Attack on Titan Season 2 – Mid Season 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)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Attack on Titan’s 2nd Season opened with incredible visuals and remains a feast for the eyes. Each episode maintains an impressive level of quality, even when other anime would normally dip in production value by this point in the run. While the use of CGI isn’t ideal, it’s integration is fairly innocuous, save for the colossal titan who looks like he’s been lifted from a video game adaptation rather than a proper component of the series’ visuals.
Linny: Considering that this season starts and continues with nonstop titan action almost every episode, the warning about sensitivity to CGI is very important. Story wise though, all these attacks make for a heart pounding and thrilling experience as you watch the cadets take on masses of titans. The action gets a lot more intimate and gory as well. Given that the new titans seem a lot more intelligent and/or deadly, this really helps to raise the mystery and fear factor. This season has also begun to slowly hint at reveals to mysteries from the previous season, which should please curious viewers who haven’t kept up with the manga. Amusingly enough, one of the biggest reveals in the entire plot of the series so far is done in such a subtle and casual manner that it comes off somewhat unbelievable and a bit humorous.
Tom: The series is a little jumbled in its efforts to balance character work and offer progress through the main plot. It’s the same issues the manga suffered from, and while the anime has worked hard to make minor adjustments in presentation, it’s still a bit weird the way the anime shifts between present day events and delves into lengthier flashbacks. These are minor issues however, as the series is overall moving at a perfect pace, keeping the action frequent, the developments timely and rarely giving the audience a chance to lose focus. Compared to the 1st season there’s relatively no padding, ensuring even less enthused viewers are engaged to the very end of every episode.
Linny: For fans who were lamenting Sasha’s extremely diminished role in the later parts of Season 1, Season 2 features an episode that’s heavily focused on exploring her. The bad news is that she pretty much fades back into the background after that. And the biggest players of last season, Eren and his friends, do feature ever so often but for the most part, they’re overshadowed by other members of the cadet corps, whose battles with titans takes up most of the early episodes. No worries if you’re a fan of Eren, Mikasa or Armin though as the latest mid season episode seem to be working on bringing them back into the limelight.
Tom: It’s definitely going to throw a few fans for a loop as this season has primarily focused on the expanded cast and their efforts. But the pacing we discussed before is so on point it’s hard to take too much issue with how long Eren and Mikasa exist outside the show’s current events. While the anime is just being faithful to the manga, it is odd in how the anime’s second season opens with so little screen time for its main heroes, although this issue likely won’t exist for newcomers who’ll binge through Season 1 and move onto Season 2 without the major gap the rest of us had to wait through.
Linny: Considering the time gap between the two seasons, this new season does a great job of dropping us back into the story at full speed. Whether you’ve been keeping up with the manga or not, the anime continues to do a great job of adapting its source material and reminding us all why we love this series so much. And while it’s new musical opening and ending may not have the impact of the originals, they’re still extremely pleasing to the ears and help to lend the show an almost ethereal vibe. So far, Season 2 is a most appropriate continuation of the story and a must watch for fans.
Tom: Attack on Titan Season 2 is very much living up to the lofty expectations that the large gap between it and Season 1 created. Flagging DVD sales have left some question as to whether Attack on Titan will get a third follow up, and even if it does the lack of success compared to the 1st season may mean a drop in visual quality. That said, what’s here has been near perfect so far, as adaptations go, and I can only continue to hope that the 2nd half of this season will continue to impress.