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Attack on Titan

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Attack on Titan
Shingeki no Kyojin manga volume 1.jpg
Cover of Attack on Titan volume 1 featuring Eren Yeager about to attack the oncoming Colossal Titan
進撃の巨人
(Shingeki no Kyojin)
Genre
Manga
Written byHajime Isayama
Published byKodansha
English publisher
ImprintShōnen Magazine Comics
MagazineBessatsu Shōnen Magazine
DemographicShōnen
Original runSeptember 9, 2009 – present
Volumes32 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Live-action
Related media
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Attack on Titan (Japanese: 進撃の巨人, Hepburn: Shingeki no Kyojin, lit. "The Advancing Giant[s]") is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. It is set in a world where humanity lives within cities surrounded by enormous walls that protect them from gigantic man-eating humanoids referred to as Titans; the story follows Eren Yeager, who vows to retake the world after a Titan brings about the destruction of his home town and the death of his mother. Attack on Titan has been serialized in Kodansha's monthly Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine since September 2009, and collected into 32 tankōbon volumes as of September 2020.

An anime television series adapting the manga was produced by Wit Studio (seasons 1–3) and MAPPA (season 4). A 25-episode first season was broadcast from April to September 2013, followed by a 12-episode second season broadcast from April to June 2017. A 22-episode third season was broadcast in two parts, with the first 12 episodes airing from July to October 2018 and the last 10 episodes airing from April to July 2019. A fourth and final season is scheduled to premiere in December 2020.

Attack on Titan has become a critical and commercial success. As of December 2019, the manga has over 100 million tankōbon copies in print worldwide,[5][6] making it one of the best-selling manga series of all time. It has won several awards, including the Kodansha Manga Award,[7] the Micheluzzi Award,[8] and Harvey Award.[9] The anime series has also been well received by critics, with the first three seasons being met with praise for their story, animation, music and voice acting, thus boosting the series' popularity in U.S. and Asia. Although it has gained significant fame and popularity in Japan's neighbouring countries, political interpretations of the series have caused controversies in China and South Korea.

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

According to lore, over 2,000 years prior to the present day, a young woman named Ymir Fritz came into contact and made a deal with the “Devil of All Earth", becoming the first of humanoid giants, and imbued with special powers. These creatures later came to be known as Titans (巨人, Kyojin). Her powers were used by her King to establish the Empire of Eldia and, in doing so, crushed the rival nation of Marley. When she died, her titan abilities were passed on, manifesting into Nine individual forms; each with their own special traits. The power of the titans was kept by the royal Fritz family for centuries.

One century before the events of the main storyline the 145th Eldian King, Karl Fritz, became disillusioned by the powers his ancestors had granted him and guilt-ridden over the destructive path the Eldian monarchy had taken. He orchestrated his nation’s downfall, allowing the nation of Marley to rise up in rebellion. In the process, seven of the Nine Titan powers were stolen by Marley. Possessing the Ninth Titan power, the power of the Founding Titan, Fritz took a handful of his people across the sea to the island of Paradis to begin a new, peaceful nation. He created millions of Colossal Titans to be used as part of the construction of three curtain walls, each one named after one of Ymir Fritz’s three daughters: the outermost being Wall Maria (ウォール・マリア, Wōru Maria); the middle Wall Rose (ウォール・ローゼ, Wōru Rōze, sometimes pronounced like rosé) and the innermost Wall Sheena (ウォール・シーナ, Wōru Shīna, alt. "Wall Sina") which housed the Royal family and was populated by the wealthy and elite. Once the walls were complete, Fritz gave the outside world an ultimatum: should war be declared on Paradis, he would release the titans within the walls to flatten the earth. This, however, was a bluff since Fritz revealed to his family that he had renounced all war. If Marley eventually became powerful enough to overthrow Paradis, then he would accept that. He used his Founding Titan powers to create a blood pact which would instill this ideology in any royal family member who inherited his titan, even if they disagreed with it before. Meanwhile, Eldians who remained within Marley as second class citizens were treated poorly, and any form of dissent or disobedience was punishable by exile to Paradis: they were injected with raw titan spinal fluid, turning them into mindless, man-eating ‘Pure’ Titans which would eventually find their way to King Fritz’s walls.

