Attack on Titan: Age Recommendations?

Here’s everything about the age recommendations for Attack on Titan:

In the United States, both the manga and TV series are rated as mature—suggesting that kids under the age of 17 shouldn’t watch or read.

Other countries have laxer suggestions, but all range above 12 years of age.

These ratings are mostly because of the violence, adult themes, and graphic depictions.

So if you want to learn all about the age groups Attack on Titan is appropriate for, then this article is for you.

Keep reading!

Attack on Titan: Age Recommendations? (Everything to Know)

What Is Attack on Titan? (2 Things)

Young woman with red hair watching on her laptop outside in the park

Attack on Titan is a Japanese manga and anime that was originally released in 2009.

The anime is still ongoing.

I’ll talk about the differences between these depictions in the next couple of sections, but before that, I should probably clear something up.

If you’re not familiar with Japanese media, you might not know much about what manga and anime are, so here’s a crash course.

Manga is a term to describe a type of Japanese comic book.

While manga is not exactly comic books, they are similar in a lot of fashions.

They are serialized, and they are depicted with drawn panels, much like what you would see in a comic book.

Being Japanese productions, they have different tropes, themes, and common points.

Also, it’s common for multiple manga stories to be issued in a single magazine release (see Shonen Jump).

Whereas with comic books, each book is usually a single story or property.

As for anime, it’s a type of Japanese cartoon.

It’s known for its distinct art styles.

While anime is animated, it is quite different from western-style cartoons in terms of artistic styles, content, target audiences, and more.

It’s really worth considering anime as its own type of media.

One thing to know is that in many cases, anime series are based on successful manga series.

That means that the manga is usually the source material, and that’s definitely the case with Attack on Titan.

One other thing to know is a bit of a tangent, but in order to talk about Attack on Titan ratings, I might have to get into some of the key scenes in the series.

That means that there is a risk of spoilers ahead.

Consider yourself warned.

#1 The Manga

A person reading a manga from his manga collection

Attack on Titan is a series that premiered as a manga first.

That means that the manga is the original story and source material for the anime.

The series was written by Hajime Isayama and published by Kodansha.

It appeared in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine, and the series ran from 2009 to 2021. 

The story has been completed for more than a year now with no additional chapters planned.

It’s finished.

And, the story is largely about Eren Yeager who is a soldier in the survey corp who vows to rid the world of titans.

The titans are large humanoid creatures that roam the lands and eat people.

There’s actually a lot more to the plot than that, but anything else would get into spoiler territory.

So, let’s leave it at that and talk about the anime for a bit.

#2 The Anime

Woman eating popcorn while watching on her laptop

The Attack on Titan anime is adapted directly from the manga.

That means that, for the most part, the anime covers the exact same plot points as the manga.

It’s just a different representation of the same story.

There are some discrepancies between the two media, but those are probably better left for another discussion.

The anime series first aired in 2013.

It has spanned multiple seasons, and while the final season of the show is in production, it has not aired yet.

That means that the completed manga has covered the story points that are not yet depicted in the anime.

The final season has not received an official release date yet, and there are rumors that it will be adapted into a motion picture instead of a season of anime.

We’ll see what happens.

What Are the Age Recommendations for Attack on Titan? (2 Ratings)

Pretty woman enjoying a show on the laptop

I said that Attack on Titan is a story about soldiers fighting monsters that eat people.

Based on that description, you might have already surmised that this story is not intended for younger children.

The truth is that the manga and the anime depict things rather differently in terms of visuals and dialogue, so they don’t necessarily have the same rating.

Also, this is a Japanese story that has circled the globe and has releases in more than a dozen countries.

That means that the ratings vary depending on where you are.

With that in mind, it’s going to take a minute for me to break down formal age recommendations for the story.

#1 For the Manga

A girl reading Japanese comic book  or manga in her house

Let’s start with the manga. 

In its original form, the manga is printed in Japanese, and it was distributed across the country of Japan.

The manga has been adapted for release in other countries, and each country gets to set its own rating.

In Japan, there is no formal rating or age recommendation.

