Attack on Titan has dominated the sales charts and become a cultural phenomenon since its debut in 2009.
Fans have always heard about how Weekly Shonen Jump turned down Hajime Isayama‘s work for having crude art and a disjointed premise. At the time, Kodansha took a risk in picking up Attack on Titan and it has paid off! Nine years after the manga’s debut, Kodansha has decided to publish Isayama’s first draft — the one Weekly Shonen Jump turned down.
Isayama submitted the one-shot in 2006, which was titled Jinrui VS Kyojin (Humanity vs. Titan). After Weekly Shonen Jump passed on the title, he submitted it to Kodansha’s Magazine Grand Prix contest — it won the Fine Work award. Kodansha’s editors criticized Isayama’s artwork but praised his story ideas.
Through past interviews, Isayama has told readers that he has always felt insecure about his art quality, which has a rough sketch style compared the crisp line art that dominates the industry. Still, you can see how his art has improved over the years.
Kodansha published the 68-page one-shot on their Debut website. It’s free to read but is only in Japanese.