I always have a concern when a movie comes out of a popular TV series, as I fear it will be a compilation of the series itself and nothing new from the show or potentially taking it in a different direction (as with the “Eden of the East” offerings). Now, there are a forest of problems with the “Attack on Titan” movies (yes, there are two of them; this is Part I). The first is, yup, this is merely a compilation film with about 21% new footage. This does help explain certain aspects better, but still comes off as too superficial, compared to the series, when we saw things unfold better. The second is that a lot of plot and motivation was jettisoned to make the film fit a time length and some of those parts that were cut out may have been necessary to the film to explain things better. Well, I only watch and review; what the hell do I know, right?
The third is that this might be a caliber of preparation for the live-action version of “Titan”, but what’s the reason for that? What can you do differently for live-action that you couldn’t do in anime? This seems more like corporate greed than anything else. The fourth problem is the most troublesome: who is it for? If I have seen the series (which I have), there is no reason to see a Cliff Notes® version of it in a movie, as a lot of the flavor is gone and that is what really sold the show. If I haven’t seen the series, then a lot of what the movie reveals will be taken from me if I choose to pursue the series in earnest after seeing the film.
And the movie covers the first 13 episodes, so a lot of action is presented and little background and plot is given. Now, some of that 21% is mostly in the front, as we set up the relationship between Eren and his father and more emphasis is placed on the key he has, as well as the dynamic between Eren and Mikasa and Armin gets showcased with a bit more depth, but this is a small offering in the overall scheme of things. I realize that we are all hungry for more episodes, but this is not the way to chase after it. You would be better off rewatching the entire series, especially if you can see some kind of forewarning or foreshadowing to explain things better. Then there are the numerous OVAs, whether you wish to take in ‘Monster Theater’ with its silly take on things, or the sidebar stories from the Recon Corps and what they discovered. Those would serve you far better than the overall weak movie offering. I was grandly disappointed, thus reflected in my rating. I wanted something more on my plate, not merely a rewarming of things.
Do understand that this is a fine TV series and well worth your time to view it. The movie isn’t.
Overall Two stars.