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Characters / Attack on Titan: Levi Ackerman

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WARNING: Unmarked spoilers abound. Beware if you are not updated with the manga.


Levi Ackerman

Voiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya (JP), Matthew Mercer (EN), Alfredo Gabriel Basurto, Mayra Cabrera (child) (Latin American Spanish)

Debut: Side Story 1 (Manga), Episode 4 (Anime)
"The only thing we're allowed to do is to believe that we won't regret the choice we made."
Click for his post-Time Skip appearance 

"I want to put an end to that recurring nightmare, right now. There are those who would get in my way. But I'm fine playing the role of the lunatic who kills people like that. I have to be ready to rearrange some faces. Because I choose the hell of humans killing each other over the hell of being eaten."

A Captain in the Survey Corps, rumored to be the strongest soldier alive. He has a harsh and unsocial personality, but is well-regarded by his subordinates. He is injured in the aftermath of the first encounter with the Female Titan, and forced onto the sidelines during the subsequent battles. Once his injuries have sufficiently healed, he is placed in charge of protecting Eren once more and forms a new Special Operations Squad to assist him.


He is the main protagonist of the visual novel Attack on Titan: A Choice With No Regrets, a prequel detailing how he got into the Survey Corps.

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    A - F 
  • The Ace: Widely considered the most skilled warrior among the human forces, and for good reason. Watch him in action here.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Nice Guy is definitely pushing it, but the anime does cut some of his more brutal moments (his violent treatment of Historia is completely absent) as well as giving him multiple Pet the Dog moments in additional scenes.
  • All for Nothing: Sadly invokes this in Chapter 112. With Eren's treachery and plot to circumvent the military apparently exposed, Levi somberly reflects on all the times he saved Eren's life at the cost of so many of his comrades', not willing to accept that the man he believed could be the savior of his people ultimately turned out to be a liability. He subsequently goes into denial and refuses to feed Eren to a new host, suggesting they kill Zeke instead.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Threatens to break Erwin's legs rather than let him go beyond the Walls again. It was difficult to tell if he would go through with it.
  • Anti-Hero: He calls himself an "aberrant human" because how un-normal life in the criminal underground has made him, including his standards of what's acceptable and what's not. He still intends to do everything in humanity's name, saying he'll soil his hands if it means that everyone else doesn't have to.
  • Arch-Enemy: With Zeke. Erwin's last order to Levi was to kill Zeke, and Zeke in turn kills nearly all of the Survey Corps. On the other hand, Levi appears to be the only one Zeke fears. After Zeke turns himself over to the Eldians and pledges his allegiance, Levi is the one entrusted to watch over him and the tension between them is positively icy. And given the increasing evidence of sabotage within the Eldian forces, it appears that a final confrontation between them is imminent. Ultimately, their conflict ends not in animosity, but necessity. A reformed Zeke signals to Levi to kill him so the Rumbling can be stopped, and Levi himself obliges out of duty, rather than hatred.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: One does not become Captain of the Special Operations Squad by being an ordinary muppet.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • A tragic example, but when Kenny dies, Levi is clearly quite upset about it despite everything that's happened between the two of them.
    • He is shown to be very fond of Hange, striving to provide the care that his comrade tends to neglect.
  • Badass Baritone: Matthew Mercer gives him a lower voice pitch than Hiroshi Kamiya, which makes it all the more appropriate for the World's Strongest Man.
  • Badass Boast: Claims he and he alone can put Titan Eren down like a dog easily if the situation deems it necessary. Going by the fact that he wrecks the Female Titan, who's even tougher than Titan Eren, this is definitely no bluff, although it should be noted that she was worn down by the time of their fight.
  • Badass Family: He's speculated to be related to Mikasa, as well as Kenny the Ripper. It's later confirmed by Kenny that Levi's mother was his younger sister, therefore making Levi his nephew.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Usually dresses in a snazzy suit when not in his Corps uniform (with the Classy Cravat no less!).
  • Berserk Button: Anything that has to do with Zeke Yeager always sends Levi into a rage. Even mentioning him often gets him worked up.
  • Berserker Tears: The fact he is crying is not immediately obvious, as his face is obscured for most of the scene. When Levi loses his friends, Farlan and Isabel, he goes into a screaming rage and brutally destroys the Titan that killed them. It is only after the Titan has died that Levi can be heard quietly sobbing.
  • Big Good: Narratively speaking, he essentially shares the role with Erwin. He's humanity's strongest soldier and the leader of the Survey Corps' best squad, therefore being the most valuable human asset they have in the fight against the Titans. In fact, he's basically Erwin's second-in-command, and they consult and corroborate with each other on pretty much everything the Corps does.
  • Bishōnen: Not so much in the main manga, where it's clear he's just short for his age, but the anime and Birth of Levi spinoff give him a androgynously slim and youthful physique and prettier, more effeminate features.
  • Blatant Lies:
    Eren: You're talking a lot today, Captain.
    Levi: Don't be stupid. I'm always this talkative.
  • Blond, Brunette, Redhead: The brunette to Isabel's redhead and Farlan's blond in the prequel, as ¡Three Amigos!. In the story proper, he's the brunet to Erwin's blond and Hange's reddish-brown, as the most prominent Survey Corps members.
  • Blood Knight: He doesn't show his love of combat as prominently as Eren, but it's still clear he enjoys killing the Titans, stating that he hates how easily the little ones die. However, he has a minor Heroic BSoD after discovering that Titans are humans transformed, which makes him suppress his sociopathic battle tendencies a bit.
  • Blood-Splattered Warrior: After managing to destroy every last member of Zeke's Titan battalion by himself, after losing the element of surprise, Levi returns from the battlefield in pursuit of Zeke while having gotten drenched in Titan blood faster than it could evaporate.
  • Brains and Brawn: The brawn to Hange's brains, although Levi's no fool himself.
  • Breakout Character: His character is so popular that he got his own spinoff manga with him as the main character.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Fractures his ankle shielding Mikasa from the Female Titan's fist. He's still able to use his gear and walk on it, but limps badly and ends up sidelined during the next crisis.
  • Brutal Honesty: Says whatever's on his mind when he sees fit, politeness or dangerous circumstances be damned.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Used an enemy's body as a shield, blocking shotgun fire, then swiftly killed his attackers in Chapter 58.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Just like nearly every high-ranked member of the Survey Corps. He regularly shows disrespect to his superiors and has Super OCD as his personal quirk, to the point that any squad assigned to him is liable to do a lot of cleaning outside of expeditions. No one says a thing, since he's the World's Strongest Man.
  • Captain Obvious: He picks the worst time to be this. During an experiment Levi points out Eren’s faulty transformation, commenting that “even his ass is hanging out”. At this Hange retorts, “I can see that!”.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: You wouldn't think he realizes he's in a dangerous situation by his flippant comments. When he's engaging two Titans without any backup, he simply mocks their appearances before proceeding to dispatch them with ease. Based on what we later see he's capable of, it's easy to infer he wasn't even really trying all that hard.
