Manga Review: Spoof on Titan Vol. 1

Kodansha’s Attack on Titan was a massive hit that is now a massive franchise. Several titles have spun off of the original, and joining the collection is the 4-komi comedy Spoof on Titan! Read on for the review of Volume 1!

The Review

It’s not unusual for mangaka to include funny 4-komi or four-panel comic strips in manga volumes as extras. However, Attack on Titan is a franchise with a large enough following that it’s possible to create a title comprised entirely of 4-komi gag strips. That’s exactly what Kodansha’s done in Spoof on Titan. And like many Attack on Titan spinoffs, it is handled by an artist other than creator Hajime Isayama.

Spoof on Titan uses chibi style artwork, and artist Hounori’s versions of the characters are both adorably cute and recognizable. However, some panel illustrations do get a little cramped when they feature three or more characters, and the font for translation overlays on letters, books, etc., are too tiny to read. The volume is comprised of twenty-seven chapters, each four pages long, with a few splash pages in between.

Four chapters are a hodgepodge of gags, but the remaining chapters have a unifying theme or story arc. For instance, Eren suffers his comrades’ attempts to “help” when he gets a cavity in “Dental Health,” and “Boys, Girls, and Written Exams” explores the 104th Training Corp’s test prep methods. As you might guess, the content is geared toward fans already familiar with the characters’ personalities, which also makes the jokes incomprehensible to the uninitiated.

A warning to those who’ve only seen Season 1 of the anime: there are references to revelations that take place later in the saga. In other words, if you’re not aware of the secret Bertolt and Reiner share, a couple gags may prove spoilerific. However, if you don’t care about spoilers, you will certainly get the vast majority of jokes, which center around early established themes such as Sasha’s insatiable appetite and Jean’s crush on Mikasa.

Eren and his fellow 104th cadets dominate the volume, but some relatively obscure characters get a surprising amount of attention. Hannah and Franz, whose romance came to a tragic end in the Battle for Trost, get their own lovey dovey chapter. Mike’s nose also gets its own chapter, and “Oluo’s Demise” centers around the members of Squad Levi. And even though vertical manuevering action dominates the anime and original manga, there’s hardly any of it in Spoof. It has some cannon fire and Titans roaming around, but Hounori-sensei is more interested in the craziness our squad members inflict on each other.

Extras include bonus character sketches and translation notes.

In Summary

With so many personality quirks in the ranks of the Survey Corps, there’s a lot to make fun of, and Spoof on Titan does just that. Its gags aren’t so much about taking down Titans but the mental and sometimes physical damage that squad members deal to each other. A couple jokes may prove spoilerific, but if you are current on the manga and love the cast’s idiosyncracies, these chibi-style antics are likely to provide big laughs.

First published at The Fandom Post.

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