Anime Review: Attack on Titan Season 2 (2017)
Director: Tetsuro Araki
Studio: Funimation Entertainment
Runtime: 325 Minutes
Released: March 31, 2017
Availability: Being Streamed on sites like Crunchyroll, Hulu and FunimationNow
The Hype Train Came Back!
Well, the hype train that is the Attack on Titan anime is back for season 2. I bet you’re wondering why it took Studio Whit so long is that they were doing other projects and they were waiting for the manga to have more story so they wouldn’t run out of story to animate.
So here we are three years later with more excitement, plot twists and tons of people becoming Titan chow once again! You can read my review of Season One if you want.
Government Conspiracies and the search for the Truth:
After the conflict with the Female Titan at the end of season one, the Scouts try to uncover the mystery of what’s going on when they discover that there are Titans inside the walls that protect them. They also learn that Titans have appeared inside Wall Rose and now they must once again battle them to protect humanity.
This series is so hard to talk about in reviews because there are so many plot twists, surprises, and unexpected events that if I talk about any of them here it would ruin it for new fans who want to go into season two and be surprised.
But what I will say is that Attack on Titan is an exciting ride and what makes it so fun is all the twists and turns.
This anime isn’t easy to predict and it will always find a way to surprise you, and it’s one of the reasons I enjoy it a lot.
The Animation is Spectacular again, and it’s like it hasn’t even been Three Years!
Studio Whit has done it again, making the anime look incredible, while the manga has a very rough art style that improved over time, the anime has always looked amazing, with its bold art style and fluid animation that makes their fight scenes look breath-taking.
The fights are always exciting and the animation is a spectacle to watch. The animation is one of the things that make the series stand out when there are all sorts of anime coming out in 2017 that also have outstanding art styles and animation.
Attack on Titan Season 2 Opening:
The Music Is Great!
The soundtrack for Attack on Titan is Hiroyuki Sawano, and he didn’t just recycle music from season 1, he used a lot of familiar musical themes but he changed them enough that they stand out so you’re not hearing season one’s music on a loop.
The soundtrack is excellent and I really enjoyed it a lot. It was perfect music for this anime, it was similar but different from season one and I’m happy that they kept the same composer.
Will you watch Attack on Titan Season 2?
Audio and Subtitles:
English (Reviewed) (Available on FunimationNow, Airing on Adult Swim)
(Available on Hulu, Crunchyroll, FunimationNow)
The English Voice Cast Is Still Amazing!
I didn’t bother to watch Attack on Titan season 2 in Japanese because I prefer English dubbing if it’s available and with Funimation Simuldubbing Attack on Titan this year, I don’t need to watch the Japanese unless I really want to see it as soon as possible. I didn’t mind waiting since the English dub came out relatively close to the Japanese dub and Funimation did put this dub on the Toonami anime block on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network on Saturdays.
Bryce Papenbrook is a great voice actor, but he's been in a lot of popular anime recently, so some fans have voice actor fatigue. But he did a fantastic job and he had to be all over the emotional map again. I will always be impressed by how loud he can scream, he didn’t do nearly as much screaming until the final episode of this season.
There is an issue with the dub when ADR director Mike McFarland has Bryce do Erin’s voice in the angry growling Erin Titan form, it makes it hard to understand what he says all the time and it is hard to hear him, I managed to make it through the anime without turning the closed captions on during his Titan form dialogue.
Trina Nishimura has always been one of my favorite voice actresses. She was stellar as always and she really made Mikasa emotional this season and she was just fantastic in this role. I’m excited for more Attack on Titan next year!
Josh Grille is also a great voice actor and he did great as Armin, I enjoyed his performance and his character development comes out in his performance as he takes Armin in a new direction for his character.
Elizabeth Maxwell is excellent as Ymir. She was a good voice actress and even though she wasn’t really in the first season, she still gave a great performance. Focusing on secondary characters is nice and all, but there is a problem with this kind of storytelling.
Bryn Apprill is great as Christa Lenz. Her voice acting was great and I really like what she did in this role. She was a nice surprise for me and I really enjoy her performance and where the story took her character.
David Matranga is great as Bertholdt Hoover, and I love that he’s gotten a more prominent role in a Funimation production as I usually see him in Sentai Filmworks dubs and those don’t usually air on Toonami.
I love Robert McCollum as Reiner Braun, I’ve always enjoyed him in a lot of Funimation anime but he did a stellar job portraying Reiner’s inner conflict that I won’t spoil. He was definitely outstanding.
The Flaw of This Series is underdeveloped secondary characters unless they are a Plot Device:
The characters in Attack on Titan are interesting characters but outside of the main trio, other secondary characters don’t really receive a lot of character development unless they’re part of a big plot twist.
And there are a lot of plot twists this season. I don’t want to spoil them, but because the characters seem to only be developed as plot devices, it makes it a little hard to truly accept the twist as some of these characters barely character development except for one episode before a twist comes, suddenly a backstory episode must be introduced.
There’s also Eren's Titan powers not working at the most inconvenient time for the sole purpose of being dramatic, which seems to only happen because the plot demands it happen. Things that only happen for plot convenience can break the viewer’s suspension of disbelief when it’s very obvious this only happened for the sake of the plot.
This plot twist pattern becomes its own formula and constant twists can either be very interesting or just annoying. It won’t appeal to everyone.
The Hype Sets Expectations WAY too High!
There was so much excitement about what was going to happen after season one ended that people are complaining about how it was slower and not as many exciting things happened and that some things ironically felt like filler but it was straight from the manga, at least until the plot twists started happening and then everyone got excited again.
There was way too much hype around the anime, and sure all the YouTube reactors were excited about it, but as soon as it was over anime fans went on to something else, but the fact that people still hype up Attack on Titan still causes unreasonable expectations with newcomers that people need to temper their expectations.
Overall, I had Fun, and it kept me on the edge of my Seat, and I had Read Spoilers Already!
I don’t really care if I read spoilers so I knew some plot twists going into the anime, but I still found it immensely enjoyable. Now I’m not going to hype this up as the best anime you’ll ever see, but I enjoy it for what it is, an interesting story about humanity trying to survive in a hostile world.
It has a lot of Shounen clichés but I found it to be one of the few anime from this year that I enjoyed. I have been very picky and not watching every seasonal anime that comes out every four months. I only watch what I’m interested in and I usually wait until the hype train is over.
What Doesn't Work:
Great characters, story and world-building
Relies too heavily on characters as plot devices
The plot is unpredictable for the most part
Only gives character development for plot twists
Plot twists could annoy viewers
Stellar English and Japanese dub
Certain things transpire purely for something dramatic to happen
Final Rating: A-:
I loved Attack on Titan Season Two, and even though I really enjoy the anime, it does have the chance for new viewers to experience Hype Backlash when watching the anime because it’s so popular. Don’t watch it just so you can be social with other anime fans all chatting new plot twists. Watch it because you want to, and watch whenever you want to.
If you want to board this crazy hype train right now you can. Just try to lower your expectations because overhype can kill the enjoyment of this anime, and if your suspension of disbelief doesn’t like plot convenience, then this is not for you. But if you want an exciting, relatively unpredictable anime, you’ll enjoy Attack on Titan. I’d recommend streaming it first, blind buying on recommendation alone isn’t something I normally do, especially if there’s legal streaming available to try before you buy. Check it out on Crunchyroll or FunimationNow before picking up a copy, since it’s popular, it’s on the cheaper side when it comes to buying anime, and it goes on sale a lot so you’ll be able to purchase it for a lot less than more niche anime.
Season 3 is currently airing in Japanese and being simuldubbed in English.