Attack on Titan Junior High
Well here it is my fellow BrOtaku, the anime spin-off that none but the most rabid of fanboys/fangirls asked for. AoTJH was a show I wasn’t looking forward to, but I tried to keep an air of optimism about me while I watched. After completing the first episode I am sorely tempted to drop it, but I’ll give it the customary couple episode range before I make any decisions. It’s pretty much just how I pictured it, a low rent Muppet Babies version of a show we’ve been waiting forever to continue. In the writers defense though, I’d probably also try to milk this IP for every cent (yen) I could as well. Don’t take my incredibly cynical word for it though, check out the “plot” of this half-baked marketing ploy.
It opens to Eren waking from a dream to find Mikasa telling him it’s time for school. It is thier first day of middle school, and in typical anime fashion they are very late. There is a protracted run scene in which Eren literally runs into members of the original AoT cast. He runs into Krista knocking down her bread, Sasha breaking her watermelon, and Jean knocking him out. Mikasa decides that she too wants a “bump scene” with Eren so she runs around the city to meet up with Eren in this way. She runs into Eren full force knocking him skyward, only to land right in front of Attack Junior High (the’s seriously the name). Spurred on by the tardy bell, the group of kids with adult heads run into the school.
In their haste the group accidentally goes to the titan side of the school. In the Titan classroom they enter a classroom and Eren is crushed by fallen school supplies. When the titans realize the human children in their midst, they pelt them with more school supplies. Hannes (now a school janitor) leads the group to their classroom (1-4) and Keith Sadies is their homeroom teacher. Each student introduces themselves, and their character traits from the original show are amplified to obnoxious levels. Eren is overeager, Connie is stupid, Jean is a douche-bag, Sasha enjoys eating, etc. What really drove the eyerolling of the whole fiasco was the last interaction with the titans.
Apparently the Titan side of the school invades the human side to steal their lunches. While it makes sense to the juvenile storyline, it was nonetheless cringe inducing in the way the characters freak out over their lost lunches. Eren of course promises to wipe out all the titans, though how he hopes to accomplish this is a mystery to all of us. Curiously missing from the starting roster was Armin, though the preview after the ending theme shows that his debut is next episode. As stated before I’ll give this anime another one to two episodes before I drop it from my queue entirely. The whole affair was an exercise in patience on my part, and if the rest of it is more of the same I see no reason at all to continue watching this farce. Harsh though it may sound, I do have my reason for disliking Attack on Titans Junior High.
I wasn’t expecting the animation to blow me away, but some characters (mostly men) looked grotesque with their adult heads on childish bodies. The titans, aside from the colossal one, looked pretty ridiculous as well though that is somewhat of a staple of the franchise. The saving grace for me was Mikasa whose chibi form and personality weren’t painful to watch. I’d be willing to watch an Attack on Titan middle school show with just her in it, but then I said the same about the original show as well. Call me a broken record, but she’s the only interesting character in my eyes. The over exaggeration of everything in the show is the main problem for me, which is why I say this will only go for the most hardcore of fan boys and girls.
If you go for the absurd caricatures of the AoT characters, and enjoy the occasional parody show then you might find something here. The opening theme is even a mirrored parody of the original theme from the first cour of Attack on Titan. For my time and money I have a feeling that after episode three I’ll be completely done with this show. The only thing I can think of bringing me back is if next episode the writers pull a fast one, and start the second season of Attack on Titan. Other than that I’m just going through it on anime reviewer auto-pilot. If I were a huge fan of the franchise I would be incredibly disappointed that this is what we got before the continuation of the series. In my opinion this is a large step backwards for Production I.G. as well, but then again as long as the cash comes in I doubt they care one way or another about my misgivings.
Arigatō my fellow BrOtaku!