  • Celibate Hero: Levi doesn't seem to have much in the way of a dating life, though this is pretty understandable considering he spends most of his time fighting bloody wars against some very dangerous enemies (whether Titan or human). For the record though, he's apparently not quite completely disinterested in such matters, since Word of God claims that he does "like people taller than him"(though official sources are hard to find). Also, he half-sarcastically claims to Zeke that he used to be more popular with women when Zeke prods him on his antisocial behavior, or that, he was "popular enough". Though, being Levi, he may just be joking.
  • Character Development: In Gaiden, Levi initially only cared about himself, Farlan, and Isabel. After Farlan and Isabel both die due to his pride, Levi began caring about others, becoming A Father to His Men and not wanting to lose any more people that he cares about.
  • Character Tic: His unusual way of drinking tea. He prefers to grasp the top of the cup, rather than the handle. In an interview, Isayama explained that he does this because of an incident from his youth. He saved up enough money to purchase a tea set and a small amount of black tea, but the cup's handle broke when he tried to use it.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: All the other badass characters display abilities which show that they are highly skilled combatants. Levi's abilities are the only ones shown to be outright superhuman. Apparently this is an Ackerman family trait which spontaneously develops in a moment of great stress or trauma, which means Kenny and Mikasa are fully capable of matching his skills in battle.
  • Children Forced to Kill: Possibly inevitable for an orphan living in an underground city, but after Kenny took him in he taught him how to fight dirty, and had him engage in plenty of knife fights with random thugs to test him.
  • Classy Cravat: Played with. He wears one always, whether he's in dress uniform and attending a military tribunal or in the field cutting down Titan after Titan. He himself, on the other hand, is far from classy, as his coarse speech patterns and blunt snarkiness are quick to remind.
  • Cold Equation:
    • In the anime. While being pursued by Titans, Levi orders the team to abandon the bodies of those who died during the mission so that those who are still alive can escape.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When facing Titans, he's capable of killing in simpler ways than his highly-advanced Spin Attack. But no matter what, he always uses the highest amount of force to make sure they go down. But this comes to a head during his battle with the Military Police 1st Division. He uses his hookshots from his 3DMG as weapons, hides in a bar knowing bartenders can use firearms for self-defense legally, and uses chairs for diversions knowing that the MP 1st Division Anti-Human 3DMG pistols can only hold one shot before having to reload.
  • The Consigliere: To Erwin. He typically advises him on whatever their next course of action should be.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Delivered this against the Female Titan who was considerably weakened after going through multiple transformations and having to fight against his squad as well as Eren's Titan form. (Levi himself points out that it seemed slower and may have been tired). Suffice to say, it was no match for him in the slightest.
    • He shreds the Beast Titan to pieces in Chapter 81, forcing his human form out.
    • In Chapter 103, he does it again.
    • And again for the third time in Chapter 113. At this point it's practically a habit, and Zeke only manages to break even by attempting a Taking You with Me via exploding Thunder Spear.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He was a thug living in the underground slums before joining the Survey Corps. Levi's past is painted red with death and hardship. He also has some sort of connection to Kenny Ackerman, a former serial killer and his uncle who momentarily took Levi under his care after he found him malnourished and sitting in a dark room with his dead mother. Kenny proceeded to teach Levi everything he knows about survival and then abandoned him when he thought Levi was strong enough to live on his own.
  • Deadpan Snarker: To an absolutely amazing, and occasionally crude, degree.
    Levi: Maybe he's taking a shit and the shit just won't come out.
  • Death Glare: The dull look of hatred he shoots Annie after she is captured and encased in crystal is absolutely withering.
  • Delinquent: He's rumored to have been one before, and it's revealed he used to be a street thug that learned to steal and kill to survive. Eren even expresses surprise that someone so seemingly-cavalier would follow orders from the chain of command.
  • Dented Iron: After Zeke sets of a Thunder Spear right in front of him, Levi gets caught in the blast radius and is left on deaths door. Thanks to his Ackerman biology, and Hange patching him up shortly afterwards, he survives but is clearly worse for wear and has to conserve his strength until the Final Battle. While he is able to power through during the battle ultimately Levi never fully recovers from his wounds and ends up retiring and confined to a wheelchair by the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Invoked. Levi mentally takes note of the fact that his old mentor Kenny not only being still alive, but also a captain of the Central MP's First Brigade, was just about the absolute last thing he expected.
    • Also invoked against Zeke, who was completely unprepared for a fighter of Levi's caliber and who wound up blindsided and broken when he didn't take Levi seriously.
    • Following his defeat and capture of Zeke after the latter titanized all of Levi's men guarding Zeke and forcing Levi to kill them, Levi ties him up and attaches a Thunder Spear to him. If Zeke moves, he risks blowing himself to smithereens. Zeke, however, decides to opt out of being at the mercy of Levi and the Survey Corps and detonates the spear with Levi near him. It almost costs Levi his life.
  • Disappeared Dad: His mother worked in a brothel and appears to have had a child — Levi — with one of her clients. His father is never mentioned otherwise.
  • Doom Magnet: His companions — especially those under his command — have a tendency to die. First were his friends in A Choice With No Regrets, then his squad during the operation to capture the Female Titan, then Hange's squad in Chapter 57. When Nifa, who was next to him, gets shot in the face in Chapter 57, Levi looks absolutely distraught.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap:
    • Gets his ankle sprained by the Female Titan and gets subsequently sidelined. As a result, the military and the main characters can't just rely on him to deal with each great threat for a while at least. Indeed, his being sidelined for the second encounter for the Female Titan and the struggle against the Colossus and Armored Titan after that force the other main characters to grow and adapt; he heals in time for the Uprising arc and returns to Titan-slaying duties during the Return to Shiganshina.
    • He manages to survive a direct Thunder Spear's blast, but it leaves him severely injured and missing two fingers. As such, he is forced to sit out the attack on the harbor, and while he recovers enough to take part in the fight atop the Founding Titan soon after, he's clearly not in top shape.
  • The Dreaded:
    • To the degree where even the Female Titan is terrified of him when he tells her he wants revenge, after its initial capture.
    • In a more lighthearted sense, most soldiers are at least wary of pissing off Levi, especially recruits and the top 10 of the 104th (except maybe Mikasa, when pushed). Eren in particular grew to fear Levi's wrath after getting beaten to a pulp during his trial after the Trost arc.
    • Levi becomes this to the Central 1st Brigade MP, who are unnerved that he escaped a large-scale MP ambush and managed to slay several of their number despite them having every conceivable advantage. Prior to their final confrontation with the Scouts, they're just as scared of him as the Scouts are of Kenny.
