Of the various manga series I read periodically, I think Attack on Titan may be my favorite. It isn’t overly silly, the cultural references if there are any don’t go over my head, and the story always feels like it’s moving. Plus, it doesn’t feel like inconsequential kid’s stuff, and I don’t mind inconsequential kid’s stuff, but a more mature story generally works for me.
At any rate, our heroes are on the run in Volume 6.
We know series protagonist Eren can, for reasons even he can’t understand, transform himself temporarily into a Titan. These male-shaped, nearly mindless things that mostly just show up and eat people have been humanity’s bane for longer than the current cast of characters has been alive, and having one on humanity’s side should give them an added edge going forward. There’s just one problem: an Abnormal Titan has caught the Survey Corps’ trail as they try to escort Eren somewhere where they can test his abilities more safely.
Now, Abnormal Titans are different in some way from the standard eating machines that are regular Titans. We’ve seen a couple by now, but this particular one is very different. For one, it’s female. For another, she’s intelligent. And for a third, she’s looking for someone. Who? Possibly Eren. The thing is, this Titan isn’t just shoving Survey Corps’ members into her mouth. Yes, she’s killing them, but only the ones that actually attack her. And she does this mostly by smashing them, not chewing on them. She also knows to protect the Titan’s only weak spot of the back of the neck.
As such, this volume mostly covers the Survey Corps seeming to run from this one Titan as they try to get Eren away from it while Eren has to decide if he trusts the veterans of the Survey Corps enough to follow orders from his new captain and not just try to save the day single-handedly.
There’s a lot to like about this series. The action moves, and there’s a kinetic energy to everything that’s going on. Writer/artist Hajime Isayama does some fine work here, and I particularly appreciated how he depicted the Female Titan. Unlike most Titans, she doesn’t have a mindless or insane look on her face. She looks, for lack of a better word, thoughtful in her close-ups, and not just some grinning thing that’s all teeth. The volume ends with what could be a major development, so I know I should probably get back to this series soon. 9.5 out of 10 giant trees.