Attack on titan is a manga series written and illustrated by janpaness.

I wonder why the title is 'attack on titan' not 'attack titan'.
cf. The man attacked him with a knife.

I think attack is 'transitive verb' so, 'on' is not necessary. Why does the title need 'on'?

Is there any difference(or nuance) between 'attack on titan' and 'attack titan'?

  • 1
    I think the original Japanese author came up with the English title. I'm afraid it doesn't really make sense in English. When I first saw the title "Attack on Titan", I thought it would be some kind of space opera—I imagined a military assault on Saturn's moon Titan.
    – user230
    Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 12:13
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    For more detail about the meaning of the English vs Japanese titles, and the problems with the English, there is this question. anime.stackexchange.com/questions/11370/…
    – Karen
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


I wonder why the title is 'attack on titan' not 'attack titan'.

In Attack on Titan, the word attack is a noun, whereas in attack Titan it is a verb.

We would usually use an article before the noun attack:

The attack on Titan


An attack on Titan

but in headlines and titles articles are often omitted.

The preposition on is used to characterize the attack. We cannot combine the preposition on and the verb attack and thus link the verb to its object:

Attack on that trench, boys! (* the sentence is ungrammatical)


The US army launched an attack on Midway. (the sentence is OK)


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