Live-action Attack on Titan with Miura Haruma Poised to Destroy Summer 2015 Japan Box Office

This past summer box office in Japan was owned by the two Rurouni Kenshin movie sequels starring the increasingly hot Sato Takeru, but the industry is already predicting the upcoming domestic movie that will destroy next summer’s box office in Japan. I totally agree with the pundits that the J-movie that will lead the pack (by a mile) will be the big-budget action-packed long-awaited live-action Attack on Titan movie adapted from the blockbuster manga. I’m in the group that thought Miura Haruma was miscast when it was first announced he was headlining the live-action movie but now am pleasantly surprised.

The just released excellent official movie character posters for the main cast washes away most of my initial doubts and showcases Haruma as leading man Eren Yaeger in all his angtsy kickass intensity. I love it! Mizuhara Kiko as Mikasa is primed for a major career breakthrough beyond being G-dragon‘s girlfriend while Ishihara Satomi as Hans (snuggling her rocket launcher) is the stuff that makes me giddy. The only kicker is – and the reason fanboys and fangirls are freaking out – the most popular character in the manga that is Levi is NOT in the movie. I repeat -no Special Ops Squad Captain Levi. Let’s have a group cry now before ogling all the awesome movie posters below.

In a sheer coincidence, or perhaps the gods favor these two young men, the leading man of Attack on Titan Miura Haruma is none other than Sato Takeru’s real life best friend. Way to own all the hottest movie franchises, boys!

I love how Eren and Armin’s posters are literally contrasting mirror images of each other. Seeing live-action Armin also confirms for the fans that the character is a guy. I know some have hoped Armin turns out to be a girl but honestly all the crying and sniveling he did early on rather makes a weaksauce argument that it’s because Armin is a girl. Mikasa is definitely a girl and takes zero shit from human or Titan.

Speaking of which, Kiko looks spot on at Mikasa. Love the look of stuttered intensity in her eyes.

For a manga otaku like me, I actually started reading the Attack on Titan manga relatively late, long after the shonen manga by Isayama Hajime became the biggest manga breakout hit in Japan since One Piece. It’s a post-apocalyptic story of a world overrun with naked giant humanoid creatures called Titans (i.e. Giants) whose sole MO is to attack and eat much smaller humans leaving the human population to retreat to safety behind giant walled cities. The manga starts with a never before seen super-sized giant Titan breaching the outer city walls and opening the floodgates for massive Titan carnage before the survivors make it inside the second inner city wall. All the main teen characters experienced the carnage first hand and join the Survey Corps trained to do reconnaissance and figure out a way to destroy the Titans. The above six posters are the only main characters from the manga to transition to the live-action, all the characters below are newly created for the movie only but with the mangaka’s input and approval. Interesting….

I love everything so far about the live-action Attack on Titan goodies. BUT I’m with the vast majority of manga fans wondering why Levi isn’t in this movie? The production is going to have major explaining for why Levi is not in the live-action movie, and no, not being able to find someone awesome enough to play Levi is not a valid reason.


Live-action Attack on Titan with Miura Haruma Poised to Destroy Summer 2015 Japan Box Office — 46 Comments

  1. like what the he** no captain levi? he like the coolest thing in the the whole manga.however they added hans.this makes no sense,but maybe they did not want to share the spotlight off the lead character (erin)

  2. There are two AoT live-action movies coming in Summer of 2015, like the two Rurouni Kenshin movies this past summer. Fans are hoping this poster release is a feint and shows the cast for the first movie and not the second, which will indeed have Levi in it. With that said, there is not word on casting Levi, so that could mean the production is keeping it super close to the vest and springing him either at the end of the first movie in an uncredited cameo and then he shows up in the second movie. I hope to god that is the case.

    • My theory is Levi is just too famous. He’s everyone’s favourite (surely is mine) and any actor would portraying him would be heavily criticized and would have a hard time. I can’t think of any other reason. I have to admit while checking out the posters when they first came out, I was going fast just to find out who’s playing Levi. Then I went through them 2 other times not believing there’s no Levi!! & THEN I managed to appreciate the rest of the pictures and the cast. I just don’t like the actor playing Jean. I didn’t mind whoever played Eren he was the most annoying of the characters 😛 Still Himura looks good in the poster 😉

      They mostly added asian characters, making Mikasa not the last half asian on earth 😛 I have a feeling Shikishima’s character is sort of a replacement to Levi. I could be wrong.

      I had thought back them that the perfect actor to play him is Matsuda Shota.

  3. The absence of Captain Levi might be justified if the movie only covers the 1st season of the anime – Levi only appears really briefly and does not play a major role. Who knows, they might keep him as a surprise cameo towards the end ?
    That being said, if this is only the first season’s movie, knowing Japan entertainment, we can probably expect a second one, and if by then there still is no Levi on the horizon, then we can collectively go “WTF”.

