Manga vs. Anime: Attack on Titan / Shingeki no Kyojin

Welcome, one and all, to my second anime/manga comparative piece. Seeing as it’s horror season, today’s focus is the mega hit that is Shingeki no Kyojin, aka Attack on Titan. Now, I’ll be running this comparison based on the first colossal edition of the manga. If you haven’t seen these, they’re basically collections of large numbers of chapters (in this case 1 – 22) in a truly titan print size (17.7 x 26.5cm rather than the normal 12.7 x 19cm). This little expedition takes us right up to the first appearance of the Female Titan part way through episode 17 of season one of the anime, so there’s plenty of scope to look at how the two media forms differ here.

So, let’s look at the story first. Both stories open in much the same way: the attack on Shiganshina, the introduction of the Colossal and Armour Titans, and the death of Eren’s mother. Once we pass episode two though, the anime and manga proceed to do things slightly differently. The anime takes a very linear route to the tale, showing the teens as they go through training to becoming soldiers, taking them smoothly up to the return of the Colossal Titan and the Battle for Trost at the end of episode four. The manga, however, jumps from Eren, Mikasa and Armin’s escape from Shiganshina to the closing scenes from episode four in Trost, with a brief run-down of the various new soldiers by name. The training portion of the story is covered in chapters fifteen to eighteen, fitting in as a flashback during the aftermath of the Battle for Trost.

So, which route works better? Honestly, I think that the anime took the best approach to the story here. By showing the events in order, we were able to get short introductions to many of the characters and watch them interact, meaning that we can connect with them before they get put in peril. This allows us to feel sympathy for them and to see the beginnings of growth for some. By simply plopping us into the middle of the battle, the manga may leave new readers cold to the extended cast, at least initially. The flashback then interrupts the flow slightly, moving us away from Levi first meeting Eren, and dropping us back in the past just as we want to see what will happen next. It’s not like it doesn’t work, but it just doesn’t feel like it works as well to me.

Attack on Titan shingeki no kyojin eren mikasa armin
The first attack the kids saw

The comparison doesn’t just favour the anime there though. While competent, the art in the manga feels less polished than that of the anime in my opinion, certainly when it comes to the humans. While the action scenes are suitably kinetic, problems arise when characters are standing still. At times, a very simplistic approach has been taken to facial expressions for example, leaving the characters less emotive on the whole. The real shame with this is that the manga really shines when it comes to the monstrous titans themselves. If anything, the manga’s art when it comes to the giant antagonists shows a great degree of skill and a high attention to detail that matches the anime with ease. Unfortunately, the flip side to this is that it serves to highlight the disparity when it comes to the humans.

Of course, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. When you look at the shot of Annie below, the art is really rather good.

Annie Corpse Attack on Titan shingeki no kyojin leonhart female titan
Detail and death in the wake of an attack

Now, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m entirely down on the manga here. What I’ve read is enjoyable, and there isn’t anything in there that’s off-putting. It’s simply a case that I feel that the anime executed things to a higher level, at least up to the end of this particular collection. The franchise is successful for a reason, and whatever form your enjoyment of it takes, it’s much the same story. The cast is just as interesting in both versions, and the ongoing intrigue around what’s actually going on is thoroughly enjoyable. For me, the anime works best but what about yourselves? Do you have a favourite version?

47 thoughts on “Manga vs. Anime: Attack on Titan / Shingeki no Kyojin

  1. I’m not a big reader of manga. I read the occasional books (most recently Battle Angel Alita), but I have not yet begun on the Attack on Titan series. The sheer number of volumes for it, has kind of stopped me from starting with it. I already have way too little time in a day as it is lol 😂 Still, I liked this comparison. To be honest though, I think I will stick to the anime series for this one 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I would say personally that, as long it ends up doing the whole story, the anime feels more polished to me as a pece and is probably worth sticking with. I knwow aht you mean though. There are so fw manga that I actively follow now, and even then I’ve only gt the lsit I have ebcause two of my favourites (Black Lagoon and Dogs: Bullets and Carnage) are on hiatus.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have only watched the anime (season one) but from what I have read elsewhere other people agree that the anime trumps the manga in terms of artwork. It’s cool that the cartoon rearranges events slightly to make the story flow better. That’s one of the benefits of being able to look into the future when doing an adaptation. Authors who work one chapter at a time, to meet deadlines, might well do the same if they could time travel.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I started the manga, and my first thought was how ugly it was. Especially in the Colossal Edition, there are huge images of… well, badly drawn characters. I know it gets better, but when you first start it and now have several years worth of anime pictures plastered all over, it’s hard to choose the manga, at least for the first few volumes/episodes.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. True that the anime looks better than the manga in AOT, especially since I was just reading the manga a couple of minutes back!

    But, honestly, I can’t choose because I haven’t watched the anime at all… I AM a hardcore manga fan after all!

    Personally though, I actually like the flashbacks popping in here and there, because it let’s me go back to scenes I’ve read before with a different perspective when I re-read the manga, giving me more feels than the first time.

    However,talking about artwork, which is an important thing for me, I’d have to try the anime whenever I find time.
    Again, not to sound too contradictory, but I had a vague sense that the art style of the manga somehow FITS with the storyline and emotions. Especially the rough backgrounds that somehow increased the sense of dread as I progressed with the story. The main theme of horror was well represented in the looseness and unpolished art that we witness.
    Then again, I mostly prefer manga over anime, so I don’t want to be prejudiced.

