Skip to content
free 3-day shipping on orders $65+

Attack on Titan | Manga vs Anime | Comparing the Two

Explore differences between Attack on Titan anime and manga: character portrayals, epic moments, graphic scenes! What is different and which is better? Read now!


Poggers .Com

August 15, 2023

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Opening Scene Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Opening Scene
By: Simon Shoklevski

The anime adaptation of Attack on Titan is often regarded as a prime example of a near-perfect adaptation. The creators made sure that the animated show followed the source material very closely, which is not the case with some other popular shows.

While there are minor differences between the two, they are not plot-altering and were either put in or removed to slightly alter the storytelling. This article will cover those differences and will highlight the best parts where either the manga or the anime is superior.

The Fight Between the Attack Titan and the Female Titan

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Eren Fights Annie

In the big showdown at the end of the first season, Eren turned into the Attack Titan to face Annie. However, Eren got these powers recently before his face-off with Annie and had to give his everything in this battle against the more experienced titan shifter.

And here the anime sways away from the source material.

In the manga, Eren took on a solid beating and was unable to defeat Annie who ultimately cristalized because of the Survey Corps’ arrival. In the anime, while Eren clearly struggled, he managed to find his own way to victory.

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Eren Gets Beaten

Even though the end result of this fight was still the same, the creators of the anime probably wanted to make Eren appear more powerful. He is the main protagonist of the show, after all.

Eren’s Berserk / Rage Mode (Anime Only)

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Berserk Mode

Activating Berserk Mode is how Eren’s Attack Titan got more powerful in the anime compared to his manga counterpart. It is the reason why he was able to beat Annie.

In an anime-only special transformation, Eren unlocked a special and flashy power called Berserk / Rage Mode (the naming depends on the different translations used for subtitles or dubbing). In this state, the Attack Titan got covered in flames, giving him a mighty look.

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Berserk Mode Fighting

The addition of Berserk Mode in the anime is probably due to the goal of including some of the stereotypical Shonen elements. Since Attack on Titan is often categorized as Shonen along with shows like Naruto and One Piece, this transformation makes complete sense.

Omni-Directional Mobility Gear (Anime) vs Vertical Maneuvering Equipment (Manga)

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga ODM Gear

Survey Corps’s favorite equipment, the ODM (or Three Dimensional Maneuvering) Gear is actually called differently in the manga. In Hajime Isayama’s original story, the gear our favorite characters use to navigate and fight Titans is called Vertical Maneuvering Gear.

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Vertical Maneuvering Gear

Story-wise, it changes nothing and Levi is still a badass either way but it’s a fun fact that deserves to be mentioned. As to why this gadget’s name was changed, nobody knows. Except for Isayama and the guys at WIT studio, probably.

The History Behind the ODM Gear

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga First User Of ODM Gear

In 2011, Ryo Suzukaze wrote three light novels called “Attack on Titan: Before the Fall” that explore the events before the main storyline. Later, in 2013, Satoshi Shiki created a manga version.

This is a story about Angel Aaltonen, a craftsman who created the tool that gave humans a way to fight the Titans. After watching the Survey Corps’ struggles to fend off the Titas, Angel, along with some of his friends, created the Vertical Manoeuvering (ODM) Gear.

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Before The Fall

This is a very cool thing that should’ve been at least briefly mentioned in the anime. However, it probably wasn’t because of the different authors.

Annie’s Creepy Introduction As the Female Titan (Anime Only)

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Annie Laugh

In these dramatic moments, Annie revealed herself as the Female Titan while laughing hysterically and biting her finger in order to transform. A great touch that adds to the madness and creepiness of the Titans and perfectly sets Annie as the antagonist of the first season of Attack on Titan.

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Annie Creepy Look

This is a scene that for some reason didn’t make the final version of the manga and later Isayama specifically requested for it to be added into the anime. Looking back now, this was a great choice from Isayama. It was a truly chilling scene.

The Manga is Much More Brutal

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Graphic Scene

Even if it’s classified as a Shonen series, Attack on Titan anime doesn't shy away from depicting graphic scenes, including bloodshed, and lots of it. While these moments might be unsettling for some viewers, they play an essential role in portraying Titan’s terrifying presence.

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Eren In Titan Mouth

However, fans who enjoy those scenes will probably love the manga even more. There, these scenes are a lot more detailed and extremely frightening. Anyway, even though it would’ve been amazing to animate these panels as they are, the modifications are understandable because of the wide audience watching the show.

Eren Mother's Death Scene

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Erens Mom Getting Eaten Anime

Attack on Titan has one of the most memorable first episodes in all anime. Everyone remembers how these terrifying creatures broke the walls and invaded the city. They destroyed buildings and killed many people, one of whom was Eren’s mother.

This was a personality-defining moment for the young boy as he watched his own mother get eaten by a titan. And what a gruesome scene it was. However, in the manga, those few panels were even more troubling to look at as the titan squashed Eren’s mom before eating her slowly.

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Erens Mom Getting Eaten Manga

A truly gruesome and sad scene. Here, Eren’s childhood stopped and he was introduced to a much darker world than before, a world that from that moment on, he swore to destroy. Furthermore, the revelation that this Titan is actually Grisha's former wife adds an even more unsettling layer to the situation.

