One of the most popular animes had a highly anticipated live action version made…and despite the hate train chugging full steam ahead, this guy actually really dug it…alot.
Hajime Isayama’s manga “Attack on Titan”, one of the best selling mangas in recent history, initially got the anime treatment in 2013 to rave reviews. A breath of fresh air in a world of animation that, at that point, was lacking in solid storytelling. One of the highest streamed series of modern times amassing over One million episodes streamed to date, and gaining an audience of die hard fans, that cherished its setting, characters and storytelling.
With such a cult following, its always tricky to take the punt and convert an animated insta-classic, into a live action film.
Attack on Titan tells the story of a post apocalyptic world, where survivors living behind huge man made walls in “Gated Communities” if you will. 100 years prior, the threat of the Titans (huge humanoid monsters who wreaked havoc and devoured everyone in their path) invaded and ran wild across the world, forcing the last humans to fortify themselves into their locked community.
The years went past, civilization rebuilt itself, a new government, a new community, and a task force created to contend with the threat of the gargantuan Titans….but it’d been many, many years since they’d been attacked, the task force now complacent and nearly non existent. Life was once again..relatively normal. People went on with day to day activities, and the old threat became more of a fairy-tale. As new generations came along, the “Fenced in” lifestyle grew tiresome for the younger generation, yearning to get past the walls and see the real world. Surely that’s not a problem right?
Well…as soon as that mindset is established…lo and behold…a Colossal Titan rears its ugly head over the walls, peeking in.. set for destruction. The walls are breached, and in flow the fabled Titans to wreak Havoc upon the once safe interior of the community. Typical eh?
Dont make walls like they used to…
Attack on Titan, a story of friends, survival, revelation and betrayals. What drives this duo of films is its deep characters, and its believable set pieces. From the Captain of the Army, honorable and set in his ways, all the way to the main protagonist Eren, who’s yearning to escape the walls and make his own destiny. The characters stick, and they are believable.
While AOT offers a solid story line, a lot is condensed from its animated counterpart. We lose a lot of character interaction and building. But to be fair, the original series had the usual anime “filler episodes”, where entire episodes would be used to set up certain plot points, much akin in the way of Naruto or Dragonball,whereas these could really be breezed over, and thankfully are. The film moves quickly and very direct, wasting no time on filler. It tells a story, simply, and does it damn well.
Visually its a stunning film, the use of CGI on the Colossal Titan as well of the Titan Horde is executed very well, that only Japanese cinema could pull off so convincingly. Providing a surreal and very eerie depiction of the threat at hand. Giant naked lumbering humanoid figures trudge through the town, emotionless, devouring and mercilessly tearing apart its inhabitants. Its a scene of utter madness that makes the skin crawl.
As the film progresses, the Team of troops embark on a mission to close the breach in the outer wall and stop the threat at hand. Amid a few interesting plot twists (No Spoilers here people!), we end up with a huge Monster Mash which initially i found a little cheesy…but epic in its own right. I cant complain really, its classed as a Tokusatsu/ Kaiju film, and i’m guilty of watching all the Godzilla films…religiously…so..hey..giant battles rock!
Overall, despite its condensed format, the two Attack on Titan films are definitely entertaining and area visual treat for anime or Asian cinema fans alike.
Originally released separately, Madman Entertainment has collected the films in a box set for ease of viewing.
On either DVD or Blu-Ray the set comes with a selection of Character Cards displaying a variety of characters from the film as well as the original Japanese release trailers.
You can order it direct from Madman or your local JB HiFi.
©2015 TOHO CO., LTD. / Kodansha Ltd. / DENTSU INC. / AMUSE INC. / HoriPro Inc. / Hakuhodo DY media partners Inc. / East Japan Marketing & Communications,Inc. / KDDI CORPORATION / THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN / The Asahi Shimbun Company / NIPPON SHUPPAN HANBAI INC. / GYAO Corporation / TOKYO FM BROADCASTING CO,.LTD. ©Hajime Isayama,KODANSHA English Language Version © 2016 Toho Co., Ltd.