Attack on Titan's first season never really sat right with me. A series more interested in cinematics (orchestrals, screaming aplenty) than it did in conveying a message or allowing its audience to care for the characters beyond whatever grisly death they inevitably succumb to. It was loud, its presence ever more so, and so I distanced myself from what seemed standard action movie cuisine.
After over three years of silence, its second season comes as something a bit more surprising. It trims away its grimy, cacophonous exterior and presents something, somewhat, more refined. The killing has found a purpose. The world the characters inhabit possesses some
semblance of depth. There exists a story with a direction, which is exactly why it will disappoint fans who were expecting it to perpetually wander amidst blood and steel.
To be sure, Eren and crew killing (and conversely being killed) is a formula that proved moderately entertaining in the first season, if only mindlessly so. But a second season? A third? Would it still be exciting, or would people begin to tire of it? I was in the latter camp, and so I find myself glad the goalposts were changed altogether.
That's not to imply that all of AoT's flaws have been erased. The characterisation remains a sore spot for the series, with Eren continuing to scream nonsense at the top of his lungs, incapable of anything but being a hot-blooded child who is somehow the centrepiece of everything in the world. There's nothing to his character except his being angry all the time, which is why I make no intentions of defending his presence.
So who is there to defend instead? Mikasa and Armin, the two other primary characters, while less frustrating and less offensive to listen to, don't possess much that wasn't already immediately apparent. They are flat, as are the side characters, so numerous and disposable that I found myself Googling the name of one of the story's new villains because I couldn't for the life of me remember who they even were. Other characters-- Sasha-- are so devoid of character that the only thing they are defined by is the quantity of food they eat. And while the second season gives you marginally more reason to empathise with them throughout their numerous backstory scenes, it still remains difficult to care much about the fates of any of them - a significant issue in a story centred upon war. It is why I never thought much other than "ew, gross" and "wow, that sucks" when any of the characters (of which there were dozens) were chewed, dismembered, and/or squished by abhorrent-looking humanoids.
This is why I think the best way to appreciate Attack on Titan is to focus less on the pieces, and more on the board itself. Attack on Titan's setting is genuinely fascinating, and uncovering its secrets is likely to be the greatest delight for viewers unsatisfied with mere violence. While walled-off communities on the verge of extinction isn't entirely new to anime (Space Battleship Yamato went there in 1974, and Macross in 1982), the massive scale of the cities behind the walls creates ample room for an animated (yet ever so bleak) world to exist. Discovering how the world's agriculture functions, its geography, the state of politics within the Castle, the cultists' activities, and the design of the soldiers' Vertical Manoeuvring Equipment is some of the most fun I've had with an anime in this year or last. More Attack on Titan isn't exactly a proposition that gives me thrills and tingles, but books and other media focusing on its world is something I would absolutely be interested in. A rich setting it is, and with the scale of the world now extending far beyond the walls, there is almost limitless potential. Potential, I suppose, which will probably never extend into its largely mediocre story.
A mediocre story is still a step up from last season, perhaps. The violence is now more of an accessory to the plot, rather than the inverse, which allows things to follow down a more linear road instead of one winding and circling around ad infinitum. Eren and his allies, as well as his enemies, now have a mission that extends beyond survival. There are antagonists excluding the Titans mindlessly chewing every fleshy thing in sight, which creates a more interesting dynamic, certainly, as the villains are treated as human beings rather than mindless lunatics bent on world destruction, as is seemingly the case in nearly every anime that has ever existed. Some fans may be disappointed that they aren't given a villain to detest, but I've always been of the opinion that a conflict in which no true 'good' and 'bad' side exists is a more compelling tale to tell.
The second season's highlight is no doubt its halfway point, a twist so suddenly and casually revealed that it is natural to doubt one's ears, provided you hadn't already guessed one of their blatantly obvious identities well-beforehand. The ensuing fight scene is neat, as it carries a level of emotional weight so lacking in anything that existed previous. But the extent to which some people have been praising the scene, as though it is the craziest and most "epic" thing that has ever appeared in anime, is certainly without much merit.
(It also deserves to be mentioned how downright silly some scenes can be, such as when Armin and Mikasa 'emotionally' eat their rations upon the wall. Moments like this make it considerably harder to take everything else seriously.)
The production quality of Attack on Titan's second season is a minor downgrade from the first's, a fairly disappointing detail when considering the three-year wait and shorter-than-expected episode count. The aforementioned reveal doesn't hit as hard as it should when one of the villains, who is supposed to be menacing, is suddenly given the cheap CGI treatment. The fight scene fares better, with its eyes moving and monstrous fist pausing in slow-motion, but by that point the damage the first impression has created is irreversible. Mediocre animation for AoT may very well be stellar in contrast to the average seasonal anime, but standards are different here, and the ballpark much larger.
If loud orchestrals are your jam, then things have not changed all too much between 2013 and 2017. The music is still loud and climactic, and the opening, while not quite as memorable as the first two, is a solid addition to the series from both a visual and musical standpoint. But if you're a bit like me, and don't exactly enjoy noise constantly pumping into your eardrums, then Attack on Titan can be a great way to receive a headache. And this is coming from someone who listens to The Money Store on occasion.
It would be a lie to claim I didn't enjoy my time with Attack on Titan. But I am uncertain how much of that is a result of my fascination with the setting, and what, if any of my enjoyment pertains to the actual anime. To claim Attack on Titan is something of great critical merit isn't something I could do without being disingenuous. Decent? Certainly, and a noticeable step above the turgid Hollywood fare its first season was, with the introduction of new antagonists and an actual, tangible story. But for those who waited years for more Titan slaying, I do start to wonder: were they ever really giving the rest of the medium a look?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 4 years, then you’ll know that Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) has been renewed for a second season. And with that, the show returns in full force. Remember the titans that terrorized humanity when they made their appearance from season one? Or when Eren transformed into a Titan himself and played a pivotal role to help humanity? How about the time when Eren and his friends realized that one of their comrades is also their greatest enemy? Shingeki no Kyojin wastes no time in giving the fans what they want and that’s a sequel
to talk about for years to come.
Make no mistake. The second season jumps right into the meat of the show like a bullet train. It doesn’t rely on boring narratives to recap dialogues but instead presents them through events. The first few episodes reintroduces the main characters such as Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Reiner, Bertolt, Sasha, Hange, etc. Time hasn’t passed long either since the defeat of the Female Titan. However, we are introduced to new enemies and conflicts. One of the more noticeable fans will notice is perhaps from the trailer – a beast-like Titan covered with fur. Other conflicts in the second season includes the evolving mystery of certain characters. The secrets they hold close gets more and more complicated as the story progresses and we learn their motivations. Furthermore, the second season builds more into the character relationships outside of the main cast. To say the least, Season 2 isn’t just about the war against Titans but how certain characters’ roles can impact the entire world.
Snk Season 2 attempts to do a lot of things. At times, it feels like a fantasy war-drama while other times, it feels like a mystery story. When you mix a lot of genres together, the show can be interpreted from many angles. Mystery will no doubt be one of the key factors that keeps the story engaging for the viewers. From this season, we’ll discover revelations about certain characters and what influences them to become what they are. These are often told through flashbacks and is done effectively through insightful storytelling. It shows rather than tell about events. Furthermore, it makes us understand the characters better. Now for some fans, this could be a sign that the show will fall victim to “slow pacing”. It’s slightly true as I do wish some episodes to pick up the pace more. It can hold the show back for fans especially if it’s a character that they don’t care about. However, it’s also important since SnK doesn’t toss away characters in favor of just the main cast. Major supporting characters such as Sasha, Ymir, and Krista gets more characterization that was not seen from the previous season. In addition, the series still spends time to get viewers to understand more about the trio of our main cast – Eren, Mikasa, and Armin. Unfortunately with just 12 episodes, don’t expect the second season to give all the characters their chance to shine. If you’re a fan of Levi, then I’m afraid I got some bad news.
Despite the engaging story, season 2’s mystery elements aren’t exactly difficult to decipher. It’s actually quite easy to piece certain pieces together. Every episode builds more and more into the story but some hints will be much more obvious than others. It leaves open to some predictable outcomes. However, I would also argue that season 2 succeeds at building up the suspense regardless how the outcome comes out to be. It injects psychology into the show through effective usage of narrative, dialogues, body language, and character interactions. In some of the later episodes, we can see how certain characters show their true selves in ways that will be very memorable. It’s made even more effective through the timing of certain scenes. Directing a show like Shingeki no Kyojin requires a creative mind to connect the script and I have to say, it did that pretty damn well. Finally, I am satisfied by the faithfulness of the adaptation as it adapts many manga chapters that I had anticipated. In fact, some episodes are actually adapted even better than the manga thanks to the cleverly timings of key events.
To sum up the production quality of the show, it’s pretty easy to say that Shingeki no Kyojin Season 2 is a firm example of how dark fantasy should look like. I actually had some complaints regarding the first season’s quality but those are pretty much are nonexistent in this sequel. Every episode looks fluid ranging from the intense action, character expressions, and choreography. To an extent, even the CG is done well and that’s no easy accomplishment for many shows. Character expressions highlight characters personality as it gets the fans more excited about them. Season 2 pulls that off flawlessly with characters such as Eren, Mikasa, Reiner, and Ymir. I can also safely say that the Titans in this season look just as intimidating as fans can remember, if not more.
Known for its high level production quality, season 2’s soundtrack doesn’t come far off either. Theme songs sounds familiar compared to the previous season but has more symbolism and scenes poured into showcase its story. Like most fans of the show, expectations for the OST should be high as Hiroyuki Sawano returns with his craft. It lives up to those expectations especially in some of the key moments that will leave you in awe. Finally, character voice mannerism just works wonderfully as the cast fits right into the shoes of their roles especially for characters like Reiner and Ymir. As I mentioned before, there’s a good amount of psychology that season 2 brings and some characters’ voices really brings to a level that’s larger than life.
Once again, Shingeki no Kyojin gives what the fan want ever since the first season ended in 2013. It’s been 4 years but upon watching the first few episodes, it felt like yesterday. It does its job at selling its story with its variety of genres mixed in together. With such a colorful cast of characters, it gets the fans excited to see what their roles will be. With a studio like Production IG, it’s safe to say that the quality remains in good hands. Now, I am slightly bothered by the length of the sequel. It’s half of what season 1 turned out to be and after all the waiting, it felt like a slap in the face for fans. Still, I’d say that the wait is worth it as time didn’t do its damage and it deserves a pat on the back.
There are anime that truly leave a monumental impact. Not just on the industry, but for each individual viewer. Shows that are so addicting that you just can’t seem to stop watching them. Shows that combine many pivotal elements of storytelling together to create something that is genuinely incredibly well produced. Anime that make you wholeheartedly pleased to have become a part of the anime community.
For me, Attack on Titan is one of these anime. Which essentially means that the four year gap between seasons felt like an EXCRUCIATINGLY long time…
However in all seriousness, I perfectly understand why it took so long to produce the
second season of Attack on Titan (AOT). A few anime sequels that I’ve seen have felt rushed and poorly put together. The plot lines becomes less cohesive, characters become more dull, and the animation quality either remains the same or dips in quality. These sequels are usually made within a year or two of the original’s initial airing date. Now while I’m sure that AOT fans would have much preferred an earlier release date for their beloved show, I respect the creators for realizing that they would have received far more backlash for releasing a swiftly produced anime that didn’t live up to the hype of its predecessor as opposed to putting a lot of time and effort into a sequel that matches the caliber of the original.
In fact, we should all be rejoicing that WIT studio spent time making AOT season 2 as great as it could be instead of releasing a half-assed sequel just to make a quick buck. And you KNOW they would have profited off the sequel no matter how abysmal it might have been. Its Attack on Titan after all, you know, the most popular anime in existence?
