Attack on Titan: Season 2 (Shingeki no Kyojin) (Blu-ray) (2017)

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Released 11-Apr-2018

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Audio Commentary-x 2
Interviews-Cast-Trina Nishimura (4:14)
Interviews-Cast & Crew-Tetsuya Kinoshita & Yui Ishikawa (17:03)
Interviews-Crew-original creator Hajime Isayama (9:45)
Featurette-Inside the Episode (41:39)
More…-Eyecatch Gallery
Alternative Version-Marathon Play without opening and closing credits
Trailer-Promo Videos
More…-Textless Opening and Closing Songs
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2017
Running Time 290:15
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Tetsuro Araki
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Yuki Kaji
Bryce Papenbrook
Yui Ishikawa
Trina Nishimura
Marina Inoue
Josh Grelle
Kiso Taniyama
Mike McFarland
Hiro Shimono
Clifford Chapin
Yu Kobayashi
Ashly Burch
Case ?
RPI ? Music Hiroyuki Sawano


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

"This world becomes more of a confusing mess with each passing day”: Section Leader Hange

     Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) is based on the continuing and popular manga by Hajime Isayama which has generated a large and enthusiastic following and a range of spinoffs; the twenty five episodes of the first season anime, two live action films, a couple of compilation films and this Season 2 of twelve episodes, while Season 3 is being produced.

     Over a century ago a race of powerful giants, which people called Titans, appeared on Earth. The Titans ate humans and were almost invincible; humans were on the verge of extinction until the survivors retreated behind three rings of 50 metre high walls, caging themselves in but keeping the Titans outside. But after 100 years of relative security, a massive Titan suddenly appeared, broke through the outer wall and let in the Titans. Fifteen year old Eren (voiced by Yuuki Kaji / Bryce Papenbrook) watched his mother being eaten before escaping within the inner wall of the city. Eren made a vow to kill all the Titans and joined the cadet corps to learn how to fight. But during one attack by the Titans Eren himself transformed into a Titan and helped his friends defeat the attackers before reverting to his human form. This presented a chance for humanity to defeat the Titans but, as the end of the first season revealed, Eren was not the only human who could transform into a Titan although, in this case, the Titan was not a friend to humans.

     As Season 2 starts, Titans have appeared inside Wall Rose but when the Scouts investigate they cannot find any hole in the wall; yet more Titans keep appearing. There is also a new threat; an abnormal, huge Beast Titan with fur on his body and the ability to speak who seems to be able to coordinate the actions of other Titans. As the season continues we find out about the backgrounds of Sasha (Yu Kobayashi / Ashly Burch) and Connie (Hiro Shimono / Clifford Chapin) when they try to warm their home villages of the Titans, while important information about Christa’s (Shiori Makami / Bryn Apprill) real identity is disclosed as well as the backgrounds of Ymir (Saki Fujita / Elizabeth Maxwell), Reiner (Yoshimasa Hosoya / Robert McCollum) and Bertholdt (Tomohisa Hashizume / David Matranga). Eren’s childhood friends Mikasa (Yui Ishikawa / Trina Nishimura) and Armin (Marina Inoue/ Josh Grelle) and the Scouts face new challenges, there is the revelation that there are Titans within the Walls and that a mysterious priesthood “The Order of the Walls” have knowledge about the Titans they will not reveal, only saying that one girl in the 104th Cadet Corps may hold the key. Season 2 also contains a number of surprises as other members of the 104th Cadet Corps are revealed to be Titans, some of whom protect humans while others seek to annihilate them. And it also reveals what the Titans are, although the reveal opens up as many questions as it answers.

     Attack on Titan: Season 2 continues its unusual animation style. Some scenes, especially those in the woods and countryside, are quite beautiful with vibrant greens and blues. However, inside the city and on the Walls there is a medieval feel with a brown, dull and muted look. The lines are clean and strong but the series also uses a lot of statically drawn, almost tableaux like scenes, where nothing moves and the characters are like cardboard cut-outs, posed in front of scenery, the frame shaking to suggest movement.

     The twelve episodes of Attack on Titan: Season 2 are compact storytelling, concentrating on the Scout’s with almost none of the political manoeuvring within the city walls. There are tense and exciting battles as the Scouts zoom in their omni-directional equipment to attack the Titans, a siege, chases and loud, chaotic Titan on Titan conflict. But the series, as usual, is far more than action, this season delving into the inner confusion and conflicted loyalty of the Humans who can become Titans. We still don’t know how or why some Humans are Titans, although the series does hint that the Titans can be controlled. The series also introduces new characters such as the Beast Titan who then disappears for most of the series but is in the last shot of the series with a human, who is not revealed. The question that the series has asked from the start also remains: who or what is the real enemy?

     Attack on Titan: Season 2 aired on Japanese TV from April to June 2017. This two Blu-ray set includes all twelve episodes of Season 2. Season 3 is not that far away, which is just as well.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Attack on Titan: Season 2 is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original broadcast ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The images are cleanly drawn and strong except for the swirling Titan on Titan battles that are deliberately messy. Some scenes, especially those in the woods and countryside, are colourful with bright greens and blues but mostly the colour palate is muted and the cities have a medieval feel. Blacks are rock solid, shadow detail fine.

