March 2018 Isayama-sensei Autograph Signing Event Compilation Part 1


The author:SAYAYA (Twitter:@388AOT)
The translator:Emica(Twitter:@emica50)
Japanese version:2018年3月諫山先生サイン会まとめ その1

This article is about Isayama-sensei’s autograph signing event that was held in Hita, Oita in March of 2018. 

The signing events with Isayama are known for their Q&A sessions with fans.
As the author, it is possible for Isayama to be asked questions directly about the many mysteries in Attack On Titan, so it’s a very popular event among fans. 

From this signing event’s Q&A, I made a compilation focusing on questions that are related to Erwin and Levi. 
Especially noteworthy details are Levi bringing back Erwin’s bones and Levi’s bed head

Since the summary of this signing event is quite long, it has been split into two parts. This is part 1.
Please visit “March 2018 Isayama-sensei Autograph Signing Event Compilation Part 2” for the second part. 

March 2018 Isayama-sensei Signing Event Compilation Part 1


Date held:March 3, 2018 (Saturday)
Location:The “Ōyama Gallery” at a hot spring resort called Okuhita Onsen Umehibiki (formerly known as Bungo・Ōyama Hibiki no Sato)

Link:“Attack on Titan” Author Mr. Isayama supports reconstruction of his hometown with autograph signing event in Ōyama, Hita city (Nishi Nihon Shinbun newspaper) (Japanese)
Internet archive:

This was an autograph signing event organized by Isayama himself to support his hometown that was damaged by heavy rains in northern Kyushu in 2017.
When Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine (Betsumaga) was accepting applications for participants, there were about 1,000 applications and only 30 people(!) were selected by lottery.
These winners were extremely lucky!

Click here for Isayama’s blog post about the event.

Link:地元大分でのサイン会を終え (Japanese)


The interactions between Isayama and fans at the event have been compiled at the following sites:

Also, you can search the “#諫山先生日田サイン会” hashtag on Twitter. 

Regarding the Q&A at the event, Isayama’s editor Back-san said, “These answers are unofficial” and “There is a good chance that they will change if we come up with a better configuration for them in the story” (see Event Report link above).

There were some changes made to these answers in the Final Season of the anime, so please refer to them for reference only.

These answers have been either quoted or summarized from the tweets in the Event Report. 
If there were multiple similar questions, those answers have been consolidated.
I tried to summarize so that the nuances do not change, but please check the original tweets for the exact content m (_ _) m

By the way, as of March 2018, on the date of the event:

  • The latest tankobon volume was vol 24.
  • It was just before the publication of chapter 103, “Assault” in Bessatsu Shonen magazine.
  • In chapter 102 from the previous month, Levi had just made his first appearance in the Marley arc.

Levi’s cloak & equipment in the Marley arc

Levi appeared in the manga for the first time in about a year with chapter 102, “Too Little, Too Late”. 
While everyone else had changed into new uniforms and were using new equipment, there were many questions about Levi’s old uniform and equipment. 

  • The color of Levi’s cloak is black.
  • (At the time of the event) the design of the uniform changes every time Isayama  draws it. He thinks boots will be better than shoes. 
  • The 104th are a smartphone generation but Levi would keep on using a “garakei” [Translator’s note: garakei are Japanese feature phones that were dominant before smartphones… think flip phones!] He wanted to convey that Levi is like an old man who doesn’t understand the youth.
  • (In response to the question that some readers imagined the cloak he’s wearing in chapter 102 belonged to Erwin): Levi dyed the original green cloak to black. Isayama doesn’t know whose cloak it is, but if it belonged to Erwin, he doesn’t think it would be the right size for Levi. 
  • The new uniform is made of leather. 
  • Levi chooses his equipment according to his own preferences.
  • Isayama can’t imagine Levi fighting with the new weapons.

In the Final Season, the cloaks of the soldiers, including Levi’s, remained green 🤔
Did he change his mind?
He also said that if the cloak were Erwin’s then it wouldn’t be the right size, but in the anime the cloak seems big, is this a production quirk or…? ??

The whereabouts of Erwin’s remains

“After the Wall Maria Reclamation operation, what happened to Erwin’s remains?”(😭) was asked by many people. 

  • Later on, Levi brought back Erwin’s skeletonized remains. Many died in the reclamation operation, but the commander was mourned especially. 
  • The remains became skeletonized because Levi wasn’t able to come back right away (there were various problems to clear before he could go)
  • Isayama doesn’t like to treat characters too specially compared to other soldiers, so that may be why he didn’t want to draw a particular character’s death being mourned over. 
  • Isayama decided on Erwin’s death a very long time ago, he had been drawing toward it the whole time.

