The 15 Biggest Differences Between The ‘Attack on Titan’ Manga And Anime

Compared to series like Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), Fruits Basket (2001), Tokyo Ghoul √A, or Season 2 of The Promised Neverland, the Attack on Titan anime sticks pretty close to its original manga source. But that doesn't mean the two versions are exactly the same. Whether because it was a choice made by Wit Studio or MAPPA, or because creator Hajime Isayama himself wanted to see something changed, the adaptation features plenty of changes

We're breaking down some of the differences between the Attack on Titan manga and anime. If you don't want spoilers for either version, this might not be the article for you. 

The anime includes a few scenes that aren't present in the manga, such as Falco's dream about flying and Mikasa's pomegranate scene. It also cut out details like the fact that Erwin used to be in love with a woman named Marie. Many scenes were also censored to be more appropriate for a TV anime. Which version of the series do you prefer?

Photo: Attack on Titan / MAPPA

  • 1

    The Order Of Events Changed

    The Order Of Events Changed
    Photo: MAPPA

    The anime made a lot of changes to the timeline of the story. For example, the Uprising arc was altered to include more action scenes in the first few episodes. Another change included Ymir's backstory, which was revealed much later in the manga than it was in the anime. In The Final Season Part 2, the Scouts' flashback in Marley occurs after the Alliance escapes on a boat to stop Eren. In the manga, this flashback occurs after Eren activates the Rumbling and tears down the walls.

    Changes like this are often inevitable due to the different pacing required by each medium. Isayama was also pretty insistent that changes be made.

    Isayama felt that readers didn't react very positively when the manga was first released. He said, "If you can change things around significantly, that would actually be good."

  • 2

    Mikasa's Personality Is More Well-Rounded In The Manga

    One of the biggest criticisms levied at Mikasa is how obsessed she is with Eren. Rather than having her own intrinsic motivation, her character seems to revolve completely around him.

    Her obsession with Eren was amped up in the anime. In the manga, she's often seen talking with other people about things that have nothing to do with Eren. This makes her a much more compelling character. 

  • 3

    Erwin's Romantic History Doesn't Appear In The Anime

    Throughout the anime, Erwin shows no interest in romance. That's not true in the manga. While he doesn't actually pursue a relationship, he does fall in love. 

    This happens when he meets a woman named Marie at a bar. Both he and Nile Dok fall in love with Marie at the same time. But Erwin isn't willing to give up his dangerous career to pursue a serious relationship. Nile is - he joins the military police so he can protect Marie. The two eventually get married and have three children.

    The sad and ironic outcome is that Nile does not survive to see those children grow up. Erwin, meanwhile, stays alone for what remains of his life.

  • 4

    The Anime Censors Many Scenes

    Considering how shockingly violent the Attack on Titan anime can be, it's hard to imagine that the manga is more intense. But the violence was significantly toned down in the anime. A scene where a man's face is bitten off in the manga is replaced with a scene in which he is about to be devoured. A scene where someone's body is severed in two is shown at a different angle so you can't see all the blood.

    These changes, which are shown in this video, are a source of controversy. Some feel that censoring the violence takes away from its impact on the story. Others believe the studio did the best it could given the fact that the anime would be airing on TV, or suggest that the changes improved the series. 

  • 5

    Armin's Backstory Was Left Out Of The Anime

    Attack on Titan has no shortage of painful backstories, but one of the saddest stories doesn't get a lot of attention. Why? Because it wasn't included in the anime.

    In the anime, Armin's grandfather is slain during the Recovery Operation to retake Wall Maria. In the manga, this tragic fate belongs to Armin's parents. However, it seems Isayama had different plans for Armin's backstory based on the Attack on Titan Character Encyclopedia. The guidebook reveals details about what really happened to Armin's parents.

    Armin Arlelt has always been fascinated by the world outside the walls. He comes by his interest honestly. His parents were so determined to leave the walls that they built a hot air balloon that was supposed to take them over the walls. They were caught and executed as a result, leaving Armin to live with his grandfather.

  • 6

    Levi Is Much Harder On Historia In The Manga

    When Historia is struggling to decide whether to become queen, Levi plays a big role in her decision. In the manga, he's a whole lot harsher with her. He doesn't just tell her that she needs to make a quick decision - he yells at her, threatens her, and chokes her. This makes her reason for hitting him once she actually becomes queen a lot clearer.

    This isn't the first time Levi has used violence to achieve a particular outcome with his cadets - both anime and manga readers will remember the moment when he savagely beat Eren in front of their superiors in order to prove a point. This time, however, the anime creators decided to tone down his methods.