Attack On Titan; Hajime Isayama’s highly popular Manga series about a bunch of teenagers fighting off the forces of man-eating giants. This Manga, not two years ago, became it’s very own Anime series and from their it’s popularity skyrocketed to heights never thought attainable by a series of it’s kind. Ever since the Anime adaptation, Attack On Titan has gone on to spawn spin-off Manga series, a video game, and now two live-action films, the first of which disappointed audiences the world over.
Seen as one of the great Japanese pop culture tragedies of 2015, this film took everything the fans of the series loved and pummelled them into the ground, only to replace them with lacklustre versions of the things that made the Anime so great. Filled with story, most of which was convoluted thanks to it’s unnecessary plot alterations, the first movie made a lot of money but it also made a lot of people angry, stopping many of them from returning to the cinema for the second of the two-part cinematic story which, had they not been compelled to ignore it’s existence, would have restored their faith in what we here at SnapThirty have called the worst film adaptation of an Anime…ever.
Attack On Titan: End Of The World, in comparison to the first live-action film, was actually a fantastic piece of cinema…that is, only when compared to the travesty that was the first film. Instead of spending more time than necessary on building a weak storyline, the sequel focused more on the lead up to the end, with a great deal of focus on cinematic action rather than sexual interaction between two characters or showing Eren backing away slowly for far longer than necessary. The story featured in the second film was as good as it possibly have been, considering how terribly it was set up throughout the first film. Every twist, every turn, every slight development, was a best-case scenario for this movie. Though us here at SnapThirty guessed almost everything this movie revealed, what we had discussed prior is exactly what it could do to save face and restore some respect to the adaptations which, for the most part, it did.
Unfortunately certain plot holes, loose ends, and an undoubtedly unnecessary cliffhanger ending worked thoroughly against this film, with director Shinji Higuchi deciding that it was better for the story to take the same route as most science-fiction films from the 70s and 80s than to continue on the Manga’s original dark fantasy path. The film was left open, meaning there’s the possibility of a third instalment, but the way in which it was left open was moronic and cliche, to say the very least. Unfortunately, if I decide to go into even the slightest detail, I will inevitably ruin the movie for those of you out there who still retain an interest in seeing it so, for the sake of you all, I will refrain from venting my full frustration regarding certain key movie points.
In regards to this film’s visuals, I can say almost the exact same things as what I’ve mentioned regarding it’s story. While there was a great deal to cringe at, End Of The World only really showed two Titans up close which single-handedly eradicated that particular visual nuisance and allowed more time to focus on the main three Titan Shifters introduced in these two films. Seeing Eren having to face the Armoured and, eventually, Colossal Titan reminded me more of a Tokusatsu-style film with a medium-level budget than it did a proper live-action Attack On Titan film but, this time around, it seemed as though a lot more of said budget went into visual effects. In fact, I actually very much enjoyed the cinematic action of the movie’s end. For some reason it just felt as though so much more effort was placed into making the action much more enjoyable this time around, and I think it has a great deal to do with the fact that the audience wasn’t forced to bear with the terrible CGI of the Scouts using Omni-Directional Manoeuvre Gear, nor did we have to deal with the embarrassing portrayal of Titans.
What was somewhat shocking about the movie’s soundtrack was that it was wildly inconsistent. At the beginning of the movie, most tracks heard were mostly guitar-based rock pieces just to emphasise the intense situations. Mid way through the movie we began to see an auditory transition to music belonging more in the electronica and dubstep categories than in rock and, at times, there were even track more reminiscent of the beginning of a Disney movie rather than that of a thrilling apocalypse story. While most, if not all, of the tracks fit their respective scene placements, they did not fit the movie as a whole, instead giving it an air of inconsistence rather than that of musical range.
To say the very least; Attack On Titan (Part Two): End Of The World was so much more enjoyable than that of the first movie. The unfortunate but oddly fortunate thing about the second film is that the audience wasn’t brought to laughter at the sheer idiocy of some story developments and, while there were a few occasions wherein which we couldn’t help ourselves, the level of embarrassment felt while watching this movie was nowhere near the level of the first one. The fact that this film had to ditch a lot of the story telling to make it actually enjoyable is a pretty big sign that, over all, this duo of movies featured an incredibly unlikable story, but I’m glad that it only minimal story development because that allowed me to focus only on the visuals which, when compared to the rest of the film, was it’s greatest asset. Regardless of why, Attack On Titan: End Of The World was actually an enjoyable movie and while it wasn’t anywhere close to some of the other high-quality pieces of cinematic excellence Japan has produced over the years…it was bearable, and, after the way the first movie was received worldwide, bearable was all it had to be.