Anime Review: Attack on Titan: Roar of Awakening

By Drew Hurley 24.10.2019 1

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Attack on Titan: Roar of Awakening (UK Rating: 15)


Watching long-running anime series over the course of seasons can be a royal pain, with years between releases and seasons often closing on huge cliff-hangers. Fans often have to end up catching up on the entire season each time a new one is released, or, if they're lucky, they get a 0.5 episode that highlights the previous season. Attack on Titan: Roar of Awakening goes further than just a 20-minute recap, instead bundling up the entire second season into a two-hour encapsulation. Coming courtesy of All the Anime, this movie is available from October 14th.
 
The second season of Attack on Titan had a lot to live up to - the first had exploded onto the scene and immediately gained huge popularity around the world. This second season is something well covered here at Cubed3 recently with the story playing out in Attack on Titan 2 on PlayStation 4, Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle on Switch, and of course, Attack on Titan: Season 2 the anime. The series has progressed even further too as Attack on Titan Season 3: Part 1 was recently covered.
 
As the first season concluded, the true identity of the Female Titan was revealed. Annie turned on her supposed allies and revealed herself to try to capture Eren, only to be caught in the Crops' trap. It was a big win for the forces of humanity, and a big revelation as it was revealed that Titans were not just outside the wall, but within too, quite literally. The wall itself was revealed to be built from Titans. That's where this story opens, with some of the Corps heading south of Wall Rose where Titans have been reported. When they arrive they discover something impossible: there's no breach in the wall, and yet, the area is full of Titans. This group finds themselves stranded unarmed and at the mercy of a new, terrifying antagonist: the Beast Titan. This great ape-looking monstrosity has a unique ability compared to its brethren - intelligence. Along with being capable of speech, it's clearly leading the mindless Titans, with its own plans and machinations.

 
As the defenceless scouts are driven to the breaking point one of their own reveals themselves as yet another secret Titan, as the volatile Ymir dives into a group of Titans, transforming herself on the way and tearing them to pieces. Even this isn't enough though, and it's just about to be the death knells for these members of the corps when their salvation arrives from the stars of the show. This is all within the first hour of the film, while the second manages to set the bar even higher.
 
As the Scouts return to the wall, they do so with even more knowledge on how people are being turned into Titans, and Ymir's true identity as another Titan shifter - but that's nothing compared to what's next, as the series big secret is finally revealed. The identities of the Colossal and Armoured Titans, finally uncovered. Leading to the best arc of the series to date, and fitting with the Shonen aesthetic, it's a rescue arc. The reveal of identities is a tense and chilling moment, but it quickly escalates into brutal combat, and then a race between old allies, all concluding with an amazing all-out battle.
 
This re-cut emphasises and underlines just how great the second season was, especially in the visual department. Instead of spending huge amounts of time on flashbacks there is a massive amount of constant action and that action looks phenomenal. WIT Studio's utilised the same dynamic style as Ufotable. Delivering insanely fluid motions as the scouts burst through the air. 3D anime is always given a bad name, but this shows just how amazing it can look. In particular, the scenes where the Armoured and Colossal Titans reveal themselves before transforming atop the wall are without a doubt some of the best action scenes in an anime in recent memory.
 
This release contains both the DVD and BluRay release of the film, in a rigid case along with a 68-page book filled with sketches from the production of the show. The movie itself comes with the original Japanese dub in both 5.1 and 2.0. - dub over sub fans, you're out of luck here. The extras are a bit sparse too, just a few trailers and TV spots.
 
8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10
The full release of Season 2 consisted of 12 episodes, clocking in at over five hours, while this retelling is just two. The result is a fantastic, concise, director's cut of that story. One that captures all the best and biggest moments of the season and cuts off all the fat. Delivering quite possibly the best version of the story to date. As Cubed3 has said in recent Attack on Titan coverage, the series is a true modern masterpiece - a story that has transcended the anime community and has burst into the mainstream.

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Comments

I liked AoT season 1 except for the horrendous pacing, was this fixed in the new seasons, or is this a pretty safe way to go to still see the story?

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