This article contains spoilers.
Here we are, halfway through season two of Attack on Titan and I am brimming with excitement. This season so far has been melodramatic and bleak, and the sheer sensationalism of every motion, word, and expression makes this show so moving. The original storyline and the details in imagery, along with expert timing of action versus exposition make for a spine-chilling experience as we watch humanity fight for survival against a mysterious and formidable foe.
Currently, the Titan’s threat to the human population persists as the Survey Corps ventures to unveil what Titans are, where they come from, and why they have waged a deadly war against the humans. The answers, they believe, can be found in the basement of Eren Yeager’s destroyed home in Shinganshina – ground zero for the first Titan attack. This season adds some shocking developments that are keeping audiences on the edge of their seats and hungry for resolution.
Many fans were disappointed when Wit Studio announced that Attack on Titan’s second season would only showcase 12 episodes. But in retrospect, perhaps the first season’s 25-episodes was heavy-handed. Scenarios that took two or more episodes to unfold could have easily been covered in one episode. Now, with only 12 episodes at its disposal, Attack on Titan makes sure to pack as much story into each episode as possible, which means less filler and more impact. The timeline of Attack on Titan has become a bit disorienting, though. The events of the show pick up right where the first season left off, but it’s been years since the finale of season one. Add a handful of flashbacks and episodes that continually work their way back from “12 hours earlier,” and things can get pretty confusing.
Season two kicks off at the end of the Titan battle between Eren Yeager and Annie Leonhart. As Annie, encased in crystal, is taken into the custody of the Survey Corps a strange incident occurs. A piece of the wall that protects human civilization from the Titans has broken away to reveal a Titan – sealed inside. Unable to derive any answers from the Female Titan, the Survey Corps prepares to investigate these unusual happenings.
This season has introduced Titans that are far more detailed than what we saw in the first season, with unique and distinguishable physical traits. There is also a new addition to Titankind with the introduction of the Beast Titan that takes the form of, what appears to be, a very large primate. The anime’s opening suggests that there are other animal-based Titans, presenting an additional unknown to the already enigmatic Titan enemy.
As we look to the cast, a shift in focus has brought supporting characters like Sasha, Connie, Krista, Ymir, Bertolt, and Reiner into the limelight with flashbacks and dialogue unique to their perspectives as they travel together to evade and examine an unexpected attack by the Titans.
Sasha’s obsession with food and mild mannerisms are revealed to be the result of past contempt for food shortages brought about by the fall of Wall Maria and its displaced refugees, as her father urges her to find a way to survive agreeably within society. As Sasha recalls this memory, she rides to her hometown to find it decimated by Titans and works to rescue a small child left behind by the villagers.
Meanwhile, Connie arrives at his hometown to find destroyed houses, an empty village, but no signs of bodily violence. He discovers a malformed Titan, fallen and motionless, on top of his family’s home. As he observes, the Titan articulates a haunting “welcome home,” reminding Connie of his mother and leaves him shaken and puzzled.
During an ambush attack by the Titans, Ymir urges Krista to remember a promise they made while fighting to stay alive on a training mission in the snowy mountains. After requesting this of Krista, Ymir transforms into a Titan herself and acts to save her comrades. In the aftermath of Ymir’s actions, Reiner and Bertolt reveal a shocking and terrifying secret about the day mankind was attacked by the Titans.
Episode 31, “Warrior,” ends with a bombshell admission that – at one time – would have been the ultimate climax of the story. But with the season only at its halfway mark and new details unfolding in every episode, we are left with more questions than answers. Undoubtedly, this is only the beginning in understanding the insidious existence of the Titans and their relationship to humans.
All in all, Attack on Titan’s story is extremely detail-oriented so, at this stage in the game, it is important for audience members to take note of anything they can, especially highlighted information. I very much encourage fans to double back and skim through the first season. The events occurring now will help strengthen plot points introduced in past episodes, and any details that seemed innocuous at first, will reveal their importance and give way to a richer viewing experience.
That said, the show is doing a pretty good job of outwardly answering many of the questions that have been on our mind for years and I eagerly await what is to come. But one great mystery still remains…
Where is Jean?!
Catch new episodes of Attack on Titan:
Saturdays @ 10:30am EDT on Crunchyroll and Funimation (subbed)
Sundays @ 10pm EDT on Funimation (SimulDub)
Saturday Nights @ 12:30am EDT on Toonami (dubbed)
Last modified: July 3, 2018