Attack On Titan Part 2 Blu-ray Review

Attack On Titan Part 2 Blu-ray Review

Attack On Titan has quickly become a phenomenon, spreading like wildfire throughout Japan and now making its way to the the west in both manga and anime form. Few anime newcomers conjure up the massive amount of hype that this one has, and Attack On Titan has managed to live up to it.The first part of this series was incredibly well done, and Part 2 manages to set the bar even higher with ramped-up action, a gripping story, and more shocking twists.

Attack On Titan follows three kids who live a sheltered life, hiding behind massive walls that protect the last remnants of humanity from Titans – gigantic humanoid, seemingly unintelligent beings who devoured most of the planet’s population for fun. The Titans first attacked 107 years ago, and the fortress consisting of the concentric walls Maria, Rose, and Sina have provided ample shelter ever since. Suddenly, an enormous 200-foot tall Titan appears and breaches Wall Maria, allowing an influx of smaller Titans to lay waste to the district of Shiganshina and force mankind to evacuate behind Wall Rose. When main protagonist Eren Yeager witnesses his own mother being ripped apart and eaten by a Titan, he vows to destroy every last one of them, or die trying. Eren enlists in the military alongside his adopted sister Mikasa Ackermann, and his longtime friend Armin Arlert.

While the humans know next to nothing about the origin or physiology of the Titans, it’s learned that they have extreme regenerative abilities and can only be killed by slicing a spot at the nape of their neck. The military develops Omni-Directional Mobility Gear, which allows its user to navigate in a three-dimensional space quickly, which is of utmost importance when dealing with the frighteningly destructive Titans. Flesh Paring Blades are used alongside this device to deliver lethal blows to the Titans, but even with both of these armaments humanity hasn’t made much progress at all in the war against the Titans. That is, until Eren and his friends come along…

 The first part of Attack On Titan had some real surprises up its sleeve, and a lot of what happens in Part 2 revolves around one particularly shocking twist involving protagonist Eren Yeager that I won’t spoil here. After it’s revealed that Eren possesses a unique ability, the townspeople and army become extremely fearful of him. While Eren’s powers could help turn the tide in the war against the Titans, some are very worried that he isn’t quite able to control his superhuman strength – which up to this point has had a side effect of blind rage, even against his own allies. Since the last remnants of humanity reside within the massive walls of Sina, Maria and Rose, this is a valid concern, and the military arrests Eren to await judgment regarding his ultimate fate. Will the powers that be have Eren executed, or can the Scouts convince the people that he’s more of an asset than a threat? They won’t have long to decide, as a new menace looms on the horizon – a new female Titan with extreme intelligence and advanced combat capabilities. The mystery surrounding this new enemy is a driving force behind Attack On Titan Part 2’s story.

FUNimation’s 1080p Blu-ray transfer for Attack On Titan Part 2 is stellar, with the superbly animated characters and painterly environments really popping off the screen with sharp clarity and a vivid color palette. The battle sequences, which feature an incredible fusion of computer graphics and 2D animation, are truly something to behold. The Titans themselves are downright creepy, with their painted-on grins and empty eyes. The Armored and Colossal Titans look menacing, while some of the lesser Titans are unintentionally humorous in the way that they’re animated – which makes it even more unsettling when they tear a man to pieces. The new female Titan gets plenty of fantastic battle sequences, and the destruction brought on by these fights is rendered in remarkable detail.

Attack On Titan Part 2 packs a decent amount of special features. There’s commentary on two episodes featuring ADR Director Mike Farland as well as some of the English voice actors. “Attack On Titan at Anime Expo” is a 16-minute look at the cast’s appearance at the convention, featuring a handful of interviews with fans of the series. There’s also the 47-minute series of shorts called “Chibi Theater: Fly, Cadets, Fly!” which sees Eren, Mikasa and Armin on various adventures in adorable chibi animation (this also appeared on the Part 1 Blu-ray). Rounding out the extras are a US trailer, an Eyecatch gallery, and textless videos for the opening and closing songs.

Attack On Titan continues to impress, as Part 2 somehow manages to one-up the pulse-pounding Part 1. The show’s intriguing premise, compelling characters, and incredible animation combine to form a thrilling experience, and the mystery surrounding the Titans had me eagerly consuming the episodes. This is an emotional, adult story, and one that is greatly acted by both the Japanese and English voice casts. FUNimation’s Blu-ray release features fantastic audiovisual quality, as well as some nice extras. Overall, highly recommended.

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