Friday, April 8, 2016

Attack on Titan, vol. 2 review

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Attack on Titan, vol. 2, Hajime Isayama. Grade: B
The battle for Wall Maria continues, with many of the new recruits dying, while Mikasa does a good job of standing up for herself. We get a pair of flashbacks, one with Armin being bullied by street punks and then rescued by Eren and Mikasa. Armin is shown to be a bookworm, mild-mannered, smart, and fascinated with stories about the outside world. The second flashback is for Mikasa. When she was much younger, a pair of slave traders broke into her family's cabin, killing her father, and accidentally killing her mother instead of kidnapping her, and then abducting Mikasa. Eren's father, Grisha, had scheduled a visit to the cabin that day, and had brought his son along to introduce him to Mikasa. Grisha returned to the city to get help, while Eren tracked down the slavers and killed both of them before being captured by a third, who was then stabbed in the back by Mikasa. Grisha adopts the girl, who then becomes Eren's bodyguard.

(Giants regenerate missing body parts unless the back of their neck is sliced out.)

Mikasa does a fantastic job of killing many of the giants that have gotten into the city, but there's just too many of them and she's getting tired. She's just about to be attacked by the next one when it gets punched in the face by a 15-meter-tall "new type." The new type is similar to the armored door kicker in that it looks more human, and moves in an obviously intelligent way. The new type protects Mikasa and proceeds to kill several other giants as well.

(Eren attacks one of Mikasa's kidnappers.)

Armin and a few remaining recruits catch up with Mikasa, and she learns that Eren has been eaten. They try to retreat to a point of safety but discover a government building being besieged by giants. The problem is that the jetpacks and grappling hook launchers are running out of compressed air tanks. The group figures out a trap that turns out successfully (putting soldiers armed with rifles in an elevator as bait, and then having a few attackers using the remaining air tanks to ambush the giants from behind.

(The new type, "Toothy," goes up against some of the regular, smaller giants.)

As the battle winds down, the new type gets double-teamed, but still manages to defeat the enemy. Then it collapses and the body decays into a rotting husk, revealing Eren inside. Mikasa rushes up to grab him, and discovers that he is wicked-hot. Armin runs up afterward, and notices that his friend has regrown both his missing arm and leg.

Summary: Nothing to add about the artwork. We get more backstory on our heroes, and a couple more recruits that belong to Eren and Mikasa's unit, including the short-haired Connie Springer, the promising leader Marco Bott, the rebel Jean Kirstein and the food thief Sasha Blouse. There's information on the jetpacks and various weapons, like the wall cannons, and the structure of the military (exploration group, support and the ruler's body guards). But, there's more questions than answers, such as how the new types (Eren and the gate kicker) are created, why the giants eat people, what happened to Eren's father, and just how far Mikasa will push herself to protect Eren. Recommended if you still like carnage.

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