Karl Fritz also used his titan power to erase the memories of most of his Eldian citizens, with those unaffected either bribed into nobility or made into outcasts like the Ackerman family and the Asian clan. The power of the titans was hidden from common knowledge and fear of them was instilled in the Eldian citizens to prevent them from venturing outside the walls. As such, the Eldians on Paradis believed firmly that they were the last of the human race, forced into confinement by the ravenous Pure Titans. Unlike titans with powers, such as the Founding Titan, Pure Titans have no awareness and function purely on the instinct to consume humans; however, if one was to consume a human containing one of the Nine Titan powers, it would inherit that power and become a sentient human again. Unaware of this information the Eldians formed a three branch military to protect its citizens: the Military Police Brigade (憲兵団, Kenpeidan) who reside primarily within Wall Sina and protect the Royal Family and elite, living a relaxed lifestyle which has resulted in instances of fraud, corruption, and political subterfuge; the Garrison Regiment (駐屯兵団, Chūton Heidan) who guard the walls and the civilian populace, though are known to act lackadaisically since the walls themselves do much of the protecting against titans; and the Survey Corps (調査兵団, Chōsa Heidan) who trek into titan territory outside the walls in order to study and cull them and attempt to reclaim land. The Survey Corps is heavily derided within society because of their high casualty rate and little to no progress in their objectives. All soldiers use a grappling and tethering system called Vertical Maneuvering Equipment (立体機動装置, Rittai Kidō Sōchi) that allows them to jump onto, and swing from, any tall structures using gas canisters to propel themselves forward, though the equipment is useless on flat ground. A box containing spare blades for their dual swords hangs beside each thigh, and the blades themselves are flexible and easily detachable, used solely for cutting down titans. Over the past 100 years the Survey Corp has compiled characteristics of the Pure Titans to aid them in battle. A titan's skin is tough and difficult to penetrate and they regenerate quickly from any injuries, save for a spot on the nape of the neck which is the one and only place where a soldier can make a fatal strike.

Plot[edit]

Eren Yeager (Jaeger in the anime adaptation) lives with Mikasa Ackerman and best friend Armin Arlert in the town of Shiganshina adjacent to Wall Maria, outermost of three circular walls protecting humanity from man-eating Titans said to have killed all other humans one hundred years prior. When Shiganshina and Wall Maria are breached by the Colossal (Colossus in the manga) and Armoured Titans, invading Titans force humanity to retreat behind Wall Rose. After a titan devours his mother and his father disappears, a vengeful Eren enlists in the military along with Mikasa and Armin.

Five years later, the three cadet graduates are positioned in Trost district adjacent to Wall Rose when the Colossal Titan breaches the city gate. During the subsequent Titan invasion, Eren is eaten but survives after creating and controlling a Titan's body. Previously unaware of his abilities, Eren suspects his father's basement holds answers. Although Eren seals Trost's breach using his Titan power, many consider him a potential threat and a military tribunal assigns him to the Survey Corps under Captain Levi's watch, with many of Eren's friends following suit.

During an expedition to Shiganshina, a Female Titan unsuccessfully attempts to capture Eren. Despite the expedition's failure, Armin deduces the Female Titan's identity as a fellow cadet from their class named Annie Leonhart with abilities akin to Eren's. Annie encases herself in crystal following her capture in Stohess, collateral damage revealing the walls are formed from massive Titans within them. Following the mysterious appearance of the Beast Titan behind Wall Rose, Eren is kidnapped by his fellow cadets Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover, exposed as the Titans who compromised Wall Maria. They and Annie were dispatched by an unknown party to capture the "Coordinate", an ability to control titans which they suspect Eren possesses. Eren manifests this power during an encounter with the titan who killed his mother, allowing him and the pursuing Survey Corps to escape. The Corps theorize that Titans were originally humans, and may regain their human form by consuming an individual with Titan power, acquiring those abilities for themselves.