Since you probably already know the premise of this show, I won’t bother writing a lengthly (and boring) summary of it. AOT season 2 starts out directly after the last episode of season 1 and dives right into the story. While the first season focused on world building and brought about many mysteries, the second season begins unraveling some of them while revealing even bigger twists then the first season. Even though it was only 12 episodes, half the amount of season 1, I felt like the pacing was, for the most part, rather good. Action scenes weren’t too short or too long, and there were enough of them to keep me entertained while leaving enough time to properly develop the story. Flashbacks were used to further develop the characters, though I question the amount used in the anime, since it is only 12 episodes long.
I just love the setting of AOT. There really is nothing quite like it. Well, I guess that knock-off show involving trains has a similar setting, but that doesn’t count. The interesting and well thought out setting along with the anime’s precise execution really gets the viewers invested in the story, and I constantly kept wondering things like “What exactly are the titans?” and “What’s in Eren’s basement?” Ok, that last one sounds really lame on paper, but its a legitimate question that I’m sure many viewers are curious about. Luckily the anime answers some of these mysteries (which I can’t talk about because of SPOILERS!), but in explaining things, even more questions are posed that make me want to go to my local bookstore and buy the entire Attack on Titan manga just to find out what the heck is going on.
The most mediocre aspect of the first season for me was the characters. None of them really stuck out to me except for Mikasa, who is pretty awesome, but somewhat lacking in the personality department. Eren always felt a bit one dimensional to me and Armin only got a modicum of screen time, so I never really felt a connection with either of them. In the second season, we see even less of the main trio, but I actually agreed with this approach since it allowed for something that the first season desperately needed: developed side characters.
Season two dedicates a lot of time in developing the side characters, particularly Reiner, Bertolt, Krista and Ymir. This really helped to flesh out these characters which caused me to start to feel a bit of a connection with them. I respect an anime that takes the time to fully evolve its side characters instead of having a bunch of generic wastes of space that no one cares about whatsoever. This development also provides many new perspectives on the AOT world instead of having us simply see Eren’s somewhat narrow minded “I GOTTA GET STRONG AND KILL EVERY LAST ONE OF THOSE DAMN TITANS!” perspective, which was quite refreshing.
Linked Horizon returns to preform the opening theme song for Attack on Titan. I initially wasn’t all that impressed with the piece (it needed a bit more YEAGAR!), however as I continued to listen to it, the song really started to grow on me. Behind the anime’s masterful soundtrack is Hiroyuki Sawano. He has consecutively produced many brilliant compositions for other anime, including the first season of AOT, and the quality of his music is no different here. AOT’s soundtrack boasts many powerful orchestral pieces that help to amplify the atmosphere for many situations presented in the anime. The music is so good that I found myself on multiple occasions being captivated by the power and beauty of a few of the compositions present in the show.
The sheer emphasis on detail for some of the animated scenes in the anime (primarily when nothing was moving so that it looked like something taken straight out of a manga) is breathtakingly good. The overall visual presentation of the show is, to me, far superior to that of the other spring 2017 seasonal anime. However the animation is not without flaws. Probably the biggest problem that I’ve heard from the anime community regarding the visuals is a general dissatisfaction with the CGI colossal titan. I unfortunately have to concur, since I felt the the CGI was sort of choppy and didn’t fit in with the rest of the animation. My friend was even more disappointed, and he said that the CGI took away from the big armored and colossal titan reveal. Luckily the use of the CGI is very limited in the anime, and it started to look better to me anyway as the show progressed.
Where AOT really shines is its entertainment value. This anime is the most exciting thing that I’ve seen in awhile. Part of this is due to the cliffhangers that appear at the end of literally ever episode that left me constantly craving more. Whether it was developing the story, presenting a crazy plot twist, or showcasing an epic battle between titans, AOT never failed to keep my attention, a feat that very few things have ever been able to accomplish for me, so for that I give AOT major props.
I love Attack on Titan. Even with all of its flaws (which are few) it still manages to be an incredible viewing experience. Even if the anime doesn’t quite suit your tastes, I almost guarantee that anyone who watches it will be thrilled by AOT’s exhilarating presentation. Its not one of the most popular anime of all time for no reason you know. If you decide to watch this anime or have already done so, I hope that you are as captivated by it as I am.
Attack on titan needs no further introductions, we all know about it… there are some people who put it on a pedestal, and there are some people who denigrate it. I choose to be honest and interpret the facts as fairly as I possibly can, and not write a verbose review.
In my opinion, Attack on Titan is one of those shows that even though it does not shine quality-wise, meaning it doesn’t have “great” characters or “epic” twists, it is amazingly entertaining to watch.
The story is fairly simple and straightforward, but thicker than my expectations based on the previous season, it is
decently paced and has enough twists and “spice” to keep the viewers engaged and maybe draw the attention away from the lack of gravity on the characters’ side.
The premise and setting of the series is something I always found intriguing: the last traces of humanity trapped in an apocalyptic/dystopian world, giving their all to survive the man-eating monsters and live another day to fight. It sounds great, right? Hell yes!... but the execution of this great premise is lacking in many ways, or rather could have been done better.
For starters, some viewers, myself included, may find the pacing somewhat of a problem. I sometimes felt the show was dragging on, being laggard and just covering as little manga content in as much screentime as possible, ending up with a bunch of episodes and little story progression… but this pace issue frequently got clouded by fighting, so it wasn’t that big a deal., unless you particularly looked for it.
Of Course, the pacing of the show most probably is part of some dilatory tactics on the director's side, but that only makes things worse.
There is no “great” or memorable conflict to mention, no depth to the show and the story doesn’t have a clear direction.
The story of AoT got an awful lot more “messy” compared to the first season. In the previous season, the show had somewhat of a clear direction given by Erren’s aspiration to “kill all titans!!!”(as cliche as that may sound), his quest to find what’s in his father’s basement and Anne throwing sticks in his wheels, but this season, nothing about his father’s basement is mentioned, Anne is old history and her shoes have been filled by pretty weak characters, and Eren has way less intense scenes to get me hyped up, but that’s not to say other characters didn’t have some badass scenes.
As a side note, the random characters flashbacks were awful, the out of nowhere “Hey bro, I’m the armored titan” plot twist was deplorably executed, and throwing a bunch of Humanoid Titans in the mix did no good either, just made the show feel a lot more “random”. At every new human titan presented I sarcastically said “Oh, really? They’re titans too?”.
As I’ve already said, the story is fairly simple and highly predictable. I expected and wished the show would contain more subplots that would deepen the main plot and make it more interesting, not that it was necessary.
Subplots, they can be used to reveal important aspects about characters’ personalities and make them more appealing, or to present the story from different perspectives and give it a twist, or a bunch more other desired results, imminently making the story more complex, which is a good thing. What I wanted the writers to use subplots for mostly has to do with the conflicts in the series, which I’ll mention next.
When we think about the word “conflict” we immediately jump to violence, physical altercations, political matters, etcetera. Well, when it comes to stories, there are many, many types of “conflicts”, such as character versus self; character versus nature; character against fate; human nature; (etc.) that will never get old and can make a show so much better.
While I agree AoT employs various conflicts and I’ve witnessed some self-exploration, a lot of fighting against nature (portrayed by Titans) and a bit of human nature exploration, I don’t think enough emphasis was put on them.
Getting back to subplots. Amongst other reasons, I wanted the writers to use more subplots as a way to fluidly introduce and combine different kinds of story conflicts within a single narrative, so that tension would be generated by varied sources. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but it ain’t the end of the world, so… moving on.
All in all, nothing was particularly well done, or deplorably done regarding the story. Both the story and the execution of it, was tolerable, most of the times I found it decent but sometimes annoying. I have to give credit where it’s due: the show has no plot armor (except for Mikasa) and little plot conveniences, but it’s got nothing else going for it.
I consider the character side of AoT to be what’s really crippling the show. The characters miserably failed to make any sort of good, or remotely good, impression on me.
The characters - They’re like white crayon on white paper. Sure, the characters run around and they do stuff and say lines but none of it has anything to do with character and has everything to do with plot — as if the characters are just another mechanism to get to the next action sequence or the next plot point, and that is why AoT failed constructing and developing its characters.
The cast is composed of a large number of characters, but most if not all of them are just for decor, bodies in the background, lacking any vigor or personality and aren’t even worth mentioning. Considering the show focused the first half of its episodes on side characters and completely erased the main cast from the screen, not being able to develop those side characters is quite pathetic in my humble opinion.
The “main” characters aren’t much better, they are one dimensional, cliche stereotypes, lacking any interesting features or depth and frankly, they are boring and irritating.
I believe that in a good story, the main character, Eren in this case, should win or lose at least partly on his own strength and not just be rescued by someone else or some fortunate “random” event, and in the end, the protagonist learns and grows as he tries to solve his problems and face his actions.
Events that happen to the characters have to in some way affect them. Things cannot be the same at the end as they were in the beginning.
As you can probably guess, I am disappointed with Erren. He is a hard headed, hot blooded, impulsive, titan-hating young man who lacks self-restraint and the mind to see what his actions may lead to, and he is prefigured to try and yell his way through any situation, later getting his ass handed to him.
He oftens loses confidence in his powers and capabilities, later on regaining it (as seen when he almost defeated the Armored Titan). He is your typical avenging main character, he has nothing else to offer, he goes in half-cocked, panics, screams, gets his ass whooped, gets saved my Mikasa and then repeats, learning nothing from what has happened.
Besides those “amazing” and “awe inspiring” traits, Eren’s development goes no further than whatever he received in the first season, he is just like a large rock, be it winter or summer, snowing or sunny, the rock stays the same.
His character is so stagnant to the point it irritates me, the events he goes through and actions he takes affect his nature in no way, and that is just poor writing for the sake of poor writing.
As for the rest of the main cast, Armin and Mikasa, should they even be considered as main characters for this season? I think not, since they received so little screentime, held no important role the show couldn't have done without and had no great influence over the progression of the story. Anyway, I’ve barely seen Armin this season, and from what I’ve witnessed, he is the same as before, the tiny guy with the big ideas.
Mikasa, almost nothing changed about her either, she is as poorly constructed as ever. She is described as a goddess of 3D Maneuvers and overall combat skills, she has no flaws, and ironically, that is a flaw in itself. But, this season she turns into some sort of yandere girl, going on about “noone stand between me and Eren”, and that is just laughable.
As far as aesthetics and sound go, this season felt a weaker than before. The animation was fluid, consistent and overall pretty good, even the CG, but certainly poorer than what the first season had to offer.
With a mediocre opening theme and an ending theme I don’t remember listening to, the sound is nothing memorable, but the OST does the trick and facilitates the “hype” mood to set in. I consider the sound to also be inferior to what the previous season featured.
As for enjoyment. Oh, maaan... AoT was a highly entertaining watching experience, it got me engaged and hyped up for 80% of its duration, saw some very nice and juicy titan fight scenes and that’s exactly what I was looking for. Long story short, I had A BLAST watching this series, really did.
Although I had a lot of fun with the show, something felt missing while watching this season, but I’m not sure what. The music is still there, the visuals are still there, the gruesome, bloody deaths are still there and yet, it doesn’t feel the same as before. The atmosphere and vibe of the show changed, and not for the better.
To be honest, I’m not sure what the point of this season was and why the creators decided to do it. It’s clear the budget wasn’t that great so they weren’t expecting the show to bring in huge profits and it’s clear they don’t want to progress the story because they keep dragging things for episodes and episodes.
I guess the point of it was to revitalize or reignite the hype for the show, so it wouldn’t loose all it’s fans and end up forgotten like some old rock band from the ‘80, or maybe the purpose of it was to get people to buy and read the manga. Afterall, someone has to do it, just not me.
In conclusion, AoT is a decent show quality wise, it has a fairly good story that is, unfortunately, dragged down by poorly constructed characters, all coming in a package with good animation and sound. It is definitely not a bad show but nor the masterpiece or revolutionary, one-of-a-kind series people make it out to be.
To put it bluntly, AoT is the equivalent of a summer blockbuster: you watch it, you really enjoy it, you finish it and then you forget about it, or at least that would be the case if it weren’t for the fanboys constantly mentioning it.
