After 2 months of bad reviews for the Attack on Titan movie flooding in from Japan, yesterday American audiences were finally able to see the film in US theaters and make up their own minds... or so they thought. Thanks to botched subtitles, the internet is abuzz with fan disappointment, as moviegoers desperately try to get their tickets refunded. That's if the first half of the movie, which did have the right subtitles, didn't put them off the entire idea...
Hopes Dashed By Bad Reviews
The eagerly anticipated Attack On Titan movie has been plagued with problems since part 1's release in Japan. The original anime and manga are hugely popular both in Japan and worldwide: with gory action sequences, spectacular animation, and an exciting story, Shingeki No Kyojin had a recipe for success.
Set in a semi-post-apocalyptic Europe...ish country, the plot follows Eren, Mikasa, and Armin as they join the military to help protect their home against the gigantic people-eating Titans. Combining a feudal-era aesthetic and interesting technology like the 3D maneuver gear, Attack On Titan is intriguing and compelling, with a thrilling plotline that keeps you guessing.
Understandably, when the movie was first announced fans were delighted, and the initial CGI teaser trailers only fed fan hopes that this would be better than the original. Unfortunately, those hopes were dashed when the film was released.
Panned by fans and critics alike, the first part of Attack On Titan disappointed many in Japan, though it killed the box office, getting $5.7 million in its entire run. The reviews may have been the most entertaining part of the movie's release, with Rotten Tomatoes-esque critic Cho Eiga Hihyo being especially scathing...
“The awkward plot keeps moving forward, making you more annoyed with the characters every minute. I wished the titans would eat the kids so the movie would just end. That’s not a good sign, because I’m pretty sure they’re not the team I was supposed to be rooting for.”
Director Shinji Higuchi didn't respond well to the criticism, lashing out on his Twitter by calling the reviewers "idiots" and asking who gave them a ticket to the premiere.
In fact, the reviews were so poor that the second part, Attack On Titan 2: End Of The World, did less than half as well, taking just over $2 million. It has now been overtaken at the box office by slice of life film Heroine Shikkaku (No Longer Heroine).
Attack On Titan 2 has faced similar criticism, most recently from the Hollywood Reporter, who explain how overlong exposition and ditching the first movie's redeeming feature, the Titans themselves, prevented the film from being even slightly entertaining. Yeesh. Let's hope the US audiences will be a bit kinder to the film when it's released on October 20th, but thanks to the first part's subtitling disaster, it looks like they might still be angry...
Subtitles Infuriate Moviegoers
Word of mouth was not the only thing that harmed the Attack On Titan's US release: distributor Funimation may have doomed the film even more by messing up the subtitles. About a third of the way through the film, one subtitle got stuck on the screen, meaning the entirety of the remaining dialogue was indecipherable for the audience members who don't speak Japanese (so, nearly all of them).
Fans immediately took to Twitter, ridiculing the problem and expressing their outrage. #waiting4thisday was trending for a while, as Twitter reveled in the hilarity and disappointment revealed by Attack On Titan movegoers.
With the Attack On Titan movie being released across the US, we can't help but wonder if the subtitles can be fixed before other audiences bemoan their wasted money. Funimation still hasn't commented on the issue, so I guess we'll have to wait and see: if #waiting4thisday is still trending after the weekend, you'll know why!
So should you risk spending your money on this film, knowing that you won't be able to understand most of it? I wouldn't bother. With inexplicable changes, poor writing, and characters who are unrecognisable from their original counterparts, the Attack On Titan movies are just one big disappointing mess. But there's still hope - season 2 of the Shingeki No Kyojin anime is finally being released next year, along with more manga volumes, and a high school AU anime (because Japan!).
Until then, be sure to post your own review on Moviepilot, and let us know what you think in the comments!