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Attack on Titan (Attack on Titan, Vol. 1)
by Isayama Hajime
Original Title: 進撃の巨人 (Shingeki no Kyojin)
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Drama, Mystery, Post-Apocalyptic
English, Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by Kodansha Comics (first published March 17th 2010
What's left of humanity survives in fear for their lives in this exciting, terrifying new manga that's a number one bestseller in Japan. Humankind is down to just a few thousand people who live in a city surrounded by three concentric walls. The walls protect them from their enemies, the ravenous giants known as the Titans. The Titans appear to have only one purpose: to consume humanity.
For one hundred years, what's left of mankind has lived in the city on earth, protected by walls that tower over even the Titans. Untouched by the Titans for a century, humanity has become complacent. But Eren Jaeger has had enough. While his fellow citizens are content to hide, Jaeger has the passion to take action to not only protect the city, but to learn what the Titans actually are. But on his first mission he comes face to face with horrors beyond his imagination... and secrets from his own past that could shift the tides of war.
Jaeger and his friends are determined to survive. But everything about their situation is a mystery that only becomes more complicated the more they learn. Attack on Titan is a breathtaking debut from a young talent, and a phenomenon that is sweeping Japan! (Source: Midtown Comics).
The description doesn't lie, my dear reader-friends, Attack on Titan is indeed a breathtaking manga. You might not think that action-packed still images can render you speechless, unable to to work your jaw from too much awe much like an action-packed motion picture does, but do me a favor and try reading this manga because. It. Will. Blow. You. Hard. Period.
It's not specified whether Attack on Titan is set in past, future or present. The world during the story is devastated by Titans, gigantic human-like beings ranging from 5m to 15m tall. But though they look like humans, they are genderless and have no human intelligence. They are incredibly strong and they eat humans even though they have no digestive systems, as if the essence of their existence is to predate on human beings alone.
For a hundred years, humankind has been protected from the Titans by 50-meter high walls. In the first chapter, we see our male MC, Eren Jaeger, aspiring to become a member of the Scouting Legion, those who are actively fighting Titans outside the walls. Most people have given up the hopes that Titans will someday be eradicated, more so because the Scouting Legion, the only troop that they trust to save them from the Titans has never had a positive result moreover, their numbers continue to dwindle by more than half whenever they scout the outside. It was a lost cause, some would say. However, Eren is different. He is ambitious. Young and weak as he is, he is very courageous to the point of stupidity. Even though most people are contented with their life inside the walls, Eren wanted to brave the Titans outside and bring freedom to the human race.
It has been exactly 107 years since the walls were built. Since people started living peacefully again. But on that day, a Titan (Colossal type) that's taller than the walls broke through and disrupted the peace inside. This led to more Titans invading. Lots of people were devoured, including Eren's mother. The rest who survived were evacuated to Wall Rose, the second line of defense against the Titans.
I have never read a manga that's as action-packed as Attack on Titan. The first volume literally left me jaw-slacked and speechless. I couldn't get over the intensity of the scenes, most especially during the invasion! You can just feel the tragedy and drama AND Eren's angst coming off the pages. The author is ruthless. If you're looking for rainbows and butterflies, this is NOT the book for you. He doesn't care who dies and how they die. I was giddy from all that's transpiring but I couldn't help chanting "more!" in my mind. Fortunately, that's what exactly Hajime-san gave his readers. One after the other, he'd bomb you with push-me-on-the-edge scenes. Really, even writing this review makes me breathless.
For a first volume, Isayama Hajime really did a wonderful job with world building. He strategically left out some details on the world of the story for readers to wonder but in such a way where readers are also well-informed about the setting. The intensity in the first volume is very palpable. Truly, this is a terrifyingly beautiful story. I just hope this job well done would continue on with the rest of the volumes.
On Art: I love the artwork. None of the boys could be considered a bishie but regardless, I am in love with the detailed drawings!
On Cover: The first time I saw this cover,I was immediately turned off. That Colossal Titan didn't look very pretty to me, lol. Anyway, the guy mid-air is Eren sporting the 3D maneuver gear exclusive to the military which they use to jump from wall to wall which also doubles as scabbard for swords.
Rating: 5/5 stars!