Here is the thing people – If somebody says that the timeline of the story is messed up, or that the anime is straying too far of it's course, or a simple exclamation of ‘what the hell is happening’, then there is a good chance that these objections are legitimate. Now the question is – Do we want everything to go according to the plan? Frankly if everything in a particular anime goes according to the way we want, then there is also a good chance that it would make for a dull as hell viewing.
Thankfully, Shingeki no Kyojin surprises us and keep
us on our toes and this right here is one of the key ingredients to make a good anime. So go ahead and check my review out or even better check the anime out and be your own judge.
So the first season ended with a note of a cliffhanger. Mind you that it was not a complete cliffhanger since few of the issues were actually resolved but then several new questions were also raised. Of course it was also very satisfying since we did get the big showdown in the end. The second season starts at the exactly the same place the first left off. The big reveal is immediately addressed and from there the story gains momentum. Till now the story has done very well to accommodate all the characters. Most anime make mess of things as the plot gets more involved and more characters are introduced. Thankfully Attack on Titan makes sure to give enough time to the side characters without making you feel that the MC’s are being side lined. All the while making sure that intricacies of the plot are not lost to the audience.
We all know that the source material for AoT has a lot juice in it. The thing is so does a lot of Light novels and manga but to convert the potential of literature into a solidly entertaining anime is a completely different ball game. I know a lot of fans of the manga might be dissatisfied with the anime and I am not the one to judge fans. Still I have to admit that Attack on Titan season 2 is an excellent and an entertaining anime. I have my reasons for saying it.
The good thing is that the anime has not let up on its nail biting pace. Even as the previous questions and mysteries are solved, AoT builds up in a way that provides more juice for the future episodes. There are a lot of 12/24 episode anime out there that would build up story for half the season and instead of cashing in on that momentum they just go fizz out of steam. Making you feel like punching somebody in the face since you spend your precious time going through half the season only for a naught.
Titans graduated from just being mindless beasts to intelligent beings in the first season. Now this intellectually advanced and a far stronger enemy of humanity has been shown as a self-aware antagonist that has an agenda of its own. Or do they? Is it possible that they are too being used? Or both humans and titans are pawns in an even larger game. Or is it just a story of survival for the fittest. With the previous season’s mysteries still left to be solved and more questions still coming out the anime has gained a certain positive momentum. Now let’s just hope that the mysteries are resolved in this season.
So, fucking 4 episode in when this review was written. Alot of shit has happen eh? I personally think AOT is a very overrated show, that can only deliver the tropes of here's an almost unbeatable group of monsters or beings, so now they fight for survival. That sorta setting isn't really all that complicated, but rather, extremely too straight forward and simple. But however, hohoho, this season so far is something else. Not only did we finally get to delve into some mystery and introduction to more characters, side character's background (the more interesting ones in the series, im bored with Eren/Armin/Mikasa sorta drama
tbh), more revelation about the titan itself, a new antagonist (that's not titans in general or titan shifter with no tangible reason as to why they wanted to go against humanity), and the even more complicated kind of setting and plot twist to this anime about the past. In addition to that, the portrayal of human psychology was too real. This is probably the most realistic aspect that the author and the director has tackle for the state of the mind of the character in certain circumstances, like the state of being shock, or crying in tears for mercy or help. There're also some other interesting theme to this as well, with the sentimental (protect your love ones, abide by your religion etc.) vs logic (soldier and humanity should priotize saving, not go against protecting humanity), deep talks on some philosophical thoughts (like priotizing your culture and community, or abandon them to save other culture and other community). All of that, I could only say that this anime, at least season 2 of AOT, is now my new favorite anime of all time. No other anime, tv series, movies and such would ever approach a story like the way the author of AOT had written this story. If you are just like me who couldn't even see the worth in season 1 of AOT, season 2 of AOT is definitely something else, the approach is so different from its previous season and I guarantee, this season is amazing.
If you've never read the manga then this is one of those few anime, or plot where the audience can actually theorize along their way of watching until the revelation has been reveal. As far as I know, you dont even have to be a hardcore fan of the series to share your conjecture.
Blistered, sunburnt skin adorns them, the lumbering thud of footsteps echoes louder with each passing second, their eyes set on a village lying dormant up ahead. Exposed flesh shifting between the woods, no expressed interest for the plant life or animals grazing at their feet. Warped facial expressions, a thousand-yard stare, distorted features, twisted limbs, an ungodly creature, a true force of nature. Deformed giants with one thing in mind.
Beady eyes stare back at the impending danger, irises frantically shifting from each other to the threat slowly approaching with each step, the military cradled behind stone walls planning their first strike. In the dead of
silence, every sound amplified. Every second longer than the last. A cacophonous mixture of bated breath, the clanking of metal harnesses strapped to their bodies, housing blades and gas canisters that will eventually propel them towards the enemy. Cold sweat rolls down their cheek, hanging off the chin with nervous anticipation. Faces to the left and right, the unspoken acknowledgment made by brothers-in-arms that this will probably be their final resting place. Too late to back down, too late to think about it. The giants draw near, young scouts fall into dead silence, the slightest whimper exposing their position, sweaty palms firmly gripping their weaponry's handles, blades erected waiting for the signal to go. The longest minute of their lives.
The signal is given, piston-propelled grappling-hooks pierces its way through a firm surface, a loud unified roar ushering them into battle — "Attack!" — Humanity's final defense catapulting through the sky, wings of freedom crest embroid on their backs, as they stare down the mass collection of imposing figures. The battle begins, blades being embedded into the necks of targets as they fall to their knees. Men carelessly swinging into the jaws of another, blindsided in the fray as the Titan crunches down, blood confetti sprays out, showering the field with the unholy reality of the situation at hand. Human debris piles up next to the simmering sounds of corroding titan flesh. Steam billowing out bloated corpses as it blankets the field, men and Titan alike stuck in the disarray of a free-for-all. Fear and adrenaline push men forward where their bodies refuse to budge, while others cower in defeat, accepting the grim outcome of their faith. An insatiable desire to consume keep Titans swarming where an absence of "self" resides. The fight rages on.
There's no chess game at play here. No battle of wits. No war cry to rally any remaining fighting spirit. All that's left in the midst of chaos is an animalistic drive to kill or be killed. Men swinging their blades frantically, bodies jettisoned by wire towards the unknown hidden behind plumes of smoke. Uncaring giants solely driven by a gluttonous appetite, grabbing at any signs of human life, unfazed by the burning ash of their reduced numbers laid to waste by the prey they feast on. All concerns are eclipsed, all formalities discarded, idealism abandoned, time holds still, the nightmare stretches on endlessly... until there's no one left to keep it alive.
Scattered limbs litter the ground with no owners to claim them. The earth soaks up the battered dregs of human remains, leaving only remnants to be discovered by those unfortunate enough to stumble upon it. Regurgitated balls of bodily fluids perched on top fallen victims, disfigured men trapped inside, destined to stay nameless. Steam gently ascends to the sky, departing from the mass graveyard positioned below. Men on horseback approach the sorrowful sight, disgusted but desensitized to what's become far too common of an occurrence in their day to day lives. A ghoulish figure hunched over, tearing into the flesh of a nameless scout, unconcerned with the men gathering around it. Quickly being dispatched by them, they see no triumph in their action, only another hopeless notch under humanity's belt. Their time for peace has long departed, leaving it its place a constant dread of the unknown. From the sporadic home invasions of Titans to even the secrets concerning the walls themselves. Things that were once thought of as reassurances now only add to the anxiety pending up with each violent encounter.
When your home turf is compromised, where else can you turn? When your overseers keep potentially harmful secrets from you, who can you trust? The mystery compounded, the fights more brutal, and the stakes set higher than ever. This is the kind of world Attack on Titan gives birth to. A place dictated by stonefaced laws of Darwinism in every regard. A place that's adored the world over by the audiences that flock to it.
Attack on Titan left big shoes to fill since its 2013 debut. Almost overnight, it became one of the most popular anime titles of all time, effectively surpassing the glass ceiling set over the medium at large to become a noticeable player in the stratosphere of everyday pop culture. Even if that success was to a lesser degree when compared to the likes of "the big 3" and the Dragon Ball franchise that made its way out as well, its impact was still noticeable, both domestically and overseas. This, alongside works like Sword Art Online, has positioned it as one of the poster-child images of what "anime" is to non-anime fans of the 2010s. Occupying shelf space in your local Hot Topic, being mentioned in passing by those oblivious to the entire culture at large, a conversation starter to introduce others to an active community that bubbles on the surface but never making enough big waves to become acknowledged on a mainstream level. The show's relevance in recent years cannot be understated.
It's a new footnote that continues the narrative, helping push the medium and partakers of it a step closer to accessibility in other avenues of a broader mainstream culture. Because of its exposure, for many, Attack on Titan became their initial gateway title into the anime medium. And as such, a milestone entry when searching for that same thrill that it offered up on its initial encounter. For better or for worse, AoT shaped the landscape of future anime entries, many of which seeking to retain the newfound fanbases that sprouted because of it. And while there was a sleuth of cheap knock-offs offered up to keep the flame burning since then, nothing was capable of whetting the appetite in the same way it did.
4-years and many cheap imitations later, AoT has reemerged once again! But the question is, is it 4-years too late? 4-years may not seem like a long time in the grand scheme of things, but for media, it's practically a millennium. A lot could happen in 4-years. New emerging trends develop, talented figures could make their debut presence, a shift in the landscape in favor of real-world sociopolitical events could occur, and most importantly, the demands of people can evolve as they foster different tastes and interests.
You don't have to look far to see these occurrences happening. In the movie industry, more specifically, tentpole blockbusters, superhero films have effectively become the new age westerns, to the point where watching them becomes a ritualistic event shared by a mass majority, making those that don't participate outsiders to watercooler conversations. In music, the new "wave" in the past few years has been trap-inspired production and dancehall-influenced rhythms, a transition that's proven to be so successful that even megastars that dominate the pop charts are flocking to get in on the action. Even in our own backyard, in the world of anime, creating "subversions" or reimaginings of established formulas, from the likes of MMO-inspired premises to superhero stories, is the popular thing to do at the moment, with many recent hits owing their success, to some degree or another, to that directional approach.
Media is a beast that's constantly shifting in order to appease the masses, unless the pedigree of the product in question is of a high caliber, expecting it to stay still until your return is foolhardy, and from a marketing standpoint, a huge risk to take.
So, did Attack on Titan's gamble pay off? Well, it all depends on where you stand as a viewer.
Fortunately for Attack on Titan, the efforts of its bottom-rung imitators served a purpose. Like the MMO and superhero premises that dominate the current landscape in anime, post-apocalyptic stories are still in high demand as well. The manner in which it is received, however, is a completely separate issue. You see, within that 4-year period, those rose-colored lenses that many fans may have had during its initial run may no longer be there, or at the very least, those "lenses" have since been washed out to something closer to transparency, as it usually do when someone grows older and become accustomed to certain things. Where they could have been hoodwinked with a few plot twists and shocking moments before, the chances of that level of susceptibility dwindles as time passes. With every encounter made with something employing the same general gimmick, the magic is now met with a response succumbed to apathy. Each time something that appears novel makes itself known, the next encounter of the same content slowly morphs into a future cliche in the making. It's the gift and the curse that comes with transitioning oneself towards a more seasoned mindset. There still may be an eager audience waiting to see the story unfold but that's usually accompanied with a higher level of skepticism, making the work of any follow-up season that much harder to live up to the initial "hype" that came with its debut. It's for that reason that the infamy of the "sophomore slump" exists, and to no one's surprise, Attack on Titan's 2nd season is met with a divisive mixture of applauds and woes.
So, reader, do you gawk at the attempts made by the 2nd season to employ the same bag of tricks, or do you approach in a way that many veteran viewers do when watching something as flamboyant as Attack on Titan? If you're reading this review, I'm going to make the assumption that you're not comprised of the mass majority that doesn't care either way. As far as your viewpoint goes when discussing AoT after finishing this review, I leave that bit of trivializing up for you to decide. Everything moving forward is just me pleading my case and my stance on the matter, so take from it what you will.
