The first season of Attack on Titan premiered in April of 2013. It begins about 2,000 years from now in an alternate universe where mindless man-eating giants (Titans) have pushed humanity to the brink of extinction. A series of walls were built to preserve what is left of the human population, and various military structures were created to help battle the impending threat.
However, after almost a century of peace, a colossal aberrant titan appears out of nowhere and breaches the first wall. Smaller titans flood the area, and the protagonist Eren vows to kill every titan in existence as revenge for all mankind. Over the season, we see Eren and his friends train to fight titans as the crippling loss and inevitable extinction of humanity looms over the entire cast.
Season two of Attack on Titan picks up right where we left off in season one after Eren and Annie’s titan exposures. It’s been four years since the initial release of the show, and about three since season one’s official end. Though there has been a series of compilation and live action movies released in the delay, this is a considerable amount of time to spend between seasons. This is not unheard of and a lot of series I love have actually pulled similar stunts; however, every time I see a series pick up after multiple years off I get worried about pacing, writing, and animation quality. Attack on Titan does a lot in episode 26 to relieve these worries.
We begin the episode with what I believe is the most intriguing reveal for much of the series: titans are in the wall. I’m not sure how much of this topic is discussed in the manga since I haven’t read much of it, but from what we learn in the first half of this episode, most – if not all – of the walls surrounding the human settlement are made of titans.
A wall priest sees this breach in the wall and screams to Hanji and the rest of her crew to not let the titan get hit by sunlight. I don’t remember much of the first season of AOT, but I certainly don’t remember any titans fighting at night. It’s possible that instead of sleeping, like I’m sure most humans assumed, the titans are powered by sunlight. A solar powered enemy is terrifying and would help explain their seemingly relentless energy.
Hanji interrogates the wall priest in hopes of garnering more information about the titans trapped in humanity’s only source of real protection against their predators. Of course, the priest offers no information and almost lets himself get killed by Hanji who was one foul word away from dropping him over 1,000 feet.
The confusion with Annie and Eren have created an opening for the titans outside Wall Rose, the now outermost wall, to breach and attack. It’s here that we see a large, Sasquatch-looking abnormal titan who has control over the smaller titans. He has horribly long arms that only add the to ugly creepiness of him, and begins to question a Survey Corp commander, Miche, about his weapons technology. Unfortunately, the Miche doesn’t speak up so the ape titan kills him and takes the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment after a remark on how inventive it is.
It stands to reason that while the ape titan is a commander of some sort, he doesn’t know of the current advances in military technology used in fighting his troops. This would mean that he hasn’t had any contact with humans from within the walls since the invention of VME. That’s fascinating to me. I was under the impression that the Colossal Titan Wall Rose breach was a planned thing between all the aberrant titans, but with the Ape Titan’s musings I starting to wonder if maybe the aberrants are not necessarily conspiring.
This first episode of season two keeps up the pacing that we left behind three year ago, and retains that signature coloring and design we all fell in love with. Furthermore, the story doesn’t seem distracted by the long break which hopefully tells us that the staff really cares about the continuity of this series. I’m happy to this kick off on a great note, and I am looking forward to what the rest of the season brings to the table.