Still incredibly popular since it began over 10 years ago, the end is very much nigh for the Attack on Titan franchise. The original manga has recently reached its conclusion, and the anime is soon to do the same. This final season is being split into two parts, with the second half premiering later this year.
While fans of the series wait for the anime to air its final entries, they can pass the time by watching an overlooked part of the franchise. Attack on Titan: Counter Rockets was a spinoff of the live-action movie adaptations, and it's become a rather infamous entry in its own right. Here's what the series is about, why fans may want to check it out and how they can do so.
What Is Attack on Titan: Counter Rockets?
Counter Rockets is a web series prequel to the 2015 live-action Attack on Titan movie, building upon that continuity's storyline and characters. Said characters are played by the same actors from the movies, and the plot involves Hange's development of the ODM gear technology that the heroes use to combat the Titans.
The series is divided into three episodes, with each one beginning with a recap of the two movies that chronologically come afterward. They also introduce an original character named Izuru. The first episode was handled by Kimiyoshi Adachi, who worked on the two live-action movies as well as Shin Godzilla. While the episode focuses on the ODM's creation, the second offers some more backstory for Sasha. But it's the third episode that makes the miniseries so notorious among the fandom.
Why Counter Rockets Is Infamous
The series' special effects, especially when compared to the movies preceding it, were definitely on the lower side of a budget. The CG and puppetry for the Titans, in particular, could have been better, and the creepy aesthetics of the creatures in other media simply looked laughable here. There's also the matter of the aforementioned third episode, which is where the miniseries completely falls apart.
This episode is littered with slapstick humor, ridiculous anime tropes that the actual anime itself never uses and tons of overacting. This stems from an out-of-place love triangle due to Lil becoming jealous of Fukushi seemingly being with other women. In response, she offers her hand in marriage to any other man who comes along and kisses her. This results in an absolutely idiotic sequence wherein the male characters all chase after her, lips puckered, like a legion of marriage-minded zombies. The misunderstanding is eventually resolved, however, with everyone -- including the Titans themselves -- congratulating the couple on their love.
When combined with the horrid green-screen effects and just how out of character everything going on is for the cast, and the franchise in general, it's almost impossible to believe that this is both in continuity with the films and meant to be taken seriously.
Where to Watch Counter Rockets
Perhaps due to how absolutely absurd the whole affair is, the series isn't widely available outside of Japan. It is available, however, in both Australia and Hong Kong thanks to being distributed by both Madman Entertainment and Edko Films on Blu-ray and DVD. The Japanese and Australian versions can be purchased through Blu-ray.com, though again, it's really just for the morbidly curious, hungry for more on-screen Attack on Titan until Season 4, Part 2 comes out.