Movie Review: 進撃の巨人 前編(Attack on Titan) Part 1

source:IMDb

source:IMDb

I watched the trailer and immediately fell in love with it. How could you not?  human fighting naked human-like giants that have no genitals, unleashed by skinless anatomical Colossal Titan. These giants have appetite only for living humans.They grab them and mostly swallow whole. The unfortunate ones may have their heads or limbs bitten off. It’s a blood bath.

進撃の巨人 was a big hit in Japan for its Manga(漫画)、and subsequently a successful and popular TV Anime(アニメ) series. If you had read or watched them, the movie doesn’t follow the exact storyline, and for that reason some people who watched didn’t like the live action movie (there was also an anime movie). If I want to make a comparison, it will be like the multiple versions of the Spiderman, where each is a bit different from the rest, but nonetheless, each interpretation stays loyal to its characters.

On a macro level, remember US comics are about superheroes saving the world, and Japanese’s are usually about stopping foreign invasions. So understanding this context is imperative to your appreciation of this movie.

Eren(Haruma Miura) the lead character hates the Kyojin(巨人) cause his girlfriend/best friend, Mikasa(Kiko Mizuhara) was killed by a kyojin in front of his eyes (at least grabbed by one). Two years after the attack, Eren and his other best friend, Armin(Kanata Hongô), joined the military, and salute Admiral Kubal (Jun Kunimura) in unison “献上心臓” (kenjou shinzou / Give my Heart)!

Hange(Satomi Ishihara), squad leader with big gaggles remains the wacky one. In the anime version, she is a scientist who studies captured kyojins to learn their behaviours, so as to find their weaknesses.

Captain Shikishima (Hiroki Hasegawa) is a new character replacing the quintessential captain Levi of the anime version. Generally, fans were not happy with this change, and no doubts about it, cause Levi is one of the pivotal character in manga and anime.

While executing their mission sealing up the wall that the titan broken, Mikasa surprised Eren when fighting hand-in-hand with Captain Shikishima against kyojins in an abundant city surrounding the wall. Poor gung-ho Eren wounded in his first battle and subsequently dies saving Armin. I will leave the rest up to your imagination!

If you are a newbie, like me, with 進撃の巨人, it’s actually not a bad movie as some criticized, cause for me the story was a bit bizarre, entertaining and authentic. The omni-directional weapons with removable blades used for the fights were certainly original and very Japanese: ninja sword fights with wires and anchors. The mid-air acrobatic wasn’t breathtaking, but well executed, to resemble those in the anime. In other words, the transformation, anime to live, was not disappointed.

However, what was unsettling is that there is a Part 2 to this movie that I didn’t know until the end, which opens last Friday(9/19) in Asia theaters. The buzz wasn’t encouraging. North America releases will be in October, but I think it will be in limited markets only, most likely San Francisco, and San Diego, where ComicCon and COSplay have a strong footing in those cities. I doubt east coast and Canada will have the same following to make this a hit.

WATCH:  I find it entertaining. Since then, I have watched the 26 episodes of the TV anime series, and planning to binge-read the manga to get to the bottom of the story. I really like it!

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review: 進撃の巨人 前編(Attack on Titan) Part 1

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