Attack on Titan Season 2 Blu-ray Review
The bigger they are, the harder it is to fell them
Season 2 Review
Season 2 of the popular anime TV series, Attack on Titan, continues the exploits of Titan-fighter Eren and his ragtag group of friends as they battle for survival.Attack on Titan is quite the global phenomena, first manga, now found in anime, both as movies and TV shows, and even with a 2-part live-action film. It's rumoured that the rights have even been secured for a Hollywood remake, although how Western audience would digest this would be hard to see. The story of an alternative future, where the world has been decimated and set back hundreds of years through the appearance of skyscraper-sized "Titans" - humanoid creatures that destroyed most of the population (eating their victims) and left the survivors cowering behind walled cities until the day when a Titan managed to break the wall. After the first season's eventful run - following a group of trainee fighters who tackle these monsters, with the reveal(s) that not one but two of these trainees has been imbued with the power to (sort-of) transform into a Titan themselves, the second season picks up right where we left off, with the shock revelation of a Titan buried in one of the walls and the ominous warning not to let sunlight touch it.A massive super-zombie-like Titan attack kick-starts the action, as the short 12-episode second season continues the overarching storyline to get to the truth behind these magical powers that have been gifted to a select few, all the while tackling new and increasingly tough and fast Titans (and ones who can talk!!), as well as the maintained distrust and in-fighting within the ranks, and political conspiracies beneath. The lead character Eren remains whiny as all hell, with his love for adopted sister Misaka still painfully slow-burning, whilst the fate of the second Titan-powered human is in the balance. The second season's bigger budget, more impressive animation, and heightened scale help it go some ways towards topping the first, slightly overcrowding the proceedings with yet more new characters, even before we've fully dealt with the old ones, but keeping the action intense and the fights against the building-sized opponents as desperate as ever. It's business as usual for this alternative zombie apocalpyse, and business is booming.
Picture QualityThe second season of Attack on Titan comes to UK shores with a strong Blu-ray release sporting an impressive 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation framed in the show's original airing ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen.
If you considered that the presentation of the first season was great, then this is even better
Watched back-to-back, despite picking up right where the first season left off, the second season feels inherently better in budget, scale and artwork, favouring full animation over the alternative animated painted stills that were used too frequently to fill in the action sequences in the first season. This in-motion benefit also does not detract from the quality of the animated images, affording extremely impressive background textures, fine nuances in the form of snow and slow-setting sunlight, and strong central character designs at the heart of it. The DC Animated Universe could learn a thing or too from how impressively intricate this is. The colour scheme is broad and excellent, lapping up the vibrant lush greens of the countryside, the golden glow of lights and fires, and of the sunsets, as well as the rural environmental tones which skew autumnal for the most part. Black levels are strong during the darker sequences, with some of the snow scenes in particular looking spectacularly rich in design. If you considered that the presentation of the first season was great, then this is even better.
Sound QualityAttack on Titan Season 2 comes complete with the same format of audio tracks as the first, with an original Japanese audio track in Dolby TrueHD 2.0 form, whilst the excellent English dub gets a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track.
An excellent demo audio track
Dialogue is firmly prioritised across the frontal array, frequently defined by screams and shouts, afforded clarity and coherence throughout from a diverse vocal cast. Effects give life to the ODM equipment, revel in the near-superpowered slash of the swords, and thunder with LFE punch when the cannons fire, not to mention when the Titans thunder across your living room. There's superb directional usage, bringing the surrounds to life with power and precision. The score keeps things thoroughly engaging, providing a strong backdrop to the desperate defensive manoeuvres, defeats and attacks, and rounding out an excellent demo audio track.
ExtrasThere's a few nice extras
There are a few nice extras spread across the two discs, a couple of nice episode Commentaries on the first disc, whilst the second disc contains the bulk of the supplemental material, affording us a number of Interviews, Behind the Scenes snippets, recaps, Textless Opening Song tracks, Gallery stills and Promo Videos.
Blu-ray VerdictIt's business as usual for this alternative zombie apocalpyse, and business is booming
Attack on Titan Season 2 comes to UK Blu-ray courtesy of Funimation, who deliver the shorter 12-episode season on an impressive 2-disc set complete with excellent video and audio, with a few nice commentaries rounding out the discs. Fans of the series should consider it a must-have.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £29.99
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