    • He also becomes this to the Beast Titan after slicing him up. After said instance, the Beast Titan's immediate reaction to Levi is to haul ass. Even after many years, Zeke confesses to his superior that he fears facing a member of the Ackerman family again.
    • As of the return of the Survey Corps in Chapter 102 of the manga, Levi's fearsome reputation as an Ackerman has reached even Porco, who has never met him or any Ackerman for that matter, earning him the shared title of "demon of Paradis Island". He and Mikasa are referred to as The Ackerman by the Warriors at Liberio.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Levi grew up on the streets in near total destitution. He was also raised by a legendary Serial Killer, who, for the moment, seems to want him dead.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first time we see him fighting, he's annoyed at having to wipe Titan blood off his hands — being a neat freak and all — and then immediately afterwards, he doesn't hesitate to grasp the bloody hand of a dying subordinate in order to comfort him. A Father to His Men, indeed.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Many people are surprised to see how... vertically challenged the World's Strongest Man is. Considering that he swings in midair with surgical precision, being bigger probably wouldn't help with that.
  • Expy:
    • Through an interview within the side manga, Attack on Titan: No Regrets—Birth of Levi, Word of God confirms a good portion of Levi's design was based on Hiei of YuYu Hakusho, especially his eyes.
    • In another interview, Isayama admits that Levi's characterization as we know didn't take shape until the former watched Zack Snyder's adaptation of Watchmen and became interested with Rorschach's character, convincing himself of making a similar character with the blank slate he initially had. Within the story, the similarities show; both Rorschach and Levi are men of below-average height who are nonetheless incredible fighters. Levi also wears a white scarf just like Rorschach, and both happens to have had mothers working in a brothel.
  • Eye Scream: After Zeke sets of the Thunder Spear connected to his stomach Levi ends up getting caught in the explosion. When Hange finds him afterwards their is a noticeable scar running across his right eye and after patching him up Levi has bandages wrapped over it. The final chapter confirms that Levi lost vision in his eye and it is now completely white.
  • Face of a Thug: There's something slightly "off" about his eyes, leading to his comrades speculating that he used to be a criminal- these rumors turn out to be true.
  • A Father to His Men: The only thing he really cares about are his teammates. He knows that many of them will die, but he still despises unnecessary casualties. He's also prone to putting his men before himself, though never before the mission, as he shows in the anime when he gives Dieter a Survey Corps emblem (that may have been Petra's) and tells him it was Ivan's. To another nameless soldier that asks if he was of any use to humanity as he dies, he clasps his bloodied hand and says:
    Levi: You have done a great deal. And you will continue to do so. The resolve you leave behind will give me strength. I promise you... I will obliterate the Titans!
  • Fingore: In Chapter 114, Levi loses two fingers when Zeke blows himself up with a Thunder Spear that Levi had attached to him to keep him in check. In Chapter 115, they are shown lying the triggers of his broken sword.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Hange. In the spinoff A Choice With no Regrets, Levi wanted nothing to do with Hange when they first met. By the events of the main series, the two share a close bond, often exchanging banter, and Levi being comfortable enough to reach out and reprimand Hange when necessary. (And vice versa, as Hange is shown to reprimand him as well.)
  • Foil: Levi functions as a foil for Eren. Both serve as symbols of hope for humanity, and the two share a deep hatred for Titans. However, while Eren starts out as a naive, unremarkable newbie, Levi is established as an experienced, capable, and powerful veteran. Levi is also revealed in his Prequel storyline to have had a close bond with his best friend and adopted sister, who chose to follow him into the Survey Corps much like Mikasa and Armin did with Eren. It's a dark mirror image of the bond the three children share, as Levi makes a prideful and foolhardy decision and is forced to watch helplessly as they are killed right before his eyes because of it.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • Levi can maneuver in his gear at speeds far beyond normal human capability, but the one time a Titan lays a hand on him while he is saving Mikasa, he takes an injury that puts him out of commission for a few weeks. He's only as durable as any other human when faced with a monstrosity that size.
    • Deconstructed when he's struck by the point blank explosion of the thunder spear stuck to Zeke. He's badly injured, but miraculously survives and Hanji later notes his Ackerman body grants him far more survivability than an ordinary human.
  • Freudian Excuse: His obsession with cleanliness comes from a childhood of living in filth and squalor in the underground city, where his greatest desire was a clean place to eat and sleep.

    G - N 
  • Game-Breaking Injury:
    • His injured ankle, which leaves him sidelined and unable to do more than guard Pastor Nick during the crisis with the Wall Rose Titans and later, Eren being kidnapped by Reiner and Bertolt. He expresses his frustration at being useless.
    • Gains an arguably worse one when Zeke detonates the thunder spear, used to restrain and threaten him into staying still, when Levi is right next to the Titan shifter. Levi ultimately survives, but loses multiple fingers and possibly an eye in the process and suffers further damage and burns to his body. Hanji surmises that such injuries would have killed any ordinary person and that Levi lived only because he has the body of an Ackerman. This is confirmed in the series final chapter as, after the battle against Eren is over, Levi's wounds ultimately force him to retire and he is shown confined to a wheelchair in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • Gender-Neutral Writing: In Japanese, he is prone to using Japanese gender neutral pronouns for everyone. As an impersonal and rude Japanese speaking style, he uses the pronouns as a form of insulting people and to highlight his own rude personality. Among those he uses this on are his superiors such as Erwin Smith, and other Survey Corps members such as Hange Zoë.
  • Good Is Not Nice:
    • He fights because he's humanity's most experienced and proficient warrior and because he cares about his men. He also happens to not give a damn about anything else and will tell you this and other truths with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face. In general, he cares about his soldiers' well-being and hates unnecessary losses. It's hard to tell this at first glance, seeing how dismissive he is of everyone and how he callously insults them constantly.
    • On the other hand, Levi has a penchant for violence many other characters find disturbing. It starts with his unnecessarily brutal beating of Eren, from which point on Mikasa began having fantasies of beating him in a similar manner. It comes to a head when he uses violence to coerce a stammering Historia into taking the throne, actually grabbing her around the throat. She gets her revenge later, probably being the first person to get away with striking Levi. Not that he was remotely hurt in any way...
    • Levi happened to have been born and raised in violence, which is manifested in his actions and language. While he's aware that the use of violent means is not always warranted, there's very little else he can do even if he wants to express himself in more patient and kinder words and actions.
  • Greed: Reeves describes Levi to be greedier than most businessmen. In his negotiations with Reeves, Levi tells the latter provide luxury goods for the Survey Corps and, according to Hange, Levi also lists black tea as a military expense.
  • Handicapped Badass: After just barely surviving getting caught in the blast of a Thunder Spear Levi ends up with several severe wounds, a no longer functional eye and missing a few fingers, which naturally keeps him out of the action for most of the final arc. However he still has enough fight left in him to decapitate Zeke and blow a hole into Eren's Colossal Titan form giving Mikasa an opening to kill Eren.
