Attack On Titan – Season 2 (2018) (Blu-ray anime series review).

‘Attack On Titan’ is the anime based series on the phenomenally successful debut manga by artist Hajime Isayama, has now had its second season arrive on Blu-ray. While season one was a sprawling twenty-six episodes, the second season gives the series a little more focus with only eleven episodes.

For the uninitiated, ‘Attack On Titan’ is the story of a group of humans who live in walled cities, under the constant threat of attack from man-eating giants called Titans. As premises go, it’s pretty high-concept, but its story of survival against the odds and visceral aesthetic has made it a hit.

Season Two picks up where the first left off, with the discovery of a Titan inside one of the city walls and what that implies for Survey Corps officer Zoe Hange and her fellow squad members. The action then moves on to the attack of Castle Utgard with the team beginning to suspect that not everyone is who they claim to be.

To say anymore about the plot would ruin the surprises, ‘Attack On Titan’s pleasures lay in its action-packed and bloody visuals. Directed by Tetsurō Araki, an anime director who had worked on notable series such as ‘Death Note’, ‘Black Lagoon’ and as even drafted in to storyboard sequences during some of ‘Sword Art Online’s climactic episodes from season one. Araki undoubtedly has a fantastic eye for not only action but subtlety, too, and ‘Attack On Titan’ features some of his best work to date.

Take, for example, the interrogation of Pastor Nick in episode 26. Araki ramps up the tension superbly, never letting on to whether Hange will drop the priest, who knows more than he lets on, off the walls or not. It adds to the moment of genuine tension when you know the Titans are about to attack.

This was my first exposure to ‘Attack On Titan’, as I’d not had the opportunity to watch season one yet. However, a quick look on-line and I soon had the feel for the key characters, though, recognising all the members of the squad took some doing to get right. However, after a couple of episodes, I had picked it up and very much enjoyed it, even the gore was sometimes too much for my tastes.

The series looked superb on hi-definition Blu ray disc and it came with plenty of extras, including episode commentaries, cast interviews from Anime Expo 2017 and an interview with Hijame Isayama on how season two came about. The most disappointing thing is perhaps the lack of episodes, but with demand for ‘Attack On Titan’ so high and the creators not wishing to cause a drop in quality, it is understandable that the episode count has dropped for season two.

Overall, I enjoyed my first look at ‘Attack On Titan’ and am sure to revisit it in future.

John Rivers

February 2018

(region B blu-ray: pub: Sony Pictures. 2 blu-ray disks, 300 minutes 11 * 27.5 minute episodes. Price: £29.99 (UK). ASIN: B078RF9NZ2)

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