Life in a Cage: Attack on Titan — Season 2, Pt. 1

by Mike Worby
Published: Last Updated on

Trust no one. In the 90s this was the operative catch phrase for the crossover, sci-fi hit, The X Files. It’s still as relevant as it once was all those years ago with the recent revelations of Attack on Titan.

Yes, the Colossal Titan and the Armored Titan have been unmasked, and shit is getting very fucking real on Attack on Titan. Starting with the most casual revelation of a major plot point in the history of television, where Reiner and Bertholdt literally just walked up to Eren and told him they were, and have always been, the two most infamous titans in the history of the series, things have changed irrevocably for this story.

As if the season 1 revelation that Annie was a titan didn’t hit hard enough, the fact that there are now 5 main characters on this show (including Eren, and Ymir) that are secret titans, this conspiracy is becoming deeper and more complex than any of us might have imagined. While manga readers might have a leg up on a bit of what is unfolding here, for the rest of us, Attack on Titan is as shocking as it ever was, perhaps more so.

Sure, the Colossal and Armored Titans have been revealed, but who the fuck is this guy.

For starters, season 2 has spent a truly surprising amount of time away from its main character triumvirate of Eren, Mikasa and Armin. Instead much of the first seven episodes of this season has been focused on fleshing out side characters like Sasha, Krista, and Connie. Meanwhile fan favorites. like Levi, have barely even been in the background.

Still, status quo be damned, Attack on Titan remains some of the best watching you’ll find anywhere on our wee version of the silver screen.

Though the anime series has never lacked for tension, with its original arc complete, the narrative flow of Attack on Titan has grown much wider, and is beginning to cast a much larger net for the remaining human population. If this entire situation is really an arrangement between humanity and the monstrous titans, where did it all begin, and who benefits?

I cannot, for the life of me, put my finger on it, but there’s definitely something very sinister going on with what happened in Connie’s village.

Clearly we are seeing that there are many legs to this subterfuge. From the government, to the church, to the military, to the general populace, this conspiracy has members in every facet of society, but to what end? That seems to be the operative question as the series continues on, especially with the Ape Titan still looming in the background of this story.

Then there are the clues to consider from the new opening. What is the significance of the heart, for example? Or the depiction of evolution, and natural order, and finally the shot of the Ape Titan charging into battle with other animals? It’s truly bizarre and puzzling stuff.

Even in an episode which is entirely built around a character, you can’t be entirely sure whether they’re being fleshed out, or being set up to be killed off.

Finally, god damn it, can we talk about those cliffhangers? I, like many others, binge-watched the first season after the fact. This allowed me to cruise through the show in about a week, and made it so those pesky endings didn’t kill me in season one the way they are in season two. Thinking back on them, I can absolutely attest to the fact that there were some real show-stopper finales, but man is it a different story when you’re waiting around for the next batch with the rest of the suckers.

What a bloody show this is. Expect more as the season unfolds.

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