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REVIEW: Attack on Titan: Part I (Live-Action Movie)


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AnimeAddict2014



Joined: 16 Feb 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:36 pm Reply with quote
never care much for review..

just watch an anime/live action movie after looking at its cover most of the time..

i like the surprise...

have yet to watch attack on titan anime.. maybe i should before watching the live action movie..

a friend of mine said it's a good action series.. but never got around to it...
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Agent355



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:54 am Reply with quote
Is this really going to get a limited North American release? I'm so excited to see what mainstream critics like The New York Times will have to say about Attack on Titan! (and I might get a chance to see it in theaters, too).

The movie actually sounds good; this review was great. I'm not even that bothered by Mikasa, I'm not the biggest fan of her "silent, but completely obsessive warrior" character in the original manga/anime. Not all that attached to Eren's original character, either (although, at least in the manga spoiler[Eren gets some major breaking down and building up. ]). As long as Sasha, Jean and especially Hanji stay the same! Wonder what they'll do in the second movie...
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leafy sea dragon



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:43 am Reply with quote
I managed to see this movie. Interesting that some of the Titans are live-action actors in suits. Didn't expect that. It was pretty clear otherwise what was CGI though. Maybe it's because I'm used to Hollywood CGI, but it always stands out to me when CGI in live-action doesn't blend completely seamlessly with everything else. The biggest example in this movie are the walls. For some reason, they look almost like a painted background like what you'd see in films of the mid-20th century.

I have to wonder what onlookers from the sidewalk and Hollywood Boulevard must have thought before the movie began though, with the Titan-cosplaying stilt walkers and the guy in the inflatable Colossal Titan outfit. Both parties hung around the entrance for a while but made their way over to right next to the sidewalk in plain view of the regular Hollywood tourists, locals, motorists, and other assorted passersby.

Zac wrote:
The opening 10 minutes of this thing are goddamn terrifying, it's like they pulled images right out of my nightmares.


Do you mean the part where Eren, Mikasa, and Armin are hanging out on a hill talking about what lies outside the walls? Or did I miss something there?

kpk wrote:
I always felt like this could have been the Game of Thrones of the anime/manga world and I was so very disappointed when it was revealed that spoiler[Eren didn't really die. And I felt him becoming a Titan himself was such a stupis twist. It kind of ruined the show/manga for me, I mean it's still good but not as good as it could have been. Does he really die in the film?].


Considering Eren is such a popular character, there's no way they would've done that. It would've been a Colossal-sized middle finger to the fans.

One of the questions asked during the Q&A session right afterwards was to Higuchi (the director) about why he chose to adapt Attack on Titan. The answer was simple: He is a fan of the series. Thus, as a fan, I am certain he would've wanted to treat Eren's character and his development with justice. (Not sure with Mikasa, however. Maybe he thought fans would prefer the changes.)

One-Eye wrote:
Ah, that's unfortunate. I'm ok with them changing her character but it sounds like with the singular focus on Eren that's described then she's going to become the person he needs to avenge in the story. So its no longer a triad of friends but I'm guessing closer to a single character's revenge story. A little disappointing to hear but I'll have to see it to judge if it was too much for me.


Yeah, my impression was that Eren was made the central character here, with very few scenes that didn't have Eren in it. Considering they're severely condensing and accelerating their source material and thus a lot of stuff had to be removed or changed, I think it was a wise choice to focus the story almost entirely on Eren.

Agent355 wrote:
Is this really going to get a limited North American release? I'm so excited to see what mainstream critics like The New York Times will have to say about Attack on Titan! (and I might get a chance to see it in theaters, too).


I'd be curious too. Western movie critics tend to thrash any anime movie that isn't Miyazaki, so it'd be interesting to see what they have to say about a live-action adaptation.

From my experiences, anime tends to be bewildering to someone not accustomed to it (I remember the year Anime Expo had to share the convention center with the X-Games and seeing X-Games fans and staff be completely confounded by the cosplayers and anime banners hung around the building), so it's important for each news source to pick a reviewer who understands the context of this movie, or if it isn't possible, to familiarize themselves with Japanese storytelling before dismissing it before they even see it. Even if this Attack on Titan movie was designed specifically to be understood by people who don't know anything about the series, considering it's adapted in the loosest way possible.

