Attack on Titan
|Attack on Titan|
Cover of Attack on Titan volume 1
(Shingeki no Kyojin)
|Genre||Dark fantasy, Post-apocalyptic|
|Written by||Hajime Isayama|
|Magazine||Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine|
|Original run||September 9, 2009 – present|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tetsurō Araki
Masashi Koizuka (Season 2)
|Produced by||Tetsuya Kinoshita
|Written by||Yasuko Kobayashi|
|Music by||Hiroyuki Sawano|
Production I.G (Production cooperation)
|Network||MBS, Tokyo MX, FBS, TOS, HTB, TVA, BS11|
|Original run||April 7, 2013 – present|
|Episodes||25 + 5 OVA|
|Attack on Titan – Part 1:
Crimson Bow and Arrow
Attack on Titan – Part 2:
Wings of Freedom
|Directed by||Tetsurō Araki|
|Written by||Yasuko Kobayashi|
|Music by||Hiroyuki Sawano|
Production I.G (Production cooperation)
|Released||November 22, 2014 (Part 1)
July 27, 2015 (Part 2)
|Runtime||120 minutes each|
Attack on Titan (Japanese: 進撃の巨人 Hepburn: Shingeki no Kyojin?, lit. "Attacking Titan") is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. The series began in Kodansha's Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine on September 9, 2009, and has been collected into 21 tankōbon volumes as of December 2016. It is set in a world where humanity lives in cities surrounded by enormous walls; a defense against the Titans, gigantic humanoids that eat humans seemingly without reason. The story initially centers on Eren Yeager, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and childhood friend Armin Arlert, who join the military to fight the Titans after their home town is invaded and Eren's mother is eaten. However, as the story progresses and the truths about the Titans are slowly revealed to the reader, the narrative shifts to encompass Historia Reiss, squad leader Levi, Eren's father Grisha, and other supporting characters.
The spin-off light novel series Before the Fall began in December 2011 and has received a manga adaptation. Two additional light novel series and four additional spin-off manga series have also been created. A television anime adaptation produced by Wit Studio and Production I.G aired in Japan on MBS between April and September 2013 and a second season is confirmed to be released in April 2017. Four video game adaptations developed by Nitroplus staffers in collaboration with Production I.G were announced to be released as bonus content for the third and sixth volumes of the Blu-ray Disc release of the anime, with another game developed by Spike Chunsoft for the Nintendo 3DS. A two-part live-action film adaptation, Attack on Titan and Attack on Titan: End of the World, and a live-action web-series were released in 2015. An anime adaptation of the Junior High spin-off manga, produced by Production I.G, began airing in October 2015. Attack on Titan and all five spin-off manga are published in North America by Kodansha Comics USA, while the three novel series are published by Vertical. The anime has been licensed by Funimation for North America, by Manga Entertainment for the UK, and by Madman Entertainment for Australasia.
Attack on Titan has become a commercial success. As of September 2016, the manga has 60 million copies in print. The release of the anime also saw a boost in the series' popularity, with it having received critical acclaim for its atmosphere and story. Although it also gained fame in neighboring Asian countries, the series' themes have been a subject of controversy.
Over 100 years before the beginning of the story, giant humanoid creatures called Titans (巨人 Kyojin) suddenly appeared and nearly wiped out humanity, devouring them without remorse or reason. What remains of humanity now resides within three enormous concentric walls: the outermost is Wall Maria (ウォール・マリア Wōru Maria); the middle wall is Wall Rose (ウォール・ローゼ Wōru Rōze, sometimes pronounced like rosé) and the innermost is Wall Sheena (ウォール・シーナ Wōru Shīna, alt. "Wall Sina"). Inside these walls, humanity has lived in uneasy peace for one hundred years; many people growing up without ever having seen a Titan. This all changes when one day, a giant 60-meter (200 ft)-tall Colossus Titan mysteriously appears after a strike of lightning and breaches the outer wall of the Shiganshina district, a town at Wall Maria, allowing the smaller Titans to invade the district. An Armored Titan smashes clean through Wall Maria, forcing mankind to abandon the land between Wall Maria and Wall Rose, evacuating the remaining population into the inner districts. The sudden influx of population causes turmoil and famine.
