Spoiler Free Review:
Wow, what an amazing episode this was.
After a really good season three premiere, I was expecting the second episode, Pain, to be an exciting episode but this just blew all my expectations out of the water.
I found Pain to not just be a fantastic Attack on Titan episode but one of my favourite episodes of the series.
It is definitely in the top 10 best episodes for me.
The episode kicks off with one of the greatest action scenes of the entire series, which is amplified by the incredible animation that is the best the series has ever given us as well.
The tension of this scene is highlighted by the conflict between Levi and Kenny, who are the standouts of this episode by a wide margin.
Kenny already seems like a character I am going to love to hate.
Pain does not just consist of action though, but emotional moments as well.
One thing I especially loved is that it makes it clear that not all of Kenny’s squad are evil and goes as far as to humanize some of them.
This all leads to some great character development from Armin, my favourite character.
Then there are the twists in the story and hints at future events, which are expertly handled.
I have said before that Attack on Titan has my favourite soundtrack of all time and this episode really shows why.
The score that is played just as the episode ends is nothing short of phenomenal and makes the cliffhanger of the episode all the more impactful.
We also finally got to see the outro theme this episode and, while I still have mixed feelings about the intro, I think this outro nailed it.
It is an amazing song and has beautiful visuals to go along with it.
Finally, it is interesting to note that every shot we got in the trailer for this season was only for the first two episodes so everything we see after this will be completely new, which is really exciting.
Overall, Pain was a fantastic episode that had excellent animation, action, music and character development.
The previous episode, Smoke Signal, ended with the fantastic introduction of Kenny and this episode picked up right from there with Levi fighting Kenny and his squad, who are armed with their anti-personnel omni-directional mobility gear (man that was a mouthful).
As I said in my spoiler free review, the animation during this fight is incredible and it only gets better when Levi is cornered in a bar.
This scene really highlights how interesting both Levi and Kenny are as Kenny seems to really get a kick out of the violence he is causing and Levi shows how smart he is by shooting at Kenny, his aim based off Kenny’s reflection in a bottle of wine.
After Levi escaped came my favourite part of the episode when Armin had to shoot a member of Kenny’s squad to save Jean’s life.
Watching Armin’s guilt at having to do this and highlighting the woman he killed’s humanity by having her hesitate to shoot Jean, before she was killed, was expertly done.
This not only was great character development for Armin but also showed that not everything is black and white.
Then there are the big twists of the episode, the first coming when Hange tells Erwin that if they do not rescue Eren then he will be eaten.
I am pretty sure I know what this means since I rewatched season two episode ten, Children, but I will not say what because I do not want to spoil you.
However, I will say that, if I am right, it will lead to the biggest and most heart breaking twist of the series thus far.
Then there was the twist that Levi and Mikasa have the same last name, Ackerman.
This means the two have to be related so it will be interesting to see how this is explained, most likely through Kenny.
As for the final twist, the Military Police officer who murdered Pastor Nick, Djel Sannes, admitted that Historia’s father, Rod Reiss is the real king and King Fritz is just a figurehead.
This means that Historia is the heir to the throne but it also opens up some interesting questions, like why does the crown need a figurehead and who actually is Fritz?
The next episode does look very intriguing as well based on the preview because there it will go into the pasts of both Erwin and Historia.
This will be interesting because it looks like both Erwin’s father and Historia’s mother were murdered by Sannes in the past, based on what he said this episode, so I wonder if that will tie into it.
Still, for the second episode of the season, Pain was a fantastic episode and one of the best of Attack on Titan.