Attack On Titans Live Action Part 1 (2015)

AttackOnTitansMoviePosterThe manga series that has been setting quite a trend now among otaku’s and non-otaku’s as well, the Shingeki No Kyojin (Attack On Titans) by Hajime Isayama (series creator), had made its debut on the big screen. Its movie adaptation which was directed by Shinji Higuchi, premiered on Tuesday, July 14 at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. The world premiere was hosted by FUNimation Entertainment and Toho Co. Ltd that had claimed the distribution and broadcast rights of the said movie. The film would be shown in Japan for two parts – the first was last August 1, the other will be on September 19.  And just this August 13, the titans had made their way here in the Philippines!

This had garnered different reviews from the Filipino audience.  According to some (people whom I had talked to about the movie) it was disappointing. They said that it was confusing, especially for people who didn’t get to read/watch the series. The transition of the events in the movie appeared to be too quick for a normal (non-otaku) viewer. And that, it was far too different from the scenes in the series. Also, they said that the production seemed to be rashly done.  But others said, it was awesome as a whole! Well, for me, I could actually agree that the shifting of the events were indeed too swift. Also, since I have been reading the manga, I can’t avoid comparing the characters, the event, the whole plot. I am not confused at all. Okay. Yes. Just a little. Since it’s an adaptation, at least there should have been similar scenes between the movie and the series. But yeah, I do get the point that it had to be done that way since everything would be too predictable if it had been copied from script to acting, right? However, what made me confused in the adaptation was the role that each actor had to play. As I have said, I was comparing the characters and the roles. And the comparison was made difficult since I had a hard time identifying who was who. Two of them had bothered me most. First was the garrison captain – Souda (which means garrison captain itself) which was played by Pierre Taki. At the start of his appearance, I thought he was Keith Shadis since he mentioned Carla Jaeger being won over by Grisha Jaeger. And then, later in the movie he turned into a drunkard and was showing a fatherly affection to Eren (Jaeger, Haruma Miura), Armin (Arlert, Kanata Hongo) and Mikasa (Ackerman, Kiko Mizuhara) which was a role of Hannes, a garrison captain in the manga who saved the kids from the smiling titan. Next, the most baffling among all, was Captain Shikishima played by Hiroki Hasegawa. They said, he was closer to Levi’s role than anyone else. But no can do! He can’t be Heichou, you know! He’s too tall to be Levi. That’s it. Moreover, he couldn’t be Erwin either. The Scouting Legion Commander would jump right on the giants just to save his men, although he’d prefer to risk the lives of many for a greater cause. *smirk* But, oh well, I shouldn’t have compared to begin with, right? Haha.

Over-all, it was a score of  6/10 for me. It should have been a perfect ten. But then there were bloopers in the final play. The first thing I noticed was the very unrealistic splash of blood from the titans. Although it had to be that way, but amateur as I am with regards to movie production, I found the blood-effects obviously unnatural. Second to mention was the creepy laugh of the titans! I found that, erm, weird. Yeah. If you watch the anime series, titans don’t laugh there man. And yes, for a plot twist, they had to do that. But that was way too twisted, I believe. Since titans are supposed to be irrational beings, it’s contrary to note that in the movie they find joy in devouring humans. They were even grinning! Well, that part was funny though. Third, was the baby titan. How was it even possible? Perhaps he’d been breastfed by his mother titan? Or, perhaps he’d been injected the supposed to be measles shot but ended to be a Titan serum? That was another confusion in the movie. Lastly, if Captain Shikishima is indeed Levi, then it’d be my ultimate protest against the whole movie. Why? He should have been more handsome and uuhh, hot than Eren! Lol. But he wasn’t. 😦 So Higuchi didn’t get my perfect score because of these trivial observations? Nope. He didn’t get it because of the following:

  1. Major turn-around. Eren’s mother being eaten was the very reason why he pushed himself to join the Survey Corps. But either Higuchi or Isayama didn’t include that.
  2. It was way too modernized. I would have loved to see them riding on their horses as they tried to restore the wall and save humanity!
  3. Captain Shikishima seemed to be Mikasa’s love interest! Why’s that? It would be great if he’d stay her mentor until the end, not some lover.
  4. The names of the walls changed. I like the original Wall Rose, Sina and Maria.
  5. They were supposed to be a group of different race. Armin and Jean were supposed to be blonde.
  6. Too many unnecessary additional characters.
  7. Mikasa was weak at the start. Why the lame-to-queen ripper course change? She was supposed to be strong from the beginning to lead Eren! Not some damsel in distress that was rescued by some prince and then pretended to be oblivious of her childhood love. What was that all about?
  8. Lastly, Christa wasn’t there. She played the most important role in the series next to Eren. But she wasn’t even there. Okay.

But Higuchi is not the only one to blame for all these. Actually, since Isayama had been there during the production, he personally requested to alter some parts, for some reasons. And I don’t want to justify Isayama’s reasoning for that because that would ruin my Hajime Isayama fan club. Just let them be! What’s done is done. Haha.

On the other side of the coin, I liked the fact that the two bubbly characters of Sasha (Nanami Sakuraba) and Hanji (or Hans, Satomi Ishihara) had been retained. At the very least, those two gave the film the essence of being close to the original plot. Plus, the 3D Maneuver Gear that seemed to be so legit! An also plausible feature of the movie was the almost non-stop action from start to finish. That’s one thing the team can be proud of. You will never get bored watching it. Another thing, though I have mentioned some unnatural occurrences,  the effects were nearly superb. Thumbs up to Higuchi and the Scouting Legion!

Yet, this doesn’t end here. There will be more reviews to come as soon as Part Two of the movie sets off. Will this change the views of the people from good to better or from good to worse or from worse to worst? Well, let’s see how it goes! Let’s all watch the Attack on Titan: End of the World on September 19 (Japan) and tentatively on September 23 (Philippines). Though I was only averagely satisfied with the first part, I’d still like to witness more smiling titans crushing humanity!

Short Background

Attack on Titan is based on the popular manga series of the same name (Shingeki no Kyojin in Japanese), which tells the story of a world where most of humanity has been destroyed by giants and where the last of mankind fights to survive behind three concentric walls – walls that were once impenetrable to the giants. Read more of its plot here.

Way to go Eren!

DISCLAIMER:

I only own the opinions in this article. The facts, however, are from other different sites that also discuss the series and the movie. The photo is also not mine. Credit to its owner.

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