I just watched the three part miniseries Attack on Titan: Signal of the Counterattack, which is a part of the Attack on Titan Japanese live action movies.
When I started watching these episodes I thought they would be bad but I had no idea they would be worse than the live action films.
They were terribly acted, boring and one of the episodes was the worst adaptation I have ever seen and made me feel insulted as an Attack on Titan fan.
So I will now take you through each episode and why I found them to be so atrocious.
Episode 1: The Strike Back Begins
When I read the synopsis for this episode, I thought it might actually be good because it starred Hans (Satomi Ishihara), the adaptation’s version of Hange, who was one of the few good things about the live action films.
Yet, somehow, this episode managed to ruin her character for me.
Just because something works in anime does not mean it will work in live action and the portrayal of Hans in this episode is a testament to that.
I found Ishihara’s performance here to be laughably terrible, which unfortunately goes the same for the other actors in this episode.
This episode is also terribly shot with time lapse shots that may work for a documentary but not a fictional TV series.
On top of this, there is a moment that blatantly contradicts the continuity of the live action films.
Hans shows that the Titans cannot move at night but we saw them move at night in the first film.
While this change is more in line with the anime if you set something up in your version you have to continue with it because otherwise it destroys all continuity.
This episode is a mess, with the only enjoyment coming out of its laughably bad performances.
Episode 2: The Arrow of Hope
With the most cringe worthy title of all three episodes, if I could describe The Arrow of Hope in one word it would be “boring”.
This episode focuses on the character of Sasha’s (Nanami Sakuraba) backstory and at no point did I even remotely care about what was happening.
I did not care about Sasha’s dog, I did not care about her catching the food thieves, I did not care about Han’s involvement.
The story telling was that bad.
Along with this, Sasha’s character is, just like in the films, butchered in comparison with the manga and anime.
Her only character traits in this is that she is obsessed with food and is an expert with the bow and arrow.
Sasha’s character was so much more than this in the source material and the jokes they use surrounding her character here do not work at all, once again unlike the source material.
They basically made her a Katniss Everdeen wannabe in this version.
Much like the previous episode, this one is also terribly shot with a point of view shot from Sasha’s dog being particularly atrocious.
Then there is the cringe factor, with so many scenes that made me groan.
The way Sasha’s bow and arrow skills completely defy physics and her literally making heart eyes at someone were the worst moments of the episode.
There is just nothing enjoyable in this episode.
It is completely boring from start to finish.
Episode 3: The Departure of Freedom
Coming into this episode I expected it to be bad.
What I did not expect was for it to be one of the most torturous experiences I have ever had watching any form of media.
The Departure of Freedom is not just a terrible episode but the worst adaptation I have had the displeasure of seeing.
It is so atrocious that it makes The Last Airbender and Dragonball Evolution look like cinematic gold.
This episode basically focuses on the budding romance between Fukushi (Shu Watanabe) and Lil (Rina Takeda), two characters from the first film.
They are based off Hanna and Franz from the source material, who were minor characters and did not need an entire episode like this focused on them.
You remember the saying, “still a better love story than Twilight”?
Well, this love story actually manages to succeed in being worse than Twilight, and that is saying a lot.
There entire relationship starts with Lin almost beating Fukushi to death, how is that for romantic?
Them falling in love is so unbelievable and stupid.
It goes from them trying to kill each other to them being head over heels in love in seconds.
For the third time, this episode is shot terribly as there is way too much slow motion.
This is a 41 minute episode and if you were to remove all the slow motion scenes then the episode would be cut by at least 20 minutes.
This shows the people who made this had no idea what they were doing and were trying to just fill in time by using slow motion.
CGI is also used in this film and it is atrocious and completely unnecessary.
However, the reason why I consider this to be the worst adaptation ever is the comedy.
About half way through this episode I realised it was not meant to be taken seriously but that does not excuse the fact that adapting Attack on Titan as a comedy with incredibly unfunny cringe humor is completely insulting to any fan of the source material.
There are two women in this film who for some dumb reason are dressed in skimpy outfits while in the military who provide the worst joke in the entire episode.
When one of the soldiers insults their superior officer one of these women glares at her with the the most over the top frown and kissing face and her eyes rolling into the back of her head.
I laughed so hard at this, and not because it was funny but, because I could not believe they were actually doing this.
The final fifteen minutes of the episode delves into a complete cringe fest with some of the most juvenile humor I have ever seen and I hated every minute of it.
This episode was absolute agony to watch.
They took the dark and compelling story of Attack on Titan and changed it into a cringe fueled comedy with no humor whatsoever.
Avoid this episode like the plague.
I don’t know how they managed it but somehow this live action miniseries was 1000 times worse than the live action Attack on Titan movies.
The episodes were laughably bad, cringe worthy, boring and had one of the most insulting adaptions of an original work ever.
I am only thankful that I have finished watching these adaptations and therefore never have to see them again.