Shinganshina Trio (Eren Yeager) | Warrior Trio (Reiner Braun) | 104th Trainee Corps | Survey Corps | Military Police Brigade | Garrison | Titans | Marley | Eldia | Others | Before the Fall
WARNING: Unmarked spoilers abound. Beware if you are not updated with the manga.
Also known as the Scout Regiment (or Legion, depending on the translator), they're the branch of the military in charge of exploring and reclaiming territory lost to the Titans. They are noted to have an exceptionally high mortality rate, with only a 50% chance of surviving their first mission. However, those that become veterans are considered the most skilled soldiers humanity has at its disposal. Their sigil is called "The Wings of Freedom", which is sometimes used to refer to the branch as a whole. The Survey Corps' fundamental tactics are based on effective and rapid mobilization of troops through the use of cavalry, and the mastery of the 3DM gear for melee combat with Titans.
Originally created by the Royal Government as cannon fodder to quell the population's curiosity regarding the outside of the Walls, the members of the Corps divide the opinion of bystanders, who see them as both heroes and madmen; in spite of this, the Corps have gradually pushed for both logistics and tactics that aid them in their quests, such as the original introduction of the 3DM Gearnote . Because of the fall of Wall Maria, significant resources and improvements have been routed to the different branches of the military, and the Survey Corps has thus far improved considerably under the revolutionary command of Erwin Smith, the investigatory efforts of Hange Zoe and the leadership and combative capabilities of Levi Ackerman.
As a result of the Battle of Trost, most of the top ten cadets from the Southern Branch of the 104th Trainee Corps join the Survey Corps, thus focusing the story on this branch of the military.
- Action Survivor: Invoked. The recruits who are not at the very least this don't tend to make it past their first expedition. It's probably part of the reason why the veterans all have such high survivability and why so many recruits die on their first journey outside the walls. Those without this trait are swiftly and mercilessly weeded out.
- All Your Powers Combined: The Survey Corps sure upped their game during the four year Timeskip; their standard equipment now includes the anti-Titan 3DM, the anti-personnel 3DM (formerly used against them by the MPs), and thunder-spears. They've also taken to wearing armor plating, no doubt due to now having to fight human enemies in addition to Titans.
- Anti-Hero: They're definitely the good guys, but considering just how bad humanity's circumstances really are at this point (and they're getting worse all the time), they have to be this out of necessity just to get anything done at all.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: The Survey Corps fields some of the most elite troops humanity has in its arsenal. The officers which lead those troops have Titan killing skills that border on inhuman. Likewise, surviving long enough to become an officer is usually a good indicator of being a cut above regular troops.
- Badass Army: If a recruit manages to survive several missions, it's not luck. They're officially badass.
- A good example is how Survey Corps members keep going for the Female Titan without hesitation and are willing to give their lives just to slow it down, long after it's known that it is both highly dangerous and impossible to kill. Some call it bravery, some call it suicide, but no one can deny that it takes balls to even consider it.
- Nearly all of the Survey Corps are Badass, not just the named characters. In Episode 9, a no-name soldier gets chewed on by a Titan but instead of pathetically begging for his life he spits defiance and boasts that humanity will wipe them all out and proceeds to stab the Titan in the face as he gets munched on.
- Badass Longcoat: The short cloak variant, colored dark green and embroidered with the Survey Corps emblem for easy identification. These are worn whenever they go beyond the Walls; soldiers are shown to still wear their standard brown uniform underneath.
- The Big Guy: Due to the nature of the Survey Corps, they are this in terms of fighting and killing Titans. They may suffer heavy losses, but their branch's Titan Kill count completely dwarfs that of the other two branches combined. Unfortunately, they're out on a mission when the Battle of Trost starts, but do appear in Big Damn Heroes fashion once Eren and co. have saved the day and ensure that all of the remaining Titans are swiftly cleared out of Trost. This was almost certainly because Reiner, Annie, and Bertolt waited until the people who were the best at fighting Titans were gone in order to launch their attack.
- Black Comedy: During Hange and Levi's interrogation of Djel, he angrily admonishes them for torturing him without asking him anything. They treat it like Oops! We're supposed to be doing that, right?.
- Bold Explorer: They know their craft and try their darndest to be this but ultimately a lot of expeditions don't find out enough to justify the sacrifices made. Even when they do, the heavy losses are difficult to swallow and people wonder whether it was worth it.
- Brutal Honesty: Much to the other branches' torment, it's rather hard to just go by what the Survey Corps ask of them, but it's inevitable when they have a tendency of being right most of the time; the main problem lies with the fact that whatever course of action will be taken, it's going to cost money and lives.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The elite squad members all have at least one quirk but each has more than ten Titans kills and are the best humanity has to offer. They also collectively agree (wordlessly) to bite their hands hard to apologize for getting extremely close to killing Eren out of panic after he accidentally Titan-shifts. It's fitting, but a bit odd.
