Giant Human-Gobbling Babies

biggerqRidley: I’ve been in the middle of an anime marathon, or maybe it’s an anime coma? I’m never certain which is more accurate to describe what I do. Basically when I find an anime series that is really good, I devour each episode over hours or days without pausing (it depends on how long I have free), watching until my eyes hate me and my body begs for sleep. This time the series was called Attack on Titan. It’s being hailed as the must see anime for 2013, obviously as it’s now January 2014, I didn’t get that early memo, but better late than never, eh?

Basically it’s about a world where humans have lived inside huge high walls, sealed off from the titans, which are giant creatures that devour humans, just for the fun of it.shingeki-no-kyojin-episode-10-pic6 (1)

It starts off with all the settlements within the walls having lived in relative safety and peace for 100 years, then a colossal titan smashes through the main gate of the outer most wall and all hell breaks loose.images

The outer settlement retreats behind an inner war, there’s turmoil, famine and now the threat of the titans is far more real than ever before. For us, the story centres around three friends, Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert.images (3)attack-on-titan-mikasa-punch shingeki-no-kyojin-episode-8-pic1

After they each endure horrific personal tragedy, they decide to train to become elite soldiers that will fight the Titans, using special Manoeuvre Equipment, which enables them to swing (though its more like they fly) through the air on metal harnesses that harpoon out and attach to builds. I think I’d love the ability to travel like that and to use the double swords like they do, but if given half a chance, I know I’d probably accidentally slice something off or smash into a wall at high speed within three minutes of putting the equipment on.attack-on-titan-video-game-featured

I must say the series is creepy, it’s weird, it’s quite gory, and it’s brilliant.  It doesn’t pull any punches, you really get a feeling no character, no matter how important, is safe. Titans can snatch up anyone and eat them, and you will see them being eaten.bigger

To me, the titans resembled large human-gobbling babies, and actually when they start running can be quite terrifying, (though this one running is kinda funny) but then you have to imagine this 15 meter giant barrelling down towards you is about to crush or eat you:

There’s so much in this series to keep you watching, with various ongoing mysteries, which keep you pressing play over and over, you are left questioning where the titans suddenly appeared from and why they eat humans when they don’t need food.vnIMuIA There’s also pure raw human emotions and individual reactions to the devastation wrought by the titans. The author has said that one of the main influences on the series was the inner feelings of people. This is a strong element throughout, we see characters dealing with their total terror and grief, of seeing things they never should have to witness. Some of the characters overcome their fear, and others don’t.  At one point, I did stop and think about what a world like that would really be like, how I would react, and I decided I can’t say I’d have ever had the courage to become a soldier and fight off the giants. I think I’d still like to have the uniform though…images (2)

The anime doesn’t finish as such, it’s left open ended, it’s like a long teaser to get you hooked on the world and the story, so that you’ll then start reading the manga, where hopefully all our burning questions will be answered. So…

To the manga!

Vault Ghosties

20130728_151Ridley: Does anyone else believe in ghosts? Do you also fear to see the reflection of things popping up behind you in the blank screen of a television? Or scurry by the dark rectangle opening of the attic with your eyes scrunched closed (and hear that Grudge woman throat rattle in your ears)? For me, if there is a bump in the night, I don’t reason it off with ‘it’s just the cat”, instead I sit up in my bed, clutch my blanket to my face and sweep my eyes across the room just waiting to see a white face staring back at me (kinda freaking myself out just thinking about it, and it’s broad daylight!). I bring up the ghosties, as we had a recent trip to Edinburgh, where we went down into the Blair street vaults!HV1

They were dark, eerie and creepy. We braved the pouring rain (the weather in Scotland is just so like Ireland it’s laughable) and we went on a Mercat tour that basically let you wander through the different rooms by yourself, with just a map, flash light and a camera. I think perhaps the camera was nearly a mistake.

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As we wandered through the vaults and I was taking snaps, the focus started trying to fix on things that weren’t there. With high pitched meeps, I’d dart away after Latimer, who found it all quite hilarious, but she did admit it certainly wasn’t somewhere you’d want to accidentally get locked into for a night.20130728_56

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The rooms all felt dead, with muffled sound and dry air, we found the smell and the dust caught at the back of the throat and it was difficult to breath. In one room in particular, my breath came out as white on the air and I’m pretty certain there were orbs floating about. Latimer just shrugged, ignoring my pointing at the white puffs and little round lights and I became convinced she didn’t watch enough Most Haunted. When she started letting out fake groans and moans and laughing, I backed away from her, leaving around a safe ten feet between us, as everyone knows (and this is especially so in films) the disbeliever and mocker of the ghosties is going to be the very first one that meets the grisly end. That’s all I’m saying.

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Eventually, convinced I was going to see apparitions popping up, I stopped looking at the digital stills I was taking (plus I decided the bright light from the camera screen could potentially be annoying the spirits…maybe…well, I wasn’t taking any chances! 😀 ). It wasn’t until we were safely ensconced with hot teas in Starbucks (and free wifi-huzzah!) that I could look at the pictures I’d taken.20130728_3320130728_3020130728_2920130728_31

I have either possibly capture images of something paranormal or my camera was acting up. I’m sure you can guess which version of events I’ve decided on. 😀

Anyone else believe in ghosts, the paranormal? Are you even a little superstitious, or is just all a load of codswallop?

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I ain’t afriad of no ghost…. (actually I am, nooo run away!!)