I’d seen comments that this season of Attack on Titan was going to be faster paced than the manga, due to a request from Hajime Isayama. I don’t know if he really asked for that or not, but I can truly say that this section of the story is already moving faster and is more action oriented than it was at this point in the manga.
We get to see some interaction between Levi and Kenny the Reaper, and we later learn that Kenny had raised him as a child. Having been raised by him, Levi knows the various tricks and tactics that Kenny uses, and he seems to be using this to his advantage. The revelation of Levi’s last name is also kind of fascinating, and it makes me wonder if he has some kind of family connection (albeit a distant one) with one of the other characters.
Armin has a major character development moment in this episode, and it basically shatters his innocence forever. I felt bad for Armin after seeing him go through this event, but sadly, this character development needed to happen for him, He couldn’t be in this situation and remain innocent forever.
Levi and Hange also get a scene where they torture someone, but it was kind of amusing to see what ultimately causes this member of the military to squeal what we knows. It’s not the torture, it’s something else entirely. This military guy, though, is one of those people who admits that what the military and government have done are questionable, but he insists it’s for the good of the people and to protect the people. It’s basically him saying, “sorry not sorry.”
We also see a character return from the first episode, and it’s someone that Mikasa remembers from when the Titans first attacked in the first episode. This guy, who came across as such a jerk then, is willing to help Levi and his group. Admittedly, he ultimately has money and profit margin on his mind, and isn’t necessarily teaming up with them out of the goodness of his heart.
There’s also an important revelation of information regarding Historia. I can’t go into any more detail than this, because I know too much from reading the manga and I don’t want to accidentally provide spoilers.
It should be noted that there are no appearances from any Titans in this episode. It focuses solely on the humans and the factions that they are in. While the internal human politics are still playing an important role at this point in the story, it’s nowhere near as drawn out as it was in the manga.
I’m very interested to see how the story in episode three will progress in comparison to its manga counterpart. I’m also interested to see just how far this season will end up going in comparison to where I’m currently at in the manga (which is Volume 23). I don’t think this season is going to get quite that far, but you never know…