Manga / Attack on Titan

"That day, the human race remembered: the terror of being dominated by them, and the shame of being held captive in a birdcage."

For more than a hundred years, the last remnants of humanity have lived in a kingdom surrounded by walls designed to protect them from a powerful race of man-eating giants known as Titans. The two races have locked one another into a stalemate: the Titans cannot breach the walls, and humanity cannot venture outside the walls without risking heavy losses.

Those facts held true until the day a colossal Titan smashed a hole in the perimeter wall of the village of Shiganshina, which allowed its smaller kin to wander inside and wreak havoc. Among those who escaped from the ensuing massacre were three children: Eren Yeager, an aggressive adolescent boy; Mikasa Ackerman, his quiet adoptive sister; and Armin Arlert, Eren's bookish best friend. Years later, the trio decide to join the Survey Corps, a military branch dedicated to making excursions into the outside world to fight the Titans, and research ways to defeat them once and for all — and Eren, with vengeful and murderous intent in his heart, vows to kill every last Titan on Earth.

Despite the action-y sounding premise of Attack on Titannote  (and it does contain a great deal of action), author Hajime Isayama also weaves a tight story around its large cast of characters and the strange, apocalyptic world in which they live. Titan also revolves around the concept of failure: the human forces repeatedly struggle to accomplish anything, sacrifice numerous lives, and make major mistakes to have it all come to naught in the end. But every so often, humanity's persistence, wits, and luck manages to pay off—and through their victories, a complex portrait of the world begins to form, one that reveals something more sinister to the weirder aspects of their world. Titan primarily explores the ways in which people deal with trauma, survival, loss, and they fight man-eating giants. One can describe it as Neon Genesis Evangelion without giant robots and with a lot less angst (plus a protagonist who's the exact opposite of a Shrinking Violet).

From its relatively modest beginning, the manga managed to become the 11th-highest seller of all time in 2011. After the premiere of the anime adaptation (which became exceptionally popular in its own right), sales of the manga boosted exponentially, which has made Titan the most popular new anime/manga and surpassing many established franchises. The manga consistently sold in the top two every month and new volumes are being surpassed only by a certain best selling manga of all time and still growing. The success of both anime and manga launched a franchise ranging from video games to light novels to fragrances and coffee mugs.

Plans arose for a live-action film adaptation planned for a 2014 or later release, and after a bout of Creative Differences between the director and the screenwriter (amongst other issues), the film had a 2015 release in two parts. Bloody Monday star Haruma Miura plays the lead role of Eren, while model-turned-actress Kiko Mizuhara (Mikasa), Kanata Hongo (Armin), Satomi Ishihara (Hanji), Nanami Sakuraba (Sasha), and Takahiro Miura (Jean) round out the main cast. Take a look at the cast posters to get an idea of how they'll look.

The anime adaptation of the series premiered on the 5th of April 2013. Yasuko Kobayashi served as head screenwriter, and Hiroyuki Sawano composed the series' music. Viewers living in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Ireland may watch the anime legally at Crunchyroll and Hulu; as of 30 October 2013, they can also read the manga on Crunchyroll. Funimation (which licensed the show for the United States) also streams the show, along the usual lines of subscribers getting it first and free viewers gaining the opportunity to watch it later. In Australia and New Zealand, Madman Entertainment has the series available for viewing on Anime Lab.

For television broadcasts, Toonami aired the dubbed version in the United States, as part of its rotating schedule (and has done so since May 2014). In Australia, SBS 2 began airing Titan in Japanese with English subs as of September 2014. And just in case you really don't like any of those options, there's always Netflix.

Titan has spawned numerous Spin Offs across multiple media formats out of its once-meager success:

  • Before The Fall: A Light Novel prequel series and manga adaptation that details the creation of the Maneuver Gear and the battles of one young survivor of a Titan attack. Satoshi Shiki now helms a manga adaptation of this story.
  • A Choice with no Regrets: A Visual Novel and manga adaptation, written by Gun Snark and illustrated by Hikaru Suruga; this prequel details Levi's recruitment into the Survey Corps. It was adapted into a two-part OVA.
  • Lost in the Cruel World: A visual novel about Mikasa.
  • Burning Brightly in the Forest of Night: A visual novel about Levi and Eren.
  • Wall Sina, Goodbye: A visual novel about Annie.
  • Lost Girls: A light novel adapting Lost in the Cruel World and Wall Sina, Goodbye, plus the titular short story about Mikasa and Annie. Now has a manga adaptation.
  • Harsh Mistress of the City: A light novel taking place near the beginning of the series.
  • Attack on Titan: Junior High: An on-going manga series by Saki Nakagawa and supervised by Hajime Isayama; a Spinoff Babies Slice of Life comedy, the story takes place in a Middle School AU. A Twelve-Episode Anime adaptation started airing in October 2015.
  • The Last Wings of Mankind: A Nintendo 3DS game based on the series. The updated version was released in North America's E-shop under the title Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains and Europe's as Shingeki no Kyojin: Humanity in Chains.
  • The Wings of Counterattack: A mobile/browser game.
  • Spoof on Titan, a 4-Koma parody by hounori that flanderizes the characters' traits and various memes for comedy
  • Attack on Avengers, a one-shot Intercontinuity Crossover with Marvel Comics that sees the Titans invading the Marvel Universe and battling The Avengers.
    • This was released in English as the back-up story of Free Comic Book Day 2015: Secret Wars #0.
  • Chibi Theater: Fly Cadets Fly!, a comedic series of shorts based on when the 104th Trainee Corps cadets, who are Super-Deformed, go through their training. A Running Gag occurs where the Colossal Titan shows up at the end of each episode to swallow the main characters, though they're perfectly fine the next day.

A fan-made tribute game also exists, as does an individual trope page for the game.

This series has several Character Sheets and a drinking game.

Don't confuse Attack on Titan with Giant Killing or I Kill Giants. Fans frequently shorten the Japanese title (Shingeki no Kyojin) to SNK, though the series has nothing to do with that SNK. Speaking of confusing acronyms, don't confuse this AOT with Age Of Time.

NOTE: Please do not read the spoilers if you've only watched the anime; from here on out, spoilers also include information about the manga.

On that day, TV Tropes received a grim reminder: we lived in fear of the Tropes and were disgraced to live in these cages we called folders.

O mein Freund! Jetzt hier ist ein Sieg. Dies ist die erste Gloria. O mein Freund! Feiern wir diesen Sieg für den nächsten Kampf!Translation 

Alternative Title(s): Shingeki No Kyojin, Attack On Titan