The Titans are giant humanoid figures ranging between 3–15 meters (10–50 ft) tall and are usually masculine in body structure but lack reproductive organs. Although they do not appear to need food, they instinctively attack and eat humans on sight; it is mentioned that they derive their energy from sunlight. Furthermore, the Titans also do not have a proper digestive tract; once they have eaten their fill of human prey, titans will vomit their meal into large, slimy balls, derisively referred to as "hairballs". Finally, their skin is tough and difficult to penetrate, and they regenerate quickly from injuries, save for a weak spot at the nape of their neck.
Combating the Titans is the military, which is divided into three branches. Foremost in the story is the Survey Corps (調査兵団 Chōsa Heidan), which goes out into Titan territory to try to reclaim the land. The Survey Corps are heavily derided in society because of their apparently senseless high casualty rate and little sense of progress. The second and largest branch is the Garrison Regiment (駐屯兵団 Chūton Heidan), which guards the walls and the civilian populace. The third branch is the Military Police Brigade (憲兵団 Kenpeidan), who guards the royal family and live relatively relaxed lives, although this eventually results in fraud, corruption, and political subterfuge. The soldiers use a tethering system called Vertical Maneuvering Equipment (立体機動装置 Rittai Kidō Sōchi) acting as a grappling system, allowing them to jump onto (and swing from) walls, trees, or nearby buildings to attack Titans with dual swords. However, despite it being the soldiers' primary line of both offense and defense against the Titans, it is useless in open and flat terrain like fields.
The story of Attack on Titan revolves around the adventures of Eren Yeager, his foster sister, Mikasa Ackerman, and their childhood friend Armin Arlert. After the wall which protects their hometown of Shinganshina is breached by the Colossal Titan leading the other Titans to enter, Eren watches in horror as one of them eats his mother. Vowing to kill all the Titans, Eren enlists in the military, along with his friends.
Five years later, the three cadet graduates are positioned in Trost District, one of the border towns jutting out of Wall Rose when the Titans attack again. In the ensuing battle, Eren is eaten by one of the Titans before Armin's eyes. A Titan later appears and begins fighting the other Titans while ignoring humans; the Titan is revealed to be Eren, who has developed the ability to transform into one. Though he is seen as a threat by some, he helps the military take back Trost District. After being placed on trial for being a danger to the humans, he is taken in by the Survey Corps' Special Operations Squad, led by Captain Levi.
In an expedition to Shinganshina, the Scouts are attacked by a Female Titan who attempts to capture Eren. Although the Scouts are able to briefly capture the Female Titan, she breaks free and devastates Levi's squad, forcing the expedition to retreat. Armin determines that the Female Titan is Annie, one of the cadets who taught Eren to fight, and devises a plan to capture her at Stohess. During this operation, collateral damage reveals that Titans reside in and make up the walls surrounding the human settlements.
Some of Eren's friends are also revealed to be able to transform into Titans and had been sent as spies by an unknown party to find something called "The Coordinate". It is later confirmed that the Coordinate is the power to control other Titans at will, and that Eren holds that power. The royal family and the Military Police track Eren and his friend Krista Lenz, who is actually Historia Reiss, the successor to the real king, Rod Reiss, as the current king is but a figurehead.
The Survey Corps, losing all will to follow the current government, stage a successful rebellion to overthrow the monarchy, culminating with the death of Rod by the hands of his own daughter, who becomes the new queen. It is then revealed that the Reiss Family was responsible for the creation of the walls 100 years ago using the Coordinate, which was stolen by Eren's father Grisha, who then transferred it to Eren's body by turning him into a Titan before allowing his son to devour him.
By making use of a new power obtained by Eren that allows him to create massive and permanent structures, the Survey Corps hold another expedition, this time managing to reach Shiganshina and seal the breach to reclaim Wall Maria. However, they are ambushed by Zeke, the man behind the Titan invasions and the spies, leading an army of Titans including the Colossal Titan against them. The battle ends with Zeke retreating, and the Colossal Titan defeated and killed by Armin, who becomes a Titan Shifter like Eren, but at the cost of the lives of almost all members of the expedition, including the commander of the Survey Corps, Erwin Smith. Before returning home, the survivors explore the basement of Eren and Mikasa's old house and recover evidence proving that the human civilization beyond the walls is not extinct as they were always led to believe, but is, in fact, thriving.