  • Has a Type: Word of God states that Levi likes people who are taller than him, which actually doesn't narrow the list down at all
  • Heel–Face Turn: The first glimpses of his backstory reveals he joined the Survey Corps with the intention of murdering Erwin. He's now Erwin's most loyal subordinate.
  • Heroic Bastard: He's the son of a prostitute and one of her clients. Despite his rough personality, Levi is a heroic man.
  • Hidden Depths: Petra mentions to Eren that people are often surprised when they actually meet Levi, who is not what people expected. His crude way of speaking, harsh attitude, and obsession with cleanliness throw people off, almost as much as the glimpses of his kind heart underneath a layer of sour attitude.
  • Hope Bringer: Long before the concept of Titan-shifting was discovered, Levi acted as this for humanity, and still does primarily, what with him being humanity's most gifted Titan slayer. Which is probably a large part of why people are so surprised by his utterly asocial and quirky personality. Still, his Leitmotif, 'Wings of Freedom', says it all, really.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In chapter 114, after dominating the Beast Titan yet again and putting Zeke at his mercy, he sticks a Thunder Spear in Zeke's gut to get him to stop moving while transporting him. Unfortunately for Levi, he underestimates Zeke's resolve, who triggers the spear to explode and severely maims Levi in the process.
  • Horrifying the Horror: His fight with the Beast Titan provides fodder for the meme, "the walls weren't made to protect humanity from the titans but the titans from Levi". Levi shreds Beast Titan to pieces and manages to inflict so much damage that even the Beast Titan called Levi a monster. Years later, Zeke (the Beast Titan), said he never wants to see that man again.
  • Hurting Hero: Subtle, but it's there. All the death and hardship he's had to deal with his entire life seems to finally be getting to him, as he takes the deaths of his friends and subordinates rather personally. That won't stop him from doing what needs to be done.
    • Zeke attempts to abuse this in chapter 113. He transforms an entire troop of Levi's men into Titans around him, believing Levi would never kill his own men of his own free will and will lose the will to fight if faced with them, even if they are Titans. Levi proves him wrong by killing all of them, before chasing after and effortlessly defeating Zeke again. He lets him know he made a gross miscalculation in assuming that Levi's strong feelings for his comrades meant he would never kill them if the situation demanded it.
  • I Choose to Stay: Levi originally despises Erwin, but after coming to respect the man he once sought to kill, and losing everything else, he decides to remain with the Survey Corps.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: His initial cruelty towards Eren was a large part of what kept Eren from winding up with people who were dead set on dissecting him. The same goes for initially choosing to not fight back when the Female Titan was chasing down his unit. They were baiting her into a trap that would have allowed them to catch her alive were it not for the fact that she had an ace up her sleeve.
    • He later justifies his more callous actions (such as brutally beating Sanes for information and cruelly telling Historia to either go through with their plan or leave) as being necessary to save humanity; if he's the only one who has to dirty his hands, then all the better.
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Basically says this in 'A Choice With No Regrets'.
  • Implacable Man: As Zeke discovered in Chapter 83 when he (after being defeated by Levi and escaping thanks to the Mule Titan) and the Mule Titan drop down from the Wall and start hauling ass. They don't make it far before getting into a standoff with Eren as they try to rescue the incapacitated Bertolt, which allows the reason for their flight enough time to catch-up. Levi appears at the top of the Wall, drenched in steaming Titan blood, apparently having slaughtered the rest of Zeke's Titan horde while giving chase. Zeke decides it's time to get the hell out of there. Played with in that he's physically exhausted after the ordeal and couldn't have continued indefinitely (as Mikasa noticed that she could have physically overpowered him if she wanted to), though his physical stamina is still well above average.
    Zeke: What...?! Are you kidding me?! He followed me all the way in here...
    Zeke: ...Monster...
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Put Levi and Titans in the same scene and watch the magic happen. Even by Survey Corps standards, Levi's dexterity with the 3D Maneuver Gear's blades is unparalleled, practically cutting through the Female Titan's flesh like a hot knife through butter. Later on, when confronted by the Military Police's Central 1st Brigade, he shows that he's perfectly able to deflect highly explosive bullets shot at him. Then we watch him cut down Zeke...
  • Ineffectual Loner: Averted. Levi clearly prefers to do things on his own (his Teamwork is rated 2/10 in the guidebook), but he still manages to make a difference even as a lone wolf. His style is to kill Titan after Titan by himself without relying on others, and can even take on the Female Titan solo without a squad backing him up. This shows the amount of confidence he has in his own skills, knowing he can get the job done alone and not wanting others to be put at risk.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: We don't really know why Levi is such a hardcore, bullet-dodging, Titan-eviscerating death machine, we just sort of know he is. His revealed last name, confirmed past as a notorious street thug, implied connection to Mikasa, ambiguous age, and apparent training under legendary serial killer 'Kenny the Ripper' all just adds to the sentiment. It's later revealed that Levi is a member of the Ackerman family, a group of people with phenomenal, almost inhuman combat skills that are unlocked after experiencing a stressful or traumatic event. Not only that, they're immune to the brainwashing that the rest of the populace is susceptible to.
  • The Insomniac: Word of God is that Levi cannot sleep for more than three hours at a time.
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Averted Trope. Oluo emulates Levi out of admiration. While this seems to bug Petra, Levi himself doesn't seem to mind it all that much.
  • It's Personal:
    • Taking heavy losses is nothing new for the Survey Corps and Levi takes it in stride, but when his own elite squad sent after the Female Titan is annihilated and he's noticeably distraught about it. And let's just say his prequel manga's storyline goes a long way to explaining his burning hatred of Titans...
    • In Chapter 105, it's shown that he holds a personal grudge against Zeke due to his massacring of the Survey Corps and killing of Erwin during the Battle of Shinganshina, all added to the fact that Zeke was able to slip through his fingers. In the following chapter, Zeke tries to converse with Levi about other things, but practically all of Levi's responses are threats to Zeke's life. It's further implied that Levi hates him due to the fact that, because of what he did to the people of Rakago, Zeke made Levi realize an awful truth: that he's been swiftly killing people when he kills Titans. Chapters 112 and 113 add fuel to the fire when Zeke transforms a whole group of his survey corps troops into Titans and has them attack him. Levi reluctantly slaughters his titanized comrades and then proceeds to furiously chase down Zeke and defeat him and his Beast Titan once more. Afterwards he's quick to let Zeke know what he thinks of the Titan shifter for forcing him into killing 30 of his own comrades before torturing Zeke for good measure, by dicing his limbs while the latter is conscious. Though Zeke manages to escape this due to the Founder Ymir's meddling, Levi finally, finally gets to have his revenge in Chapter 137, slicing Zeke's head clean off to stop the Rumbling as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
  • It Runs in the Family: In addition to the Ackermans having almost inhumanly exceptional physical capabilities, it seems they also have a tendency to develop a powerful Undying Loyalty to at least one person in their life. For Levi, that's Erwin.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: He has discussed a willingness to do this at least once. Needing answers as soon as possible, he helps Hange torture the captured officers from the Military Police's Central branch. He takes an active role in Sanes' interrogation, beating him to a bloody pulp.
