Attack On Titan S2 – Scream (Finale Episode Review)

Well, the obvious thing to say is thank god that Wit have immediately gone ahead and announced a season 3 for Attack On Titan without any waiting or messing us around, no special events a month later, just a announcement that will surely keep the hype train going into next year. Because of this, I can say now that this is the season when Attack On Titan truly became the Game Of Thrones of the anime world that so many people often say it is.

Now, that doesn’t mean it matches Game Of Thrones in gore or complexity of story, a show would have to go very far to match that, but there are now sides with considerable groups of main characters on either one, there are mysteries, and one big mystery is deep into enemy territory. And the characters are much better developed compared to the end of Season 1. What did we know about Reiner, Bert, Ymir or Krista by the end of Season 1? Not all that much, as far as I can remember, but they’ve turned into some of the key cast by the end of just 12 more episodes.

Additionally, this episode was so set up for the continuation of a story that I wondered whether it was a cynical attempt to get people to read the manga. In comparison to Konosuba’s finale, which gave a sense of closure to offset the unlikeliness of a season 3, Scream gave no such sense of closure and just opened up the story for more continuation in almost the same way that western shows like Game Of Thrones do. Had it not been accompanied by the announcement of a real confirmed continuation, this would have felt hollow and disappointing, but the opposite is now true with season 3 coming next time, I am so ready for more, to dive right back into the world of the Titans now the picture is starting to get clearer.

For it is, this episode confirmed what had been mostly known already, but hearing a character say out loud that Titans, all Titans are humans, and Erwin and Levi ponder on the fact that they have been killing humans brought home the reality of the situation, no longer are Titans mindless monster,s they’re another tribe of humans, of warriors and this adds a fabulous sense of menace to the fights, as well as direction to the plot.

We see a glimpse of the Beast Titan’s pilot, and I’m not sure we’ve seen the last of Smiling Titan, who must have a character hiding inside of it that would be significant, at least, I have to start suspecting all the titans, and if it did go down when the Titans turned on it through Eren’s Coordinate ability then that would leave something unfinished. And Eren’s Coordinate ability is one of two great things to happen to the character this episode, giving him a focus and an ability that you can truly see how he is in all actuality the saviour of humanity and not just a useless drag.

The other great thing was his moment with Mikasa. While contrasted against a busy background, the two central characters of this story had a great heart to heart, Mikasa seemed sweet and compassionate, a rare sight, and I felt really good for them. I felt even better when the scene leapt up with the music and the first use of Eren’s coordinate ability was unleashed.

All of the other characters largely did sensible stuff, Ymir leaving the group to help Reiner and Bertholdt seemed foreshadowed, so did Hannes’ death, and the cost to humanity for this one rescuing of Eren was well borne out, at least all those nameless Scouts died for something just a little bit more than nothing. The main team is back together and that’s all we care about, right?

It wasn’t quite the showstopping finale I might have wanted, hence it’s not the best episode of this season, I would say on reflection that that’s between Soldier of the Ymir reveal and Warrior of the Bert & Reiner reveal. But because of the fights being far shorter than in the previous episode and the subdued tone of them, especially the Eren & Mikasa sequence, it reflects the tone of this season, a quieter season that we now know will be in-between what I assume is two seasons of huge battling, danger and revelations. It was a return that got us in gear to be hyped for the conclusion. The four-year break did damage to the brand, this is the sort of return that updated the show, addressed some of the criticisms you could have levelled at season 1, and most importantly, had high levels of quality to ensure that the often fleeting hype of a long wait was not immediately lost.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching this season, every episode felt too short and I didn’t notice nearly as many plot holes, both signs I was enjoying it, and again, I mainly put that down to the expansion of the focus on to other members of the cast. Currently, it’s probably my airing anime of the year.

And now I’m going to have to pick an anime to cover for the summer. Well, I don’t have to, but I want to try and always have one currently airing anime so I commit to a weekly post on it. My current thinking for airing series goes as planned: I’m getting increasingly tempted by Boku No Hero Academia and my guess is that I’d race through it quickly based on the type of show I know it to be, but for reviewing episode-by-episode it’s already halfway through season 2. New Game S2 would be a sequel to an anime I watched but while I enjoyed New Game it wasn’t enough that I’m hotly anticipating more of it. My fill of cute girls is currently fairly sated. My most likely pick at this point looks like Fate/apocrypha as I am quite the big Fate fan and whatever parallel world this one’s set in I’ll probably get into it (if A-1 have done their job right). Better watch that Grand Order thing I’ve been putting off though.


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