Friday, August 14, 2015

Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) Live Action Movie: Part 1 Review


We've been waiting for this live action movie adaptation of Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) for about a year since it was first announced, and now we finally get what we want. The AoT/SnK movie shows up on SM Cinemas (luckily, including SM City Lucena at our province) so we can get a taste of the bloody Titan-slaying action.



Production and Design



So in this remake, you get non-anime colored hair characters and more of Japanese actors, since it's produced in their home country. It's a lot more realistic and the walls were built like the real thing. Sadly though, it's not just characters they changed (and the plot) but also the names of the 3 walls / regions to a more Japanese feel (I sorta forgot what they were changed to, though).

All of the locations were really worth your cinema pleasure and they never fail to catch your eyes. The Titans were absolutely realistic, especially Colossal and Eren (yes, you get to see Eren's Titan Form in this movie, which makes me absolutely happy). All the details you didn't see in the anime and manga are fully-CG'ed here. Blood, body horror and 3DMG (ODMG in the movie) are all very much realistic, too. I do like how they added hints of (crashed) flying machines in the setting to make it really look post-apocalyptic.

Casting


Okay, this is going to be very critical, since I've watched the anime and read most of the manga as well (though not continuously updated to the latest chapters, but I've gotten farther than the anime for sure).

Eren in the movie is quite different from the stubborn, naive Eren we've seen on the original manga and anime. He's a lot more matured and badass in the film, to be honest. Armin's movie counterpart may not be that anime shota type but he is kind of a real-life shota character in a sense, too, since he's the youngest in the team. Sasha's potato stuff and Hanji / Hange (Hans in this movie, is this Frozen? LOL) were very entertaining.

Along with other Levi and RiRen (Levi x Eren shipping) fans, I'm pretty disappointed that they changed Levi's character into a different Shikishima guy, who's more of associated with Mikasa than as her rival towards protecting Eren. I do like his apple scenes (makes me feel like he's Kira / Light Yagami) and I'm also glad that the preview for the part 2 of the movie at least shows that chain / torture scene with Eren and Levi (but it's gonna be Shikishima this time, though).

Most of the other cast members are okay, except that a couple of great characters were replaced to have a more "straight" feel from the show (they emphasized the gore and diminished the gay feels, seriously). Ymir and Christa were replaced by a straight couple, there's a certain character who will flirt with Eren, and like I said above, Mikasa's role in the series is more "feminine" than her anime / manga counterpart, which kinda sucks (for me at least), and will probably make Mikasa haters dislike her even more.

Plot


If you came here for the plot and you've read the manga / watched the anime, you'll be disappointed, just how Tokyo Ghoul fans were disappointed with the anime adaptation. There were some scenes that were retained (the important ones, like Eren's Titan Shifting or Eren and Jean fighting each other), but a big miss is their mother's death is out of the picture, replaced by a different sad plot focusing on Mikasa alone. It also threw away that part of Eren and Mikasa's tragic childhood backstory to stick to the new plot.

Conclusion


The anime stays truer to the manga and I liked it better of course, because it was a lot less race-specific, but of course, Japanese productions normally can't afford to go with that kind of interracial production and sacrifice the quality of the Titan CG effects. Overall, Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) Live Action Movie: Part 1 was pretty satisfying in terms of cinematography, effects and realism. If you haven't watched the anime or read the manga, I think it's alright, but you might feel a bit cringed when you've stuck to the series since 2013 when it first aired.

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