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Characters / Attack on Titan: Shinganshina Trio

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

The Shiganshina Trio
From left to right: Armin, Eren and Mikasa.
"They're okay. They're strong children. They each have survival skills: one possesses high-level fighting skills, one possesses an indomitable spirit, and one possesses a brilliant mind. They're okay. They're still alive, I'm sure of it."
Hannes, during the Battle of Trost District

The primary characters of the series, Eren Yeager, his adoptive sister Mikasa Ackerman and their friend Armin Arlert are childhood friends from the Shiganshina district who were orphaned during the attack in the year 845 and subsequently, the government-mandated purge in 846.

The three are among the few survivors of the Fall of Shiganshina, the outermost, southernmost settlement of humans of Wall Maria, in great part due to their family friend Hannes and Armin's grandfather, the very person who instilled them with their curiosity about the outside world. Forced to toil in the fields to survive, and following the death of Armin's grandfather in the aforementioned purge, they set to join the 104th Trainee Corps to save humanity and see the world beyond the walls. The three of them prove to be key elements of the retake of Trost District after Eren is revealed to be able to transform into a conscious Titan.


Opting to join the Survey Corps, the trio has to cope with the possibility that there are other people who are able to transform into Titans and could have infiltrated either the Three Walls, or the military forces, or both. As such, Eren becomes a target for said people, and it's up to the Survey Corps to both use him as bait to capture the infiltrator(s), and to make him more familiar with his own powers in order to fend them off, so that in the future they can use him as an asset to be able to retake Wall Maria. As it is, it's up to Armin to guide Eren and counsel him, all while providing crucial strategy assistance to the Corps, while Mikasa takes the role of protecting them.

After Eren is captured by enemy forces, he awakens his most powerful ability and the main reason the Titan Shifters were after him: the power to control other Titans. In the next arc, he becomes a target for kidnapping again, this time alongside Historia and by a dangerous enemy faction hiding within the Walls.


Four years after reclaiming Wall Maria, Eren has used the war between Marley and the Mid-East Alliance to infiltrate the mainland. Disguising himself as a wounded soldier, he travels to Liberio and befriends the Warrior cadet Falco Grice.

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    Eren Yeager 

See the Eren Yeager character page for tropes about Eren.

    Mikasa Ackerman 

Mikasa Ackerman

Voiced by: Yui Ishikawa (JP), Trina Nishimura (EN), Ana Lobo (Latin American Spanish, movies)

Portrayed by: Kiko Mizuhara

Debut: Chapter 1 (Manga), Episode 1 (Anime)
Click here to see her post-Time Skip appearance 

"This world is a very cruel place. But it is also very beautiful."

Mikasa is the adoptive sister of Eren and mutual childhood friend of Armin. A former resident of the rural outskirts of Shinganshina in the interior of Wall Maria, Mikasa is adopted by Dr. Grisha Yeager after her mother and father are murdered by human traffickers. Mikasa hides her emotions but cares deeply for Eren — never hesitating to cry with tears of joy or despair depending on what happens to him. She shares an unbreakable bond with Eren following events in their past, and his mother requesting that she protect him made her even more overly protective of him than she was beforehand. She is very physically strong and physically skilled. Her dream in life is to live a peaceful life in the walls with Eren. She enrolls in military training, ranking 1st on her class, and later joins the Survey Corps because Eren does. Noticeable even during her training days, Mikasa comes to be known as an exceedingly capable and swift soldier, and a force to be reckoned with on her own.

Discovering several traitors hiding in their midst, Mikasa reaffirms her mission to protect Eren. With Humanity's Strongest sidelined by an injury, she is forced to step up and take to the front lines to protect Eren. While facing the traitors, she realizes her own attachment to comrades may impede her mission and is deeply shaken by her failure. This leads to her becoming more ruthless, even willing to cut down her own comrades if they should prove an obstacle. She is promoted into the second incarnation of the Special Operations Squad, and appears to have become Levi's new second in command.

Four years later, Mikasa makes her return fighting on the frontlines against the forces of Marley alongside Eren and the Survey Corps.

