Attack on Titan is one of the best anime series ever to hit the small screen, period. Based on Hajime Isayama’s manga of the same name, the TV series tells the story of the Scout Regiment’s ongoing battle with the gigantic humanoid monsters known as Titans.
And, while this horror anime is pretty fantastical at first glance, Isayama reveals the surprising real-life influences of the show. During an interview with Crunchyroll (via Comicbook.com), Isayama explains that the creation of his world featuring the island of Paradis and the nation of Marley is based on real geography.
For anime fans who may not know the ins and outs of the Attack on Titan animated series, Marley is a nation outside of the Walls and is across the ocean from Paradis Island. It is also the nation that used the power of the Titans to control the Eldians – making it the main antagonist for all the Attack on Titan characters trapped inside the Walls.
“I think where there’s a hint of truth; it makes a story very believable. So, when I came up with the design of the world view—for example, the world view map, I kind of flipped it from the real-life world map to something similar, but different,” the artist says.
Isayama also elaborates on how the dynamic between these two fictional nations, like the geography, also holds historical influences. The purpose of adding real-life references to Attack on Titan is to make sure audiences can easily understand the plot’s context.
“People would be able to understand the context without explaining everything. For example, the Eldian and Marleyans,” he explains. “They’re really kind of similar to what the Germanic people and Romans went through 2,000 years ago. That’s kind of the unsaid rules that I keep in my stories.”
Attack on Titan’s final episodes will release in two parts, bringing an end to anime character Eren’s story. The Attack on Titan season 4 part 3 release date is set for March 2023. For more anime, here are our guides to everything we know about Demon Slayer season 3, Dr Stone season 3, and Spy x Family season 2.