I worry for any critic who steps in expecting Dragon Ball Z or Pokémon, or rather, their caricatures used in western media (a la Ling Ling in Drawn Together or the "Japanime" clip in The Simpsons). Speaking of which, I hardly saw any press coverage for Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods when it had its limited theatrical run, so I don't think this movie will get that much press coverage either. Rotten Tomatoes has collected only 2 reviews for DBZ: Battle of Gods (though both are positive and were written by people already familiar enough with DBZ to understand it).

And all of that aside, this movie may gain more favor if its limited release is Japanese audio with English subtitles, since it could gain interest as a "foreign film" rather than merely an "anime film."
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Zac
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:30 am Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:


Zac wrote:
The opening 10 minutes of this thing are goddamn terrifying, it's like they pulled images right out of my nightmares.


Do you mean the part where Eren, Mikasa, and Armin are hanging out on a hill talking about what lies outside the walls? Or did I miss something there?


You know exactly what I'm talking about, don't be a pedant. Yeesh.
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jr240483



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:16 am Reply with quote
blaizevincent wrote:
I'm totally okay with it not being a true adaptation. Actually I think I'm more excited for it as a result


not quite. it definitely wont bode well in the US. while the Death Note movies wasnt adapted , its storyline was done well enough that it attracted fans that would usually gripe about it. unfortunately this wont be the case for this movie. dont be surprised if this thing bombs very badly in the US.
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COREY2293



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:30 pm Reply with quote
i dont get why they would change mikasa... its a deal breaker. i dont really care about this movie
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neopolitan icecream



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:36 am Reply with quote
JesuOtaku wrote:
Pipoko wrote:

What were the changes to Mikasa's character? Also, how'd you rank it among the various versions of the story (Manga, Anime)? I recall you basically giving all of them a A, anyway, but just curious.

It sounds like a very interesting take on the story that I'd eventually like to check out myself!


Okay, here's the breakdown of Mikasa's new character: spoiler[She's introduced as an extremely sweet and feminine dreamer dressed all in white, and she and Eren don't kiss or anything, but they're definitely romantically attached instead of being friends or family. (Both of Eren's parents are already dead, he's an orphan.) When the Titans attack, Eren gets shoved into a temple with other refugees, while Mikasa goes back for a baby that got knocked out of a woman's hands. As Eren watches from safety, a Titan reaches down to eat Mikasa and the baby, and when he tries to get out and save her, the scared refugees drag him away from the door. By the time he escapes (as all the refugees are also getting eaten), she's disappeared. So Mikasa becomes his motivation to join the Survey Corps, not his dead mother.]

spoiler[Of course, she turns out to be alive in another unit years later, as an elite subordinate of Shikishima, record-breaking titan killer who has the skills and legacy of Levi, but a completely different personality and story purpose. When reunited with Eren, she ignores him completely, consumed only with the desire to kill Titans after being partially eaten and left for dead. (The baby got eaten and she has a giant scar down her torso.) To make matters worse, she's revealed to be Shikishima's sexual subordinate as well. We don't see anything gross, but the movie is not subtle about the insinuation. Eren's "death" ultimately plays out the same way for her, except that she went from completely dismissing him to the "bottled-grief-expressed-as-recklessness" thing instead. But she's definitely being played as a broken and traumatized object of tragedy.] So there you go. Most unfortunate adaptive choice in a movie that's otherwise really smart about the genre change.


While I thoroughly appreciate your analysis and review, as someone whose favorite character (By far) is Mikasa and who has intricately analyzed her within the canon story for a great deal of time, I'm not sure why you feel that she was so mischaracterized in this film. spoiler[Admittedly I have not watched the live action adaptation myself, but going strictly by your original review and analysis in this thread, for me it sounds like rather than experiencing great personal tragedy as a sweet 9-year-old, Mikasa faces it at a slightly older age and still undergoes the same emotional & psychological consequences that Isayama depicted in the manga. The only exception is that she starts out depending on Shikishima a lot more as her pillar rather than Eren, who has apparently joined the legion of people Mikasa cares much less about at first (Which is an accurate detail if you break down her interactions with anyone outside of Eren & Armin early on in manga canon). The fact of the matter is that Mikasa actually isn't written well for the majority of the source material, either. She is that tropey stoic, tough shell shielding a "broken and traumatized object of tragedy" for much of the manga timeline, and while not sexual in nature, she does exist as a dependent of Eren in many ways, acting with recklessness and all. Thankfully, however, in recent chapters we have witnessed her truly opening up and gaining great personality development by way of progressive interactions with more and more characters. And it also paves way for a much healthier relationship between her and Eren later on.

