Now that the first three episodes of Attack on Titan Season 2 have been released (currently available to stream on Crunchyroll), I’ve noticed a few differences between the seasons.
- Better animation quality
Judging by how popular the first series was, this definitely makes sense. Attack on Titan was Wit Studio’s first project and while the budget was bigger than usual (thanks to the manga’s already established fame) the consistency of the animation wasn’t perfect. In Season 2, the level of detail, fluidity, and general quality is so much better. We can guess that due to Season 1’s success they had more money to work with but unless they release budget stats, we can’t know for certain. But what we do know is that AoT is as universally loved as ever, with the first Season 2 PV having over five million views on YouTube*. And with so many viewers worldwide (in anime terms, anyway), there’ll be a hell of a lot more pressure to fulfil expectations. Season 1 was still good, but so far, Season 2’s been great.
- Everything’s darker
Now, Attack on Titan was always a bit dark for a mainstream anime. The whole concept of giant people mindlessly devouring humans isn’t really prime territory for a happy ending. But now the world behind the walls has been established, the plot can go into more detail, revealing things that make the series more tragic and terrifying than before. Having read the manga, those things don’t surprise me but there’s something about seeing them animated that makes it so much more ‘real’. From the Beast Titan’s voice sounding scarier than I’d anticipated, to the truth about Connie’s village – it’s definitely not sunshine and rainbows. But this is Season 2, so it was never going to get any lighter.
And I don’t think it helps that most of episode 28 is set at night.
- Less focus on Eren
Despite him being the main character, the first three episodes have barely given him any screen time compared to Season 1. I personally love this, because if you’re going to have a large cast, why waste the characters you have? Connie and Sasha have had some (long awaited) character development and Krista and Ymir are slowly edging their way into the forefront. Eren still gets to pop up for a few minutes every episode, but even Armin is showing more initiative right now. I like the Shiganshina Trio as a unit but I’d be lying if I said that Armin’s not the least popular of the three, so it’s great to see him prove himself as a worthy member of the Survey Corps.
If the rest of the season keeps up what we’ve seen from the first few episodes, Attack on Titan Season 2 could end up stronger than ever. Here’s hoping it does.
(*True as of time of writing, 21st April 2017)
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