Attack on Titan Season 2 is finally out. I just watched the first episode like so many others today. I will admit I am a little biased. I am a big fan of the first season. Sure it had its issues, but I greatly enjoyed it overall. I also think that because it blew up in popularity that it is subject to a lot of unfair criticism.
Let’s be fair no anime is perfect despite what all their diehard fans say. Take Dragonball Z a much beloved series and easily the most popular anime worldwide. It has a lot of issues with pacing and story especially after the Frieza Saga. What it does have that Attack on Titan does not is nostalgia. It was the granddaddy of the shonen anime and thus perpetuated a lot of the tropes that now plague current shonen. However it largely gets a pass because it was the gateway anime for a lot of people myself included. It was actually not the first anime I ever saw, that was Ninja Scroll, but it was the first series I ever watched in its entirety.
I actually enjoyed the first season of Attack on Titan and continue to do so. I love it so much that I actually read every chapter of the manga because I had to know what happened. So that means I am far ahead of the anime in story. It honestly feels like being a book reader on Game of Thrones. So while I will enjoy it being animated the shocks and the twists that happen with most casual fans won’t apply to me. Though seeing it animated and not in panels may still shock me because you get to hear the sound effects and music.
I actually rather enjoyed the first episode, especially the scene with the Beast Titan. He’s a new introduction to the anime. I actually enjoyed it more than reading it in the manga. I know that may sound like blasphemy but to manga fans but hear me out. It was very satisfying to see and be able to tell which character that happened to.
I know it’s upsetting to a lot of people but I’ll admit that in the manga a lot of characters are drawn very similarly. Not the main cast but the secondary characters. I honestly didn’t know which recon scout that happened to. He seemed like a generic scout to me and he didn’t have any character to reference his name when he was alone. So I appreciate having the scenes before spelling out who he is and being able to see the colors to differentiate him from every other blonde recon soldier. Before we get the pitchforks out, try to name all the other blonde recon scouts that aren’t the Commander, I’ll bet you get them confused as well.
The episode started strong with the Titan in the Wall. It’s easier to remember in the manga since the fight happened in the last chapter, but for anime fans on a 4 year hiatus it was a big deal at the end of the first season. I won’t spoil it for you, and shame on those manga readers who do, but yes it is important very important to everything this arc. It’s basically the beginning of a thread that once pulled on will lead to lots of secrets and dire consequences.
The episode did seem a little rushed to me. However as a manga reader you have to remind yourself that on average an episode of anime is roughly equivalent to two to three chapters of manga. So I have no doubt that in the twelve scheduled episodes we will catch up to the current arc of the manga. I have an idea where they will end it, but I’m actually excited to see any changes they make and if it adds or detracts from the story. I know one major change I would have made.
The opening and ending song were a little iffy for me. Let’s be real though it’s hard to live up to that thrilling first opening. Even the second one was great. It got your blood pumping and ready for the cruel world you were about to visit. The animation for both were still sound. I suppose you could say it didn’t wow me like the original song did. Which is hardly their fault, it’s difficult to follow up something awesome like that.
I am excited to see what the rest of the story animated and some of great twists and action scenes from the manga come to life. I likely won’t review every episode, just the beginning and end of the arc similar to Dragonball Super.