Warning: This article contains spoilers for the entirety of Attack on Titan’s second season, including the recently-aired finale. 

While the first half of Attack on Titan‘s second season was largely focused on fleshing out its growing cast of characters, it’s second half has been directly aimed at the action.

After a ferocious battle with the Armored Titan and the Colossal Titan (who turned out to be Reiner and Bertholdt), Eren and Ymir (who is also a Titan) found themselves kidnapped and being taken to whoever is behind all of this nefarious human alchemy.

“Human alchemy?” you say. Well, yes, as it turns out that all Titans were once human. In a way, this makes more sense than any other theory we could have possibly put forward, and actually seems pretty obvious now that it’s been revealed. What we still lack with Attack on Titan is the “why” of it all.

Turns out these two bastards are responsible for a whole lot of death and misery… but why are they doing this?

Who made the Titans, and why? Anyone with a good memory will recall that Eren’s father’s fate is still totally unknown, and with his new ability to command titans revealed, he is essentially the most powerful Titan in the world. This suggests that Eren’s father has something to do with the Titans, and is probably responsible for Eren being chosen to house this insane responsibility.

Sadly, many soldiers, including Hannes, had to die before Eren could learn this new truth. Actually, Hannes death is essentially the catalyst for this new information, as Eren, insane with grief and despair, laughs and weeps maniacally before a pep talk from Mikasa sets him straight.

Like his Titan transformation ability, Eren’s new “Coordinate” ability rises to the fore through desperation, as a defenseless, exhausted Eren faces the Smiling Titan (who ate both his mother and Hannes). When he throws his fist and blocks a Titan swipe, the other Titans take notice and attack the Smiling Titan, devouring it alive in truly gruesome fashion.

Another factor of significance has been the heavy focus on Historia and Ymir. It seems these characters are going to end up romantically involved at some point but with Ymir now on the side of Bertholdt and Reiner, these lovers could not possibly be any more star-crossed.

Ymir and Historia’s budding romance has been one of the only sources of joy in this grim tale.

On that note, it’s worth mentioning how nice it is to see another mainstream gay romance. Though anime has never been shy about same-sex relations, Attack on Titan‘s massive appeal gives the LGBT community another voice with which to celebrate.

Finally, we need to talk about what a total fucking badass Erwin is. This dude gets his arm bitten off by a Titan, ties it off, and not only keeps up the fight but leads an effective strategy to reclaim Eren from Bertholdt and Reiner. Give your heart indeed!

Still, even as Attack on Titan has answered a bevy of questions with its second season, there are a pile more that remain. Where is this village that Reiner and Bertholdt keep mentioning? Who is in charge there? What’s happening with Annie, who was captured alive at the end of the first season?

The world’s biggest badass, Levi, was not given much screen time this season. Hopefully we’ll see more of him next year.

Lastly, and more importantly, who is in control of the Ape Titan? We see a blond man emerging from it’s husk as the final image of season 2 but we still don’t know anymore about him or his motivations, aside from the fact that he seems to possess the Coordinate as well, as one unfortunate soldier found out in the season premiere.

Sadly, we’ll have to wait until next year for the answers to these questions. On the plus side, though, that’s a fraction of the wait between season one and two, so there is that bit of solace.

Until then, we’ll just have to be vigilant of manga spoilers, and keep those fan theories going.

Leave a comment below.

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Mike Worby is a human who spends way too much of his free time playing, writing and podcasting about pop culture. Through some miracle he's still able to function in society as if he were a regular person, and if there's hope for him, there's hope for everyone. He's the managing Games editor for Goomba Stomp, and the creator of the weekly Buffyversed column.