The second season of Shingeki no Kyojin began airing in 2017, four whole years after the conclusion of the first season that ended in a cliffhanger revealing the presence of titans within the structure of the wall. Currently 8 episodes in, the show’s second season picks up immediately where the first season left off dealing with the fact that titans serve as the core of the wall.
The immediate impression is that the second season maintains all the features of the first despite large spacing in years between the two. The season begins with the weakness of the series, large amounts of dialogue. Again we see that the series (should you choose to follow it as episodes are released weekly) starts off quite slowly having to build up the hype once more. The first few episodes follows different groups as they clear some town on the outskirts from titan attack. The problem with this however is that the titan attacks early on are underwhelming when compared to the large scale assault of the female titan in the previous season. This makes it difficult to take up the commitment of following the release of episodes weekly. As with the first season however, this is easily remedied by binge watching the entire season. The series maintains its ability to transition smoothly between episodes owing to the cliffhanger type of ending that easily connects the ending of the former episode to succeeding one.
While slow, the season also begins with more mystery and more questions forming. A new aberrant titan, the Beast Titan makes its appearance. The Beast Titan easily increases the menace of any previous titan in the series. For one, the Beast Titan is shown to be towering in height with exaggerated arm length. It is also shown to have fur, a trait that no other titan has been shown to have highlighting its clear uniqueness and increasing its possibility of threat. What really makes this enemy intimidating and fear-inspiring is the fact that it shows the highest level of intellect seen in any titan so far. Ironically, the titan that is least human in shape is the first titan to display the ability of speech and analytic prowess. The Beast Titan is not only shown to be communicating with humans but is also seen tinkering with the 3D maneuver gear to understand its use. This display of increased intellect alone highlights an increased level of threat without the need to show the titan in a battle or confrontation.
The show really picks up 7 episodes in once again increasing the hype and intensity of the series through a massive reveal and battle. It is here that the Armored Titan and Colossal Titan make a return to the show attacking the group on the wall in a desperate attempt to kidnap Eren. This episode is the epitome of what makes Shingeki no Kyojin amazing and serves to highlight all the aspects that make the anime a source of major hype among fans. Everything about this episode is fast paced and intense focusing on both titans and humans in the military.
We see Eren once more taking on his titan form to fight the Armored Titan and prevent his own kidnapping with the help of Mikasa and Armin. Simultaneously, Hange and some troops are shown confronting the Colossal Titan. The fight with the Colossal Titan is short lived but serves as the show’s best use of animation yet. The cinematography of this quick assault is intense following the troops as they fly around using the Colossal Titan’s body as an anchor for their gear. The camera angle flips and moves around following the tips of the maneuver gear, Hange and the troops, and the Colossal Titan. The focus of the shot switches quickly and fluidly between the three creating an encounter of speed and aggression that truly highlights the actual feeling of battle between the humans and titans. Shifting to Eren and the Armored Titan, we are shown the difficulties of fighting an aberrant and the limitations of the human assault gear. The dominance of the titans is once again established when we see Mikasa, a prodigy in skill and titan slaying ability, unable to cause any damage to the Armored Titan who in turn is seen consistently beating Eren with brute force. As Eren experiences repeated defeat, we once again see him grow as he utilizes a different approach of fighting the Armored Titan that allows him to shatter the hard plating covering the latter’s body. It is in this encounter that we see a fight that highlights not speed or intensity but intellect and adaptation. We see Eren adjust multiple times in this fight in an attempt to gain the upper hand against an enemy that is clearly superior in strength. The entire episode is a culmination of the greatest aspects of Shingeki no Kyojin.
It is clear that the series has much more to offer in terms of storyline and overall quality. The second season easily takes all the greatness of the first season and not only maintains it but attempts to increase its quality. While it is apparent that the series will not be ending with the second season, it is safe to say that with the quality of this season, fans will undoubtedly stick with the series and continue watching it beyond this already amazing season.