Manga Review: Attack on Titan Volume Two

Attack on Titan Volume Two is a manga by Hajime Isayama, and it was published in North America by Kodansha Comics. The series is rated “T” for teens ages 16 and up; after reading the first two volumes of the series, I would agree with this rating.

Attack on Titan Volume 2
Written by: Hajime Isayama
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: September 11, 2012

Attack on Titan is set in an alternative middle-ages world that has been attacked by giant humanoid creatures called Titans. The remains of civilization are protected by three concentric walls that are about 50 meters tall. After building these walls, humanity has remained safe for 100 years and has basically become complacent. While there are people who want to go outside of the walls and explore the wall, many are discouraged from doing so.

Eren Yeager and his friends Mikasa and Armin end up enlisting in the military forces after Unusual Titans attacked their city. Five years after that attack, Eren and his friends have to fight more Titans. At the end of Volume One, Armin sees Eren being devoured by a Titan.

Quite a bit of the focus on Volume Two is on Mikasa, and we get to see a flashback of how she ended up coming to live with the Yeagers, as well as learning why Mikasa is now the way that she is.

When Mikaka joins up with Armin and learns what happened to Eren, she starts going after Titans and managing to take some down before she runs out of gas. When Mikasa, Armin and the others get to where they need to go to resupply, they find the building they need to get to being overrun by Titans. Just as hope seems lost, a Titan suddenly appears and starts attacking other Titans. The actions of this atypical Titan allow Mikasa and the others to enter the building and come up with a plan to deal with the Titans still by the building.

Right at the end of the volume, something very surprising happens in regards to the Titan that saved Mikasa and the others…

Volume Two has a strong focus fighting, so there’s quite a bit in the way of action scenes. However, I should also point out that this volume of Attack on Titan is more on the violent side than Volume One had been. There’s more blood, more shots of decapitated bodies, shots of desperate soldiers committing suicide, and some other things.

While Armin got some development in Volume Two, the main focus of the story was definitely on Mikasa. I really appreciated getting to see Mikasa’s backstory, because it helped me to better understand her as a character. At two volumes in, I’d have to say that Mikasa is my favorite character at this point. As I read more volumes of the series, this could change, though. But Mikasa is definitely a strong woman who can kick butt when she wants to.

I still think the art style for Attack on Titan is a little on the rough side. However, I have to give Isayama a lot of credit for being to depict just how frightening the Titans are. In a lot of ways, I have to say that the rough art style works well for the Titans, but it doesn’t work nearly as well for the human characters. But when you consider how much of a dystopian society that inhabits this series, the rough art style helps to illustrate just how desperate humanity’s plight is. While the art may be rough, the story is still keeping me interested in Attack on Titan.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Attack on Titan Volume Two that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional posts about Attack on Titan:

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