The reception I have for AoT's 2nd season is pretty straightforward, I love every minute of it! It's just as nutty, over-the-top and gratuitously violent as I remembered. It's a show that brings me back to a time where excessive violence and cool ass action scenes were the only things that interested my viewing habits. A time in my life where movies like The Matrix and Equilibrium were as coveted as holy scripture and any verbal disapproval of it was treated like sacrilegious acts.
Attack on Titan is just awesome! Schlocky, cumbersome, inconsistent, poorly written, overacted, exploitative, childish, melodramatic, hammy, riddled with plotting and tonal issues... BUT still fucking awesome! And while I do love it to bits, those issues I mentioned are still there, and seeing that this is a review and not a drunken get-together with friends where we scream "FUCK YEAH!!!" at the top of our lungs to people being chomped in half by giant naked people, I will judge it accordingly.
What a pleasant surprise. I think I express the sentiments of many when I say that I approach most sequels with a great deal of apprehension. More often than not, sequels tend to disappoint and for understandable reasons when examined. If it follows the 1st installment verbatim, it's simply seen as a rehash, if it veers off course too much then it runs the risk of not capturing the essence that made 1st great. It's that old adage expressed by many “You’ve got your whole life to write your first record, and only a few years to write the second.” So when I sat down to be immediately met with the familiarity of AoT's flare for the dramatic still intact, I was more than pleased. Even after the first season, where I felt that the show may have exhausted every possible gruesome fatality or creative action scene in its arsenal, this follow-up season somehow managed to ratchet up the stakes and tension while keeping the locations and bloodbath battles fresh and exciting.
The spirit of AoT was carried over seamlessly and with its usual offering of plot twists and shock factor moments being placed center-stage, there was never an episode that passed by that felt stale or repetitive.
This consistency stood true for the art and animation as well. With new locations and settings being introduced, the expansion that was already given from season one is further complimented here. Employing the same European-like building structures and familiar environments, marathoning both seasons would yield very little in the way of distracting changes. It's fresh but familiar. Changing things up when necessary but never to the point of alienation. Although, there was an issue present that might turn some people off. The usage of CGI is far more prevalent this time around, and admittedly, lazily implemented at times as well. Scenes of men on horseback for example, when the camera pulls back for an aerial shot, you can see them galloping above the surface of the ground, giving this look of a 3D rendered image being dragged across a landscape in post-production. This hovering effect is amateurish for a studio that's usually praised for doing above average in this department. The CGI used for the giant titan was also distracting. Not for the actual look of the Titan itself but for the framerate, which wasn't succinct with the animated shots of characters around it.
Other than the issues found with the CGI, the rest of the production was very appealing. It still is a bit disappointing though, knowing that with 4-years given to create a stellar product, Wit Studio ended up presenting us with such sloppy CGI work. And it's not like they had to touch up on their skills in this department, they've already proven that they're capable of meshing CGI with 2D animation just fine with their bootleg Titan show Kabaneri from last year. So to give their main cash cow second class treatment seems like a huge disservice. Whatever the reason behind the shortchanged service may be, here's hoping it doesn't continue with future installments. Thankfully, everything else was up to snuff, making those blemishes far more palatable than it would have been otherwise.
The story continues off with the slow discovery of new mysteries unfolding within the show's universe. The mechanics of how everything works are called into question, as the Titan face exposed from within the wall at the end of season one divulges into deeper secrets surrounding the church and the following occurrences that led up to the aftermath of Annie's capture. Tensions rise, as paranoia slowly seeps into the Scout regiments. with Annie being a Titan, the possibility of more traitors in the mix becomes a high possibility. The war is on both sides now, with Titans moving in headfirst and the fear of more enemies hidden within the ranks just lurking behind every corner.
And the rest of the story effectively follows a barrage of plot twists one after the other, of which, any type of hints would effectively spoil the surprise, so I'll leave that bit of discovery up for you to witness yourself. AoT does what it's best known for, delivering on nail-biting cliffhanger moments one after another. There's never a shortage of reveals being discovered here. Some that's a bit obvious for those paying attention and others that are completely left-field if the anime is your only exposure to the material at hand.
Accompanying men into battle we're given a fantastic musical backing, with thunderous drums, booming brass sections, and blood-curdling violin chords, all being wrapped up and carried off by the unified echo of a haunting studio choir. This is all then met with electrifying musical underpinnings, creating an electronic orchestric experience. And in the heat of battle, this soundtrack does an amazing job at giving the medieval setting a vintage feel while positioning it firmly in the 21st century. It's a clash of classical meets new that's unified under the constant sound of dread and hopeful ascension.
This makes it one of AoT's best highlights. Despite the shortcomings of the show's characters and script, this aspect remains a spotless feature, something destined to age incredibly well for years to come.
And since I just mentioned it and there's only so long that I could dance around the subject matter before pointing at the elephant in the room, time to discuss the aspects that constantly keeps AoT from reaching the ambitious heights that its universe desperately attempts to cling to.
First and foremost, Attack on Titan's script is written as if the Caps Lock key was left on the entire time.
If this review was written in the way the characters were made to emote, EVERYTHING WOULD JUST BE WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS JUST LIKE THIS SENTENCE. And I'm sure I don't need to express just how distracting or ridiculous that could get. Inside voices are basically a rarity that escapes most inhabitants of this world. Couple that constant barking everyone is doing with some overexaggerated facial expressions, where the characters are given manic expressions, and you will be none the wiser had you just seen a clip and thought you were looking at an anime parody of shounens. Truth be told, part of the reason why I enjoy AoT so much is for this very feature. That schmaltzy level of overacting is something that constantly keeps me amused, but unfortunately, that's not the show's intent, as it displays no comedic bone in its body for any of these exacerbated scenes. This isn't Jojo's Bizarre Adventure where everything hints towards a tinge of comedic self-awareness, no, in Attack on Titan, everything is played seriously, causing it to come off like a hardcore circus act.
This can make some dramatic moments hard to invest into for those that take the show seriously. And it's for that reason that I ask how you're consuming Attack on Titan. Because if your approach demands no room for laughter, chances are, many scenes here may make you cringe instead of taking them seriously, as it could be difficult to see an armless Eren beating the living snot out of someone with his fingerless stumps, while foaming at the mouth like a rabid animal. It's a show that can't escape the innate hilarity of some of its content. For me, part of the fun of AoT is seeing that constant struggle to capture authenticity and seriousness despite the content suggesting otherwise. Viewing it in this way may not be the original intent of the staff and creators, but it's entertainment at the end of the day, how I choose to enjoy it is entirely up to me.
Which brings me to the other issue that the show can't shake, poorly written characters.
Armin is the only character in all of Attack on Titan with a proper character arc. There's no arguing this, this is just a fact. Out of everyone presented, he remains the only one that was given any sort of layered characterization, internal reflection, and eventual growth that STAYED that way. For everyone else, Eren included, there's only a phantom resemblance of an arc, but in reality, their constant dominating character traits actually cause them to have the adverse effect. Instead of showing character development, they end up going through character regression instead. For the easiest example, let's take a look at Eren.
In the 1st season, they made it a point to show that he's a hardheaded young man who's willing to throw himself into the heat of battle whenever someone or something agitates him. Constantly short-tempered and outspoken, he's made out to be a very unlikable person to many around him. His hostile behavior usually led to him getting into physical brawls with older authority figures and even his fellow peers. Understandably, at first, he only had a few friends that took to his side, those being Mikasa and Armin respectively. And even then, it could be argued that during that time, those two friends were only earned due to certain circumstances. Because of Eren's pivotal role in Mikasa's past when they first met, she felt a sense of obligation and appreciation for his actions, which eventually led to an appreciation for him as a person as a result. And after being placed under the same roof, it was easy to nurture a relationship, given that they got time to know each other on a day to day basis. In Armin's case, Eren represented the bravery he lacked for himself, as he constantly stood up for him when he couldn't fight for himself. He basically saw him as the big brother he never had. In both cases, Eren's pigheaded resilience and loyalty to those he cares for were what won them over. And so, a rebellious character trait is quickly established.
Later on, as the series progresses, he was placed in circumstances where that very personality was used as a catalyst for his growth, more specifically, when he was placed in situations where his pigheaded attitude endangered the lives of people around him. The biggest highlight of this comes with the time he spent under Levi's camp, as well as his transformational moments as a Titan. long story short, his outbursts began to affect more than just his pride, it caused several irreversible incidents where his actions were directly a part of the problem. This eventually culminated to what looked at the time, like Eren turning a new chapter in his life. He's now more calm, even mindful of the ones around him. He understood that his behavior isn't doing anyone any good. And as his bandaged body sat upright in bed with Mikasa staying by his side comforting him, Eren's journey in the first season came to a reasonable point of conclusion.
Fast forward to the second season and all of that is immediately flushed down the toilet for an instant character reset. Any semblance of growth shown is immediately replaced back with the same hot-blooded behavior and hammy overacting he was notoriously known for. This form of character regression isn't excused as someone stuck in their old ways, it's the act of behind the scene creators understanding Eren's marketability as an angry youth. The only reason this was done was to sell the audience a sense of familiarity. People are weary of any kind of change and so Eren is forced to remain two-dimensional, regardless of any personal revelations he may have had.
And before there's confusion on what qualifies as growth, no, receiving a backstory isn't it. A backstory only helps when the character in question grows further from the present day acquaintance with them.
The rest of the characters can effectively be boxed into neurotic personality traits. It's the type of show that relies on the ensemble cast to carry the personality that any given individual may lack. Think of it like colors in a rainbow, everyone involved is basically an individual color, making them basic when alone but exciting when placed together. It's a common trick to use when there are too many characters involved in a show primarily driven by the narrative.
And speaking of the narrative, possibly the biggest complaint launched at Attack on Titan ties into this.
Honestly speaking, AoT has very little in the way of a well-written story. It's a show that's overly reliant on over-the-top plot twists, mystifying everything as to appear enigmatic, and a gratuitous about of shocking deaths and revelations made at the drop of a hat to keep audience attentiveness. And as it is in the case of the overacting, this too is something I enjoy about the show. It's like a constant wack at a visual piñata, with each hit revealing something unknown inside. To me, that's the reason AoT is such an entertaining piece of media, it's its ability to constantly unveil new, and often ridiculous, plot revelations. Each time you return, it has something new to offer, regardless of how familiar it may get to other moments prior.
But again, that's just the way I choose to consume and enjoy the show, as for the pedigree of writing on display, it's absolutely abysmal. It's a show that's reliant on your acceptance to a myriad of plotting inconsistencies, excessive mental gymnastics in regards to many of its plot twists, and a high suspension of disbelief for the mechanics of its universe. If you're an astute viewer, there would be many times when you're forced to call into question the validity of the events playing out. And if you choose to take the show seriously and hate it as a result, I completely understand why.
I usually distance myself from the community and their consensus in regards to any show when I'm working on a think-piece about it, but with Attack on Titan, that's proven to be virtually impossible, especially for someone like myself that's made it a habit to publicly air out my opinions. Several people approached me with their thoughts on the show and after awhile, I began to notice the thread of a narrative taking form, which admittedly, affected the way I approached this title as a result. And for the sake of bringing clarity to what I think has become a misinformed argument that's been generated towards this second season, I will address that general complaint here and now.
If you felt like the quality of this season has significantly dipped since the debut of the 1st, please rest assured that it haven't, it's you as a viewer who's grown beyond the content at hand. All these complaints launched at the show now are just as applicable to what was given from the very beginning in 2013. Season one had just as much diluted plotting, expository verbal dumps, long periods of substance-less content and character victimizing. It's only now that you're older does those issues become more apparent. 4-years is a long time, and in that time, you're bound to grow up as a viewer, even if you still find yourself indulging in the same kind of content. Your awareness of it has simply matured since then. Quality-wise, both seasons of Attack on Titan are on the same level. The only difference found are minor and not worth elevating the first installment leagues ahead of this follow-up.
