Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4

Welcome to another midweek manga review! This time I’ll be taking a look at Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4, but first some news…

And now, onto the featured review of Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4!

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4
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 +)

The adventures of Kuklo and company trundle on with Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4! Satoshi Shiki’s adaption of Ryo Suzukaze’s light novel continues as Kuklo is sentenced to exile for his purported involvement in the raid on the Innocencio mansion and the death of Dario Innocencio. Once more he finds himself beyond the wall, but this time with none of the protection of the Survey Corps, forcing him and fellow prison Cardina Baumeister, to engage in a desperate nighttime race for safety.

After having read the novel that this is based on, I have to admit I have a new appreciation of Satoshi Shiki’s adaption. He keeps things moving at a very brisk pace, with scenes that took pages to get through in the novel reduced to a few quick panels and meaningful glances. Much of this particular volume is dedicated to a nighttime chase scene and it’s surprisingly well done. The vague outlines of the menacing, misshapen figures of the Titans lurking in the dark does a great job at building up the tension as Kuklo and Cardina race north in a desperate bid for safety.

Page from Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4

A sample of the weird Titans that Satoshi Shiki delivers.

Satoshi Shiki’s artwork continues to be pretty solid, with the Titans being a particular standout feature of the series. They’re wonderfully grotesque, in ways that Hajime Isayama’s aren’t. They’re anatomies aren’t quite as off, their limbs not quite as lanky, but he imbues them with a weird texture and lumpiness to them. Like they’re musculature is off, making them nightmares and distorted in their own unique way. His handling of the action sequences is kinetic, if a bit messy at times.

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4 continues to be an enjoyable, quick read. It ties into the overall world that Hajime Isayama has created nicely, reinforcing the conspiratorial aspects with whispers and suggestions about the Military Police and ruling families being up to no good, while also giving us a glimpse at events that seems rather pivotal in the world’s history. If you’re hungering for more Attack on Titan between the releases of the original series, this is sure to satisfy.

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall, Vol. 4 is available now from Kodansha Comics. Review copy provided by the publisher.

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