As this is only the first of two movies and also focuses on the early period of the storyline, I'm interpreting the same Mikasa now and anticipating similar development for her later in the 2nd movie. Unless there is truly distasteful or abusive qualities in her relationship with Shikishima, for me it does not deviate from her original nature all that much (Yet).]
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Twage



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:03 am Reply with quote
Just last night the wife and I watched the new Stephen Chow Journey to the West movie. It was better than I expected (in light of how terrible CG7 was) with quite a bit of classic Chow humor, but the cg was just awful, cheap and way overused. We talked afterward about how we preferred the cheesy rubber suits of Mad Monk to this generic cg. So it's really great to hear that there's a director who knows how much more effective real people can be. Granted, it's a totally different genre, but the same point applies. CG-animated horror monsters really don't do anything for me, and I've seen several Asian horror films in particular sunk by terrible cg.

This review is a relief in general. Thanks, Hope!
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Chrno2



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:14 am Reply with quote
Well, I finally had the chance to read the review and I'm glad that I did. It's a shame that Mikasa's character was shame. But again this is not the AoT that we've come know but that doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing. But I also understand that in many monster films. There's always that "hapless" damsel trope. You see it just as much in "kaiju" films from the 50's onward. But you gotta understand why this change is and how it's portrayed and received like so many other characters like this that you see in anime. I mean in one way folks were complaining about how her character was in the anime/manga. She's Eren's shield. She doesn't have any other character outside of staying at Eren's side. Sure we liked the fact that she was kick A$$ she to some was "flat". Annie was a little more complex than she was. We've seen the strong female with the soft side trope tons of times. Now she the sweet dreamer... she went from one trope to another. In many ways (since this is being portrayed as "kaiju" film) "War of the Gargantuas" comes to mind. So it could work this way. Giant man eating creatures save one. They could also be playing up on the whole Eren/Mikasa thing, (since many elements always center on them) as to what it could be. But if they portrayed her the way she was meant to be it might have been a slightly different film. But now that I have a heads up of what to expect. Keep an open mind. It's one rule to keep in mind with film adaptations. They'll be a reinvented masterpiece or a mess.

I definitely want to see it. Now for pt 2.
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Hawkbit



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:51 am Reply with quote
neopolitan icecream wrote:
While I thoroughly appreciate your analysis and review, as someone whose favorite character (By far) is Mikasa and who has intricately analyzed her within the canon story for a great deal of time, I'm not sure why you feel that she was so mischaracterized in this film. spoiler[Admittedly I have not watched the live action adaptation myself, but going strictly by your original review and analysis in this thread, for me it sounds like rather than experiencing great personal tragedy as a sweet 9-year-old, Mikasa faces it at a slightly older age and still undergoes the same emotional & psychological consequences that Isayama depicted in the manga. The only exception is that she starts out depending on Shikishima a lot more as her pillar rather than Eren, who has apparently joined the legion of people Mikasa cares much less about at first (Which is an accurate detail if you break down her interactions with anyone outside of Eren & Armin early on in manga canon). The fact of the matter is that Mikasa actually isn't written well for the majority of the source material, either. She is that tropey stoic, tough shell shielding a "broken and traumatized object of tragedy" for much of the manga timeline, and while not sexual in nature, she does exist as a dependent of Eren in many ways, acting with recklessness and all. Thankfully, however, in recent chapters we have witnessed her truly opening up and gaining great personality development by way of progressive interactions with more and more characters. And it also paves way for a much healthier relationship between her and Eren later on.

As this is only the first of two movies and also focuses on the early period of the storyline, I'm interpreting the same Mikasa now and anticipating similar development for her later in the 2nd movie. Unless there is truly distasteful or abusive qualities in her relationship with Shikishima, for me it does not deviate from her original nature all that much (Yet).]


For me, the very fact that she depends upon this Shikishima guy instead of Eren, is what makes her character change poor. Because from what i am lead to believe, Shikishima is an ass, who just seems to control her, making her meek and submissive. Eren, in contrast, would die for Mikasa and she knows it; she would not be nearly so devoted to him if he wasn't a good person. She's not blindly loyal, she has chosen to give Eren her love and loyalty, and it shows by how she trusts him, and continues to grow to trust him as the manga goes on. Of course, i will not deny i am an unabashed EreMika shipper...But having her devotion seemingly quite a shallow, fearsome thing does her no service at all.


