NOTICE: If you are an avid fan of AoT franchise and hasn’t watch the movie yet, I please advise you to not read this article for it will contain spoilers.
Here is my take on the live action movie. Let’s all be open minded about this. Initially everyone thinks that once an anime or manga will be having a movie adaptation, we think they’ll follow the follow of the manga or anime, but it’s not always like that.
The live-action “Attack on Titan” (Shingeki No Kyojin) movie has a different approach. Still getting some scenes at the anime and manga, they didn’t change it entirely but they made their own story.
At the beginning of the movie, it started as what the anime and manga introduced. Several hundred years ago, humans were nearly exterminated by titans. Titans are typically several stories tall, seem to have no intelligence, devour human beings and, worst of all, seem to do it for the pleasure rather than as a food source. A small percentage of humanity survived by walling themselves in a city protected by extremely high walls, even taller than the biggest of titans.
Flash forward to the present and the city has not seen a titan in over 100 years. As seen in the movie Armin (Kanata Hongo) was helping the family business then his father said that Eren (Haruma Miura) lost his job again. Concerned he decided to look for Eren, on his way a kid called out to him saying his invention is broken, he promised to fix it and return it to the kid. He went and look for Mikasa (Kiko Mizuhara), he found him and they went and looked for Eren. They found him on top of a disarmed bomb. Eren looking over at the walls imagining what could be outside those walls.
Eren, forcing Mikasa and Armin to join him and check out the wall. Secretly hiding from the watchers, they made it over the fence. Eren noticed that Mikasa is feeling cold so he gave his red scarf and put it around her. After a few minutes of staring at the wall up close, they were caught by the Stationary Troops. Eren and Armin tried to fight back and soon was discovered by Mr. Shouda-san. Shouda-san (Pierre Taki) was laughing that he also did what Eren did along with his mother during those times. Suddenly there was an earthquake-like, then they soon discovered that it was a Titan. Eren didn’t believe it that after a 100 years, they showed themselves again. The Titan, as stated in the anime and manga, is the Colossal Titan. He rammed his feet to make a wall so that the smaller Titans can get in.
Eren, Mikasa, and Armin run for their life. Armin split up with the group to look for his family while Mikasa and Eren kept on running until they reached a shelter. They saw a mother and baby sitting on the ground crying, Eren immediately went get the the mother but the mother dropped the baby and Mikasa took charge to get the baby. Eren was pushed by the current of the people going inside the shelter leaving Mikasa and the baby outside while the Titan was there looking at them. Eren screaming to let him out to save Mikasa but was too late. He went out and saw the place, full of debris and scattered bodies and blood everywhere.
After two years, Eren and Armin joined the Scouting Legion. Kubal (Jun Kunimura) congratulated the current legion and that they’ll be having their first task. Hange also known as Hans (Satomi Ishihara) for short, explained what they’ll do. They where tasked to go and reclaim explosives at their hometown. Being said at dusk they’ll leave.
People that joined the Legion said there final goodbyes to the people they love. Showing first was Shasha aka “Potato Girl” (Nanami Sakuraba), as seen in the movie, she was sold off by her parents. Next was Jean (Takahiro Miura) talking to his drunk dad to regain pride once again for their family. Sannagi (Satoru Matsuo) said goodbye to his little siblings. As Armin and Eren passed by each and everyone of them, they know there are no one waiting for them at home.
On the eve, they set out immediately for they know that Titans are asleep at night. They need to arrive at the designated by dawn. During the journey, the carriage stopped for they notice something in the field. The scouting legion went down and search the ground. While searching the grounds, Shasha’s tummy grumbled really loud so Armin gave her a potato and gave her another potato just in case she is still hungry. Eren, Jean and Hiana (Ayame Misaki) was the last group to go into the abandoned building. Hiana claiming that she heard a baby’s cry, without hesitation she went while Eren followed behind. Seeing at the end that the baby they heard was actually a Titan baby. It cried and basically they caught the attention of the Titans residing the area.
Shikishima (Hiroki Hasegawa) and Mikasa came to the aid and help them defeat the titans. Many were injured during the fight. Armin and Eren saw Mikasa. They were shocked and didn’t expect that she was still alive. While others are attending the injured, Jean and Eren had a fist fight. Eren breaking Jean’s jaw caught Shikishima’s attention and called Eren to have a talked. Eren asked about Mikasa while Shikisima said “then fly”. Eren then found where Mikasa is, playing the broken piano. Mikasa showed that she was bitten by the titan. Shikishima purposely interrupted by throwing Eren an apple. Shikisima biting the apple offered it to Mikasa. Eren seeing the scene fleed.
While the others are putting the explosives in the carriage, Eren was in a corner thinking and Hiana came by to ask about him and Eren. While their chatting, you can hear Fukushi (Shu Watanabe) and Lil (Rina Takeda) in the background doing their thing. Hiana is seducing Eren, saying if he is fine having a relationship with a single mother. Eren then saw an eye looking straight at them, he froze and it was a titan.
