It has been exactly 1,284 days since Season 1 of Attack on Titan ended. A lot has happened since then: two live-action movies were made and a comedy spin-off aired during the Fall 2015 season.

But none of that matters, because Attack on Titan is back! Was the premiere worth the wait? Yes, yes it was.

 

Faster Pacing

Attack on Titan

The most common complaint against Attack on Titan is the pacing. Most of Season 1 was characters talking about their impending doom with quick bursts of action. If the Season 2’s premiere is anything to go by, then Wit Studio took that criticism seriously.

We began with a very quick, two-minute recap highlighting the events of Season 1 then cutting to Hange Zoë and the rest of scouts realizing that there are titans in the walls. From there, the episode cuts to the Survey Corps. recruits (Sasha and co.) chilling in the wilderness, Eren recovering from his injuries, and Levi’s sexy ascot.

Attack on Titan

An interesting story choice is that Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and Levi only have a few minutes of screentime. Instead, Hange and Mike are the stars of the episode. Focusing on veterans and their reactions to the new threats (human and titan) was a good choice and set up the larger narrative.

However, the episode doesn’t linger on the smaller dialogue moments and instead brings us to an intense scene of the titans breaking through Wall Rose. The episode culminates in one of the most gruesome and terrifying scenes in the series. Seriously, you might squirm.

I wouldn’t call the premiere action-packed, but it was intense and moved at the right speed.

 

New Threats

Attack on Titan

The premiere sets up two new threats our heroes will face during the 12 episode season: humans and The Beast Titan (aka Monkey Business).

Without getting into manga spoilers, we’re going to see how humanity is a big threat to its own survival, which is briefly touched on by Minister Nick.

However, most fans will want to see titan action, and they won’t be disappointed. Wit Studio condenses some manga material to introduce The Beast Titan this episode, which was a good call. Without spoiling anything, The Beast Titan is unlike anything fans have seen so far.

 

Improved Animation

Attack on Titan

First episodes tend to look great, but it’s amazing how much Wit Studio has improved since 2013.

The action sequences move fluidly and the camera isn’t as shaky as Season 1. It’s not the character movement that has improved, but the overall art style is a step up. Characters actually look proportional, shading has more pop, and the background art is interesting to look at.

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan
Season 1 is on the left

We’ll have to wait and see if the Wit Studio can maintain the current quality, but it certainly looks really great.

 

Must Watch For Fans

Attack on Titan

Overall, Season 2’s premiere was worth the wait for previous fans. If you didn’t like Season 1, maybe the faster pacing and improved visuals will convert you. But don’t think the series suddenly became philosophical or a character study. It’s still focused on thrills, dread, and graphic deaths.

Plus, this sexy beast is in the episode:

Attack on Titan
Shingeki and Chill
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Ader Titsoff
I grew up traveling around the world with my parents who practice and teach medicine. We spent 6 years in South Asia, including Japan, and my anime obsession began there. Sports, horror, and Seinen are my favorite genres. Favorite quote: "Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." by William James
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