{Deleted your wall of text. Please read the Over-quoting Guidelines. Thank you. ~nobahn}
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Tanya30



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:28 pm Reply with quote
JesuOtaku

Thank you so much for your review! I am much more optimistic about this movie now, though the Mikasa bit upset me.
I would really like to know what kind of person this Shikishima is, to be honest. How is he different from Levi, and what exactly is his purpose in the story? Is he the character that is " the pitch-black reflection" of Eren's ideals?


neopolitan icecream

I agree with many of your points. Mikasa in the manga/anime is definitely the sweet innocent girl turned tragic victim, and she clings to Eren out of fear of experiencing more loss. It's possible Mikasa's bond with Shikishima is meant to be a darker version of the same dynamic?.. We'll see.

But like Hawkbit pointed out, the problem with Mikasa's changes is that she's apparently depicted as meek and submissive in her interactions with Shikishima. One reviewer even went as far as describing her as "cowering", "with her tail between her legs". Just... let that sink in. Meek. Submissive. Cowering. Mikasa. These words should never be together in the same sentence!

She is never this in the manga/anime when she's with Eren. She calls him out on his flaws (quite brutally sometimes as we can see when she throws him into a wall in the beginning of the story). She's not afraid to voice her opinions, and she's always blunt and honest with him. She tells Eren's mother about his desire to join the SC even though he asked her to keep silent because she believes informing Carla is for the best. She tells him it's possible he's not cut out to be a solider even though she knows it will upset him and make him angry with her. She tells him she's follow him into Shiganshina during the Trost arc even though he insists that she stay behind, and then she adds she does not need his permission to do what she feels is necessary.

She may be dependent on Eren to a degree, but she's anything but meek and passive.

I'll reserve judgement until I've seen the movie, but I feel really icky about all the implications with regards to Mikasa/Shikishima.
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Hawkbit



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:43 pm Reply with quote
Tanya30 wrote:
JesuOtaku

Thank you so much for your review! I am much more optimistic about this movie now, though the Mikasa bit upset me.
I would really like to know what kind of person this Shikishima is, to be honest. How is he different from Levi, and what exactly is his purpose in the story? Is he the character that is " the pitch-black reflection" of Eren's ideals?


neopolitan icecream

I agree with many of your points. Mikasa in the manga/anime is definitely the sweet innocent girl turned tragic victim, and she clings to Eren out of fear of experiencing more loss. It's possible Mikasa's bond with Shikishima is meant to be a darker version of the same dynamic?.. We'll see.

But like Hawkbit pointed out, the problem with Mikasa's changes is that she's apparently depicted as meek and submissive in her interactions with Shikishima. One reviewer even went as far as describing her as "cowering", "with her tail between her legs". Just... let that sink in. Meek. Submissive. Cowering. Mikasa. These words should never be together in the same sentence!

She is never this in the manga/anime when she's with Eren. She calls him out on his flaws (quite brutally sometimes as we can see when she throws him into a wall in the beginning of the story). She's not afraid to voice her opinions, and she's always blunt and honest with him. She tells Eren's mother about his desire to join the SC even though he asked her to keep silent because she believes informing Carla is for the best. She tells him it's possible he's not cut out to be a solider even though she knows it will upset him and make him angry with her. She tells him she's follow him into Shiganshina during the Trost arc even though he insists that she stay behind, and then she adds she does not need his permission to do what she feels is necessary.

She may be dependent on Eren to a degree, but she's anything but meek and passive.

I'll reserve judgement until I've seen the movie, but I feel really icky about all the implications with regards to Mikasa/Shikishima.


From what i understand, Shikishima is a vain ass, who is controlling to his underlings and demanding of respect without giving very much in return. He is about as divorced from Levi in every way, except for his skill. So from that point of view, its certainly good that they changed the name.

