Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Attack on Titan: No Regrets (manga, vol. 1) story by Gun Snark (Nitroplus), art by Hikaru Suruga, translated by Ben Applegate

Not match happens in this volume, but I'll add a spoiler warning anyway - my description of this volume covers almost everything that happens.

This takes place prior to the original Attack on Titan series. Survey Corps squad leader Erwin recruits Levi, Isabel, and Furlan from the underground slums because he believes they have great potential. They trained themselves to use the 3D maneuvering gear that they stole, something that's difficult for many Survey Corps members to believe. Erwin also ensures that the Survey Corps continues to get the funding it needs to head outside the Walls and try his idea to reduce Survey Corps casualties (the long distance enemy scouting formation). During their first trip outside the walls with the Survey Corps, Levi and his friends do awesomely, much to the surprise and annoyance of the regular Survey Corps members that hate them.

I'll probably continue on with this series just because of Levi, but so far this is kind of dull, and Levi and friends are a bit too amazing right from the get-go. Keep in mind, they have had zero Titan-fighting experience prior to their first trip outside the walls with the Survey Corps, and they handle an Aberrant perfectly.

Isabel and Furlan practically have “cannon fodder” written on their foreheads – one of the drawbacks of setting a spinoff prior to the original series is that you know which characters don't carry over. It's possible that they just decide to quit the Survey Corps at some point, but, considering the Survey Corps' high mortality rate, it seems more likely that they'll die tragically. I'm going to guess that a good portion of this series will be devoted to showing how Erwin manages to thaw Levi and earn his undying loyalty, so staying interested in Isabel and Furlan is probably going to be a bit of a struggle for me.

This has much nicer (prettier?) looking artwork than the original series, while at the same time keeping the same character design style (other than big-eyed Isabel, who looks like a refugee from another series). The linework is cleaner and doesn't look constantly heavy and dark. So far, I like it.

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