Tag Archives: attack on titan spinoff

Castle Under Siege: An Attack on Titan Real Escape Game!

Back in the day, the most a manga could hope for was an anime adaption and maybe a movie. Nowadays, manga serves as the basis for all sorts of entertainment, and when my husband and I visited Los Angeles for his birthday a few days ago, we experienced Castle Under Seige: a collaboration between Real Escape Game and Attack on Titan.

For those unfamiliar with Real Escape Game, it’s a franchise that began in Japan and has since spread to other places including San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles. It runs Escape Rooms and hosts events at special locations, but the premise behind all of its puzzle events is the same. You and your team members are “trapped” and have 60 minutes to search for clues and solve puzzles in order to escape.

Castle Under Seige, by the way, is not the first Attack on Titan themed Real Escape Game. In 2015, Real Escape hosted Escape from the Walled City at AT&T Park and a couple other stadiums in the United States. Sadly, my husband and I heard about it two months after the event (so disappointed!). Thus, when we chanced upon a Castle Under Seige flyer in Little Tokyo on our last day in Los Angeles, we couldn’t let the opportunity slip. Less than two hours later, we were at the Los Angeles Real Escape Room with five local college students.

The premise of Castle Under Seige is that participants (maximum of ten) are members of the Scouts/Survey Corps, who’ve been forced to take shelter from titans in an old castle. Eren (in titan form) and Mikasa are buying time (60 minutes to be exact) by fighting them, and Armin is giving clues to find various objects to help against the enemy.

The game does go out of its way to make it fun for Attack on Titan fans. If you have your own Attack on Titan cosplay, you are encouraged to wear it. For those without, the hosts provide green cloaks with the Wings of Freedom insignia to wear during the game. The game instructors/hosts are also in cosplay and in character. Funimation is one of the game collaborators, and I’m assuming Castle Under Seige used the anime’s English language voice actors for Mikasa and Armin (sorry, I prefer subtitles so I’m not familiar with the dub). Also, several inside jokes are infused into the puzzles and clues.

Participant uniforms!

While knowledge of Attack on Titan makes Castle Under Seige more enjoyable, it doesn’t actually give participants much of an edge. When it comes to solving the puzzles, experience with other Real Escape Games actually gives a greater advantage. So it’s entirely possible for a team with no knowledge of Attack on Titan to succeed, although they’ll probably think it’s weird that a gas cylinder is useful against man eating giants. (And according to our host, Castle Under Seige has had participants unfamiliar with the series. They provide those players with a single page synopsis of Attack on Titan.)

By the way, the success rate for Castle Under Seige is about 60%. For comparison, Real Escape Game’s Escape from the Mysterious Room is closer to 10%. So the Castle’s puzzles aren’t as intense as the Mysterious Room’s, but they’re enough to pose a fun challenge to fans looking for a new way to experience Attack on Titan.

So did we escape the titans? We did! Everyone in our team of seven was familiar with Attack on Titan, but only my husband and I had prior Real Escape Game experience (we played the Escape from the Mysterious Room in 2015). With everyone’s help, we achieved victory in 55 minutes. We weren’t anywhere close to Castle Under Seige’s current record (just over 30 minutes), but it was enough that we didn’t get eaten. And we got to pose with the props afterwards! It made my husband’s 44th birthday a memorable one.

So if you and your otaku friends are looking for a group activity and have $35 to spare, I would certainly recommend Castle Under Siege. Castle Under Siege is currently only available in Los Angeles Little Tokyo, but Real Escape also has a Zelda game and Final Fantasy XIV game touring various cities this summer. Supposedly, there’s also a Dragonball escape game at Anime Expo 2017, but the website is unresponsive so I can’t confirm that.

Anyway, check it out. And have fun escaping the titans!


Manga Review: Spoof on Titan Vol. 1

Kodansha’s Attack on Titan was a massive hit that is now a massive franchise. Several titles have spun off of the original, and joining the collection is the 4-komi comedy Spoof on Titan! Read on for the review of Volume 1!

The Review

It’s not unusual for mangaka to include funny 4-komi or four-panel comic strips in manga volumes as extras. However, Attack on Titan is a franchise with a large enough following that it’s possible to create a title comprised entirely of 4-komi gag strips. That’s exactly what Kodansha’s done in Spoof on Titan. And like many Attack on Titan spinoffs, it is handled by an artist other than creator Hajime Isayama.

Spoof on Titan uses chibi style artwork, and artist Hounori’s versions of the characters are both adorably cute and recognizable. However, some panel illustrations do get a little cramped when they feature three or more characters, and the font for translation overlays on letters, books, etc., are too tiny to read. The volume is comprised of twenty-seven chapters, each four pages long, with a few splash pages in between.

Four chapters are a hodgepodge of gags, but the remaining chapters have a unifying theme or story arc. For instance, Eren suffers his comrades’ attempts to “help” when he gets a cavity in “Dental Health,” and “Boys, Girls, and Written Exams” explores the 104th Training Corp’s test prep methods. As you might guess, the content is geared toward fans already familiar with the characters’ personalities, which also makes the jokes incomprehensible to the uninitiated.

A warning to those who’ve only seen Season 1 of the anime: there are references to revelations that take place later in the saga. In other words, if you’re not aware of the secret Bertolt and Reiner share, a couple gags may prove spoilerific. However, if you don’t care about spoilers, you will certainly get the vast majority of jokes, which center around early established themes such as Sasha’s insatiable appetite and Jean’s crush on Mikasa.

Eren and his fellow 104th cadets dominate the volume, but some relatively obscure characters get a surprising amount of attention. Hannah and Franz, whose romance came to a tragic end in the Battle for Trost, get their own lovey dovey chapter. Mike’s nose also gets its own chapter, and “Oluo’s Demise” centers around the members of Squad Levi. And even though vertical manuevering action dominates the anime and original manga, there’s hardly any of it in Spoof. It has some cannon fire and Titans roaming around, but Hounori-sensei is more interested in the craziness our squad members inflict on each other.

Extras include bonus character sketches and translation notes.

In Summary

With so many personality quirks in the ranks of the Survey Corps, there’s a lot to make fun of, and Spoof on Titan does just that. Its gags aren’t so much about taking down Titans but the mental and sometimes physical damage that squad members deal to each other. A couple jokes may prove spoilerific, but if you are current on the manga and love the cast’s idiosyncracies, these chibi-style antics are likely to provide big laughs.

First published at The Fandom Post.