Anime was something that had culturally eluded me for more years than I’m proud to admit. That is until my best friend recently sat me down and introduced me to Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
That was it; I was hooked.
Just when I was at the point of needing a new show to take over my life, I stumbled upon “Attack on Titan” a sprawling epic with some great characters and ever-impressive world building. Even if the titular Titans do creep me out.
For those not fully up to speed on AoT and the story so far, I’ll try my best to avoid massive spoilers. I in no way want to be that guy.
In a nutshell, Attack on Titan throws you bang in the middle of a world where after living 100 years of relative peace without attacks from the monstrous Titans, Eren Yeager’s city is breached. Eren and his childhood friends Mikasa and Armin, join the military to fight the Titans, find out the truth behind their existence, and avenge not only Eren’s mother, but also the 1000’s of people eaten on that fateful day.
So let’s talk about season two and how it fares compared to its debut. When we left Eren and company, they had scraped through a vicious battle against the Female Titan to a bittersweet end. This season picks up exactly where the last left off, picking up new mysteries and running with them. Eren, although battle weary, is as driven as ever in his mission to kill all the Titans and Mikasa/Armin are left having to have his back when he inevitably storms in without thinking.
With this, we get to spend more time with the supporting characters such as Christa and Ymir. This allows us to take in the host of new towns and areas that the characters explore as they seek to find out how there came to be a Titan in the wall, and just who the Beast Titan is.
Questions are answered and more are asked by the time the finale comes around and it makes for compelling viewing.
Where season one is packed to the rafters and covers a lot of ground in its 25-episode run, this set gives less back. If the first really grabs you like it did me, the second season’s 12 episode offering can feel frustrating when you really just want to get stuck in for longer. In a way, it’s a complement to the creators of the show that one of my biggest gripes was that there wasn’t more.
It still looks incredible too, the animation and design on display here is truly mesmerising. The creative team have purposefully gone out of their way to give the Titans a gaggle of bizarre new variations too, including my favourite; an “abnormal” the just lies down. All chill like.
With the Season 2 box set out now, let’s delve further into what options it offers. Each of the episodes comes with the original Japanese audio with all of the cast reprising their roles and a new English dub. From what I can tell, this seems to be a passable translation for the most part, however, I personally always prefer to go with the original cast and just apply subtitles. That being said, this is a neat plus for people who struggle to engage with content with a foreign language.
Something that I found majorly helpful of the disc was the ability to skip title sequences and end titles via the “Marathon Play” mode. This essentially means that you can just point your vision balls at the TV and absorb 6 episodes at a time without touching your remote once. Technology is a wonderful thing; even if it does put me one step closer to blob state like the humans in Wall-E.
The second disc also includes translated versions of the mid-episode title cards. These title cards are great little nuggets of extra world building and it can be frustrating that these aren’t translated in the episodes themselves, if only in the subtitles. A small detail maybe, but one that stood out to me.
Season 2 will also be available as a Limited Edition DVD and Blu-ray™ Box Set featuring a Wall Rose sized amount of bonus content, including episode commentaries and interviews, the 24-page “Notes From Beyond the Wall: Part III”, plus an exclusive 60-page Art Book, featuring concept art and behind-the-scenes content.
On DVD and Blu-ray™ February 26th