And with that being addressed, it's time I wrap this review up.
If you were to ask me what my favorite anime viewing experiences were based solely off of entertainment value and absolutely nothing else, Attack on Titan would easily rank up there with Death Note and Kaiji. As an overblown form of media, the show is a constant roller coaster ride of violence and plot twists, all beautifully set to a great soundtrack and nice visuals. Content-wise, it has very little to offer, and honestly, without the constant barrage of bloody fatalities and sensationalized violence, I would probably get bored with it. But as it stands, this anime represents "hype-inducing" content for me in the truest sense of the term.
It's a hammy, grindhouse-inspired work of artistically shot ultraviolence. Like a big lovable oaf, a show oblivious to just how ridiculous every situation presented is. It's pure spectacle, plain and simple. It's one of my favorite pieces of schlock of all time and a show I will revisit many times to come because of that.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the Earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
- Isaiah 40:28-31
The second coming of Christ hath solemnly smiled upon us and
I am very passionate about this. The plot thickens, although not really. The series is kicked off with some pretentious monologue by Armin reminding us of what the general outline of the show looked like, probably either because the producers have little to no faith in their audience's mental capacity and just assume everyone has forgotten the plot over the span of 4 years or they just didn't have an episode's worth of material. Titan appears out of nowhere, titan eats human. Good? Good. Annie Leon-who? In case anyone does remember, last's season finale left off with a completely unnecessary cliffhanger that only put even more expectations on this season to deliver. tl;dr IT DOESNNNNNNNNNN'T
Among monkeys, loose plot threads and other things, the big focus of this season seems to be on the titan shapeshifters. A mechanic that was first introduced to the series when everyone's second favorite main character got swallowed whole (deadweight Armin at it again), before being resurrected in full, non-CGI titan glory. Fastforward 20 something episodes later, and it is a technique utilized by literally half of the 104th Trainees Squad members. Despite losing its initial charm, the colossal and armored titan have been presented since the very first episode while the series was at its peak and thus still managing to retain a candle of relevancy.
Colossal Titan : Begins breach of Shiganshina first episode, catalyst of all destruction, all-around menacing presence
Armored Titan : Unstoppable force, mows down the gate of Wall Maria causing impending doom upon thousands, exhales steam
Ymir/Ymir Titan : Dyke, ???
What a revelation, seriously. I wholeheartedly wonder if the atrocious lack of screen time and presence of her character during the entirety of the series prior to the reveal are to be attributed to the author wanting her to remain a mysterious figure or downright not giving a shit. But wait, they showed us that 12 minute flashback between her and Historia to showcase just how powerful their relationship was, talk about depth. That's another thing, as soon as there's some groundbreaking reveal it is either cut short by a flashback or even cliffhanger (which are proven to be able to last up to a grand total of 4 years). Both reveals this season start off at an alright pace before being brushed off to the side because of Muh explanations. When half of episode 5 after Ymir's big reveal proves to be a boring flashback that realistically correlates to nothing of substance regarding our current situation apart from some meager hints regarding Historia (this is Ymir's big moment, mind you), SOME VIEWERS MIGHT GET DISENGAGED. WHOOP DE FUCKING DO. Now imagine if the finale of first season's episode 5 were cut short by a cliffhanger, and rather than Eren jumping into a titan's mouth to save Armin the episode was proceeded by a whopping half an episode's worth of some "mandatory" flashback dating back to that one schooltrip they held in 5th grade. Just for brevity's sake, you know? Because who wants non-meandering content anyway.
I also love how the meeting to discuss whether Ymir's a titan and where her loyalties lie was essentially the exact same as the one in season one regarding Annie. Eren is always shoved into this role of the dumbass optimist who's like "B-but, muh friends.." while he sits in disbelief as everyone else clobbers him with facts and it's pretty funny, if nothing else. It's really just used as a tool to make certain characters like Hanji stand out as great strategists and/or intellectually-capable, when in reality it just makes Eren seem like a stupid brat who's constantly in denial even when the obvious is made obvious. But Anni--I mean Ymir's a friend, how could she?! After Ymir helps saves the lives of countless soldiers, she is then briefly treated to a life of imprisonment, just before being swallowed whole by the Colossal titan. But it's Ymir, so you don't care. Connie titan when?
Obviously, the big selling point of these 12 episodes is supposed to be Eren's grandiose throwdown versus Reiner and Bertholdt, friends who he once looked up to turned enemies, for reasons.. unbeknownst. What carries this plotpoint is the fact that Eren never needed to have a fleshed out relationship with either Reiner or especially Bertholdt for it to work, which he didn't. The mystery behind both the Colossal and Armored titans was present from the first day whilst the Attack on Titan was at its highpoint. I would've walked out a happy man, had, you know, the actual revelation not been so piss poor. The way the reveal was handled holds complete contrast over anything the show's director, Tetsuou Araki is actually good at. The whole subtle and unconventional tone I imagine Isayama was building toward missed its mark entirely and assigning it to a man who's literally built his entire career off of making overblown and adrenaline inducing scenes and series surely isn't a good starting point. So far I have encountered not a single criticism as the people who are proclaiming it to be some nonchalant masterpiece of delivery and storytelling are running rampant. It's mere misjudgment over subtlety, but I digress.
First off, the Armored Titan has an uncanny resemblance to Reiner Braun. While this idea seems to have been entirely scrapped in Berthold's case for some reason, they went to insane lengths to mimic Reiner's look to the itty bitty details in correlation to the Armored titan: the minimal contrast between white and blonde, the exact same cleancut hairstyle, a body physique that can hardly be attributed back to anyone in the show but him, and even the trademark glowy yellow eyes shared only with Pixies. The exact same problem plagued the first season in the shape of Annie; the hair length, color and eyes would already have drastically decreased the amount of possible suspects by tenfold, but the genius of Hajime Isayama even bothered drawing in her god damn crooked fucking nose. He clearly has either no faith in his audience's mental capacity or simply doesn't understand that the point of mystery is supposed to be withholding information until a given point rather than violently shoving it down the viewer's windpipe. Okay, fine. They physically resemble each other, what else? Bertholdt. While Reiner actually attempts giving off a faint sense of dread while some eerie music is playing in the background, Bertholdt just completely ruins it. Despite for once not resembling his titan counterpart, when the man is not looking constipated, he is completely sealing off any potential doubts in anyone's mind about any other possibilities about the situation. "Could Reiner possibly have lost his mind..?" Obviously not, because Bertholdt is just fucking screaming in his ear 24/7, "NO REINER DON'T TELL HIM NOOOO". Well, I guess that's cleared up. They're gonna transform now, right? Any minute now. This is kinda dragging on.. OH WAIT IS THAT MIKASA HOLY FUCK 10/10 WHAT A REVELATION.
If you thought the "Humanity is at the brink of extinction" storyline is the weak link, think again. The cast of Attack on Titan is so evidently plagued by cliches and dumb action series tropes that you could pretty much associate any major character with a single adjective if you really wanted to. Calling my assessment here redundant would almost be a fair criticism considering that a similar point can be made in regards to arguably any popular seasonal anime born and molded by hype culture in recent memory. However, what makes AoT stick out like a sore thumb and possibly make it the biggest offender of this near-archetype turd is the broad scale of characters it decides to play the story out with. Operating on such vast cast of notable proportion can oftentimes lead to success (insert pseudo-elitist LotGH shoutout), but it can also damage a series by making it loose focus on primary objective. In this specific case when deciding to roll with a huge cast, you can choose from either 2 routes:
- Put in a conscious amount of time and effort into character development and have an actual go at fleshing them out (talk about boring)
- Treat your entire cast as human cattle, excusing any lack of potential depth with pitiful sob stories. When midnight comes around, murder them for SHOCK FACTOR !!! (hell yeah)
I realize that the line is very blurred in this case so feel free to take your time pondering which one we've been stuck with for a consecutive 37 episodes. As you may or may not already know, the story primarily revolves around an edge-riddled brat that is fueled by teenage angst as without it he loses all self and intrinsic meaning in this world. In the second season, he makes many a guest apearences throughout half of the season that he is in. All Eren Jaeger wishes for in life is to fulfill his petty vendetta by exterminating an entire species, and if that doesn't sound like a ludicrous pipedream of an egocentric teenager, I don't know what does. You would assume that being the protagonist of the story, he would have something worth noting in regards to his character, but he really doesn't. The entire backbone of his character lies the fundamentals of being dumb, bratty and angsty coupled with a motivation that stem from the final five, and it especially shows when he's even overshadowed by lifeless ragdolls such as Mikasa. There is nothing about Eren that makes him an interesting, distinct or compelling main character in the slightest. He is an angst powered locomotive; equipped with a smidgen of brash "personality", a petty sob story that's supposed to make you sympathize with him and of course, his desire for vengeance being placed on a pedestal above all else.
That in mind, you sure as hell wouldn't be able to spell Eren without spelling Mikasa first, so give it up for arguably the best girl in the series by sheer process of elimination - Mikasa Ackerman. Mikasa is just the perfect recipe for success. She has the looks, the smarts, the skills. Everything. She can't grow or develop because she is already a God put upon this green earth. Most people excuse her lifelessness as compelling because she too has a sad backstory. Mommy and daddy got lynched, there goes my personality and compassion as a human being, boo fucking hoo. Despite being completely devoid of any human emotion what so ever, she still harbors a deeply-rooted love and respect for her not-so-related-by-blood brother, Eren. Although Eren admittedly arrived a bit late to the party, he made up for it by giving her some rugged old scarf. This admiration for Eren arouses a multitude of paradoxes. Can a person void of any underlying emotion really learn to love someone, if even themselves? Is it incest? The fundamental flaw of Mikasa's character is perfection and it works because people tend to drool over this type of shit all the time. Especially in the case of Attack on Titan, where it's not even far-fetched to call the show a global epidemic where people who don't even watch anime regularly tune in to see cartoons battling it out because, hype. No such person cares seeing a complex or relatable cast over unrealistic, Superman-esque characters like Mikasa kicking ass. The most the writer could've hoped to achieve with Mikasa was to use her as a tool for spreading some noble-like message such as female empowerment. Even then -- tough luck little girly, you're never going to be like Mikasa. Mikasa is God.
What happens when you're a realistic character in the Attack on Titan universe? You either get friendzoned because the girl you're into has an incestuous crush on her half-brother, or you're just a total loser who cannot accomplish anything on their own apart from cuddle up in a blanket like the deadweight that you naturally are. Enter Armin, everyone's favorite punching bag. As stated, Armin suffers from the severe deformity known only as "Realism", making him a rather niche and tough character to support in or indulge in. Rather than being portrayed like a constant beacon of light and glamour as say Mikasa, he is instead shown to be a cowardly, weak-willed and frail kid. W-wow, c-c-could it be.. an actual human being? Burn the witch!! While Armin does not represent your wildest power fantasy, he is instead a connoisseur of humanity, a drop of realism and a look at what would have been. Despite proving a much needed breath of fresh air, his character is definitely far from revolutionary. The "weak boy gradually turns strong over time" formula has been done in a multitude of ways, a lot of which proving to be superior than in the case of Armin. However, I've really got no major complaints about his character. Cliche as it may, his development is infinitely more gradual and downright sublime when compared to most everyone else in the show and is probably only hindered by sometimes being overly smart for the sake of it and a lack of screen time. In other news, we also live in a world in which a character that is solely defined for eating potatoes is more universally liked than Armin by the community. Sometimes she eats a boiled potato, sometimes she settles for raw. Bravo, writers. You've really outdone yourselves with that one.
