Attack on Titan Whole Series Review

  • Author: Hajime Isayama
  • Series: Attack on Titan Vol. 1-34
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • No. of pages: 7,072 (roughly)
  • Star Rating: 4 stars

Plot for Volume 1: 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 a little disclaimer before we start. I have actually only read volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 33 and 34. They way I actually consumed this series was through the anime. After I finished Season 4 Part 2 I wanted to go through the manga and read it all rather than just watching it but by the end of the 4th volume I just decided I wanted to know how this ends. I don’t want to wait until 2023 to know how this series ends, I must know now.

So this review is based on my thoughts of the entire show and the last 2 volumes of the manga. It won’t be super in depth as there is too much stuff to address. Today I will be talking about my thoughts on the plot and the growth of the main trio.

Spoilers for the series below!

So the main highlight for me in this series is the plot. I found this series to have one of the most ingenious plots I have ever read. The amount of foreshadowing and hinting involved is amazing! Reading the first couple of volumes you can already pick up on the fact that Reiner and co. are hiding things but I never picked up on it first time round. This is especially the case in the earlier series leading up to the big reveal of Marley and the true nature of the Titans and how they came to be. Those earlier seasons were gold. A great balance between revealing information but leaving enough things out to keep you wanting more.

I was intially quite nervous when Eren and everyone finally got to that basement after building up essentially 3 seasons and god knows how many volumes to this very moment. I was worried I was going to be majorly disappointed. I had some theories but I did not expect it to go down the line in the way that it did. Now while I loved the reveal and I feel like it was sort of the only logical way to go to continue a story of this magnitude. I do think it was where the series started to go a bit down hill.

Sometimes with series I think they try to go to big sometimes and lose what made it great in the first place. At first I was super excited to explore Marley and learn more about Eren’s father and Zeke but by the end of the season I started feeling really burnt out. While I enjoyed reading the ending and watching everything come to a close and understand this was one of the only ways to continue the story. Part of me wishes it didn’t get as high stakes and intense as it was. I was up for all of it I think until the time skip and the whole euthanization plan and then once Eren turned into that skeletal being I was sort of just done a little bit. It doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the ending but I was happy it was coming to a close.

In terms of characters I will say one controversial things. I loved Eren’s character arc for the most part. I do think there was some retconning in the end but overall I felt that it was a such a interesting take on the hero character. I felt that Isayama did a great job of showing the progression from hero to villain. It made sense to me. After witnessing all this horror with his friends, family and comrades dead you too would probably slowly start losing the idealism and hope you had at the beginning of the journey. I wish Isayama had stuck/commited to Eren’s villan path though. Rather than trying to give him a redemption or claim he was doing a “good” thing all a long. It felt a little bit of martyrdom and I would have preferred him just being the villain as it would make an amazing character study. It just subverts everything we normally see with our chosen one/hero’s journey protagonists.

Armin, the love of my life, I will always love everything about this character. He was my favoruite from the very very beginning. I always rep for the intelligent underdog characters. I really enjoyed watching him grow and be more confident in himself and his abilities. From coming up with all those startegies in like volume 3 (super early on) to being chosen over ERWIN himself to survive and take over as the Colossal titan until the very end where he makes those first steps to bridge Paradis and the world together. I felt that he went through and grew so much. I was super happy to get to see him get his heroic moments at the end becuase he deserves them.

Now, Mikasa. I struggled with Mikasa as a character because on one hand I loved the fact that she was this indredibly skilled and talented soldier who was taking down Titans with ease and I was loving every minute of watching her in action. But I really struggled with her devotion to Eren, even until the end. I felt that we had this super interesting character with these amazing skills but she was mainly known for being in love with Eren and that was the crux of her whole character and that I didn’t love. That also doesn’t change at all. Throughout the whole series it’s always been about her and Eren. I feel that her character growth gets stunted compared to the rest of the characters on the show because everything about her being is tied to her male love interest. Her whole kind of reason for being in this series is to love and kill Eren at the end and I just wish that wasn’t solely what her character was about but it was and it was disappointing to me. While I loved the fact that she was the one to kill Eren I just felt dissapointed that everything about her character was tied up to a man.

Also the final reveal that Eren did love Mikasa and wanted a life with her felt unnesscary. Like the enitre series was one batch of unrequited love until the last minute. They had no romantic chemistry at all. None whatsover and I’m meant to believe that all this time her loved her? No thank you.

In terms of show over manga. I was a show kinda girl. I didn’t love the art style of the manga series. It just didn’t appeal to me and I felt the show made the more expositionary/boring elements of the series more easy watching and engaging that the manga did.

So, there you have it. Some small insights into my thoughts on this monumental series. Also sorry it’s so late. I have been so busy with preparing to move house and all these work events etc.

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