Attack On Titan Vol.2 by Hajime Isayama
Series: Attack on Titan #2
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Shounen, Fantasy, Dystopia
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: September 11th 2012
Synopsis: BIRTH OF A MONSTER
The Colossal Titan has breached humanity’s first line of defense, Wall Maria. Mikasa, the 104th Training Corps’ ace and Eren’s best friend, may be the only one capable of defeating them, but beneath her calm exterior lurks a dark past. When all looks lost, a new Titan appears and begins to slaughter its fellow Titans. Could this new monster be a blessing in disguise, or is the truth something much more sinister?
Reading this volume has pretty much sealed my extreme love for Attack on Titan. I’ve always heard that a manga can only get better after its first volume, and while I don’t think this is true for all manga series, it is definitely true for Attack on Titan. My love for the characters (especially the totally kick butt Mikasa Ackerman), story, concept, and art, which is improving, has only increased with reading this.
This volume mainly focuses on the character Mikasa–and wow, she is quite the character to read about. She knows how to handle the things happening around her, kicks major Titan butt, and is very much admirable. But what really impressed me was how strong she was throughout the entirety of this volume.
I mean, Eren is practically everything to Mikasa. He is what she wants to protect in the world that she believes to be cruel. I was actually pretty terrified of learning how she was going to react to the news of Eren’s dying in battle. And when I finally got to the panels that showed her reaction, I was astonished. Mikasa kept fighting and moving forward. She was still a mess, of course, who wouldn’t be after hearing about the death of a person who was a brother to them? But she tried to keep going, even when she started questioning why she was. It was a truly great thing to read.
Another highlight in this volume is the revealing of Mikasa’s past. Seeing the event that changed her from a happy little girl to the stoic teenager she is at the present was absolutely painful and shocking and very sad. Though it was also a little sweet since it showed how Mikasa and Eren met and bonded. Sure, they didn’t bond over the loveliest thing to bond over–quite the opposite of lovely: horrible blood and murder–but it was still sweet, not to mention that it added a huge amount of depth to the relationship between the two kids.
Isayama also delivers a great twist to the story that, while it wasn’t exactly unexpected, raises many new questions and possibilities for the story of Attack on Titan. And the way it was introduced is nothing short of excellent, filled with action, surprise, and some jaw-dropping Titan vs. Titan fight scenes. The only bad thing (that isn’t really bad) was that it caused the volume to end on yet another torturous cliffhanger that had me desperately scrambling toward the third volume.
There is a lot of pain, sadness, and dread throughout the volume. Even the smaller, less-important scenes contain those feelings. Which is clearly shown in a certain scene that featured a soldier committing suicide, right in front of his partners, with a chilling smile on his face. But there are also many scenes that show a light at the end of the tunnel. Scenes that are full of hope and excitement for the next good thing to happen. Even with all the talk about how the world is cruel and only the winners survive, the manga manages to show how beautiful the world can be at the same time.
My favorite aspect of the first volume in Attack on Titan was the perfect depiction of emotion, and this love continues in this second volume. Isayama has an obvious talent for translating emotion for the reader to feel with his art, the characters’ dialogue, and their actions. I really can’t stress enough about my lobe for this part of the manga.
The supporting characters are starting to feel more important in this volume, which is what I really wanted to happen. They are starting to become more than random characters to throw into the mouths of the Titans and actually leave themselves, not their deaths, in my memory now. The fact that they are developing only made my wanting to get to the third volume even greater.
Attack on Titan‘s second volume is a fantastic follow-up to the first volume. It gave me what I got out of the first volume and added more to it. My experience with the Attack on Titan series has been great and I have no regrets about picking it up.