Review – Attack on Titan Season 2

ANIME, REVIEW – Ever since the last episode aired on Saturday, Attack on Titan has been receiving mixed opinions whether or not it had a great run. From the sudden change from action-packed to character-heavy writing, Attack on Titan has improved drastically from its previous season.

Spoiler-alert.

SYNOPSIS

Centuries ago, mankind was slaughtered to near extinction by monstrous humanoid creatures called titans, forcing humans to hide in fear behind enormous concentric walls. What makes these giants truly terrifying is that their taste for human flesh is not born out of hunger but what appears to be out of pleasure. To ensure their survival, the remnants of humanity began living within defensive barriers, resulting in one hundred years without a single titan encounter. However, that fragile calm is soon shattered when a colossal titan manages to breach the supposedly impregnable outer wall, reigniting the fight for survival against the man-eating abominations.

After witnessing a horrific personal loss at the hands of the invading creatures, Eren Yeager dedicates his life to their eradication by enlisting into the Survey Corps, an elite military unit that combats the merciless humanoids outside the protection of the walls. Based on Hajime Isayama’s award-winning manga, Shingeki no Kyojin follows Eren, along with his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and his childhood friend Armin Arlert, as they join the brutal war against the titans and race to discover a way of defeating them before the last walls are breached.

source: MyAnimeList.net

PLOT

Attack on Titan is a anime series comprising of two seasons directed by Tetsuro Araki (season 1) and Masashi Koizuka (season 2). Story written by Yasuko Kobayashi, music composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, and animated by studio WIT.

Despite being released four years after the first season, the plot makes it clear to you that we are still continuing from the events that happened in the first season finale – which was the fight between Annie Leonhart and Eren Jaeger.

The first half of the second season focuses on the new breach in the wall and the re-emergence of the Titan threat. In the first episode, we are introduced to the Beast Titan and the horrific death of Mike, one of the scouts – which is by far, one of the most gruesome and horrific scenes in the show.

Other than that, the first half mainly focuses on the scouts that weren’t involved in the Annie and Eren fight which were Reiner, Berholdt, Sasha and the rest of the minor characters.

This is actually quite refreshing since the majority of the first season’s screentime was mostly about Eren, his stupidity and indecisiveness to make the right decisions.

Throughout the first half of the second season, we learn about the wall’s origins, how Titans are possibly transformed humans after the discoveries at Connie’s home village, huge character developments in Sasha and Connie, as well as Ymir’s identity.

In the second half, we are abruptly given the obvious fact that Reiner is the Armored Titan but Berholdt being the colossal was a surprise since there was no similarities.

We get to see further character development of Ymir – showing her desperate and sorry side, her ties to Christa or which we now know as Historia, a woman of nobility casted away by her own family. As well as the solidification of Mikasa’s desire for Eren. Reiner and Berholdt’s allegiances and motives have been slowly shown as well.

Overall, the plot has taken a huge step from relying on heavy action scenes to more informative and world, character building. However, the thing that makes this season so entertaining is it keeps viewers asking about the why, where, how, when and etc.

With the third season announced so soon after the season finale, I hope that these answers will be found especially more on the walls, the origin of the titans, the titan shifters most specifically Reiner and Berholdt’s hometown and the Beast Titan.

CHARACTERS

The best thing about this season is that Eren doesn’t give that much huge emphasis and importance in the story except for the last few episodes.

First off, Sasha’s character has been developed from that of a glutton to a more courageous, brave and fearless woman. We have seen much of her roots, how that affected her growth and love for food and also her bravery to save those around her.

Ymir has had the major development out of all the characters. From the blunt and manipulative individual, we have seen much more of her origins, her time as being worshiped in a cult, her sacrifices for those worshipers, how she became a Titan and how her affection for Historia/Christa came about.

Reiner and Berholdt have been thoroughly shifted from senior figures to villains that can be sympathized by viewers. Despite being revealed as the main enemies of humanity, they have shown their sympathetic sides by revealing how they never wanted to do this and there’s someone forcing them to do so: to destroy the walls and end humanity.

However, Historia’s presence and Eren’s has somehow put a stop to that plan.

Overall, the characters have improved drastically: Ymir has a much more sadder, darker past. Eren is not that stupid anymore and is willing to plan before he acts. Mikasa is still someone who would kill for Eren. Historia x Ymir, and Reiner and Berholdt did nothing wrong (probably). Also, Sasha is more than meats the eye (please kill me).

ANIMATION

 Studio WIT has maintained its quality but added much more emotional depth and sufficient action when it comes to its animation.

This massive shift to information-heavy plot has somehow damaged the animation quality a little bit as every time the characters used the 3DMG whilst they converse, somehow they appear as if flying throughout the area.

It beats up the action which was meant to be conveyed during important scenes.

However, WIT has not ran out of horrific death scenes, regular use of blood, hideous facial expression from titans and characters alike (especially Armin in that recent episode).

Overall, not much to note about the animation. There were a few outstanding scenes but not much to note of. It was just a good maintain of animation quality: just lesser fights and more emotional depth in scenes.

That reveal at the end of the season finale was well-animated though. The camera pan from Trost District to the Walls as the shifter behind the Beast Titan emerges from his titan form.

IN CONCLUSION

Attack on Titan has improved itself by adding more importance to character and world development rather than the gore and action-packed scenes.

We have learned more about the origins of the walls, the titans, and the shifters but every time we find an answer there’s always a new question formulated – which I think made this season entertaining for viewers.

For those people who like to see much more information regarding the world of Attack on Titan then you should be watching this second season. If you came for the action, well, sorry, you’re in bad luck.

Shinzou sasageyo!

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