With an increased focus on the supporting cast, you'd think there would be someone worth noting, but there really isn't. We get absolutely no concise development for any of the shapeshifters, nor do we get any clarification as to what their motivates could be. How does Ymir's story intervene with Reiner's? Is Bertholdt even a character? Lastly, this whole "Anyone can die at any given point" gimmick is so untrue and falls completely flat when you realize that not once did a main character die and legitimately stay dead at any given point in the series. It is among the most substanceless claims someone can make about this show. Sure, fodder are often killed. Should you care? No. For a show that tackles a storyline of humanity at the brink of extinction, it sure is unrealistic for none of the main characters to ever actually die. The furthest the show has been willing to go up to this point was Marco, who was in essence a mere stepping stone for Jean throughout the 5 episodes he was in. I hope this false notion of AoT not being scared to kill anyone off disappears soon, because it is easily one of the most backwards things I've ever heard someone say about the show. More on Levi : The show's rising superstar isn't so rising anymore as he is down in the dumps and doesn't seem to be getting up anytime soon. Please check in later. Fin.
While the first season of Attack on Titan had many a gems like "Reluctant Heroes", "Vogel im Käfig" and the Armored Titan theme, this season has.. a remixed version of Vogel im Käfig? I'm gonna be blunt and say that the OST is underwhelming at best and a complete and utter rehash of its predecessor. Not once did I hear a song play and go "Woah! That's a really good song that I just cannot wait to illegally download, awesome!!" like with the first season. I saw the fine folk over at Reddit praising it so maybe I'm just dead wrong, who knows. For argument's sake let's assume that I am 100% in the right and the OST sucks dick and is the most overrated thing since Rem. Anyone with differing opinions may be burned at the stake. DAT VOGEL IM KAFIG REMIX THOOO. I was sold on every performance apart from Kamiya Hiroshi's Levi, because God damn, that man just has no range at all. Good thing he got barely any screentime this time around because honestly, no one wants to hear a brooding Araragi. Coincidentally, I would also argue for this being Yuki Kaji's best performance to date by a longshot, so good on him. Too bad the guy is like the arbiter of bad roles which becomes painfully noticeable once you realize Koichi was the probably the best he's ever been involved in. The ending is quite nice but the opening is very visually questionable, seeing as you have like dinosaurs running around and stuff. If they're so keen on regurgitating songs, maybe they should've just stuck with Guren no Yumiya.
As disappointing as the music is, it completely flails in comparison to the animation. The last thing I would've expected AoT not to deliver on is the production value, but alas, here we are. After an upheaval of 4 years, Wit Studio has repeatedly been milking the saggy tit of this shriveled old cow, and shamelessly so. Even Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress who many, including myself had considered to be Attack on Titan's proudly retarded brother, still proved to be a commercial success within Japan. However, due to the low salary and therefore shortage of animators as well as a scary deadline or some stupid shit, we are left with no one to turn to but CGI. 𝘊𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘴
Now, this wouldn't have been so bad if it had been reduced to merely a couple of horses running about, but the Colossal titan? The biggest titan known to man looking like he came straight out of a Playstation game? They try covering it up pretty desperately by some cool 3D maneuver gear stunts, but whenever that giant red thing just pops up in the frame it takes me out of the moment entirely whilst completely ruining any immersion that might have previously been had, simultaneously leaving me mesmerized and ashamed to be part of the human race. Lowkey hyperbole aside, it was quite nice to see not as many individual still shots just placed randomly throughout like last season, which is pretty much the only improvement I can name. The titan designs still look as.. "original" as ever, ranging all the way from borderline creepy to mildly autistic, with few and far between.
Attack on Titan used to and still does hold a very special place in a lot of people's hearts for being that one big gateway show. Having watched it right after it finished airing, I still vivdly remember the passion and excitement I once felt towards it oozing out of every single pore of my body. Despite the numerous impressive feats it has managed to accumulate within the industry in terms of both financial value and Westernized viewership, the fact still remains that it is easily one of, if not the single most overrated anime of the past decade. Content-wise it is an absolute shitstain that treats itself way too seriously for its' own good when in reality is nothing more than an inconsistently entertaining dumb turd of an action series. The story is plagued by the author's raging boner for mysteries and unsolved plotpoints combined with annoying and overused distasteful flashbacks and especially cliffhangers that occur every single episode for the majority of the latter half of the season and exist solely to spray perfume over said previously aforementioned smelly turd in hopes of making an abundantly lackluster product seem a bit more refined. A cast of caricatures that by merely existing take a big gnarly dump all over the very concept of character development, with the typical consumer's reaction being, "Man, did you see that? Levi just took out a QUADRILLION titans in the span of 5 seconds, I'm favoriting that man right this very instant !!! Oh, why is Armin scared?" It's a failed rehash of the first season in every way imaginable and doesn't even compare to it in terms of hype or shock factor, the elements that initially gave the series limbs to stand on. Reiner is armored titen cuz he big and Bert is colossal cuz he tall, hurr durr. All in all, disappointing, but not unexpected. Fingers crossed that 2021 will be a better year for anime!
Arguably one of the best written anime ever. The storyline begins in a civilization not too technologically advanced, where large creatures called titans that resemble humans but with no reproductive organs, attempt to eat humans who have trapped themselves in walls for protection. Humans fight back with the used of 3-D maneuver gear which allows them to grapple from buildings and use a gas system to travel at speeds high enough to use swords that cut the back of titans necks (their only weak point). That is simply the jist, but there are so many good literary elements used in this show the foreshadowing of
episodes leaves heavy anticipation, the multiple points of view in season 2 are a refreshing way to tell a story, not to take away from the flashbacks and keeping the watcher in the dark that makes season 1 so intense. The battles and animation are magnificent and the reveals are crazy a must watch for all anime viewers.
Here it is after waiting for years or months for those who recently watched S1 (lucky you didn't wait over 3 years). I think we all have great expectations for this second season, but knowing it only has 12 episodes, it is a let down (for me anyway). ok let's start the review.
From what I watched so far I can say one thing... BRILLIANT, absolutely brilliant. Very well made and didn't change too much. Seeing the same old voices and characters after a long time brought back memories from when I watched it years ago, it was emotional for me. The creators took the first
season in consideration so we can experience the same thrills for the Opening and soundtracks.
Straight off the bat, it's tense and keeps you at the edge of your seat. The one thing we are most likely happy about is that it's FINALLY telling us What the hell is going to happen. Not making any progress at a stage where we want to know more is annoying but we overcame that and now we can make progress in the plot. The events so far in this season is by far more interesting than anything that has happened so far in this series. It's not predictable and very entertaining. This just shows how much effort the studio put into this.
The sound is very similar to the first season, which is a very good thing. The opening and ending is too amazing for me to handle, I get shivers down my spine from watching them. The soundtracks make the fighting scenes so much better and it made me think, "this is just like the first season". The sound is one of the best aspects that beats the Manga to pulp 10x fold. I quit the Manga because I needed this.
The characters are the exactly the same. Seeing the same personalities after a long time is pure happiness. All the tension in the first few episodes brings out each characteristics, the emotions of fear and bravery that is. You get to see a new side to the characters, a side that you didn't know or could ever imagine. I was really shocked on episode 4, I didn't expect that character to be like that (don't want to spoil).
The art is beautiful, the scenery and the characters are all perfect (for me anyway). The art of the unexpected appearance of Titan/s is really good. They just come out of no where and you see a giant Titan face still. The animation of them parts are 10/10. The animation is 100% satisfying and can't be anymore perfect for a plot like this.
I enjoyed this to a 10/10 level, everything has got me interested and I have to watch it on a big screen in 1080p with high volume or I won't be satisfied. Waiting for the next episode is absolute torture for me, I honestly think that this is the best anime of the season. I'm going to stop this paragraph here before I get off topic, don't want to go on and on u know.
You should watch this now and experience this amazing anime first hand. I recommend you go to 9anime. to and watch this on a big screen with high volume just like I do, it might change your watching experience. Anyway thanks for reading my review and I will update it through out my watch.
Episodes watched: 4
Modified by jeikobu11
Its actually painful how bad this series, and especially this season, is. I know a lot of people think I'm just being ridiculous and overreacting with a score of 1/10, but lets break this down and look at it piece by piece.
First off, the characters. Honestly how could anyone think any of these central characters are good? Eren is a whiny child who just screams for no reason the entire series, Armin is just unbearable, Mikasa was ok at first but immediately grew dull and boring, both her and Levi are Mary Sues who are inexplicably overpowered for no reason(other than being Asian... yeah that's
some inexcusably horrible writing right there). You know a series has massive issues when the only semi-likeable character is known for eating potatoes.
Next lets take a look at the concept and plot. The concept by itself isn't terrible, its similar to the beginning of some very good series like Gurren Lagann and Xenoblade Chronicles, but the author doesn't really develop anything from there. Now onto the plot.... It doesn't really have one. I know that seems like an exaggeration but it really isn't. In the first season the only events that pertain even remotely to any kind of central story was that Eren can turn into a titan, and so could others. That's it, that's literally it. That's unacceptable for a 25 episode season. If it had an arc-based story structure like Hunter x Hunter then that would be one thing, but it doesn't. Now in the 2nd season we're getting into all this political bullshit that still has nothing to do with any sort of central story, and even completely caught up in the manga it STILL doesn't have anything close to a central plot yet. I'm sorry but that's just terrible no matter how you look at it. Strangely enough, a large number of fans have told me that the plot is "monsters are eating people"... that's not a plot, that's a concept.
Lets take a look at the actual writing quality. Now this part is mostly subjective but I might as well at least talk about it a little. The dialogue between characters is often incredibly bland and boring, but that pretty much goes along with the before mentioned bad characters. The writing for the plot is practically nonexistent as mentioned before, and the one time the author actually tried to advance the plot, it was done extremely poorly. I’m talking about when a certain someone decided to say “Oh hey btw I’m the armored titan, just thought you should know. Anyways I’m gonna go kill some people now, wanna come?” I’m not exaggerating when I say this is hands down the most horrendously written reveal I’ve ever seen in any form of media. Where was the motivation? Where was the build up? It honestly baffles me that fans are willing to defend this level of writing.
Furthermore, lets look at the method of combat for the series, even though there actually isn't much action throughout most of the series. The grappling hooks and duel wielding swords, admittedly an interesting concept at first glance, but in practice as an anime it just feels so repetitive after the first one or two times its done. They just zip around and go for the neck, zip around and go for the neck again, just the same thing over and over again. Its not clever, its not well written, its just boring. Now as bad as that was, the fact that Eren has the ability to turn into a titan actually makes it much worse. This completely erased the significance of the only decent arc in the entire series, the training camp. This arc was the only time Eren was even a remotely good and interesting protagonist. He struggled in a way that people can relate to, and he worked hard to improve himself when it came to mastering the gear. Then the moment he turned into a titan, all that just got thrown out the window and he's been his old annoying self ever since.
Everyone salivates about the animation quality and soundtrack of the series, particularly from the first season, but animation quality doesn't mean anything when nothing of interest ever happens during the series, and not to mention there has been a pretty sharp decline in animation quality this season. The AoT OST isn't bad in the sense that it created appealing music, but the composer did a horrible job creating music that fits well with the series. I'm convinced the only reason people like this series as much as they do is because of the openings, which make it feel like its an intense action-packed series, when in reality its nothing but a poorly written drama with horrible characters. Seriously, the OST would be better suited for a video of a guy eating hotdogs than AoT itself.
I rewatch the last minutes of the previous episode (episode 6) and realize that AoT is ~~THE MOST EPIC ANIME!!~~ It's not the best, but the epicness of that is beyond believe!! and it's achieved by the several things - first is music, OSTs and OPENINGS of both seasons troghout the series is OUTSTANDING that emphisize all the drama main characters face and it may be does not make you cry, but the heartbreak is guaranteed for you. The second is art - I think that compared to manga it is evaluated as much as it could be evaluated!! As titans supposed to be the
drama, the eyes and faces of characters describe it perfectly, I don't even talk about fights and others..Overall, of you would like to see what life you DEFINITELY don't want to live i RECOMMEND to watch to get high! I am sure you will be shocked in the most positive way!!!
Season 2 has come and gone and this three month was really enjoyable, but do not fear, season 3 is already announced for 2018! Now on to the review.
