Otaku USA Magazine
Attack on Titan Anthology Delivers an Interesting Spin

aot anthologyThe original Attack on Titan manga has spawned an enormous franchise, from spinoff manga to an anime to films to an attraction at Universal Studios Japan. Now there’s something new for the millions of AoT fans whose appetite for the title might be as insatiable as the Titans themselves: the official Attack on Titan Anthology.

The book is a handsome, full-color hardcover starring new stories that have something to do with the Attack on Titan universe. All the stories were supervised by creator Hajime Isayama, so they get his seal of approval, and they were edited by Penguin Random House editor Ben Applegate and Jeanine Schaefer, a comics editor who previously worked at Marvel and DC.  

Characters like Eren and Mikasa make cameos in the book, but for the most part it’s all new people. The stories themselves range from humorous to scary to emotional. The very first story shows the threat of the Titans as they destroy San Francisco in 2030. And despite the drama of the original series, there is quite a bit of humor here, like when a young girl uses Titans to get her sweet revenge on the school administration. Humorous four-paneled comics pop up more than once. Some even seem to get in political commentary, like when Donald Trump is portrayed as a bloodthirsty Titan (this also appears to be a reference to when a Tokyo newspaper made the same comparison). To round it off, the series ends with its most emotional tale, showing a family haunted by memories and fighting to stay together. 

Just like the storytelling, the art varies. None of it really looks like manga; while some look just like a DC/Marvel style, in others you can see a clear manga influence. Varying styles or not, all the art looks solid, and some is very vibrant in its colors. For instance, showing the red of blood makes some of these stories all the more guttural compared to the black and white manga pages. 

The writers and artists—who come from everywhere from America to Israel—include Eisner and Harvey Award winners: Ray Fawkes, Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, John Rauch, Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Bill Mudron, Afua Richardson, Genevieve Valentine, David López, Faith Erin Hicks, Cris Peter, Michael Avon Oeming, Taki Soma, Paolo Rivera, Gail Simone, Phil Jimenez, Alonso Nunez, Elmer Santos, Sam Humphries, Damion Scott, Sigmund Torre, Rhianna Pratchett, Jorge Corona, Jen Hickman, Ben Applegate (who is also one of the editors), Ronald Wimberly, Kevin Wada, Brendan Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr, Jiji Knight, Si Spurrier, Kate Brown, Paul Duffield, Dee Cunniffe, Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka. This is definitely a unique and interesting book in the Attack on Titan franchise. 

Edited by: Ben Applegate and Jeanine Schaefer
Published by: Kodansha USA

Danica Davidson’s book Manga Art For Beginners is out now. With more than 200 pages and hundreds of drawings, it takes a thorough look on each step for drawing your favorite manga character types, including ninjas, butlers, chibi, bishonen, schoolgirls and schoolboys.