Hopefully they don’t come out with a Part Three. I think we’ve suffered enough.
“Are you a human, or Titan?”
Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan is a best-selling manga and critically acclaimed anime with millions of fans both Japanese and international. Attack on Titan the movie is a cheap, ugly mess which kept the action sequences from the anime but made them despicably hideous that it made you wonder what the point of making this atrocity was. So, naturally, a second part was released shortly after – subtitled End of the World.
Immediately following up from the events of the first film, Eren Yaeger (Haruma Miura) has been captured by Kubal (Jun Kunimura who is entirely wasted here) due to his abilities to shift into a Titan. As his friends Mikasa and Armin (Kiko Mizuhara and Kanata Hongo respectively) watch on, the prison is destroyed by the Armored Titan, and Eren is kidnapped once more. He awakens inside a weird, modern room where captain Shikishima (Hiroki Hasegawa) throws some … interesting exposition at him about the nature of the Titans, and the history of the world.
End of the World is, to be fair, better than the first film although that isn’t saying much. It cuts out much of the fat from the first part, leaving only vital moments and thus results in a film that’s a shockingly lean 80-odd minutes. It’s largely held together not by its protagonist Eren, who is as flat and boring as ever, but by Shikishima who replaces both Levi and Braun from the original series and is insanely entertaining. His manic, over the top delivery is exactly the sort of thing you want from an anime adaptation, not the dull and lifeless performances from everyone else.
However, what makes End of the World so strange (other than everything) is that it feels so void of substance. It’s this strange, hollow film that– bafflingly – only has a first and a third act. Sure, it’s a continuation of the previous film, but I felt like my copy was missing whole scenes. It’s not like it doesn’t come together narratively, it’s just that we get conclusions and big twists mere moments after conflicts are set up. There’s no drama, just a whole bunch of stuff.
I will give the movie props for just abandoning the source material and giving us its own interpretation of the Titans. As neither the manga nor the anime have gone too deeply into the lore of the Titans yet, the film is allowed to take some liberties – and it does some cool stuff with it. That we learn this version of the world is set in Japan helps to explain why all of these otherwise originally Germanic characters suddenly got a weird Asian upgrade.
There are plans for an American adaptation of Attack on Titan and I never thought I’d say this but I’m actually looking forward to it a hell of a lot more than I was looking forward to this dumpster fire. It might be better than the first film, and might have its own ideas but it’s still a miserable attempt to recreate the magic of the original. It barely has any Titan fight scenes and the ones we do have look like two dudes in cosplay stomping around a model city – which it definitely is. I’m not saying Japanese tokusatsu films shouldn’t have people in costumes and models, but at least try to make it look convincing. Godzilla mastered this 65 years ago.
All in all, End of the World does nothing to convince me to recommend it. To say it is less ugly than its predecessor is only admitting that it has fewer CGI scenes. It’s stomachable (just about), but the idea of having to sit through the first movie to get to it is a laughable notion. If you want to know what its twists and turns are, there’s definitely a YouTube video out there titled Attack on Titan White Room EXPLAINED or some shit, so go watch that. It’ll be way shorter and less irritating, if only slightly.
Verdict: A forgettable conclusion to a forgettable couple of films, Attack on Titan: End of the World is just plain awful.
Overall entertainment: 4/10
Quality of violence: 3/10
Menacing jukeboxes: 1
CGI Blood: Both over the top and unconvincing
Armored Titan: Transformation sequence is kinda cool
Attack on Titan: End of the World (2015)
Also known as: 進撃の巨人 Shingeki no Kyojin
Director: Shinji Higuchi
Writers: Yūsuke Watanabe, Tomohiro Machiyama (screenplay), Hajime Isayama (manga)
Haruma Miura – Eren Yeager
Kiko Mizuhara – Mikasa
Hiroki Hasegawa – Shikishima
Kanata Hongo – Armin
Takahiro Miura – Jean
Nanami Sakuraba – Sasha
Satoru Matsuo – Sannagi
Jun Kunimura – Kubal