Snk season 2 picks up right where season 1 left off, and it give the viewers a bit more insight about the titans in the walls. The thing with snk is that its story is slowly unravelling for both the characters and the viewers, we learn of the ape titan that can speak and that titans obey his orders, we also learn that without a doubt titans are humans, we learn that Ymir who is now
known as a titan shifter knows a lot of secrets that she is hiding and that she is over 60 years old. We also got the reveal of the arrmored and the iconic collosal titan which are characters that we saw from the very first season, this really should be the turning point for many persons that this series is not just about humans fighting titans/
It's way more than that and as the story progresses the plot gets more complicated, what really shines for this series is how well it foreshadows or give hints to the viewers of future plot event, and imo the series gets more enjoyable when you learn more things in future plot and then rewatch an earlier season and you will see how the author cleverly hinted at certain things, like for eg, the identity of all three of the titan shifters, if you go and rewatch the first season you will realise all those hints were being drop, overall just rewatch the first season and you will see how well put together the story is, the best way to explain snk story is that it is a like a puzzle that is slowly being put together, and sometimes you the viewers if you pay more attention to it can fill in some of the blanks with the info you got so far, because this series doesn't leave viewers in the dark without giving the readers hints. It also makes you question what is going on or the motive behind the titan shifters, why do they want to kill everyone inside the walls? What is their motive? What we did find out at the end of the episode is that Eren can control titans, and that is the reason why the Annie, Reiner and Bertholdt wanted to capture Eren. I always like series that makes you question yourself and makes ponder about certain things.
I thought the art was solid overall, there is some bad shots that I've seen throughout the series, but I've notice that when it doesn't look good is when the characters are not close up, also the Cgi was not to my liking it puts me off in some scenes, but overall it didn't affect my enjoyment much since most of the cgi was use on horse scenes, which lasted just for a few seconds, but what really annoyed me was the collosal titan cgi, it looks horrible! Though sometimes it doesn't look bad, but overall I will like them to scrap that and make the collosal titan fully hand drawn like the first season. Overall art and animation was solid imo and not much complaint.
The soundtracks in season 2 is great, and I'm glad that they didn't completely got rid of the old soundtracks, because that would might make us loose the snk feel to it, What Sawano did was smart, he remix some of the old soundtrack and also added new soundtracks in this season, the only disapppointment is that we didn't get enough new soundtrack imo, now the reason could be is that this season is 12 episode instead of 25, so less soundtrack, but overall I was please with the soundtracks in this season.
Imo, I feel this season really flesh out more of the side characters and give more focus to them, the main cast for this season got little screen time for the entire first half of season 2, but this was actually a good thing, we got a lot of character development and characterization for all these characters in this season, though a flaw that I saw in this season is that there were too many flashback, which is a method also use to develop a character and also the anime staff added fillers in the flashback to extend it a bit more, this is a flaw when it comes to adapting a source material, they want the season to end at a certain point, and so the anime staff pad out the flashback with stuff the viewers already know of and this is really annoying imo, this is a legit critcism that I agree with.
For me, what really made me enjoy this season is because, me being a manga reader already know what happens in future events, and thus watching season 2 is like rereading the series but instead with soundtrack and animation etc, and as I said before seeing all the foreshadowing and understanding the vague discussion going on between certain characters just makes me appreciate this series more and that is why I really enjoy it so much.
This is where the series starts to shift in tone and I can see why some persons may not like this season as much as the first and vice versa, and in the next season it will be taking another shit in the story as well, really interested to see anime only reaction to season 3.
This series is a masterpiece despite its flaws, a masterpiece doesn't mean it has to be a perfect series, because the truth is, there is no perfect series. This series is very ambitious in where the overall story is going, and I know not everyone will appreciate this series like me, because opinion, but I am very happy a series like this exist, it is what made me become a hardcore anime fan, and I hope when this series is complete persons will appreciate what the author was going for and not what they wanted it to be, 2018 can't come any sooner.
The amazing sequel to attack on titan 1! Love the opening and great show, but the Beast Titan deserves a white van to go with his creepy smile and voice. Epic characters, especially Levi (I know Eren can be a bit whiny at times, but his rage kind of makes him a suitable protagonist for a post-apocalyptic anime.) and epic soundtrack. I've read the manga and it's so good to see it in full colour and animated. 10/10, best anime after Sword Art Online. Ending theme is good too, but it kind of spoils the titans creation for those who haven't read the manga to
the end. Good fight scenes and good gore.
SASAGEYO! ~ SASAGEYO! ~ SASAGEYO! OH MY GOSH this opening gave me chills and goosebumps with my fist in the air in triumph.
For me , whenever I see an amazing anime opening , ninety five percent of the time I loved the anime as well. (Except Elfin Lied :P)
I was overjoyed in hearing that the episodes for season two were out. I knew they were going to be good but the bar was already set super high as season one was insanely good, but season two blew my expectations.
I appreciated that in season two there were many episodes dedicated to characters that weren't
the main three- Eren,Mikasa,Armin. (Not saying I don't like them too lol) Every time a new episode came out I was eager to watch it as there were zero fillers/unnecessary moments in the episodes and I highly enjoyed every episode , to the last second.
The main reason I loved this anime so much was because of the emotions it evoked in me in almost every episode/scene. There was an explosion of emotions in many scenes that are indescribable through words.In addition, the artwork seemed very crisp and clean , even more than season one. Truly a masterpiece.
To all of you who rates this less than 7 and says it's the same as season 1:
You have no idea. I know it feels "mediocre" the first 5 eps of s02, but if you think the story doesn't develop or characters doesn't develop, then you have 0 idea of the series. And if you compare this kind of anime to gundam and tengen toppa gurren lagann and other completely different genres, then don't write reviews. You need to put it in the RIGHT context. Let me tell you, if you stop watching here, you're missing out. It's not about the action or the flashy
Anime-Michael-Bay-effects, it's all about the plot.
I have read the manga, without any spoilers i'm just gonna leave it there.
This season has just getting started, the 6th episode is a starter.
TL;DR: Does it really matter what I write? You have waited 4 years, endured 2 trashy live action movies and restrained yourself from reading the manga to find out what's in Erin's basement. So go watch the anime to find that answer! But knowing you, you will stick around and read this review. So in short, Game of Thrones meets Inception/Memento and has a forbidden love-child they didn't reveal to the world because they were scared it will not live up to hype and success of their first child.
[Story: 5/10 , Characters: 7/10, Art: 9/10, Sound: 8/10, Enjoyment: 8/10]
How can an anime as bombastic
& overhyped as Shingeki no Kyojin live up to its thrilling sadistic nature? Simple, wait four years, give it to the same director and shove in a billion flashbacks while compressing more manga material than season 1 with 25 episodes into just 12 episodes in season 2 and hope for deus ex machina to save the day. Seriously, this anime was the talk of the town as it took the anime world by storm. The creators milked so much money out of it before releasing the sequel, 4 whole years later, that you would think they will be nice? Of course not. These sadistic people just love to torture everyone, both inside their post-apocalyptic world and outside. However, you should watch it, not because you will but because you have to… if you want to know what's in that god-damn basement.
Story wise, the anime picks up literally where it left off in season 1. We see a smooth continuation and no pumping the breaks. Titans don't pump their breaks, why should you? We have a new threat and it's the all powerful Monkey Titan. He is blessed with both brain & braum that likes to fling things with perfect precision like a quarterback trying to score a touchdown. This titan means no monkey business for he is bringing an army to take down humanity. How will our soldiers stand up against him? By focusing completely on other issues besides him in this anime, like why everyone wants Krista as their waifu. Jokes aside, this anime is broken down in two arcs and the second arc is more focused on the secondary characters with a new threat being "now anyone can be a Titan." Seriously, people are just popping out of nowhere revealing they are a Titan and it keeps us on the edge trying to figure out who is and who isn't a titan. Unlike first season, where it was all action & thrill, this season the story moves at a slower pace that builds this mystery horror element and viewers feel the genuine terror of living in this post-apocalyptic world where anything can happen. However, the glaring issue is the amount of flashbacks that are in each episodes. It almost ruins it. We will have an episode where titans have surrounded the characters and they are about to fight only to cue in a flashback of epic unnecessary proportion that really doesn't do much. Just because it works a few time doesn't mean you should always do it. Seriously, Tetsurou Araki, just stop it. Also, the anime is not presented in a linear pattern like in the manga as the director jumps from chapter 30 to chapter 50 back to chapter 40. It was a clusterfudge but it worked… somehow. The twists and turns were there but the best part was the obvious reveal that was brilliantly executed to leave a mark for a long time.
Regardless of how bizarre the storytelling was for this season, the character development this season was on point. The studio heard the fans anguish and completely removed Erin from the first half of the anime and focused entirely on the side characters. We not only learn the purpose or goal behind the major side characters but their past history that shaped them to be this way. Their actions actually makes sense. Now we will feel some remorse when they may or may not die in the future unlike in season 1 where viewers just laughed at random characters getting devoured by titans. Mikasa transforms into this full yandere GF that no guys should date and Krista becomes the waifu people will change their sexuality to be with her. Sadly we don't see much of Levi nor gladly we see much of Erin. However, the latter change was better for the anime. Erwin is a complete badass and as the anime goes on, viewers will know why. All I'll say is *SUSUMEEEE* !!!
To no one's surprise, the saving grace for this anime is once again their animation and sound. Wit Studio, despite working with a questionable lower budget, manages to deliver phenomenal animation. The manga is really well adapted frame for frame and the hand-drawn animation is vibrant and rich in colour & texture. You have to see it in 1080p or you will be doing yourself injustice. The characters, the titans, the backgrounds, the cinematography and the fighting animations are just on fleek. Anyone who will watch the judo fight between the two titans will get a massive something just watching it. If they weren't pulling breaks with the animation the sound wasn't either. The OP & ED songs were first hard to get accustomed to since no OP songs can live up to its first but it grows on you. The background OST is utterly horrifying as it builds this terror with its sadistic tone. You have to love orchestra based OST. It's truly revolutionizing. Most anime sequels suffer in this department but thankfully SnK 2 did not, and it made their transition fluid.
Overall, this show is has its flaws but you can just enjoy it for what it is. It's not a masterpiece but it's highly enjoyable. It is infuriating for a viewer to be edged and edged with endless cliffhanger style episodes but ultimately you finish it anyway because who edges themselves to the point of no return and not finish, right? So, Is attack on titan overrated? Debatable. Is attack on titan overhyped? Unquestionable. Is it still a show you would love to binge? Definitely! Anyways, give it a watch and let me know later how you like it. *SHINZUO SASAGEYO!!!*
P.S. Thank you for reading. I hope you found this short and supaishi review helpful!
Earlier before Shingeki No Kyojin (SnK) Season 2 started in April, Wit Studio launched a cheeky full page ad on the Japanese newspaper apologising to the public on how the weekly airing of AoT episodes may impact their social life. Most fans would have brush this off as an air of arrogance and bragging from the Studio team, after all Wit Studio has kept SnK fans waiting for season 2 for almost 4 years and clearly the hypes has somewhat dies down a lot since. To made matter worse, there were only 12 episodes announced which was enough material to just to cover the Clash
of Titan Story Arc (Manga Chapter 34-50).Lots of fan were clearly disappointed when hearing this news but to me after finished watching the 6th episodes, my disappointment has turn into excitement because Season 2 will probably goes down as one of the best season ever.
So what have changed between Season 1 and Season 2 during the 4 year MIA? Lets discuss:
We continue from last season shocking ending reveal where we found out what's hiding behind the huge walls that has been protecting the remains of humanity from Titan. The Scouting Legion have also make progress by capturing Annie who is the Female Titan with great sacrifices but were not able to find out anything further due to Annie enclosing herself in an unbreakable crystal prison.
In Season 2, we start off with the opening episode with news of Titans appearance but the mysteries deepens when the soldier were unable to find the wall that was broken.
As some of the old mysteries are resolved, more questions/strange mysteries appears just like the Beast Titan appearance which gives user more room to conjure up new theories about AoT. Brilliant
If you have not read the manga, be prepare for more shocking reveals especially on the quest to reach Eren home basement where the biggest mysteries is
I would give the scores for the story segment a 5 out of 5.