So, we’ll have to take things from other countries. 

The rating in the United States is R-17+.

This rating means that the content is not recommended for kids under the age of 17.

I’ll get into why a little later, but this is our starting point.

As for other countries, ratings range from 13+ to 16+, showing that the United States has one of the stricter ratings for the content.

Regardless, it’s clearly not for young kids.

#2 For the Anime

Woman using tablet in bed late at night

The anime has similar ratings because it largely covers the same stuff.

In the United States, it’s rated TV-MA.

To be more specific, most episodes are rated TV-14 with some episodes getting the TV-MA rating.

Generally speaking, if you want a single rating for a whole show, you go with the most extreme rating of any episode.

The international ratings look a lot like the manga ratings.

They range from 12 to 17 for minimum recommended viewing ages.

As the show is faithful to the original manga, it’s not too surprising that the show is also not appropriate for young children.

Why Does Attack on Titan Have Those Age Recommendations? (4 Reasons)

Happy smiling mother and daughter watching together video content on a laptop and having good time together in a coffee shop

Ok. Those are the ratings.

Why are those the ratings?

It mostly comes down to the visual depictions in the show, some of the harsh language, and the themes discussed.

I’m going to gloss over the language, because the harshness really depends on who translates the chapter or episode.

Some translations don’t use extreme language while others do.

As for the visuals and themes, those are a lot more consistent.

#1 Violence

Blonde woman with headphones covering her eyes while watching  a show on her laptop

This is the most common reasoning.

The show depicts violent battles between various groups of people and the titan monsters.

A lot of people die, and those deaths are often shown directly rather than implicitly.

At a minimum, the violence tends to score the show a TV-14 rating (with some international variance).

Some of the scenes are more intense, and that’s where some of the stricter ratings come into play.

Characters are clearly shot, stabbed, and eaten throughout the series.

#2 Graphic Depictions

Young business woman relaxing at home looking away so she doesn't see what's on her laptop

The concepts of violence in the show (and manga) are enough to earn a TV-14 rating in many cases, but that’s not the limit of the depictions.

If a show infers that a character is eaten by a monster, that’s potentially disturbing and probably not ideal for young children.

Attack on Titan goes much further.

Characters are explicitly shown being eaten by the monsters, or shot, or otherwise gravely injured and/or killed.

There is a lot of blood in the sequences, and the show doesn’t shy away from brutal moments.

It’s not all brutality, but the most intense moments probably aren’t appropriate for most young teens.

Obviously, countries disagree about this, but as an American, I lean toward the American ratings, and at its worst, Attack on Titan is probably not appropriate for anyone under the age of legal adulthood.

That’s an opinion, not an objective fact.

#3 Nudity

Father covering her daughter's eyes as an inappropriate scene plays on the laptop

There is also nudity in Attack on Titan, but I want to be clear.

It’s not overtly sexual.

There are characters that are in extreme circumstances that leave them unclothed.

Body parts are not explicitly depicted in these cases.

You can think of Attack on Titan nudity as akin to what you might see in a PG-13 movie or on cable television.

Characters are clearly naked, but the most private body parts are covered or hidden.

That’s the gist of it.

So, this trends toward a TV-14 rating in most cases.

Again, these scenes are not frequent, and they’re not overtly sexual in nature. 

#4 Adult Themes

Girl watching something serious on laptop

All of that said, the reason I would personally not recommend the show or manga for young kids has to do with the adult themes.

Violence, nudity, and graphic images aside, Attack on Titan tackles heavy topics.

There are extreme cases of personal loss.

There are revenge plots, unexpected violence, terror, and horror.

More than any of that, though, the show deeply covers the topic of genocide.

In fact, it’s a central theme of the story.

The titans are more than willing to commit genocide against humans.

There are different factions that arise later in the story, and they all contemplate varying genocides as a potential solution to their problems.

That’s a heavy topic, and it’s not discussed lightly or coyly.

It’s right out in the open, and all of the characters seriously contemplate participating in one genocide or another at some point in the show.

That’s not typically a good topic for young kids.