Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Attack On Titan Vol. 2 by Isayame Hijame

So if you haven't read the first volume of the manga and want to or if you haven't watched the anime want to without any idea of what is going to happen (because there are apparently some folks who will only watch an anime if they know what will happen to all of the characters) then kindly get the hell off this page. Don't mean to sound harsh, but I am going to drop some serious spoiler bombs on you. 

Continue at your own peril. 


At the end of the first volume the main character Eren Yeager was eaten by a titan. That's right. The kid who was so determined to eradicate all of the titans off of the planet got brutally and unceremoniously killed by one of those very same titans. All of that build-up to his story cast aside like so many pearls before swine. Chances are good you didn't see that one coming. I sure as hell didn't see it coming as I began making my way through the anime. So you aren't alone.

The second volume picks up with Mikasa Ackerman, Armin Arlert, and the rest of the Survey Corps. dealing with the aftermath of a mission gone wrong. With their supplies dwindling and their 3D-Maneuvering Gear running out of gas, it seems that soon all of them will be forced down onto a ground overrun with titans. 

But a strange titan makes an appearance and this one titan seems not to be interested in eating people. Instead this titan is beating the shit out of other titans. 

This is where the series becomes "great" in both the manga and the anime. Before it was good and interesting, but now it's great. The death of Eren Yeager and the appearance of a titan that kills other titan are really where this series sinks or swims. And for me this one swims. Boy, does it. 

To help keep things a bit anchored in the emotional side of the story we are shown a bit of Mikasa's backstory as well as how she met Eren. These things are important to know when it comes to understanding Mikasa's character. She is almost a textbook Tsundere although sometimes she seems a bit Yandere (I keep expecting her to turn her rage against humanity against other humans instead of just titans). These parts are just as incredible as much of the story that takes place in the "present. The terrible things that happened to her had nothing to do with the titans and more to do with the dark side of humanity. 

Back to the present. 

Titans are surrounding the supply hold. If Mikasa, Armin, and the others want to survive they have to make it there and defeat the titans there just to get re-supplied. With all of their hopes seemingly dashed, Armin comes up with an absolutely ballsy as shit idea that involves leading a certain titan-killing titan to the supply-hold with the hopes that it will distract all of the titans while the Survey Corps. can re-supply and make good their escape. 

Phew. This volume (like the previous one) is a white-knuckle thrill ride. 

And, true to form, this one ends on a cliffhanger that could very well trump the previous cliffhanger. If Eren's death was shocking (and it was) then discovering that... Well, nevermind. Read the manga. Watch the anime. 

Time for me to read volume three. That's where we meet Captain Levi for the first time, by the way. 

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