TOPICS 2022.03.01 │ 12:00

The Origins of Attack on Titan with Hajime Isayama and Shintarō Kawakubo

After over a decade of shocking plot twists and edge-of-your-seat mysteries, it was announced in the April 2021 issue of Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine (published by Kodansha) that the final chapter of the record-breaking fantasy series Attack on Titan would be released in the May issue. Author Hajime Isayama and editor Shintarō Kawakubo sat down with us in June 2017 to discuss the origin of the manga and what lies at its core. Take a look back at the entire journey in this reprint of the interview originally from vol. 42 of Febri.

Interviewer/Author: Daisuke Okamoto Photography: Naoki Yukioka Translation: Matthias Hirsh

Q&A with Hajime Isayama

From his favorite music to how he likes to spend his days off, not to mention some big ‘what if’ questions, get up close and personal with the “real” Hajiime Isayama!

Q: What do you do on your days off?
A: Play video games
Q: What’s your favorite manga these days?
A: Bokutachi ga Yarimashita
Q: What are your essential tools you use for your work?
A: Nine-millimeter 2B lead
Q: Who’s your favorite character in Attack on Titan?
A: Reiner
Q: What music are you listening to?
A: Ryūjin Kiyoshi
Q: Current favorite video game?
A: Splatoon for Wii U
Q: When did you start drawing manga?
A: My second year of high school
Q: How many hours of sleep do you get on average?
A: About eight
Q: What are your interests as of late?
A: Appreciating foreign TV shows
Q: What would you be if you weren’t a manga artist?
A: A failed adult
Q: Where are some cool things your hometown region (Oita Prefecture)?
Q: If you lived within the walls of Attack on Titan, what would your job have been?
A: A farmer
Q: Are you glad you became a manga artist?
A: All the time
Q: What’s your current favorite movie?
A: It Follows
Q: How do you deal with writer’s block?
A: I watch or read something
Q: What was your first impression of Tokyo when you arrived?
A: It was friendlier than I thought it would be
Hajime Isayama
Hometown: Oita Prefecture
Made his publication debut in 2008 with orz, which won the eighty-first Weekly Shonen Magazine’s Rookie Award. His series Attack on Titan has been serialized since 2009 and won the thirty-fifth Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen manga.
Shintarō Kawakubo
Started working at Kodansha in 2006. Was assigned to the editorial department for Weekly Shonen Magazine the same year and is currently the associate editor. As of now, he has primarily overseen Attack on Titan and Flying Witch.