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Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan

Japanese manga series

Attack on Titan (Japanese: 進撃の巨人, Hepburn: Shingeki no Kyojin, lit. "The Advancing Giants") is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. It is set in a world where humanity lives inside cities surrounded by three enormous walls that protect them from the gigantic man-eating humanoids referred to as Titans; the story follows Eren Yeager, who vows to exterminate the Titans after a Titan brings about the destruction of his hometown and the death of his mother. Attack on Titan was serialized in Kodansha's monthly shōnen manga magazine Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine from September 2009 to April 2021, with its chapters collected in 34 tankōbon volumes.

An anime television series 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 premiered in December 2020, airing 16 episodes in its first part, with the second part premiering in January 2022.

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, making it one of the best-selling manga series of all time. It has won several awards, including the Kodansha Manga Award, the Attilio Micheluzzi Award, and the Harvey Award.

Setting

The plot of Attack on Titan centers on a civilization inside three walls. According to the knowledge propagated locally, it is the last location where humans still live. It's inhabitants have been led to believe that over one hundred years ago, humanity was driven to the brink of extinction after the emergence of humanoid giants called Titans, who attack and eat humans on sight. The last remnants of humanity retreated behind three concentric walls and enjoyed nearly a century of peace and the thought of venturing outside is frowned upon and discouraged. To combat Titans, the country's military employs Vertical Maneuvering Equipment, a set of waist-mounted grappling hooks and gas-powered propulsion enabling immense mobility in three dimensions.

As the series progress, the true history the Titans and the fact that there are humans outside of the island of Paradis were revealed.

Eren Yeager is a boy who lives in the town of Shiganshina, located on the outermost of three circular walls protecting the inhabitants of Paradis island from Titans. In the year 845, the first wall is breached by two new types of Titans, the Colossal Titan and the Armored Titan. During the incident, Eren's mother is eaten by a Titan while Eren escapes. He swears revenge on all Titans and enlists in the military along with his childhood friends, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert. He intends to join the Survey Corps, the expeditionary force that seeks to eradicate the Titans.

Five years after Shiganshina's fall, Trost a town of the second wall is attacked once more by the Colossal Titan. Eren learns that he has the mysterious ability to turn himself into a sentient Attack Titan. This draws the attention of the Survey Corps, who intends to use his power to reclaim Wall Maria. The Military Police and government all hope at taking ownership over Eren and using his powers for their good. Eren is handed over to Captain Levi and Hange Zoe of the Special Operations Squad, where they test his limits and loyalty. Eren realizes that that he has to give himself pain if he is to use his Titan form properly. Survey Corps commander Erwin Smith leads their troops into an expedition into the forest between the walls, where they encounter a sentient Female Titan. Levi's squad is killed in the battle, and Eren fails to use his Titan form properly in his rage. After distancing themselves from the Military Police's corruption, Eren and his companions deduce that their fellow military reg Annie Leonhart is the Female Titan. Eren and Annie fight, killing many townsfolk before Annie crystallizes herself. Eren is jailed, being deemed too unstable but Levi and Erwin secure his protection.

Titans mysteriously appear within the walls with no evidence of how they got in. The Survey Corps is sent to investigate, but one of their top squad leaders is killed when he encounters the sentient Beast Titan, an ape-like titan who can speak. Ymir, one of the new Survey Corps graduates, reveals that she can transform into a Titan after being exiled from a distant land. Christa Lenz tells them that her true name is Historia Reiss and that she is a member of the island's royal bloodline. Reiner Braun and Bertholt Hoover betray their team by transforming into the Armored Titan and Colossal Titan after they are unable to convince Eren to return to their homeland with them. They proceed to take Eren hostage. Erwin leads a successful charge to rescue Eren, wherein Eren uses a mysterious power called 'the coordinate' to control Titans; Reiner, Bertholt, and Ymir escape to their homeland Marley across the ocean. The Titans are revealed to be transformed humans from Ragako Village, which included graduate Connie Springer's family.

Eren and his friends join Levi Squad while the Survey Corps is targeted by the Military Police. Levi Squad and Hange are pursued by corrupt police led by Levi's uncle, Kenny Ackerman. They discover that by transforming into a Pure Titan and eating another Titan shifter, a person can gain its abilities. The island's ruler, King Fritz, is shown to be a puppet controlled by government officials. Historia and her father, Rod Reiss, are the only surviving members of the royal bloodline. Reiss takes Eren hostage because Eren is in possession of the Founding Titan after his father Grisha ate Frieda Reiss, the Titan's previous owner. Reiss transforms into a monstrous Pure Titan and heads to Orvud District; Historia kills her father, declaring herself Queen. The combined powers of the Beast, Colossal, and Armored lead to much of the Survey Corps being killed in the ensuing war; Armin gains ownership of the Colossal Titan by eating Bertolt, and Erwin dies in a suicide run against the Beast Titan. Eren and his companions return to his home, where they discover the truth of their world: they are actually Eldians, sworn enemies of the conquering Marleyans who were enclosed within the walls after King Fritz fled from the war. They are not the last humans as they were told, but rather an enclosed sect of Eldians on an isolated island called Paradis. Because they are 'Subjects of Ymir' who can be turned into Titans by being injected with spinal fluid, the Eldians continue to be oppressed by Marley. The Survey Corps kill all the remaining Titans in the walls.