Persecuted by the military police, the Survey Corps discover the royal government seats a figurehead king and suppresses technological advancement. Eren's comrade Historia Reiss learns she is the illegitimate child of the walls' true ruler Rod Reiss, who has her and Eren kidnapped. Rod reveals his ancestor created the walls using the power of the Founding Titan, intending to confine humanity and erasing their memories. The Reiss family passed down the King's power and will until Eren's father Grisha stole the power of the Founding Titan during Wall Maria's fall, and passed its power to Eren by turning him into a Titan via an injection and allowing himself to be devoured. Rod intends for Historia to become a Titan and eat Eren to reclaim the Reiss family's power, but Historia refuses and aids the Survey Corps' rescue of Eren and rebellion against the monarchy. Following Rod's defeat, the military assumes power and crowns Historia queen. Although Eren's lack of royal ancestry inhibits the Founding Titan's power, he obtains an ability to create permanent structures, which the Survey Corps use in their next expedition to seal the breach in Wall Maria. However, the group are ambushed by Reiner, Bertolt and their superior Zeke, the Beast Titan. The Survey Corps subdue Bertolt and drive off the other enemy Titans, but most of the expedition members are killed during the battle, with Armin and Commander Erwin Smith left mortally wounded. Levi, armed with a single injection taken from Rod, decides to save Armin over Erwin. Armin becomes a Titan, devours Bertolt and acquires the Colossal Titan's powers.

Before returning home, the survivors recover Grisha's memoirs from the Yeagers' basement. His writings state that human civilization is actually thriving and the people of the walls are members of the Eldian race, whose common ancestor Ymir Fritz acquired the Power of the Titans, granting her progeny the unique potential to become Titans and inherit nine Titan powers. Ymir's descendants dominated world history for centuries until 100 years prior to the series' beginning, when the 145th Eldian King retreated to Paradis Island and established the three walls with the Founding Titan, threatening to retaliate with the titans comprising the walls should his peace be disturbed. The nation of Marley conquered and quarantined the remaining Eldians, passing the seven captured Titan Powers to indoctrinated Eldian "Warriors" for furthering Marley's national interests. Grisha conspired with other Eldian dissidents to acquire the Founding Titan before Marley and free their people but was outed by his son Zeke Yeager, Eren's half-brother and the future Beast Titan, and sentenced to life as a mindless Titan wandering Paradis. However, Grisha was saved by his movement's informant, who entrusted his Titan power and mission to Grisha and sent him to infiltrate the walls and recover the Founding Titan. Eren learns that despite his lack of royal ancestry, he may be able to use the Founding Titan's full "Coordinate" power through physical contact with a titan of royal blood.

Four years after the Battle of Shiganshina, a conflict between Marley and a combined offensive sees the emergence of conventional weapons capable of defeating Titans. Fearing the military obsolescence of Eldians will lead to their genocide, the Warriors work with the influential Tybur family, retainers of the War Hammer Titan, to recruit global support for a resumed offensive on Paradis. Eren, having infiltrated Marley on his own, assassinates Willy Tybur as he declares war on Paradis before international delegates. With the aid of the Survey Corps in the ensuing battle, Eren steals the War Hammer Titan's power and Zeke defects to Paradis. Eren and the Survey Corps return to Paradis with Zeke via airship, but Eren's friend Sasha is killed by Gabi Braun, Warrior candidate and Reiner's cousin who stowed away along with her friend Falco Grice.

Flashbacks depict the preceding four years on Paradis, during which Zeke's followers arrived and introduced Paradis to modern technology and the friendly nation of Hizuru. Through his emissary Yelena, Zeke proposed passing his Titan power to Historia, which would enable Eren to use the Founding Titan's full power to deter foreign invasion until Hizuru modernizes Paradis. Because users of Titan power die thirteen years after their acquisition, the proposition demanded that Historia produce heirs to ensure the availability of the Founding Titan's power. Eren disapproved of this arrangement and instead infiltrated Marley alone and without authorization, coercing the Survey Corps's assistance.

In the present, Eren is detained for insubordination and his friends express doubts about his loyalty to them and Paradis over Zeke, citing Eren's role in Sasha's death. It is revealed that Historia is pregnant, preventing the Corps from immediately passing the Beast Titan to her and forcing them to place Zeke under Levi's watch. Suspected of arranging Historia's pregnancy to prolong Zeke's life, Yelena and her followers are arrested. The military's leaders distrust Eren and plan to relinquish his power following the discovery of his secret correspondence with Zeke and Yelena, prompting nationalist rebels loyal to Eren to assassinate Dhalis Zachary. Eren and his Yeagerist followers escape and force the government's surrender after wine laced with Zeke's spinal fluid has been served to top military officials, enabling Zeke to transform them into titans under his command. Zeke uses this ability to escape from and incapacitate Levi.

