As immensely popular as "Attack on Titan" is, it’s easy to forget that the last new episodes in the series aired on Japanese TV over 18 months ago. Sure, creator Hajime Isayama keeps plugging away at the manga that started the franchise, and there are also those two movies to look forward to. But for more than a year and a half now, fans have been unable to plop down on the couch and watch a brand-new installment of everyone’s favorite fully-clothed humans vs. naked giants saga.
In August, though, the drought will finally be over, as "Attack on Titan" is getting a three-part live-action miniseries, with a shift in protagonist and one completely new character.
The project’s announcement was made on April 2 as part of a promotional event for the recently rebranded dTV video streaming service. Still known as dVideo until April 22, dTV is a joint venture between telecommunications giant Docomo and entertainment production company Avex. For a flat fee of 500 yen a month, dTV gives users unlimited access to its catalogue of movies, TV shows, and songs.
Come August, one of the over 120,000 options for dTV users will be a new live-action "Attack on Titan" miniseries, split into three parts and set within the same continuity as the two upcoming live-action films. While teen soldier Eren is technically the central figure of "Attack on Titan," he’s far from the only memorable member of the cast, and pretty clearly not the series’ most popular character. As such, the miniseries’ producers feel comfortable shifting the spotlight to Hanji, also known as Hans.
Actress Satomi Ishihara, who portrays Hanji in the live-action films, will be reprising her role. She’ll be joined by other "Attack on Titan" movie cast members Nanami Sakuraba, Shu Watanabe, Rina Takeda, and Ayame Misaki. With the exception of Sakuraba, who plays potato-loving Sasha, the other announced actors all play characters unique to the live-action movies, and the miniseries is set to add yet another original character, with actor Yuta Hiraoka playing someone named Izuru.
Plot details are scarce, but between the absence of many of the more youthful series regulars, plus Ishihara’s comments that the miniseries will deal with Titan research and “the birth of the 3-D maneuver gear,” which the heroes make such prodigious use of in both the anime and manga, there seems to be at least a slight chance that the miniseries will be a sort of prequel. Ishihara also spoke of the challenges that came with the miniseries’ increased focus on the inner workings of its characters psyches.
That’s not to say there’s no visceral excitement being offered, though. At the event, Takeda revealed, “We were up until the middle of last night filming action scenes, and I’ve got bruises to show for it.” And fans won’t need to worry about the new miniseries looking worse than the Attack on Titan films, according to Hiraoka. “The sets are amazing. They’re exactly the same as the movies…You can really feel dTV’s resolve to maintain the sense of place from the films.”
“It’s turning out to be an exciting series,” concluded Ishihara, “so I hope you’ll all watch it.”
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