3 Things I Liked in the Live-Action Attack on Titan Movie

Was the live-action Attack on Titan movie bad? No. Would I watch the live-action Attack on Titan movie again? No.

(insert "they wasted all their budget on trailer-specific scenes" joke here
Now that that’s out of the way, here’s three movie-only details that were pretty enjoyable:

1) Adorable baby-titan

During Eren and Jean’s first encounter, Eren mocks Jean saying that he’s never seen a nipple before (a bit wordy and odd-sounding for American audiences, but a sick burn nonetheless), to which Hanji interrupts, stating that Titans have no nipples or other reproductive organs for that matter. Shortly after, Eren encounters a baby titan inside an abandoned building.

babby's first desire for human fleshTo have Hanji’s statement almost immediately followed by a scene proving that at least some form of Titan reproducing is possible was clearly intentional. From what is known in the manga, Titans (at least some of them) are transformed human beings, so for the movie to delve into its own unique origins on the creatures proves that the movie’s creative team is not only willing to take some risks with the core “enemies” of the series, but also willing to flesh out on said risk rather than changing it for the sake of changing it.

The scene with the baby Titan started off adorable enough, and immediately snowballed into something terrifying as it began to tantrum, causing all sorts of chaos in the process. It was one of my favorite Titan-centric scenes as it had less to do with the immediate plot and served more as a means to better flesh out the lore of the Titans themselves.

2) Before Titans existed, the world was clearly a modern society

In one of the first scenes of the movie, Mikasa and Armin find Eren in a field, standing on an old cannon. Cannons themselves aren’t new to the franchise as a whole, but the movie does add a bit of a twist when the three rub the dirt off the cannon’s base revealing a painting of a pinup girl a la old-timey art found on airplanes. Signs of a more modern past continue throughout the movie with the outer wall having remains of helicopters, and the military themselves getting around via some stylized tanks. And as the military begins to venture outside the wall, buildings themselves appear to be far more modern than you would anticipate from a primarily agrarian society, resembling Japanese apartments with their zig-zagging staircases along one side.

A later scene even has Mikasa play what is clearly Skeeter Davis’ “End of the World” on an abandoned piano. It’s an intentionally quiet scene that provides a nice break from the over-the-top Godzilla-style fights, and makes you wonder just how similar their past was to our own.

Early on in the movie, Armin mentions how the creation of technology is strictly prohibited, leading one to question if the sudden reversal of their society was due to their own overzealous behavior; wanting to bite off more than they can chew and resulting in something apparently so bad that they had to abandon that world entirely.

3) Sannagi

When news of movie-specific characters came out, I was very skeptical at first, under the impression that they were meant only for the sake of providing some fodder for the Titans. To my surprise, however, the majority of the movie-only characters ended up being characters that already existed in the Titan manga/anime, re-purposed with different names but similar enough personalities for the connection to be apparent (Shikishima being a more hoity-toity Levi, and the couple of Lil and Fukishi being more or less Hannah and Franz). There’s a specific scene before the military heads out, where the characters spend some time with their family before leaving, being separated by a chain-link fence to further emphasize their departure from their old life as a civilian. It’s clearly meant as a shorthand means to immediately get you to form a connection with the characters, but it works. Each character, as secondary as they were, still had a distinct personality and while some ultimately were nothing but Titan fodder, they did give an idea of the kinds of people desperate enough to join the military in a world where people-eating giants exist.

The best movie-only character by far, though, would be Sannagi.

A rather portly fellow (+100 likeability points), Sannagi joined the military in order to protect his five or so children’s (maybe it was siblings; I already forget) futures by helping take down the Titans. His attack style is probably the most practical of the series, using a giant axe to cut at Titan’s Achilles heels to make aiming for the back of their neck that much easier. In one case, he even went as far as literally sumo-ing a smaller-sized Titan into submission. He’s a National Treasure and I fear for his inevitable death come the second movie.


About daemoncorps
Gabe (daemoncorps) has been writing about anime and the like since 2005, but has been babysat by it for much longer. He primarily spends his days distracting himself on twitter or writing for Fandom Post until he realizes he has a weekly webcomic (tapastic.com/series/scramblebouquet) to work on. He also just finished writing his first full-length graphic novel about unemployment (https://tapastic.com/episode/293804).

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