Hajime Isayama’s “Attack on Titan” is one of the most recognizable manga & anime franchises of today. Its serialization started in July 2009 in Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine. It has sold over 100 million copies so far, and the anime is currently running its 4th season. However, it could’ve taken a completely different path if Weekly Shonen Jump hadn’t rejected the first Attack on Titan one-shot.
The first draft Isayama drew was titled “Jinrui VS Kyojin” (Humanity vs. Titan). He was 19 years old and he first submitted the manga to Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, which he has been following since he was a child. They rejected the one-shot, asking him to bring in a “Shonen Jump” manga. This is just a guess, but they may have wanted him to turn his style into something more Jump-ish. In addition, he made a comment that it’d be impossible him for him to run a weekly series, and we all know it runs monthly now.
“To begin with, weekly serialization would be impossible for me. Manga artists (Isayama-sensei calls them Sensei here) having been working on them are superhuman beings without exception!”
However, he submitted the manga to Kodansha’s Magazine Grand Prix contest (this was in 2006), where it won the “Fine Work” award. The rest is history as we’re all eager to see how he decides to end it (he said less than 1-2% is left!). It’s serialized monthly there.
He doesn’t like to describe drawing manga as work. He looks up to the author of One Piece, Eiichiro Oda, who once said: “I have only been drawing manga without working as always.” That is an attitude Isayama-sensei aims towards as well.
MAPPA is in charge of the final anime season. Both the studio and franchise went trending immediately upon the first episode air date, and the hype will only go higher as the story reaches the climax. The manga currently has 33 volumes, and the current anime season will likely not be able to cover it all. The manga is not even over yet after all, so we expect there will be a part 2 or some movie for the finale!
Shueisha surely had their arguments for why they rejected Attack on Titan from being in Weekly Shonen Jump. Although there’s probably some feeling of regret anyway. As far as fans are concerned, it’s great that Hajime Isayama got his chance!