Attack on Titan Season 2 – Anime Review
Synopsis: Years ago, humanity was forced to retreat behind three concentric walls to escape the man-eating Titans outside their fortress. (Official Funimation Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Attack on Titan’s second season outstrips the first in terms of sheer visuals and rarely suffers the dips in quality Season 1 had peppered through its run. That doesn’t mean the season is perfect however, as it features CGI animation that hardly blends well with the traditional 2D style. This usage of CGI, while helpful in capturing some of the more epic moments surrounding horse chase sequences, and encounters with the Colossal Titan, can be jarring, exceedingly so for those staunchly unhappy with the encroaching presence of CGI within their 2D animated medium. There’s also a reliance on stills late into the season, particularly in the final episode.
Linny: Storywise, this season packs in a ton of action, almost at a nonstop pace within its 12 episodes, keeping the adrenaline levels high up throughout its run. Being a shorter cour than last season, the action is jam packed, which should be a boon for anyone who enjoys the clashes between the titans and the corps cadets.
Tom: Season 2’s fast pace nature works wonderfully as it hammers out the manga’s content in a tight twelve episodes and keeps the whole thing moving at such a pace that it can be difficult to find significant fault with. Particularly as we hit the back half of the season, the early halfs troubled balance between character work and plot rectifies, getting things to move at a breathtaking pace.
Linny: This new season also gets to the meat of the mystery rather quickly, dropping hints and reveals about the titans themselves within two episodes. This season also contains major twists and reveals about the human characters, information that changes the dynamic between our cast members and even the world of Attack on Titan as new threats and new titan types are introduced into the story.
Tom: In an effort to provide more impact to certain character developments, the anime takes more recent content from the manga to give Ymir and Christina’s relationship added depth. But this is a slight detriment in other ways as the content pulled from later in the manga contains significant spoilers, and while the anime works hard to frame these events in such a way as not to give too much away, more attentive viewers might learn more than initially intended.
Linny: Compared to last season, this time around, it feels as though a handful of the supporting cast have taken over the spotlight to some degree as the show explores their lives and past beyond what we knew of them as cadets. In particular, Cony, Reiner, Bertholdt, Sasha, Krista and Ymir all get either an episode or more where they’re given some character development or exploration and are in the spotlight. In comparison, major players from last season, like Levi seem to get a lot less airtime and play a more subtle role, being almost completely absent from titan encounters in some cases.
Tom: It’s only as we approach the middle of the season that the true core cast, Eren, Mikasa and Armin come back into play. It feels a bit off the way the focus changes so abruptly, as Sasha and Co. are thrust away from the spotlight so abruptly it almost feels like two entirely different narratives. It’s a problem likely solved by moving between Season’s 1 and 2 right away, rather than with years apart. Otherwise the true highlight of the season, in terms of character work, is Christina and Ymir’s relationship, which steals the show. It both sheds new light onto the situation and feels truly gripping as the two find themselves in an increasingly tight position, forced to make difficult choices. And it’s here the anime’s choice to pull information from later in the manga really helps, adding weight to Ymir’s choices that just wasn’t there as the manga still kept so much from the reader. By proxy, Eren almost doesn’t feel like the protagonist of his own show anymore, only truly feeling like our main character during the most action oriented moments of the season.
Linny: Attack on Titan has always been known and beloved for its memorable and catchy theme songs and season 2 does not disappoint. While the OP and ED may not match the level of its ridiculously popular and loved first season, they still do a great job of getting across the grand scale and eerie premise of the story, making them feel very well suited for the show.
Tom: Attack on Titan fans won’t have long to wait for the anime’s continuation, as thankfully a Season 3 was announced for some time next year. It looks like it’ll be 2 cours this time around, a good thing as the anime is about to adapt what is generally considered the manga’s weakest arc followed then by the manga’s strongest and most captivating battle yet. Fans of the series can rest assured that Season 2 is an excellent continuation of the first, building upon what made Attack on Titan so enjoyable and improving upon it in nearly every way.
Linny: Attack on Titan Season 2 definitely isn’t flawless. The story telling is a little disjointed with the focus jumping around from character to character and character backgrounds not being conveyed and explored in the smoothest of manner. However for fans who’re just here for the gore and the titans, Season 2 amps up the craziness even further with all sorts of new threats and dangers. Overall though, the anime remains a great way to experience the story of Attack on Titan and even with less than perfect animation, this season is a must watch for fans of the series.