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The Science of Attack on Titan

Welcome to the latest midweek manga review here at Sequential-Ink! There was a brief break last week due to finals, but I’m back on track and looking to return to a twice a week schedule for the rest of the month. Despite the fact that I just welcomed you to a midweek manga review, this midweek review is actually a little different as I’ll be looking at The Science of Attack on Titan, which technically isn’t manga! Before we get that though, some news from the past two weeks…

And now, onto this week’s review of The Science of Attack on Titan!

The Science of Attack on TitanThe Science of Attack on Titan
Written by Rikao Yanagita, Illustrated by Maru Fujishima, Additional Illustrations and Attack on Titan originally created by Hajime Isayama, Translated by Ko Ransom.
Kodansha Comics, 208
Rating: Older Teen (16 +)

As Attack on Titan mania sweeps the world, leading to spin off series, anime series, OVA’s, action figures, games, moves and more, one man dares to ask the important questions! One man dares to ask just what is the body temperature of a Titan, or just how fast does the vertical maneuvering gear move you through the air. That man is Rikao Yanagita and he’s written The Science of Attack on Titan to address just such issues!

At first glance, The Science of Attack on Titan is more than a little reminiscent of Max Brook’s Zombie Survival Guide. Both books approach their subject matter from an ostensibly scientific view point, laying down or deciphering the known “facts” about their respective subjects. The Science of Attack on Titan’s similarities to the Zombie Survival Guide is at their height during the “What Should I do if the Titans Attack?!” and “Anti-Titan Measures” chapters. With the two chapters dealing with theoretical strategies, what we’ve actually seen in the series and more, the comparison is hard to avoid. Outside of those two chapters, The Science of Attack on Titan is a whole other beast. The book is full of (pseudo?) scientific calculations regarding things like the Titan’s mass, their body temperatures, and even theories as to how they generate energy. Theories regarding the construction of the walls, how Titans generate the energy needed to live, three dimensional maneuvering gear speeds and more are all presented, sometimes with numbers and ideas rooted in actual science to back them up.

While some folks might balk at some of the ideas and theories presented, there are sections of the book that actually help put things into perspective. Portions dealing with the size and scale of the walls draw on material from the book to give real world size comparisons while raising good questions about the speed with which they were built. Likewise Titan heights are compared to animals, both living and dead, and common structures help to drive home just how massive these creatures really are!

A page from The Science of Attack on Titan

My favorite illustration in the book.

Scattered throughout are various charts and illustrations which help organize some of the data Rikao Yanagita throws out. In some cases they’re just full of numbers, while others help give you a sense of things like scale, or even depict some of his more outrageous and silly theories. My personal favorite is the shot of the Titans sunbathing in a valley.

While Rikao Yanagita’s The Science of Attack on Titan is not a necessary or important addition to the Attack on Titan franchise, but it is a fun one! The theories and ideas are presented in a playful and enjoyable manner, and some of are interesting enough that readers may find themselves mulling them over and wondering if Hajime Isayama actually will address some of the issues or ideas raised. In the end it’s a quick, fun read that seems ideal for Summer traveling.

The Science of Attack on Titan is available now from Kodansha Comics. Review volume provided by the publisher.

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