Anime: Attack on Titan (Season 2 Limited Edition)
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Retail Price: $84.98
There are countless anime series at viewers disposal, but very select few go on to achieve a mainstream success and contribution to pop culture - with one of those being Attack On Titan. The anime series is based on an ongoing manga, becoming a juggernaut in the anime world but has forced its way into extreme popularity faster than your average hit series. As the first season debuted to an audience that grew every week, it made its way to Cartoon Network’s long-running Toonami block, and additionally spawned video games, cosplay inspirations or even live action projects. After the pressures of following up a thrilling first season, where does the second season take us?
To provide a little refresher on the history of the series, Attack On Titan exists in an apocalyptic setting where a faction of humanity lives behind walls to prevent attacks from enormous creatures, or “titans.” AOT focuses in on three core characters, the young Eren, Mikasa and Armin. After the breach in the wall, the three join up with a task force that plays guardians to there fellow humans, often going into battle with the titans. We learned that Eren was a titan, along with other prominent characters - making it a bigger mystery when searching for the reason behind the titans existence.
The second season found a shortened 12 episode season, heightening the opportunity to focus on a more specific narrative. After the clash with Annie, a horde of titans becomes an immediate threat, setting off a chain of events that takes little breath in between punches. Where in season one, Eren was a big part of the fray - the second season puts him in vulnerable positions that requires him to somewhat get the aid of his comrades. He becomes another piece to the puzzle, but Attack On Titan’s second installment evolves beyond the mere concept of the series initial premise. For those major Eren fans, that doesn’t insinuate he isn't actively part of the plot - but does allow for some subtle growth and more drastic growth for others.
A perfect example of the change of pace comes from the expanded plot regarding minor characters in the first go around. If you had issues with any of the primary characters, this included a fairly drastic shift. Levi found himself temporarily removed from the arcs, and Eren wasn’t always in a power position so it forced others into play that otherwise might have not received the spotlight. Ymir happened to be one of those that I didn’t notice often initially, but in these particular 12 episodes the friend of Krista proves herself as a fascinating character. Without spoiling too much, a discovery about her leads to questions about allegiances, morality and a connection that flourishes more than most of the core group. Reiner and Berthold take different directions this season, making a duo that isn’t one to be reckoned with and many conflicts are presented for the jam-packed season - solidifying AOT is prepared to round out the ensemble more than some had anticipated.
The animation has a slightly different vibe in this next chapter; at first I felt like the series wasn’t quite as unique as the before but only because certain tonal differences began to take place. Once really digging into part two, the differences become something to appreciate and it doesn’t go unnoticed. New titans make for opportunities with different fights, giving animators a chance to have fun with new scenes whilst embracing new character inclusions. The English dub cast and Japanese voice cast are distinctively different, but both create their own lane which is something that can be a hard feat for anime. Transitions through character development and action sequences are one of the series strong suits, something certainly reiterated in these 12 episodes. Attack On Titan’s second season proves it isn't’ just another fad - it’s a hard-hitting anime that’s here to stay.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
- Ymir for MVP.
- The shifts in the season were smart ways to keep viewers on their toes and setup for an even more exciting third season.