    • Does it again shortly after with a member of the Interior Police, trying to force him to give up the location of Eren and Historia.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Goes with Brutal Honesty: even when he's being an asshat about it he usually is right. During Eren's trial he belittles the merchants for being greedy pigs. Rude, yes, but it's true that they care more about their own safety than land to feed the starving refugees.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is rude, mean and in general unpleasant to be around. But he cares for his men.
  • Kick the Dog: Beats on Eren pretty hard during his tribunal as part of Erwin's plan to get him into the Survey Corps. He still takes it farther than necessary and belittles him as a dog who needs to be trained. He had no problem with beating on a chained-up boy, even pausing to note how easy it is to kick someone on their knees before resuming.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: He was violently protective of Isabel, who he treated as a little sister. When she came home beaten up and sporting a Traumatic Haircut, he went out and found those responsible. He returns later that night with a bloody knife and doesn't respond when Farlan asks if he killed them.
  • Knockout Ambush: According to side material, he deals with Hange's tendency to put off bathing by knocking Hange out for a bath (though Hange says it’s more like being ‘cleaned’ than being bathed).
  • The Lancer: To Erwin, alongside Mike. When they both die and Hange became commander, he became this to Hange as well.
  • Last of His Kind: After Hange's sacrifice, he is the last remaining and living, high-ranked veteran of the Paradis' military.
  • The Leader: Levi, Squad Captain and World's Strongest Man.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "You all have such interesting faces...". He also claims to Zeke that he used to be popular with women, which is not altogether inaccurate given the initial female reception to Levi during the early parts of the manga.
  • Leitmotif: The second intro theme, Jiyuu no Tsubasa (Wings of Freedom), is stated to be Levi's theme.
    • K21, officially Kenny's theme, has lyrics that overlap with Levi's background and motivations as well. It notably plays during his rematch with Zeke.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Though he's a Glass Cannon and Fragile Speedster to Titans, he is unquestionably a Lightning Bruiser to other humans; When he fights against the secret police, he kills them with even less effort than it takes him to kill a Titan, at one point cutting a guy clean in half like it's nothing. This is because, despite his distinct lack of height, Levi's ripped and much faster than most would expect someone of his particular... persuasion, to be.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Mikasa, or so it would seem. Levi seems to be aware of the connection from the beginning, however.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: During the attack on the Liberio District, Levi manages to down Zeke's Beast Titan (much to everyone's surprise) by slicing its nape, then fires a thunder spear at it for good measure.
  • Manly Tears: Aside from the OVA, there are only two times in the entire series where Levi cries. In chapter 136 the battle against Eren becomes more hopeless by the moment. Levi reflects on the situation, his physical limitations brought on by his injuries, and remembers the hopes and dreams he and his comrades fought for. A close up then shows Levi's good eye welling up with tears. Later on, in the final chapter, as the power of the Titans leaves the world with clouds of steam, Levi sees all his fallen friends and shares a final salute with them. As his comrades disappear, Levi weeps a Single Tear.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Levi simply enjoys the finer things in life, even if he doesn't look it. From expensive suits, to black tea, to very specific furnishings for his castle. Considering he spent all of his childhood and most of his adult life in utterly bleak poverty, coupled with his overall greedy personality, Levi is very obviously milking the Survey Corps' budget for everything its worth.
  • The Mentor: In the field, he starts taking Mikasa under his wing and usually pairs with her. Mikasa even starts emulating his moves when fighting Titans.
  • Mentor in Sour Armor: The ur-example. Famously badass, check. Broken Bird, check. Snarky, check. Mentors the protagonist, check. Pint-Sized Powerhouse, check. Cares more than he wants to admit, double check.
  • Mildly Military: The result of a former criminal entering the Survey Corps under loyalty to Erwin. Levi frequently disrespects those around him (both superiors and subordinates), eschews teamwork in favor of fighting by himself, uses a Reverse Grip Spin Attack style that his contemporaries detest, and in general does things his own way. He gets away with it all likely because of him being a Bunny-Ears Lawyer supreme at killing Titans.
  • Moment of Weakness: He ends of passing over his one chance to kill Zeke by trying to save Erwin at the same time. This allows Zeke to be rescued by the other Titans and leaves Levi essentially with his wings clipped.
  • Motivational Lie: In the anime, he takes a break from his trademark Brutal Honesty when his men need him to. During Episode 22, he gives Dieter a Survey Corps emblem, saying it was Dieter's friend's and it proves he was alive even without the body, even though it is implied to have actually belonged to Petra, which translates to Levi giving up the last shred that remained of his squadmate after her body got dumped, too.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Played with. Quite short for the World's Strongest Man, but surprisingly well-built for his height. Though not particularly bulky, he's way more heavy than a man his size should be, suggesting he has a lot of muscle packed away in his frame. This immense physical strength, coupled with his advantageous size for maneuvering, is probably what makes him so dangerous.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • He briefly looks distraught when he comes to terms with evidence that the Titans they have been fighting may once have been people.
    • Has another moment in Gaiden, after realizing that his pride blinded him and led to Farlan and Isabel's deaths.
  • Mysterious Past: Rumors float around about who he is and what he did before joining the military. The prequel mini-series focusing on him intends to delve into his past.
  • The Napoleon: He has an abrasive demeanor, and stands at 160cm or 5'3, making him the second shortest male character in the series, only two centimeters taller than Connie. It's implied that Levi's growth was stunted due to his harsh upbringing, as when he was a child, Kenny found him in a state of severe undernourishment in the underground settlement in the interior of Wall Sina.
    • But then Connie starts shooting up his height tailing Jean and Eren, making Levi officially the shortest of the series.
    Levi: "You idiots only know how to grow tall."
  • Neat Freak: Obsessed with cleanliness, requiring his squad to clean their new headquarters and even pausing in the middle of battle to clean evaporating Titan blood off his sword handle.
  • Neck Lift: Like Hange, Levi will lift others by their collar. He does this to Historia.
  • Nerves of Steel: Titans? Just another day on the job. A hostile Human Titan that freaks everyone else out? Doesn't bat an eye. When he later engages the aforementioned threat, he does it in the same collected demeanor (with a bit of Tranquil Fury) despite knowing just how dangerous it is.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted, when he suggests their commanding officer is taking so long because maybe he's having trouble taking a dump.