  4. I’m kinda disappointed they didn’t dye Amin’s hair. l think they may have already cast Levi but are keeping him under wraps. I can’t wait for the movie to be subbed.

  5. “beyond being G-dragon’s girlfriend” Um, she has a decent acting career and is pretty well-known as a model. I don’t see how Kiko’s relationship with G-dragon is even relevant or equivalent to being in Attack on Titan.

    Anyway, I’m excited for the movie. The posters look good, and I like the casting for the most part.

  6. I am halfway watching the anime. I thought Eren have blond hair. I wonder how they are going to do the Titans. Also, I hope they keep the beginning theme music. There is a season 2 of Attack of Titans anime?

    • no…Eren is brown-haired…blond is Armin…

      season 2 of the anime is planned for 2016 release^^ confirmed at the screening of the 1st compilation movie (which is basically a recap from ep 1-13 with maybe some new footage)

  7. The uniform of the new Shikishima character looks like the uniform of Special Ops Squad and he’s the “strongest man” according to the poster’s description. I wonder if they’ve mixed Levi’s character with some others to create this new Shikishima…

    Anyways, back to the manga. I started AoT also relatively late and I actually watched the anime first; so I was kinda shocked to find out how poor the artwork of the manga is…I think story-wise it’s good but seriously the artwork is just…bad. I’m glad the anime production team has made MAJOR improvements on the overall artwork quality of the story otherwise I wouldn’t be so addicted to it.

    • Yup that’s why I avoided the manga and will just wait for the anime. Still the mangaka is an awesome story teller but this kind or setting needs outstanding graphics.

      The production team didn’t only improve the artwork and had amazing effects, but the music they chose was awesome. I also love the group that made the 2 openings, it wasn’t just the usual jpop but really songs that carries the spirit of the show.

      I just love anime but unfortunately these years there hasn’t been many that grab my heart like that (since FMA and Natsume Yuujinchou).

    • Even the mangaka openly admits his drawing style is terribly bad, simplistic and unattractive to be distracting. It’s like a great novelist decided to use manga as a medium to story tell without the ability to draw. It’s pretty freaking hilarious actually to look back and see that his story manages to overcome the bad art.

    • Special Ops Squad do not have a specific uniform…
      you mean the cloak? that is part of Scouting Legion uniform that is usually worn during expedition outside the walls…

  8. This may be slightly off topic, but does anyone know where I can watch the Rurouni Kenshin movies? Will there be English subtitled DVDs released in the US?

  9. Is anyone else worried about the movie going all Star Trek: Into Darkness on us and the director having a JJ Abrams love affair with lens flare? I love the posters but holy lay off the intentional blinding flashes. My brain almost melted by the end of ST:ID. That better not happen here.

    • Ha! A friend of mine made that comment when we watched Into Darkness though personally it never bothered me. I remember reading an article where Abrams even apologised for it. The movie will probably have a good amount of flaring. I don’t know how much they’re spending on their budget for their CGI but I doubt it’s going to look as nice as something WETA would make (oh god, please prove me wrong). And look at those posters, if that’s any indication…The flare is supposed to add a realistic element to the scene and they’re definitely going to need to make the world of AoT realistic to appease the fans.

    • I am probably the only viewer who wasn’t bothered by lens flares. I did have some issues with the plot though e.g white Khan and Nimoy’s Spock saving the Enterprise again.

  10. What some are speculating is that Levi has been replaced with the character portrayed by Hasegawa Hiroki as the director has not said anything about Levi appearing in any of the films. And Hasegawa’s character is touted as “the strongest man” in history.
    Still not sure about Kiko, many wanted Hashimoto Ai and I get why. Ai has that intensity that Kiko hasn’t. (another favorite was Horikita Maki)
    I’m hoping the special effects are good as many Japanese films tend to have iffy effects.

    • Yep, I’m worried about the effects too because that honestly could ruin this film for me. I really want those titans to look as real as possible. Enough to scare the crap out of me.

      Hasegawa’s character looks bad ass enough to be Levi, and even if he were bad ass enough, if his character’s not named Levi, it’s not good enough for the fans lol

  11. Ehh, still on the fence about this movie. The whole no Captain Levi is a big factor but I totally understand if he can’t fit into the story. I’m in the group that thinks he’s going to make an appearance at the very end of the movie. That being said, where the heck are they ending this movie that Levi isn’t in it…And not only that, there’s a slew of new characters that seem unnecessary. What’s wrong with keeping to the original story? The writers and producers were lucky enough to have a great source to work with.

    Also very disappointed with Potato Girl’s poster.

  12. Ah…I’m only reading One Piece at the moment but reading the comments I should probably watch the anime than read the manga lol. Not too fond of post apocalypse themes but will try this after I finished Spice and Wolf. Thanks for the updates.