     I noticed no artefacts or marks.

     It is anime so lip synchronisation is approximate in either audio track.

     The English subtitles are in American English in a clear white font. The subtitles are burnt in when the Japanese dub is selected so cannot be removed for Japanese speakers. I did not notice any spelling or grammatical errors.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     This is another Funimation release where audio is a choice of the original Japanese in Dolby TrueHD 2.0 or the English dub in TrueHD 5.1. I listened to a few episodes in the English dub (it cannot be changed on the fly with the remote – you must go to the set up menu) and while the English 5.1 had good separation and use of directional effects, especially in the action sequences, I still prefer the intensity of the Japanese voice acting.

     The Japanese is surround encoded and the rears featured music and effects such as the wind and rain, coming alive during the action sequences with voices, horses’ hooves, the crash of Titans hitting the ground, falling walls and the swish of the omni-directional gear. The Titan v Titan battles were just a blur of sound, impacts and crashing bodies. The sub-woofer did add boom to music, impacts, and the thump of the Titans’ feet.

     The score by Hiroyuki Sawano is diverse and effective, including religious sounding choral sections, epic orchestra music and quieter, reflective pieces.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     Two audio commentaries and a start-up trailer are on disc 1. All the other extras are on disc 2.

Disc 1

Marathon Play

     The episodes can be played together without the opening and closing credits.

Start-Up Trailer

     On start-up of disc 1 a trailer for My Hero Academia (1:02) plays. It cannot be selected from the menu. Disc 2 starts with the menu.

Commentary – Episode 30

     US ADR director and voice of Jean Mike McFarland is joined by Bryn Apprill, Elizabeth Maxwell and Josh Grelle (the voices of Christa, Ymir and Armin). They do laugh a lot and make funny voices but do manage, for a short period, to talk about their prior knowledge of the history of Christa and Ymir and voicing their characters.

Commentary – Episode 31

     This episode features a major reveal. US ADR director and voice of Jean Mike McFarland is joined by David Matranga, Robert McCollun and Josh Grelle (the voices of Bertholdt, Reiner and Armin). There is far less laughing by the group and they do talk about spoilers and how knowing things effect their performance, secrets and the trauma of split personalities. A better than usual Funimation commentary.

Disc 2

Marathon Play

     The episodes can be played together without the opening and closing credits.

Anime Expo 2017: Interview with Trina Nishimura (4:14)

     The US voice of Mikasa answers on screen questions, including challenging recording sessions, her favourite episode of Season 2 and favourite Mikasa moment.

Anime Expo 2017: Interview with Tetsuya Kinoshita & Yui Ishikawa (17:03)

     The Japanese voice actress for Mikasa Yui Ishikawa (speaking in Japanese, with subtitles) and series producer Tetsuya Kinoshita (who speaks sometimes in English, sometimes in Japanese) answer on screen questions about preparing for Season 2, some of the challenges, favourite episodes and favourite Mikasa moments.

Attack on Titan Season 2: Interview with original creator Hajime Isayama (9:45)

     The writer of the ongoing manga speaks (in Japanese, subtitled) about his reactions watching the Season 1 anime of his work, how the anime has influenced the characterisation in the later manga, things he may have liked to have changed and his input into Season 2.

Inside the Episode

     There are six separate sections, the first five featuring Ian Sinclair, Josh Grelle, Trina Nishimura and Jessica Calvello (the voices of Nile Dawk, Armin, Mikasa and Hange Zoe). They take a quiz to determine what branch of the military they are suited for and undertake various challenges. These are a bit silly but there are some funny bits. These sections are:

     The last section is the “Final Recap” (9:43). US ADR director and voice of Jean Mike McFarland, David Matranga and Elizabeth Maxwell (voices of Bertholdt and Ymir) look back on Season 2 (warning – spoilers!) and talk about their characters and favourite moments.

Eyecatch Gallery

     In the middle of each episode, presumably around a station break, is one still with drawings and Japanese text providing information about the equipment of the Scouts, the Wall, Titans or a specific location. These stills are presented in this extra, with explanatory English text. Twelve stills: silent, the remote is used to advance.

Promo Videos (3:22)

     Two trailers for the anime.

Textless Opening Song “Opfert Eure Herzen!” (1:32)

     The opening song without the credits.

Textless Closing Song “Yuugure no Tori” (1:32)

     The closing song without the credits.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     While there are special editions of the anime on Blu-ray in the US, our local release of Attack on Titan: Season 2 is basically the same as the standard Region A US and the Region B UK versions.

Summary

     Attack on Titan: Season 2 continues the Titan juggernaut with spectacular and explosive action sequences, surprise reveals and complex ideas about loyalty, friendship and what it is to be human. Fans will not be disappointed except by the fact that the season answers some questions while leaving many more open. But Season 3 thankfully is coming soon for those who don’t read the manga!

     The video is very good, the audio fine although the original Japanese is only 2.0. There is a good range of extras and we get what is available in other regions.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Friday, May 04, 2018
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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