Attack on Titan: No Regrets vol. 1- Gun Snark, Hajime Isayama, and Hikaru Suruga

Attack on Titan: No Regrets, translated from Shingeki no Kyojin: Kuinaki Sentaku, is currently running in Aria, a shoujo manga magazine published by Kodansha. We are receiving it in North America through Kodansha USA, and so far have volume 1.

The Gist: Attack on Titan: No Regrets is a prequel of sorts to Isayama’s Shingeki no Kyojin. It tells the meeting of Levi and Erwin, how Levi came to be a top soldier in the Survey Corps, and why Erwin is so cut-throat practical no matter the sacrifice in order to beat the Titans.

This first volume introduces a new “world” behind the walls, an underground inhabited by murderers and criminals that’s tough to survive. This is Levi’s territory. Here, he and his comrades maneuver through the underground with stolen military gear, and it seems they’ve caught the attention of Erwin. When he captures Levi and his comrades, he offers them a choice: you can face military punishment for stealing equipment, or join the scouting regimen. The trio decide to join the military and hatch plans to cause problems. Levi is determined to kill Erwin, and his buddy Farlan has some kind of plan to steal something. When they go on their first journey outside the walls, the members of the Survey Corps witness firsthand why Erwin was determined to recruit Levi.


Volume 1 Cover

The Review: If you pick up Attack on Titan: No Regrets hoping to get an intriguing back story on Levi and insight into his character, you’ll be sorely disappointed. My expectation was that there would be more exposition of Levi’s life as a street thug. That’s not the case. We see him in that role for about a chapter and that’s it. The rest of the time is his beginning in the Survey Corps. The most expression we get out of him is anger and glaring, and it’s not anything new that we haven’t already derived from the other manga. I don’t know if the authors were afraid that if they developed him further then it would have ramifications on the other plot line, but they really missed a great opportunity to give fans more details about these characters that are so well liked.

As for the plot, if you’re looking for Titan action there’s only a little at the end of the volume. This story is more about Levi’s interactions with Erwin. The events that occur rely on a lot of deduction on the reader’s part, and it’s not always clear where the story is going. I’m wondering what kind of contribution this series will make to the main plot, if any at all. That said, it’s not necessary to know the main plot. Attack on Titan: No Regrets can be picked up and read stand alone. It just helps to already have some knowledge of the world and characters.

Also, this series ran in a shoujo magazine most likely because it’s the female audience that wants to know more about Levi and Erwin. However, don’t expect any romance to occur. Levi has a female comrade, but there’s nothing going on there. This isn’t a series for fujoshi either. If you want Levi and Erwin action you’ll have to look for some doujinshi out there.

action paneling

action paneling

The Art: Attack on Titan: No Regrets has a lot more action scenes than I’m used to reading. I had some difficulty making out the action sequences but I don’t know if that was because of how they were drawn or just my inexperience with them. The character designs were close to the original and easy to recognize. There’s even a scene with Levi in his cleaning kerchief that looks right out of the other series. There’s not a lot of dialogue, contributing to a cleaner look in the panels and a rather quick read. The color pieces I’ve seen on the covers of Aria look great.


Cover of Aria’s August Issue

The Audience: Hmmm. If you’re looking for typical shoujo this isn’t it. That might be positive or negative depending on you. There is violence and killing, so older teen is best. Aria’s target audience is 16-22 year olds. If you are a Levi or Erwin fan then Attack on Titan: No Regrets is a definite purchase. For other fans of the manga or anime it’s worth a look.

The Media: Shingeki no Kyojin: Kuinaki Sentaku (Attack on Titan: No Regrets) is a 2 volume series. The second volume will be published August 8, 2014, in Japan. Kodansha has the release date for North America as October 28, 2014. Anime News Network reported this week that Attack on Titan: No Regrets is being animated and will be released as DVDs bundled with volumes 15 and 16 of Shingeki no Kyojin in Japan on December 9, 2014 and April 9, 2015.

Heart of Manga Rating: ♥♥♥

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Super mom and teacher until the kids go to bed, then romance manga addict and writer until the caffeine wears out! Specializes in the shoujo and josei genre of manga and anime.
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