The Survey Corps Training Arc

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Survey Corp Training

Right after the initial episodes, Eren and his friends start their training to become of the Survey Corps. Throughout these few episodes, they meet new friends, try out the ODM Gear, and learn the ways of fighting the Titans.

The manga approaches the narrative in a different way. Rather than following a linear path, Isayama chose to incorporate a brief time skip after the events in Shiganshina's downfall. Subsequently, the training segments are presented as flashbacks.

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Training Fight With Annie

Either way works, but the anime creators probably didn’t want to confuse the fans from the beginning and used the safe and simple option. On the plus side, the training arc episodes served as an introduction to many characters that gave fans a chance to connect with them from the start.

Characters’ Behaviors and Relationships: Manga Vs. Anime

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Erwin Hange And Levi Bar

The manga portrayed the likes of Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and even Levi differently than the anime. While the core of these characters remained the same, there are some instances in the manga where some of them behave differently than their manga counterparts.

Here are some examples of how differently are some of the main characters portrayed in the manga:

  • Eren is calmer and is not insanely obsessed with wiping out the Titans. He still tries to achieve freedom but is way more clear-headed in doing so.

  • Mikasa’s character is not that shallow. In the anime, all she does is be preoccupied with Eren. It’s always Eren this, Eren that. In the manga, however, she engages with many other people in scenes that are not all about Eren.

  • Armin’s anime version is very shy and lacks confidence, giving him a shallow personality as well. The manga portrayed him as an assertive person who doesn’t stand down before everyone. Furthermore, to highlight his usefulness to the team, he is the one who helps Eren out of his titan form, whereas in the anime, it’s Mikasa.

  • Levi is portrayed as a cold captain in the anime, but in the manga, he is much warmer. There are multiple scenes where Levi is smiling, joking, and even swearing.

  • Erwin Smith, the person whom fans "shipped" with Levi, had, in fact, been involved in a romantic relationship in the past. He fancied Marie, a girl who later married his squadmate Nile Dok. A small, but interesting detail from the manga that adds depth to the backstory of this fan-favorite character.

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Erwin Confesses Love For Marie

These aren’t some plot-altering differences, but are enough for the fans to have a slightly better (or worse) opinion of some of the characters. Especially Levi. It would’ve been cool seeing him crack an occasional joke.

Final Thoughts: Is the Attack on Titan Manga Better Than The Anime?

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Birds

The Attack on Titan manga isn’t necessarily better than the anime. Yes, it features some minor left-out details that the show could use, but they are not that big of a deal. After all, the show had also added some cool anime-only epic moments like Eren’s Berserk Mode and Annie’s laugh before her first transformation.

There will always be people who prefer to read the story rather than watch it and vice versa. The most important thing is for the fans to enjoy the series, and as long as both the manga and the anime follow the same plot, it’s all good.

The only thing that’s left to be seen is whether the anime will stick to this strategy or fall under the loud peer pressure from some fans and change the ending. So, will Attack on Titan have an anime-only ending? The answer to that question can’t come soon enough.

Attack On Titan Anime Vs Manga Shiganshina Manga


Is the Attack on Titan anime adaptation faithful to the source material?

The Attack on Titan anime is considered a near-perfect adaptation, closely following the manga's storyline, unlike some other popular shows.

Are there any significant differences between the manga and the anime?

While there are minor differences, they do not alter the plot significantly. Some changes are made for storytelling purposes.

How did the anime differ in the fight between Eren and Annie?

In the anime, Eren's battle against Annie showcased a unique Berserk / Rage Mode, whereas the manga portrayed his struggle more realistically.

What's the difference in gear names between the anime and manga?

The Survey Corps equipment is referred to as "Vertical Maneuvering Gear" in the manga and "Omni-Directional Mobility Gear" in the anime.

What's the story behind the ODM Gear?

The "Attack on Titan: Before the Fall" light novels and manga explore the history of the ODM Gear's creation by Angel Aaltonen, which the anime does not cover.

How was Annie's introduction different in the anime?

Annie's dramatic introduction as the Female Titan, including her laugh and transformation, was added in the anime upon the request of the manga author.

Is the Attack on Titan manga more graphic than the anime?

Yes, while both versions depict graphic scenes, the manga provides more detailed and intense visuals, especially during moments of violence.

How was Eren's mother's death depicted differently in the manga?

In the manga, Eren's mother's death scene was even more gruesome, with a slower depiction of her being consumed by a Titan.

How did the narrative approach differ in the Survey Corps training arc?

The anime follows a linear narrative, while the manga utilizes flashbacks after a time skip following the fall of Shiganshina.

How did character behaviors and relationships differ between the Attack on Titan manga and anime?

Several characters, including Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and Levi, were portrayed differently in the manga, showing more nuanced traits and interactions.

Who was Erwin's past love interest?

Yes, Erwin's romantic interest in Marie, who later married Nile Dok, was depicted in the manga (but not the anime), adding depth to his character backstory.

Is the Attack on Titan manga better than the anime?

Both versions have their strengths, and preferences vary. Minor differences exist, but both versions offer an enjoyable experience as long as the core plot remains intact.

Will the anime have an original ending?

It's uncertain whether the anime will diverge from the manga's ending. The decision remains to be seen based on fan reception and creative choices.

Next article Hogwarts Legacy | All Moth Mirror & Moth Locations | Step By Step Guide