Branch: Survey Corps

  • The Ace: Played with. Mikasa excels at pretty much everything, already being just as good if not better with the 3DM Gear than just about everybody else in the military right after graduating from basic training; In fact, the only person shown to be better than her with the 3DM gear is fellow Ace and undisputed World's Strongest Man, Levi. She's also good at combat in general, as Word of God claims that she managed to fight Annie to a standstill, something not even close-combat specialist Eren could do. Keith Shadis considers her a "genius" and notes that she was exemplary at every possible subject the military could train her in. Furthermore, she also ranked higher than Reiner, Annie, and Bertolt despite the fact that the three of them already had extensive military training before they even got to the Walls. However, Eren later reveals that her strength and agility may be artificial (see All Your Powers Combined).
  • Action Duo: Increasingly so with Levi, to the point he basically treats her like a right hand man in combat.
  • Action Girl: Very, very much so. Mikasa is stated to be as deadly as one hundred soldiers by herself.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: The first thing Historia does after being crowned Queen is punch Levi in the face and then dare him to do something about it. Everyone present just stares in shock... except for Mikasa, who can be seen in the background with a satisfied smirk on her face (guess she was glad that someone finally did it, though she probably wanted the honor herself).
  • Adaptation Distillation: Played with. In the anime, Mikasa's characterization and dialogue is considerably more centered around her relationship with Eren, and less around her interactions with her 104th teammates. One of the aspects that define Mikasa's characterization progress in the manga involves the gradual reduction of her protectiveness of Eren, which is less pronounced in the adaptation. However, due to the changes of the Uprising Arc in the anime, her involvement differed from her previous characterization, and albeit it was also different from the original source, it was more akin to how she behaves in the manga, meaning, more playful and appreciative towards her teammates.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Downplayed. While Mikasa is considered beautiful in both the anime and the manga, the anime emphasizes her attractiveness more.
  • Adaptational Curves: As part of her Adaptational Attractiveness, Mikasa — who is initially drawn as being flat-chested in the manga, as illustrations of her in a sports-bra and a magical girl costume demonstrate — is given a noticeable bust in the anime, as displayed in the second opening and a bonus episode where she does exercises.
  • Adaptational Dye Job: Her iconic scarf is red in the anime, but black in the manga.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The last few episodes gives her some scenes with Eren that weren't in the manga.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Invoked. Eren tells Mikasa that her strength and combat capabilities may not derive out of her own merits, but rather, that she inherited the combat experience of all the Ackermans in her bloodline, and that her strength comes from the power of the Titans, all the while he tells her that she's just a conduit, meritless and worthless.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She's beautiful, stoic, aloof, and stands out as the only main female character with black hair.
  • Always Save the Girl: Gender-inverted. Mikasa's first priority will always be Eren's safety, to the point where the latter finds it annoying.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Despite her overall slim and feminine build, she's insanely toned and ripped under her uniform, sporting Bruce Lee muscles. While you don't get to see much of her muscularity in the actual series, some official illustrations have her in sports wear to show off her physique.
  • Ambiguous Situation: In Chapter 112, Eren claims that Mikasa's devotion to him is simply biological programming that all Ackermans have as a result of their clan being tampered with. He cruelly compares her to livestock, stating that the real Mikasa died on the night they met and since then, she has merely been controlled by her clan's need to serve a master. While Mikasa is rendered speechless and heartbroken, it remains ambiguous at best as to how much of this is the truth. The secrets of the Ackerman clan died with Kenny Ackerman, leaving very little concrete information behind for Mikasa and Levi to know about themselves.
    • Chapter 130 confirms that Eren was lying; Mikasa's devotion to him has nothing to do with her Ackerman heritage.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: To Eren, because of her insistence on accompanying him everywhere.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: She has shades of this, she realizes how crappy the world is, but fights because she has something to cling to: Eren.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Mikasa was named for the IJN Mikasa, an imperial Japanese Dreadnought. Her surname, Ackerman/Ackermann is reference to farmers, meaning one who tills the field, or reaps the crops. Ergo, her name essentially mean Dreadnought Reaper. Considering the size of the Titans, you could say she was born to kill them.
  • Badass Boast: Several.
    • "I am strong. Stronger than any of you."
    • Gives a chilling one during a standoff with a bunch of soldiers when they threaten to execute Eren.
      Mikasa: My specialty... involves flesh... and the lacerating thereof. You just draw close enough, and I'll be happy to demonstrate. Should anyone wish to experience my technique... by all means, feel free to come this way.
    • Also to a belligerent businessman being difficult during the evacuation, threatening that she could kill him and not bat an eye.
  • Badass Creed: Though only uttered once or twice, she lives by what Eren said to her at their first meeting.
    Mikasa: If I can't, I die. But if I win, I live. I can't win unless I fight.
  • Badass Family: The Ackerman family possess a special trait, granting them incredible strength and skill once awakened. This trait led to them being driven out of Central, with Mikasa's father going into hiding. Mikasa awakened her power to protect Eren.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Described as beautiful by other characters, and firmly on the heroic side.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Her unwavering loyalty and devotion towards Eren stems from the day that he rescued her by ruthlessly murdering a group of human traffickers who killed her biological mother and father.
    • Played with/Subverted. According to Eren, the Ackerman clan was bio-engineered to serve a master. He claims that because he saved her, she instinctively recognized him as her "master" and is unable to resist protecting him. That she reacts by holding Armin back the first time he lunges at Eren is used as further evidence that she is a slave programmed to obey Eren. Whether this is the entire truth or not, Mikasa is left shaken and doubting herself.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • She's portrayed as the Betty in official parodies, with Annie as the Veronica and Eren as a clueless Archie. It's ambiguous whether or not such a dynamic existed in the main canon or not.
    • In canon this trope more closely applies to her and Historia, due to them being the two female characters closest to Eren in the story, with Mikasa serving as the Betty to Historia's Veronica.
  • Big Damn Heroes: She's rather prone to this.
    • In Episode 22, she manages to save Dieter in the nick of time just before a Titan puts him in his mouth.
    • She appears at the head of a group of reinforcements at Castle Utgard, coming out of nowhere to kill a Titan just before it grabs one of her comrades.
    • A short time later, she leaps to Eren's defense just before Reiner tries to kidnap him, severing one of his arms and stabbing the other, as well as slicing into the nearby Bertolt's neck and right hand.
    • After not appearing in the story for almost a year in Real Life, the very first thing she does upon returning is blast the War-Hammer Titan right on its nape with several thunder-spears right as it's about to kill Eren (albeit in an attack she and Eren apparently coordinated).
  • The Big Girl: Despite her smaller stature, Mikasa is looked up to and relied on as the very best combatant amongst the trainees.
  • Big Sister Instinct: She is this towards Eren in spades, though they're the same age.
    • And, to a lesser extent, she has this attitude towards Armin as well.
  • Blatant Lies: Provides some comedy to cover for Eren twice. First "Sasha farted" in boot camp then when her squadmates ask her exactly happened when Eren lost control during his second Titan-shift and attacked her, punching in his own face in the process, she claims he was swatting a fly. In a completely straight face and tone.
  • Bodyguard Crush: This is definitely the case between her and Eren.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Her entire reason for joining the military is to protect Eren. Who is revealed later to be a Titan Shifter, and badass by himself. Even with that development, she is still more competent than him.
  • Boyish Short Hair: She cuts her hair after Eren tells her it may get in the way of her training. It contributes to her tough Action Girl image. After the four-year timeskip, she cuts her hair even shorter so that it bears a striking resemblance to Eren's old hairstyle.
  • Brains and Brawn: The brawn to Armin's brains. Both are in truth very smart (although Armin probably wins), but while Mikasa is extremely strong physically, Armin isn't very muscular and essentially fights using his intelligence.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • When she was younger, she seemed to be an average nine-year-old instead of the stoic badass we know today. Then, her parents were killed in front of her and she was kidnapped. But that was not what broke her; after Eren killed two of the kidnappers, the third just came into the room and almost killed Eren. As Eren almost died, she finally broke, realizing how messed up the world was. And then her adoptive mother was killed one year later, and her adoptive father disappeared somewhere unknown, leaving her and Eren all alone to recover from the Titan attack.
    • She suffers from this trope again upon hearing that Eren was killed during the Battle of Trost.
    • She gets hit with it again after learning about the "Curse of Ymir" that fates all the Titan Shifters to die 13 years after getting their powers — or in other words that, barring her getting killed first in the immediate future, Eren and Armin are both guaranteed to die before her and there's nothing she can do about it.
    • Eren himself breaks her upon revealing that her devotion to him may be nothing more than the result of experiments done on her bloodline long ago and not really her "true self", calling her entire life's motivations into question. Not only that, but he compares her to a slave or cattle and tells her that he's always hated her, sealing the heartbreak.
  • Broken Ace: The second best fighter, including the Titan Shifters, beaten only by Levi. However, she only became so skilled after the trauma caused by the death of her parents, both biological and adoptive. In her eyes, Eren is all she has left in the world, and she must protect him at all costs.
  • Broken Bird: Once upon a time she was just a normal little girl. Nowadays, she rarely ever smiles.
  • Broken Tears:
    • She sheds tears uncontrollably, begging and pleading for Armin's life before finally, tragically accepting it.
    • When she learns after retaking Wall Maria about the Titan Shifter's — and therefore Eren and Armin's — limited life-spans, she looks absolutely horrified with silent tears running down her face, shortly going into such a severe state of depression that she barely even eats.
    • With Armin, as they sit aside Sasha's lifeless body, having been shot in the chest just minutes before by Gabi.
    • Eren not only rejecting her feelings but comparing her devotion to him to that of a slave (which, unfortunately, has literal implications due to experiments done on her bloodline long ago) and expressing that he's "always hated her" drives her to tears.
  • Big Brother Worship: In the eyes of Mikasa, Eren is the greatest person in the world.
    • Gets called on this several times by characters (most notably Jean in Episode 16) when it interferes with her normally rational thinking. Make no mistake, as awesome and useful as Eren is, she can be almost fanatical about him to the point where it can cause major problems if someone doesn't snap her out of it.
    • In fact, Eren himself has called her out on this early in the series for caring more for him than the human race.
  • Brutal Honesty: She cares for her friends, but she doesn't hesitate to call them out if she thinks they're in the wrong.
  • But Not Too Foreign: She is half-Asian, being a descendant of the Hizuru clan on her mother's side.
  • Byronic Heroine: She joined the Survey Corps only because of Eren, who is everything to her. She has a tragic past and will kill anyone who threatens Eren, be they foe or former friends.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: In Chapter 123, Eren outright asks Mikasa what he means to her. She’s lost for words for a bit until she says he’s family. She also happens to be blushing.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "This world is a cruel place".
    • With the occasional addition of "But it is also beautiful."
  • The Champion: Towards Eren. She's frequently called out on taking her "Protect Eren above all else" devotion too far.
  • Character Development: Not necessarily for the better — which is not a bad thing on its own. Mikasa's heart has noticeably hardened since Trost, being much less willing to spare others where it concerns Eren and being willing to kill anyone that threatens him, including people who were until that moment her friends. Contrast this with the Titan Shifters, who can't bring themselves to harm her or their other friends. Thus, she's become a much more deadly soldier. Another instance of character development is how she rescues Historia before Eren in Chapter 66, though this is most likely because Historia was in far more immediate danger than Eren.