Eren and the Yeagerists detain the military in Shiganshina, where they are ambushed by the Warriors and Marley's military. During the battle, Zeke turns the marked soldiers, consisting of the entire military high command - including Commanders Dot Pyxis and Nile Dok - as well as Falco into Titans, with the latter inheriting the Jaw Titan from the Warrior Porco Galliard. Despite Marley's efforts, Eren and Zeke make contact and meet in a transcendental space inhabited by Ymir Fritz. Zeke attempts to persuade Eren to sterilize the Eldian race as they had originally planned, but Eren revokes his allegiance with Zeke and uses the Founding Titan's power to free the wall Titans, intending to destroy all life outside of Paradis in order to protect it. Refusing to accept his plan, Eren's friends move to confront him, joining forces with Annie, who was also freed from her crystal encasement by Eren's power, and a few remaining soldiers from Marley. The Yeagerists and Eren's friends have a battle at a port in Paradis, where the once captured Hizuru leader escapes on a ship with the help of Reiner's Armored Titan and Annie's Female Titan, and make their way to a south Marleyan city to repair a flying boat. As the group repairs the flying boat, they are attacked by Floch, who attached himself to the ship. He damages the vessel before being slain by Mikasa. Hange sacrifices herself by attacking the oncoming wall titans, buying time for the group's departure.

Production[edit]

The series' author Hajime Isayama

Hajime Isayama created a 65-page one-shot version of Attack on Titan in 2006.[10] Originally, he also offered his work to the Weekly Shōnen Jump department at Shueisha, where he was advised to modify his style and story to be more suitable for Jump. He declined and instead decided to take it to the Weekly Shōnen Magazine department at Kodansha.[11] Before serialization began in 2009, he had already thought of ideas for twists, although they are fleshed out as the series progresses. The author initially based the scenery in the manga on that of his hometown of Hita, Ōita, which is surrounded by mountains.[12]

While working at an internet cafe, Isayama encountered a customer who grabbed him by the collar. It was this incident that showed him "the fear of meeting a person I can't communicate with," which is the feeling that he conveys through the Titans.[13] When designing the appearances of the Titans, he uses several models such as martial artist Yushin Okami for Eren Yeager's Titan form[14] as well as Brock Lesnar for the Armoured Titan.[15] George Wada, the anime's producer, stated that the "Wall of Fear" was influenced by the isolated and enclosed nature of Japanese culture.[16] He also said that the inner feelings of every individual is one of the series' main influences.[16] Isayama later would confirm that Attack on Titan was inspired in part by Muv-Luv Alternative, the second visual novel in the Muv-Luv visual novel series.[17]

Isayama estimated his basic monthly timeline as one week to storyboard and three weeks to actually draw the chapter. The story is planned out in advance, even marking down in which collected volumes a specific "truth" will be revealed.[14] In September 2013, he stated that he was aiming to end the series in 20 collected volumes.[18] Originally, Isayama planned to give the series a tragic conclusion similar to that of the film adaptation of Stephen King's The Mist, where every character dies. However, positive response to the manga and anime has caused the author to consider changing the ending due to the impact it could have on fans.[19][20]

In November 2018, the Japanese documentary program Jōnetsu Tairiku aired an episode about Isayama's struggles to complete the manga, in which he confirmed that Attack on Titan has entered its final story arc.[21] In December 2019, Isayama said he was aiming to end the manga in 2020. In June 2020, Isayama confirmed in an interview with TBS that the manga has 5% left to go.[22]

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Hajime Isayama's original manga serial, Attack on Titan commenced publication in the first-ever issue of Kodansha's monthly publication Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine, released on September 9, 2009.[23] The first tankōbon collected volume was released on March 17, 2010. The most recent, volume 32, was released on September 9, 2020.[24]

In North America, the series is published in English by Kodansha USA. The first volume was published on June 19, 2012.[25]

Spin-offs[edit]