  • Nominal Hero: In "A Choice With No Regrets." He was just a common street thug who got straight up blackmailed by Erwin into joining the Survey Corps, and then resolved to murder his new 'commander' as soon as it became a viable option. Though he did have a couple of Morality Pets in the form of Isabel and Farland, he was just as mean and antisocial as he is now, and lacked any heroic attributes.
  • No Social Skills: People are not Levi's strong suit. His ability to communicate is so bad he actually needs Hange to act as his interpreter. He does get slightly better about it, but still doesn't bother to act nice or approachable.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: He himself mentions that he and the Female Titan are somewhat alike in their ruthlessly efficient killing methods as he coldly explains exactly how he's going to chop its limbs off (not the Titan's limbs, the human's) and enjoy it.
  • Not So Stoic: On several occasions he has broken from his usual icy façade, which highlights how shocking/disturbing the triggering event is. He starts to do this increasingly more as the series goes on.
    • The closest he gets to showing major emotions up to the Female Titan arc is his borderline Tranquil Fury versus the Female Titan, which he has good reason to hate. After the death of his teammates, he's visibly affected when he zips by their dead bodies. Eren even mentions, "Corporal... Today... You are kind of talkative". He is also worried when Mikasa makes a nearly lethal blunder during their battle with the Female Titan, and is clearly concerned about Eren's state once rescued.
    • He was extremely concerned upon witnessing Erwin's creepy smile.
    • He's also quite troubled when he learned that all those Titans he dedicated himself to killing may once have been humans.
    • And he also looks horrified and flat-out enraged when Kenny blows Nifa's head apart right next to him, and followed shortly by the rest of the squad Levi was leading. His gaze lingers on the gory ruin which was once her face for a few moments before he makes his escape.
    • He also seems somewhat distressed when Kenny himself dies.
    • Started showing increasing concern and stress over Erwin's well-bieng and state of mind after Erwin lost his arm; see Anger Born of Worry above.
    • He also seems extremely distressed when he tells Erwin to die so that he can take care of the Beast Titan. He shows some real fear, anger, and sadness during this whole arc, and even makes the poor judgment call to let Zeke live on the off chance that he can use him to revive Erwin.
  • Number Two: Erwin's. Erwin is also one of the few people Levi fully respects, although that still doesn't exempt him from Levi's rudeness. Following Hange's Field Promotion, Levi seems to follow the new leader's orders, all while maintaining the usual vitriol.

    O - Y 
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • The only time Levi well and truly loses his cool is when Farlan and Isabel die at the hands of the Titans. He flies into an Unstoppable Rage, complete with Berserker Tears and There Is No Kill Like Overkill when he brutally hacks apart the Titans responsible. Considering how utterly emotionless his personality tends to be at all other times, it borders on downright horrifying to watch.
    • Having lost Kenny, his only family, leaves Levi noticeably distraught. After Historia is crowned Queen, she heads to Levi to fulfill the promise she made to Dimo Reeves to punch Levi and dare him to punch her back, which she actually does while surrounded by her teammates. However, the act leavens Levi's sadness, as he takes it as an attempt from them to cheer him up. He even laughs and thanks them with a genuine smile, which ends up catching them completely off guard.
  • Odd Friendship: With Hange, of course. Hange is a zany Mad Scientist. Levi is a dour Reformed Criminal. Hange's friendly, nice, personable, and excitable. Levi's... not.
  • Older Than He Looks: Though he doesn't look much older than the teenaged characters, Levi is stated to be "much older" than people think. Character design notes suggest the lines around his eyes are wrinkles, with the official twitter account noting that his age may be a future plot point and that it is greater than 30 years.
  • One-Man Army: Others claim he's as effective by himself as an entire brigade of regular soldiers.
    • This claim is proven in his battle with the Female Titan, which he takes on alone and inflicts serious damage, while entire squads of highly skilled soldiers died fighting against it and failed to even injure it.
    • During the Battle to reclaim Wall Maria, Erwin specifically orders Levi to take down the Beast Titan saying he's the only soldier who can possibly do it. He accomplishes this goal by using the surrounding Titans on the right hand side of Zeke as perches, killing said Titans along the way, and curb stomping the Beast Titan with barely any effort. Even when Zeke runs away on the Mule Titan and calls the remainder of his Vanguard to attack Levi, the latter massacres all of the remaining Titans off-screen despite having lost the element of surprise, being stuck on the ground with no areas to grapple to, and being severely outnumbered.
    • When Zeke catches Levi completely off-guard by transforming all of Levi's men that were meant to watch over Zeke into Titans, Levi is up against 30 Titans all by himself. Levi further notes that said Titans seem faster than normal and presumes that too is Zeke's doing. Despite this and the emotional burden of having to kill his comrades, Levi kills every single one of them and still has enough energy and resources left to catch up with Zeke, kill his remaining Titan bodyguards and come out on top in a subsequent confrontation with the Beast Titan once more.
  • Parental Abandonment: He was raised and trained by Kenny after his mother died, until Kenny wordlessly abandoned him when he saw Levi was capable of surviving on his own. However, subverted when Kenny reveals during his last moments, that the real reason was that he felt as though he was not fit to be a parent at all.
  • Perpetual Frowner: He does not smile. Considering the life he has lead, this is not surprising.
    • Despite this being his default expression, the one time he does smile genuinely, it's in front of his new special ops squad. The kids are stunned, to say the least.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Despite his short stature, he slays the behemoth-sized antagonists of this series better than anyone else. Him being so short (lower centre of gravity), and having such a well-developed physique (weighs 65 kgs at 5'3") probably has something to do with it. He's also a capable brawler and can throw around opponents twice his size.
  • Put on the Bus: He breaks his ankle while saving Mikasa from the Female Titan, while he was able to incapacitate her, rescue Eren, and flee from her before she regenerated, he is left behind to recover and protect Pastor Nick while the rest of the Survey Corp go on the 58th Expedition, thus leaving him out of very important battles in the series and he shows irritation about being injured and left behind.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He's badass, cares deeply for his subordinates, isn't afraid to put selfish nobility in their place, and his initial cruelty towards Eren was a farce meant to keep him from getting dissected and ensuring that he wound up with the Survey Corps. All while seeming like an indifferent jackass most of the time.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: Erwin originally recruited Levi into the Survey Corps after witnessing his skills with 3DMG as a hoodlum.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In Episode 22 of the anime, after slicing up the Female Titan's arm, he launches himself at her and his eyes become red for a moment before continuing his attack; take warning indeed.
  • Reformed Criminal: Rumored to have been an infamous criminal prior to being recruited by Erwin. This rumor is verified in his Spin-Off.
  • Restraining Bolt: He himself is Eren's bolt to ensure he doesn't step too far out of line. Considering how he's being tasked with putting down a Titan Shifter if necessary, it's just a testament to his badassery.
