Anyone familiar with Attack on Titan probably always assumed that the anime in which soldiers fight giant humanoid monsters was based on Godzilla or a similar kaiju. And while Japan’s “biggest” celebrity was no doubt somewhere in the back of creator Hajime Isayama’s mind when creating the titular monsters, the series’ chief influence was much more mundane. As reported by Anime Senpi earlier this year, Isayama’s main inspiration for Attack on Titan came from his experience working at an internet cafe.
The creator has said that Eren represents a reflection of what Isayama sees as the worst parts of himself.
Isayama stated that his experiences working at an internet cafe early in his career are partially what inspired him to create Attack on Titan. The creator specifically cited the anxiety he felt when dealing with aggressive customers as the reason he started working on the original manga. Internet cafes, for those who don’t know, are places that offer high-speed internet access for a fee.
Anyone who’s ever worked in retail knows how panic-inducing dealing with an irate customer can be. It’s not really a stretch to imagine such “Karens” as the cannibalistic monsters that plague civilization in Attack on Titan.
Despite the overwhelming popularity of the manga, most fans were introduced to Attack on Titan through its popular anime adaptation.
Isayama pulled further inspiration from his isolated childhood growing up in Hita, a part of Japan surrounded by mountains. The creator turned those mountains from his childhood into the giant walls the remaining humans built around themselves as protection from the Titans.
Meanwhile, unsurprisingly, Isayama based some of Attack on Titan‘s characters on elements of himself, specifically the main character, Eren. The creator has said that Eren represents a reflection of what Isayama sees as the worst parts of himself. The series itself is largely about Isayama getting rid of the parts of himself he doesn’t like and using his art as a form of catharsis.
Attack on Titan started life as a manga back in 2009. It soon skyrocketed in popularity, and by the manga’s conclusion in 2021, Attack on Titan had over 110 million copies in circulation, making it one of the best-selling manga of all time. Despite the overwhelming popularity of the manga, most fans were introduced to Attack on Titan through its popular anime adaptation.
The Attack on Titan anime started in 2013 and quickly took the world by storm. One needs only walk into a Hot Topic to see just what an impact Attack on Titan has had on pop culture. Specifically, Gen Z. The anime’s finale is set to air on November 5 of this year.
Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama says his inspirations for the hit series were the irate customers he dealt with while working at an internet cafe.
Despite Attack on Titan‘s overwhelming success, Isayama has made it clear that he has no plans to make a sequel. Instead, the mangaka has plans for a new endeavor—one as far removed from writing and drawing comics about giant inside-out behemoths as you can get. Isayama’s dream now that the series is over is to open his own sauna.
Should Isayama ever change his mind and decide he’s had enough of the sauna biz, fans would no doubt be overjoyed to get a sequel to the series. We’d like to assume that such a sequel would take a page from the first Alien sequel and be called Attack on Titans, but judging by manga/anime naming conventions, it would probably be titled something completely random like Electric Strawberry Vision Quest.
Either way, as long as it has giant monsters in it, we’ll be there.