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Attack on Titan: Junior High Complete Collection UK Anime DVD Review

8 min read

Attack on Titan Junior high UK DVD CoverGetting the Rock Lee treatment, a way to make sure your fave characters worst traumas are in fact they ate the last cheeseburger instead of being eaten by Titans…

What They Say:
Your favorite characters from Attack on Titan are back in…junior high school? Adapted from the hit spinoff manga series – Attack on Titan: Junior High (written by Saki Nakagawa), this parody reimagines Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and other characters from the original manga as students and teachers at Titan Junior High School.

The Review:
Audio:
Set up in a 5.1 English Dolby Surround release and a Japanese 2.0 stereo release, I watched it in the dub mainly because has been a while since I had a 5.1 on a DVD release surprisingly, and it was a fantastic quality, no adjustments required with no issues in terms of the sound being out on sync with the subtitles or the video. A good dub combined with no issues with the subtitles synching (as was able to turn on the subtitles even with the dub on) also helped out a lot as this is good in both languages.

Video:
The video is quite a high quality again for a DVD release, with no noticeable issues with lag or video in poor resolution during viewing – it actually considering the series is fairly recent feels like a Blu-Ray release, adding a bit more colour compared to the traditional Attack On Titan (because it is more comedy focused) and using mostly traditional animation, there are no delays with timing with subtitles with animation in either language or slowdown with normal rates or via pausing where the animation can become fuzzy. Done in full-screen format, it is definitely one of the better non Blu-Ray releases out there.

Packaging:
There was no packing for this test release.

Menu:
All characters in chibi form on the left-hand side of the screen, jumping off a building with a Titan looking on – on the right-hand side, the menu is on some scrap paper with the selection Play All, Episodes, Set Up and on disc 2 Extras. The selections are very quick in distancing between menus so not quite instant like a Blu-Ray but as close as you are going to get on a DVD release, so very acceptable.

Extras:
Basic extras, we get the cleaning opening and ending, and trailers for the original Attack On Titan, Scrapped Princess, Heavy Object Part Two, The Disappearance Of Nagato Yuki-chan and Fairy Tail Part 22.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Ah Attack On Titan. I think anyone at least has heard of this series, being on the same level as series such as Dragon Ball Z, Evangelion, Naruto and Death Note in series that got people into anime and/or changing people’s perception of anime from fanservice or cute girl shows to gritty, dark and character driven. My stance on AoT is that it is indeed a very good series, however I am not as into it as many others due to several clichés which makes it appear weaker than its intentions make out to be. That said, it is certainly a series I come back to again, and with the 2nd season recently concluding in Japan, the buzz is returning.

So what better than introducing an absolute gem of a comedy series based on this gritty show? Yeah – Attack On Titan chibified and comedic? That’s not going to work…is it? Given a similar treatment to the Rock Lee & Friends series of the Naruto franchise, this is something that doesn’t seem it would work considering the original story, and yet…you might be pleasantly surprised.

First of all, remove any previous incarnations of the characters – whilst some do keep parts of their characterisations, their reasons or timing is definitely a tad different…

For example, the first episode has Eren and Mikasa basically bump into each of the cast on their way to high school. Krista and Ymir are first, and whilst Krista is pretty much the same (the innocent, pretty idol of the group), Ymir takes the protection level x100 and claims to marry her every other sentence, keeping the creepy boys off her. Sasha has updated from potatoes to pretty much any food, Jean is a very bad ladies man, and Connie whilst hasn’t changed much, his stupidity somehow has been multiplied. And of course, they accidentally cross into their neighbour school, the Titans school. And after being saved by Hannes (now the school janitor) and takes them to the human side, we have Keith as their teacher who is now quite over the top in military style ordering, and the reason Eren wants to kill the Titans here?

Because he stole Eren’s cheeseburger lunch.

…yep, not quite as serious as the original.