    • Mikasa has also become more trusting of the capability of others over the course of the series. Initially, she would come to the rescue of Eren and the others, sometimes even abandoning her own duties to do so. Late in the series, she has more faith that her friends can handle themselves the same way she can- and without somebody explicity reminding her to keep her focus on her objective this time.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Has shown WAY more strength than any normal person of her age or size should possess. It's strongly implied that her childhood trauma somehow shattered her natural mental limiters. Possibly Subverted later on in the series, however. Eren claims that she's actually a Supersoldier with the literal strength of a Titan manifested in a human body due to experiments done on her bloodline long ago. Levi and Kenny are supposedly the same.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • In a flashback chapter where Annie was wrestling with Eren during combat training, Mikasa decides they're getting too close and throws Reiner at them.
    • Portrayed this way in the official parodies, such as when she looms in the background with swords out when Eren talks to Krista.
    • In Chapter 70, while Eren is praising Krista for her recent actions and helping her carry stuff, Mikasa seems annoyed at how chummy they were. After confronting them, she claims Eren must be tired from all his training, and yanks away the bags he was carrying.
    • She gets visibly upset watching Eren and Historia talking and interrupts their moment.
  • The Coats Are Off: Dramatically drops her traveler cloak and draws her sword when she's had enough screwing around trying to talk to Annie when it's clear that she is the Female Titan.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: Her eyes are of a darker shade of grey, just shy of qualifying as black, emphasizing her status as The Stoic.
  • The Comically Serious: Most funny moments involving her revolve around the fact that shes known to hold an absurdly serious and deadpan expression in (almost) any situation, along with the occasional dry quip. See Blatant Lies and Clingy Jealous Girl.
  • Cry Cute:
    • When Eren gives her the signature scarf she always wears, having rescued her from her kidnappers, and when Grisha offers to make her part of their home.
    • When Eren comes out of his Titan mode, she runs to him and sobs after finding he is still alive.
  • The Cynic: She's not vocal about it like Jean, but her catchphrase is "The world is a cruel place", and it's easy to see why.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Her parents' death has made her The Stoic Emotionless Girl she is today.
  • Damsel out of Distress: After her parents are murdered she got kidnapped by their murderers forcing Eren to come and save her, then they attempt to kill Eren and through his encouragement she was able to violently kill her kidnappers, and escape with him.
  • Dare to Be Badass: What made her the hardened badass she is today.
    Mikasa: If you win, you live. If you lose, you die. If you don't fight, you can't win!
  • Dark Action Girl: Mikasa actually has some darker shades, too. She develops over the course of the series and obviously holds some strong morals dear to her, but as soon as Eren is in danger she is willing to slice up pretty much anyone, friend or foe without a second thought to protect him. While most others join the Survey Corps to actually fight for mankind, Mikasa couldn't care less if Eren hadn't joined.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Saw both her biological parents get killed by human traffickers. Also saw her adoptive mother get eaten by a Titan. And then her adoptive father disappeared as well.
  • Death Glare: When Eren is in danger, her expressions turn murderous. If looks could kill, Levi and Bertholt would be six feet under six times over by now.
  • Death Seeker: She has a tendency towards this when/if Eren is believed dead.
  • Declaration of Protection: To Eren, of course.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Toward Levi. Since the court trial, Mikasa has held a bitter grudge against him for his handling of Eren. After Levi is injured while protecting her, Mikasa seeks to make up for her mistake by defeating the Female Titan in his stead. By Chapter 58, she has chosen to completely set aside her personal feelings, understanding how important trusting Levi's leadership is.
  • Determinator: If Eren is in danger, she will not rest until he is safe again. She did almost give up after she heard from Armin that Eren died, but even then she never stopped struggling and continued fighting a Titan with no gear and only half a blade left.
  • Devil's Advocate: Invoked and subverted. Mikasa's pleas to defend Eren from the accusations made by their 104th teammates fall on deaf ears, as Eren's wildly erratic behavior and liberal carelessness towards their well-being makes them think that he might not be on their side anymore. At the very least, they vow to find out Eren's true intentions before resorting to having him be eaten.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Post-timeskip, Mikasa and Eren become enemies when he instigates a military coup against Paradis' government, with Eren going out of his way to try to make Mikasa hate him. Chapter 130 shows that during the timeskip Zeke spelled out to Eren that Mikasa was in love with him, but Eren spurned Mikasa's affections for the sake of focusing on his mission.
  • The Dreaded:
    • A heroic example. Even with several dozen soldiers surrounding just her, Eren, and Armin, they're visibly afraid of her after the Badass Boast she gives as shown above.
    • In a more lighthearted example: The delinquents who ridicule Armin are unfazed when Eren charges toward them. It isn't until they see Mikasa that they get an Oh, Crap! moment before they pull a Screw This, I'm Outta Here!.
    • Both she and Levi are this to Zeke, who has become somewhat fearful of the Ackerman family after Levi nearly killed him with ease, and that Mikasa is only second to him when it comes to Titan-fighting. Memories of what she did during that same battle also cause Reiner to have nightmares.
    • Much like Levi, Mikasa is referred to as The Ackerman by the Warriors during the Battle at Liberio. It seems that Zeke's loving descriptions of them reached his teammates.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: In anime Episode 7, Mikasa has this right after she hears of Eren's supposed death. It happened again in Episode 21, when she witnesses Eren being devoured by the Female Titan.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Subverted. In Chapter 50/Episode 37, when surrounded by Titans alongside Eren and with seemingly no way out, Mikasa begins happily smiling and crying and thanks him for everything he's done for her. She blushes and inches closer to his face... but then he abruptly stands up in a last ditch effort to defend her from the Smiling Titan (which miraculously ends up saving their lives when he unknowingly activates the Coordinate on the Titans).
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: Twice thus far. The first time, she breaks up an argument between Eren and Jean by throwing Eren her shoulder and walking away. In a flashback, she's shown to have once thrown Reiner at Annie from across the training yard.
  • Emotionless Girl: The stoic type. It's not that she lacks emotions as she does care for others, she just has trouble showing her emotions, and usually acts aloof. As the story progesses, she starts to lose this trait.
  • Enlightenment Superpower: More mundane than most but still follows a similar path. When confronting the slave traders who kidnapped her, she had an epiphany that led to a higher understanding about the world. This empowered her to feel like she was capable of anything.
  • Everyone Can See It: Her romantic feelings for Eren are pretty obvious to everybody except themselves; Mikasa won't admit how she feels even in her inner thoughts and Eren is completely unaware since he's not only dense but also views her as just his adopted-sister. Lampshaded by Levi, who only has to bring it up when her devotion becomes a hindrance in a mission.
    Levi:...We all get that you love him, but try not to act crazy.
    Mikasa:I...I was just...(silent)
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Discussed on the evening of her first day of training. Eren suggests she cut it, to avoid accidents while doing 3D maneuver training and she immediately agrees with the idea. Since then, she's worn her hair in the same mid-length bob.
  • Face Death with Dignity: She seems serene when she acknowledges that she's probably going to die at one point, before remembering Eren's Dare to Be Badass influence from when they met and deciding to fight to her last. She makes it out alive.
  • Fanservice Pack: Mikasa was originally portrayed as having a small bust, but over the course of the manga has become progressively curvier to match her anime design. For once though, this can probably be justified since she's actually still in the midst of puberty (15 years old) and could just be having her last growth spurts.
  • Fastball Special: Manga only. During the second fight against the Female Titan, it starts climbing up Wall Sina too quickly for the soldiers to chase with 3DM gear alone. In response, Armin has the Rogue Titan launch Mikasa so that she could catch up to the Female Titan in time. In the anime, Mikasa catches up to the Female Titan on her own.
    • Done again during the fight atop the Founding Titan, this time with the Female Titan's help, who allows Mikasa to grapple to her hand, and then throws her towards the titan that captured Armin.
  • Fatal Flaw: Despite being a near perfect soldier, Mikasa is still susceptible to Eren's influence and often goes out of her way to protect him to ridiculous lengths which Eren has commented on multiple times and tears her down brutally when he speaks with her outside of his cell.
  • Fate Drives Us Together: Invoked. There's a significant possibility that Grisha came into contact with her parents and was trying to introduce her to Eren in the first place because "The Owl" Eren Kruger absentmindedly mentioned her name (and Armin's) and the importance of protecting her. Keep in mind, this happened years before baby Eren, Mikasa and Armin were even born, as Kruger even states that the memory of these children is not his.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Her bond with Eren originates from how, as a child, she was kidnapped by her parents' murderers and Eren was the first one to track them down. If it weren't for him, she may not be alive.
  • Foil: To Annie. While both have a cold and stoic demeanor, they foil each other physically and in personality. Mikasa is tall, has dark hair, a quite small nose and small dark eyes, while Annie is short with blond hair, a big aquiline nose and large blue eyes. Mikasa is altruistic, lives for others and, while emotionally repressed, she's much more instinctive than Annie, who is selfish and uses complex techniques when she fights.
  • Foreshadowing: Their are a couple of moments that foreshadow Mikasa's status as a by-product of Titan science that Zeke talked about in Chapter 93.
    • During her flashback to her past, when Eren tells her to fight, yellow electricity crackles around her brain right before she kills her would be kidnapper. This is the first indication that her unexplained physical prowess are linked in some way to Titans.
    • During a flashback to her days training in the 104th Mikasa and Annie have a confrontation when the latter pins Eren with one of her locks. Mikasa demands that Annie try that manoeuvre on her but Annie mentions that her techniques are meant to take down humans not beasts. While at the time it seemed like a dig at her rival, Annie's words hold more weight with the reveal that the Ackerman family is considered a myth in Marley for being a by-product of Titan science. Meaning that Annie's desire to see if she could best her was likely more genuine then she first let on.
  • Freak Out: She has a bit of a breakdown after Bertolt and Reiner make off with Eren. Her eyes become massive and bloodshot, even by this manga's standards, and she buries her face in her red scarf.
  • Functional Genre Savvy: After her previous encounter with kidnappers, Mikasa makes sure to double check that there are only three men the second time around.
  • The Gift: Mikasa is described by her instructor as a prodigy of unparalleled talent, with a natural mastery of all subjects. She's outshined only by Levi, and he's the legendary World's Strongest Man.
  • Godzilla Threshold: She gradually begins accepting Eren putting himself in harm's way for the sake of the mission, especially when he starts turning into a Titan due to Hange's request for practice. This is because Eren is gradually getting better with his Titan powers.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: If one pays close attention to her scene as a child where she breaks, she retains her adorable Tareme Eyes and can't even bring herself to move in her fright; the moment she mentally breaks, she immediately switches to Tsurime Eyes in a Death Glare, breaks the floor boards in her rapid foot transition, and uses that to propel her movement as she closes in and kills the human trafficker in a fit of rage.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Mikasa also has a small scar below her right eye, which she received after Eren (in his Titan Form) unknowingly attempted to kill her.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Shows traces of this towards Annie. During a flashback of Annie and Eren training together, they do so in a manner suggesting Annie was flirting with him, only to be interrupted by Mikasa throwing Reiner at them, followed by her asking Annie in a passive aggressive manner if she can't teach those moves to her as well. Later, she asks Eren if he hesitates to fight Titan!Annie because he has "certain feelings" for her, with a not-so-happy expression on her face.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: A flashback in Chapter 44 shows that during one of Eren and Annie's training sessions, she got tired of all the subtext and broke them up by throwing Reiner at them. Annie got out of the way in time; Eren didn't.
