Attack On Titan Reaches 60 Million Copies

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When you think of comic books, you may envision superheroes straight from the pages of Marvel or DC Comics. But, for many, they’ll think of giant humanoid monsters or mechanized war machines found in manga. Created in Japan, manga is one of the most popular forms of graphic novels with hundreds of titles debuting each year. And, now, one of the genre’s most famous franchises has reached a massive milestone. Hajime Isayama’a Attack on Titan has officially sold over 60 million print copies.

Kodansha recently revealed the stunning news via Twitter, leaving manga readers everywhere to rally around Attack on Titan. While they didn't specify whether the number sold was worldwide, most understand the figure to be that as sales figures last year indicated Attack on Titan had sold more than 52 million units.

For those of you unfamiliar with Attack on Titan, then you should know the manga stands as one of the genre’s most influential titles. Created in 2009, Attack on Titan originated as a manga in Bessadsu Shonen Magazine and has since collected 20 volumes. The wildly popular series has since spun-off multiple novelizations, live-action adaptations, and video games. But, most famously, Attack on Titan was transformed into a 25-episode anime that premiered in 2013. The show became an instant hit with both critics and fans, and a second season is set to air next spring.

For manga readers, the success of Attack on Titan signals the genre’s continual growth. Popularized in the late 19th century, manga came to the forefront of popular culture in the 1990s when Western media imported anime series such as Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball. These shows, along with other series like Pokemon, quickly found an audience as children and adults tuned into the shows. And, as these programs grew in popularity, publishers such as Viz Media were prompted to translate and publish manga to eager Western readers in the 2000s. Today, the overall readership of manga rivals that of traditional Western comics as the genre moves into more and more countries.

Hollywood has also taken note of manga, pushing them to create live-action adaptations of series such as Dragon Ball. Most recently, news broke that Ghost in the Shell and Akira would be adapted into feature-length films, a decision that ultimately spurred controversy when casting announcements were made. In Japan, live-action adaptations of manga are commonplace, and Attack on Titan even has its own two-part film franchise abroad.

But, with the franchise’s manga sales rising, fans are beginning to speculate whether Hollywood might take a stab at Attack on Titan. After all, the story does focus on a post-apocalyptic world where humans live in fear of giant, anthropomorphic creatures who eat people. Sequestered from the outside world, Attack on Titan follows a group of teenage soldiers who fight against these creatures as these giants manage to infiltrate mankind’s walled fortresses. Seriously, if that doesn’t sound like an action movie in the making, then what does?