Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Attack on Titan - Manga vol. 1 thru 8 [Book Review]

There was no early week blog due to illness. But I'm better, and now to review a series of books I recently read. I love reading manga, I usually delve into the manga after I've watched a series. This time I read volumes 1 through 8 of Shingeki no Kyojin (進撃の巨人).

4.5 out of 5 stars
Yes, that is a lower rating than the anime. Why you ask?
Very simple, the manga does not have the amazing fluid action scenes. Also the earlier volumes have a rather rough art style. It cleans up by the later volumes, but in the beginning it is obviously rough.

Female Titan in B&W.

I am only reviewing volumes 1 - 8 at the moment. I've read through volume 10, but I don't want to spoil anything if you are just following the anime.

The benefit of the manga is access to additional information that the anime does not give. One of the huge extra's was found in the very beginning of volume 5, in the side story called "Ilse's Notebook." As far as I can remember this is the first time I've seen a Titan speak.

Yes. Speak.

And what it says is quite interesting, it might take a re-reading or two to catch the meaning. I'll be honest, I'm not completely sure I grasp it... but I have an idea. Heck, assuming anything about Attack on Titan is an exercise in futility. Lots of mystery, and constant hints at a larger world.

Something I do not remember from the anime... Ilse's Notebook.
The only thing to consider with manga is the cost. You look at a blu-ray set and see it costing between $30 and $60 (which is still pricy for the upper end), and realize that you are getting 12 to 26 episodes. With manga you get about 3 to 4 episodes worth of material in one book. One book that will take you less than a hour to read, to slowly read. The cost for manga, at least in the states, is getting stupid high. The cheap stuff is $9.99 (just a few years ago it $7.95). Attack on Titan MSRPs for $10.99 in the states. In Japan, the manga for Shingeki no Kyojin (進撃の巨人) is till only ¥450 (about $4.40). Yes, the cost for an entire graphic novel in Japan is the cost of one tiny issue of an American comic. Admittedly there is a much larger consumer base for manga in Japan than the states, but seriously, the cost of translation and rights adds an additional 150% to the cost of US manga. Thank goodness for comic shops with membership discounts and online retailers. 

Manga is honestly a far more expensive hobby than anime...    

Yes, I've gone off topic. But I'm reviewing the whole experience, and one of the things that tarnishes the experience is the cost. I pay for it because I want the artist to continue, and it is the best way I know. I love the series, and I want to keep reading it. I do not want it to be abandoned as so many have been. I want it to reach it's conclusion in its own due time.

Japanese cover.

No comments:

Post a Comment