Warning: Contains spoilers from the anime
The official trailer of the live-action version of Attack of Titan was finally released a few weeks ago, and I gushed at how awesome it looked. However, not all of the internet shared the same sentiments, which is expected. I’ve read the complaints and some of the issues they raised are understandable. It’s not like I haven’t been burned by disappointing live-action movies in the past. The worst culprits have to be romance movies adapted from shoujo mangas. They try to condense the plots into 2+ hours, and then styled the characters all weird and unrealistic. I really do not like the live-action of Koukou Debut. The manga was soooo good, but ugh, the movie took away all the sense of realism the mangaka carefully wrote.
Anyways, what I’m trying to say is that I completely understood why some people are a bit skeptical when it comes to the live-action movies (there are going to be 2 parts) of Attack on Titan. Well, that’s a lie because to be honest, prior to watching the trailer, I had no knowledge whatsoever of the source material. It’s not like I’ve never heard of the manga. I know Attack on Titan is huge within the local and international fandom; just that the art does not appeal to me and I’m more disturbed by the fact that the giants are naked, rather than that they eat humans. Why can’t they wear clothes like those stone age peeps? Okay, fine, that would take a lot of animal skin, given their size, so it’s not possible. Luckily the titans do not have any reproductive organs so it’s less disturbing… ish. That is until I saw the fight scenes between Titan Eren and Female Titan. Some of the scenes are just so wrong especially when he managed to pin her down, that I’m too embarrassed to share the screenshots on this post. Yes, I just finished watching the first season of the anime in anticipation of the live-action movies. See, there are some benefits to making this movie because now I’m a fan. I’ll check out the manga when I have time… or should I just wait for the second season? But, that’s not until 2016…
I watched the trailer again, and now through a different sets of eyes, But before that, let me address on the matter of the nationality of the casts. This might be an unpopular opinion: I am actually happy that they made all of the casts Asians. Despite the characters’ names, I am used to them speaking in Japanese so casting a westerner and changing the language would just make it weird. Besides, even though Mikasa is supposed to be the last (half) oriental person, it does not affect the plot, other than her backstory. As for the actors themselves, I am unfamiliar with most of their previous works, except for Miura Haruma (Eren), Hongo Kanata (Armin) and Ishihara Satomi (Hans/Hanji). I have seen Miura Haruma go angst-y as hacker boy, Falcon in Bloody Monday. He’s just okay as an actor, but Hongo Kanata is definitely the superior one of the two. And Ishihara Satomi has the energy to play eccentric characters and is able to spout a huge amount of information in a matter of seconds. Plus, she’s getting coached by Park Romi, Hanji’s seiyuu.
From the character posters, the new movies feature original characters, most of them having Japanese names. I don’t really mind this because the original ensemble is large: there are so many characters that come and go and not to sound grim or anything, but chances are some of them are going to die anyway. It looks like the movie is going to skip the 104th Trainees Squad arc and instead opting to condense the training into making Eren and the gang Survey Corps soldiers. Levi’s poster is also nowhere in sight and it seems like he is being substituted by new character, Shikishima, as he is labelled as humanity’s strongest. Er, why? I’m still hoping that Levi will appear at the end of the first movie as a surprise cameo.
Judging from the trailer, the first instalment is probably going to focus on two main events: the fall of Zhiganshina (and Wall Maria) and the battle between humanity including the newly trained soldiers and the titans. We might not be able to meet the other Titan-shifters, other than Colossal Titan. I want a Titan Eren vs Colossal Titan battle. Although, really I can’t imagine how he is going fight as Titan Eren is still tiny (~15m) compared to Colossal Titan (60m, but the production team announced that they doubled his size). Maybe, he has to use a giant 3D Maneuver Gear? No? Too big to make? Get a radioactive spider to bite him so Titan Eren can turn into Spider Titan.
The titans in the trailer are shown to have a cool skin tone as opposed the warm hues sported by the anime counterparts. This is an interesting choice, considering the fact that titans have high body temperatures. I don’t know if it’s an artistic choice to make the titans appear cold-blooded killers. But then, even the surroundings look dark, and considering that titans are (probably, not completely proven) dependent on sunlight and are inactive at night, it feels unfaithful to source. I couldn’t really see the faces of the titans but I hope they look super scary. Even though the anime versions are creepy, but at times I can’t help but laugh at them because they all have that blank, stupid looks on their faces. It’s probably because they are actually stupid, but according to Armin, they seem capable of learning, so yikes! Anyways, the ones from the Subaru Forrester commercial, which is directed by the same director for the live-action, aren’t that great, but that’s probably because of the budget limit. The Colossal Titan looks way, way better in the trailer, so fingers crossed.
One thing which is missing from the trailer is that we have yet to see the 3DMG in action. All I can say is they better make it awesome. I want to see the casts flying around, like ninjas, with extra speed. I want them to go all-out in the actions department ala Rurouni Kenshin. I still love rewatching all the fight scenes. They’re so epic!!! Don’t even dare to screw this up. Overall, I still feel excited for the movies or even more than before, since I know how amazing the original adaptation is. It’s also reassuring to have the mangaka on board to supervise the production so the essence of the story remains true to the source.
Q: If you were to live in the world of Attack on Titan, what would you do?
A: I would try to join the military but then I would be kicked out by the first day because I lacked physical strength. I would be then assigned to farming for food but instead of doing work, I would be secretly digging underground to build a basement for me to hide there for the rest of my life.