Finding about that titans has arrived at their location. They all went out and protected one another. Kubal seeing the titans ordered everyone to protect the explosives at all costs. Seeing at the background, there is someone behind him. The scouting legion gets their ODMG in the carriage and went high in the buildings to put on the gear and proceed with their mission. Eren running decided to take cover at a bolder seeing Shasha there as well. Right beside them was Lil, Fukushi and Souda. Lil desperately asked Shouda to help Fukushi, but he can’t do anything more. Lil vowed to herself to take revenge and kill all the titans. Hans from above sees that the carriage with the explosives are being taken away by a thief, she screamed and told them to take back the carriage, lucky Lil was there, she lit the explosives and went to the driver’s seat. A fist fight happened, then she rammed the carriage to the ankles of one of the titans.
Eren at the top of a building saw the scene that they are surrounded by titans, right beside him was Jean. Saying that its the end for them, Eren seeing that Shikishima was there looking at him, decided to fly and attack the titans, and so he did. Unfortunately, his leg was bitten by the titan. Mikasa, saw Eren but she has to choose for there is a titan behind her, she decided to kill the titan. On the grounds, Hans, Armin and the others saw that Jean was in trouble, so Armin gave an idea to save Jean. They tried to take the attention of the titans, successfully they caught one’s attention. Killed it and Jean was saved. Mikasa joining the group saw that they are cornered by the titans, she then decides to make a path for them to leave. Unfortunately, Mikasa’s ODMG run out of gas and so she fell on the ground. Armin was caught by a fat titan, this titan isn’t affected by Sannagi’s axe and Jean’s ODMG. Eren saw that Armin was caught and he got up and ran to the titan, getting Armin’s hand replacing him inside the titan’s mouth. He was swallowed in while cutting his arm.
Eren seeing that Hiana dead inside the titan’s stomach shouted, and that triggered something in him. The fat titan roaming around found Mikasa, she is ready to fight even if her ODMG ran out of gas then suddenly something isn’t right. A titan appeared inside the fat titan. He fought the other titans around the area. Souda seeing the fighting skills of this titan said “it’s him” then eventually the other titans decided to leave after he made a roar.
The titan that appeared approached Mikasa and took her but eventually dropped her. Souda shouting to immediately attack the nape of the titan for someone is inside. Mikasa then gets the blade of the ODMG and sliced the nape, there came out Eren. Everyone was shocked while Shikishima looking down at them.
As I said in the beginning of this article, the movie has a different approach than the anime and manga. Instead of Eren and Mikasa are siblings, in the movie, it shows that they are a couple. Armin showing that he wants to be an inventor once the chaos is finally over.
It shows some parts of the movie the reality we have now. Like for one; Fukushi and Lil having sex in the side while Hiana knowingly she’s a single mother seducing Eren. Kubal leaving them, the scouting legion, as bait so they can escape without being noticed.
Eren being displayed as a slacker who is tired of living behind the colossal walls from the titans, instead of an aggressive kid with some sociopathic tendencies who vows for revenge for the lost of his mother. It’s not necessarily horrible since they’re still represented as unlikely heroes, but Eren’s arc is basically just trying to win back his girl and living up to that image, it makes him look lousier. What makes this character originally interesting is the fact that he is a traumatized kid who is too full of himself, which eventually crosses the line of his humanity and morality.
But the movie’s approach is rather standard in comparison from the manga and anime. While it still wonderfully realizes the most grotesque moments, the characters are watered down with less interesting background.
You actually don’t know what genre this movie is, is it, suspense, horror or adventure?
What I felt at the end of this movie is really confusing because, the ending was really a cliff hanger. There are moments that are touching like when Armin gave Shasha his potatoes which he has in his vest, the look Shasha gave to Armin when their talking infront of the fire place, Hans having the desire to catch a live titan to dissect and experiment, Eren giving his scarf to Mikasa, and Shikishima feeding Mikasa his apple. There’s a love triangle going on with Eren, Mikasa, and Shikishima? This I got to see on the 2nd part of the film. Seeing Armin being caught by the titan and Eren inside the titan’s mouth, now that was really part of the anime and manga.
The producers of this film still get parts of the anime and manga for this film. They didn’t entirely made it as their own. They have their own story which is still connected to the franchise.
There is nothing to hate about this movie. Live actions are always not terrible. They want to make a new approach with this franchise. They have the creator with them during the production of this movie, so the producers are asking the insights of the creator itself. And he approves of it. The possible reason I think you’ll hate the movie is because you’ll expect so much from it since the manga and anime is really good. Don’t expect too much on the film.
Watch the trailer if you are having doubts, if it caught your interest, then watch the movie.
(photos in this article are all taken from google.com)