  • Happily Adopted: Deeply attached to Eren's family, as they took her in after her own died and treated her as their own. After Carla's death and Grisha's disappearance, she clings to Eren because he's the only one left.
  • Head Butting Heroes: In Season 1 Eren frequently butts heads with her for being her annoying Big Sister Instinct towards him.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: When someone calls Eren her boyfriend, she just says he is just family, but not without a blush.
  • Heroic BSoD: When she finds out that Eren is dead, she acts cool about it, but Armin realizes she is not thinking calmly and uses up her gas. She more or less gives up on life, till she remembers Eren's words and decided to live on.
    • She has another brief one when the Female Titan seemingly swallowed Eren whole.
    • She has one more after Eren is kidnapped by his fellow Titan Shifters in Chapter 45. A Rousing Speech from Hannes pulls her out of it.
    • Has yet another one in Chapter 50, after watching Hannes get killed by the Titan that killed Carla five years ago. Mikasa looks at the sad situation of the military's desperate struggle in trying to survive against the Titans, she actually gives up on living and thanks Eren for all he has done for her.
    • Yet another one, complete with tears of despair, upon learning that Titan Shifters only live 13 years after getting their powers, meaning that Eren and Armin will die of "natural causes" relatively soon and there is seemingly nothing that can prevent this.
    • Mikasa suffers this yet again, when Eren claims that her heritage as an Ackerman makes her a slave, programmed to protect him and barely even a person anymore. He follows this up by stating that he has always hated her, ever since they were children.
  • Heroic Build: As shown here.
  • Identical Stranger: To the girl Eren dreams about in the beginning of the manga, only that said girl has shorter hair than Mikasa had when she woke up Eren from the interior of Wall Maria (keep in mind, the girl was Adapted Out in the anime).
  • Idol Singer: Parodied in the volume 9 fake preview, which features her alter-ego "Mikarin".
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: She joined the army only because of Eren. She wanted to have a peaceful life.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Averted, as is the case with fellow ace Levi, she has superb ratings in everything combat-related but below-average Teamwork, though not as low as Levi's. She will work with her fellow soldiers when the plan calls for it (especially one of Armin's plans) but she's most often seen taking out Titans solo without backup and does it rather effectively.
  • I Owe You My Life: Part of her devotion to Eren comes from how he saved her from human traffickers, taught her how to survive, and has become the only family or anchor she has left.
  • Irony: Years after Eren berated her for wearing her hair too long (claiming it would get in the way during combat), they've essentially ended up swapping their original hairstyles.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She is a very ruthless fighter and is willing to kill anyone — regardless of whether they are her friends or enemies — if they harm Eren. However, she does this for the sake of Eren's safety, and has a soft spot towards her close allies — especially Armin.
  • Kid Hero: One of the strongest human characters in the series and yet she's still only 15.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Gender inverted example: Mikasa is even willing to fight her fellow soldiers and become an enemy of humanity to protect Eren.
  • Lady of War: She is calm and collected when using her 3D Maneuver Gear, cutting down Titans with grace and deadly speed, in contrast to Eren.
  • The Lancer: Serves as a strong contrast to Eren, Eren doesn't have any significant combat talent, whereas Mikasa is a natural warrior. Eren has an explosive personality, while Mikasa is cold and (mostly) unfeeling. Eren starts off caring for others, whereas Mikasa only cares about Eren. Later on Mikasa starts becoming a warmer person, whereas Eren becomes colder. It's even in minor things, like their hairstyles, which they basically swap later on.
  • Last of Her Kind: The last (half) Asian in Paradis Island.
  • Last-Second Chance: She surprisingly enough offers one to Bertolt, after his Villainous BSoD. Her expression, when he refuses, is murderous.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: She acts in a uncharacteristically rash manner whenever Eren is in danger. After the Female Titan kidnaps him and slaughters a great many survey corpsmen on the expedition outside the walls, Mikasa tries to slice her nape to kill her for good, despite Levi's explicit warning not to do so. She certainly would have died if the World's Strongest Man hadn't reacted quick enough to save her, taking a debilitating injury in the process.
    • This doesn't exactly improve in the second battle with the Female Titan, at least in the anime. While she certainly displays skill the other soldiers don't (they keep dying), she ends up getting knocked unconscious by the Female Titan twice. It's a wonder she's alive.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Her relationship with Armin. Ironically, she gets along with him more than Eren.
  • Line in the Sand: When Jean, Connie, and Sasha begin to question their reason for fighting, Mikasa states that if they wish to opt out, now is the time.
  • Little Miss Badass: As a child, she killed one of the men who killed her parents and kidnapped her.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: She almost gives up on life when Armin tells her that Eren was eaten by a Titan, only training and conditioning prevents her from being killed without a fight.
  • Long-Lost Relative: She comes from the same bloodline as Levi and Kenny. They all share the surname, Ackerman, something Mikasa has only recently been made aware of.
  • The Lost Lenore: During the battle of Trost, the then-considered-dead Eren becomes this for Mikasa, as she unconsciously fights off a Titan in spite of having suicidal thoughts. Her reason to fight and live? To remember Eren.
  • Loving Bully: She might love Eren with all her heart, but she's not above kicking his ass if it needs to be kicked when he gets too overbearing. Curiously, her heavy hand is one of the few things that can defuse his angry tirades.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Chapter 112 brought a significant quandary as per Mikasa's characterization, as it's not quite known how much of her actions throughout most of her life were due to her free will, or whether they were brought along by her Ackerman conditioning. This put a proverbial wedge on what constitutes the fundamental source of her powers, her inner strength and her feelings of affection, and as Eren states, Mikasa "died" fighting the human traffickers who killed her parents; the person that followed is just an Ackerman "slave" bound to him, a creature who lacks free will. All of this was later revealed to have been a lie concocted by Eren to push Mikasa away to prevent any interference from her in his genocidal campaign against the rest of Humanity.
  • Meaningful Name: She is named after IJN Mikasa, Japanese pre-dreadnaught battleship that served as flagship of Imperial Japanese Navy fleet in Russo-Japanese War, in which it contributed to the defeat of then thought to invincible Russian Baltic fleet. It is also the only remaining pre-dreadnaught battleship in existence. The name was chosen by Hajime Isayama based on his theory that series with heroine named after warships will be a hit.
    • Her surname doesn't lack in the symbolism department either. Ackerman is a family name that references someone who would till the fields, and collect the crops that grew from them. Ergo, a reaper.
  • Messy Hair: In Chapter 87, she wakes up to Eren's screams with a gravity-defying case of bed hair, which can be justified by it being matted from going unwashed due to their imprisonment. As it's not covering the sides of her face, she looks markedly girlier and almost Off-Model.
  • Mixed Ancestry: The reason she's not considered as "valuable" as her (Asian) mother is because her father was white.
  • More Than Mind Control: Invoked and played with. In Chapter 112, Eren states that Mikasa's attachment to him is artificial in nature and that she's conditioned to defend him due to her Ackerman blood. He points to her trying to stop the fight between him and Armin as evidence of his claims, leaving Mikasa shaken and terrified. However, the reliability of these claims is ambiguous at best with very little concrete information about the Ackerman Clan. What little is known about them is that they were nearly exterminated for rebelling against the First King, their master — a fact Kenny's grandfather once revealed to him. Eren also claims Mikasa's headaches are the result of resisting her conditioning, and that Ackermans gain their power in response to a master. Kenny and Levi contradict these claims, as both possessed their superior abilities prior to meeting Uri and Erwin, and neither was shown to suffer headaches like Mikasa. As such, the accuracy of Eren's words is.....questionable.
    • As of Chapter 130, its confirmed that Eren was lying about the Ackermans' subservient nature and that Mikasa's devotion to Eren was based purely on her love for him.
  • Motive Misidentification: Invoked. Given what has been revealed about the Ackerman bloodline, this brings some possible ulterior motives as to why Grisha Yeager made an acquaintance with the Ackermans and eventually brought Mikasa into his household, other than out of the kindness of his heart. To complicate matters even further, Kruger left Grisha an extremely cryptic warning about saving Mikasa and Armin years before the two were even born prior to Grisha gaining the Attack Titan and entering the Walls, possibly shedding some light on why he formed an eventual acquaintance with her family.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Not in the material direct but Mikasa has been shown posing in sports bras in concept art and on some of the manga's volume covers, and the second anime opening provides a generous shot of her cleavage. The second anime OVA also features a completely irrelevant montage of Mikasa's sweaty workout routine, showing some nice muscle tone.
  • Mundane Utility: As a child, Mikasa used her super-strength to accomplish chores faster and with greater efficiency than Eren.
  • My Beloved Smother: How Eren tends to view her over-protection.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Shows remorse after blinding Reiner with the Thunder Spear.
    • In Chapter 85, she and Eren seem to be going through it after realizing the long-lasting effects of choosing Armin over Erwin will have on their friend, not even considering Armin's personal feelings on the matter, and in addition that despite Armin's genius, even he doesn't know what to do next without Erwin's command. It hits home for them that it seems everyone thought injecting Erwin was the right choice and Hanji tells them that just because they are willing to accept punishment for going against orders, doesn't mean that they can do whatever they want and prioritize personal feelings.
  • My Greatest Failure: In Chapter 123, Mikasa comes to see her inability to be honest about her feelings for Eren as this, as she wonders whether or not that would have been enough to convince Eren to not go down the path of destruction he embarked on that culminated in unleashing the Rumbling.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When saving Armin from Bertholdt, she takes the time to try to cleave his head off. This results in him losing an ear (and her losing some dignity) and giving Bertholdt an injury with which to transform, which they wanted to prevent.
  • Not Blood Siblings: With Eren. She was adopted by Grisha and Carla after the murder of her biological parents, and she takes Big Sister Instinct to a whole new level. It's glaringly implied that being his "sister" is not what she's looking for in their relationship, though, as she's willing to dedicate her whole life to him while ignoring every other possibility in the way.
  • Not So Different:
    • Despite her stoicism contrasting sharply with Eren's high-running passions, she falls prey to the same flaws at critical moments that he does when her buttons are pushed. She simply loses all thought and composure and focuses on killing.
    • From Historia, as they are both girls whom Eren gave a reason to live after a great emotional trauma. Mikasa even realizes this, demonstrating that she's not OK with Historia and Eren getting too chummy with each other after she's crowned Queen of the Walls.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Her general response to Eren being in danger is either panic or murderous fury. This happens to apply to Armin too.
    • She is subconsciously unable to kill Reiner and Bertolt, as she's shown to be in visible anguish after their treason is found out. Even later, during the Return to Shiganshina, she is in considerable pain after battering Reiner to a pulp with explosive lances.
    • Maintains her deadly composure in battle even after witnessing Eren's horrific actions in Liberio. This changes when she learns that Sasha has been mortally wounded aboard the blimp; she breaks down completely when her old friend and comrade dies in her arms.
  • Obliviously Beautiful: She doesn't seem to notice or care that her looks are enough to leave Jean nearly speechless.
  • Oblivious to Love: She doesn't notice that Jean is head over heels for her.
  • One True Love: Invoked with Eren. She probably loves the guy more than he loves himself.
  • One-Woman Army: Ian comments that "She's as good by herself as a hundred ordinary soldiers." She proves that she's that good against the Military Police, with the anime giving special emphasis on her slaying several of them, one by one, in a matter of moments.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Goes through this twice! Her biological parents were murdered by human traffickers who wanted her and her mother, presumably because they were the last Asians known to mankind, and very valuable as a result. However, she still went on to have a happy childhood as Eren's family adopts her after she's rescued. Then she witnesses her adoptive mother get eaten by a Titan and her adoptive father disappear to parts unknown.