No doubt the artwork have maintained the highest quality in anime standard and i do sincerely believe the artwork actually surpass Season 1.
The atmosphere in the night scenes looks spooky and the new titans are actually kind of terrifying to the viewers. The only downside I have is the frequent use of CG but it is not so bad in my opinion as the animation team need to handle their limited budget for each episode carefully. Anime viewers need to pay close attention to the details like the scenery to truly enjoy each AoT episodes. Also I love the new camera angle put into the animation this season.
I would give the scores for the art segment a rating of 4.5 / 5
This area is where Snk shines the most irregardless of OP/ED themes, sound effects, or voice acting.
The new OP sung by Linked Horizon is great and it will slowly grows on you while the new ED is creepy but in a good way that it leave an impression on the viewer.
Some of the BG has been reused from Season 1 but there is also new remix and new BG heard for this season which fits into the anime perfectly.
I really can`t wait to get hold of the new SnK album release this June 2016.
I would give the scores for the sound segment a rating of 4.5 / 5
Season 1 focus more on the main trio which is Eren, Armin and Mikasa whereas Season 2 is expanding on the backstory for the side character like Sasha, Connie, Reiner, Bertolt, Ymir and Christa. I`m glad that Isayama build up the side characters which made us sympathies to their back story as the story progress.
Season 2 start a bit slower in the beginning but things are going to go wild with the remaining 6 episodes. I sincerely believe that there is a chance that Season 2 has every reasons to top Season 1.
Will continue to watch this till it ends in 6 weeks. Hopefully we don`t have to wait for too long for Season 3.
SnK season 2 has been a rough ride. As a fan of season 1, I really wanted this season to be good. On one hand, the latter half of the season was action packed and full of great development - just what I wanted. On the other, the first half of the season was extremely poorly written.
So I'll separate this review into two halves.
1st half (ep 1-6)
First of all, don't expect the world to be well built or realistic. After all, there are absolutely no men guarding the wall, as the entire ordeal within the first few episodes
revolves around them trying to find a hole in the wall, even though there should be men constantly guarding the wall in case of a surprise titan invasion. If there weren't men guarding the wall, then that would mean that they thought it was impossible for the titans to break through the wall - which would mean their first thoughts shouldn't have been that the titans just broke straight through the wall with a huge hole. In fact, the only men you really get to see this season are those from the recon corps. I, personally, like to believe that everyone else has been wiped out by some sort of plague or meteor shower. The plot progresses so messily this season that it's certainly possible; but I'll cover that later.
For the first time we also get to explore the land outside of the enclosed town districts, and it isn't really what you'd expect. Do you remember that food shortage from season 1? Well, rest assured, it makes perfect sense - considering there is absolutely NO farmland present at all; so of course they wouldn't be able to get food. You'd imagine that inside the walls, with such limited space that the humans have, there would be loads of farms and towns - but you're wrong. There are no towns, or cities, and the only places we do see are remote villages for some reason. In addition, the only time farmland is actually addressed is when Sasha's village forest is going to be destroyed and replaced with farmland, because apparently no one can use the wide open fields with absolutely NOTHING on them.
Speaking of Sasha, prepare for a bunch of random background character backstories to be thrown in for no reason. I watched the entire second season and I still don't know what the purpose of Sasha's backstory was, and I don't know what an entire episode was dedicated just to focus on her. Actually, to be honest, I don't even know why Sasha exists as a character. The constantly-eating gimmick isn't even funny.
I've heard a lot of people talk about how they enjoyed the fact that more of the background characters were focused on this season - mostly because they hate Eren as a protagonist. First of all, to those types, I recommend you abandon the show all together because Eren will never develop as a protagonist. The entire season 2 went by and Eren received no character development as far as I could tell. He's still the same "kill all titans!" kinda guy he was last season.
The side characters aren't any better though. If you expect proper character development, suspense, and gradually building up towards climactic scenes full of emotion, then throw your dreams out the window. Character development is done almost exclusively through flashbacks, and those flashbacks happen right during the most important reveals and climactic scenes they could manage. There are quite a few times where entire scenes will be ruined by an disruptive flashback or "12 hours ago" message because the writers seemingly FORGOT to develop the characters or information leading up to the scenes. Reveals lack any subtlety or suspense in this show. They throw information at you in an extremely rushed and disorderly fashion. Also, you end up feeling nothing towards the side characters because the only time they're developed is through very unoriginal events like a FLASHBACK TO TRAINING CAMP WHERE TWO GIRLS GOT LOST IN A BLIZZARD. You DEFINITELY haven't heard of something like that before.
Oh, by the way, for all of you who took an interest in Annie - forget about her. They do nothing with her the entire season and just forget about her.
So, yeah, for the first six episodes the story is a complete mess.
There's a concerning absence of people in the universe and the flow of the story has killed all momentum. Don't expect any of the good aspects of season 1 to be present.
Now, as for the rest of the season? Well, it gets a lot better. Suddenly the authors remember how to do unobtrusive flashbacks and character development. The characters are cool and a lot of the nice aspects from season one are able to be seen, along with a new mix of more fleshed out side characters.
Plus, the art is WAY upgraded. There has been some great scenes in this show.
As for the sound? The opening isn't actually good, though you get used to it after a while. The ED, which I accidentally ended up listening to when I forgot to click onto the next episode, was terrible. The regular OST is cool as usual.
So, yeah, season 2 had a really disappointing first half and a decent second half. Nonetheless, the unforgivable start makes me have to leave this on a 6/10.
Attack on Titan has an unfortunate truth surrounding it. Critics and fanboys surmise their opinions, incessantly hurling them at each other in hopes of smothering people into submission. One thing not present enough with this anime is a middle ground. In Season 2 we saw a surprising 12 episodes, a missing producer and a far different plot direction. The question is, did these things work for or against the franchise, and is it still the same old AoT that millions of viewers addictively engulfed several years ago? I feel it’s time to address the elephant in the room and provide a brutally honest review of
the anime, and stop populating MAL with reviews embellished with buzzworthy absolutes like “the show is shit” or “arguably the best written series of all time”.
DISCLAIMER- This is a very honest review. You’ve been warned.
Right off the bat, the viewers are thrown into the second season with one of the worst transitions I can remember. I actually went back and watched the final episode of Season 1 followed by the first of Season 2 and was blown away by how disjointed it flows. So many unanswered questions (the walls, what exactly happened to Annie, how Eren feels about the whole thing) filled the air that I honestly couldn’t keep up with them all. It was a complete trainwreck. Possibly part of the issue is due to some changes in staffing regarding the anime, but it’s evident something went wrong. In this season, the viewers experience some short, but detailed backstory on Connie, Sasha, Ymir and others. Unfortunately, with the evident time pressure, it detracted largely from the story. The pacing is lethargic, often focusing on key battle scenes in order to create the facade that the plot is moving forward. It’s extremely hard to tell how much time is elapsing between various events, and as the final episode concluded, to have waited 4 years for what we got is embarrassing.
Possibly the most glaring inadequacy is the truncated 12 episodes this season. In an anime with such a large cast as this, it really isn't enough time to get the job done. For the sake of metaphoric comparisons I could equate Attack on Titan’s short run time to my own high school reunion. In essence you have two hours to talk to about 50 people, and before you know it you've relinquished a bulk of your time catching up with one or two people. This results in a speedy greeting for the remainder, or you possibly not talking to them at all. This is precisely what the writers were forced to do with much of the anime’s cast. Characters like Levi and Armin make mere cameos, and the season spends most of its time progressing a short amount of actual story. The plot also suffers, as events can’t be properly explained within the amount of time 12 episodes allots.
WARNING- SPOILERS IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPH
The one aspect I can’t forgive from a writing perspective is how sloppy the Bertolt and Reiner reveal was. Similar to some complaints I had about Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, it seemed to come so far out of left field that it felt reactionary. I understand the manga already contained this part of the story, but the appearance in the anime seemed sporadic and unexplained. It’s one thing to leave your audience questioning and on suspense, but another to come off as contrived or “simply doing things because the manga had it here in the timeline”. I felt much more surprised at Ymir’s titan introduction since I completely forgot she even existed. She was made to be a one-off character in my eyes, but as she transformed, her relationship with Krista and ghostly appearances all started to click. Bertolt and Reiner just doesn’t make sense to me. Hopefully, this gets cleaned up in Season 3 but it would’ve been a lot more cohesive without as much perceived randomness.
OKAY, NO MORE SPOILERS! YOU’RE SAFE NOW!
The more Attack on Titan progresses, the bigger issues I develop for Eren. In the anime’s infancy I thought Eren could become more than the trope he seems to currently be fitting. Ah, the revenge-blinded hero that will do anything to stop his foes… I can’t say I’ve ever heard of this before! He’s transforming into an angstier version of Kirito. Instead of just being the best at everything he does, Eren often gets beat, whines about it, recovers and then Leroy Jenkins’ his way back into combat again. There’s no internal dilemmas, no monologues about how he’s feeling (sans one instance in this seasons when everyone’s getting attacked at the end), just a vanilla-scripted MC. At least Mikasa maintains some enigmatic qualities by not continuously shooting her mouth off with an angry case of tourettes.
If there is one thing the producer got right, it’s the action. Attack on Titan features some of the best choreographed fight scenes in anime, and Season 2 dials up the gore to 11. The emotions of the characters in battle are raw and realistic, with each spurt of adrenaline properly conveyed to the viewer. However, by saying this I also acknowledge how much the series is lacking in almost every other facet. It’s becoming that flashy toy kids play with for 5 minutes until they realize it only does about one thing. There’s no thinking involved, the foreshadowing is haphazard or non-existent, and it’s really unfortunate to see. With the budget this franchise has, it could easily hold the same uniform public praise as a show like Game of Thrones. The animation, story and characters COULD ALL BE EXCELLENT. But alas, we are left with luke-warm excitement and thoughts of how it could be better.
I hope I’m not the only one that noticed the cringeworthy CGI involving the colossal titan during the 5th or 6th episode. Certainly an example of CG done wrong. However, while omitting this error, the anime’s art style seems relatively intact. The color palette still consists of opaque shades of brown, gray and green, with special attention given to character expressions and action scenes. The shots of a parade of Survey Corps members stampeding on horseback, or the ominous backdrop of roaming titans still launches AoT into a league of its own in the art direction category. Action scenes are fluid and suspenseful, and the gore is still as ubiquitous as the first season. I can only hope that as the series continues and media technology advances, the art directors stay true to their roots in this series, because a style that so accurately emulates its subject matter can be hard to come by.
The music is epic once again. Linked Horizon returns to delight us with their fanfarish ballad to open the anime. “Sasageyo, sasageyo!” The remaining OST is fitting and seeks to emphasize the emotion present within its corresponding scene. Though, I will admit that I didn’t get the same sense of urgency or fear the background music portrayed during some of the more chaotic instances in Season 1. Nothing extremely offputting, but noticeable nonetheless. AoT’s seiyuus continue to impress with their grit and raw, emotional talent. Yuki Kaji’s resounding screams as Eren are evidence of his talent, and Hiroshi Kamiya is always smug and serious as Levi. I can only imagine how much fun the actors had when making this series, in terms of being able to use their full abilities.
With any anime, my level of enjoyment is the most important factor when determining whether or not I’d recommend something. For the bulk of AoT fans, the second season will “partially” fill the void that the last 4 years since the anime’s debut has left. For some of you, possibly the more analytical types, the flaws begin to pile up. An extremely short runtime, half-assed character development and transition issues from the first season all work against AoT in this installment. Personally I enjoy the series, the world it exists in and the action, but Studio Wit is going to have to give the next season a much better effort if it wants to ensure its fans stay hungry for more, and have a more consistent adaptation schedule. Delaying one of the most popular anime in history for the trainwreck (pun intended) Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress in 2016 isn’t a good place to start. AoT always gets my blood pumping with its suspense and enthralling fight scenes, but can it keep the consistency? Hopefully Season 2 is not a precursor for things to come...