Attack on Titan No Regrets 1 by Hikari Suruga, Gun Snark, Hajime Suruga

Attack on Titan No Regrets is a short, two-part introductory story to Levi’s and Erwin’s pasts. Both have been fan favorites for since the series began and it was great to see their origin stories. The art is serviceable – it may not live up to the original series (everyone is quite pretty here, even the Titans) but it doesn’t stray far from the original character designs, either, and is clean and easy to follow. Those new to the series will want to start with the original Attack on Titan, though, and not No Regrets.

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Story: Levi masterfully uses the 3D maneuver gear deep underground to eek out a living with Isabel and Flagon, using it for petty thievery to survive. When their group is captured not by the military police but by the Survey Corps, they are coerced by leader Erwin to join and help fight the Titan menace. But unknown to Erwin, a corrupt nobleman got to them first – and gave them a mission to steal paperwork and kill Erwin.

This first novel is more set up than action – creating an intricate plot of betrayal and counter betrayal while also establishing how Erwin cannily recognized the talent in the underground. Most of the action takes place in the second volume since the first is about the prejudice Levi’s group encounters among the recruits and their machinations to enact their secret mission against Erwin.

The art is clean and nicely rendered, staying completely faithful to the original series despite having a different illustrator. Yes, the designs are pretty and this can feel like a ‘shoujo’ interpretation of a gritty ‘shounen’ story. But fangirls of Levi or Erwin will devour no regrets for that reason.

Is it worth buying this in addition to the original series? Yes, definitely, because the story and art stay true, give us an interesting background story, and set up a better understanding of several Attack on Titan characters.

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