Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Hajime Isayama’s tale of humanity undersiege continues with Attack on Titan, Vol. 5. With the most recent Titan attack successfully repelled, the remnants of humanity are now forced to decide what to do with Eren Yaeger, a young man who was crucial to humanities push back against the Titans. The twist? He can turn into a Titan! Accusations of sacrilege, worries about what it means for humanity, paranoia and more all come together in Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan, Vol. 5!
One of the most intriguing and interesting aspects of Attack on Titan, aside from the very cool action scenes and the horror of the Titans themselves, has been Isayama’s world building. In the first few volumes he touched upon the layout of the last bastion of humanity, the military organization and more. Here he continues to expand and build the world by introducing religious elements and expanding upon the idea of the Survey Corps and what they mean and do. It’s an interesting volume and the developments are fascinating. The idea of a religion focused on the worship of the massive walls which protect humanity is pretty interesting, but I do have one minor quibble with it.. everything in the book indicates that the walls went up about 100 years ago, which seems like an awfully short amount of time for a religion to pop up claiming they were made by some divine creator. Still, it’s a fascinating new angle and aspect of the world, and one that I really hope pops up again in the series. Beyond that the bulk of the volume focuses on Eren’s fate and his first mission with the Survey Corps.
Hajime Isayama’s art continues to be a mixed bag at best, amateurish at worst. In the earlier volumes it didn’t seem to stand out quite as often, since anatomy hiccups were often hidden among the dynamic perspectives and the sketchy line work present in the series intense action and fight scenes. This volume, however, is very heavy on the sitting and talking. Generally the art excels when it’s depicting Yaeger and the armed forces battling the crude and nightmarish mockeries of humanity that are the Titans, but with those scenes being few and far between here all the foibles and issues are on full display. Awkward anatomy, weird body postures and the myriad of similar faces stand out more than ever here.
Attack on Titan, Vol. 5 may be light on action, but the huge amount of world building and additions to the cast more than make up for it. At this point I’m finding the overall concept and it’s development to be of more interest than most of the cast to be honest, and while I’m not terribly attached to any one character, I’m fairly attached to and interested in the world itself.
Attack on Titan, Vol. 5 is available now from Kodansha Comics.
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