Why Are ‘Attack On Titan’ & ‘Spy x Family’ Creators Rivals?

spy x family attack on titan
Nick Davis

Attack On Titan and Spy x Family are two of the biggest anime in the world right now. Attack On Titan is in its victory lap as the anime plans on releasing its final episodes in 2023. Spy x Family just had a triumphant entrance as its first season was the most-streamed anime of 2022. So what do its creators have in common outside of their wild success in the anime world? Apparently, the two have a long-standing rivalry that goes back years.

A Major Anime Rivalry

A well-known detail of modern manga production is that, while generally one or two people are credited for a manga, there are usually more involved in the process of its creation. These “manga assistants” help out with the artwork after the author has written the scripts. Hajime Isayama, the creator and writer of the Attack On Titan manga, had many assistants during its run. One of those assistants was Tatsuya Endo, the man currently writing Spy x Family, the popular manga and anime. In an interview with Brut, Isayama spoke about the rivalry that grew from his and Endo’s time working together.

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Hajime Isayama, the creator of ‘Attack On Titan’

“Tatsuya Endo, the author of Spy x Family, is my great rival in ping-pong,” Hajime said. “Normally, Tatsuya Endo is stronger than me, but last time he didn’t manage to win. I beat him.”

A ping-pong rivalry between two of the biggest manga writers in the world is unexpected news. It’s a fun tidbit of information to show camaraderie between two of our favorite manga creators. It’s also a great bit of humanization for the writer of one of the darkest pieces of fiction made in the last decade.

Table tennis (AKA ping-pong) is one of the biggest sports in east Asia. China, South Korea, and Japan are the top 3 countries in the world in terms of Olympic performance in table tennis.

Isayama, Endo, & More

Hajime Isayama and Tatsuya Endo weren’t the only two major manga writers brought together by Attack On Titan. Isayama also spoke in the interview about Blue Lock illustrator Yusuke Nomura being his manga assistant. This shows both how small the manga and anime world truly is, and also how much major talent worked behind the scenes on the masterful Attack On Titan series. Maybe some of the next great anime and manga will be written by assistants working on Spy x Family or Blue Lock right now.

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A shot from ‘Blue Lock’ by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and Yusuke Nomura

Nearly every episode of Attack On Titan is out now. Spy x Family has its entire first season out, with its second season coming later this year. Blue Lock is currently still airing its first season. All are available for streaming on Crunchyroll in the US.

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