Anime Releases: Attack on Titan: S02 E34 - Reviewed

At first, this episode feels like filler. It's practically tipping over with exposition as Eren, Ymir, Reiner, and Bertholdt literally talk out this episode's narrative. This isn't unusual for long anime series, and is often eye-rolling in its boredom, but for whatever reason it worked pretty damn well here.

The conversation is loaded with unique perspectives and hints at future reveals. I'm going to take the opportunity to drop some theories I've had since the first season. I feel it's possible that since the Titan's only known purpose is to flat out murder en masse, they act more like a virus, perhaps even a man-made virus. Maybe Titans are a natural defense mechanism of the planet? Perhaps Attack on Titan takes place in an alternate far future where Titans have already once made humanity nearly extinct, reducing our worldwide culture to sticks, bricks, and horses? Maybe the "abnormal" Titans are like "tools" that can be switched on when needed by either a mastermind of sorts or an instinctual reaction based on the needs of the Titan hive?

Someone finally pops the question of what in the hell is the harry Beast Titan? Needless to say, simply asking the question and prancing around a bunch of dirty little secrets is all our curiosity is rewarded with. Just as needless to say, the Beast Titan is exceptionally intelligent. He seems like a "high-ranking" Titan. Maybe a General in Titan terms? I have to admit, I've been fishing around in my mind trying to find more links that the Beast Titan is actually Eren's father, but I also have to admit that any "evidence" I'm finding seems like stretching that theory.

Even without the massive action pieces the series shines with, AoT Season 2 has managed so far to make even the quieter moments just as intense and loaded with intrigue. This is a wonderful, gritty episode that starts to really dig its heels in finding some answers. Of course, those answers are equally as mysterious, but damn is it fun to speculate.

- H
- J.G. Barnes