Attack on Movie: An In-Depth Discussion on the Attack on Titan Movies With Lynsette (Part 1)
Last month, the live-action films, Attack on Titan Pt. 1 and Attack on Titan Pt. 2: End of the World, premiered in U.S. theaters. Crimson and I, LynLynSays, watched the two films in the comforts of our own local theaters.
Rather than presenting a generic, mundane review, we decided to share our Skype discussion about the film. It is an entertaining way for everyone to re-live all those horrifying, but amusing moments and feels while you were watching it in theaters. There will be a ton of spoilers. So if you don’t like spoilers, please don’t read this article because Crimson and I will ruin everything for you.
So without further delay, we present to you, “Attack on Movie: An In-Depth Discussion on the Attack on Titan Movies With Lynsette (Part 1).”
Expectations Before Watching the Movie
Lyn: I came into the theater with low expectations. From what I heard, the movie didn’t follow the original storyline; hence to why people did not want to watch it at all. However, I didn’t let that influence my viewing experience.
Usually when it comes to film adaptations of popular books, I don’t expect the movie to be exactly the same as the book. I go into the theater with the notion that this is just one perspective of the book, the director’s and the producers’ viewpoint. It may not have the correct or exact intentions of the author, but it is one way of how a reader or fan interprets the book. When I watched the Attack on Titan movie, I didn’t expect for it to follow the manga or anime. Instead, my mindset was that “I’ll enjoy this movie for what it is, and not what it is supposed to be.”
Crimson: So, I went in knowing it was going to be bad for people who watched the anime and followed the manga (me). I watched a few reaction videos from people who watched it when it premiered in California. I was completely prepared to cry right after the movie because that’s what I usually do with live actions, but then I watched the preview at Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) and my spirits were lifted!
I expected scary titans, and I felt that they delivered it pretty well. I expected something completely different from the anime/manga, and I definitely got that. I expected Mikasa and Eren to be a thing because I watched one of the previews and mistook a kiss scene as them, which we got…kind of.
But other than that I tried not to think too much about what the anime and manga showed (though I did compare for quite some time afterwards, nobody said I couldn’t).
Q: What do you think of the romance subplot between Mikasa and Eren? And what do you think of Mikasa’s character in the film?
Lyn: In regards to the romance storyline between Mikasa and Eren, I understand the reasons as to why the writers would do it that way. Mikasa loses her innocence after almost being eaten by a Titan during the attack at Mozen district. Due to filming time constraints, it is the quickest way to transform Mikasa into the tough character she is known to be in the anime. In the movie, she throws away her past—leaving Eren behind— in order to be independent and tough. However, I felt that there should have been a better back story in regards to Mikasa’s character. In the anime, a traumatic experience—witnessing her parents being brutally murdered—led to her cold persona, which I think is a better back story than the one in the movie.
Crimson: Honestly, I’m not a fan of Mikasa and Eren as a couple even though that’s one of the more obvious routes to go…(go ahead, blame my fujoshi side!), not to mention they’re not in a sibling-like relationship here like they were in the anime.
So from an ‘objective’ point of view, yes it makes sense but I also agree that their relationship could have been better portrayed. For one, I totally didn’t know they had an established relationship. I just figured Mikasa was crushing on Eren and vice versa. With this information some parts did make more sense, like when the three of them (Eren, Armin, Mikasa) are talking about what they want in their future and Mikasa shyly looks over at Eren. Then the part where Eren almost asks Mikasa to live with him outside the walls (after Souda mentions the expedition).
I think those moments were the more coupley like points that I enjoyed the most.
Lyn: Yeah, the moment that I thought was “couple” like and I enjoyed was when he gives her the scarf as a sign of security and protection in the movie. However, there were moments that I wasn’t even convinced that they were a couple. Like in the anime, when Eren was supposedly eaten by a Titan when saving Armin, you can tell from Mikasa’s eyes and actions that she felt true anguish and vulnerability. Yet in the movie, when Eren gets eaten, it is shocking, but as a viewer I saw no sympathy from her. Instead, she seemed emotionless. I mean, if you are going to have a love story in this movie, you should at least sell it more to the audience…
Crimson: Oh! That was one of my favorite Mikasa moments in the anime. Anything where she just loses control are my favorites actually, it was sad to see that those emotions didn’t transfer over to the movie…Like, the only reason I knew she was supposed to be ‘out of control’ and ‘emotional’ was because I know that’s the case in the anime.
I guess overall her attitude towards Eren in the second part just didn’t convince me of their relationship.
Like the scene where Eren’s about to get shot and Shikishima’s Armored Titan comes to get him. I was thinking that was the scene where Eren’s Titan skeleton comes out but when I saw the Titan killing everyone and looked nothing like Eren’s Titan, I was just like ‘uhhh…there’s something not right here…’
Lyn: I was expecting a skeleton too! I felt that Mikasa knew that Shikishima will come and save Eren. In the anime, wasn’t she scared for Eren’s safety?
