Holy crap. Attack on Titan ended its second season this Saturday. A whole four-year span happened between these two seasons. A lot of things have changed for me and the anime world since it ended. Watching this show was like a time machine for me and reminded me of a lot of things. Time that has flown by, family members that are now long gone, how I feel and watch anime has changed, and the anime industry has changed quite a lot as well. I do admit that this post wasn’t what I planned to write about Attack on Titan. I had a very clear outline that I made at work that I intended to write tonight, but everything I wrote felt wrong in some way. Sometimes, ditching plans to do something else just feels right. I’m flying off the rails here, so anything can happen.
I remember where I was four years ago. Right now, I can’t believe that I’ve been in school for that long. Graduate School is hard. When I watched Attack on Titan, I actually watched it while it was airing. Not legally though, but that’s before I knew it was a thing. I would just watch anime where I found a link on google and didn’t have any specific sites that I always went to. Everything seemed almost the same to me. Crunchyroll’s legal service wasn’t as huge of a thing back then and I honestly didn’t know about it back then. I wasn’t making that much money either, though I don’t think that’s an excuse. At that point of time, I was still stuck in my ways of only watching mech series, other science fiction series, some series that are supposed to be intellectual, and action series in general. A lot has happened since then.
The Anime industry has changed a lot since Attack on titan first aired as well. When the first season aired in 2013, the anime industry was in a better place. Two cour series were far more common. Attack on Titan was another one of them. While there was a lot of single cour anime back then as well, Attack on Titan aired alongside Shinsekai Yori, My Scientific Railgun season 2, and had a lot more long running series airing at the same time (Space Brothers, Hunter x Hunter, etc) Why? I am no expert on the matter, but from my opinion, it seemed like creators were more willing to experiment four years again then they were now, studios had more faith in their products, and the industry was just starting to see the cracks from all the over production that we are seeing now. Now days, Studios first put a twelve episode series to see if it captures an audience before producing more. Plus, long running series aren’t nearly as popular or worthwhile anymore unless they have a big name attached to them (Dragon Ball Super). At most, studios will make 24 episodes of a series like Bones is doing with My Hero Academia, before making more a year later. This has its advantages as well, but it’s still a little bit of a negative sign. Also, the number of recap episodes has increased as well lately, because almost every series has one. Definitely not the same place that it used to be, though the anime industry has never been rock solid. There are always ups and downs.
A lot has changed for me as well. To talk about positive spins first, I started a blog and my taste in anime has grown a lot since Attack on Titan first aired. What I look for in anime has changed a lot. While I still like intriguing political world and some cool action stuff still, all I need are great characters and intriguing concept to keep me invested. That’s it really. I also noticed that I have become a lot more emotionally invested into anime in general as well. Right now, I am a lot more sappy then I used to be. I feel like I know why that happened. Moving on to the bad side, I have lost a lot of family members since 2013. Some a lot closer than others, which has affected me on a very emotional level. I was unable to focus on classes for a long time and had to retake courses a few times during my graduate studies. Eventually it got to the point where I took a year off before jumping back in and going back to school. Anime was one of the many things that helped me out of the mental slump that I was in. This one of the many reasons why I can’t take the “it’s just anime, don’t take it seriously” argument. Sometimes it can mean the whole world to people.
Attack on Titan has matured a little as well since its conception. On some levels, season two has improved a lot from season one. It’s not just random people dying. We get to know more of these characters before they die, which makes each death feel horrifying. Also, the show focused more on the side characters this season, which are much more interesting than the main trio. They are all much more interesting and layered then them. I mean come on, Eren only has two modes, anger and sadness. That’s it, he has no nuance. Mikasa isn’t that much better either. Armin is the most interesting character in that trio, but he barely gets any focus. These are issues that also stayed with the show as well. Just like season one, the first half of Attack on Titan’s second season had its engine running on all cylinders and the second half felt like it ran out of gas until the end where it mustered all its remaining gas together to make a decent finale. The action was good most of the way through, but what truly got to me this season was the characters and the political intrigue that is becoming more prevalent as the show goes on. Can’t wait to see what season three brings to the table.
What about you guys? How have any of you changed during that four year gap between season one and season two?
I bet many people were expecting a review of the second season of this show, but those are a dime a dozen. Believe me, I seen a lot of posts that talk about the episode in the show in general around the anime blogosphere and all of those people can write a review better than what I can do. Lately, I’ve noticed that while I can write them, they are my strength. I’m going to see what I can do to change my reviews in the future to make them more snappy and interesting. That will take some experimenting. Should be fun, I think.