Review #74- Attack on Titan Season 2

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Greetings! Welcome to our review of the long awaited and greatly anticipated Attack on Titan Season 2. Since this is the second season, there will be some comparisons between this season and the original Attack on Titan. Also, apologies about the delay in the review, and beware about some potential minor spoilers.

Now without further ado, let us begin the review!

Summary: Eren Yeager and others of the 104th Training Corps have just begun to become full members of the Survey Corps. As they ready themselves to face the Titans once again, their preparations are interrupted by the invasion of Wall Rose—but all is not as it seems as more mysteries are unraveled. As the Survey Corps races to save the wall, they uncover more about the invading Titans and the dark secrets of their own members. -MyAnimeList

Plot: 6/10

The second season of Attack on Titan suffered many of the same issues as the original series. The pacing was incredibly slow for the first half of the show, and crawls at some points in the second half (one episode is essentially a full episode of talking). The second half does pick up for the most part however, and actually make good plot progression and maintains momentum with some decencies. Unfortunately, this comes with its own set of issues, as the ending is super plot heavy. The amount of twists added is a bit overwhelming, and while it does not ruin pacing, it makes the ending feel messy. Granted, the first twist or so actually impressed me personally, so the anime gets some points for that. The mood of the anime does not hesitate, and the seeming hopelessness does not falter even slightly. The flashbacks are too numerous or unnecessary, as in season one, where many of them could have been used in real time rather than being worked in as a flashback. A few flashback are also very repetitive, which I understand was meant to reinforce some key points, but they more or less beat it to death after the third time. The biggest issue, however, was more questions were raised than answered during the air time, but at least there is a season three now, right?

Characters: 7/10

One advantage of the second season was the heavier focus on many of the supporting characters. They are well developed, and while the heavy reliance of flashbacks are there, it does feel a little more natural. The cast is not overcrowded, and most characters are very much their own person. However, the main trio are all but forgotten early in the anime. It is questionable if they are actually the main characters. Eren is especially forgettable, he mostly exists to drive the action scenes primarily. This does little to help the annoying persona most fans see about him. Attack on Titan does supporting characters right, just not necessarily main characters.

Animation: 10/10

The animation style is unchanged for the most part, and is as impressive as always. However, there is a painfully obvious moment where the Colossal Titan is rendered with CGI, which is about the only criticism for the animation.

Soundtrack: 9/10

The background music is absolutely stellar. It works with the mood and action scenes especially well. The opening is not as iconic, but is still good.  The ending can feel a little out of place (and the accompanying visuals have little context in the show unless one has read the manga).

Themes: 10/10

The themes remain largely unchanged, but developed further from the first season of Attack on Titan. The political themes are touched on more, especially regarding the role religion has in politics. The anime seems to take a negative stance on religion, seeing it as a corrupted force. The anime’s stance is best said as, “Separation of Church and State.” Sacrifice remains a prominent theme, exploring self sacrifice verses sacrificing others. There is no clear indication on which one is more honorable, however. The thematic exploration works a little better since the season focuses less on the action and more on character development.

Final Score: 8.4/10

Final Grade: B

B-Ro’s Take

After so long we finally got Attack on Titian season two and let me tell you it did not disappoint. It had plenty of titian killing action, character development, and it always kept you on your toes. Now that I am done being a fanboy lets really look at this. While I did love this season more than the first it still had plenty of problems. The first being that Eren is supposed to be the main character, but for the first several episodes he is nowhere to be found. However this got some development for character that we have not seen much of before, so it was nice to see more of the large cast. Another problem was all of the twists and surprises in this season. There were so many that I felt like I had whiplash and no time to recover between twists. It also made the anime seemed like it was moving really quickly. Also one part of the ending (if you watched it you know what I am talking about) felt so out of place and should have taken place elsewhere. Everything happened at such a fast pace. I also have to talk about the flashbacks, but that is mostly because I know that RishRaff and LowKev are going to talk about it. I think they were well done and showed motivation for how a character was feeling. I think the show would not benefit from the flash backs being taken out. Out of 10 I would give this anime 6. Sadly there are a lot of flaws so I can’t give it the high rating that I want to. I would recommend this anime to anyone who enjoyed the first season. – B-Ro

LowKev’s Take

Where do I begin… I remember really liking the first season despite a few problems, but I can’t say I was too excited for season 2. For whatever reason, my memories of season 1 were more about its flaws than its achievements, and I didn’t really feel a desire to see more of the story. For starters, I found season 2 to have some of the same flaws/nitpicks as 1. The “person trembling/frozen in fear” thing is still a bit overused, I certainly agree with Rishraff that there are a few too many flashbacks, and the show is still pretty depressing in a way that can make it hard for me to get into it. However, I was also happily reminded of why I liked this show as well, and I found myself enjoying the show more and more as it progressed. I criticize the depressing nature of the show often, but its dark and oppressive atmosphere and tone is also one of the show’s biggest strengths. While not my favorite style, the animation is again fantastic and sets the show apart from others. The Titan designs are again really cool, though I often found myself laughing at some of the designs rather than feeling frightened. The music is also very good, ranging from foreboding to intense, with a few more atmospheric tracks as well. I’ve often had trouble connecting with characters in the show, mostly because it feels like there’s a pretty good chance they’ll die. However, I did find a few of the characters growing on me, which I welcomed. The overall story progression is just okay to me, but there were a few interesting revelations, shocking moments, and some really cool stuff. There’s certainly a lot of unanswered questions to be covered in season 3 (or the Manga I guess). I do think it’s funny that they announced season 3 right when season 2 ended. It was almost their way of saying “look, I know you have questions, and we still haven’t explained everything, but there’s more coming so don’t be mad”. All in all, Attack on Titan still isn’t really a show that I get excited to watch, but season 2 reminded me that the show does have some good things going for it.

Final Comments: While it improves on several aspects such as plots and themes over the original, Attack on Titan Season 2 suffers many of the same pitfalls and even has few issues exclusive to it.

Thank you for reading our review! What was your opinion of Attack on Titan Season 2? Be sure to comment below. If you have not read our original Attack on Titan review, you can check it out HEREThe next anime for review will be Akikan!

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