Crimson: Yeah, in the anime Mikasa goes so far as to say that she’ll escape with Eren outside the walls…and she even threatens the Captain of the Garrison and his soldiers. Here, well, I don’t even know if she was internally struggling or if she was just being stubborn, but I figured it was part of her character, since she’d been really cold to him since they reunited.
Lyn: True, when she heard Eren was eaten by a Titan and when he transformed into one in the anime, she was worried about him. Yet in the movie, when Eren is faced with guns, she was like, “Oh, whatever.” I mean, Armin and Hange were the only ones that defended him.
Also, if Mikasa and Eren were in “a relationship” and she truly cared for him, she should have at least showed some affection to Eren. I mean, Mikasa did kiss Shikishima.
Crimson: She did kiss him! Though technically he kissed her…Like smooshy faces! Speaking of Shikishima, he and Mikasa had a physical relationship didn’t they?
Lyn: Oh not sure. It wasn’t stated.
Crimson: An implied physical relationship…
Lyn: I felt like they had a master-apprentice relationship. Shikishima trained Mikasa on how to kill Titans. I thought he only kissed Mikasa just to mess with Eren.
Crimson: Oh, I thought they were. What made me think so was when Shikishima and Eren fought. Shikishima kisses Mikasa (I think he said it after he kissed her. If not, then before he kissed her) and taunts Eren saying ‘there’s nothing left for you.’ I took that as a sign that they’d been intimate and even if Eren and Mikasa got together one day, Eren would never be Mikasa’s first. So it’s like Shikishima had upped him in every aspect available: combat against Titans, fighting and now getting with his girlfriend. Eren’s sudden burst of energy and anger after that made me think he understood that.
Them being intimate also made other parts of the movie “make sense” to me such as Eren confronting Mikasa when they’re finally reunited. Shikishima suddenly appears and ends up crowding around Mikasa, feeding her the apple he had.
Lyn: I interpreted the Eren and Shikishima fight scene as, “You are so weak, go die. Only the strong and able can survive in this Titan world.” Furthermore, Shikishima believes Eren isn’t a “Titan of Hope” for humanity now because Eren isn’t joining Shikishima’s plan.
Crimson: I guess what really made me think so was the fact that Shikishima had kissed Mikasa.
Lyn: I really don’t know what their relationship was. The fact that we can’t clearly establish their relationship could suggests that the chemistry wasn’t strong enough between characters. So I guess they could have or could not have…Maybe it is left to the viewer’s interpretation. The impression I got though is that Mikasa and Shikishima weren’t lovers.
Crimson: I see
Q: What do you think about Mikasa knowing the secret of Shikishima’s Armored Titan transformation?
Lyn: That it’s weird. She could have possibly learned about what the government has been hiding, but she didn’t know Shikishima’s rebellion plans. Wait…maybe the fact that she does know his Titan secret could mean that THEY WERE IN A RELATIONSHIP!
Crimson: Dun dun dun!
Lyn: Or Shikishima transformed into a Titan in order to train her on how to fight against them.
Crimson: I think she knew about the government stuff. It doesn’t feel right that she wouldn’t know, I mean, why tell Eren and not her? As for his plans, I’m not sure, but I’m going for her not knowing. If she’d known I think she would have gone against him from the start (whenever she found out) or would have been with him (and would then not have fought against him at the end).
Lyn: Yeah, I think Mikasa knows the truth. As for Shikishima’s plans, maybe he didn’t want to get her involved. I mean, she is only human, getting entangled in that situation would result in high treason.
Crimson: I need to rewatch this movie, haha
Q: What do you think of Shikishima’s overall character? Do you think he is good or bad?
Crimson: Yaoi. He wants Eren’s virginity!!! (#takeit)
Crimson: Ok but seriously I have mixed feelings. I mean, I can see where he’s coming from but he went about his plans in a not-so nice way saying it was okay for everyone to pretty much die if it meant getting rid of their current government officials (so I feel like he deserved what he got). However, at the end, he ends up helping Eren and Mikasa with the Colossal Titan so….
He’s in a gray area. I do hope he somehow survived, even though that would mean Kubal survived too…
Lyn: Same here. I think of him as an anti-hero. I enjoyed his feminine side though. Shikishima has the right ideals, but his way of implementing his ideology is wrong. He is willing to sacrifice the lives of people for the sake of future generations. Eren believes in those ideals too. However, if there is a way to not sacrifice any lives, Eren is willing to take that pathway.
I think Kubal died because Shikishima aimed the rocket at around his neck area, which is the “Achilles heel” for Titans.
Q: The Mystery of Eren’s Brother (Not a question, but a very important topic!)
