Attack on Titan is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. The series began in Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine on September 9, 2009, and has been collected into 21 tankōbon volumes as of December 2016. It is set in a world where humanity lives in cities surrounded by enormous walls; a defense against the Titans, gigantic humanoids that eat humans seemingly without reason. The story initially centers on Eren Yeager, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and childhood friend Armin Arlert, who join the military to fight the Titans after their home town is invaded and Eren’s mother is eaten. However, as the story progresses and the truths about the Titans are slowly revealed to the reader, the narrative shifts to encompass Historia Reiss, squad leader Levi, Eren’s father Grisha, and other supporting characters. The spin-off light novel series Before the Fall began in December 2011 and has received a manga adaptation. Two additional light novel series and four additional spin-off manga series have also been created.
Hajime Isayama’s original manga serial, Attack on Titan commenced publication in Kodansha’s monthly publication Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine starting with the September 2009 issue. The first tankōbon collected volume was released on March 17, 2010. The most recent, volume 21, was released on December 9, 2016. In November 2014, the manga had 45 million copies in print. By September 2016, the number had increased to 60 million. The series’ twelfth collected volume was given a first printing of 2.2 million copies, making Attack on Titan one of only two manga series ever to get an initial print surpassing 2 million, the other being One Piece. Volume 13 has the highest initial first print of the series so far, with 2,750,000 copies. It is also the first print run record for its publisher, Kodansha.
A comedic spin-off of the series, titled Attack on Titan: Junior High and written by Saki Nakagawa, began serialization in Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine‘s May 2012 issue. It follows the main characters as they battle the Titans while in junior high school. Another manga series based on the prequel light novels Attack on Titan: Before the Fall started running in Kodansha’s Monthly Shōnen Sirius from August 2013, drawn by Satoshi Shiki. An additional spin-off based on the No Regrets visual novel was serialized in the shōjo manga magazine Aria, titled Attack on Titan: No Regrets. It is written by Gun Snark and illustrated by Hikaru Suruga. It focuses on the origins of Captain Levi, one of the most prominent characters in the main series. A yonkoma spin-off, called Spoof on Titanand drawn by hounori, was released on Kodansha’s Manga Box smartphone and tablet application from December 2013 to December 30, 2014 in both Japanese and English. A manga adaptation of Hiroshi Seko’s Attack on Titan: Lost Girls novel, written and illustrated by Ryōsuke Fuji, began publication in Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine on August 9, 2015.
In North America, the series is published in English by Kodansha Comics USA. They published the first volume on June 19, 2012,. The fifteenth was released on April 7, 2015. By July 2015, the manga had 2.5 million copies in circulation in North America. The first three spin-off manga have also been licensed by Kodansha Comics USA, who published the first volume of each between March and June 2014. It announced its license to Spoof on Titan at the New York Comic Con in October 2015, and its acquisition of Lost Girls in March 2016.