Many years ago, the last remnants of humanity were forced to retreat behind the towering walls of a fortified city to escape the massive, man-eating Titans that roamed the land outside their fortress. Only the heroic members of the Scouting Legion dared to stray beyond the safety of the walls – but even those brave warriors seldom returned alive. Those within the city clung to the illusion of a peaceful existence until the day that dream was shattered, and their slim chance at survival was reduced to one horrifying choice: kill – or be devoured!
So, we finally have season two of Attack on Titan this season, and things begin exactly where they left off last time, with it being revealed that the inner wall has a Titan trapped inside of it. A member of the Wall Cult, Pastor Nick, appears and urges Zoe Hange, who is temporarily in charge of things, to cover the exposed wall to prevent the Titan from getting any sunlight (which would revive it). She does so, but also interrogates the cultist trying to discover how they knew about the Titan in the wall. Nick, however, is willing take his secret to his death… but there is a secret here.
News then comes in that Wall Rose has been breached and multiple Titans are heading in. The cadets from the 104th Class, Eren’s former classmates, had been held under guard by the Survey Corps who suspected there could be yet more human/Titans among them since two members of that group have been revealed to be such. Their period under observation ends, however, when Miche, in command of this area, sees the Titans approaching their base. In the scramble to escape and warn any nearby human villages of the danger, Miche is forced to stay behind to hold off the Titans. However, his skills and luck run out when a new Abnormal appears, a large Titan covered in fur. This new one traps Miche and then shocks him…by speaking to him. And it seems interested in the mobility gear that the humans use against them. This looks bad for humanity.
The second season is rather breathless and fast-paced as everything sets off at a fast clip with minimal recap considering that the first season came out over three years ago now but things continue as if there was no break. Then it surges forward with all the action because there’s plenty to be investigated and rectified – what does the Wall Cult know? How did the Titans breach Wall Rose? Did Connie really hear his mother’s voice from an incapacitated Titan in his home village? And just what is making Ymir behave so strangely? We already had one death in the opening episode, so this doesn’t bode well for the rest of the season; and plenty of mystery and concern with the Wall Cult and the story behind the Titans breaching Wall Rose.
There’s plenty of revelations in the second series where characters reveal themselves to be a lot more than they first seemed. As a result of this, there are some epic fights as Eren (in titan form) goes toe-to-toe with the Armoured Titan and humanity begin to really despair of their chances against the titans as their numbers dwindle and the titans appear to seemingly be evolving into much a much more intelligent, stronger species as demonstrated by the Beast Titan.
I could barely keep up by the end. In it’s usual style, Attack on Titan races ahead at that breakneck pace which makes everything that happens so edge-of-your-seat and crazy. And just when you think things can’t get any worse, that’s when it hits you with something exquisitely brutal. There were a couple of times this season where I cried out because I generally couldn’t believe some of the savage things that were going down. My mind was racing to catch up and I couldn’t help but sympathise with Eren. That’s pretty standard, I guess, but where Attack on Titan really excels is making those that we deemed the enemy seem frighteningly human.
By the end of the season, I was exhausted – but in a good way. I have no idea when a season 3 will arrive of this one (considering the yawning gap between season 1 and 2, I won’t be expecting anything for at least another year). Of course this anime has action, incredible characters, grotesquely intriguing monsters, epic battles and tragedy but I think what makes Attack on Titan so appealing to me is that you know that all the scouts are out there risking their lives. And not by standard anime standards – literally no one’s safe. And that’s what makes it so gripping, so painful to watch sometimes, and ultimately what keeps me anticipating the next arc.