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Attack on Titan [Shingeki no Kyojin] Live-Action Movie (No Spoilers)

Live Action adaptations of comics/manga have been on a roll, in both the Western and Asian film markets, and thanks to Encore Films, I got to watch Attack on Titan ahead of the Singapore release date!

So how different is it from the anime?

To start with, the setting for this film is not as western-medieval as the anime - no red-brick structures and cobblestone streets here. Instead, most of the scenes are filmed on Hashima Island - an abandoned site, formerly industrialized during the era of coal mining, now famous for the beauty of its ruins that give the suitable 21st century post-apocalyptic setting.

Image from Kavenyou 

The titans in the movie are a lot more unpleasant and zombie-like too, they may be humanoid in appearance but as HeavyMetal.com phrased it, they're "ugly and naked".

Everyone who has seen Japanese action/horror films knows that the gore is always abundant, yet somewhat unreal (it's just there to make you feel disgusted, the fake blood is so obviously fake), but the amount of gore featured in every titan vs human scene is probably on a multiplier. I sat there, mouth gaping slightly, thinking of how much less blood there was in the Parasyte Live Action film.

How about the characters?

I brought a friend who hadn't watched the anime along with me as my +1, so it was pretty interesting to listen to her take on the various characters. For example, one would've expected Captain Levi to show up and save the day, spinning and slashing through titans, giving out commands to his elite team - well, I'll save you the disappointment right now and tell you that he's not going to appear.

 Are you a fan of Levi? They replaced him with Shikishima. Assh*le alert.

Armin doesn't have blonde hair, and Eren is ballsy right off the bat. Their entire training was cut out - they go straight from plebeians whose town got destroyed into soldiers, none of the funny scenes where Eren stumbles over the use of his 3D-gear (called OMni-Directional Gear in the film).

Mikasa isn't as meek as one would expect, a lot of her important lines were also not featured (e.g. "I will protect Eren") in the film. You do get to see her holding onto Eren's scarf though, that much was kept constant. Then there's Hiana - all I can say is you'll remember this hashtag once you've watched the movie: #doyouwanttobethefathertomydaughter

With every action movie, you need a brute. Nope, it's not Jean - they left him to be a badass trash talker, but why is Sannagi carrying an axe in the promotional poster? I was laughing - half-astonished, half-disbelief - when I found out. No prizes, but you can start making some guesses now!

I loved Hans for her eccentric, obsessive character, able to throw out lines that would make any soldier wonder if her priorities were right. The film did allow her to be all kyojin-otaku, even going overboard at times, but I thought it added to her obsession. Sasha was given credit for being the glutton, but she wasn't caught stealing (another anime-to-film difference) and instead just ate as much as she could, whenever she could, in the most adorable manner possible.

Despite all of the changes, the movie really isn't as bad as what Kotaku makes it to be, I guess it's kind of just like how the Parasyte Live Action film differed from the original story-line but still turned out to be a good thing. If you're new to the series, the option of starting with this film is a viable one, but there'll be a lot of unanswered questions too especially since the film isn't as in-depth as the anime, so you might end up wanting more and going back to the manga/anime to satisfy that curiosity - or just waiting it out until the sequel is released.

Speaking of which, I'd definitely want to watch the sequel, since the story hangs around halfway through the season (or around chapter 70 as per the manga) and will probably take quite a turn too, and thankfully it'll be out in about a month following the release of the first movie which is set to come out on 13 August 2015!
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