It’s getting to that time in the season when we are expecting all of the shows to start ramping up as they hurtle towards their finales.
This expectation presses on no show more so than it does on the second season of Attack on Titan. Four years in the making, the final three to four episodes really needed to do something. With last week’s episode nine firmly dropping the baton (one of my friends aptly described ‘Opening’ as ‘meanwhile in a tree’), episode ten had a lot to deliver – the question is, did it succeed?
Well, not really. Episode ten is all about Ymir and it all but confirmed some pretty huge theories for anime only viewers as Ymir’s flashback, continuation of treetop chats and a return to Connie’s village suggested that humans somewhere were being turned into mindless titans of which Ymir was one, until she ate one of Bertolt and Reiner’s comrades and regained her humanity. Having read the manga I won’t go into the implications of this just in case I say something I shouldn’t, but suffice to say it was a fairly hefty piece of information.
However, this massive piece of information somehow lacked the oomph it deserved. Oh my god, people turn into titans!? Is this for real? Is that what you were expecting? Well no, because no one, apart from a semi-conscious Eren, was able to take in this information as the information was distributed, once again, through a one on one conversation via a flashback. Sure, this wasn’t as bad as the colossal and armoured titan reveal, but it still felt understated.
Understated isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but this is Attack on Titan! Yes, Isayama wrote in lots of flashbacks in the manga, but that doesn’t mean you have to make them so… meh.
Unlike last week however, there was a bit of action as the scouts caught up with the titan shifters and gave chase. Ymir, in her attempts to find Christa, betrays the Scouts and Eren, capturing her friend and bringing her to Reiner, who transforms into the Armoured Titan and begins his get away.
This whole scene relies on you knowing what is going to happen at the end as if, for some reason, you don’t cotton on to Ymir’s allegiances (which after the previous dialogue aren’t as straightforward as last week might have suggested) all of the build up honestly becomes a waste.
I feel like when I come around to rewatching this season over the course of two or three days, it will flow quite nicely, but I can’t help but question the pacing. So little has happened in these ten episodes, with so little happening in each individual episode.
All of that said though, I actually really enjoyed watching this episode – as I go through now doing the screenshots I can’t help but think, ‘this was actually pretty damn cool’. What I will say is that for all of the build in this season, which has been frustrating, I can only hope that it sets up a hell of a finale in the next two episodes, not to mention a highly anticipated season three (!). Maybe next week I’ll drop the critical approach and adopt my fanboy hat – either way, I hope you’ll come back and find out!
What did you make of episode ten of this second season of Shingeki no Kyojin? Are you as disappointed as me, or have I once again got on the wrong side of this? Maybe you’re like me and enjoying the show, but wishing for just a little more each week. Whatever you’re thinking, let me know and we’ll have a chat!