Now I’m guessing you’re reading this article for one of three possible reasons:
1. You’re a fan of the manga/anime so you’ve been avoiding the live action films and you’re wondering if I’m going to convince you to give them a go (that is my goal)
2. You’ve seen the live action films and you want to fight me on all my reasons (give me a chance!)
3. You don’t care about Attack on Titan but you love “reasons why” articles (you clickbait psycho)
If you’re here for reasons 1 or 3, I hope you leave with a burning desire to watch these films. If you’re here for reason 2, then please sit back and enjoy reminiscing <3
Please note that this article is very SPOILER-HEAVY.
Let’s get into it!
Reason 1: Titans (not even sarcastic)
The premise of Attack on Titan is this:
Eren, Mikasa and Armin live in a walled city. They’ve never been beyond the walls because over 100 years earlier the Titans appeared. Titans are giant humanoid monsters who basically just exist to devour people for no apparent reason. Humankind obviously didn’t stand a chance against them and just managed to survive complete extinction by walling themselves in. No one has seen any titans since, and many people have come to doubt their existance. The live action Attack on Titan: Part 1 begins shortly before the Colossal Titan appears and destroys a wall, allowing Titans access to wreak havoc on the city.
Although not as disturbing as the Titans seen in the anime, the live action Titans are pretty impressive. The whole concept of Titans is very fun to see brought to life in live action, even though the bodysuit of the armoured titan is a little awful.
Titans are a pretty intense foe to have characters face, which makes for some pretty decent suspense!
The whole ‘devouring humans’ thing that Titans are into also means Attack on Titan is full of bloody decent gore! (haha see what I did there?)
Titans literally tear people apart before your very eyes. Limbs fly! One guy is just a torso!
Buildings full of people are squished into streams of blood.
Titans get chopped up real good! Nice splatters of blood are seen frequently!
Reason 2: Shikishima (aka the Troll)
I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during the planning meeting where they decided that this character was a good idea.
Idiot 1: You know that character everyone loves in the Manga and Anime?
Idiot 2: Levi Ackerman?
Idiot 1: That’s the one! Let’s get rid of him!
Idiot 2: That’s a great idea! Who shall we replace him with?
Idiot 1: A troll!
And thus, Shikishima was born.
Shikishima is meant to be a badass. He’s a member of the Scout Regiment and likes to throw apples and tell people what to do. I really don’t get what role this guy is supposed to fill. He is almost comically over-acted by Hiroki Hasegawa, but I don’t think you’re supposed to laugh. He shows up in serious scenes and makes everything super weird.
One of my favourite scenes is when he’s coaching Eren Jaeger on how to defeat a titan. The guy is literally trolling everyone.
The pants-wetting fun that Shikishima brings to these movies is surely reason enough to give them a watch!
Reason 3: Compelling Protagonist Motivations
Anyone who has read the manga or watched the anime will know that our protagonist, Eren Jaeger, had a pretty solid reason for doing the stuff he did. He helplessly watched his mother be devoured by a Titan and from that point was driven by an intense hatred of the Titans and his life goal of wiping them all off the face of the earth. Dude I get it! I would also be pretty pissed if a Titan ate my Mum (love you Mum <3).
The live action films, however, decide to go down a different route. Instead of seeing his mother eaten in front of him, Eren assumes (when you assume you make an ass out of ‘u’ and ‘me’) that his girlfriend has been eaten by a titan, when she isn’t where he last saw her. A fair enough reason to be an angry guy. Except when he is later reunited with said girlfriend….his reasons for being super angry and intensely hating Titans become a little weaker…
There are few things more satisfying than watching a movie basically spell out the obvious: “WE RUINED EREN’S CORE MOTIVATION FOR DOING STUFF”.
Reason 4: Romance
What’s a decent movie without a bit of romance? Especially if that romance involves a single mother??? A single mother forcing herself on a terrified young man????
Thank goodness a Titan steps in and stops this scene from turning into something a whole lot more uncomfortable.
I may have actually peed a little bit from laughing so hard in this scene. Andrea and I had tears streaming down our faces the whole time. Please watch it.
Reason 5: Bromance (and I mean LITERALLY)
What’s a harmless bit of romance between brothers?
Another perfect example of why Shikishima is the best thing to ever happen to the Attack on Titan universe.
Reason 6: Mikasa
Mikasa is a pretty awesome character in the Manga and Anime. She’s serious, strong, fiercely loyal to Eren (her brother by adoption) and completely badass. The reason she’s a draw card in the live action films is that she is simply relentlessly stern. Stern and kind of creepy. She does a lot of intense glaring. At the start of the film she is Eren’s girlfriend rather than sister which is yet another classic example of the live action films trivializing some of the depth the manga has to offer.
She also seems to hate Eren quite a bit. She likes to ignore him a lot and pretend she doesn’t remember him.
Because yea… abandoning happy memories is something you can will yourself to do.
Reason 7: Mikashima <3
YOU GOT IT! THREE OF OUR REASONS COMBINED IN TO ONE SUPER REASON! (Shikishima + Mikasa + Romance)
As you can imagine, this dangerously amazing combo leads to some freakin’ awful scenes.
Yes. Shikishima silently feeds Mikasa an apple while Mikasa glares at Eren while he slowly backs out of the room.
Reason 8: Potato