Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 2

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 2

 

 

Without further ado, this week’s review of Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 2!

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 2Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 2
Art by Satoshi Shiki, Story by Ryo Suzukaze, “Attack on Titan” created by Hajime Isayama, Character Designs by Thores Shibamoto
Kodansha Comics, 192 pp.
Rating: Older Teen (16 +)

As Kuklo and Sharle wait and plan their escape from the oppressive and abusive Inocencio family estate, outside forces conspire to force their hand ahead of time. Set some 70 years before the events of Attack on Titan, Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 2 continues to expand upon the history of Hajime Isayama’s hit series, and explore a previously unknown breach of wall Maria!

One of the disappointing things about this series, is how bland the characters feel. We’re two volumes in and I don’t particularly care about either Kuklo or Sharle. To make matters worse, they both feel fairly directionless. Yes, Kuklo’s ostensibly looking to find out whether he’s a Titan or not, but beyond that he has no goals or personality. Sharle isn’t much better, seeking only to escape from her oppressive and abusive family and help Kuklo. While it is still early in the series, the blandness of the duo isn’t terribly encouraging and makes it difficult to really get into the story. The most fascinating bits of the manga come with the glimpses of life within the walls, finding out bits and pieces about the Survey Corps history, and what weapons and tactics they use to combat the Titans before the development of maneuvering gear.

Page from "Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 2"

The Survey Corp being greeted with cheers.

The art is dark and murky in places, making it difficult to follow some of the action or make out specific details in some of the character designs. Shiki’s rendering of the Titans skews closer to their anime appearances, with weird skin textures depicted through the use of toning and shading, mimicking that of their odd skin texture in the anime adaption. With it’s murky art and the creepy texturing on their flesh, Attack on Titan: Before the Fall feels much closer to a horror series then the original series ever did. The Titans are creepy and the violence and encounters with the Titans come off as more terrifying and less action packed then in either Attack on Titan or the other stain off series, No Regrets.

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 2 tones down the horror that really helped make the first volume stand out from the other Attack on Titan series, but it’s still present and is clearly the book’s strongest selling point. The look into the history of the Isayama’s world is intriguing and offers an opportunity to help flesh out the world in ways the main series can’t, but right now Kuklo and Sharle are just a bit too bland for the book to really sink its hooks into me.

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 2 is available now from Kodansha Comics. Review copy provided by the publisher.

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  1. October 13, 2014 at 6:34 am

    My thinking is the horror feel is because at that time the humans lacked the technology to have a fighting chance.
    It does have a definite lesser spinoff feel.

    • October 13, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      True! This is before their maneuvering gear, so they’re even more helpless. I’d love to know what their mortality rates are at this point in the time.

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