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Attack on Titan: Roar of Awakening UK Anime Review

7 min read
Prepare for the third season with a recap compilation film.

The recap of pre Season 3 is told well and is great of watch, but it is still a recap movie so….

What They Say:
Join the ranks of the Survey Corps for this big screen outing of the smash-hit series Attack on Titan.

The Roar of Awakening recounts the events of Attack on Titan Season 2 in a thrilling yet concise form, which sees entirely new threats and a fresh Titan invasion test its members to their limits. With incredible action and shocking revelations aplenty, there’s no better way to witness the continuation of this renowned dark and mysterious story.
Contains the film on Blu-Ray and DVD in Japanese with English subtitles. Presented in Collectors packaging with a 68-page booklet containing production artwork from the film.
• Film on Blu-Ray and DVD
• Collector’s Packaging
• 68-page Booklet

The Review:
Whilst having an English Trailer, I reviewed the DVD release which only have the Japanese audio, albeit at a 5.1 Dolby Surround sound level. The audio combines the sounds and atmospheric music with a range of foley and effects which sync in well with the video and subtitles (especially considering the action scenes) making it an unproblematic release as far as I checked. Disappointed there is no dual audio track of course, (I did check as well so unless it isn’t on the test disc it is just a Japanese track release) especially considering how strong AoT’s dub is, but on the other hand it was a recap movie which may negate the decision to use it, especially if you have already seen Season 2 at that point.

Similar with the audio, the video is set in 16:9 – 1.78:1 aspect ratio via NTSC transfer to PAL format – with DVD releases nowadays the effect definitely seems more grainier compared to HD and with me doing a ton of Blu-ray reviews recently this is a good way to remind you how the times have changed. Fortunately due to the movie like quality (it is technically a movie after all) with the already excellent animation usually showcased in a franchise like Attack On Titan makes this great to watch, done in traditional full screen for the closest movie experience you can get as possible

There was no packing for this test release however there is collector’s packaging in the combi pack.

The menu is pretty standard on the DVD release though has an odd thing of the backround showing clips of the movie…yet no music playing in the background. Again, was strange and not sure if intentional or not. Your choices are Play Movie, Scenes, Set Up and Extras – with the dark background the grainier imagery being played makes it almost a little too dark at times, not to the point of being a problem but definitely noticeable.

There are no extras for this release bar the English/Japanese trailers and 4 TV Spots (odd due to technically being a movie) The combi pack does come with a 68-Page booklet though.

A special edition of a movie of a very popular franchise is on one hand welcome especially if you haven’t followed up on the story after the 1st season – however on the other side, similar to the Assassination Classroom movie, you do ask ‘why’ if you’ve already seen the series. This movie effectively recaps most of Season 2 (roughly episodes 26-37) and is the third recap movie which sets up effectively the beginning of Season 3, there is a bit of retelling but otherwise it is familiar/abridged territory.

If you are familiar with Attack On Titan, then a lot of what you see is not for the faint of heart. Lots of gore, people begin ripped apart (and eaten) with the dash of strong character development. This arc pretty much focuses on the humans into Titan phenomenon – we get to see the Scouts detecting Titans, alerting Erwin in Stohess whilst they deal with these Titans on the Wall Rose. Their commander, Miche is supposedly second only to fan favourite Levi in skill…which of course means to showcase these new Titans that he’s screwed. And indeed, a new Titan known as the Beast one seems to be able to talk and display high intelligence and interesting in the technology the humans possess…

We get back to Stohess where we see the original core there of Eren, Mikasa and Armin, with Hange, Levi and a pastor of the Order of the Walls named Nick joining them (and Nick gets a dose of reality as he tries to not explain his knowledge to the gang, whilst watching humanity struggle around him), especially as Titans that should be descending near them, apparently aren’t, leading the gang to worry if the Walls have been breached…