So basically this is the central to Eren wanting to kill the Titans, and wants to create a club for that, but the third member of the original group Armin, has become a shut-in…because he hates the cold. However when a Titan steals Armin’s futon (think Linus from Peanuts and his blanket style affection…) THIS MEANS WAR. They find a secret Titan club (which introduces Eld, Oluo, Petra and Gunther… don’t worry, HE isn’t far behind), retrieve Armin’s blanke…er I mean futon and then we get to the important plot of…Annie being introduced and doesn’t want to admit her love for cheeseburgers due to how Eren is mocked for it.

Which leads to a dodgeball match. (Ironically it does lead them becoming friends and a weird but funny rivalry between Mikasa and Annie over who likes Eren more…) and then the 1st years joining the Wall Cleanup Club which is the name hiding the true intentions of the Titan club. Needless to say this also brings forth fan-favourite Levi and his cleaning obsession continues here, it leads to them being trained with the Titan gear, as Titans do the evil deed of graffiti on the walls and Eren tries to kill them (but ends up paint splattered), then we get an episode of actual school stuff with Sasha and Connie failing their tests and trying to get help via food equations for Sasha, the debut of one of my faves the mad scientist Hange (who still has Titan’s she keeps as pets), Jean finding a love letter in his room and imagining his own harem (which hilariously turns out to be from a titan who Annie was friends with), we get a sports day episode, a test of courage episode (with a real ghost to boot who would have scared everyone…but she falls for Krista’s charms and doesn’t ^^), a summer festival episode (which actually features a sweet side-story between Bertholdt and Annie), a student president election episode which is one of the funniest of the series (and Marco unintentionally winning it) and finally the school festival 2 episode finale, which is basically the underclassmen vs. the upperclassmen in a food off…but before the winner is decided between rice and cheeseburgers, the Titans invade to steal all the food.

Cue pissed off Eren and defying the teacher to head to the Titan’s building TO GET THE CHEESEBURGERS BACK. It is serious business indeed to get their happy school life back on track…

So as you can probably tell, this isn’t the most serious of series to go through, and does go through a lot of high school clichés…but with a lot of parody. For example, there is a rivalry between Reiner and Ymir who both have a crush on Krista, and in the festival arc, Krista is a maid and is serving Reiner omelette rice – classic storytelling. Ymir however keeps trying to sabotage it with mustard, Reiner defends himself against the attack to finally get a proper bite of Krista’s cooking…and then finds that Ymir had injected it with Tabasco without looking  And the entire school president episode is basically so many of the cast making total idiots of themselves on stage before being bailed out by an Armin or Marco…and then the school thinks they’d be better candidates than the actual candidates themselves…

This is basically a much lighter take on Attack On Titan which in all fairness, might actually be a good thing even for fans – it is something that can take the characters you love but put them in a series that you can smile at and not worry if your favourite character is going to be on the death count because of the comedic nature. Mikasa’s care for Eren is taken to stalker protection levels, even worse when Annie is involved and it becomes a rivalry especially as Eren and Annie have that all important cheeseburger connection…

I’m not going to say it’s the best series ever – it isn’t – it is just dumb fluff that you can watch to put a smile on your face. I will also wager to say even if you haven’t seen Attack On Titan you can still understand the characters quite quickly even if you didn’t know them before – granted, watching the series is an advantage but not as bad as other series when they have spin-offs and such. So yeah, it’s not star worthy, but one to watch and smile at, definitely enjoyed it and would put this on for an anime night when we are not in one of our serious modes.

In Summary:
AoT: Junior High as you can probably tell isn’t going to be your original Attack On Titan showcase of blood, gore, history and Titan shifting. This is the cast being wacky, adorable, funny and going through life like an actual high school. It has all the clichés and episodes you expect from a high school comedy, you just add the characters quirks like Levi’s obsession for cleaning and Sasha’s obsession for food involved and you get a good comedy. Stay away if you want to keep with the original series in case you think it might ‘sully’ it but otherwise, sit back and have a laugh.

Features:
Cleaning Opening/Ending, Trailers

Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: N/A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: C-

Released By: Funimation via Anime Limited
Release Date: July 10th, 2017
MSRP: £22.99
Running Time: 204 minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

Review Equipment:
PlayStation 4, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.

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