A chibi parody spin-off based on the series, titled Attack on Titan: Junior High (進撃!巨人中学校, Shingeki! Kyojin Chūgakkō) and written by Saki Nakagawa, began serialization in Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine's May 2012 issue. It follows the main characters as they battle the Titans while in junior high school.[26] Another manga series based on the prequel light novels Attack on Titan: Before the Fall started running in Kodansha's Monthly Shōnen Sirius from August 2013, drawn by Satoshi Shiki.[27] An additional spin-off based on the No Regrets visual novel was serialized in the shōjo manga magazine Aria, titled Attack on Titan: No Regrets (進撃の巨人 悔いなき選択, Shingeki no Kyojin: Kuinaki Sentaku). It was written by Gun Snark and illustrated by Hikaru Suruga. It focuses on the origins of Captain Levi, one of the most prominent characters in the main series.[28] A yonkoma spin-off, called Spoof on Titan (寸劇の巨人, Sungeki no Kyojin, "Titan Short Skits") and drawn by hounori, was released on Kodansha's Manga Box smartphone and tablet application from December 2013 to December 30, 2014, in both Japanese and English.[29][30] A manga adaptation of Hiroshi Seko's Attack on Titan: Lost Girls novel, written and illustrated by Ryōsuke Fuji, began publication in Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine on August 9, 2015.[31]

The first three spin-off manga have also been licensed by Kodansha USA, who published the first volume of each between March and June 2014.[32][33] They announced at New York Comic Con in October 2015 that they had licensed Spoof on Titan,[34] and in March 2016 they announced that they had licensed Lost Girls.[35]

Novels[edit]

A light novel series titled Attack on Titan: Before the Fall (進撃の巨人 Before the fall), written by Ryō Suzukaze and illustrated by Thores Shibamoto, began on April 1, 2011. Its story is set before the events of the manga and it was published by Kodansha in three volumes. While the first tells the story of Angel, the blacksmith who develops the first prototypes of the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment, and the following two follow a young man who was found as a baby in the stomach of a Titan. A second light novel series called Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City (進撃の巨人 隔絶都市の女王, Shingeki no Kyojin Kakuzetsu Toshi no Joō), written by Ryō Kawakami and illustrated by Range Murata, was published between August 1, 2014, and May 1, 2015. Vertical released the novels in North America in 2014[36][37][38] and 2015. A novel titled Attack on Titan: Lost Girls (進撃の巨人 Lost Girls),[39] written by Hiroshi Seko, was published on December 9, 2014.[40] It comprises three short stories featuring Mikasa and Annie Leonhart, titled "Lost in the cruel world", "Wall Sina, Goodbye", and "Lost Girls".[41] It was also released in English by Vertical, in 2016.[42] Garrison Girl: An Attack on Titan Novel, a novel created by American writer Rachel Aaron was published by Quirk Books on August 7, 2018.[43] It is centered on Rosalie Dumarque, who defies her family to join military garrison.

Anime[edit]

An anime series based on the manga is currently being aired in Japan. Produced by Wit Studio and directed by Tetsurō Araki, a first season aired between April 7, 2013, and September 29, 2013 originally on Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS).[44] The second and the third season, directed by Masashi Koizuka, first aired from April 1, 2017 to June 17, 2017, and between July 23, 2018 and July 1, 2019 respectively on MBS and NHK General TV.[45][46] Upon the airing of the final episode of the third season on July 1, 2019, it was announced that the fourth and final season of the anime series is scheduled for release in Fall 2020 on NHK General.[47] On September 22, 2020, Crunchyroll announced that the final season would be streaming "later this year" in 2020.[48] On September 23, 2020, NHK listed the final season on their broadcasting schedule will begin airing on December 7, 2020.[49] The final season was announced to have changed studios, with production being taken over by MAPPA.[50][51] The final season's main staff includes director Yuichiro Hayashi, character designer Tomohiro Kishi, chief animation director Daisuke Niinuma, art director Kazuo Ogura, 3D CG Director Takahiro Uezono, scriptwriter Hiroshi Seko, and music composers Hiroyuki Sawano and Kohta Yamamoto.[52]

Other Attack on Titan-related manga or light novels were also adapted into anime. Two OVA episodes, based on the Attack on Titan: No Regrets prequel manga, were bundled with the 15th and 16th volumes of the main series, released on December 9, 2014, and April 9, 2015, respectively.[53] An anime television adaptation of Attack on Titan: Junior High began airing in October 2015. The series was directed by Yoshihide Ibata at Production I.G.[54] A three part OVA of Attack on Titan: Lost Girls was released in 2017 and 2018 with the limited editions of volumes 24, 25, and 26.[55]

Video games[edit]

