Attack on Titan Junior High Volume 1

For five years, Eren Yeager has nursed a grudge against the Titans. Now he’s about to enter junior high with these massive creatures as classmates, and he won’t let his chance for revenge go to waste! Watch as your favorite trainees take on the Titans…in class, music club and dodgeball!

Attack on Titan Junior High Volume 1
Attack on Titan Junior High 1By Saki Nakagawa
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Comedy
Price: $16.99

Attack on Titan has had a lot of spin-off titles. Some have been serious, like No Regrets and Before the Fall, adding to the mythos of the world. Junior High is not that kind of spin-off. Following a trend that seems to have become popular, it takes the characters from the main series and drops them into a high school setting so the hilarity can ensue. It is an irreverent take that is meant to be funny, but is more hit and miss with its humor.

I didn’t care for Attack on Titan Junior High on first read through, but I chalked that up to not being familiar with the characters. After I had caught up with the main series, and understood the characters better, I gave it another read. While I understood the jokes more, that didn’t end up making them any more funny. A lot of the jokes were based on exaggerating single traits of the characters, such as Sasha’s obsession with food, Connie’s lower intelligence and Eren’s anger issues. Doing this can make for some funny moments such as Sasha quoting motivational posters or Connie’s “nose election”, but gets tiresome very quickly. I could also do without some of the gross humor such as when Eren took the female titan’s gym shorts.

However, this series had several good points as well. I was wondering how the Titans would be integrated, with their propensity for eating humans and all. The compromise was well done. They are made out to be nothing like in the main series, but still get to be the villains. I also really liked the how the 3D maneuvering equipment was incorporated into the story. It’s true purpose was one of the funnier moments.

I had mixed feelings about the portrayal of many of the characters. I didn’t get making Armin a shut-in with an obsession for role-playing and needing to have his bed comforter over his head all the time. The two characters I liked best were Levi and Hange. Levi’s character didn’t need to be changed really to fit or be funny. I’ve always loved his cleaning obsession, and his relationship with Hange is still just as entertaining. One of the things I found hilarious with Hange was how every time someone tried to address Hange in a way that would reveal Hange’s gender, it was censored, with a black “CENSORED” sign. It was not only funny, but clever.

Nakagawa’s art is perfect for the material. All of the characters are recognizable, while also have a cute, cartoony look. The Titans still look like Titans, even if they don’t act like them.

I didn’t hate Attack on Titan Junior High, but it’s not at the top of my list of spin-offs either. Still, it has enough going for it that I’ll give it another volume. There are more character still to be introduced, and I’m interested enough to see how it goes.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Review copy provided by publisher.

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