  • The Reveal: Levi's last name is revealed in Chapter 56, his full name being Levi Ackerman. Additionally, it's revealed that the man who killed Historia's mother, Kenny Ackerman, raised him. He's Kenny's nephew, but his full connection to Mikasa is still a mystery.
  • Reverse Grip: He switches his right-hand blade to this to facilitate his Spin Attack fighting style.
    • His expertise using this style comes very handy when he loses his right index and middle fingers, forcing him to rely on Reverse Grip when using the right handle of his 3DM gear.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Defied. Even though it'd be perfectly understandable for him to try to slay the Female Titan for killing his elite squad, he still keeps a realistic grasp on the situation: the circumstances would likely not let him get a killing blow off and retrieving Eren alive is a more important priority. He does give it one hell of an ass-whooping regardless.
    • Played straight in 'A Choice With No Regrets,'. When Isabel and Farlan are killed, Levi swiftly, easily, and utterly slaughters the Titans responsible. He then tries to kill Erwin because Levi sees their deaths as his doing, and only relents after he realizes it was not Erwin's fault, but rather his own.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Both in and out of uniform, Levi seems to prefer high-end accouterments, such as his classy, trademark white cravat. He even sports a lovely suit during one of his visits to the capital.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Isayama describes him as having experienced so much, his emotional range has been severely stunted. He once had the kind of passion and capacity for Unstoppable Rage as Eren, but has slowly been worn down over the years. He can still feel, but not nearly to the degree he once could.
  • Shirtless Scene: In Chapter 59, six-pack abs and all.
  • Shoot the Dog:
    • He's distraught when he finds out the truth behind mindless Titans, though he seems to have resigned himself to putting them out of their misery.
    • Particularly tragic in episode 113 when Zeke turns his subordinates into Titans with his spinal fluid, forcing Levi to slay all of them in self-defense.
  • Shrouded in Myth: No one really knows who he was before he joined the Survey Corps.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: A captured Military Police member tries to guilt-trip Levi by saying that the captured Scouts will be executed if Levi and the other fugitives don't turn themselves in. Levi counters by saying that the Survey Corps is full of those who know some members' lives are worth more than others, and he knows that the military won't spare any of them if they surrender.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Most of his on-screen kills are done very quickly and take only one attempt. The lone exception is the Female Titan, which required a considerable amount of wearing down through rapid strikes to even get close to defeating it.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Peppers his speech with curses and insults, though to a slightly lesser degree in the anime.
  • Smug Super: Levi freely taunts and insults Titans during battle, knowing full well how powerful he personally is.
    • That being said, Levi also does not seem to overestimate his own abilities, knowing full well that he is only human, and that that sort of mentality tends to get people killed absurdly quickly in this setting.
  • Sole Survivor: Has a tendency to end up this, contributing to his Doom Magnet status. First his entire original squad in the prequel, then the Special Operations Squad, then Hange's squad...
  • Son of a Whore: His mother worked at a brothel and got pregnant with Levi from one of her clients.
  • Speed Blitz: Does this every time he is fighting. Even Mikasa can't keep up with him.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His name is also commonly spelled Rivaille. The French edition writes it Livaï.
  • Spin Attack: A staple of his fighting style. Taken Up to Eleven and beyond in his fight against the Female Titan.
  • The Spock: Completely emotionless during an operation and never loses sight of the objective. He's even more levelheaded than fellow stoic Mikasa who momentarily forgets about the main priority (keep Eren safe) in favor of trying to kill the Female Titan in a fit of rage. Levi has to stop her, secure Eren, then retreat without killing it, lecturing Mikasa about keeping their objectives in mind despite having every right to lose it himself.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Particularly in the anime, which expands his role while sacrificing scenes from the source material. He's gained a Spin-Off, and been featured heavily in two story arcs while minimizing the focus on Eren's comrades.
  • The Stoic: Levi wears a look of near-constant boredom to the point where he doesn't change expression or tone once despite a hostile Human Titan pursuing his squad, something that causes everyone else to freak the hell out. The few moments when he does express greater emotion are terrifying, either because of his Unstoppable Rage or because things have just gotten that bad for the heroes.
  • The Strategist: While his sheer badassery tends to be at the forefront of Levi's traits, he also demonstrates a lot of capacity for quick-thinking tactics. In his spinoff, he has his street rat friends disable a abnormal Titan's legs before he goes in for the kill while the two other military-trained Survey Corps members of his squad are flatfooted on how to kill it on open grounds, implying he had just invented the tactic which is used by other Survey Corps members in the main storyline in the future. When chased by the Anti-Human Suppression Squad, he hides under a bar's counter reasoning that a shotgun would be under there for the bar's self-defence that he could use, baits out their fire by tossing a chair out of the bar before busting out the bar himself, and uses his 3DMG as a weapon while bringing his victim's corpse over to him to make use as a Bulletproof Human Shield
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: Post-timeskip, the Survey Corps has opted for an all-black uniform that's more flight efficient and has ditched the Corps's signature green cape with its sigil, with the exception of Levi, who still wears it. Word of God has compared him to a grumpy old man who's unable to let go of the past.
  • Super OCD: A total neat freak. His first order when they reach the old Survey Corps HQ is that everybody spend the day scrubbing it clean.
  • Super Reflexes: In the time it took for a Titan Shifter to turn around and swipe at him, he dodges the attack and spins fast enough to enter buzzsaw mode onto the exposed arm. He is also fast enough to react to and dodge gunfire.
  • Super Soldier: In the process of delivering a ""The Reason You Suck" Speech" to Mikasa, Eren claims that the Ackerman's superhuman physical abilities are the result of the Eldian Empire fiddling around with Titan science long ago and accidentally causing the entire Ackerman bloodline to possess the hidden capability to use the strength of the Titans while maintaining a human form. Therefore, naturally, this would apply to Levi as well if true.
  • Super Speed: This guy really takes speed-blitzing to a whole new level. Fight after fight the Female Titan comes out of unscathed because of her previously unseen ability as a Titan to harden her flesh so that even the Titan skin-piercing swords that are standard issue in the military couldn't damage her. Levi wrecks her because his strikes are so swift it doesn't even matter. When some fans describe him as an unholy combination between Sonic The Hedgehog and the Tasmanian Devil from The Looney Tunes when he wields his blades and 3DM gear, they aren't kidding.
  • Super Strength: To an even greater extent than Mikasa; he can lift and flip grown men twice his size (even when he was a kid) and even stopped the Female Titan's hand, though he does break his leg.
  • Tea Is Classy: He enjoys luxury and drinks black tea as a sign of his high living.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: A few times he can be seen making use of dulled blades (that would otherwise be discarded) by whipping them into the eyes of Titans.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: As Levi returns from the mission that the Female Titan sabotaged, Petra's father greets him, wanting to discuss the future of his beloved daughter. Levi's face is completely frozen — he doesn't speak, he doesn't even blink. It's genuinely disturbing.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Once formed a trio with Isabel Magnolia and Farlan Church.
