and that music too……. =w=

  2. Liza says:

    I loved this first episode so much. The characterization was just perfect and I loved how the humans weren’t overpowered and able to kill the titans with ease. It made the titans appear as more frightening monsters(plus THOSE FACES. X_X).

    Seriously can’t wait to see where this goes.

    • skylion says:

      …about the only thing that kills some sense of horror, is that some of them titans looks to be sporting some rather nifty neat hair? I mean, I’m not expecting Radagast bird poop hair…well, actually, I guess I am…

      • Liza says:

        Titans need to be fabulous too! How else can they show off to other titans since humans built those pesky walls to keep them out from killing them. They need to do something with their time.

        • skylion says:

          Salons and product before the invention of pants…I can go with this Liza….I’m sold.

          • Irenesharda says:

            Well pants had been invented, they just don’t make them in size 2000X-Large Very Tall.

            It’s titan-discrimination I tell you!!!

            • skylion says:

              Giants would make pants in LVT, wouldn’t they? They just choose not to? Oh, and it’s all guys, y’all notice that?

            • Overcooled says:

              This is how the humans really defeat the Titans. They sell them pants and turn them into fashion divas.

            • skylion says:

              To you, 2000 years from now. Keep around lots of VLT pants, alright?

  3. Hawthorne says:

    Loved every second! I was getting a little tired of hearing Yuki Kaji’s voice so much lately, but I think he did an awesome job as Eren. Even though I’m all caught up with the manga I had about the same reaction as the both of you, just blown away by how incredible it turned out. A part of me wishes I never read it in the first place because now I feel desensitized to all the titan violence, and it only gets worse from here!

    Honestly, I never thought this would get animated in the first place. I figured the art style alone wouldn’t transfer well to animation, but this episode definitely proved me wrong. They’re staying very true to both the presentation and progression of the manga and I can’t wait for more! (I’m also looking forward to my favorite character making his appearance kekeke …)

    • Overcooled says:

      I think most people are sick of hearing him, but I love his voicework so much that I don’t mind him playing so many main characters. I was watching with my boyfriend who is also a fan of the manga and he was reeling just as much as I was. And the violence gets WORSE? Oh man, I can’t wait.

      It doesn’t seem like the typical series that would get picked up for an anime, but I’m sooo glad they did.

  4. Irenesharda says:

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
    Charles Dickens

    I first heard of Attack on Titan only a week or so ago on a preview for this season. I have never even heard of the manga, and even the trailers didn’t really grab me, but I decided to check it out anyway.

    This is my favorite premiere so far. The plot, the characters, the music, the animation, the scenery, all flowed in such a way that I could not keep my eyes off it. You get wrapped up in this exciting medieval-like world that is living in a sense of false peace and prosperity. They live leisurely lives with the their problems far off behind their borders. They live in a world of happiness and security and their enemy is out of sight and out of mind.

    Little do they know that the darkness of their world would strike without warning and remind everyone of its presence. We are watching through the eyes of three children and they live their day to day lives in this world, and it is through the mouths of children that tell the city of its arrogance, only to face unbelief. Eren, Amrin, and Misaka all know that the walls of their city won’t protect them forever, and that it is only a matter a time. However, their voices are not heard…that is until it is too late.

    The Titans have come.

    These are the hideous fairy tale giants of legend, that instead of taking the time to grind your bones to make their bread, simply eat you as is. And with them they bring tragedy and heartbreak wherever they go, and the humans have nary a chance against this massive enemy.

    But humans have a knack for rising from the ashes stronger and more resilient than before. We will make a way out of no way. We will fight back no matter the odds. And we will never give up the fight, especially when it comes to our very survival. This is that story, that no matter the tragedy they face, humanity will not give up without a fight.

    The very atmosphere for this episode was epic, the emotions grand, the score grandiose. The OP was glorious, the best one of the season. The characters amazing. I can see why this was the most anticipated show of the season, and I will definitely be watching this for all it is worth.

    Some people have complained about the gore, but I’ve seen worse. And this wasn’t gore for gore’s sake, it actually serves a purpose and pushes the story forward. I loved every bit of it, and wait anxiously for the next episode.

    I’ll be watching out on forums and comments through, as I will not be reading the manga, at least until the show’s over, and I’ve heard of people spoiling things, and I really want to enjoy this show as it goes.

    • skylion says:

      I’ll grind you bones to make me bread Well, that scene was a visual interpretation of that old metaphor. Given the fact that “bread” to a giant is not the same sort of bread you and I would eat.

    • Irenesharda says:

      i also find the look of the Titans interesting,as they are different sizes, and it appears that the bigger you are, the less skin you have, as if it stretches and stretches until the point where it becomes transparent (the 50m one). They look like humans that are losing their skin.

      Those grins are really creepy, and they aren’t even doing them on purpose! Human teeth just happen to form grins when you don’t have the added help of lips and skin tissue.