  • There have been four video game adaptations of Attack on Titan developed by Nitroplus staffers in collaboration with Production I.G.[56] Nitroplus clarified that the studio as a company was not involved in the Attack on Titan Blu-ray Disc games, while individual staffers are. The games are visual novels and were included in the first copies of the third and sixth Blu-ray Disc volumes of the anime. The games cover spin-off stories about the characters of Attack on Titan. Isayama supervised the development of the games.[57]
  • The third Blu-ray volume was released on September 18 with Seko's Lost in the Cruel World visual novel about Mikasa, and a preview of Gun Snark's No Regrets (悔いなき選択, Kuinaki Sentaku, lit. "A Choice with No Regrets").[58] The sixth Blu-ray volume was released on December 18 with the full version of No Regrets about Levi and Erwin's past, Jin Haganeya's visual novel In the Forest of the Night, Burning Bright about Eren and Levi, and Seko's Wall Sina, Goodbye visual novel about Annie.[58]
  • An action game, titled Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains (進撃の巨人 ~反撃の翼~, Shingeki no Kyojin ~Hangeki no Tsubasa~, subtitle lit. "Wings of Counterattack"), was developed by Spike Chunsoft for the Nintendo 3DS and released in Japan on December 5, 2013, North America on May 12, 2015, and Europe on July 2, 2015.[59][60][61]
  • A smartphone social game, titled Attack on Titan: Howl Toward Freedom (Shingeki no Kyojin ~Jiyū e no Hōkō~) is in development by Mobage for iOS and Android platforms. In the game, players play as a character who has been exiled from Wall Rose. Players must build and fortify a town outside the wall and expand it by manufacturing items as well as using Titans and exploiting resources from other players.[62]
  • A set of Attack on Titan costumes was added to Dead or Alive 5 Last Round in July 2016, alongside a playable arena based on Wall Rose during an attack by the Colossal Titan.[63]
  • Attack on Titan gameplay and merchandise has been featured in a crossover event with Nexon MMORPG MapleStory in its Japanese and GMS versions.[64]
  • Another game, Attack on Titan, for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita, published by Koei Tecmo and developed by Omega Force, was announced at Gamescom 2015.[65][66] It was released on February 18, 2016 in Japan.[67][68] Later was confirmed to be released worldwide along with PC and Xbox One versions.[69]
  • Capcom announced that they were developing an Attack on Titan arcade game named Shingeki no Kyojin: Team Battle,[70] but the game was cancelled in 2018.
  • Attack on Titan: Escape from Certain Death was announced to be in development for the Nintendo 3DS in Famitsu magazine in October 2016. The game was initially supposed to be launched on March 30, 2017 but was later postponed to May 11, 2017.[71]
  • Attack on Titan 2: Future Coordinates was released on November 30, 2017, in Japan.[72][73]
  • A sequel game to Koei Tecmo's Attack on Titan, Attack on Titan 2, was announced in August 2017 and released in March 2018.[74]
  • An expansion for Attack on Titan 2, Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle was released in Japan on July 4, 2019, and in North America and Europe on July 5, and is available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One (with Xbox One X support), and on PC through Steam.[75]
  • An Attack on Titan mobile game was announced for release on iOS and Android devices at the end of 2016 but was later delayed. In May 2018, it was announced that the mobile game has been titled Attack on Titan: Assault. The game was released on June 16, 2019, developed by GameSamba.[76]
  • Attack on Titan: TACTICS was announced on April 18, 2019 and released on September 19, 2019 on Android and iOS. The game is developed by DeNA.
  • Attack on Titan characters appeared in the mobile video game Symphogear XD Unlimited in 2020.[77]

Live-action[edit]

A live-action film was announced to be in production in October 2011.[78] In December 2012, it was reported that Tetsuya Nakashima left his position as director. According to film distributor Toho, Nakashima had considerable creative differences on the scriptwriting and other matters.[79][80][81] In December 2013, Shinji Higuchi was revealed to be directing, and would also be responsible with the special effects. Writer Yūsuke Watanabe and critic/subculture expert Tomohiro Machiyama were announced to be scripting the movie with series creator Isayama.[82][83] In July 2014, it was revealed that two films would be released in the summer of 2015. It was also revealed that some major characters would be cut from the line up, most noticeably Levi Ackerman and Erwin Smith. A teaser trailer for the first live-action film was released in March 2015.[84] The following month, Toho released the second trailer for the first film, and announced the second installment would be called Attack on Titan: End of the World.[85] In June 2015, a third trailer for the first film was released, revealing the Three-Dimensional Maneuvering Gear, as well as confirming the film would be released in IMAX theaters in Japan.[86]