  • Pillars of Moral Character: A walking example of "gimu" (a life debt). She will do anything to protect Eren, because he saved her when they first met. Further highlighted by the fact that she's the last living person of Asian descent.
  • Power Copying: In the anime, she has begun adopting Levi's Spin Attack fighting style after having seen it in action.
  • The Power of Love: A subdued form, in stark contrast to Eren. Most of her badassery is the direct result of her caring for and wanting to protect Eren. It's also her biggest flaw as her desire to keep Eren safe often causes her to make mistakes and act irrationally.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: A non-fatal example, used just before she kicks Annie down the Wall.
    Mikasa: Annie. Fall.
    • Gives another one much later to Reiner.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: The first time Jean sees her, he's momentarily struck speechless by her beauty and barely manages to ramble about how she looks different from everyone else and her black hair is "really pretty".
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Invoked and played with. Lady Azumabito states that Mikasa might be part of the old ruling family of the shogunate of Hizuru, who were supposedly close allies to the Kings of Eldia, though it's implied that she says this in order to endear herself to the Eldians of Paradis. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The calm and collected blue to Eren's hot-headed red.
  • The Reliable One: Having her on the ranks carries a considerable advantage and morale to her teammates, only that they wish she held them in the same regard as Eren. In later chapters, she has started to become more of a team player.
  • The Rival: Appeared to have had this dynamic with Annie during their trainee days. Chapter 44 offers of flashback where the two prepare to square off in a training fight, to which Word of God later confirmed they had been so equally matched the instructor had to interfere and call it a tie. Of course, once Annie is outed as The Mole, this rivalry quickly turns into homicidal-hatred.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: She does this whenever something happens to Eren, and it is never portrayed as a healthy or positive thing. Each time, her actions place her or others into considerable danger.
    • At Trost, she taunts the disheartened Trainees into following her into battle and then proceeds to completely exhaust her supply of gas, leaving herself helpless and the other Trainees abandoned until Jean takes charge. All because she thought Eren had been killed, and was attempting to avoid dealing with it through taking action.
    • During the Female Titan arc, when the Female Titan successfully captures Eren, she goes in pursuit. She ignores Levi's warning that they won't be able to kill the Female Titan, and her recklessness results in Levi injuring his ankle sidelining Humanity's Strongest for an arc.
    • She goes on one again when Eren is kidnapped by Reiner and Bertolt, letting nothing stand in her way. This leads to her threatening Historia Reiss, making it clear she will kill ANYONE that gets between her and saving Eren. She was willing to not only turn on her True Companions, but also risk the Survey Corps' best chance of uncovering the Government Conspiracy.
    • Not so much a rampage, but Mikasa's intentions in 83 have been made clear: Levi, hand over that serum or face a distraught Mikasa with a blade in her hand. This was brought on by Levi callously choosing Erwin over Armin when both lives need saving and he'd already said he would transform Armin.
  • Running Gag: The official 4-koma likes to poke fun at her weight, with first Armin and later Levi dropping her after realizing she's too heavy to carry. Doing so causes an explosion when she lands. This seems to be based on how dense muscle-mass makes one weigh more - and between her washboard abs and toned limbs, muscles are definitely something she doesn't lack for.
  • Satellite Character: Her motives and actions revolve solely around Eren. The Battle of Trost briefly explores this dynamic, showing how Mikasa would function without Eren; that is, not very well.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: A sentimental keepsake from when she first met Eren and became part of his family. He gives it to her after she says she's cold, having just rescued her from the human traffickers. She hasn't taken it off since.
  • Scars Are Forever: When the Rogue Titan/Eren attacks her, her cheek is scratched by a piece of debris; she has kept the scar ever since. It makes her look even more badass, if anything.
  • Security Blanket: Said scarf mentioned above. When she is particularly anxious or upset, she'll nuzzle her nose under it.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Her instinctive attack of Armin in chapter 112 could have been motivated by the Ackerman servant/master trait, or just the ordinary trauma of having had her loved ones die in front of her. That she instantly feels guilty for it and lets him go implies the latter.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Compared to her adoptive brother, who's The Berserker, Hot-Blooded, and a Wide-Eyed Idealist.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: She has eyes for no one but Eren. Most of their teammates don't mind, but they make it clear that they're not quite as eager to dive face-first into concrete for him as she is.
  • Sparing the Aces: While she's protecting Eren, who has just exhibited his Titan-shifting abilities, from Weilman (who is trying to get them shot on sight), one of Weilman's subordinates mentions her status as The Gift in what was either this or genuine fear that she would fight her way out of their situation.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": So, translate Mikasa phonetically because it is written in hiragana, or directly use the kanji of the battleship Mikasa? Official material says phonetically, the rest of the fanbase disagree. The Other Wiki compromise by having them both.
  • The Spock: The most outwardly emotionless and calmest fighter among the main trio, able to be decisive in many situations where others would hesitate. However, in regards to Eren, this attitude does not apply at all.
  • Static Character: Beyond the change caused by her Dark and Troubled Past, present-day Mikasa has yet to be as dynamic as the other characters. She has remained virtually unchanged since the beginning of the series.
  • The Stoic: She's an Emotionless Girl most of the time, thanks to the trauma she went through witnessing the murder of her parents as a child. She shows little to no emotion on her face, but if it involves Eren... well let's just say that no one is safe if they get in her way.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She hides her emotions from others and presents herself as stoic, yet she's a very loyal person who cares very deeply about Eren.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Her father was a member of the Ackerman clan,note  and her mother was Asian. Both bloodlines possess the ability to resist the Coordinate ability, and were thus ruthlessly persecuted by the royal family.
  • Supersoldier: Eren claims that her superhuman physical abilities are the result of the Eldian Empire fiddling around with Titan science long ago, accidentally causing the entire Ackerman bloodline to possess the hidden capability to use the strength of the Titans while maintaining a human form. The only catches are that A. They have to be awakened by a traumatic event and B. They have to immediately afterwards recognize an individual as a "host", i.e somebody they have to protect (the reason for this being that the Eldians eventually wanted to force them to protect the King). The rarity of these events is presumably why Mikasa's father and (likely) Levi's mother never awakened.
  • Super Strength: One of the reasons why she's such a powerful fighter is due to her Ackerman bloodline, which grants her inhuman strength, speed, and reflexes following her Traumatic Superpower Awakening. She first demonstrates this as a little kid during the moment where she killed one of her kidnappers — she crushes the hilt of her knife and her first step shatters the wooden floor when she charged him. The Military Police are astonished when they find that her knife went 3 inches through his heart from the back.
  • Sympathetic Murder Backstory: Forced to kill a man, to save herself and Eren. An entire episode is devoted to her backstory, and it's later used by the Military Police Brigade to suggest she's dangerous.
  • The Talk: The very last conversation she ever had with her parents. When she asks her mother where babies come from, Mrs. Ackerman passes the buck to her husband... who awkwardly suggests she should ask Dr. Yeager when he arrives. By the time she actually does get to meet him, Mikasa has far more important things to worry about.
  • Tearful Smile: For one of the very few times since childhood, she smiles as she thanks Eren for everything he's done for her with tears in her eyes. It would be a nice moment, if not for the fact they were surrounded by Titans with no way of defending themselves.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: As she sees the Titan that killed her adoptive mother five years ago slowly approaching her and Eren in Chapter 49.
    • When she emerges from confinement after having disobeyed orders to save Armin over Erwin, her expression is completely blank, she moves as though lifeless and she barely acknowledges anyone. Considering she'd just beforehand learned that her two best friends and the only people she actually cares about are both destined to die from the "Curse of Yimr" that all Titan Shifters carry, it's arguably either a miracle or a testament to her strength that she had the will to move at all.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Exploited Trope in Chapter 112. Eren describes the Ackerman Clan has being biologically programmed to serve an Eldian master, a process that destroys their true self and makes them slaves with no will of their own. Mikasa is left heartbroken and confused, seemingly Eren's intention for the entire meeting. Having been raised unaware of her clan's heritage, Mikasa is unaware of any information about the Ackerman Clan that could contradict Eren's claims.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: She's only extremely competent at killing because of her seriously screwed up past. It's heavily implied that the prospect of Eren getting hurt shattered the subconscious physical limiters in her mind and body that changed her from a scared little girl to a better fighter than any human has any right to be. To be more specific, it awakened the superhuman abilities inherent to her bloodline.
  • Troll: Is a very hilariously deadpan version of one in regards to Sasha. The part where she pretended to offer bread to her, only to eat it herself comes to mind.
  • True Companions: Eren, her, and Armin are this.
  • Tuck and Cover: She shields a defenseless Eren in this fashion from an approaching Titan.
  • Unbroken Vigil: Anytime Eren is left unconscious, Mikasa will insist on remaining at his side to watch over him.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Eren, who she views as the last remaining person of importance in her life. She won't even allow herself be killed just to be able to remember him when she thinks he's been slain.
  • The Unfettered: Whether it's protecting Eren or just fighting for something she believes in, Mikasa lets nothing stand in her way, be they Titan or human.
  • Untouchable Until Tagged: She can slaughter Titans left and right, but there are times where even Mikasa is caught off guard, and we're reminded that she's still human.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Before her biological parents were killed, she was shown to have a wide range of emotions, but now she does not hesitate to kill anyone if she needs to.
  • Watching Troy Burn: While escaping by river, she watched her home being destroyed.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • She's chewed up by Armin and Connie for spending her gas in an effort to kill herself, though she is ultimately unable to let herself get killed from the mere memory of Eren.
    • She delivers a tearful one to Eren, quietly horrified at his decision to kill civilians, including children.
  • When She Smiles: In Chapter 50, she finally thanks Eren for giving her a reason to live while tearfully smiling at him. This is striking enough to snap Eren out of his Heroic BSoD and defend her from the Smiling Titan.
  • With Us or Against Us: She makes it very clear to Historia that her only consideration is Eren's safety, and people should either help her or get the hell out of her way. She has no sympathy or mercy for those that get in her way. Their relationship gets better, though, as Mikasa saves Historia first from the collapse of the Reiss Family Chapel before she gets to Eren; though this is most likely due to the fact that Historia was about to die from hitting a rock wall, whereas Eren was still safely bound.
  • Worf Effect: Probably the last person you thought would get hit with this, huh? But yes, when she attacks Bertholdt—by surprise, no less!—it's Mikasa who gets her butt handed to her, not the other way around. This alone is enough to ensure the audience takes Bertholdt deadly seriously.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: She clearly draws a line here, tearing up as she points out to Eren that his actions have killed children.
    • Even more impressively, she refuses to kill Gabi Braun when she is outed as the girl who shot her friend and comrade Sasha to death, and in fact protects Gabi when Sasha's adopted sister Kaya attempts to do so while in a fit of rage.
  • Yandere: An interesting (as well as a rare heroic) example: Mikasa has been shown to care for Eren to an almost unhealthy degree, feeling very uncomfortable about him being out of her sight, and she has absolutely no qualms about killing anyone or anything that threatens him. The anime seems to play this up for all it's worth, with no shortage of scenes that anyone'' harming, threatening or even just getting too close to Eren, and anybody who succeeds in hurting, taking or otherwise meaning ill-intent getting them a one-way ticket to her short-list of "future dead people."
  • You Are Worth Hell: Over and over again, Mikasa has followed Eren into hell and has helped drag him out every time. She'll even keep herself alive for the sake of remembering him.

