Have you had a chance to see the Attack on Titan movies yet? The highly anticipated live action adaptation has finally been released in the US, with Attack On Titan Part 2: End Of The World following a few weeks later. And to say that the movies had a rocky reception is really an understatement. After negative reviews flooded in from Japan, many fans were deterred from seeing the film's US release. And even those who went to see the film were disappointed...
If there's one thing you just assume the American distributer of Japanese media would get right, it's subtitles. But unfortunately, fans who rushed to see the first Attack On Titan movie spent most of the film unable to understand what the characters were saying. This was due to a digital subtitling error on Funimation's part, that caused the text to freeze on one line about 40 minutes into the film.
Fans immediately took to Twitter to express their outrage, amusement, or disappointment...
But thankfully, Funimation fixed the problem before Attack On Titan Part 2 came out. They also released a statement about the issue which if nothing else, proves they have a sense of humour.
"Both Funimation and fans of Attack on Titan have been waiting for the day when the live action movie would open in theaters in the U.S. Unfortunately, fans at a handful of theaters last night did not have the experience that we hoped they would have. [...] Funimation will be hardcoding subtitles on Attack on Titan Part 2 and other future releases to prevent this problem from happening again."
So far so good: with the subtitling problem fixed, you'd think fans would be able to sit back and enjoy the film. But unfortunately, the film itself proved disappointing even with correct subtitles.
Thanks to changes to the manga and anime plot, many fans panned the live action movie, but more balanced reviews have also been published...
"After seeing Attack On Titan: Part One and Two, I can say director Shinji Higuchi made them come together to make one of the most frightening and dazzling Japanese movies I’ve seen, but fans of the anime/manga may not like the severe liberties that were taken in the process."
Yet Attack On Titan Part 2 has received pretty poor reviews all round: with a first half burdened with clunky exposition, and the second half that was essentially a fist fight between two Titans, Part 2 eliminated the gory fun of the first film.
"The Titan fighting in the last movie felt refreshing, but here, there are barely any smaller-sized Titans, so watching massive Titan fight after massive Titan fight didn't feel exhausting, but dull. That's probably this movie's biggest crime. It's boring. The only thing that was at stake was the filmmaker's desire to create a running time long enough to justify the second film."
Yeesh. Though the films had a lot of plot to get through, dividing the films in half probably didn't do the story any favours. Overall, the consensus has been that if you approach the Attack On Titan movies as a clean slate then they're an enjoyable, if poorly paced, gory fright fest. But if you're a fan, you should probably steer clear. But there is hope on the horizon for the Attack On Titan franchise.
Season 2 Coming Soon!
Luckily, fans of the anime should be happy: Shingeki No Kyojin season 2 lands next year, and we've got a sneak peak!
Hanji really doesn't pull any punches, and we can't wait to see how she investigates this mystery next year. As loved as it is, the first season of the Attack On Titan anime wasn't perfect, but with plenty of unanswered questions from season 1's finale, fans are still on tenterhooks to find out what happens next.
Season 2 will be released in spring 2016, and in the meantime US authors are compiling a spinoff anthology comic to accompany the manga. There's also a high school chibi anime series if you really need to get your Shingeki No Kyojin fix!