When I read these answers for the first time, I became full of indescribable thoughts…

In a dialogue between Hiromu Arakawa and Isayama published in the July 2021 issue of Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine, Isayama said the following about character deaths:

I call it a “funeral service”. I could at least devote many pages to a character who has died in the story, so it feels like I’m placing onto them what I had accumulated up to that point, preparing them a splendid coffin, offering them flowers, and mourning them. It’s a shame that I can’t treat all of the characters equally, though.

[Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine July 2021, “Hiromu Arakawa x Hajime Isayama Super Dialogue!!”]

It was very sad and shocking when Erwin died, but I think he was a character who received a splendid “funeral” within the story…

Eruri touching hands while holding the syringe

In the scene where Erwin passes Levi the syringe, there was a question about whether there was any intention to the two of them touching hands. (The scene in question is from volume 21, chapter 83, “Cleaver”.)

Isayama: When handing something over, I think (hands) may sometimes touch, but intentionally? lol
Back-san: Intentionally? You mean Isayama-san? Or Erwin and Levi?
Q: Erwin and Levi.
Isayama: Oh! In that case I’m not sure. It’s possible their hands moved on their own ^0^

Via a tweet in the event report compilation, they wrote the answer as “There wasn’t any particular intention, but it’s normal for two people in reality to touch hands.”
However, the OP who asked the question made a correction via their blog so I pulled the quote from there. 

Related link:進撃の巨人 諫山先生 サイン会レポ②とか103話簡単感想とか | ☆ゆん☆ つれづれ進撃日記 (Japanese)

About Levi’s father

There were several questions regarding Levi’s father.

  • Levi’s father is a normal, petite man of no importance. He is not a big man. 
  • Isayama doesn’t have any plans for him to appear in the main story. 
  • Levi has his mother’s face and his father’s height. 
  • Levi’s great-grandfather was drawn as if he were Levi with a beard, so Levi resembles his great-grandfather. 

Isayama answered that Levi’s face resembles both his mother’s and his great-grandfather’s so it’s a bit difficult to understand but in short I interpreted it as the Ackerman family having strong genes. (If one had to describe his face as either his mother’s or his father’s, he gets it from his mother’s side.)

What I personally find interesting is that Levi is 160cm/5′ 3″ but his mother Kuschel is 164cm/5′ 4.2″… he’s shorter than even his mother… (and Kuschel is only 43kg/95lbs… so thin…)

About Levi using brothels

Isayama was asked: “Kenny said he doesn’t use brothels (note: I think this refers to a scene from vol 24 ch97 ‘From One Hand to Another’) but does Levi also feel the same way?”

His answer was, “He’s been familiar with them since he was a child, so he recognizes it as a normal occupation,” but he intentionally(?) avoided answering the question directly 🤔

This kind of question is difficult, isn’t it? Perhaps Isayama knows the answer, but I guess he can’t say it…

Levi’s tendency to become moody

A person who received an illustration of Levi looking angry asked, “Is Levi angry?”

  • He is always pretty angry
  • He becomes sullen even in his private life.

I feel like I understand 😂
When you hear an answer like that, the image resolution of a character becomes clearer.

By the way, the Levi in the illustration of the person who asked the question looks angry “because Sasha ate something that he wanted to eat for himself.”
S-so cute ;;

Speaking of squabbles over food, this reminds me of Squad Leader Erwin and thug Levi on a package of Morinaga ice cream.

[Translator’s note: Levi’s speech bubble on the package says: “I’m sorry I ate your ice cream without asking. I didn’t know it was yours” and Erwin with a 💢 symbol above his head 😂]

Levi’s bed head

Starting in the Marley arc, Levi’s bangs were drawn looking unkempt.
Apparently this is “bed head”.

In the August 2014 issue of Frau magazine, it was revealed that Levi doesn’t sleep in a bed but instead in a chair. Is he getting bed head because he has started sleeping in a bed since the Marley arc?
If so, is there no one around to fix his bed head?
One can develop lots of headcanons about this…! lol

Such small, minute details in the story like this are what makes Isayama so great.
I’m sure there are background details that fans will never, ever notice (tell us everything…!!!)
He’s a guy who’s “got a lot more to think about than we do”, isn’t he? 

Has Levi given his horse a name?

When asked if Levi gave his horse a name, Isayama answered, “I have never thought about it lol” (the honesty is nice).
He answered that it’ll be fatal if the horse gets lost so having trust is important, so he thinks the horse has a name. 

I’m a huuuge freak over the fact that in the anime, Erwin rides a white horse and Levi rides a black horse— the contrast of black and white horses is the best and isn’t Erwin the coolest when he looks like a prince (or a king) riding on a white horse?
What do you expect when Eruri is Disney…! (※ These are just my personal feelings.)

The continuation of the Q&A is over here!

There’s still some Q&As left! It continues here.

About Isayama’s Autograph Signing Events

Isayama signing events have also been held in September 2013 and November 2020. 
The compilation for the September 2013 event is here.

The compilation article for the November 2020 event is currently a work in progress!


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