Hajime Isayama created a 65-page one-shot version of Attack on Titan in 2006. 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. 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, which is surrounded by mountains. 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. When designing the appearances of the Titans, he uses several models such as martial artist Yushin Okami for Eren Yeager's Titan form as well as Brock Lesnar for the Armored Titan. George Wada, the anime's producer, stated that the "Wall of Fear" was influenced by the isolated and enclosed nature of Japanese culture. He also said that the inner feelings of every individual is one of the series' main influences. 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.
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. In September 2013, he stated that he was aiming to end the series in 20 collected volumes. 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 contemplate changing the ending due to the impact it could have on fans.
Hajime Isayama's original manga serial, Attack on Titan commenced publication in Kodansha's monthly publication Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine starting with the September 2009 issue. The first tankōbon collected volume was released on March 17, 2010. The most recent, volume 21, was released on December 9, 2016. In November 2014, the manga had 45 million copies in print. By September 2016, the number had increased to 60 million. The series' twelfth collected volume was given a first printing of 2.2 million copies, making Attack on Titan one of only two manga series ever to get an initial print surpassing 2 million, the other being One Piece. 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.
A comedic spin-off of 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. 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. 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 is 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. 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. 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.
In North America, the series is published in English by Kodansha Comics USA. They published the first volume on June 19, 2012,. The fifteenth was released on April 7, 2015. By July 2015, the manga had 2.5 million copies in circulation in North America. The first three spin-off manga have also been licensed by Kodansha Comics USA, who published the first volume of each between March and June 2014. It announced its license to Spoof on Titan at the New York Comic Con in October 2015, and its acquisition of Lost Girls in March 2016.
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, 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, began on August 1, 2014. Vertical began releasing the novels in North America in the summer of 2014. A novel titled Attack on Titan: Lost Girls (進撃の巨人 Lost Girls), written by Hiroshi Seko, was published on December 9, 2014. It comprises three short stories featuring Mikasa and Annie Leonhart, titled "Lost in the cruel world", "Wall Sina, Goodbye", and "Lost Girls". It was also released in English by Vertical.
An anime television series adaptation produced by Wit Studio (a subsidiary of IG Port) aired on MBS between April 7, 2013 and September 29, 2013, directed by Tetsurō Araki with Yūki Kaji starring as Eren, Yui Ishikawa voicing Mikasa and Marina Inoue as Armin. Both Funimation and Crunchyroll simulcast the series on their respective websites, and Funimation began releasing the series on North American home video in 2014. The anime has been licensed in the UK by Manga Entertainment. Madman Entertainment acquired the show for distribution in Australia and New Zealand. The final episode was also aired in Japanese theaters. The anime had some production issues with needing more animators with Wit Studios' character designer, Kyoji Asano tweeting and looking for active animators to work on the anime. An OVA version of the "Ilse's Notebook" special chapter from tankōbon volume 5 was originally scheduled to be released on August 9, 2013, bundled with the volume 11 limited edition, but was postponed and included with a limited edition of volume 12, released on December 9, 2013, instead. The OVA was bundled on subtitled DVD with the English limited edition release of the 17th manga volume, released on December 1, 2015. A second OVA was released on April 9, 2014, bundled with the 13th volume of the series, this one focused on the members of the 104th Training Corps. Two additional 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. The anime previously aired on Adult Swim's Toonami block. In Australia, the anime currently airs on SBS 2 on Tuesdays, in Japanese with English subtitles, with the first episode having aired on September 30.
The anime was compiled into two animated theatrical films with new voice acting from the same cast. The first film Attack on Titan – Part 1: Crimson Bow and Arrow (「進撃の巨人」前編～紅蓮の弓矢～ Shingeki no Kyojin Zenpen ~Guren no Yumiya~) covers the first 13 episodes and was released on November 22, 2014, while the second film Attack on Titan – Part 2: Wings of Freedom (「進撃の巨人」後編～自由の翼～ Shingeki no Kyojin Kōhen ~Jiyū no Tsubasa~) adapts the remaining episodes and adds new opening and ending footage. It was released on June 27, 2015. A rebroadcast of the first season was aired from during January 9, 2016 on NHK's BS Premium channel. The compilation films will also be rebroadcast in January 2017 on MBS.
A second season of the anime series was announced on the opening day of the first theatrical film, which was originally set to be released in 2016. It was then confirmed in the January 2017 issue of the Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine that the second season will premiere in April 2017. Masashi Koizuka is directing the second season, with Araki now acting as chief director. It has also been licensed by Funimation.
