What is it about ?

The world no longer belongs to humans, gigantic creatures called Titans who dominate it instead. Measuring between 3 and 15 meters, these monsters forced humans to take refuge behind three concentric walls measuring fifty meters high. Behind these almost sacred ramparts, humanity tries to survive and organizes the reconquest of its territory thanks to its armed forces. These are divided into three branches: the garrison which protects the Walls and their inhabitants, the exploration battalion which ventures beyond the protections of the city and the special brigades which are under the orders of the king at the center of the fortifications. Gradually regaining hope thanks to the protection of the ramparts and to technological advances such as rechargeable blades and three-dimensional maneuvering equipment, humanity’s ambitions are humbled the day a 60-meter Colossal Titan appears and destroys one of the entry gates to the first wall …

What’s the story?

Young Eren Jäger and his friends, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlelt, witnessed the assault on the Colossal Titan that further reduced the size of the humans’ territory. Growing up and training hard, they joined the 104th Training Brigade and enlisted in the Exploration Battalion, decried as a waste of time, money and people by the population. Inspiring and motivated, Eren believes there is a way for humans to take back the world, but all will change in a clash in which his abilities are awakened to protect his comrades and his city. Eren will then represent one more step in understanding the origins and the will of the Titans and he will become in spite of himself a political and military cog, sometimes a bearer of hope, sometimes treated as an outcast in the fortress city.

Historical background

In 2009, Attack on Titan was featured in the monthly Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine. The first hardcover volume appeared in 2010 and the 34th volume was released in June 2021 in Japan. The English version is published by Kodansha Comics in North America and the French version by Pika, in the Seinen category.

Attack on Titan has received numerous awards in Japan (Kōdansha manga award, Manga Taishō award, Osamu Tezuka cultural award), North America (Harvey award), France (Anime & Manga Grand Prix) and Italy ( Micheluzzi Prize).

The different arcs

  • The Fall of Shiganshina: Volume 1
  • The Battle of Trost: Volumes 1 to 4
  • The 104th Training Brigade: Volume 4
  • The Female Titan: Volumes 5 to 8
  • Clash of the Titans: Volumes 9 to 12
  • The Major Turn: Volumes 13 to 17
  • Return to Shiganshina: Volumes 18 to 22
  • The Mahrs: Volumes 23 to 26
  • Return and War in Paradise: Volumes 27 to 34

Characters

Eren Jäger, eager to exterminate all titans after seeing his mother get eaten by one of them, he always wanted to join the Exploration Battalion and will prove himself worthy. He is the son of Doctor Grisha Jäger who left him a legacy laden with secrets by bequeathing him extraordinary abilities.

Mikasa Ackerman, having been taken in by the Jäger family following the murder of her parents, she follows Eren to protect him. With a cold temperament and a combat prodigy, she will stand out for her extraordinary abilities.

Armin Arlelt, less robust and resilient than his two best friends, he more than compensates with his sense of observation and his analytical mind. Needing his friends to motivate himself in order to push his limits, he proves to be an excellent strategist.

Levi, renowned member and recognized as the most powerful soldier in the army of the walls, the Chief Corporal lacks diplomacy and tact, despite his excellent combat skill.

The mangaka

Like his characters, Hajime Isayama is a prodigy but manga for his part. It was only 19 years old that he imagined and designed a one-shot on the universe of Attack on Titan. Not having wanted to modify his story despite the request of the Weekly Shōnen Jump, he submitted his work to another editor and then worked with him on two one-shots: Heart Break One and Orz in 2008 before embarking on his series Attack on Titan that ended this year.

Derivatives

The series has been adapted into a 4-season anime, several OVAs and animated films.

A two-part live movie was shot in 2015, and an American adaptation was officially announced in October 2018.

Several light novels have been written:

  • Before the Fall, written by Ryo Suzukaze and illustrated by Shibamoto Thores.
  • Attack on Titan: Hope of the City and Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City, both written by Ryō Kawakami and illustrated by Range Murata.
  • Attack on Titan: Lost Girls, written by Hiroshi Seko
  • There is also a Rachel Aaron novel called Garrison Girl: An Attack on Titan Novel.

Four derivative manga series, two of which adapt light novels, will emerge:

  • Before the Fall, written and drawn by Satoshi Shiki
  • Attack on Titan: No Regrets, written by Gan Sunaaku and drawn by Hikaru Suruga in two volumes which have also been edited in color.
  • Attack on Titan: Junior High-School, comedy series written and drawn by Saki Nakagawa.

In 2014, a crossover was created with the Marvel universe and we see in Attack on Avengers, a New York devastated by the onslaught of Titans against whom the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers will fight.

Several video games ranging from collectible cards, mobiles and visual novels to action games for Nintendo DS and Playstation have been created.

Our recommendation

Attack on Titan shuffles genres by offering a Shakespearean work in a post-apocalyptic steampunk universe. Mixing the canon of giant mechs and zombies, Hajime Isayama created remarkable antagonists with the titans. Along with the physical and palpable horror of comic situations that might make us look away, is added the psychological and intellectual terror that the author makes us feel through his characters. It becomes difficult to stop reading when you start Attack on Titan. Between political, military, religious intrigues, questions about humanity and the Titans’ chases, this manga perfectly captures the pangs of agoraphobia.

We recommend Attack on Titan to those who enjoyed the vicissitudes of Games of Thrones and who want to rediscover the suspense and fear of losing the characters they are attached to in a manga. Adding “titanic” fight scenes with an art-style that continually improves over the volumes, results in a Seinen saga that you will have to know!

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