Monday, October 5, 2015

Attack On Titan: Junior High Episode #1 Review

That titan...took something precious away from me!

What They Say:
It's back-to-school for the cast of Attack on Titan as this spin-off gives us a glimpse into the average school year for each and every one of them. Instead of fearing for their lives, the characters are fearing for their lunches as the titans have a brand new appetite (One significantly less heartbreaking). Based on the manga, Attack on Titan: Junior High brings us familiar faces and memorable scenes in a lighthearted comedic format that is sure to bring a smile to your face. Will Eren and the others be able to survive the school year being right next door to a school for titans?

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)

I had one thought going into this show, "This is either going to be the greatest thing I have ever seen, or a plague upon the anime industry as we know it." Oh man, if I only knew what I was about to watch.

The show starts off just like 90% of school based slice-of-life shows start off -- with the cute childhood friend (Mikasa Ackerman) waking up the main character (Eren Yaeger) and telling him he is late for school. This is of course followed up by the stereotypical "Oh god! We need to hurry!" spiel as the two dart out of Eren's house to begin their journey. Oh, and good news! Eren's mom is alive! AND she made breakfast! That's a double-dose of some of the best news you will hear all month! Of course, what would a frantic run to school be without the much-needed bumping into a side character? Okay, what about FOUR different side characters being half-trampled by Eren within two minutes of each other? It doesn't get better than that. Well, I mean five would be better than that, but you get what I'm saying. What a hilariously innovative play on the genre and a wonderful way to re-introduce some familiar faces.

Needless to say, the show goes on from there, carefully poking fun at its super-serious parent show. And I mean relentlessly poking fun. Mikasa is still obsessed with Eren, just now it's even cuter and more obvious. Connie is still aloof and out of place, Christa is still super cute and desirable, and Sasha Braus is still hungry. Hell, she's literally eating a watermelon on the way to school. There is no one else on Earth that would do that. So, after many necessary collision/introductions, a good sum of the characters wander as a group into what they believe to be their new school. Turns out, it's a school for titans. Who knew? Don't worry though, because good ole' Hannes shows up shortly after and does his job of once again escorting the kids to a safer place. It's just a lot less traumatic this time.

The only thing left to throw into the episode at this point is a titan attack. Obviously enough, we get one -- from the Colossal Titan, no less. This time though, he isn't after human flesh. He is after Gyoza, hamburger, and other cliche anime bento combinations that the kids brought to school. (This has to be even worse for Sasha than the normal Colossal Titan). Eren, being Eren, decides that he must do something to stop this attack and figures out that the best course of action is jumping off the top of the school in an attempt to scale a 50-foot wall and mount the largest titan known to man. And it almost works! And by that I mean it doesn't come close to working at all.

This is going to be great, I feel it. I laughed more at this show within the first ten minutes than I laugh at most other anime overall. I mean, I'm not a comedy anime buff. Drama has and always will be my forte. But that doesn't mean I don't know funny when I see funny. If you watched Attack on Titan (Which you did, don't even lie) you are going to think this is fantastic. They are literally remaking the most dramatic, gut-wrenching scenes into classroom shenanigans. They barely even change the dialogue. It's genius. I'm not kidding. If you're one of those people that thinks, "This show is a fallacy and shouldn't exist because Attack on Titan is an essential part of anime as a whole and can not be turned into a joke," then you better think again...because this joke is one most well-executed pieces of comedy/satire that I have seen in a very long time.

Best/Favorite Part:
Sasha is going to be the highlight of this show, I can feel it already. With that being said, the scene in the classroom where she is caught eating onigiri (Which is a play on the infamous potato scene) was easily the best part of the episode. Not to mention, when she broke off half of it and stretched it out toward the oh-so-familiar homeroom teacher, my heart melted due to sheer adorableness. Also, I'd like to pay my respects to her watermelon. (RIP Watermelon: 2015-2015).

In Summary:
This should be an absolutely essential watch for those (Everyone) that watched the original Attack on Titan. The jokes are executed with the fan-base in mind and are loyal to what the viewers want to see. There are a total of zero dull moments and the dialogue is witty with splashes of subtle humor set there to increase enjoyment even more for those that catch it. However, if you didn't watch Attack on Titan, there is literally no reason for you to watch this. You will have no idea what is going on or why it is hilarious. I have incredibly high hopes that this show stays as excellent as the pilot episode.

Grade: A

Streamed By: Funimation

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