    On another note, I may not be continuing the series at all. I’m around the 60th chapter but it isn’t really keeping the interest anymore. Can you tell me if the ending is worth continuing, or if I should leave it for later?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In terms of the ending, I couldn’t honestly say as I only own up to where the post covers in the manga. I really enjoyed find if the reveals in the second season of the anime, but I was already really enjoying the story so, assuming the addition is continuing to be spot on, you may find that it won’t grab you Abby not than it already has.

      For me, whether I prefer an anime or manga varies from series to series. I do wonder if my opinion would have been different if if read the manga first though and so been familiar with the story layout and art of the manga before watching. Loose is a good way to describe the art though.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I definitely agree with you about the anime being better. Although I wish there was more of it lol. But I think it’s that way with a lot of anime since anime is able to have so many more multi media options like music, more frames, bigger scale fights and actual voice acting. I just hope they don’t delay season 3, I don’t want to wait years like season 2. Either way great post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly. Yeah, there are a lot of different things that you can do with the animated medium that you can’t with a comic. Still, both have their strengths. Definitley agree on season three. I really want it now, LOL.


  6. Pingback: May 2018 Round-Up!
  7. I’ll admit, I think the action, terror, and suspense are better depicted in the anime, just because the anime captures the action, the beauty of the Survey Corps in flight and the lumbering, horrific terror of the Titans. At the same time, the manga showcases moments of individual horror and character development in a unique way. Not that the anime does a bad job of the latter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely one that has some major pros in both versions, I think. I really like the Colossal edition books too, though I only own the first. It’s one of those series that nearly passed me by though. I actually avoided it for ages as the premise didn’t appeal and the hype was immense. Now i’m waiting with baited breath for season 3.


  8. Certainly a show where I’very enjoyed the anime so much that I haven’t read ahead. I’ve browsed a few chapters though and there doesn’t look to be any long filler sesctions from what I’ve been able to compare, which is nice.

    I did a similar thing with Tokyo Ghoul, too. Very impressed with that as an anime.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is the best time to make a few plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I have read this put up and if I may I wish to suggest you some attention-grabbing things or
    tips. Maybe you can write subsequent articles relating to this article.
    I wish to learn even more things about it! Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar
    one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks?
    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane
    so any support is very much appreciated. There’s certainly a
    lot to know about this topic. I like all of the points you
    have made.


  10. Hi there, I check your blog regularly. Your humoristic style is witty, keep it
    up! These are truly great ideas in concerning blogging.
    You have touched some pleasant points here.
    Any way keep up wrinting. I have been surfing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if
    all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.


  11. [url=]sildenafil 50 mg tablet coupon[/url] [url=]49 mg accutane[/url] [url=]buy sildenafil[/url] [url=]estrace cream[/url] [url=]ivermectin uk[/url] [url=]canadian propecia generic[/url] [url=]10 mg doxycycline[/url] [url=]phenergan price south africa[/url] [url=]lexapro[/url] [url=]wellbutrin[/url]


  12. [url=]wellbutrin 100mg cost[/url] [url=]buy propecia finasteride[/url] [url=]retin a 0.01 gel price[/url] [url=]sildenafil citrate 100[/url]


  13. [url=]retin a[/url] [url=]buy priligy[/url] [url=]buy prednisone[/url] [url=]price of prednisone in india[/url]


  14. [url=]phenergan[/url] [url=]priligy price in india[/url] [url=]generic vardenafil online[/url] [url=]how much is propecia nz[/url] [url=]doxy 100[/url] [url=]generic lexapro canada pharmacy[/url] [url=]quineprox 60mg[/url] [url=]price generic estrace[/url] [url=]paxil online no prescription[/url] [url=]colchicine 0.6 mg price[/url]


  15. [url=]can you buy prednisone online[/url] [url=]sildenafil 100mg[/url] [url=]lexapro buy[/url] [url=]cost of ivermectin lotion[/url] [url=]tadalafil 20mg price[/url] [url=]neurontin 600mg[/url] [url=]buy bupropion online[/url] [url=]paxil for menopause hot flashes[/url] [url=]buy vardenafil online[/url] [url=]flomax capsule[/url] [url=]where to buy wellbutrin[/url] [url=]buy phenergan 25mg[/url] [url=]priligy 30[/url] [url=]buy albuterol[/url] [url=]doxy[/url] [url=]tadalafil online mexico[/url] [url=]propecia[/url] [url=]diflucan 150 mg tablet[/url] [url=]retin a buy usa[/url] [url=]cipro 500mg cost[/url]


  16. [url=]tadalafil 10mg online india[/url] [url=]phenergan generic[/url] [url=]tretinoin cream over the counter australia[/url] [url=]prednisone sale[/url] [url=]azithromycin 250mg[/url]


  17. [url=]buy priligy[/url] [url=]generic estrace cream usa[/url] [url=]lexapro 10 mg coupon[/url] [url=]valtrex tablet[/url] [url=]cost of phenergan tablets[/url]


  18. [url=]hydroxychloroquine tab 200mg[/url] [url=]bupropion xl[/url] [url=]estrace cream coupon[/url] [url=]neurontin 400 mg cost[/url] [url=]accutane best price[/url] [url=]cephalexin 500 mg cost[/url] [url=]buy doxycycline south africa[/url] [url=]lexapro 15mg[/url] [url=]paxil medication[/url] [url=]vardenafil 20 mg[/url]


  19. [url=]wellbutrin generic[/url] [url=]doxycycline tetracycline[/url] [url=]buy albuterol without a prescription[/url] [url=]buy cipro[/url] [url=]buy azithromycin online[/url]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.