Attack on Titan II: End of the World (2015)

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Attack On Titan II: End of the World (Shingeki No Kyojin Endo Obu Za Warudo)

Japan. 2015.

Crew

Director – Shinji Higuchi, Screenplay – Tomohiro Machiyama & Yusuke Watanabe, Based on the Manga by Hajime Isayama, Producer – Yoshihiro Sato, Photography – Shoji Ehara, Music – Shiro Sagisu, Visual Effects Supervisor – Katsuro Onoue, Production Design – Tsuyoshi Shimizu. Production Company – Toho/Hajime Isayama/Kodansha Ltd.

Cast

Haruma Miura (Eren), Kiko Mizuara (Mikasa), Kanata Hongo (Armin), Hiroki Hasegawa (Shikishima), Pierre Taki (Souda), Jun Kunimura (Kubal), Takahiro Miura (Jean), Nanami Sakuraba (Sasha), Satoru Matsuo (Sannagi)


Plot

After having demonstrated the ability to transform into a Titan, Eren has been captured by his own squad and is about to be executed by Captain Souda. The others stand up to try and stop this only for Eren to be snatched away by another Titan. He comes around with Shikiskima who reveals how the Titans were created when a military experiment went wrong, creating an infection that caused people to become giant-sized zombies. Eren’s father created a serum that has given Eren the ability to transform into a Titan. Eren’s former comrades mount an expedition to retrieve the fallen bomb in order to use it to bring down the Second Wall and protect the inner city again. They encounter Shikishima who leads the rebels of the wasteland who have built advanced weapons of their own. However, Eren backs away from joining Shikishima’s plan to use the bomb to topple the government instead. This leads to fighting between the factions and eventually between the transformed Titan versions of Eren and Shikishima.


Attack on Titan (2009– ) is a manga series created by Hajime Isayama. It was adapted into an anime tv series Attack on Titan (2013), which ran for 25 episodes and spawned two animated films. This was then adapted into a live-action film with Attack on Titan (2015), which was shot back-to-back with Attack on Titan II: End of the World here and the two films released seven weeks apart.

I liked Attack on Titan for its visual and conceptual wildness – the idea of humanity fighting a defensive war against an army of mindless giants that bite the heads off humans. Even though the film purportedly played free and easy with the original manga, it made you want to find out what lay in store for the rest of the saga. That is finally answered in End of the World. This actually takes the story even further than the manga does and offers an explanation for the Titans – a military experiment gone wrong, creating a series of mutants that spread like an infection until they took over the world.

I entered Attack on Titan II: End of the World with high expectations based on the first film but felt increasing disappointment as it went on. Partly it is because this fails to replicate the sheer outlandishness of the first film that left you spinning at the wildness of the action and milieu. For one, it takes over nearly half the film to get back into the combat scenes between humans and Titans. During this time, the plot fragments off into the far less interesting business of fighting between the various human factions trying to bring down the government and the struggle to plant or not plant a bomb to collapse the wall, as well as the backstories of various characters. Also the climax the film ends with – the bringing down of the wall and the passover scene with the central characters sitting on top of it looking out at a sunset – seems a non-ending. As the first film showed, the walls (especially partially collapsed ones surely) are not safe and nothing has been done to bring the Titan menace to an end.




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