The most popular anime series that revived this genre and raised its popularity to the level of consciousness is Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin). Someone cleverly said that this anime series did for anime what Game of Thrones did for the fantasy genre. Of course, the anime adaptation became a worldwide hit thanks to its quality. Still, today we ask the question, what about the manga series according to which the anime adaptation was made? Is the Attack on Titan manga overshadowed by the anime of the same name, or is it just as good as the adaptation itself? We answer that question in today’s review.
What is the Attack on Titan Manga about?
About titans, of course! But, and not only about that. Here, first of all, we are talking about a unique story that transcends the boundaries of the genre and reaches the level of the universal. The narrative thread involves several main characters who try to save the world from the Titans. Still, one of them realizes that he can be a titan and fails to control his desire for revenge to the extent that he threatens to destroy the same world that he was desperately trying to save.
After series like Bleach, Death Note, Dragon Ball, Naruto, and Pokemon, on which generations of fans grew up, quite unexpectedly, when we thought that nothing new could surprise us, the manga Attack on Titan appeared with a story that we couldn’t even imagine until then. Let’s imagine.
The author of the manga is the incredible Hajime Isayama, for whom this is his first author’s work, which will bring him world fame in his early twenties, which is a rare occurrence not only in the manga but also in the anime world.
The World of Attack on Titan
The story of the manga, which is also the case with the anime series, is set in a small, fantastical world that is aesthetically inspired by German architecture (as suggested by the names of the characters Eren, Armin, Erwin, Hannes, etc.). The action is initially tiny, surrounded by high walls and divided within itself into three districts separated by walls.
At the story’s beginning, we learn that these walls are the only protection of Shiganshina city from the strange and giant creatures that devour one person – from titans.
The story itself begins slowly and simply, at a relatively slow pace. The construction of the environment and atmosphere is gradual. In this part, many questions are raised about humanity, the very conception of the world, the morality that reigns in it, and the titans that threaten to wipe the human race off the planet. Most of the inhabitants do not know what lies behind the walls of Shiganshina because they have spent their whole lives fearing the invasion of giant enemies. As the plot develops, the story becomes more and more complex. The narrative thread twists more and more, the atmosphere of mystery and intrigue grows, and the events we read in the manga leave us breathless.
In addition to the incredible and complex story, what makes the Attack on Titan manga unique is the cartoon aesthetics, which is unsurpassed and represents a natural visual spectacle.
The story follows a group of friends and the military department that is defending the city from the titans. The members of the Survey Corps (the name of the army unit) are the only inhabitants of the city who go outside the walls and search for the possible presence of titans. Our main character is Eren Yeager, a young military cadet whose family was killed during the invasion of the Shiganshina titans. Eren spent his childhood with his foster sister Mikasa Ackerman, best friend Armin Alert, and his mother. At first, Eren may seem like an impulsive boy who acts without thinking and is more prone to aggressive than thoughtful behaviour. However, the breakthrough of titans through the walls mentioned above, which people have built for centuries, will change the saplings from their roots.
In the manga, and this also applies to the anime series, precisely because of the author’s skill, the characters are uniform, well and logically developed. The relationship between Mikasa and Eren and Eren and Armin is presented in a compelling way. To the impulsive Eren, the cold and rational Mikasa represents a kind of counterbalance that, on a symbolic level, means the balance between love and raids, anger and intelligence, which are necessary to avoid self-destruction. By the end of the series, Eren Yeager’s character will undergo various transformations, but I won’t reveal anything more. His character exceeds all possible expectations. In this respect, the anime adaptation showed not only Eren but also characters like Levi Ackerman, Erwin and others in a much deeper way. But more about that in the text about the anime adaptation of the Attack on Titan series.
Manga vs Anime?
The Attack on Titan manga series is more suitable for symbolism and much more detail. Some parts that cannot be shown through animation because they would require a lot of time, even entire episodes, are elaborated in detail in the manga. Both manga and anime are created at the highest possible level, and the shortcomings are related to the medium rather than the content itself. Indeed, those who are looking for fast action and more action can find it in the anime adaptation, while those who are looking for more details, a slower narrative and a slightly deeper story can undoubtedly read the manga. Both forms offer amazing content and the opportunity for endless enjoyment.
This series is very interesting. Not only is the story very special, but it also has a lot of action that gave me goosebumps. What impressed me the most were the strategies in the fight against the titans, especially when the titans fought against the Titans. The best example of strategic battles is the clash between Eren and Annie (female titan). Also, the fight between Eren and the War Hammer titan is simply incredible, something that certainly no one expected. In addition, the intrigue, twists and turns, conspiracy, mystery and intensity of this story make it unforgettable and worthy not only of reading but also of detailed study.
You should venture into the world behind the walls of Attack on Titan. You first read the manga and then watch the anime adaptation because through the manga, it will be easier for you to learn more about the events that follow Eren and his friends, so watching anime is much more fun and endless pleasure. Of course, this does not mean that you will not enjoy it if you decide to just read the manga or just watch the anime. This is just my suggestion (based on experience) on how to get the best and most from this unforgettable series! Readers, dedicate your hearts!
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