Three years later, Marley struggles to keep their dominance when other nations invent anti-Titan weaponry. Warriors-in-training Gabi Braun and Falco Grice are thrown into the war when the Survey Corps attack Marley's capital, Liberio. Eren kills Willy Tybur, who had been controlling Marley from the shadows and gains ownership of the Warhammer Titan after eating its previous owner, Tybur's sister. Armin's Colossal Titan transforms, destroying their naval fleet and preventing an immediate counterattack. They escape and head back to Paradis after their victory, though Gabi and Falco board the airship and kill Sasha. It's revealed that followers of Eren's half-brother Zeke, owner of the Beast Titan, led by Yelena were working with Paradis to plan the attack; Zeke claims to be a true Eldian restorationist. Eren is imprisoned for treachery against the Survey Corps, but escapes along with a faction of extremist Paradis followers called the Yeagerists. In doing so, Eren betrays his friends and loses Armin and Mikasa's trust, though Eren declares his immense hatred and distaste for the two. Yelena and her followers take control over Paradis' government, attempting to reunite Eren with Zeke, who is being held by Levi. Zeke escape's Levi, severely injuring him, and his true plan is revealed to be to use Eren's Founding Titan to euthanize the Subjects of Ymir. Marley's air fleet arrives, led by Reiner, and war breaks out. Eren is seemingly killed when Gabi shoots and decapitates him.

Eren survives and meets Zeke in the Paths, an interconnecting series of gateways connecting all Subjects of Ymir through time and space. He also meets the consciousness of Ymir Fritz, the original Titan, whose tortured past has led to her imprisonment within the Paths for thousands of years. Zeke takes control of the Founding Titan and reveals his intent to convert Eren to his ideology. However, Eren is able to manipulate the past using his Attack Titan and convince Grisha in the past to kill the Reiss family. Eren convinces Ymir to use her power to unleash the Rumbling, unshackling thousands of Colossal Titans kept within Paradis' walls and leading them on a genocidal march of killing everyone outside of the walls. The Survey Corps ally with remaining Marley forces, including Reiner and a now-freed Annie, battling the Paradis military to board an aircraft in order to stop 'The Rumbling'. Upon reaching Eren, Armin convinces a nihilistic Zeke that life has meaning beyond multiplication, after which Levi beheads Zeke and stops the Rumbling. An unknown organism that granted Ymir the power of the titans alongside Eren bring the Survey Corps and their allies to the brink of defeat, but Mikasa manages to kill Eren while having a vision of an alternate world where she ran away with Eren. Armin recalls when Eren visited him in the Paths, where Eren revealed that he became humanity's enemy to follow a vision of the future he had. Eren also reveals that Mikasa killing him made the power of the Titans, including Ymir, vanish. Three years later, Levi lives retired in another country with Gabi and Falco while the island's inhabitants build their military in preparation for potential future retaliation from the world, but Armin and his allies, the surviving Survey Corps and Warriors, have hope that peace negotiations led by Queen Historia will be successful. Mikasa buries Eren underneath a tree on a hill near Shiganshina District. An unknown amount of time after Mikasa's death, an advanced Shiganshina District is bombed from above by an unknown nation and is destroyed. When the ruins have been overtaken by a forest, a boy who survived the war approaches the same tree Eren was buried under; which has continued to grow and now resembles the tree where the organism that granted Ymir her Titan power lived.

Manga

Main article: List of Attack on Titan chapters

Attack on Titan is written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. The series began in the first-ever issue of Kodansha's monthly publication Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine, released on September 9, 2009.[23] The manga was finished after an eleven-year publication run with the release of its 139th chapter on April 9, 2021.[21] On November 8, 2020, it was announced that the manga would get a full color serialization.[24] Kodansha collected its chapters in thirty-four volumes, released from March 17, 2010 to June 9, 2021.[25][21]

In North America, the series was published in English by Kodansha USA. The first volume was published on June 19, 2012 and the last on October 19, 2021.[26][27]

Anime

Main article: Attack on Titan (TV series)

See also: Attack on Titan: Junior High § Anime, Attack on Titan: Lost Girls § Anime, and Attack on Titan: No Regrets § Anime

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).[46] 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.[47][48] 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.[49] On September 23, 2020, NHK listed the final season on their broadcasting schedule and began on December 7, 2020.[50] The final season was announced to have changed studios, with production being taken over by MAPPA.[51][50] Producer Toshihiro Maeda said that Wit Studio "refused" to produce the final season "due to scheduling” issues.[52] The final season's main staff includes directors Yuichiro Hayashi and Jun Shishido (chief), character designer Tomohiro Kishi, art director Kazuo Ogura, 3D CG Director Takahiro Uezono, scriptwriter Hiroshi Seko, and music composers Hiroyuki Sawano and Kohta Yamamoto.[50] For the final season, former 3DCG Director Shuuhei Yabuta was the only returning staff member from Wit Studio.[52] The first 16 episodes of season 4 aired until March 29, 2021, and the second half began airing on January 10, 2022.[53][54]

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.[55] 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.[56] 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.[57]

Timeline

January 9, 2022
The first episode of Attack on Titan: Final Season was released

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Attack on Titan - Opening Theme - Feuerroter Pfeil und Bogen

Web

April 23, 2013

Attack on Titan - Opening Theme 2 - Jiyuu no Tsubasa

Web

July 31, 2013

Attack on Titan Season 2 - Opening Theme - Shinzou wo Sasageyo!

Web

April 14, 2017

Attack on Titan Season 3 - Official Opening | OP1 [ RED SWAN ]

Web

July 22, 2018

Attack on Titan Season 4 (Final Season) - Opening | My War

Web

December 6, 2020

References

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