A television anime adaptation of the Attack on Titan: Junior High manga spin-off began airing in October 2015. The series was directed by Yoshihide Ibata at Production I.G, with series composition by Midori Gotou, character design by Yuuko Yahiro, and music by Asami Tachibana. Linked Horizon will be back to do the opening theme "Youth Like Fireworks". The ending theme, "Ground's Counterattack" ("Hangeki no Daichi"), is performed by the voice actors for Eren, Mikasa, and Jean. A rebroadcast of the series was aired during January 2016.
|Attack on Titan Original Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Hiroyuki Sawano|
|Released||June 28, 2013 (Disc 1)
October 16, 2013 (Disc 2)
|Length||1:17:27 (Disc 1)
47:51 (Disc 2)
For the first thirteen episodes, the opening theme is "Guren no Yumiya" (紅蓮の弓矢, lit. "Crimson Bow and Arrow", styled in German as "Feuerroter Pfeil und Bogen") by Linked Horizon, and the ending theme is "Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai" (美しき残酷な世界, lit. "This Beautiful Cruel World") by Yōko Hikasa. For episodes 14–25, the opening theme is "Jiyū no Tsubasa" (自由の翼, lit. "Wings of Freedom", styled in German as "Die Flügel der Freiheit") by Linked Horizon, and the ending theme is "great escape" by Cinema Staff. Both "Guren no Yumiya" and "Jiyū no Tsubasa" were released as part of the single "Jiyū e no Shingeki" on July 10, 2013.
The series' soundtrack was composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, and the first CD was released on June 28, 2013 by Pony Canyon. The first CD contains 16 tracks, with 6 vocal tracks featuring performances by Mika Kobayashi, mpi, Cyua, Aimee Blackschleger and CASG. The second CD containing the other half of the soundtrack was released on October 16, 2013 as a bonus offered with the fourth Blu-ray and DVD limited edition volumes of the anime.
All music composed by Hiroyuki Sawano.
|Attack on Titan Original Soundtrack - CD 1|
|1.||"ətˈæk 0N tάɪtn" (attack ON titan)||Rie||Mika Kobayashi||4:17|
|2.||"The Reluctant Heroes"||mpi||mpi||4:27|
|4.||"立body機motion" (Rittai Kidou; "Three-Dimensional Maneuver")||5:43|
|6.||"army⇒G♂" (army ATTACK)||3:26|
|7.||"Vogel im Käfig" ("Bird in a Cage")||Rie||Cyua||6:20|
|9.||"凸】♀】♂】←巨人" (Kyojin Shinkou; "Titan Invasion")||4:21|
|11.||"巨♀～9地区" (Megata Kyojin Kuchiku; "Female Titan Extermination")||5:15|
|12.||"Bauklötze" ("Building Blocks")||Rie||Mika Kobayashi||3:56|
|13.||"2chi城" (Nichijou; "Daily Life")||6:48|
|15.||"Call your name"||mpi||
|Attack on Titan Original Soundtrack - CD 2|
There have been four video game adaptations of Attack on Titan developed by Nitroplus staffers in collaboration with Production I.G. Nitroplus clarified that the studio as a company is 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.
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"). 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.
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.
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.
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. It was released on February 18, 2016 in Japan. Later was confirmed to be released worldwide along with PC and Xbox One versions.
Another title in the series, Attack on Titan: Escape from Certain Death was announced to be in development for the Nintendo 3DS. It was announced in Famitsu magazine in October 2016. The game is set for release in Japan on March 30, 2017.
A live-action film was announced to be in production in October 2011. 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. 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 was announced to be scripting the movie with series creator Isayama. In July 2014, it was revealed that two films will be released in the summer of 2015. A teaser trailer for the first live-action film was released in March 2015. The following month, Toho released the second trailer for the first film, and announced the second installment will be called Attack on Titan: End of the World. In June 2015, a third trailer for the first film was released, revealing the Three-Dimensional Maneuvering Gear, as well as confirming the film will be released in IMAX theaters in Japan.
A live-action miniseries, titled Shingeki no Kyojin: Hangeki no Noroshi (進撃の巨人 反撃の狼煙?, "Attack on Titan: Beacon for Counterattack") 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.
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. They were combined into one and released in North America on September 16, 2014, by Kodansha USA.
