Attack on Titan: The Ultimate Graphic Novel
Are you a fan of action movies with thrilling fight scenes? Do intense battles and sword fighting skills excite you? If so, you will love the manga (Japanese comic book) Attack on Titan. This manga is full of action and excitement, especially expressed in the artwork. Each frame was drawn with many details and textures in order to bring the scene to life in the reader’s mind and appeal to the five senses. In the frame above, the shading/texture of the trees and the sound-effect words throughout the picture will make you feel like you’re fighting alongside the characters. In addition, the characters’ expressions, from their focused eyes to their intense body language, add a sense of realism and emotion without the use of words. If you love to draw/make comics or have an appreciation for art, you will love Attack on Titan. The use of shadow, texture, and detail despite the black and white palette are impressive and appealing to the eye. Many artists are inspired by mangas like Attack on Titan to develop a new style of art. Particularly in the frame below, the picture shows the moment where a soldier jumps off his horse and grabs hold of a tree using a rope with an arrowhead attached to it. The comic book designer used an entire frame to incorporate so much detail into one moment. Even if you’re not an artist, the use of detail in Attack on Titan may open your eyes to the world of art and creativity.
However, the take-away from Attack on Titan extends further than just action and fight scenes. Each character has their own story and undergoes their own transformation throughout the manga. For instance, after his mother is killed by a Titan (cannibal giants), main character Eren Yeager joins the Survey Corps, an organization of soldiers that kill Titans to defend the city. As he fights alongside fellow members of the Survey Corps, readers gradually learn more about each character’s painful past. Not only that, but many of them are eventually killed by Titans. You might want to keep a tissue box with you because the graphic novel is full of emotional moments. The tragedies combined with humorous and lighthearted moments will pull your heart strings in different directions. Many of the main characters, including Eren, Armen, and Mikasa, are teens (about nineteen years old). As teens, it is easier for us to relate to their experiences in maturing, experiencing what the “real world” is like, and building relationships. Some moments will make you bawl your eyes out for days, like when Historia, a girl from the Survey Corps, has to eat Eren (the main character), in order to take the Founding Titan, a source of great power needed to defeat Titans (first picture below). The details in Eren and Historia’s eyes as well as the shape of their mouths emphasize their desperation and sadness, which is sure to evoke emotion. Other scenes will make you shriek with laughter until your stomach hurts, like in the second frame below. The wholesome moments, like when the villagers celebrate after fending off Titans (third picture below), will make you beam from ear to ear.
Don’t just take my word from it. Numerous celebrities have read or watched Attack on Titan (the graphic novel was made into an anime). One of them is Lupe Fiasco, a famous American rapper (first image below). He wrote the song “SHOES,” in which he collaborated with shoe designer Virgil Abloh to honor Ahmaud Arbery, a black man killed by cops while jogging in his neighborhood (second picture below). As an artist known for his impressive story-telling, the graphic novel must have top-notch story-telling in order to get his attention. Fiasco even revealed publicly that he was keeping up with the manga/anime, so he must have enjoyed it a lot. Another celebrity who has watched Attack on Titan is Mr. Beast, a famous Youtuber with over 130 million subscribers! As an entertainer himself, it’s not easy for him to be impressed or excited by something. Even so, he was excited about watching Attack on Titan and even took to Twitter prior to the release of the new season, commenting, “Attack on titan bae” (third image below). Not only that, but my sister and friends told me about how great the show is, leading me to read the manga. The drawings and story-line really impressed me, so I understand why the Attack on Titan fan base extends to audiences outside Asia. If you’re still not convinced, just look at the stats. The graphic novel/anime won Anime of the Year as well as three other notable awards at the 2022 Crunchyroll Anime Awards. The Attack on Titan graphic novel can be found online while the anime is on Crunchyroll and Netflix. Just give it a chance. You won’t regret it.