All the Real-Life Inspirations Behind Attack on Titan, Explained

The Complete List of Inspirations Behind Attack on Titan
Credit: MAPPA

The Complete List of Inspirations Behind Attack on Titan
Credit: MAPPA

The world of Attack on Titan wasn't created in a void. So, here is the ultimate list of inspirations behind Attack on Titan to learn more about how this popular series came about.

To create a fictional world where Titans exist, Hajime Isayama took inspiration from other people, places, and mythology. Find out more below!

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What Are Attack on Titan's Character Inspirations?

Attack on Titan Characters
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Credit: MAPPA

During Anime NYC in 2020, Isayama shared his inspiration behind Gabi and Falco. He said Gabi was based on Game of Thrones’ Arya while Breaking Bad’s Jesse inspired Falco.

This revelation makes sense as Gabi and Arya’s boyish moves are quite similar. The two characters are also known for their bravery and determination in whatever they do.

Gabi and Falco Attack on Titan
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Credit: MAPPA

On the other hand, Falco and Jesse are similar in their affectionate and sensitive side, making them one of the most loved characters in their respective series.

Sadly, the Attack on Titan creator has yet to mention other inspirations for other characters.

It would be interesting to know where Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Levi, and the rest are inspired from.

Eren's name could mean "Saint" in Turkish, which is ironic given how he ended up in the series.

What Was the Inspiration Behind the Titans?

The Titans are the core element of Attack on Titan. It is the factor that distinguishes the series from other shounen anime titles. But did you know they were based on Isayama's encounter with a drunk person?

In 2013, Hajime Isayama had an interview with Nihon TV. There, he explained that the idea of Titans was made after he encountered a drunk customer at work.

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Credit: Wit Studio

He said that when he saw that the drunk customer could not communicate even if they were the same species as him, it made him feel that the most familiar and scary creatures in the world were humans.

This experience partly inspired the sloppy movements of the Titans and their inability to communicate.

As far as the physical attributes of Titans are concerned, Isayama could have made a monstrous-looking villain, but instead, he made them look like human beings.

Attack on Titan Inspirations
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Credit: MAPPA

In doing so, he emphasized his chosen theme and successfully portrayed humanity as the real threat.

Of course, Titans as a concept has existed since ancient times. In Greek mythology, they are enormous deities who predate the Olympian gods.

To ensure that they would never challenge him, Cronus, one of the Titans, ate each of his children as they were born.

The human-eating Titans similarly eat the humans who try to defeat them.

Of course, the show's Titans aren't gods, and their origins are much darker and more heartbreaking.

READ MORE: Who Are the Titan Shifters?

Attack on Titan's Distinct Art Style

Art Style
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Credit: Wit Studio

Although the Attack on Titan creator did not confirm it, some fans believe that Dragon Quest inspired his drawing style.

Both series' have simple yet detailed art. It is the perfect type of art style to showcase the realistic world of Attack on Titan.

Attack on Titan's Setting

Attack on Titan Setting
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Credit: Wit Studio

Attack on Titan is known for its great walls and beautiful landscape, which was inspired by Isayama's hometown in Oyama, Oita.

In his interview with NHK Japan, he mentioned that the mountains from his hometown provided him with security and comfort, which was the purpose of the walls in the series.

However, as he grew up, he felt frustrated by these mountains and had the desire to explore the world outside.

This is similar to what Eren and the others felt, triggering them to learn about the world beyond the walls.

Some German influences are also apparent in the dark fantasy anime.

Many characters have German names, and the architecture would fit a German-inspired world.

The Amazing Fight Sequences in Attack on Titan

We have to admit, every shounen anime has intense fight scenes. Attack on Titan is no different as it's a title that's known for its intense fight sequences that make viewers glued to their screens.

Isayama explained in an interview with Gong Kakutogi that UFC inspires the Titan fight scenes.

A specific example is the popular Attack Titan and Armored Titan fight, which was based on the face-off between Yushin Okami and Brock Lesnar.

Attack on Titan's Culture

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Credit: MAPPA

Another reason Attack on Titan stands out from the rest is that the characters' names are not Japanese. Even the characters' culture, architecture, and clothes are not linked to Japan.

Isayama has not confirmed it, but fans believe Germany inspires these elements.

The city of Shiganshina features similar elements to Nordlingen, particularly its gothic architecture.

Nordlingen is a German City that contains ramparts and features a medieval style.

Also, the Marley army officers' outfit looks similar to that of the German army uniform during the holocaust.

Theo Magath Attack on Titan
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Credit: MAPPA

The badge Eldians wore to identify themselves was similar to what the Jews had in the past for identification.

Most of the characters' names are German too, including Eren’s last name, Jaeger, which means "hunter".

Some might even notice the German lyrics in the series’ songs by Sawano Hiroyuki, which also points to the culture that Attack on Titan is inspired by.

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