- The Cavalry: When the Garrison and Military Police have to Hold the Line, they're usually counting on the Survey Corps to bail them out.note
- The Survey Corps is also the branch most associated with horses, using them for their extensive travel, though they switch to 3D Gear for combat.
- Characters Dropping Like Flies: The Survey Corps is known for this. And boy do they live up to it. Plus, since high mortality rates (which already reduce their numbers greatly) frighten off most potential recruits, it's implied the Survey Corps isn't a very large organization to begin with. Their efforts to capture the Female Titan (which ended in disaster) and their rebellion against the king (which landed them on the wrong end of the 'Anti-Human Suppression Squad') have left very few Survey Corpsmen operational. The Battle for Shiganshina took this to new heights, seeing only nine members survived the battle; Eren, Jean, Mikasa, Hange, Levi, Sasha, Connie, Armin (by way of an Emergency Transformation), and an extra named Floch.
- Combat Medic: According to the guidebooks, a special division of the Survey Corps serves this purpose. Considering they survived long enough to become specialized in emergency treatment on the battlefield, it is safe to assume these squads consist of capable soldiers.
- Commander Contrarian: Due to the stagnation practiced by the other two branches of the military, it's usually the actions of the Survey Corps that force them out of their cozy places. This, they achieve through ostensible opposition to whatever the other branches want.
- Cool Horse: Bonus material reveals that a unique stock of horses are purpose-bred to be used by them, and are each worth more than the average citizen will make in a lifetime. Their top speed is 75 — 80 km/h (47 — 50 mph), and they are the only means to escape Titans when outside the Walls and in open areas. They are specifically bred to have exceptional stamina and strength, as well as Nerves of Steel so that they do not spook when encountering Titans or when riders activate their gear while in the saddle.
- Determinator: They've gone on 57 expeditions and still haven't given up on trying to find out more about the Titans even though it's implied that most (if not all) of these went badly. Their detractors view this as them being stubborn and refusing to admit that they're wasting their time. One young boy gave this as the reason why the Survey Corps is awesome ("They get the crap kicked out of them, and they still fight!"), though he's too naive to realize how horrible of a prospect it is to fight on in spite of more and more losses.
- Doing Research: Their job is to learn more about the Titans and to scout out territory beyond the Walls.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: It's mostly unstated, but one of the reasons they aren't too fond of the other branches (Police Brigade especially) is that they get less respect despite doing most of the fighting.
- The Dreaded: Post-timeskip, they've gained quite the reputation in Marley, and for good reason. According to Reiner and Zeke, these are soldiers who are equipped with gear that allows them to engage a Titan at close range, and have gotten very good at it. Levi and Mikasa have almost reached demonic status in the tales. That they were able to drive off all 6 of Marley's Warriors, killing 2 of them in the process, and willing to die in droves while doing it is even more cause to fear them.
- Exact Words: The oath that the military gives (with the fist-over-heart salute) is that they offer their beating hearts for the sake of humanity. This comes up later on, specifically the part about swearing to humanity, not the King or royal family.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: They're on the receiving end when they're called back to help out at Trost by a Garrison messenger.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: They sure do. Being the branch which most often tangles with Titans, firearms aren't really their style. Instead, they dual-wield sabers made from a special kind of steel that can cut through Titan flesh like a knife through a cake. This trait helps them contrast nicely with their foes from the First Brigade of the central MP.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: They're the branch most active in the war against the Titans, but they're not very highly regarded by the rest of the military and even worse with civilians. From their perspective, already hungry people are being taxed to fund a constantly-failing army and good men/women are dying for no gain at all.
- Interservice Rivalry: The Survey Corps and the Military Police seem to grate on each other's nerves.
- Jerkass Has a Point: When the Female Titan and Rod's Titan appear on districts of Wall Sina, the MPs admonish the Survey Corps for bringing the fight by exposing the civilian population. The Survey Corps are quick to point out that this is what the districts are for in the first place, basically serving to concentrate Titans in close quarters in order to make it easier for them to fend them off.
- Make an Example of Them: The original intention with the creation of the Survey Corps, as shown in the description, was to teach the people a lesson regarding the curiosity of reaching outside the Three Walls and the dangers of trying to venture to no-man's-land. Keith Shadis argued to Grisha some twenty years before the Fall of Wall Maria that, with the great amount of personnel lost in the expeditions, the Royal Government was certainly getting its point across. It wasn't until Erwin Smith was named Commander that the outlook changed completely.
- Mauve Shirt: Titans seem to find the Survey Corps members that were recently introduced/characterized especially tasty.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Justified, since most recruits enlist in the other two Branches. Only the most brave, determined, or insane sign up to become Red Shirts. Even more apparent now with the loss of much of their manpower. With Commander Erwin otherwise 'indisposed,' leadership of what remains of the Survey Corps has fallen to Hange with World's Strongest Man Levi as his/her lancer. The Special Operations Squad now consists of the battered remnants of the 104th's top ten (and Armin) plus two reject members of the Military Police, none of whom are even out of adolescence yet.
