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Isayama was born on August 29, 1986 in Ōyama, Ōita, Japan. After graduating from Ōita Prefectural Hitarinkou High School, he matriculated in the cartoon design program of the cartoon arts department, Kyushu Designer Gakuin. After graduating, he moved to Tokyo and started drawing his manga works.
In 2006, he applied for the Magazine Grand Prix, also known as MGP, that is promoted by Kodansha Ltd., and his work, Attack on Titan, was given the Fine Work award. Originally, he offered his work to the Weekly Shōnen Jump department at Shueisha, where he was advised to modify his style and story to be more suitable for Weekly Shōnen Jump. He declined and decided to take it to the Weekly Shōnen Magazine department at Kodansha Ltd. instead.
In 2008, he applied for the 80th Weekly Shōnen Magazine Freshman Manga Award, where his work, Heart Break One, was given the Special Encouragement Award.
His other work, orz, was chosen as a selected work in the 81st Weekly Shōnen Magazine Freshman Manga Award.
In 2009, his first serial work, Attack on Titan, appeared in the Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine, a monthly magazine.
In 2011, Attack on Titan was awarded the 35th Kodansha Manga Award in the Shōnen category.
On December 31, 2018, Isayama revealed in his blog that he got married that year. He confirmed the rumors about Yamamoto Arisa being his spouse were false and also stated that he would continue to draw manga in 2019.
- In mid-2012 (when The Female Titan arc was being published), Isayama stated in an interview that Jean was his favorite character. From 2017 to late 2019 (when the Marley and War for Paradis arcs were being published), Isayama stated in interviews that Reiner is his favorite character.
- Isayama has stated that Daz is the character that he is most similar to.
- Isayama has also joked that he is similar to Hannes and other Garrison members because they "sit around drinking booze."
- In late 2016, Isayama watched all 6 seasons of Game of Thrones available at the time and became an avid fan, posting fan art in his blog and recommending the series to his readers. He says the series will influence his own work.
- Many Titans in Chapter 96 strongly resemble various Game of Thrones characters.
- One Titan in Chapter 110 strongly resembles the Game of Thrones character Joffrey Baratheon.
- The title of Chapter 111, "Children of the Forest," is potentially a reference to the Children of the Forest from Game of Thrones.
- One scene from Episode 36 where a soldier is hit by a horse resembles a similar scene from the Game of Thrones episode "Battle of the Bastards."
- In May of 2019, during the airing of the eighth season, Isayama told readers of Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine, "How many hundreds of times do I still need to tell you 'go watch Game of Thrones' so that you will watch it?!"
- In the same month Isayama indicated that he, like many other fans, had been disappointed by the series's finale, writing "Today I watched Game of Thrones's finale. There’s something I thought about it personally. That’s all I'm gonna say for now. I’d like to explain what I thought of today in the future. orz." "orz" is an emoticon of a man bending over, commonly used in Japan to express frustration.
- In July of 2020, while discussing Attack on Titan's upcoming ending, Isayama stated that he was disappointed by the series' ending.
- The Attack Titan's ability to peer into the past and future is similar to Greensight from Game of Thrones. Eren Yeager and Bran Stark are able to interact with the past in their visions, and they both cause causal loops as a result.
- Isayama has named the manga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure as one of his favorite series when he was growing up.
- On December 29, 2013, Isayama posted his top 16 movies of the year:
- On October 19, 2014, Isayama posted his top 3 movies of the year:
- On September 8, 2015 Isayama posted his top 3 movies of the year:
- On February 11, 2016 Isayama posted a second list of his top 4 movies of 2015:
- On December 28, 2016, Isayama posted his top 5 movies of the year:
- On December 29, 2017, Isayama posted his top 10 movies of the year:
- On December 31, 2018, Isayama posted his top 6 movies of the year: