Let’s be honest: Attack on Titan‘s first season is far from perfect. Though it is responsible for spawning two live-action films and a spin-off series, the first 24 episodes of Eren’s journey are plagued with pacing issues and annoying shonen tropes. Fortunately, the show remedies a lot of these flaws with its second and third seasons.
The following are a few reasons why anime fans who dismissed the series in 2013 should give it another go today. They may find that it transforms into an entirely different beast by the time Eren’s basement is revealed.
Attack on Titan‘s character development is great
Though Attack on Titan‘s first season introduces fans to an overwhelming number of side characters, each is given more chance to shine during the show’s second and third seasons. One episode sees Sasha rescue a little girl from a modest-sized Titan just as it finishes devouring her mother. Another sees Connie return to his hometown to investigate the whereabouts of his family. Krista’s relationship with Ymir and Reiner’s bond with Bertholdt are fleshed out further, and the Scouts’ allegiance to Commander Erwin and Captain Levi is tested.
Eren, Mikasa, and Armin grow in meaningful ways too, especially as they summon the courage to return to Wall Maria. Watching the cruelty of the world gradually erode some of these young minds is fascinating to behold as true identities are revealed and friendships are forever broken. Eren himself struggles to come to terms with the Titan curse bestowed on him after he discovers how he was gifted the power in the first place.
The Attack on Titan plot twists are incredible
Some of season two and three’s best plot twists arrive out of nowhere. Wit Studio translates the manga’s subtle and grandiose moments well, making anime-only audiences question what they heard or saw onscreen. People who haven’t read the manga should do their best to avoid YouTube and online forums until they’ve caught up with the show. Attack of Titan‘s plot twists are best enjoyed by fans with patience.
The Attack on Titan fight scenes are thrilling
It should come as no surprise that Eren encounters the Armored and Colossal Titans again in the second and third seasons. After discovering the monsters’ identities, the protagonist is forced to put aside his emotion in order to intelligently apply the skills he learned from training in battle. Though the Female Titan is taken down mostly through brute force, fans will find that Eren is much more careful when up against these other shape-shifting foes. His actions are far more reactionary, and it’s fun to witness his plans succeed and fail according to what he anticipates from his opponents next.
These seasons clearly indicate that Titan skirmishes and military operations involve more wit than brawn. This is especially true during the battle to retake Wall Maria, as the Scouts know that the odds are staked against them from the onset. The strategy on display keeps Attack on Titan from devolving into a show of constant yelling and shallow all-out brawls. The second and third seasons morph the series into a shonen with both brains and heart.
The Attack on Titan villains are intriguing
Season two immediately introduces fans to Kenny the Ripper, a man hired by the crown to preserve the kingdom’s secrets and execute its opponents. He and Levi share a history with one another, as the former taught the latter how to survive in the brutal Underground after his mother died during childbirth. A new sentient behemoth called the Beast Titan is introduced too, the likes of which is extremely deft at throwing objects and likes to torture his victims before their slaughter.
Both present unique obstacles for the Scouts as they attempt to restore order in their homeland and prevent a civil war from happening. This political strife proves to be a welcome change of pace after the first season’s overreliance on action to move the plot along.
The Attack on Titan lore is deep
On the surface, Attack on Titan is a show about humanity’s fight to win back the world from giant voracious beings. There’s a lot more going on beyond this, however, as details regarding the history of these creatures are sprinkled throughout the second and third seasons. Grisha Yeager plays a big role in fleshing out the universe and is seen both as a hero and a villain by the people who speak of him. It’s riveting to see Eren react to the deeds his father supposedly committed, considering how the young man’s relationship with the doctor was complicated at best.
Thanks in part to Grisha, a bigger picture manifests toward the end of the anime and the Scouts’ perception of Titans completely changes. Fans of Attack on Titan‘s unforgiving world or fictional lore in general may fall in love with the show’s newer episodes. There’s just so much to digest.
The third season’s shocking revelations indicate that creator Hajime Isayama has no intentions of wrapping up the series anytime soon. Though a fourth season has yet to be announced by Wit Studio, there’s a good chance it will return to the franchise that made it famous. Here’s hoping that more anime fans catch up with the show to make its continuation worthwhile and that the Scouts put their maneuver gear to good use in the future.