Monday, October 12, 2015

Attack On Titan: Junior High Episode #2 Review

It's the wings of freedom!

What They Say:
It's back-to-school for the cast of Attack on Titan as this spin-off gives us a glimpse into the average school year for each and every one of them. Instead of fearing for their lives, the characters are fearing for their lunches as the titans have a brand new appetite (One significantly less heartbreaking). Based on the manga, Attack on Titan: Junior High brings us familiar faces and memorable scenes in a lighthearted comedic format that is sure to bring a smile to your face. Will Eren and the others be able to survive the school year being right next door to a school for titans?

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
We've got more ground to cover this week as Eren and the gang need to figure out which clubs they are going to be joining. After all, there can't be a club dedicated to killing titans, could there? And on top of that, Eren and Mikasa are now also responsible for getting Armin to come to school. Turns out, that instead of being afraid of everything in general, the Armin of Attack On Titan: Junior High instead has an intense fear of the cold. In fact, the fear is so bad that he has to cloak himself in a blanket and surround himself with space heaters in order to function. Despite his extreme reclusion, everything seems to be going fine for Armin. That is, until Levi randomly swoops in and steals his blanket, leaving behind a pin depicting the well known "Wings of Freedom". Eren decides then and there what club he is going to join and sets out with his pals to retrieve the blanket and find out what club Levi is in.

Obviously, recruiting everyone else along the way is the best method to track down Levi and the scouting corps. And after several minutes of searching for this secret club that initially appeared impossible to discover, Eren and friends stumble upon a club room proudly displaying the wings above it. It is within that room that we are re-introduced to characters like Petra, Hanji, and those other scouts that no one really cares to remember the names of. Levi still isn't there though. But don't worry, trusty Hanji knows a way to make him show up: improper recycling -- the bane of all that is Levi. This blatant play on the whole clean-freak persona that was cultivated by the AoT fandom concerning Levi really hits the mark. He becomes the caricature of tidiness and all things sanitary and strict. It's so over-the-top that it literally has to be funny. And it only gets better when you mix him in with everyone else, who are still acting like themselves for the most part.

We've got a lot more subtle humor in this episode, and most of that lies within the facial expressions of Mikasa. Several frames scattered throughout the episode will have her somewhere in the background with a face totally contrasting the mood of whatever is going on. One example would be the look of relief she has once Levi busts into the room and steals Armin's blanket (Resulting in the temperature dropping), while everyone else's reaction is pure shock. It's more and more of what made the first episode a blast, just this time the impact is a little less considering it was significantly more expected. I wouldn't go as far as saying it's stale or dull, but it's not as side-splitting as the first episode. It was also good being slowly reintroduced to more of the original cast. (It was also good seeing them alive). I just hope we get to see Annie again soon. That's what this show needs.

Best/Favorite Part:
The part of the episode where the freshmen finally find the scouts' club room really brought forth the most laughs, at least from me. The re-introduction of Hanji and Petra's perfect reactions to her antics were absolutely fantastic. In addition, when Levi finally showed up and lectured Eren about not throwing away recyclables in normal trash cans, the hilarity level skyrocketed and created possibly the funniest moment of the episode (Apart from the faces and expressions of our dear Mikasa).

In Summary:
Though not nearly as good as the first episode, this installment gives us a ton of what we experienced last week and will most likely continue to experience as this series goes on. The characters are still spot on and the flakes of subtle humor highlight a once-again enjoyable twenty-something minutes. There was also no Annie and that isn't a good thing.

Grade: B-

Streamed By: Funimation

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