With a lot of exposition bombs being dropped in Season 3 Part 2, Attack on Titan's anime is finally giving fans some answers that they have been waiting for. Speaking of which, this list includes spoilers for both the anime and manga! You have been warned.
One aspect of the anime that is praised is its dedication to following the manga. Fans have posted images of the manga next to gifs from the anime to show how perfectly the show mirrors the book pages. However, there are some differences that fans have caught. Here is what we have found.
10 Sasha Plays A Larger Role In The Anime
Sasha quickly won her way into the hearts of fans with her "potato girl" scene in Season 1. During the events of Season 2 in the manga, though, Sasha is not present.
Due to her popularity in the anime's opening season, those working on the anime decided to keep her around. In fact, Sasha was almost killed off in volume 9 of the manga according to an interview with Isayama's editor. This was the reason Sasha was absent for the Clash of the Titans arc. However, the anime managed to keep her involved.
9 Annie's Laugh Was Cut From The Manga
One of the most memorable moments of the series is Annie's creepy and shocking laugh as a reaction to being outed as the Female Titan. Some fans still debate why she laughed. Was she just relieved that the cat was out of the bag? Or, was she just a bit nuts at this point? Whatever the case was, it just made her seem all the more scary and unpredictable.
However, in the manga, she did not have the epic laugh. Isayama originally sketched a similar moment in the manga, but ultimately opted to leave it out. He ended up regretting the decision and turned to the anime to make amends.
8 Anime Shows Training Earlier
One of the larger differences between the show and manga is that the manga takes a less linear path to the story. In the manga, the story jumps from little Mikasa, Eren, and Armin escaping the titan attack that killed Eren's mom to suddenly graduating from military school. We do get flashbacks later down the line. In the anime, the training is all shown in a linear fashion.
The anime obviously took the less confusing route. It also made sure we were more attached and familiar with the characters before throwing them into a tragic titan battle.
7 Eren Never Got The Upper Hand On Annie In The Manga
In the anime during Annie and Eren's epic final titan fight, Eren slowly gets the upper hand on her until she crystallizes. In the manga, though, this is not quite how the fight goes. Instead, Annie utterly rules the fight and Eren does not get any taste of victory. It's not until Mikasa steps in and then the entire Survey Corp tries to take Annie out when Annie crystallizes.
So while this fight was different, the first one between titan Eren and Annie remained pretty similar between the manga and anime. It may have changed just to show Eren developing as a fighter.
6 The Trio's Personalities Are A Little Different
While there are differences in the personalities of Mikasa, Eren, and Armin between the anime and manga, they are rather small. In the manga, Mikasa interacts with more characters and Armin is less submissive. Eren is driven more by his shared dream with Armin to experience freedom rather than solely a desire to kill all titans.
Due to this, a common critique by manga fans is that Eren, Mikasa, and Armin are too simplified in the anime. Fans have noted that the anime makes Eren seem too angry, Armin too submissive, and Mikasa too obsessed with Eren. Now, in all fairness, all three characters have grown with each passing season.
5 Berserk Eren Does Not Exist In The Manga
This difference is tied to why Eren was able to gain the upper hand against the Female Titan in the anime and not in the manga. The key to his overpowering Annie was going into some phase called "Berserk Mode." In that form, he was literary on fire and got a burst of energy and power.
In the manga, this never occurs. Manga fans have typically disliked this change, as it threw a monkey wrench into Eren's established powers. Also, a trend in the manga is that Eren's anger often works against him, as the story is mostly about tactics in battle. Consequently, it seemed to be a strange choice when the anime let him get stronger out of just being mad enough.
4 The Anime Cuts Some Of Armin's Scenes
Minor manga scenes and lines centering on Armin have not shown up in the anime. There are others where Armin is replaced with a different character. For example, in the season one finale, Mikasa pulls Eren out of his titan form. In the manga, that was actually Armin.
Like a lot of the changes, manga fans were unhappy with this one as well. The anime's changes put a far larger focus on Mikasa and Eren's relationship, sometimes at the cost of Armin and Eren's relationship.
3 Less Religious Fanatics In The Manga
In the very first two episodes of the anime, we see glimpses of priests speaking loudly to the public about the walls' sacred nature and that they should not be defiled. They are definitely shown as fanatics too, going as far as ignoring people in need and the titans around them so they can speak in verses.
These tidbits of religion are not shown at the beginning of the manga. The anime likely added these scenes because they knew from later chapters that there were religious beliefs based on the city walls. They might have added them early on to make the breaking of the walls even more catastrophic.
2 Carla's Death Is More Graphic In The Manga
Most would think the anime would be more graphic than the manga. In the case of Carla's death in Attack on Titan, it was the manga that went the extra mile. In the anime, the titan kills Carla before eating her. Its large hands block the killing action and we do not see the whole unfortunate process.
In the manga, though, we see it squeeze poor Carla to death and watch it eat with Carla's legs dangling out of its mouth and everything. Yikes.
1 Ymir's Backstory Is Revealed Earlier In The Anime
For those that did not read the manga, Ymir's backstory was very confusing. We did not yet know anything about the society beyond the walls. We did not know that people were turned into titans for punishment in that society. Despite not having any exposition for the society Ymir came from, the anime went ahead and had Ymir's story get told.
In the manga, her backstory was not revealed for a long time. Fans have theorized that this is so Ymir's love for Historia would make more sense in the show.