I used to be that person who didn’t like manga. Preferring the colors and movement of the anime adaptations rather than the black and white drawings that were difficult to decipher, I could never see myself getting into a manga series. I always figured there would be nothing else I could glean out of the manga that I wouldn’t get from the anime. But then I started reading Attack on Titan, and my prejudices quickly diminished as I came to enjoy and appreciate it for its story, characters and art, so much so that I’ve taken to buying the volumes and reading them to my heart’s content. When I tell people to read this series, these are the chapters I want them to look the most forward to since everything about them is so well done.
Warning: This will contain a multitude of spoilers. Read at your own risk!
3. What Happened To The Left Arm (Chapter 10)
Attack on Titan is infamous for the many mysteries it holds and the lack of answers. With that said, I was relieved that the author, Hajime Isayama, provided a much needed answer in “What Happened To The Left Arm”. The flashback sequence at the beginning of the chapter made for some of the most memorable pages I have read in the series. Another thing Attack on Titan is well known for is never shying away from a stressful insane moment, and this chapter easily lives up to that standard. I was under the impression that Eren would be completely safe given what happened before, but this chapter challenged my notions by introducing clashing viewpoints on the meaning of his Titan form.
2. Their First Battle (Chapter 4)
“Their First Battle” is responsible for the excellent beginning of Attack on Titan and for why I am so enamored with the series. This chapter takes any notions of hopeful signs of the future and dumps them all down the drain. “Their First Battle” opens with an intense, epic battle between Eren and the Colossal Titan, and while it concluded with Eren losing since the Colossal Titan disappeared, it made me hopeful that his character was too powerful and important for anything grave to happen to him. My wishful thinking quickly dissipated when Eren was swallowed by a Titan. It was one of the most shocking and depressing things I had ever read, and had I not been about to walk in and have Christmas dinner with everyone, I would have bawled my eyes out.
1. Cry (Chapter 50)
“Cry” is the climax of what was an insanely stressful and intense story arc for me to read. The chapter covers a lot of ground, and while that may make it seem rushed to some, it was extremely well done and its transitions were seamless. From Krista and Ymir’s resolve to live for themselves, Erwin’s disregard for his well-being despite having his arm bitten off, or the cutest moment in the series between Eren and Mikasa, the chapter was well-written and gave each character equal opportunity to grow and develop. After finishing this chapter I came to realize how far the art style of the series has come. I’ve always appreciated the rather rough, imperfect yet distinct art of the series, but “Cry” is testament to how clean and refined it has become with each entry.
The World That The Girl Saw (Chapter 6)
Chapter 6 focuses on Mikasa and her contributions to the Trost Battle, while delving into Mikasa’s past. Her flashback reveals what bonded her and Eren, and the last panel breaks my heart every time.
Losers (Chapter 30)
Eren was defeated by the Female Titan, and Mikasa is determined to save him to the point of recklessness. Levi steps in, and it’s his finest moment in the entire series.
Still Can’t See (Chapter 19)
My love for the drama of courtroom standoffs in Phoenix Wright is responsible for why I like Chapter 19. This trial takes an unexpected yet unique turn, and I appreciated that it continued to build on fears established in an earlier chapter.
Don’t like my choices or think my list is too short? Feel free to comment below!