Hajime Isayama took a lot of inspiration from his surroundings while thinking about the character designs for Attack and Titan, and one of them is Eren’s Titan form which was inspired by a famous MMA star.
Attack on Titan is nearing its end but it is hard to forget what a mindblowing anime and manga it has been so far. Ever since its release in 2013, the show has managed to baffle fans with the smallest of details and the number of easter eggs that are thrown in along the way. Amid this, it is hard to forget the number of real-life inspirations the author has had while designing the characters.
An MMA star inspired Eren’s Titan form
In a 2019 interview, Isayama confessed that Eren’s Titan form was inspired by the famous Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Yushin Okami.
Isayama stated that several aspects of MMA helped him shape the characters in a way that would benefit the storyline the best. At the same time, he wanted to capture the idea of allowing weak characters to transform into strong beings. This is clearly depicted in Eren’s character who starts off as a timid young kid who goes on to become a strong mastermind boy.
At the same time, Isayama also spoke about the ginormous Titan design stating that he wanted to capture things that were “idiosyncratic to [him] in its ugliness.”
There is WWE inspiration as well
MMA is not the only fighting technique that inspired Isayama. In the same interview, he commented on the influence of WWE.
Reiner Braun aka the Armored Titan was inspired by Brock Lesnar. The amateur wrestler and professional football player managed to send shivers down people’s spines as he entered the WWE ring. To this date, people love it when he is set to appear on Raw and SmackDown.
It looks like Isayama too is a fan of him as he managed to embody his characteristics in the Armored Titan.
Mikasa has a different inspiration
While WWE and MMA have played a crucial role in the design of Titans, Mikasa’s character has a very different inspiration.
Her character design was inspired by a customer that Isayama had met while he was working at a cafe.
Unfortunately, the author has not spilled a lot of beans on this topic, but it is definitely interesting to know that a real-life Mikasa is somewhere out there.