Attack on Titan 2: End of the World Movie Review

Attack on Titan 2: End of the World Theatrical Poster (c) Toho Pictures

Attack on Titan 2: End of the World Theatrical Poster (c) Toho Pictures

Money is indeed the root of all evil. Nope this has nothing to do with the film’s storyline folks but that’s what I felt after watching the film. How come the mangaka and publisher of the breakout and multi-awarded manga (and well-received anime) let their brilliant work got Dragonball: Evolution-ized? (TRANSLATION: f*cked up)

I had hoped that picking up from the last turn of events from the first part of the film that was shown last month, there will be redemption on the franchise. Unfortunately, the producers wasted yet another screen time as they started “Attack on Titan 2: End of the World” (Japanese Title: “Shingeki no Kyojin: Endo obu za Warudo”) with a series of recap that ultimately sacrificed what could have been a spot to go deeper on the whole mythology.

And then there’s a series of flashback and a laughable dream sequence that is totally forgettable. Whoever wrote that dream sequence deserves a slap on his face with the first 17 tankōbon (volumes) of the manga. Why the hell Shikishima was in that sequence? Oftentimes, people say that one’s biggest rival is himself. So seeing Shikishima on Eren’s dream sequence made me realized that Eren is an embodiment of a pathetic loser guy! But then again, this is the f*cked up live-action movie version. In the manga, Eren’s ramification was triggered by his aspirations, ideals and ordeals in life, oftentimes he got an extra push from Mikasa and Armin, his closest childhood friends, so seeing this on the manga/anime is acceptable. But suddenly putting Shikishima on that sequence is out of the line and it just doesn’t make sense at all. Essentially, the second-part of the movie immediately picks up after the aftermath of the attack so it doesn’t make much sense how Shikishima immediately became so invested with a stranger like Eren, and that Eren would actually grew a pair of balls.

Another standout (not in a good way though) was the shift of focus from the “regular-sized” Titan (Part 1) to “Colossal” Titan (Part 2). Suddenly, viewers were introduced to this big (aka Colossal) Titan and the reign of the regular-sized Titan was abruptly omitted. Well, they were briefly shown (like 5 seconds) to remind viewers that they still exists, just outside the walls running through hills: but remember that the wall is still wide open so given the film’s timeline (Eren’s capture; the team’s journey that leads them to the bomb; all the talksh!ts; useless screen time; eating potatoes; etc.) not a single regular-sized Titan made an attempt to enter the city?

Purist like me keeps on asking, why did they omitted Levi’s character (from the original manga) and replaced by Shikishima? But after seeing the 2-part live-action movie, I thought it was a good thing on Levi’s part to be spared from all the embarrassment.

Rating: 6.5/10

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Attack on Titan Movie Review

Attack on Titan Theatrical Poster (c) Toho Pictures

Attack on Titan Theatrical Poster (c) Toho Pictures

The live-action film, “Attack on Titan” is based upon the best-selling manga and hit anime series of the same title (Japanese Title: Shingeki no Kyojin) by mangaka Hajime Isayama. 100 years ago, Titans suddenly appeared on Earth. Soon, human civilization veered on collapse due to the Titans. Humans then built a giant wall to defend themselves. Within the giant walls, humans lived in peace, but, 100 years later, the giant wall is broken.

The film started on a rather slow paced and alterations on the original material immediately hailed hardcore manga and anime fans including me. It is worth noting that I haven’t seen a single trailer prior to watching this film because the otaku in me would always inevitably compare the original and the adapted work early on.

One could agree that the original material (manga) is well-received because of the core genre which is “revenge” and yet there is a balance of “action” and “narrative” – at least on the original manga. The movie however was a dire adaptation of one of the most celebrated mangas in recent years. Case in point: let me tell you, Eren Yeager is the “HEART” and “SOUL” of the whole Titan-verse, period. But the movie shied away from the original material and insinuates as if Mikasa Ackerman is the lead character.

For the benefit of those who doesn’t follow the manga and haven’t seen the first season of the anime (yes, there’s a second season coming this 2016), Eren wanted to be part of the Survey Corps right from the start and his resolve to be part of the elite soldiers was intensified even more when he witnessed his mother’s gruesome death at the hand of a Titan.

The Eren I grew to love, is a strong man fueled with determination to protect mankind; with her adoptive-sister, Mikasa – a remarkably strong and talented fighter; and Armin Arlert, Eren’s childhood friend, that at first lacks courage and strength but is an invaluable asset to the group because of his high intelligence. Together, the three of them sets out on a journey for a common goal – to protect humanity. Unfortunately, this wasn’t mirrored on the film version. For me the characterizations of these three are intricate parts of the whole story-telling. These are the basics, sure, you can replace or add new characters but fans will always look for the fundamentals.

Instead, the film took a different turn, but even on their own version, the story is still shallow. Eren mourned when Misaka was believed to be dead and yet there’s no proper closure on his mother’s demise. There’s a moment when the scene cuts to a drunken Souda, still coping for the death of his wife that became a laughing stuff at the cinema, but wait, the guy got a point. He’s been drinking to ease the pain; to grieve. But Eren? Yeah my mother died, okay let’s move on. The writers basically wanted to build a fan service out of Erin and Mikasa so they rushed everything. Shame.

The film is full of non-sense dialogues; hence, wasted screen time. They could have utilized these to let the moviegoers delve deeper into the whole Titan mythology. Moreover, the fighting scenes weren’t choreographed well; there’s a lackluster display of three dimensional maneuver gears; and well, the whole movie is a disaster.

The second-part, “Attack on Titan: End of the World” is due this September. Will it fair better is yet to be seen. In the meantime, if you’re a hardcore manga and anime fan and doesn’t want to get Dragonball: Evolution-ized, then don’t watch this film.

Rating: 6.5/10