    Armin Arlert 

Armin Arlert

Voiced by: Marina Inoue (JP), Josh Grelle (EN), Hector Ireta de Alba (Latin American Spanish, movies)

Portrayed by: Kanata Hongo

Debut: Chapter 1 (Manga), Episode 1 (Anime)
Click here to see his post-Time Skip appearance 

"People who can't throw something important away can never hope to change anything."

Armin is the childhood friend of Eren and Mikasa. Raised by his grandfather alone at Shinganshina after his parents are killed, Armin is a submissive child who does not have physical strength or physical skill, however he is very intelligent and is a great tactician. Originally Armin lacks confidence in himself and his abilities. However over time he gradually gains confidence. He enrols in military training, ranking below the Top 10 but having otherwise excellent academic marks, and later joins the Survey Corps with Eren and Mikasa. He does this, firstly to try to make a good and meaningful impact on the world, and secondly due to his dream to see the outside world. Both his curiosity and pragmatism have remained strong personality traits from when he was young, and his life has been driven by this aspects. He is very adamant to learn about the natural world outside the walls and unknown legends.

His keen mind proves vital in uncovering the identities of several traitors hiding among his comrades, providing key evidence to their guilt. He takes part in the mission to rescue Eren from the traitors, revealing a far more ruthless side in order to turn the tide of the battle. Afterwards, he is promoted into the second incarnation of the Special Operations Squad charged with protecting Eren and Historia.

Armin played a key role in the retaking of Shingashina; most prominent was his plan that allowed the corps to finally subdue Bertolt, the Colossal Titan. Unfortunately, the plan involved using himself as bait, and he was nearly burned to death by a super-heated steam blast. However, his life was saved when Captain Levi decided to use the dose of Titan serum he obtained from Kenny to turn Armin into a Mindless Titan. They then fed him the incapacitated Bertolt, and after a few quick crunches the Titan body collapsed and an unconscious, but very much alive, Armin emerged as a Titan Shifter.

As the current host of the Colossal Titan, he has used its power to protect the coast of Paradis Island. When the Survey Corps launches their operation to retrieve Eren from Marley, he is given the task of destroying Marley's naval forces.