This is where the set up for Season 3 comes in as we learn from Nick there is someone in the Scouts who can speak for the people about the truths and we don’t know their name (yet) but the description of her is pretty obvious to viewers, especially as they learn they are often seen with another woman named Ymir. Speaking of Ymir, she is joined by Reiner who if you’ve seen Season 2, this will give you flashbacks of what is about to happen, as Ymir also outs herself as something too we soon discover, but the Beast Titan leads to Wall Rose, with Reiner and his friend Bertholdt taking the lead, even letting a Titan chomp his arm after saving Conny, where they manage to throw it off the tower, and here, the mystery Scout is obviously Christa – and the running gag of her sweetness that Ymir and Reiner are both quite attracted to her…again, makes for different viewing with hindsight…

However, the shows clash of ‘anyone can die’ vs. ‘if you are a protagonist you’re fine’ mentality hits as the death count rises and Ymir reveals herself to be a Titan and one that ate Reiner and Bertholdt’s friend 5 years ago. Is she good or evil? Either way, Christa helps her out and then Mikasa and the others help out (with my favourite Hange in the fray too), with Eren even getting a kill as a human, but Ymir appears to be badly wounded. Christa reveals her real name – Historia – which basically begins Season 3 but before then….we have the surprise revelation that Reiner and Bertholdt are also titans.

Yes, this was the big twist and is handled well in the movie – with Reiner confusing Eren with his talk and pretty much admitting to him he is a Titan. He transforms, as Mikasa tries to kill them but they escape with Eren who in turn transforms as well, but Reiner’s Armoured Titan form along with a Colossal Titan to deal with makes this a tough one, even capturing Ymir and the two manage to plan around capturing Eren despite him working around how to deal with the armoured Titan. With him taken, Mikasa and Armin are helped by veteran Hannes who was with the three in their village and an injured Hange realises where they would have gone…

With Eren injured, Reiners’ unravelling commences as not sure if human, Titan or warrior as Ymir also wonders what side to be on, as the Scouts suddenly hone in on them after Hange’s deductions were correct, but Ymir then seems to betray the Scouts as she swallows Christa/Historia. With Erwin now at the ready, they follow his plan despite the usual bigotry from the Military Police as Ymir explains to an alive Historia why she switched sides as Historia is torn with Mikasa wants to kill her for her betrayal, or helping Ymir escape. It leads to Eren being rescued but unable to transform which sadly the delay leads to Hannes being killed by a Titan, but thanks to Mikasa, Eren manages to snap out of it, and he brings forth his Titan form with seemingly increased power. It ends however with Ymir and the others escaping, Eren wanting revenge, Levi wondering how many humans are Titans and setting up for the next chapter with Historia’s reveal….

Which is of course where Season 3 starts with the new scouts and ready to rock – my review of Season 3 is available and pretty much continues from this – or from watching Season 2. Which in the end, is what it is in an abridged form – and my usual issues with this sort of media is the simple case of ‘why’. I love Attack On Titan and also Assassination Classroom, but because I have seen the series in their entirety, the recap movies feel like they are not necessary.

I mean sure, the enhanced sound, animation and some retelling/new animation are nice and it is definitely good to watch especially if you did want a recap of the story or if you had only seen Season 1 so I enjoyed it, but in the end, it is a simple of case of if you have seen Season 2, you don’t need to get this, bar if you wanted the special edition goodies. Otherwise, no need to see it. Good, but unnecessary.

In Summary:
Roar of Awakening is a nice extra for Attack On Titan fans if they want the extra bits in the special edition, or if you haven’t caught up with Season 2 – however as good as it is considering Attack On Titan is always a good show, the recap movie is exactly what it says on the tin, a recap of a season (or part in this case) and thus, if you have watched said season, this release is pointless and unnecessary. I enjoyed it, but again, you do ask…why.

Content Grade: C+
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: N/A
Menu Grade: B-
Extras Grade: C

Released By: Anime Ltd
Release Date: October 14th, 2019
MSRP: £28.99
Running Time: 124 minutes
Video Encoding: NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 – 1.78:1

Review Equipment:
Playstation 4, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.

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