On November 3, 2014, American writer C. B. Cebulski revealed that a crossover between Attack on Titan and Marvel Comics was in the works. Cebulski scripts the scenario written by the original author Hajime 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. 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 Sandova. It was announced at the 2015 New York Comic-Con that an American comic book titled Attack on Titan Anthology will be published.
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.
Attack on Titan won the Kodansha Manga Award in the shōnen category in 2011, was nominated for the 4th Manga Taishō Award and both the 16th and 18th annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize. The 2012 edition of Kono Manga ga Sugoi!, which surveys people in the manga and publishing industry, named Attack on Titan the eighth best manga series for male readers, while the 2014 edition named it the sixth best. Attack on Titan was the top favorite manga for Yomiuri Shimbun's Sugoi Japan Awards in 2015. Attack on Titan was the second highest selling manga series of 2013, with 15,933,801 copies sold in a single year. In April 2014, Oricon reported that 30 million volumes of the series have been sold. 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. By the end of the year, it was the second best selling manga with 11,728,368 copies sold. In 2015, the series sold 8,778,048 copies ranking third for the year. In 2016, the series sold 6,544,081. The manga's publisher, Kodansha, credits Attack on Titan for the company's first revenue increase in eighteen years. The anime is noted to have helped in boosting the series' sales while Mainichi Shimbun called it a "once-in-a-decade hit."
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, and volume one was on the list for 81 weeks straight. In June 2015, the first volume clocked in at its 100th week on the top 10 chart. It also currently holds the title of appearing on the list for a volume with 121 weeks. Volume one was also number one on Nielsen BookScan's list of top 20 graphic novels in American bookstores for October 2013, and for the month of September, the series had more volumes on the list than any other series. The Young Adult Library Services Association in the United States named the series one of its "Great Graphic Novels for Teens" in 2013. Kodansha USA's English release won the 2014 Harvey Award for Best American Edition of Foreign Material. Attack on Titan was the only manga to be nominated for the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Graphic Novel/Comic.
Many have analyzed Attack on Titan as representing "the hopelessness felt by young people in today's society." while 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 says 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. In a short review, Jason Thompson noted how the characters conveniently receive "power-ups" to create plot twists, but concluded that these said plot twists and the manga's post-apocalyptic world are "too good to miss."
The anime has been very successful in Japan, with average sales of 52,067 across 9 volumes, with a total of 468,603 as of August 2016. It was the number one selling TV anime of 2013 in Japan. It was also the number one streaming anime from Funimation in 2014 and the number one fan favorite Funimation home video released of 2014. The anime adaptation won multiple prizes during the 3rd Newtype Anime Awards, including Best Director, Best Script, Best Soundtrack, Best Theme Song, Top Female Character and Title of the Year. It received the award for Best TV Animation at the 2013 Animation Kobe Awards. It received the award for Animation of the Year at the 2014 Tokyo Anime Award, along with, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Music. It won the 2013 Digital Contents of the Year Award at Japan's 19th annual Association of Media in Digital (AMD) Awards. Carl Kimlinger from Anime News Network was sharply critical of the first two episodes of the anime adaptation. He did praise the show for "[bringing] back the terror of the fee-fi-fo-fum set", but then said that it "does not a good show make". Kimlinger criticized Araki's direction, saying he "clearly intends it to be powerful and unsettling, but it's just crude and unpleasant." On the other hand, other critics from Anime News Network praised much of the series. Rebecca Silverman said it "is both gorgeous and appalling in its visuals", and "an excellent mix of what 18th century Gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe defined as horror versus terror: the one is physical, making you want to look away, and the other is intellectual, making you want to know what's going to happen next." Though there are several apocalyptic action shows, Carlo Santos noted that "few get as close to perfection as Attack on Titan does". Santos described it as "a masterpiece of death and destruction" even if he only watched the first episode. Theron Martin of Anime News Network praised the musical score and the "intense, impactful first episode" despite his feeling that it has "limited animation". Martin also compared Attack on Titan's vibe and visual aesthetic to Claymore.
The series has gained a strong popularity in not only 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 China and Taiwan. However, 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 Shinzō Abe's political leanings; while the series also resonated with Hong Kong youths who saw the invading Titans as a metaphor for Mainland China. 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. 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. Because many of the threats written in Japanese had grammatical errors, it is believed that they were written by people outside of Japan.
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