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#FEATURE: 'Shingeki no Kyojin' celebrates 12th manga anniversary

Written by: Allysa Malicdem

Published on: September 9, 2021 at 17:00 PHT (GMT+8)

#TodayInHistory: Attack on Titan's legend spread like wildfire!

Chapter 1
Chapter 1 | ©Hajime Isayama/KODANSHA, Shingeki no Kyojin Production Committee

In September 9, 2009, Japanese manga creator Hajime Isayama brought life inside the walls - humanity at the mercy of humongous beings that lured in the open fields. Who would knew that this will become one of the most sought-after manga series, spanning across all generations, tackling on various aspects of life, feasting on the troubles and vulnerability of mankind and setting an uncanny parallelism to this vile world?

Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) started serialization on Sept. 9, 2009 at Kodansha’s monthly Bessatsu Shounen Magazine. It ran for 11 years and 7 months, with the final chapter released on April 9, 2021. Isayama’s masterpiece was written in 139 chapters published in 34 tankobon volumes.


In fact, Attack on Titan could have not been existed! Isayama created a 65-page one-shot version in 2006. After presenting his work to one publishing company, he was advised to modify his style. That did not stop him from not letting the world know of this soon-to-be masterpiece. He took another chance to apply his creation on another publishing house and finally managed to make it! Prior to its serialization, the mangaka shared that he already had the big picture of the direction, twists and turns although there were also some changes as the story progresses. No doubt it catapulted on great lengths and received both critics and applauses along its run. Even the creator had struggles in completing the final score for the manga.

In 2018, Isayama revealed in an interview that the manga is approaching its final arc and originally planned to end it in 2020. Finally, in April 2021, an epic conclusion to a great story has finally dawned. When the manga started way back 2009, it brought about an “awakening” to the reality of this warped world - one that is easily corruptible by mundane desires and greed for power. For years, Attack on Titan has been an unceasing war - a battle to death against sworn enemies and a fight against one’s own ideals and people. The tragedies of a battlefield and the internal conflicts had shown how man can rise from the muddy pit and turn weakness into terrifying power. Readers and fans have mixed emotions and theories on the conclusion, but needless to say, Attack on Titan has made significant impacts on humanity and perception to life and society as we know it. The world depicted through its pages transcended on realistic grounds and mimicked the societal issues and turmoils man has to face as he continue to walk the surface of the earth.

Attack on Titan Survey Corps
Attack on Titan Survey Corps | © Hajime Isayama/KODANSHA, Shingeki no Kyojin Production Committee

The post-apocalyptic manga series is set in an era where humanity lives “within the walls” that protect them from gigantic cannibalistic humanoids called “Titans”. It follows the story of Eren Yeager who, after witnessing the loss of his mother who was eaten by a Titan, vows to eliminate all Titans and take revenge for the destruction of his hometown. It was one of those reads that got the audience hooked at its first chapter (much more with the first episode of the TV anime adaptation).


It inspired TV anime adaptations, OVAs, live-action films, spin-offs and even video games. The first TV anime season aired from April to September 2013, with 25 episodes. The 12-episode second season followed four years after, airing from April to June 2017. The third season, broadcasted in two (2) parts/cours, premiered on July to October 2018 and April to July 2019, respectively. The three seasons were animated and produced by WIT Studios.

The final season kicked off on December 2020, airing the first 16 episodes. Studio MAPPA is now in-charge of the animation production.

Attack on Titan proved its supremacy as one of the best-selling manga series of all time, with 100 million copies in print across the globe. The manga also received nominations and won awards including Best Shonen Manga in the 35th Kodansha Manga Award (2011), Best Hope Manga in the 20th (2013) and 21st (2014) Anime & Manga Grand Prix, Best Foreign Series in the 17th Attilio Micheluzzi Award (the manga’s Italian version) and Best Manga International in the 11th AnimaniA Awards (2015).