Introducing "Shingeki no Kyojin" ("Attack On Titan")

What is "Shingeki no Kyojin"? What is the allure of the series? I was asked on Facebook today, and I was at a loss to explain the series, and instead offered "they are not your typical japanese anime with absolutely no intentional cuteness or kawaii involved, and the show is pretty bleak too. People get eaten and blood is spilt quite often too! … (tis a ) parallel earth with medieval undertones mixed in with steampunk-ish tech maybe?" - and I don't think I hit the mark 100%, but perhaps I should first introduce the story which seems to have folks in a grip these days, fascinatingly so …

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WHAT: The manga series "Shingeki no Kyojin" (also known as "Attack On Titan") began its serialization in Kodansha's monthly publication Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine (circa September 2009). And it has since been adapted into an anime television series produced by Wit Studio (debuted on April 6, 2013 on MBS, directed by Tetsurō Araki) currently on air, and is now being adapted into a live-action feature film, with a 2014-release planned. [Wiki]
STORY: "Several hundred years ago, humans were nearly exterminated by titans. Titans are typically several stories tall, seem to have no intelligence, devour human beings and, worst of all, seem to do it for the pleasure rather than as a food source. A small percentage of humanity survived by walling themselves in a city protected by extremely high walls, even taller than the biggest of titan.

Flash forward to the present and the city has not seen a giant in over 100 years. Teenage boy Eren and his foster sister Mikasa witness something horrific as the city walls are destroyed by a colossal titan that appears out of thin air. As the smaller titans flood the city, the two kids watch in horror as their mother is eaten alive. Eren vows that he will murder every single titan and take revenge for all of mankind."
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As usual I was a tad late into the fervor (at the very least not as late as when I discovered "Tiger & Bunny" a year or so later after it's finished it's run LOL), completing a catch up of all 10 episodes aired so far, with the 11th Episode (With English-subtitled) to be launched glorious Sunday. And I am left gasping for breathe (as all epic anime does) and grabbing for more. This was my initial reaction upon a marathon viewing of Eps.1 to 9, posted on my Facebook two weekends ago:
"HolyF**K this was INTENSE! Finished up to Ep 9 and i am left in awe, in tears, grasping for breath ... this is not your usual happy anime, (and) it dwells in a depression so bleak and unyielding, it is spirit-crushing, and yet the mystic of curiosity and awe still drenches the series in blood. NOT for kids, but definitely for adults in need of a blade stab into the eye of your subconsciousness."
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Who is the "new" Titan? And what connection does it have with Eren?
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I have always had a "weakness" for a "ragtag" group of operators within a squadron and a specific focus, from Battlestar Galactica (the similarity of their brown jackets and light-colored pants did not escape me ;p SO SAY WE ALL!) to Buckeroo Banzai et al. I am looking forward to be getting acquainted with the crew introduced in the anime, if they live long enough, that is! One standout notion of the series is also the bleakness of the combatants, and the inevitable "death by being eaten" fear that hangs over their head. There is not a single "positive spirited" character, like other animes/mangas are wrought to have. Even the protagonist "Eren" is so self-absorbed in his desire for revenge, it replaces that notion.

And of course there is "Mikasa Ackerman", the by-default silent killer that replaces X-Men's Wolverine at "being the best at what she does". And of course "Mikasa" gets the cosplay folks' attention - Exciting times!

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(Above: "Mikasa" Cosplay)
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I had inavertedly read the online manga version (Chapter 46) barely two days ago, and figured out some story spoilers which may or may not make it's way to the anime adaptation, so I would suggest if you intend to devour the anime, to forgo the manga least the story is spoilt in advance for you, IMHO.

With the anime comes news of a "live"-action movie adaptation, which to be seemed a tad "early" in the proceedings and harkens a vibe of capitalizing on the fevour, methinks. Regardless, here's hoping it could do "justice" to the anime.

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[I found myself sketching up a frenzy, and while the result might not
be exceptional, the act - for me - was pretty satisfying, indeed!]

And of course, being (predominately) a "toy-blog", it would be remiss of me to not feature this upcoming Capsule-Q Characters series (Images via Toys Daily) featuring a quartet of characters; Eren versus Colossal Titan, Mikasa mid-flight escaping a Titan, Eren Titan punching thru a smaller Titan, and a bloodied Titan munching on a hapless human! Yes, these figures portray how the anime actually is, moreso than stills have dared tho, all these while - ATTACK ON TITAN IS NOT FOR KIDS, folks! No further product details thus far tho …

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Me, I'm hoping this chibi-version of a "Colossal Titan shown below (see the similar character above in anime-form? Same one dude ;p) - done by ART of HALL - gets to be made into a production piece tho!

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(Additional images via shingeki.tv)
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(This was first published on TOYSREVIL circa June 2013)

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