      • skylion says:

        Yeah, I guess it is trying to look transparent there. If they had no skin, that muscle and sinew would be a lot looser….but then, we are comparing them with human anatomy, they could be a humanoid species all their own. Just like D&D. Where are my cloud giants? They have purple skin….

      • Highway says:

        The thing that I found creepiest about them was the blank stares, combined with the fairly good looks and rictus grins. They just seemed to have nothing going on behind their eyes as far as ‘intelligence’, like lobotomized giants or something.

        • Overcooled says:

          Everything just adds up to one creepy figure for me. But there’s something unnerving about creatures with facial expressions that never change, even as they do horrible things. The same effect is achieved even in something seemingly cute like Kyuubey in Madoka Magica!

          • Irenesharda says:

            I just started watching that! At first I thought that little thing was so cute, until he never stopped smiling! I think if that thing ever showed teeth, it would be the scariest thing ever.

      • Namika says:

        God, those were creepy. Props to the creators for making them look so scary, while not using anything besides the facial expressions. Seriously, those grins and those eyes…………….

    • Overcooled says:

      Ahh, an excellent quote.

      It started off with an exceptionally strong first episode. After all that hype, it did not disappoint. It doesn’t show any signs of slowing down either! I’ve already sung most of my praises in the post, so I won’t say much more about that. I think it’s safe to say we were both impressed though.

      That level of gore is nothing. I’m actually hoping it gets worse (and Hawthorne says it does so I’m excited for that!).

  5. JPNIgor says:

    Damn, it was heavy… And it was good *-* Like, man, those titans are so scary! Look at those eyes! Look at that grim! And they just look like humans! About the art style, I was expecting something more realistic but this way is fine as well, those thick edges fit perfectly on those titans.

    There’s only one thing I’m afraid about. I can see almost clearly the way that the relation is between Eren and Mikasa. I think that Eren is supposed to be the main character, but I’m guessing that he will be so weak that he will only survive when he enters the Recon Corps because Mikasa will go along. It would be something akin to Alibaba and Morgiana of Magi and I don’t really want to see it again.

    • skylion says:

      Eren can whine as much as he wants, so long as we get mighty amounts of Mikasa.

    • Irenesharda says:

      She’s the strong silent adopted sister, though I’m not sure if Mikasa is older or younger. As an eldest sister myself, I can tell you that Mikasa will definitely go along with her brother to keep him from getting himself out of trouble. Especially since that was their mother’s last wish.

      Eren, could go one way or the other. He could become reckless out of his wish for vengeance, or he could have grown up that fateful day, to be stronger, smarter and more mature. We’ll just have to wait and see.

      • skylion says:

        As a younger brother, I concur. My sister would kick anyone’s ass, my own included, if she thought it was needed.

      • JPNIgor says:

        Aww, it must be good to be siblings.

        That Mikasa is going along with Eren to Recon Corps is a little obvious, already. I really expect that Eren becomes something closer to your second option.

        • Overcooled says:

          Eren may be physically weak, but he seems incredibly strong-willed. He’s feisty! I think he’ll be able to at least pull his weight, although he may start off being a bit weaker than his sister. We’ll have to wait and see, but he doesn’t look like the kind of character who remains the underdog for very long.

  6. D-LaN says:

    Hmmm wht is this show that every1 is clamouring abt… *sees the creepy giants face* WELP O-O there no way you are making me watching this.

  7. Foshizzel says:


    There certainly is a lot of HYPE for this series, but part of me feels it deserves the excitement while the other side is like well you DO KNOW who is directing this series; however I am trying my best to ignore that >.>

    At least the OST will rock xD

  8. BlackBriar says:

    I’m in awe. What a first episode. It delved into such emotion that you could feel the despair with having to be next to them. Also the way everyone forbids talking about the outside world as if there’s a deathgrip makes one think about the society laws similar to Shinsekai Yori. As for those Titans, they gave ugly a new meaning. I don’t think I’ve seen creatures so repulsive since those fiends in Higanjima.

  9. Muir says:

    I finally got around to watching this. Oh gosh, this made me feel like I was watching Death Bell.

    I hate this show.
    I need more episodes *^*
    I hate it, it makes me feel like shit.
    I need the next episode now!
    I hate it. I love it. AGH AGH AGH

    • Namika says:

      Hate it? Noooooo. More like
      I love this show.
      I need more episodes!!
      I love this show.
      I need more episodes!!
      I love this show.
      I need more episodes!!
      I love this show.
      I need more episodes!!

  10. Namika says:

    OMFG. Here came my favorite show of the season. Even though I just watched the first episode. This show feels so unique and well-set!!! And it’s serious, very serious, YAY~!
    I’m so in love with this anime right now, all I can do is just fangirl =w=

  11. Namika says:

    Boy, those giants were really obnoxious and scary!
    At first, I was like “Giants, pfffft. Come on!” But now I’m more respectful, definitely. Yuck. So ugly ><

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