Attack on Titan, started life as a manga series in 2009 by author Hajime Isayama to a largely Japanese-only audience. It has since developed into a hugely successful anime series across the globe and its popularity is now set to rocket further, as the UK sees the cinematic launch of the live-action films. Attack on Titan: (Live-Action) Part 1 hits UK cinemas on 1st December, with many cinemas opting to run double bills and show Part 2 as well – due to the huge demand from fans.
The rise to success was not an easy ride for Hajime Isayama, as so many publishers initially turned down his work – they liked the story but fed back that the quality of his artwork was poor. Insecure and in doubt over his creation, his lucky break came when publishers Kodansha and Good Smile Company took a chance on what they saw as a raw talent with potential, a creative mind that could go far.
After the initial popularity of the Attack on Titan manga in Japan, an American subsidiary of the publishers decided to print the series in the US too. Wit Studio and Production I.G then produced an anime series, airing in Japan in 2013 before Netflix licensing the streaming rights to the series in 2014. This boosted the global reach of the franchise phenomenally, with intrigue into this unique universe reaching the masses.
To prepare UK audiences for the terror of the Titans, we look into the film’s setting, the walls structure and the Titan’s themselves, setting the scene for this epic story which centres on Eren Yeager, together with his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and friend Armin Arlert, who join the city’s military to battle the Titans and protect their hometown.
In Greek mythology, Titans are believed to be the second order of divine beings and thought to be sacred and holy by their worshipers. However, these Titans are far from divine. Ranging from 5 metres to 60 metres tall (with heights of 7 metres and 15 metres in between), they devour humans in the worst possible way. What’s even worse is that they appear to be committing genocide for reason of pleasure as opposed to for food supply and survival! Nobody actually knows where the Titans came from, just that they travel from village to village destroying everything until there is nothing left.
Although many have tried to defeat the ongoing wave of Titans, it seems near impossible to ever fully defeat them. Not only is the origin of the Titans unknown but we also discover a horrifying secret that lies in this twisted universe.
The City Walls
There are three walls which surround various districts of the city to protect civilians from the Titans. The walls are circular and get gradually smaller in size towards the centre of the confinement. The outer, and largest wall (Maria) surrounds the entire compound on the outside, containing within it the smaller wall (Rose) and the smallest wall (Sina) that surround the centre of the city. The walls are each 50 metres tall, the height of the tallest Titan ever recorded and the length of five humans deep into the ground. The spaces between the walls are roughly equal in distance. Maria and Rose are 100 kilometres apart and Rose and Sina are 130 kilometres apart. Sina is around 250 kilometres from the centre. Each of these walls are made of bedrock to enable a strong enough composite to withstand the attack of Titans.
Inside the Walls
Inside the Walls are various different protected districts. These communities have been built up and reconstructed over the past century since the last Titan attack. As so long has passed since, many of the civilians do not believe Titans exist as most have never seen one. As we focus on civilian characters Eren, Mikasa and Armin, we see them join an army-like scouts legion, named the Recon Corps, after a Titan violently murdered Eren’s mother. The Recon Corps scout legion are involved in training for direct Titan combat, Titan study, human expansion and exploration outside of the wall. Although their attempts at combat have not yet been successful, they symbolise the hope of mankind to the rest of the civilians.
Attack on Titan: (Live-Action) Part 1 and Part 2 is released in UK cinemas on 1st December. For more information and to book tickets, head to: www.attackontitanmovie.co.uk