Attack on Titan was always one of those, in my opinion, okay but hopelessly overrated anime. I might do a review of the first season but the slow pacing, one-dimensional characters and the missing emotional impact of their deaths really dragged it down for me. So, will season 2 fare better?
The story picks up right where the first season ends. The first episode is pretty great in my opinion, featuring a gruesome death scene that got under my skin. However, after that the pace returns to the slow pace of season 1, which… annoyed me. Here I will already stop talking about what will actually happen in the story, but I will, without spoilers, address some issues in the story. What is good is that Eren Jaeger, the still shallow protagonist, is almost never seen in the entire first half of the season. Before I continue I must say one thing: The story is very similar to the first season with all its positives and negatives so as long as you don’t start thinking about it, you should be fine with a slow but entertaining story. However, this season has, in its story telling, more problems than the first season. From plot holes to unfitting tones to not even a single significant death in the entire series. The plot holes probably come from the author not considering the full scope of his own world building.
For example: It is presumed a wall is broken, so instead of using the faster route over the walls (also much less dangerous and it’s even mentioned later), as everybody expects Titans to storm the place (which are very visible from the wall) where the hole is, they use a route through deadly territory. So why are they taking the much longer, riskier route? I don’t know, there doesn’t seem to be a reason.
Then there are moments where the “Wow Epic Battle Theme” is so out of place and overused from season 2 that it becomes annoying. Though to be honest, there was one more moment that made me feel a bit uncomfortable, which is good. Other than that, there was one good twist I could see coming but I didn’t expect the execution. Then there was one moment I was really confused by, not because it was complicated but because it was really anticlimatic. The death scene from episode 1 would have fit wonderfully here and I was able to see this big “unexpected” death coming for literally 4 episodes, as this particular foreshadowing is among the worst I’ve ever seen.. Another thing is that the first half of the season has a grim horror tone while the rest of the season doesn’t, instead it returns to its battle-themed hype-tone. This brings two problems: The horror element was more fun but the “epic” battles felt completely out of place and there is the second half that returns to the same tone as the first season where the battles fit better but the tone is less fun/engaging again.
Of course visually the anime looks fantastic and it’s easily on the same level as the first season. There is nothing more to really say.
When it comes to the soundtrack, then it’s mostly the same as in season one. There is also nothing more to say here.
So, is Attack on Titan season 2 better? No. I think this anime could improve if it would keep a consistent horror tone but no matter if it’s the story, the visuals or the music, everything looks and feels like season 1 with all its bad and good elements. So in short: A slightly above average anime with lots of eye-candy and a good popcorn story that will either be great depending on the quality of the story and the reveal of the big twist or bad depending on the quality of the story and the reveal of the big twist.
Take a look