Attack on Titan Season 2, Episode 1, just aired, and it was well worth the extremely long wait. Picking up from the last episode of the first season, the first episode of Season 2 was everything it was supposed to be. It introduced a new arc and escalated the intrigue that viewers were left with when the Attack on Titan Season 1 finale aired back in September, 2013.
Here is a brief recap and a review of Attack on Titan Season 2, Episode 1, titled “Beast Titan.” Needless to say, there will be massive spoilers ahead, so do proceed with caution.
The episode opened with a very brief summary of pivotal events in the first season, from the initial breach of Wall Maria, to the decisive battle between Eren and Annie within Wall Sina. The flashback was extremely short, and the anime eventually began covering the events following the discovery of the Wall Titan, which was revealed to be residing inside the Wall itself.
Upon noticing the presence of Pastor Nick, Survey Corps Squad Leader Zoë Hange decided to interrogate the clergyman about what he knew about the Titans within the Walls. When Nick refused, Hange simply grabbed him by his collar and threatened to throw him over the edge of the Wall. The clergyman, for his part, dramatically stated that he was willing to die, according to a Den of Geek report.
With Nick calling her bluff, Hange decided to manhandle him instead, throwing him to the ground, before reminiscing how the recent events reminded her of her first days in the Survey Corps. Overall, Hange’s scene with Pastor Nick served to bring about one of the biggest questions in the franchise so far: Are all the Walls made of Titans, and why are the powers that be hiding this information from the people?
The episode then shifted back to events 12 hours before, focusing on the other members of the 104th Training Corps under the command of Squad Leader Mike Zacharius. Members Sasha and Connie reminisced about how much they wished to visit their villages, which were located nearby. Reiner, for his part, remarked how strange it was that they were not equipped with their weapons, while other Survey Corps members around them were fully armed.
Before long, however, Sasha felt Titans coming towards them, and immediately after, other Survey Corps officers saw the incoming giants in the distance. With this, everyone realized that Wall Rose must have fallen and that they desperately needed to escape. Heading out on horseback, the group was pursued by numerous Titans, including a number of abnormals. Mike decided to divert the giants’ attention to himself, attempting to buy time for everyone to escape.
Mike’s decision to stay behind ultimately proved to be his biggest mistake. While he was able to kill numerous Titans in the area, he soon came face-to-face with one of the most frightening giants in the entire franchise to date: the Beast Titan. After literally getting his horse thrown at him by the Bigfoot-looking giant, Mike was faced with the realization that the Beast Titan did not only possess intelligence, it could actually talk. It even removed Mike’s 3D Maneuver Gear before commanding numerous other Titans to rip the Survey Corps soldier apart.
Numerous fans in online forums such as Reddit immediately noted how haunting and horrifying Mike’s death was portrayed in the anime. In the manga, the Survey Corps soldier’s death was gruesome and quick, but the anime managed to up the ante, playing out the grisly scene for a rather extended period of time. Mike’s screams as he was literally being torn to shreds, for one, was downright disturbing.
The episode also briefly featured main characters Eren, Mikasa, and Armin, as well as Levi and Erwin Smith, who were informed of the alleged breach in Wall Rose. Overall, the first episode of Attack on Titan Season 2 was just right. It captured the tone of the first season perfectly, and it was able to escalate the tension in the plot by immediately jumping into the central conflict of the arc. AoT Season 2 is only scheduled for 12 episodes, and thus, it would most likely be dedicated to the Clash of the Titans arc.
With this in mind, fans of AoT are advised to prepare for a lot of blood and horror, as the saga remains as one of, if not the, most intense arc that the Attack on Titan franchise has covered to date. With the main players of the Clash of Titans arc already being introduced, fans could expect the next 11 weeks of Attack on Titan Season 2 to be incredibly intense and gritty.
[Featured Image by Kodansha]