  • Toilet Humor: Dabbles in this rather frequently. Hange is the only one who actually plays along with it.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Used to be this for the Survey Corps before his eventual Heel–Face Turn. Which makes the way he carries out his heroics in the present day make that much more sense.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Black Tea, considered a luxury good. He affords it by writing it off as a military expense, and later includes it in his list of demands when negotiating with a potential ally. This is the only pleasure he indulges into, which is considerable due to the agricultural limitations of the lands in the Three Walls.
  • Tranquil Fury: He shows so little emotion that basically the only way to tell he's this is the shadowing around his eyes and his tone of voice.
    • When talking to the bound Female Titan his tone is rather icy, and it's clear he's at least ticked off talking to the thing that killed his soldiers.
    • Later on when he sees that his own squad was killed by the Female Titan his eyes are shadowed almost completely black.
    • Finally, when he faces the Female Titan he shows the most emotion he probably ever will while still containing himself, managing to balance this trope and a burning desire for revenge.
  • True Companions: Levi gains an assortment of companions over the course of his life, but none of their tales seem to end happily. First Isabel and Farlan, and years later, the Special Operation Squad all die on the same expedition.
  • Uncertain Doom: Most of Chapter 115 goes by without seeing what happened to Levi after the Lightning Spear exploded, once Hanji and the Yeagerists make their way to the scene, Hanji finds his body and claims he's dead but refuses to allow anyone to actually assess his body. However, once Zeke re-emerges from the stomach of a Titan suddenly healed, Hange jumps into the river next to them with Levi, leaving room to interpretation on if Levi is truly dead or if he's just mortally wounded. After ten chapters, it's finally confirmed that Levi did survive in Chapter 125.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: The sort of Anti-Hero he is now. He mercilessly beats the shit out of Eren in front of an entire courtroom just to prove a point (which horrified even the guys who had wanted to dissect Eren to see what makes him tick,) he brutally coerces Historia into accepting her role in their rebellion, he goes out of his way to blankly tell the Female Titan just how much is going to enjoy torturing her, is extremely ruthless when it comes to fighting humanity's foes, and is just an all around vicious and unpleasant person. But he does care for others, and has genuinely heroic and selfless intentions.
  • Untouchable Until Tagged: Levi can blitz around and kill Titan after Titan without even coming close to being harmed, making it seem like he's invincible. Once he sprains his ankle fighting the Female Titan, though, the audience is reminded that even Levi is only human and even a seemingly minor injury will still put him out of commission.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Twice when he unleashes his fury.
    • When both of Levi's friends are eaten by a Titan, he goes into a rage and absolutely massacres the Titan without leaving much of its body intact.
    • Also, his curb stomp battle against Zeke while searching for a way to keep Erwin alive. He absolutely demolishes the Beast Titan in a rampaging anger.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Levi finally kills Zeke in Chapter 137. However, rather then a glorious final battle between the rivals, Zeke willingly allows Levi to kill him to stop Eren and the Rumbling. A shot of Levi's face immediately afterwards shows him with a dead-eyed frown, unable to take any joy in Zeke's death due to the circumstances that led to it.
    • In the "No Regrets" Prequel, he brutally cuts up a Titan in an Unstoppable Rage for killing his friends. Despite his intentionally-prolonged No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on the Titan, it's clear that his killing of it has brought him no satisfaction whatsoever.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Hange, who he calls "Shitty Glasses".
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Levi only really cares about his fellow soldiers. On the other hand, to Hange's frustration, Levi sees Titans as nothing more than monsters that should be dispatched as soon as possible. It is because of this attitude that Levi is deeply shaken when he learns of what Titans really are.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Anyone who disagree with his "methods" will quickly learn that trying to call him out on it won't work; At all. He typically responds along the lines of, "You're right. Now shut up and do something useful."
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: Levi's aware that there's more ways to get things done than violence and intimidation, he just doesn't know any other way due to his vicious upbringing as a street thug.
  • When She Smiles: In Chapter 69, he smiles as he thanks his squad. It's actually quite nice. Seeing as Levi NEVER smiles and always has a frown on his face they were quite shocked to see it. Just look...
  • Wolverine Publicity: Judging from official material and merchandise, it would seem Levi is the deuteragonist or the third member of the three, instead of Armin. This is, of course, because he's insanely popular.
  • The Worf Effect: Downplayed. Levi ducks for cover and goes on the defensive when confronted by his uncle Kenny Ackerman... which is really all that was needed to show us that Kenny is the real deal. Levi explains to his men that Kenny is the one who trained him how to fight in the first place, so they should treat fighting him as if they were fighting Levi himself. And that basically means get the hell away from him.
  • World's Strongest Man: He's reputed to be as strong as an entire brigade and is dubbed as humanity's strongest soldier. He is shown downing Titans without effort and dominated the Female Titan in battle, the latter who murdered countless of other soldiers, including Levi's own personal squad. He makes Mikasa look like a plebeian Red Shirt. The thing about Levi though is that, unlike what you would usually expect from this trope, it's his speed that elevates him to this status rather than strength or durability (although he is exceptionally strong for his size). Even a regular, mindless Titan could easily crush him if they caught him, but he's simply so fast that he eviscerates his target before they can defend themselves.
    • He also pretty much solidifies his claim to the title when he faces off against Zeke (AKA the Beast Titan), who Reiner insists is the strongest of the Warriors (the hostile Titan Shifters from Marley). He cuts the Beast Titan up just as easily as any other Titan and has Zeke amputated and completely at his mercy within seconds. For reference, Zeke eliminated Mike Zacharias (humanity's second strongest soldier behind Levi), and Erwin (implicitly the third strongest), with minimal physical effort.
    • As he may still be the strongest soldier, Eren has now surpassed him in terms of his Titan abilities after gaining the power of the Founding Titan of gargantuan size, far outclassing anything Levi could handle.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: While Levi manages to survive getting caught in the blast radius of an exploding Thunder Spear and participate in the Final Battle with Eren ultimately he never fully recovers from his injuries. By the time of the series final three year Time Skip Levi is now permanently retired and confined to a wheelchair attended to by Onyankopon, Falco and Gabi.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Comforts Armin after his first kill, telling him that he made the good decision to save Jean's life.
  • Younger Than They Look: Thanks to the studios still developing their art styles in season 1 combined with Levi's already short stature, many viewers assumed he was only a few years older than the main cast, twenty at most. Season 2 and 3 have fixed Levi's proportions allowing him to look like a man in his thirties. Season 4 emphasizes this by deepening his eye bags and giving him more frown lines on his face.
  • You're Insane!: Is called a "madman" in Chapter 60.