A live-action miniseries, titled Shingeki no Kyojin: Hangeki no Noroshi (進撃の巨人 反撃の狼煙, "Attack on Titan: Counter Rockets") and utilizing the same actors as the films, started streaming on NTT DoCoMo's online-video service dTV on August 15, 2015. The three episode series focuses on Zoë Hange and her research of the Titans, as well as how the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment was created.[87]

Deadline Hollywood reported on January 17, 2017, that Warner Bros. was in negotiations to secure the film rights to the Attack on Titan franchise. Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them producer David Heyman would be on board to produce a proposed two-film project that would remake the 2015 Japanese live-action film adaptations.[88] A day later, however, Kodansha representatives said there were no negotiations with Warner Bros.[89] However, on October 29, 2018, it was revealed that Warner Bros. and Kodansha finalized a deal to produce a live-action adaptation with It director Andy Muschietti signing on to direct the film.[90]

A stage play titled Live Impact was announced on the wraparound jacket band on Volume 21.[91] It was scheduled to run from July 28 to September 3, 2017.[92] The stage play was cancelled after one of the staff members was involved in an accident.[93][94]

Other media[edit]

Two guidebooks to the manga titled Inside and Outside were released on April 9 and September 9, 2013, featuring concept art, character profiles and interviews.[95][96] They were combined into one and released in North America on September 16, 2014, by Kodansha USA.[97]

A 16-minute drama CD was created with the anime's staff and included in the January 2014 issue of Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine.[98]

On November 3, 2014, American writer C. B. Cebulski revealed that a crossover between Attack on Titan and Marvel Comics was in the works.[99] Cebulski scripted the scenario written by the manga's author Isayama. The one-shot crossover featured Spider-Man, the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy facing off against several Titans, including the Colossal Titan, the Armored Titan, and the Female Titan on the streets of New York City.[100] During Free Comic Book Day 2015, Marvel's Secret Wars preview included an 8-page presentation "Attack on Avengers" by creator Hajime Isayama with art by Gerardo Sandoval.[101] It was announced at the 2015 New York Comic-Con that an American comic book titled Attack on Titan Anthology would be published.[102]

From January 23 to May 10, 2015, Universal Studios Japan hosted attractions based on Attack on Titan. "The Real" Attack on Titan Experience features a life-size 15 meter tall Eren titan engaging a 14 meter tall female titan in combat. Other attractions include a ground level titan, which visitors can pose with.[103] From May 31 to August 25, 2019, Universal Studios Japan is again set to host attractions for Attack on Titan as part of the "Cool Japan" program, including "immersive effects on a grand scale" according to editor Shintaro Kawakubo.[104] On July 3, 2019, the NHK BS Premium television station program series Fuka Yomi Dokushokai (Reading Too Much Into the Series Book Club) featured a discussion of the Attack on Titan manga series. Attack on Titan is the first manga ever featured on the program.[105]

Reception[edit]

Sales[edit]

In April 2014, Oricon reported that 30 million volumes of the series have been sold.[106] By November 2014, the manga had 45 million copies in print.[107] By December 2019, the number had increased to 100 million.[108] The series' twelfth collected volume was given a first printing of 2.2 million copies, making Attack on Titan one of only three manga series ever to get an initial print surpassing 2 million, the others being One Piece and Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.[1][109] Volume 13 has the highest initial first print of the series so far, with 2,750,000 copies. It is also the first print run record for its publisher, Kodansha.[110] Attack on Titan was the second highest selling manga series of 2013, with 15,933,801 copies sold in a single year.[111] In the first half of 2014 it topped the chart, ending One Piece's five-year reign as the highest selling series in that period, with Isayama surprised about it and thanking the readers.[112] By the end of the year, it was the second best selling manga with 11,728,368 copies sold.[113] In 2015, the series sold 8,778,048 copies ranking third for the year,[114] and 6,544,081 in 2016 for the fourth rank.[115] Attack on Titan was the second best-selling manga of 2017 with sales of 6,622,781 copies, behind only One Piece.[116] The manga's publisher, Kodansha, credits Attack on Titan for the company's first revenue increase in eighteen years.[117] The anime is noted to have helped in boosting the series' sales while Mainichi Shimbun called it a "once-in-a-decade hit".[118]