Branch: Survey Corps

  • Adaptation Distillation: Armin is Eren's best friend, but the manga is the medium that shows the deepness of their relationship. Similar case to Mikasa's Adaptational Expansion in the anime, essentially, the anime instead shifts the deepness of Eren and Armin's relationship to Mikasa.
    • In the last episode of the first season, Mikasa is the one who pulls Eren out of his Titan form and holds him, while the manga counterpart has Armin as the one holding him. Additionally, the scene where Eren regains consciousness, Mikasa is at his bedside while Armin is off to the side with Jean; in the manga, Mikasa is still at Eren's bedside, Jean is still off to the side, but Armin is sitting on the bed with Eren before he even wakes up.
    • Further reinforced in Chapter 106, where Armin confides in the still-crystallized Annie that he thought he understood Eren better than anyone, even Mikasa.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: While Armin's hair is blonde in the manga and anime, his hair is changed to black in the live-action adaptation.
  • Alliterative Name: Armin Arlert.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: As a child, he was viewed as an outsider with the exceptions of Mikasa and Eren due to his intelligence and heretical interest in the outside world.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: In Chapter 84, Eren convinces Levi to give the Titan Serum to Armin, and Bertold gets eaten by the very same guy he tried to roast alive in Chapters 82 and 83.
  • Anti-Hero: Armin starts off as a Classical Anti-Hero, having all of the right intentions but lacking the confidence and physical strength of his compatriots. He veers briefly into a Pragmatic Hero, as he's able to understand that there are situations where leaders must throw away the lives of their men to have any hope of changing things, he even understands the more ruthless acts of their superiors using soldiers as cannon fodder while others struggle with the morality of it. Though while Armin might understand the need for such methods, he doesn't use them himself, to the extent that his plan to take down the Colossal Titan involves sacrificing himself rather than anyone else, a sharp contrast to Erwin's plan that sees countless soldiers dying as aforementioned cannon fodder and he's quite willing to try and reason with their enemies and is clearly unhappy when they have to use violence instead.
  • Ascended Meme: Armin's feminine appearance and resemblance to Historia has often been joked about among the fandom. He later actually winds up having to impersonate her as part of a mission.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: One of the official 4komas has him dress-up in a cute bunny girl outfit because it suits him better than any of the girls.
    • He crossdresses at one point, and ends up getting the worst kind of attention from a Dirty Old Man.
  • Badass Bookworm: As a child, he always had a book with him. As a teenager, although he is still not that useful in a physical fight, the others rely on him to have a strategy and most of his guesses and plans have worked out great. It was he who first deduced that the Female Titan was intelligent, and accurately guessed her true identity based on an incident from months previous.
  • Bad Liar:
    • Lampshaded by Annie and later subverted when his quick thinking and Blatant Lies manage to distract the Female Titan by bluffing that she killed Eren after having figured out that the Female Titan's goal was to either capture or kill Eren. His quick lie saves Jean's life.
    • Then played straight during the mission to capture Annie. Armin believes that she knew his request was a trap from the start.
    • Subverted once more when he manages to ruthlessly bluff about the fate of Annie in order to distract Reiner and Bertolt.
  • Bash Brothers: He and Eren have proven to be a devastating team, annihilating every single vessel that has dared to come near the coast of Paradis.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: During the Battle of Trost, he gives Mikasa his remaining equipment, but asks to keep a blade for himself in case a Titan comes along. Mikasa, finally out of her Heroic BSoD, denies his request.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Though it's Played for Drama. He saved Jean's life by killing the enemy soldier.
  • Bishōnen: Joked about in an official omake where Armin is suggested to look better in a bunny girl outfit than any of the actual girls. This comes to a head in the Junior High anime, where Armin actually wore a bunny girl outfit (although the reasons for it is very much justified).
  • Blatant Lies: A heroic variant. In Episode 17, he suddenly starts screaming for Jean, who was about to be killed by the Female Titan to avenge his "best friend", obviously meaning Eren. Armin had figured out that the Female Titan's goal was to get to Eren. By lying about his fate, he managed to distract her enough so that she didn't murder Jean.
  • Bleed 'em and Weep: After killing the woman threatening Jean's life.
  • Brains and Brawn: The brains to Mikasa's brawn.
  • Body Double: He serves as a convincing double for Historia.
  • Broken Tears: After his first kill.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In Chapter 78, he actually moves ahead of the other squads, who are all rightfully terrified of Bertholdt Hoover, thinking he can manipulate him with lies about Annie again. This turns out to be a deadly mistake and Bertholdt nearly kills him.
  • Came Back Strong: Is left on the verge of death while defeating the Colossal Titan. However, he's brought back from this by being fed the Colossal Titan after being turned into a Titan himself, not only saving his life but converting him into a Titan Shifter.
  • Catchphrase: "People that can't throw something important away can never hope to change anything." These become important words for him as he matures and comes to terms with what has to be done in order to win.
  • Character Development: Evolves from a timid and uncertain boy to a more confident and brave young man. And later, to a hardened strategist who understands what needs to be sacrificed for the greater good.
  • The Chessmaster: He isn't one yet but shows very high potential to be one with enough experience. A good example is how he pieced together who the Female Titan was from bits of information gathered thus far then planned a trap to apprehend her in a rather short period of time. On the other hand, he's starting to understand just how important is is to be able to trade a pawn for a piece of higher value, meaning that he's starting to look more and more ruthless.
  • Chessmaster Sidekick: He's absolutely brilliant and shows great potential for ruthlessness, but he's utterly loyal to his friends and respectful of his commanding officers.
  • Child Prodigy: Far smarter and more interested in his studies than his peers, which unfortunately got him beat up when it came to his knowledge of the world outside, in addition to potentially putting him at risk of worse consequences if the authorities found out.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: Many fans were shocked upon seeing him shirtless for the first time in Chapter 82 perhaps for different reasons considering he's always vouched as being physically weak. However, with 3 years of intense military training under his belt, it probably shouldn't have been too surprising to see him sporting a 6 pack.
  • Consummate Liar: Gradually outgrowing his Bad Liar tendencies and filling this role. Proves to be a great asset on the battlefield, for example in Chapter 49 when he claims that Annie is currently being tortured by the military in order to upset and distract Reiner and Bertolt.
  • Cowardly Lion: He snaps as easily as a twig during the first phases of Trost though later on he's willing to do the unthinkable (for him at least) if it means he can protect his friends. He is willing to stand with Eren and mount a bold defense with his words for him when everyone looks poised to kill them and later on, he volunteers to join Mikasa in what looks like a suicide mission to cover Eren.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Most of his plans are this.
  • Creepy Good: Armin has a tendency to come up with rather morbid plans and is usually the only person other than Commander Erwin to consider taking the ruthless, pragmatic courses of action first. And then, of course, there's his infamously creepy monologue he gave about Annie being tortured when he was trying bait Bertolt. Lampshaded when he horrifies his squadmates with his False Flag Operation plan (which would've involved killing civilians), prompting Eren to comment that he's "always been good at coming up with gloomy plans". Fittingly enough, he also later becomes a Horrifying Hero when he inherits the power of the Colossal Titan.
  • Crocodile Tears: He uses this against Yelena who told him about Eren going through with Zeke's plan in preventing any more Eldians from being born to convince her that he's with Eren on it and it works. In reality, he knows Eren would NEVER go with a plan like that which is why he tried to get into his good graces.
  • Cute Bookworm: Armin was absolutely this in his childhood.
  • Death Glare: Delivers an absolutely murderous look at the Female Titan while yelling at Jean to avenge all the Survey Corps members it killed. This doubles as a What the Hell, Hero? towards Annie, who was about to smash Jean.
  • Defiant to the End: In Armin's Establishing Character Moment, when cornered by a group of delinquents because he was talking about the outside world, he essentially spits at them.
  • Deuteragonist: To the point where he might actually just be the true protagonist of the story.
  • Disappointed in You: Armin gives Eren this look on the airship for forcing him and the rest of their friends on a suicide mission without Eren telling any of them.
  • Disguised in Drag: Used as the Body Double for Historia, wearing a long wig and her clothing.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: He is able to pass off as Historia rather convincingly, only that his features are less elfin than hers. It even titillates one of their captors.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Downplayed and Played for Laughs. After the Timeskip, he's made a habit of making frequent visits to Annie's crystal to confide in her while she lies comatose, and one time gets caught tenderly touching her crystal by Hitch. Hitch teasingly asks him if he's up to no good, causing Armin to nervously panic and blurt out excuses in denial.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: He doesn't look too happy with the turn of events, nor his task of destroying Marley's navy as it approaches shore.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: He's become a fairly competent soldier in his own right with the passage of time, and his run in with the Colossal Titan ultimately results in him becoming a Titan Shifter — giving him even more room to grow.
  • Equivalent Exchange: This is the ugly truth behind Titan-shifting; any Titan who consumes a Titan Shifter will gain their normal body back as well as the power to transform into one of the nine Titans themselves... but, their human body will progressively weaken from there on out and they will die in 13 years. In Armin's case, this means he'll live to be no older than 28.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Armin, while disguised as Historia, winds up molested by a man after he is captured. Even after his true gender is revealed, the man insists that he's still attracted to Armin.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Played with by Zeke, since he never had the chance to learn Armin's name. When they meet properly for the first time in Paths, Zeke simply refers to him as "Eren's Friend".
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Downplayed. When he and Mikasa are trying to figure out Eren's reasons for saying all those horrible things to them if he really was hiding his true intentions, Armin starts to speak and then suddenly thinks back to when Eren asked if killing the enemy on the other side of the ocean would finally free all of them. Armin then realized there's a disturbing possibility that Eren's true intentions are to kill everyone outside the Walls and doesn't want any of his friends to be involved in it. He puts the thought out of his mind and intends to get the truth from Eren while he still can. His fears came true after Eren gains full control of the Founding Titan and telepathically communicates with all Subjects of Ymir his goal to eradicate everything and everyone outside the Walls.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: He's traded in his longer hair for a short, close-cropped style. Interestingly, it resembles how his predecessor, Bertolt, wore his hair.
  • Failed a Spot Check: He completely misses the Rogue Titan emerging from the same Titan who just ate Eren, despite having been right there when it happened. This may be justified as Armin was in the middle of a traumatic Heroic BSoD at the time.
  • False Flag Operation: Discusses such an operation, horrifying his comrades. Eren notes this isn't the first time Armin has dreamed up those kinds of scenarios.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Played With. When the Marleyan navy arrives in the harbor, several soldiers shout warnings to what they think is a civilian in a fishing boat. Armin repays this concern by transforming, killing everyone in the process. While he looks troubled by what he's doing, it plays perfectly into the stereotype of the "Eldian Devils" as untrustworthy and violent.
  • Field Promotion: Invoked. Armin has become one of the Survey Corps' main tacticians, though it's not known whether he rose in rank. By the final Arc he is the Commander of the Survey Corps.
  • Grin of Audacity: Before lying to Bertolt. The look on his face when he describes how Annie is supposedly being tortured is absolutely terrifying. Isayama actually toned it down from its original version, as shown on his blog.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Despite their differences in temperament, Armin was actually always the more ruthless one between him and Eren, and he had to remind him at one point to throw away his humanity and become a monster if he wanted to accomplish his goals. Well, fast-forward 4 years later and Eren has taken this lesson a little too close to heart, becoming more of a monster than Armin or anybody else could've predicted.
  • Guile Hero: Armin's strength lies not in his fighting ability, but in his tactical genius, both at the drawing board and in the field.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: At first, but as his eyes open more to how the world works, while he still remains a good person, his heart hardens and he becomes more cynical and nihilistic.
  • Healing Factor: Comes with being revived as a shifter. In fact, he was given the Titan serum in the first place as an emergency Panacea to heal some severe burn wounds.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Initially he thinks he'll be useless since the only thing he has going for him is his book smarts. It turns out he's great at both analyzing people and situations within moments and formulating plans to get out of bad situations, making him an invaluable tactician for the Survey Corps.
  • Heroic BSoD: When he's too scared to move, Eren sacrifices himself for Armin. This causes Armin think of himself as worthless, and is catatonic until Mikasa shows up.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In Chapter 82, he pulls a modified version of the stunt Erwin and the rest of the Corps used in the last chapter. He anchors himself into Colossal Titan/Bertolt's teeth and takes a steam blast head-on, suffering severe burns in the process. But it also leaves the Titan vulnerable and distracted, giving Eren the chance to swing in from behind (in human form) to deliver the killing blow.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Armin initially has nothing nice to say about himself, feeling he is useless. He gets better in the anime when Eren and Mikasa make him realize that had Armin not alerted Hannes during the Fall of Shiganshina, they would both be dead.
  • Heroic Wannabe: He is at first misguided in his endeavors to be useful, believing he must become a kind of hero to deserve being at Eren and Mikasa's side.