Crimson: OK, what did you think about ‘Eren’s brother’? They never continued anything for that! I was so curious! Especially when Souda brought it up right before he died!
Lyn: Oh yeah. Did you think Shikishima is Eren’s brother? Because I thought he was. I mean when they both transformed into Titans, they looked similar.
Crimson: Yes! I totally thought they were siblings but not because of their Titans’ resemblance. I thought it could be Shikishima because he could transform and was older (since during the beginning of the movie they mentioned Eren’s older brother), but then I also considered the thought of Shikishima just being a government experiment and him being part of the secret from the start, since Kubal could also transform.
And that somehow, at some point, Shikishima decided to fight the system because a loved one got hurt or died. There was something during the whole Eren vs. Shikishima vs. Mikasa incident that made me think so (just his emotions and how he talked about the government).
Not to mention that this reason is usually used for things like this.
Lyn: I think Shikishima is the brother because in the beginning of part two, there is a flashback where Eren’s father experimented on him, and Souda witnessed it. Eren’s mother was upset because they “lost” Eren’s brother due to these experiments. My guess is that the brother may have ran away because he thought of himself as a monster, but he eventually learned how to control his Titan nature. In addition, he must have somehow learned the truth about the walls when he joined the military.
Crimson: I’m so bad at little details like this, but didn’t they say he died? And even if he hadn’t and had instead ran away, the chances of a child surviving anywhere are pretty low. I also don’t think they mentioned an age for when someone can join the military but I’m assuming 15 since that’s how old Eren was in the anime when he graduated. So Eren’s brother would have had to be a runaway for at least five years (and that’s me giving him some extra years, I imagine he may have been younger considering how young Eren was being experimented on).
Lyn: I also think that the reason why they didn’t mention the brother anymore is because they want to keep the possibility of a sequel open. If they wanted to make a second movie, it could be about the brother.
Also, “dead” doesn’t literally mean dead. I mean, there is a possibility that the brother could have regenerated. Also, we aren’t sure if Shikishima actually died. He could have regenerated in the last second when he fought Kubal.
Crimson: I actually hope he survived, I feel like he redeemed himself at the end when he helped them all defeat Kubal!
And I don’t think that the government would even let a possibility of him regenerating slip passed them, especially if they knew what Eren’s dad was doing. I mean, they burned their house down and took them away (most likely killed, though I can also see something else).
I could probably imagine the experiment failing and Eren’s brother actually dying (the end) or having the possibility of Eren’s brother surviving, being taken by the government, and then forcing him to work for them (while he hates them and plots their demise). And then that could be Shikishima….
As for keeping it open, I think it could have gone either way. They could have mentioned more of the brother, revealed who the brother was, and then just had gone back to tell the story of what the brother was doing since he disappeared (died, was lost). Kind of like Disney movies…haha
Lyn: It is just a possibility. I mean the brother could have died or he could have lived. However, we won’t know because Souda died before giving us any vital information.
Q: What do you think of the Titans’ appearance?
Crimson: I’m not going to lie, I thought they were so creepy! I actually got to watch the first fifteen minutes of it at a Funimation Panel at AWA and it totally cut right before the Colossal Titan knocked a hole into the wall so I’d been mega pumped to see the Titans. Not to mention the behind the scenes mini-video they showed.
And when I saw them I was just watching with my mouth open like ‘What.In.The.World.’
They were not what I was expecting. I’d mostly seen clips for the more CG Titans so to see them look so human was really…disturbing.
Lyn: Well I thought the Titans looked like humans in the anime. So when I saw them in the movie, they looked exactly what I thought they would be. The Titans’ eagerness and creepiness was on point.
As for the action, it wasn’t “Hollywood” status, but they did a good job with what they had on budget. The gore was enough for me, since I’m not a fan of horror and monster movies.
On a side note though, I found it interesting that they splattered blood onto the screen to break the fourth wall. It is as if you, the viewer, are witnessing what is happening front and center.
Crimson: Well, I am a fan of fighting scenes and just, people killing each other and what-not so I was pretty disappointed in that aspect (e.g. Shikishima vs. Eren as Titans).
I was also sad that the Titans played less of a role in the second part. I mean, I remembered that one baby Titan and like, the few others that Jean and the others spotted along the road but there just wasn’t enough gore and pain and fear!
I was joking with my brother on how one of the Titans in the first part was me, that’s how realistic they were to me. And did I mention they were super eager? Smiling and ‘laughing’ and just…I wouldn’t want to be in the movie’s Titan infested world.
And that’s all. I’m kidding.
Just like the Attack on Titan live-action film, our movie discussion is a two-part series. Stay tuned for “Attack on Movie: An In-Depth Discussion on the Attack on Titan Movies With Lynsette (Part 2).”