Six of the seven English volumes published in North America at the time charted on The New York Times Manga Best Seller list for the week of October 13, 2013,[119] and volume one was on the list for 81 weeks straight.[120] In June 2015, the first volume clocked in at its 100th week on the top 10 chart,[121] having sold 2.5 million copies.[122][123] It also currently holds the title of appearing on the list for a volume with 121 weeks.[124] Volume one was also number one on Nielsen BookScan's list of top 20 graphic novels in American bookstores for October 2013,[125] and for the month of September, the series had more volumes on the list than any other series.[126]

Critical response[edit]

Many have analyzed Attack on Titan as representing "the hopelessness felt by young people in today's society".[2] Writer Mao Yamawaki called it a "coming-of-age story of the boys and girls at its core", with a new mystery every episode. It is these mysteries that critic Tomofusa Kure said amplifies readers' expectations. The artwork of the manga has been criticized as crude by some reviewers, with Isayama himself admitting his drawings are "amateurish". However, those same critics stated that after years of serialization, the art has been improving, and Kure believes that had the illustrations been "refined", it would not have conveyed the "eeriness" that is a key characteristic of the work.[2] In a short review, Jason Thompson noted how the characters conveniently receive "power-ups" to create plot twists, but concluded that these plot twists and the manga's post-apocalyptic world are "too good to miss".[127]

Accolades[edit]

Attack on Titan won the Kodansha Manga Award in the shōnen category in 2011[128][129] and was nominated for the 4th Manga Taishō Award as well as the 16th and 18th annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize.[130][131][132] The 2012 edition of Kono Manga ga Sugoi!, which surveys professionals in the manga and publishing industry, named Attack on Titan the eighth best manga series for male readers,[133] while the 2014 edition named it the sixth best.[134] Attack on Titan was the top favorite manga for Yomiuri Shimbun's Sugoi Japan Awards in 2015.[135]

The Young Adult Library Services Association in the United States named the series one of its "Great Graphic Novels for Teens" in 2013.[136] Kodansha USA's English release won the 2014 Harvey Award for Best American Edition of Foreign Material.[137] Attack on Titan was the only manga to be nominated for the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Graphic Novel/Comic.[138]

Popular culture[edit]

The Attack on Titan series has been represented in mainstream pop culture, including commercial advertisements for Subaru[139] Snickers,[140] and Wonda Coffee.[141] Its characters have been referenced in the animated series The Simpsons[142] and The Amazing World of Gumball,[143] the Korean drama Surplus Princess,[144] and Japanese rock star Yoshiki's fashion brand Yoshikimono.[145]

Political interpretations[edit]

Attack on Titan has gained a strong popularity not only in Japan, but also throughout the world. For instance, coverage of the anime appeared on the front page of the Hong Kong free newspaper am730 on May 27, 2013, concerning its popularity within Hong Kong as well as in mainland China and Taiwan.[146] The series also attracted criticism: the South Korean Electronic Times magazine accused Attack on Titan of having a militaristic message that serves Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's political leanings,[147] while the series also resonated with Hong Kong youths who saw the invading Titans as a metaphor for mainland China.[146] Hong Kong media commentator Wong Yeung-tat praised Isayama's style and the versatility of Attack on Titan's setting, which opens itself to readers' various interpretations.[148] In 2013, after media linked to a 2010 blog post by Isayama indicating that the design of the character Dot Pixis was based on the Imperial Japanese General Akiyama Yoshifuru, an Internet flame war about the general's war record (e.g. allowing the Port Arthur massacre to occur) ensued on his blog and included death threats to the author. As many of the threats written in Japanese had grammatical errors, Japanese media outlets said that they were written by non-native speakers of Japanese.[149]

At the 14th International Graduate Conference in Political Science, International Relations, and Public Policy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem held on December 12–13, 2018, Inbar Pincu compared the three walls in Attack on Titan in context to the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall and the Israeli West Bank barrier, and concluded by claiming that walls of any kind do not create secure environments, but only a false sense of security that could crumble at any given moment.[150]

In Attack on Titan, the race of Eldians share many characteristics with Jewish people. Their persecution by Marleyans is similar to the Jewish persecution by Nazis in Germany. This has led to accusations and theories of Anti-Semitism and fascism apology against the series and its author, Isayama.[151] This includes claims that Isayama is promoting nationalism and the theory of Jewish global domination. However, this has been argued against by many fans of the series, with claims that while the Eldians mirror Jewish people, they are intended for readers to sympathize with rather than to be portrayed as villains.[152][153]

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External links[edit]