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Attack On Titan Vol 1 Main

"Attack on Titan: Volume 1" Trade Paperback Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Kodansha


Written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama
2010, 210 Pages
Trade paperback released on June 19th, 2012


In a world under siege by giant creatures called Titans, humanity is trying to survive. Huge walls are built to surround a city and keep the Titans out, but this safety is questioned when an even bigger monster comes knocking.

This is not some Jack and the Beanstalk thing. Attack on Titan is terrifying. Creator Hajime Isayama keeps the tension high from the very beginning. Even when the Titans are not present, you know that they can attack at any moment. The townsfolk can live in peace and try to forget about the monsters for a bit, but that only lasts so long. They are constantly reminded of their power and the danger they pose.

The Titans appear like giant humans, although they're often missing skin or their limbs are too long, adding to their frightening appearance. They don't seem to possess any emotion. This is just what they do. They'll knock down a wall and eat people alive.

Click images to enlarge

Isayama's artwork is absolutely chilling, not just with how the Titans are presented, but with the humans' reaction to them. You can see the fear in their eyes and truly understand how horrifying they are. One thing I'm noticing about manga as I'm digging deeper into the medium is that it gives room for the characters to showcase their emotions. You fully understand what they're feeling by how we stay on certain shots for a bit longer. This helps control the pace and some moments can sink in a bit more, creating a larger impact.

There's a lot to digest in this first volume, including some history and logistical information about how the people fight the Titans. There are even some diagrams showing how the weapons work. Under other circumstances, this might appear dry or boring, but here it's anything but. Isayama earns this by spending the time to establish the world and these characters, so by the time one of these “lessons” come up, we're so engrossed in the story that it's a treat to dig into.

Click image to enlarge

One thing that struck me as a little strange at times is how the lettering looks. At times it appears almost too large on the page with a good amount of white space in the word balloons. This might be due to the translation to English, as the original Japanese might have needed that full space. While the balloons can be a bit large at times, they rarely distract from the artwork.

I breezed through Attack on Titan: Volume 1, reading it in one sitting. Fortunately, there's plenty more to this series for me to check out and I'm eager to dive into it right away. I'm still exploring manga and this is a great one to start with for horror fans.


Story: fivestars Cover
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Art: fivestars
Overall: 5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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