Well, it's been four years since Attack On Titan Season 1 first burst onto our screens, earning itself a veritable legion of fans before leaving us wanting more with a game-changing cliffhanger. Season 2 picks up where Season 1 left us hanging, as Hanji investigates just why the walls are full of freaking terrifying, human eating titans.
Naturally, this isn't answered in the first episode (gotta draw that mystery out), but we had plenty to occupy our minds as Season 2 Episode 1, "Beast Titan", threw more than a few twists our way. Let's break it down.
1: The Conspiracy Thickens
It seems that all those theories the Attack On Titan fans cooked up in the last few years were right — there really is a grand conspiracy about why there are titans in the walls.
When Erwin is told about this, he cryptically says:
"There were only people who knew, and people who didn't."
This leaves us wondering about whether he's actually been in on this from the beginning, and whether the conspiracy reaches to the military commanders. However, if there's a group of people most likely to be responsible for the titan wall-fillers, it's going to be that creepy wall cult, the pastor of which Hanji dangled menacingly over the wall — but he didn't give up any answers. The end credits give us more hints about this cult, and the history of the the titans...
Were the cult partially responsible for the creation of the titans? How long ago did all this happen? And what does this mean for the people inside Wall Sina? We'll probably find out soon, but I'm willing to bet that a few characters we know are in on this conspiracy.
2: Titans Breach Wall Rose
Have you lost track of which walls are which? Yep, so did I. Wall Rose is the second line of defense against the titans, and the Colossal Titan breached it in Season 2. The hole in the wall was repaired, but apparently the patch job wasn't good enough because a team of titans have burst through, leading the Survey Corps to ride out and warn people to evacuate.
Sasha and Connie are immediately terrified, concerned for their families who live near the South of this region — the area the titans are coming from. Sasha, as we all know, is a stone cold badass with a bow, and if my memory of vague manga spoilers is accurate, then we're going to get to see her bust some really awesome moves when her team inevitably clashes with titans.
3: An Informative Interlude
The midway title cards for Attack On Titan sometimes include little plot hints, and the one for "Beast Titan" is no different — and in fact it's full of spoilers.
"Little is known about the titans inside the walls. They appear to form the walls with a material similar to the Female Titan's crystal. The leaders of the Wall Cult seem to be aware of the truth, but remain wholly unforthcoming."
Did Hanji discover these facts in her investigations this episode, or will the characters discover this later? It could be that this is an extract from a journal of some sort, though this info dump is preceded by the disclaimer "information available for public disclosure".
In any case, the titans' ability to form crystals doesn't seem to be confined to just Annie Leonhart. We're left wondering whether this is a conscious production, perhaps in self protection — like Annie — or if whoever built the walls managed to force the titans into producing this substance. The logic behind this seems to be that the only thing strong enough to stop a titan is another titan... Hopefully we'll find out soon.
4: A Talking Titan?
Yeah, that happened.
What a way to start off Season 2! This titan — seemingly the eponymous Beast Titan himself — possesses human intelligence, talking and even commanding the other mute titans. Now we know that some humans can shift into titan form, it's highly likely that this Beast Titan is actually a human like Eren and Annie. The Beast Titan has the power to control the others, so it seems that he's their leader. Intrigued by the Survey Corps armor, it seems that the Beast Titan doesn't know much about the culture within the walls, so perhaps he's lived his entire life outside them. And he hinted that he and the other titans have a base somewhere:
"I'll take it back with me."
Back where? Wherever the answers are, they lie outside Wall Rose — or even Wall Maria.
5: All Titans May Be Human
The biggest plot hint in the episode was a throwaway line from the Beast Titan — he says "so you know we reside in the nape" in response to the Survey Corps' attack method.
Of course, we know that the Titan Shifters' human form sits at the back of their titan form's neck, but the Beast Titan conflates this with the normal titans. Does this mean that every mute, apparently animalistic titan actually has a human form hidden inside their neck? How did they get this way? And why are some able to change forms?
These are some tantalizing mysteries that "Beast Titan" has set up for the rest of Season 2, but fair warning — do not look to the wiki for answers, as it will just straight up tell you a bunch of manga spoilers, because there isn't a different wiki for the anime show. Google with caution!
Tell us in the comments: Do you have any unanswered questions from this episode?