Our new graduates are called on to defend humanity from an invasion lead by the Colossus Titan in Attack On Titan Volume 2.
Attack on Titan Volume 2 is, of course, the sequel to Attack on Titan Volume 1. Check out the review for Volume 1 here. Otherwise, read on!
Armin's in shock. He's just watched his best friend Erin be eaten by a Titan while saving his life. Always the weakest of the group, Armin fears being a liability to his friends more than anything else, and now his fears have been realized. Erin's thrown his life away saving him, and Armin doesn't know how to move on.
Mikasa, however, has always been the pragmatic one. She vowed long ago to always be by Erin's side, but even though he's been lost she still has a job to do. We learn her backstory, what happened to her parents, and how Erin and her father were involved with it. That's where her core of iron came from, and even after the loss of Erin, this is hardly the time or place to become emotional.
Beyond the pain of our main characters, however, the entire Corps is in trouble. The facility that resupplies them with the compressed gas that their navigation gear relies on has been surrounded by Titans, and without these refills the Corpsmen have no chance of getting themselves over Wall and into safety. As despair settles over the soldiers, a strange sight appears: a strange-looking Titan has come into view, and it's attacking its fellow Titans.
Hajime Isayama's art is nothing to write home about. In fact, during some of the battle scenes, his use of dark action lines muddies the panels to the point where it can be hard to follow. Where he excels is in the more emotional scenes, where even the rather minimalist faces he uses can show the depth of the horror that they're experiencing. Nothing about this manga is pretty, though, so Isayama's art does fit the story, where a more detailed style would be simply to gory to be palatable. Attack on Titan Volume 2 gives the reader just a bit more backstory, and more reasons to love our young heroes.
Highs: Mikasa's speech to rally the troops is eloquent in its simplicity
Lows: This volume reinforces the idea that this will continue to be a slow-moving series, which may put some readers off
Verdict: A truly horrifying dystopian story
Further Reading: Monster, Under a Graveyard Sky