So let’s talk about a few choices the Attack on Titan staff made in regards to adapting the manga: bringing forth religion and trying to strengthen the characters.
Last week in the manga section, I noted a minor name change — the scene where the Recon corps came back without figuring out how to defeat the titans, a woman comes out of the crowd and asks if her son Braun was alive. The anime changed his name to Moses. One thing I didn’t touch on was the preacher (there is a better term, but for reasons that mystify me I can’t think of the name), who is an anime original. We saw him briefly speak at the start of last week’s episode, and in this week, he takes the spot for over a minute. Then when everyone was placed in the boat, we had humans call out God’s name. Now, it’s not like having religion involved in anime makes it bad, it mostly just depends on how it’s executed. For some reason, when it’s included in Attack on Titan, it feels like it’s just adding more than what isn’t really there. It’s based off a shounen manga, and it of course is pretty dark in its content, but was it necessary to add this in the anime? So far, it mostly serves to pad the time of the anime. The time when the humans in the boat shouted God’s name is fine, since the terror of the moment is there and that’s a normal emotion for most people, but the other ones serve little purpose. The biggest hope is that it doesn’t drown itself in moments like this, since that could send off the wrong message and also not actually get into the main meat of the story, but we’ll have to see on that one.
Speaking of the meat of the story, this was mostly an anime original episode. At best, just ten pages of the manga were adapted in episode 2. The only thinking as to why this is the case was to fill in some of the gaps the manga didn’t touch on (as in, how the heck did they survive until year 850) and to try and develop the characters. Some events later on in the manga fill in some gaps (for example, seeing Dr. Jeager so early in the anime is a curious decision), but so far it’s being pushed in the forefront early in the anime. In the grand scheme of things though, it wasn’t going to matter whether they did try and show the characters and what happened once they got off the boat…since the characters would be growing up, which is what happens at the end of the episode. Overall, I thought this was a fine episode, with the nice sound composition and that titan just running through that gate like it was nothing. So far the series is stabilized, but we’ll have to see how it performs next week.
- So like I mentioned, this episode only adapted ten pages of the manga, but for the most part it did finish covering chapter 2. It does make you wonder how much the anime is going to cover at this pace, especially since it’s a 2-cour series. Based on the previews, it seems will see some training exercises, so we will probably get more anime original scenes mixed in with the end of chapter 2 and the start of chapter 3.
- I think it’s pretty clear we won’t be getting some of the more brutal moments that are included in the manga in the anime. I think we saw that coming.
- One thing the anime did that I liked was it assigned actual roles at the closing the gate scene. That exchange with the gate getting closed took only one page, but had nobodies in the Recon Corps actually talk about it. Who happened to be talking (Hannes, two other Recon Corps) and the drawn out consequences helped establish that moment, at least for me it did.
- I commented a bit on two pages in the manga that were omitted in the anime, and that was talking about the titans. Well, it seems for the most part that’s gonna be at the start of each episode, with more detail on the titans.