Titan returns with savage new bite
After four years, Attack on Titan introduces new foes with a dangerous new plot. | mangauk.com
After nearly four years of waiting, “Shingeki no Kyojin” — more commonly known by its English name “Attack on Titan” — fans have finally received the second season they have so desperately pleaded for.
AoT picks up right where it left off — humanity attempting to retake the world from the antagonists: the titans. As an anime and manga nerd myself, I could not help but read the manga just to get my hands on some juicy spoilers. Just as I remembered, the anime does an excellent job of making its viewers feel heart-pounding apprehension and cold-blooded fear.
The episode begins with the sound of a bell tolling ominously as the narrator briefly recounts the destruction and carnage of season one. I almost felt a sense of whiplash seeing how far behind the anime is compared to the manga. Seeing the main protagonists Eren Yeager, Armin Arlert, Mikasa Ackerman and company without the stress they have in the future hurt the inner being of my soul. In terms of its darkness ranking, I would place it right next to Death Note — just because of how incredibly sinister and gruesome season two will surely be.
After the recap, stunned viewers watch as the gang realizes a titan is encased inside the Walls surrounding the city as it looks down on them. A further terrifying thought fills the people on the ground — what if the walls were made of titans? Survey Corps’ section commander Hange Zoë explores this theory while interrogating a “Wallist,” Pastor Nick of the Church of the Walls.
Zoë’s “happy-go-lucky” attitude vanishes when she interrogates him and, when Pastor Nick refuses to relinquish any information, she threatens to throw him off the wall. Even while facing imminent death, Pastor Nick prays to his deity and still refuses. Viewers are thrown on a roller coaster ride as the theory is confirmed later in the episode during a break with an informational slide stating, “Little is known about the Titans inside the walls...The leaders of the Wall Cult seem to be aware of the truth, but remain wholly unforthcoming.”
abusive religion or military powers
AoT has no issue exploring the topic of abusive religion or military powers, as it remained a constant theme through season one. Season two touches heavily on characters who would throw their lives away for a seemingly “lunatic” religion.
Before the episode continues, viewers are taken back 12 hours to 104th Training Corps all sitting on standby without their gear. Sasha Blouse is the first to notice their impending doom, hearing the footfalls of the incoming Titans breaching Wall Rose. From there, everything is a flurry of activity, requiring everyone to literally flee for their lives. In the process, squad leader Mike Zacharias sacrifices himself to be bait to allow the rest of the group to live.
It is a fatal mistake. While “his skill is second only to Captain Levi [Ackerman],” he falters when he encounters an abnormal titan, nicknamed the “Beast Titan.” We are then introduced to the concept of intelligent titans — ones that can speak, are intelligent and order other titans to kill without remorse. The episode ends with Zacharias’ shrieks and cries for the remaining four titans to stop tearing him to shreds.
With such a chilling ending, viewers who have not read the manga are left wondering what will become of humanity with such a ferocious and intelligent new adversary.