Attack on Titan Vol. 1 Review

  • Author: Hajime Isayama
  • Series: Attack on Titan #1
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • No. of pages: 193
  • Dates read: 22.06.2021 – 23.06.2021
  • Star Rating: 3 stars
  • Challenge: Not a Novel Challenge

Plot: For the past century, what’s left of mankind has hidden in a giant, three-walled city, trapped in fear of the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they came from or why they are bent on consuming humankind, but the sudden appearance of an enormous Titan is about to change everything…

So I, like a lot of people probably, came across this series by the anime first. I watched the first season on Netflix when I was like 14 and then earlier this year I watched the entire show with my boyfriend. So, as I eagerly wait for Season 4 Part 2, I decided to slowly make my way through the manga.

I was intrigued to see what my thoughts would be when reading this volume since I already knew the story due to the show and I was curious to see how that would affect the overall reading experience. Was it still good or was it a bit lacklustre? I will say this, I was expecting to be a bit more invested in the story and after finishing the volume, while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t blown away by it.

Starting off with the art style, the art in this manga was hit and miss for me. While I felt the Titans were designed really well and I liked seeing what creepy designs they had, the human characters designs didn’t work for me. At times I was a bit confused and got certain characters mixed up as some of the character designs looked similar to me, I understand that this may not be an issue for other people but it was something I noticed when reading. There was also a lot of juxtaposition in the art which I am not sure whether it was deliberate or not but in one instant the lines are clean and stylised, especially for two page spreads or landscapes but then suddenly the art would look really busy and sketch like. I wish it had been a bit more consistent. That being said, it didn’t stop my enjoyment of the manga or disrupt the plot in anyway it just wasn’t my fave style.

The writing itself was good. Especially with the scenes of panic and action I thought they were done well but I do feel that the pacing was a bit rushed. I wanted the moments of action to drag out a bit more but it felt like we were always jumping to the next story beat. I believe that there are some page restrictions when it comes to manga so trying to fit a story in a certain number of pages can be hard. But it felt like we were flying through the story really quickly.

The characters had really good introductions. You get to learn about the core relationship dynamic between Even, Mikasa and Armin as well as their core personalities. You also get a strong look at your supporting characters like Sasha and Jean. I felt that Isayama did a really good job at establishing who these people are so you have a firm idea of what drives these characters and what they want in life since all they know is the walls. Also, this is just the first volume so all the details and layers to these characters come later but Isayama did a great job at first impressions.

The world building is the same really as the characters. Isayama did a really good job up of setting up the main focal points of the world, such as the wall and how long they had experienced peace before the events of the volume, setting up the power dynamics within the walls. I felt a lot was covered in a really easy to follow way as well. Again, due to it only being the first volume, more details will come into the later instalments.

Overall, I think this is a great set up volume to establish the world and the characters. The pacing and the art didn’t personally work for me but that didn’t ruin the story at all those are just my personal opinions.

I am still reading The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan but I am only 25% of the way through it and the pacing is quite slow so don’t expect a review on that book any time soon. I will have a review next week just not sure what on.

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