Series: Attack on Titan Junior High
Release Date: October 4, 2015
Genre: Comedy, School
Studio: Production I.G
Synopsis: Taking place in a world where the events of Attack on Titan are merely a TV show, the show follows the adventures of Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and the rest of the Attack on Titan cast as they embark on their most dangerous mission yet: junior high school. Attending Titan Junior High School, a school attended by both humans and Titans, Eren makes it his personal goal to eradicate the Titans from their school and liberate the students from their tyranny…or something like that.
Look closely at the TV: they’re watching Attack on Titan!
Okay, let’s make one thing clear: that episode was awesome. As a big fan of Attack on Titan, Junior High was the perfect type of comedy for me. The show was short, 15 minutes as compared to the 20 that most anime are, but it was full of references to the Attack on Titan series and lore, and it weaved them all together while creating a charming new comedic story.
The episode starts off with Mikasa and Eren racing off to get to school, and along the way they bump (literally!) into several familiar faces: Ymir, Christa, Sasha, Conny, and Jean.
That’s it, I’m shipping SashaxFood.
I love how it references the closeness of Ymir and Christa (it did have a bit of a yuri flavor to it, but I’m thinking their relationship won’t be portrayed as anything more than comedic overprotectiveness) and even the somewhat secret love that Mikasa has for Eren; the character interactions are already hilarious.
After a long chase, they end up at their school, but they accidentally enter the Titan side of the school, rather than the human side. After Eren is pretty much impaled by a Titan’s triangle ruler, they escape and run back to homeroom just in time for introductions. Their homeroom teacher just so happens to be Keith, the head instructor of the 104th Trainee Squad in the original AoT series, and he leads this awesome sequence where we’re introduced to the rest of their class, which includes Riener, Annie, Jean, and Marco. Heck, we even get that awesome scene of Sasha offering Keith half of her food (a rice ball this time, not a potato)!
Never let it be said that Sasha wasn’t the sharing type.
She still gets punished for it, though.
Never mess with Keith.
The episode is already establishing the type of referential humor we’ll be getting from the series, but it does seem like we’ll be getting at least some type of overarching story to tie everything together. I’m wondering how the classic school anime tropes (worrying about tests, discussing crushes, talking to teachers, etc) will be implemented in this series, and I’m looking forward to the introduction of characters like Levi and Hanji. Levi as a teacher would just be awesome. XD
The episode then switches over to the entrance ceremony, where we’re treated to more familiar faces before the Titans attack! Kind of. They really just steal everyone’s lunches, but Eren isn’t having any of it. Just like that fateful moment in the first series, Eren grabs his weapons and launches himself off the top of the school roof at the Colossal Titan…and then plummets to the ground, since the Colossal Titan isn’t only over 50 meters tall, but the wall around the school is too far away from the school itself. Eren then lose his lunch…I mean, the Colossal Titan takes his lunch, and the episode end. Without Armin!
All in all, this episode was amazing. The character interactions are great, and the art is beautiful: the chibi style really fits the series. The colors are bright, nearly pastel, and while not as softly endearing as the watercolor-esque style of an anime like Usagi Drop, the color scheme reminds me of series like Kaito Joker with its frantic energy; it’s a nice contrast to the earthy tones of the original Attack on Titan series. The comedy of the series is where it really shines; I’ve tried to avoid spoilers even in my spoiler section because the jokes are like fish: best when fresh, and just don’t taste the same when spoiled. I laughed harder with this show than I have in a long time, and it brings back good memories of other comedy shows like Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun and The Devil is a Part-Timer!
The OP for the series is the only OP that’s made me head-bang so far this season: it’s very reminiscent of “Guren no Yumiya” from the original Attack on Titan, but is changed a bit to fit with the series. The opener shows all the characters we expect to see in the series, even Levi, and Armin seems to carry a blanket around for some reason. I’m definitely looking forward to how the show will introduce more characters as it goes on, and I’m really excited for the rest of the series. If you like Attack on Titan, comedy shows, or both, you should definitely pick up Attack on Titan: Junior High.
But seriously, don’t mess with Keith.