Attack on Titan Shingeki no Kyojin 進撃の巨人
Reclaiming the lands invaded by the Titans
A real phenomenon since its release, Attack on Titan , or Shingeki no Kyojin in Japanese, is one of the most universally recognized manga of the last decade.
"Shinzou wo sasageyou!" Now that's a cry that should sound familiar to your ears. If not, it's time to discover Attack on Titan! What's on the agenda? Epic action, complex characters and a plot full of twists and turns.
Attack of the Titans, a shonen with a dark and hectic story
Attack on Titan , commonly abbreviated to SnK for Shingeki no Kyojin , is set in a universe where the titans, giant, man-eating creatures, have all but exterminated mankind after their sudden appearance. Measuring up to 15 meters high, the titans quickly became a threat to humanity. Opposite them, three hundred-year-old enclosure walls, Maria, Rose and Sina, built one inside the other, constitute the last ramparts of protection for the human race.
The story begins around three children: Eren Jäger, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlelt , when a 60-meter titan, taller and smarter than the other titans, attacks Wall Maria. He creates a breach there which allows the titans from outside to rush into the enclosure and wreak havoc in the nearest village. While Eren's mother is killed, he manages to escape with Armin and Mikasa.
A few years later, we find the three friends in training to join the Survey Corps. This is the only army corps that patrols outside the walls to learn more about the titans. It is a high-risk mission, with dozens of casualties on each expedition, but it's a necessary evil in order to find a way to defeat the titan threat.
Deep and mature themes
The social reading that can be made of Attack on Titan has been one of the keys to the success and engagement around the manga, creating many debates about what the author is trying to say about our world through his work. For example, in Attack on Titan , the mistrust of many characters towards anyone who is not part of their community can refer to the nationalism, xenophobia and fear of the other that are found in our societies.
Furthermore, the series depicts a dystopian society where power is concentrated in the hands of a few and where the ruling elite are more concerned with maintaining their status and control than protecting their people. Again, a reflection of our world can be found in government corruption, income inequality and abuse of power.
A sense of detail at the origin of the manga's success
If the manga Attack on Titan has become so popular, with more than 100 million copies sold worldwide, it is not really thanks to the quality of the drawings of its mangaka Hajime Isayama. The manga even almost never saw the light as many publishers had rejected it, judging its drawings “hideous”. On the other hand, it is the quality of the manga's writing and the complexity of its plot that has earned it its success. Each element is carefully crafted and thought out to potentially have an influence later in the series and have a whole new light. The names of the characters are themselves evocative of what happens in the series, such as the name of Eren Jäger , “jäger” meaning hunter in German, or that of Mikasa , in reference to the eponymous battleship of the Japanese navy.
An animation that contributes to the popularity of the work
First published in 2009 in Japan in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine and adapted into an anime in 2013, the impact of Attack on Titan has been resounding. In North America, the series was first published in 2012 by Kodansha USA.
The popularity of Attack on Titan was largely boosted following the creation of the anime and its subsequent release on platforms like Netflix. First aired in 2013 by Wit Studio, accustomed to high-quality adaptations, the animated version caused a tidal wave internationally.
Its epic story, its twists and turns associated with high-quality animation that make the action scenes all the more impressive, contribute to the enormous popularity enjoyed by the anime when it was released. There is a real attention to detail, which is felt at every moment. While the first three seasons of the anime were created by Wit Studio , the final season, cut into several parts, was taken over by MAPPA studio , another renowned studio but whose adaptation choices, using 3D models for some titans, caused quite a stir on the web.
The music of Attack on Titan also contributed greatly to the success of the work. Composed by Hiroyuki Sawano , known for his work on other popular anime series like Kill la Kill and Blue Exorcist, the soundtrack is a mix of orchestral and rock music, creating an easily identifiable sound atmosphere. Opening theme songs like "Guren no Yumiya", by Linked Horizon have become icons and are recognized by fans around the world.
The places in Japan dedicated to Attack on Titan
The anime is so popular that bronze statues of Attack on Titan characters have been erected in Hita (Oita Prefecture, Kyushu), the birthplace of Isayama Hajime. Thus, it is possible to find the trio Eren, Mikasa and Armin staring in horror at the dam of Oyama , 94 meters high. Not far from there, it is also possible to see Levi Ackerman in front of the JR Hita station. A nice wink that has something to satisfy the biggest fans of Attack on Titan who are impatiently awaiting the end of the animated adaptation scheduled for 2023.