  • Hero-Worshipper: He admires leaders like Pixis and especially Erwin because they are able to sacrifice people to save humanity.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Eren, who's been one of his closest friends and allies for most of his life (apart from Mikasa, of course). In fact, Eren was Armin's Only Friend for quite some time before they met Mikasa.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Armin can quickly notice things no one else can. Best shown in his analysis of each surprising discovery they make: in the case of the Rogue Titan he notices its intelligence based on its fighting style and its tendency to ignore humans within moments and in the case of the Female Titan, he's very quickly aware of its intelligence based on its knowledge of 3DMG weaknesses and it protecting its weak spot, so he pieces together that it must be another Human Titan.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: After being kidnapped while acting as Historia's Body Double, Armin is molested by one of his captors. It's a disturbing and jarring scene, especially due to the series tending to avoid sexual themes.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: His greatest desire is to be useful. After he realizes that his friends do not think lowly of him at all, he grows out of it.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: He's clever enough to make use of this. When he's bluffing the Female Titan he makes specific statements like "the suicidal bastard" and "my best friend". Based on its subsequent actions he deduces that it is, in fact, one of his classmates he knows well since it guessed (correctly) he was talking about Eren, since the former is the 104th Trainee class's nickname for Eren and the latter is only obvious to people that knew both Eren and Armin personally.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: They fit him to a T, though later on he's gradually losing the "innocent" part.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Even as Eren slaughters the world, Armin desperately insists that the victims' nations can be made to accept Paradis.
  • Irony:
    • For a member of the Survey Corps, certified Titan slayers, Armin's own first kill is a human.
    • Armin was always the more ruthless one between him and Eren, being more willing to resort to dubious methods to get the job done. He even had to teach Eren at one point to throw away his humanity and become a monster to accomplish his goals when he needs to. After the timeskip, however, their experiences have reversed the roles; Armin becomes sick of the constant violence and comes to desire peace with the world while Eren becomes a full on international terrorist who is willing to commit any kind of atrocity in the pursuit of freedom.
  • I Shall Taunt You: He bluffs Bertolt by telling him that that Annie is being tortured by the military. It's not true, of course, but it's enough to perturb Bertolt.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Attempts this repeatedly, and is proven wrong each time.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Developing them slowly, as he begins to grow into an up-and-coming Chessmaster. He readily accepts the most questionable actions of his superiors, and recognizes the ugliness of the Crapsack World he lives in.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: When noticing how much his False Flag Operation idea horrifies his comrades, he tries — and fails — to write it off as a joke.
  • Kid Hero: He's 15 years old, like Eren and Mikasa.
  • The Kirk: Mediates nicely between Eren and Mikasa.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With Mikasa.
  • The Load: He was always saved by Eren and Mikasa from delinquents since his childhood. He was still the Load until the Battle for Trost. He eventually grows out of this because he saved his friends many times along the way.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Like his predecessor, he can transform into a 60-meter skinless horror by injuring himself. In fact, from the sneak peek of Armin's Colossal Titan we get in Chapter 93, he's arguably even more unsettling than Bertolt was because his body is noticeably thinner.
  • Love Is a Weakness:
    • In one of the Smartpass interviews, Armin expresses that romantic feelings can be a weakness. After all, they make people do irrational things and can be used against them.
    • Ironically, Eren accuses Armin himself of falling victim to this in chapter 112. Specifically, he suspects that Armin's increasing fondness of Annie (a result of inheriting Bertolt's memories) has clouded his judgement and made him unfit to protect their nation from the enemy.
  • Male Gaze: Parodied in the Episode 23 4-koma. A horrified Annie accuses Armin of looking at her like that, while flashing back to him repeatedly checking out her Titan form.
  • Manipulative Bastard: In Chapter 49, he lies to Bertolt to manipulate his feelings and disturb him.
  • Memento Macguffin: Chapter 106 reveals he still has the seashell he picked up when he first went to the ocean and uses it as a comforting tool.
  • Morality Pet: To Annie. Armin managed to befriend her, to the degree she's unable to hurt him and gets drawn into a trap because he said he'd consider her a "bad person" if she didn't help him.
  • Morphic Resonance: As a Mindless Titan, Armin has the same blond, bobbed hair, and is also rather scrawny. His Colossal Titan form is also much scrawnier than Bertold's.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • He killed a person to save a friend and was horrified afterwords, to the point he became physically ill. What made it worse is that, after thinking about it, Armin realized that the only reason he got the shot off was because the attacker, a woman about their age, recognized Jean and hesitated, while Armin pulled the trigger without a second thought and notes this means she was a kinder person than him.
    • He is visibly shaken over the destruction of the harbor, with several panels focusing in on the same mangled corpse of a child. It's clear that even though he's become used to killing, actually seeing the victims of his explosion leaves him shaken.
    • After he is revived and brought back to life with the titan serum, he is incredibly shaken to learn that he had eaten Bertholdt in his mindless Titan state, and suffers from pangs of Survivor's Guilt about whether his death should have stuck instead of Erwin's.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: A rare protagonist, if heroic is too strong a word, example. He gets Bertholdt and Reiner to break down by telling them Annie is being tortured by the military in their absence with an absolutely horrifying grin on his face, distracting them enough that Eren can be retrieved. In Chapter 78, he shouts down the rest of the squads telling him to get away from Bertholdt, convinced he can do some masterful talking, and tries to pull the same lie and the same smile again. It doesn't work. Bertholdt is completely unaffected, and gets within moments of killing Armin before Mikasa intervenes.
  • Nice Guy: He's very kind and selfless, almost to a fault. When he, Jean and Reiner were stranded and one of them needed to be left behind, Armin willingly offered himself. He has never come into direct conflict with any ally, and tries to mediate peace and understanding as much as possible.
  • Non-Action Guy: In the beginning, he only fulfills the bare minimum requirements to graduate in terms of fighting skill (and the official guidebook gives him a paltry 2/10 in Combat). Eventually he becomes a perfectly competent soldier in his own right, though he still pales in comparison to Eren and Mikasa.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: He confides to the still-crystallized Annie that he intended to understand Eren better than anyone, even Mikasa, but now he feels he has no idea who Eren is anymore.
  • Not Quite Dead: In Chapter 83, Eren discovers that Armin is still breathing..
  • Odd Friendship: Becomes friendly with Jean, though only after their respective Character Development. Emphasized more in the anime.
  • Only Friend: Armin was Eren's only friend before he encountered Mikasa.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: He single-handedly takes out Marley's naval forces, simply by waiting for them in a rowboat and transforming when they come into the harbor.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Becomes this more and more as the series goes on. He's aware of it too, and very worried about it.
  • Psychological Projection: He is utterly incapable of understanding that other people are different to him, which is why he didn't notice that Eren was uncharacteristically depressed during the overseas trip, when everyone else was enjoying themselves, or take his decision to start the Rumbling seriously.
  • Rank Up: Assigned to the new Special Operations Squad. He is notably the only new member that did not make it into the Top 10 of the trainees.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive guy to Eren's manly man.
  • Ship Tease: His frequent visits to Annie's crystal result in Hitch teasing him, suggesting he's up to no good. His embarrassed reaction doesn't help his case.
    • He later admits to Annie herself that he wants to be near her.
    • The scenes between Armin and Annie in chapters 131 and 132 heavily imply that he's fallen for her— and that she feels the same way.
  • Shirtless Scene: Has one in Chapters 82-84. Cue the shocked and then relieved cries of the fandom.
    • In 85, he's still shirtless, but is shown wearing what seems to be Eren's jacket.
  • Shoot the Dog: Discussed. Armin proposes that if they cannot reach an understanding with Eren, they will have to kill him.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: One of the shortest of the main male cast (only taller than Connie and Levi before the Timeskip) and the most intelligent — the character guidebook lists his intelligence as a perfect 10/10. Even after going through the bulk of puberty during the Timeskip, he remains merely 168 cm (5'6") and is now taller than only Levi among the guys, showing he's just a naturally small person.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Eren turns his attention to breaking down Mikasa, Armin snaps and punches his old friend to shut him up. Even after Eren beats him into submission, Armin earns the final word — pointing to how Eren's so-called "freedom" involves hurting his family and being enslaved to a monster.
  • The Smart Guy: It's stated to be his gift, which caused problems for his self-esteem in the past, as he believed his low physicality made him The Load. When retaking Trost, he's stunned to realize that a half-assed, off the cuff suggestion of his is the best plan anyone can come up with.
  • Straight for the Commander: Armin is a target of this by the enemy Titan Shifters, and has come within literal inches of being killed by all three of them. Despite posing almost no physical threat to the highly trained and lethal opposition, Armin's quick thinking and intelligence makes him the soldier that older veterans listen to and follow because it tends to result in success, and now that he's part of the neo-Special Operations Squad, he has the rank to back it up. Annie spares him from her rampage through the Survey Corps because he was a friend of hers, and later regrets it, as Armin pieces together her identity as the Female Titan and corners her. Later, when Reiner is discovered within the Shiganshina Wall, he wonders how they figured out his location, before basically coming to the conclusion of "Armin". In the same instant, he turns a Death Glare normally reserved for dangerous combatants on Armin, who is less than five feet away, and Armin only lives because of Levi's fast action. Later, he gets himself suicidally close to Bertholdt, who is armed and doesn't turn down the opportunity presented and Armin only gets away because of Mikasa attacking Bertholdt.
  • The Strategist: Although he's lacking in physical strength, his smarts more than make up for it. He usually comes up with ideas that end up saving the other characters lives, such as baiting the smaller Titans inside the storehouse during the Battle of Trost with soldiers on the elevator, having said soldiers shoot the Titans in the eyes to blind them temporarily, and having their best soldiers sneak up on them and kill the Titans. Although not everyone managed to kill their target on the first try, they're able to eliminate the threat and resupply without any casualties.
  • Survivor's Guilt:
    • He suffers from this after Eren sacrifices himself by yanking him out of the Titan's mouth, and getting himself eaten in the process.
    • In Chapter 85, after being told that Levi injected him with the serum over Erwin, he immediately says that it should've been Erwin that was saved and that he in no way could ever live up to the legacy and responsibilities Erwin had. In addition, he has to go the rest of his life to prove that saving him was the right choice, despite he himself not thinking it was, something Eren and Mikasa didn't consider when insisting on saving him. By the time Chapter 125 roles around, with the Paradisian government in shambles, the Yeagerists wreaking havoc and targeting all those who won't comply with Floch's demands, and Eren set to use the Wall Titans to destroy the world and Armin having no idea how to get everything under control, he fully believes that Erwin should have been saved instead of him.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: After wiping out the Marleyan Fleet, Armin returns to his human form to witness the carnage, realizing that it's the same kind of violence that Bertolt caused and saw on a regular basis.
  • Talking to the Dead: He "talks" to Bertolt, musing on how they are seeing the same things as the Colossal Titan. He also talks to the crystallized Annie about his role in the war.
  • Teen Genius: He is the smartest of the group and was first in theoretical courses.
  • Tempting Fate: Inverted. The Colossal Titan appears outside of Wall Maria not 15 seconds after Armin finishes saying that the Walls could fall at any moment.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When he realizes that he isn't The Load, he grows into a fairly competent soldier and an even better strategist.
    • For a concrete example, he goes from being completely unable to move as Eren is devoured by a Titan in front of him to preparing to face down a Titan alone, on the ground, while dragging an unconscious Jean under one arm.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: On the receiving end of one from Eren of all people, in a shocking twist. Eren accuses him of being influenced by Bertolt's memories and attachments, making him unreliable and incapable of protecting their nation. He also mocks Armin's attempt to fight him, calling him too weak to be worth his time. While the reliability of these accusations is up for debate, they leave Armin shaken and doubting his oldest friend.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: His near death and subsequent Titan transformation took a chunk out of his memory. When he woke up, he had only a few hazy memories of the battle, and Eren had to bring him back up to speed. It was not a pleasant conversation.
  • The Unsmile: When he sees that his friends are horrified by his False Flag Operation idea, he tries to pass it off as a joke, but the smile on his face as he does so makes it all the more disturbing.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In Chapter 59, he's shown vomiting beside a tree, out of shock of having killed another human for the first time. He nearly vomits again after learning that he ate Bertolt.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Strategists listen to his insight despite being older and out-ranking him. His wisdom is the reason that his friends and allies trust his insight without question: case in point, Armin succeeded at stopping Mikasa from trying to intervene with Levi's beatdown of Eren just by saying "Wait!" and giving a knowing look. That's right, Armin is the only force on earth capable of stopping Mikasa from acting on her Berserk Button and his holding her arm back definitely had nothing to do with it.
  • The World Is Just Awesome:
    • Less pronounced than Eren, but still just as important. Armin was the one who introduced the bizarre descriptions of the outside world to Eren, and was frequently ridiculed by other kids for his fascination with it.
    • It is Armin's belief in this that helps him convince Zeke that life has meaning and that people deserve to be born, rejecting Zeke's nihilistic beliefs and inspiring him to fight against Eren and stop the Rumbling.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Like Eren, he has accepted that his attack on Liberio will cause civilian deaths. At least one child is shown to have been a victim of the harbor's destruction, and Armin looks depressed over what he's done.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Eren and Mikasa pull him out of his funk by reminding him that had he not been there for them, they would both be dead, as he was the one that sent Hannes to save them in the first place during the Fall of Shiganshina. As such, he comes to understand that his friends respect him, love him, and consider him an equal and not The Load as he thought he was.
  • You Are in Command Now: As of Chapter 132, Armin is made the Commander of the Survey Corps. With the deaths of most (if not all) of the senior military officials, Armin may well be the highest military authority Paradis has left.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: As revealed in Chapter 88, due to inheriting one of the nine original Titan's powers, Armin only has thirteen years left to live, so long as the hypothesized statement is true.


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