Ha, and here I was thinking those high school German classes would never pay off.
If you’ve been following the Cblogs this past week, you’ll know that our resident weeaboo Strider posted a blog on a new anime series called Attack on Titan. If you haven’t read it yet, go do so now. Or if you want to know what the fuss is all about, just watch the first episode.
Right, so if you followed either of my suggestions, you now know that Attack on Titan is all about humanity being caged like birds in a settlement about the size of a small country surrounded by a huge wall, where they live in fear of the Titans, humanoid giants whose sole purpose in life is to eat humans. The Titans literally don’t give a shit about anything other than humans, and the reason for eating people could be best described as “just because”. Anything else is a mystery. You also know that the only people who have any chance to stop the Titan rampage are a group of soldiers who use special devices which allow them to zip through the air on rocket-propelled ropes. It’s difficult to explain, but just think Spider-man if he wasn’t…you know, kind of lame. To describe the show in any more detail would border on spoilers, so if you’re interested (and you should be), just go watch it. JUST FUCKING WATCH IT ALRIGHT!?
My favorite character so far is Mikasa, but as Strider put it: “she’s everyone’s favorite”. To be fair, I also really like the other two main-ish female characters: Annie and Sasha. A competent lone wolf and a food-obsessed peppy lady (there’s always one, isn’t there?), respectively. Actually, I take back the previous statement. Sasha is my favorite. She’s amazing.
Annie is on the left, Mikasa is left in front, and just take a wild guess on Sasha.
As for the show itself, Attack on Titan is dark as fuck and I love it. The Titans are creepy, deaths are brutal, and the fear in the humans is beyond compare. It manages to capture utter bleak hopelessness and desperation incredibly well. People will have devastated stares, tough guys will snap and start crying, others will tirelessly work on fixing a shotgun for the sole reason of shooting themselves with it, some will just shut down entirely, and so on. You wouldn’t think giants could ever be legitimately scary, but the Titans definitely are. All the more so because they don’t really seem to have a reason for anything they do. They just kill, and nothing seems to stop them. Personally, I like it when something dares to get dark and creepy (a statement which couldn’t possibly come back to bite me in the ass on a post I know Phil and Smurfee read), and Attack on Titan does that wholesale. “Oh fuck, did they just go there?!” Yep, they did, and then some.
All of this makes the show incredibly compelling from the very first episode, like a good book you’re simply unable to put down. If anyone still read books, that is. When I started watching last Sunday, 9 episodes had been released. I watched them all in one fell swoop, that’s how much I was getting into it. Already I can’t wait for next Saturday, when the new episode will be released. It’s going to be fucked up and dark and amazing and I want it.
Oh, and the opening theme is epic as balls by the way.
Sie sind das Essen, und wir sind die Jäger.
I’m actually not that big of an anime-freak in general, if you’ll believe that. I watched some famous ones such as Death Note, Cowboy Bebop and Hellsing, and my nosedive into Studio Ghibli has been well documented, but other than that I’ve managed to stay mostly clear. I don’t have to call myself an Otaku yet, I think. However, I could definitely see myself becoming an anime-freak. I have a lot of respect for the Japanese understanding of animation, who realize better than anyone that animated shows don’t have to be for kids and can actually tell good stories. Not to mention that animation allows you to make all kinds of stylistic choices live-action simply can never match. On top of that I’d be lying if I said the weird and “out there” premise of most anime doesn’t pique my interest. So you want to write a story about a pirate who is also mr. Fantastic? You can! Or maybe you want a dude who finds a book that kills people while a candy-loving detective tries to capture his ass? Fine! Or did you just go “fuck it, I’m making a Powerpuff Girls – South Park amalgamation in which the girls fight with their underwear which transforms into guns and swords”? Hey that’s cool too, we don’t judge.
For some reason Western animation just doesn’t go all out insane like anime does, and that’s actually a bit of a shame if you ask me. This goes double since the Japanese can take a weird premise and make it the most compelling shit ever. I mean come on, Attack on Titan is a show about evil giants eating people and a bunch of rope-slinging dudes trying to fight back by slashing at their neck a lot. And I’m 100 fucking percent invested in it.
Series such as Attack on Titan are able to show me exactly what the anime appeal is, and they’re the ones that will make an Otaku out of me yet. So go watch it, learn to agree that Sasha is the best character, and then come wait for Episode 10 with me.
Ignorant of the trampled flower’s name, the bird that fell to the earth waits impatiently for the CAPS.
No matter what the experience was or which game or genre left that strong first impression, such experiences have the potential to open our eyes to the rich history of a series or genre. With any luck, we might find even more to love or something better. A great first experience with RPGs could lead to an undying love affair.
Sometimes a first kiss can be so impactful that the game gets placed on a pedestal and enshrined as a gold standard, which has its own pros and cons. I mean, it is nice to have a basis for comparison, but some folks take it too far. There are people who loved Half-Life, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or Final Fantasy VII so much that nothing after them really got a fair shake.
So first impressions matter -- they can shape and inform our gaming habits. I grew up on arcades, Nintendo, handhelds, and eventually into RPGs, so much of what I play will be influenced by how I acquired my tastes. I probably like Overwatch a ton because it has a passion for RPG roles, but contextualizes them closer to older shooters focused on objectives more than gear builds and grinding out perks for better killstreaks.
So for this month's Bloggers Wanted, we'd like you head over to the community blogs write about your first kiss, the games that positively influenced you or maybe biased you a little too much for a time. What turned you on to a series or genre? Was it love at first sight? Did it set any expectations in stone or possibly lead you to something better?
Whatever the case might be, remember to use the title "First kiss" and place "Bloggers Wanted" in the tags!
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