  13. I was so excited when I saw the heading, but no Captain Levi??? I am crossing fingers that he will be in the second movie. Please movie gods, make it happen!!!

  14. My 2pence on it is that they have reworked Levi into ‘Shikishima’ possibly to make it more workable for them? I would have loved to see who they would have cast to play Levi…. actually they probably have cast still Hasegawa Hiroki as, as much as Levi looks like a kid hes actually 34.

  15. Shikishima’s a replacement for Levi. That I’m sure… The Japanese have a tendency to… shall we say… “Japanize” (if there’s a word like this) famous characters. Watch Black Butler-Live Action. Ciel there becomes Shiori, and he becomes a girl. Which actually “validates” that love-hate relationship between Sebastian and Ciel.

    • But on BB the live action narrative says its set about 100 yrs later, so shiori is a descendant of ciel, and Sebastien is still munching souls. They kept the format but moved forward in time.

      I reallllly wanted there to be a Levi in this film. I imagined an actor version of GD, short, arrogant and way too cool for all this boring shit ^_^

  16. Oh, I hope there will be the Levi, Jean, and Erwin characters. I can get used to Armin without blonde hair. I could not find the manga, but the anime is good storytelling…..Thanks for the article.

  17. I’m totally psyched with this though if they managed to capture all those madness with the 3D MG consider me sold! Talking as an Armin fangirl here, I was surprised that people questioned his gender-maybe because the anime chose a female seiyuu for him? btw Kanata Hongo as Armin is like the icing of the cake for me and though I will miss his blond hair, it’s Kanata Hongo! *fangirling*

    Most interesting is the choice of making Hange a woman because the mangaka refuses to divulge his/her gender (and the issue that his/her seiyuu is Romi Paku) but I’ve always imagined Hange as a woman so that’s not a big issue for me 😛

    If possible I wanted all the manga characters to appear but apparently, this film will have to be adapted into Japan as opposed to Germany, and I totally get that. It would be crazy not to have Levi, so maybe he’ll be in, but has different name. So I’m guessing Hiana is Annie, Kubal is Pixis and Souda is Hannes. Anyway, there’s so much to look for in 2015!

  18. I didn’t realize Kanata Hongo was Armin…hey! I already saw Kiko and Haruma so I’m good. Kiko also posted a full photo on IG that’s circulating

    Last I heard Shikishima was replacing Levi which…I don’t like but he wouldn’t really figure in until the next movie (if story arcs) anyway

  19. OK the posters look cool but with the amount of super talented young japanese new actors to choose talentless miura haruma whose portrayals are always boring is such a shame, he is just wrong for the role. Rurouni kenshin having been super good gives me hope but japan has a reputation for ruining its cult manga and this is the kind of story that actually fits right into hollywood so I really hoped the first adaptation who be a ( good ) hollywood one with the right budget coz this cannot be good otherwise. The source material is nothing short of genius I really hope they don’t ruin it

    • Hollywood’s cash flow would definitely help with certain production values others have mentioned. I want to see some of the idyllic villages and pleasant countrysides in the movie.

    • IKR !! They should make it hollywood movie instead, with all the CGI and foreign actors except mikasa.
      I even could imagine someone like logan lerman as eren :'(
      But this japanese adaptation totally ruined it with all the actors and new cast shikishima blabla.

  20. Thank you so much for writing about this. I hope that your speculation about Levi being in the second movie is true. Maybe they are casting a big name for his role.. but it doesn’t make sense to keep that under wraps. It makes even lesser sense to exclude Levi from the movie entirely so I still have hope that the info black out regarding Levi is a feint.

  21. Rurouni kenshin movie has more prominent actors than Attack on Titans, that’s for sure (although I was purely disappointed on the third movie. sigh). But I’ll be looking forward for this one anyway. I need to wait until the first movie came out to decide. Haruma Miura and Kanata Hongo are my favorite child actors from Japan and have seen them in various action movies. Their long acting experience in variety roles doesn’t concerned me at all compared to the rest. Kiko and Satomi are both casts from Shitsuren Chocolatier and romance-comedy drama so I have no idea how they’re going to do in this film. I’ll be waiting.

  22. This is so wrong. How can they make them ALL JAPANESE??? FAIL.
    Eventho there’s miura haruma and kanata hongo in it, it’s still dissapointed.
    Can i get hollywood movie for this instead?

  23. Oh… I would like a Hollywood movie instead.

    But I am not dissappointed on them changing Levi for Shikishima. If they can’t do it properly I really prefer they change the character. I can better accept an OOC Shikishima than Levi.

    Still, I hope they make something to Hollywood want to reproduce. Like the Ring or other japanese movies, maybe Hollywood will be copying. Please. I need a movi with 3DMG realistic movements, and german-looking characters <3

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