Maybe what they are going for with this, is that Shikishima's Mikasa is comparable to anime/manga Mikasa, as she was when she was kidnapped by the slavers BEFORE Eren came along. Meek, submissive, etc.
Then Eren will do something to spark off her evolution and she will turn into badass Mikasa. That way her arc from sweet innocent girl, to meek submissive, to badass Eren comrade/love interest/sister/whatever you believe will come full circle, just in a different manner to the anime and manga, and with a longer meek/submissive stage.
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JacobC
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:25 pm Reply with quote
Tanya30 wrote:
JesuOtaku
Thank you so much for your review! I am much more optimistic about this movie now, though the Mikasa bit upset me.
I would really like to know what kind of person this Shikishima is, to be honest. How is he different from Levi, and what exactly is his purpose in the story? Is he the character that is " the pitch-black reflection" of Eren's ideals?


Shikishima is spoiler[the real villain, straight up. He hasn't been called out on that yet, but that's definitely what they're building to for Part 2. (To continue the Silent Hill metaphor, he reminds me a lot of Vincent, complete with the ham and cheese.) The scenes he has with Eren are very devil-like and seductive, complete with an obsession with apples. (The way the movie implies that he and Mikasa have a sexual relationship is when he orders her to eat an apple that he has already half-eaten, and then he holds her while she eats it in front of Eren. So yeah, there you go.) But Shikishima's deal is that while he is the greatest titan-killer, he seems downright giddy about watching the newbies go to their deaths, and tells Eren that the Titans are not the real enemy. He tells Eren that the "real enemy" (probably complacence or "the man") has turned humanity into cattle. When Eren says "I'm not cattle!" Shikishima tells him "Then fly," referring to the ODM gear. Of course, right after he encourages Eren to go out there and show what he's made of, he scoffs when Eren gets eaten. "Well, we aren't always lucky." What a dick.]

spoiler[Shikishima is basically there to show the downside to valuing freedom and ambition above all else. The government is oppressive in humanity's new world, they do oppress the poor and discourage education, procreation, along with most other -ations. At the same time, Shikishima seems to be interested in individual-driven anarchy, every man for himself in the wild free world like birds of prey. I'm gonna say the odds of him either being the Colossal Titan or knowing who the Colossal Titan is are real damn high. So there you go.]

Oh, and to answer the "Is Mikasa really that different though?" question, spoiler[Yes. Yeeeeees. Yes. She was an ass-kicking strong warrior lady who protects the one she loves of her own volition in the original story. On top of that she wasn't broken from being a sweet little girl to a warrior, she was awakened to her real strengths and the material always admires her for it. This is framed as her being a submissive and corrupted murder machine who serves somebody else and motivates Eren into further regret and mental torment. Completely different.]
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Tanya30



Joined: 17 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:32 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
From what i understand, Shikishima is a vain ass, who is controlling to his underlings and demanding of respect without giving very much in return. He is about as divorced from Levi in every way, except for his skill. So from that point of view, its certainly good that they changed the name.


Whoa, really? Did you read that in reviews? If so, do you happen to have links? I've read/watched a couple, but only one reviewer provided a little insight into Shikishima's character by calling him a jerk. Smile I'd like to read other people's takes on him.

I'm not sure I want Mikasa to be anyone's love interest in this movie. It all just feels so uncomfortable to me. (Like you, I favor EreMika in canon, but it's a different story altogether). spoiler[One review said that there's an implied love triangle in the movie, and it just makes me feel really wary about the whole thing.] The last thing I want is to see Mikasa reduced to a prop in a male-centric storyline


ETA:

JesuOtaku

Thank you so much for going into detail about the Shikishima character! I am a Mikasa fan, so I find her changed role very upsetting and disturbing. spoiler[But it makes me feel a bit better that Shiki is framed as the bad guy. For some reason this gives me hope that there will be a positive resolution to Mikasa's arc in the second movie (like her rejecting his philosophy and trying to find her own way).]

Just please, movie, no love triangles! And no making Mikasa a pawn in men's power struggle! Crying or Very sad


Last edited by Tanya30 on Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:46 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Hawkbit



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:51 pm Reply with quote
JesuOtaku--

Really? That's good, i am glad he is the ass he is made out to be. I like that the movie only implies his sexual relationship with Mikasa rather than saying he definitely has one then. Makes it that much more bearable, because i was seriously finding the whole thing icky. Maybe he's just using his power over Mikasa to get under Eren's skin. I hope to hear of her awakening in the second movie. Thanks for the info!


{If I have to edit you one more time because of over-quoting, then I'll simply delete the entire post. ~nobahn}
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