Our thoughts from the monthly Mangaforum
- http://www.twitch.tv/mangaforum – 12th May
Attack on Titan; Lost Girls read by a couple of Lost Girls
Last month we read Attack on Titan: Lost Girls, Volume 1; A spin-off “one shot” episode manga written and illustrated by Ryōsuke Fuji, which tells the story of the bad ass Annie Leonhart, the day before shit goes down in at the 57th Expedition Outside the Walls. It’s it own inclusive story following Annie’s search for a missing girl, in the city of Stohess District. It’s another example of a light novel being “manga-fied”, with volume 2 being about Mikasa Ackerman, and has been widely accepted as a good read but largely criticized by the Attack on Titan (AoT) die-hard-fans for not having anything to do with the Titan story line at all.
So, What we all thought in a nutshell;
- Good straightforward no-frills mystery with a satisfying conclusion.
- Totally bought into Annie’s character and wished there was more
- Interesting characters all round; from broody fathers to superficial room mates, to loud and larey bar creeps; All contribute to the stories realness.
- Was this mini-series developed to help bump up female interest in AoT?
What we liked
The strong characters are our favorite thing. But I actually really appreciated how it was separate this was from the titan story.
On this month’s podcast episode, It’s hard to ignore that we ended up speaking very little about the actual Lost Girls book, and this is because it’s so easy to get whipped up in the AoT franchise. I do really enjoy the AoT anime series as a whole, and think the concept is really interesting and thought-provoking; But the anime can, at times, seem all-action-no-substance, and I’ve heard the manga series has the same problem but with a chunkier, sketchy drawing style. I also have a personal problem with the dominating abrasive 2D characters that tend to draw attention away from the real, human-ness of the story, with their own trope-y heroism (AHEM Eren) or feeble side-chick issues (AHEM Armin)
Lost Girls is washed clean of that. Volume 1 is about Annie herself, and touched on deeper topics like her reliance on the Military Police for identity, her broken relationship with her father and *spoiler* drug cartels within the walls. I think this sort of side line story only adds to the AoT franchise by re-enforcing the “real world” aspect of the whole universe. I mean, of COURSE, there would be constant dangerous drunks threatening rape, alongside coveted psycho-active drugs being pushed in the AoT world…how else are people meant to cope?!
I now kind of want to read about Mikasa too, simply because the story and writing was so good for Annie’s story, although I never liked her character as much in the anime).
The drawing and artistic style is very clear and polished as well, which makes it all, a very easy and fast, joy to read.
What we disliked.
I think I can empathize with the fans of the book, who couldn’t resonate with it so much; The idea to have a spin off that doesn’t really add anything to the folklore or the main story line directly, could be frustrating. While I personally think this does add to the universe, by coloring the “normal” life of the people within the walls (and not part of the military) , I would also understand if other fans accused this of being a money-spinning extra, or peddling some incentive to increase the female viewing by giving, in my opinion, some of the cooler characters in the series, some room to breath and portray more of themselves to the reader. Even I was hoping that there would be some foreboding or reference to the current military situation and how Annie really feels about this mess they’re in, even just as a fan service shout out, but other than the set up at the beginning, there’s no mention of anything.
I think we could also always do with more of the character development too. It didn’t seem like Annie learnt anything about her self through this story, which makes me question about the rational of it all too.
What are your thoughts reader?
Tune in again next week (Friday 2nd June) at http://www.twitch.tv/mangaforum for an extra episode, special addition of the mangaforum podcast, where we’ll be joined by Mayamada, UK Mangaka and self published artists (http://mayamada.com/), talking producing manga, probably the MCM in London that happened this weekend and hopefully reviewing their selected title – Assassination Classroom by written and illustrated by Yūsei Matsui.
Don’t forget to follow us on twitter and Youtube too, where we’ll posting our thoughts and faces whenever we can- https://twitter.com/themangaforum.
As always, We look forward to hearing what you think so comment below!
Lara and Lexa