Warning: Huge SPOILERS for the Attack on Titan Live Action movies, as well as the anime/manga.
I finally caught part 2 of the Attack on Titan live action movie and even though I found part one all sorts of terrible already, the trailer for part 2 looked promising enough for me to watch. I hoped Part 2 would be better since there wasn’t anywhere else to go but up but Part 2 was even more of a train wreck and overall, the movies are a waste of money and nothing more than a cash cow milking the popularity of the Anime/Manga series.
Don’t watch the movies – they are terrible. Better still, forget they exist.
1. Major Plot Changes
The movie makes some huge changes, as all live actions tend to, but they left out (perhaps thankfully so) or greatly modified important characters and then justified the changes terribly. The first major change is the location – which is now in Japan, and that is used as the justification for leaving out characters such as Levi or changing character names. I call bullshit because you can’t even tell it’s set in Japan and how are Armin, Eren, Jean and even Sasha still included and yet Levi not when their reason for leaving him out was that Levi was too ‘non-Japanese’ sounding of a name. Instead of Levi, we have the character Shikishima, a skilled Survey Corps member with a twisted personality.
The world of the live action movie is also more technologically advanced, with tanks, explosives and guns but that seems to be it (or is it?). The survey corps don’t even exist at the start of the movie, and is only formed after the Colossal Titan attacks.
My greatest peeve is changing the personalities of the characters – who are these people I’m watching on screen? Who is this joyful, giggling Mikasa that frolicks in green pastures? What is this Armin? Wait – that’s Eren?!? They even changed the reason why Eren decided to decimate all the Titans in order to accommodate their new plot lines – and it’s so stupid. On the day of the Colossal Titan attack, Eren’s life spirals into darkness as Mikasa is taken away from him and he believes she was eaten by a Titan (but wait – she’s a main character how can she die?) so he grieves for her.
2. Bad Plot
The entire plot is stupid – and it’s so strange how can you screw up something that is pretty damn straightforward? Both movies play like a joke that you’re waiting for to end. Part 1 is just a set up for the second movie, with everything that happens between the Colossal Titan attack at the start and Eren’s transformation into his Titan Form, filler that can be ignored. It ends shortly after a replica of Eren’s Transformation scene (props for that!) but you soon realise that you don’t have to watch the movie at all because nothing of note actually happens. We have Survey Corps now! They’re going to fight Titans now! On a mission to patch up that wall so more Titans come in! Oh no, almost everyone dies! What do we do now? BOOM – “The last hope for humanity” appears like a y’know, deus ex machina. All hope is not lost!
They try to make it ‘deeper’ in the second movie, you know, throw in government conspiracy, one big scene where one character (who also turns out to be a Titan Shifter) explains everything and our protagonist learns the “truth” and an inside rebellion to overthrow the government tyranny. Turns out Titans are the results of human experimentation which wiped out humankind. It was kind of like a virus, and random people were turning into Titans all over the world – cheesy footage of Japan, America and even somewhere in the Middle East of Titans. Eren and the other humans that can turn into Titans are the success stories. Titans were the “common enemy” the government used to unite people toward one cause and control them, and now, the humans who couldn’t turn into Titans live within the walls in fear, poverty and hunger.
Thus the need to rebel, overthrow the government! Join forces and use their Titan powers for good! Oh no wait – but that rebellion isn’t any good either so the protagonist and his crew rebel against that (REBEL-CEPTION!?) to forge their own path for humanity. Once they’ve accomplished that whoo hoo it’s a new chapter of life for humanity, one that they chose! Of course there is a final “boss” battle and a revelation (another Titan Shifter!? Whaaaaat?).
The movie ends with Eren and Mikasa gazing over the wall at the sea in the distance, smiling as an eagle circles over yonder – this is the freedom to choose! The freedom we have created!
I am no more entertained at the end of the movies than I was at the start and all I did was shake my head at this terrible stain on the Attack on Titan name.
3. Unnecessary Plot Additions
Deciding that Romance was a necessary theme in the movie, they made it a major component of their plot because now, the relationship between Eren and Mikasa is romantic. Which is rather creepy for Anime/Manga followers as their relationship is more that of siblings and the furthest away from romantic possible. They also have a character whose only use is a scene where she tries to get into Eren’s pants in the most creepy way possible.
Remember how Mikasa disappears? She appears later on as Shikishima’s right hand woman and….lover? There’s a horribly creepy scene where he throws her an apple he’s bitten once and she eats it as he puts his arm around her…all while Eren watches, eyes wide in terror. Mikasa, my love, she’s been taken from me!
More on unlikely couples, later in Part 2, somehow Sasha Blause becomes romantically attracted to Armin – wait WHAT??????
4. Unnecessary Scenes
I cringed so hard at some of these scenes because WHY!!?
– Shikishima, Mikasa and that APPLE
– “I want you to be the father of my child”
– The entire “I hear a baby crying” arc
– Eren and the Jukebox
I’m pretty sure there are more but these are what I can remember off the top of my head – leave a comment to let me know what you thought was unnecessary!
You kind of know what is going to happen because when X character goes missing in an earlier scene, since they’re a pretty big character, you know they’ll be back to save the day some time later. Or when Y character “dies” but appears later, you also know they’re going to be used as some huge plot twist. Which happens so often in the movie you get sick of the whole Deus ex machina thing or the whole Love Will Be The Answer bullshit when Mikasa is the only one who can save Eren and vice versa.
Eugh, don’t mind me as I barf in the corner.
So supposedly most of the technology got wiped out in this big war against the Titans years ago and Armin even has to go invent a thing to trigger the bomb that looks all sorts of backward. Then suddenly it appears that Shikishima’s room has a fucking APPLE TV and Projector and that weird jukebox in the corner Eren stares at for a good 5minutes allowing you to contemplate why you wasted your money. There is even a whole frame dedicated to that Apple TV Remote and where does he get that Champagne from too!? Oh, I guess it’s another one of those Hunger Games things where all the food and technology are congregated in the Capital only.
7. Bad Acting
With the exception of Ishihara Satomi as Hanji who actually did a good job, a couple did decently, like Kanata Hongo (Armin) and Nanami Sakuraba (Sasha) but seriously how horrible is Haruma Miura’s acting in this film!? Which is a shame because you know he can actually act. He was in Bloody Monday, Koizora, Gokusen and quite a few other films and dramas but nothing beats this monstrosity. He should forget he ever did this, but I doubt anyone will let him.
What about Mizuhara Kiko (Mikasa)? We all know she can’t act – she’s a model. But she is good at doing the whole quiet, brooding stoic act that Mikasa is supposed to be, just as long as you forget her trying to frolic and be happy.
8. Grotesque Titans
The “Titans” in the movie are actual Japanese people, wired up with motion sensor and capture or whatever and using CG to make them what they are. But since they just look like actual people, some faces I felt I recognized on Japanese TV, being creepy and running around. AND IT IS ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING.
In the Anime you can desensitize yourself somewhat because the Titans are clearly monsters with a vague humanoid form but in the movie when you see a Titan lunge over all you get are images of that creepy, old dude running to get you with a perverted grin and it’s just all sorts of trauma. Not to mention that they made sure to add loads and loads of fat rolls when the Titans came running. Ummmmm. No.
Wow this list got long, and turned out to be a lot of my own rambling and ranting but oh yeah, did they ever solve that mystery about the hijacker? I can’t seem to remember if they did but frankly I don’t really care.
Hopefully these reasons are enough to persuade you not to watch the Attack on Titan live action movies. Just don’t. Or you know, watch it, but just not expect anything good from it.