Colossal Bodies: Re-imagining the Human Anatomy in Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The man-eating giants of Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan (2009–ongoing) are some of the most memorable and terrifying creatures in recent manga. Isayama’s story is populated with several uncanny redesigns of the human body. This article explores the various dimensions in which Isayama manipulates the construction and consumption of flesh. By drawing parallels from mythology, Renaissance anatomy and modern explorations into robotics, this article examines the physicality and origin of the Titans themselves, the in-between state of protagonist Eren and the other ‘Titan shifters’, and the unflinching treatment of death and gore. The analysis interrogates the ways that Attack on Titan problematises notions of identity through the act of transforming and dissociating images of the human anatomy. In a medium that delights in cyber pathology and piloted humanoid robots, Attack on Titan returns to an organic, and ultimately more unsettling, exploration of the body
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-493
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 03 Aug 2017


  • Attack on Titan
  • giants
  • anatomy
  • robots
  • automaton


Dive into the research topics of 'Colossal Bodies: Re-imagining the Human Anatomy in Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this