Live-action adaptations of your favorite anime series are sometimes painful to watch. On rare occasions, they’re actually pretty decent, even though stories with supernatural or sci-fi elements tend to be especially difficult to reproduce faithfully in real life…or so we thought until now. Before now, many people have commented that a live-action version of the insanely popular Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) would be impossible to execute well. But a group of enthusiastic German fans have proven everyone wrong with their amazing video which runs like a movie trailer! This production has truly raised the bar for fans around the world. One more important detail: they have real horses!
Even though the Attack on Titan anime concluded last September (although the manga is still ongoing), a group of passionate German fans still wanted to show their love for the series by creating a visually stunning fan-made video. As time of writing, the video has already racked up over 93,000 views on YouTube, and it was only published on January 19. The quality of the production is truly top-notch with its beautiful camerawork, editing, and gorgeous landscape footage. To top it off, the entire video is matched to the anime’s second opening theme, “Jiyuu no Tsubasa” [Wings of Freedom], to create a perfectly epic viewing experience. According to the uploader of the video, the preparation and filming took four months!
The stylistic feel of the video is very similar to its original 2-D world. The actors recreate famous scenes from the story in old residences, fields and a forest. Some of the scenes were filmed in a real open air museum, adding to its authentic look. It doesn’t hurt either that a German town called Nördlingen is rumored to have served as the original inspiration for the city in the manga and anime series. Nördlingen is one of only three towns in Germany today that still has an intact wall around its perimeter…or should I say, circumference?
▼Nördlingen, Germany: original inspiration for the series?
The actors themselves took great care in their appearances. Their outfits were meticulously put together, and they went so far as to wear wigs and colored contacts to look like the series’ characters. Nothing looks cheesy or totally unrealistic. AND THERE ARE REAL HORSES!!
I suppose the only slightly disappointing part is the lack of titans, but we can hardly blame them for that. There’s no doubt that adding a lot of CGI titans would have been time-consuming and expensive, and perhaps cheapened the entire project. It’s actually kind of nice how the video sticks to exploring the human, emotional side of the story.
Here are some screenshots to whet your appetite:
▼My favorite character, Krista Lenz/Historia Reiss, who shares a name with me!
And now finally, here’s the video itself!
By the way, an official live-action film is confirmed to be in the works and is due in theaters in 2015. Toho, the group that brought Godzilla into the world, will distribute the film in Japan. If I were involved in that production, I would be very interested in meeting with these German fans…