- Redshirt Army: They say their job is not to win, but to die bravely.
- To put this in perspective, the commander bluntly states that about half the recruits will die, and eighty percent of those will be on their very first Survey Corps mission. And this is after the Commander developed a new strategy that decreased casualties by 30% within the whole branch. When Eren initially shows interest in joining the Survey Corps, his mother claims it's little more than suicide, and not without good reason.
- During the attempt to retake Shiganshina, Erwin and Levi notice to their dismay that the casualty rate is especially high, since most of the experienced members have been killed.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: Inverted. They did pledge to offer their hearts to Humanity, not the King.
- La Résistance: Long an organization that has run opposed to the general current of society, they've been accused of trying to challenge the government more than once. It comes to a head when Erwin declares his intentions to overthrow the government.
- Rule of Symbolism: The wings on their crest represent the wings of freedom; fitting, since they spend the most time outside the Walls scouting the world for humanity. It also serves to foreshadow their insurrection against the government and the Reiss dynasty.
- Sacrificial Lion: Plenty of top-notch members are shown to be killed just as the audience thinks that things are going well.
- Science Hero: Goes along with being the branch responsible for researching Titans and new ways to combat them, though much of the science part comes from Hange Zoë. Notable inventions are Commander Erwin's improved travel formation for minimizing casualties and explosion-propelled barbed hooks-on-wires to be used hundreds at a time when Titans need to be taken alive.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Several of their missions end this way. Although, considering the state of humanity, investing human resources in suicide missions in hopes of learning something is better than being holed up and eventually delaying the inevitable.
- Serial Escalation: With the ban on technology lifted, the Corps have spent the last 4 years beefing up their armaments in preparation for the war against Marley. They've improved upon The Central Frist Brigade's anti-personal gear so it can now fire multiple rounds without needing to reload, and can also be equipped with Thunder Spears for striking hard targets (such as Titans... or gun emplacements). Their uniforms have also been redesigned to be more flight efficient, and those bulky gas tanks are now on their backs instead the hips, leaving more room for blades/ammunition.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Veteran officers are all noted to be a bit... strange, and quickly become numb to the horror of the Titans.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The branch's name: the official translations for the manga, at least, translate it as "The Survey Corps," but it has been alternately translated as "The Recon Corps" as well as "The Scouting Legion."
- Training from Hell: Not really official training, since recruits have already passed through boot camp before joining up, but the Survey Corps' unofficial paradigm of sorting out who's who typically involves going out on an expedition and seeing which recruits don't die. If not already badass or at the very least an Action Survivor, you better hope you Take a Level in Badass and otherwise raise your general skill level or you won't last long. Cause there is one hell of a learning curve.
- The Unfavorite: The Branch held in the lowest regard, with people alternately calling them a waste of resources and a bunch of lunatics and weirdos. They're not exactly wrong, regarding the latter two.
- The Worf Effect: Squads of experienced veterans are regularly killed off by the new biggest threat. Justified since each new discovery throws everyone for a loop that renders their experience and skill moot and they end up dying like anyone else caught off guard.
- You're Insane!: Every person who joined or wants to join Survey Corps is pretty much guaranteed to have heard this phrase multiple times.
- Zerg Rush: Prior to Erwin's tenure as Commander, the Survey Corp's tactics for dealing with Titans were basically "distract it with a decoy group then throw men at it from all directions". The Action Prologue shows them getting ready for this and later on, it's revealed that it went very, very badly. Erwin's Survey Corps follows his system of avoiding combat with Titans if at all possible while traveling and engaging them with squad-based tactics, which proves to be more effective.
Voiced by: Daisuke Ono (JP), J. Michael Tatum (EN), Octavio Rojas (Latin American Spanish)
Debut: Chapter 1 (Manga), Episode 1 (Anime)
The 13th Commander of the Survey Corps. He is noted for his brilliant and resourceful mind, having created new tactics that greatly reduced losses during operations. However, he has the capacity to be exceptionally ruthless in pursuit of the goal to protect humanity. He uses the recruitment ceremony and subsequent expedition outside the Walls to lure the Titan Shifters infiltrating the military into making a move, and aggressively hunts for them within the Survey Corps.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the A Choice with no Regrets OVA, Erwin very contemptuously antagonizes Levi about the deaths of Isabel and Farlan. Contrast the manga where he seems a lot more sympathetic and angrily admonishes Levi when the latter states it's all his fault for being arrogant, reminding Levi that the Titans are to blame.
- And Then What?: When Levi questions what Erwin's plan is if and when they recapture Wall Maria, Erwin admits that he doesn't know, he's solely fixated on finding out what's inside Grisha Yeager's basement.
- An Arm and a Leg: A Titan latches on to his right arm, and carries him off. He later shows up missing his arm just below the shoulder, with a makeshift tourniquet applied so that he can rescue Eren.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: After seeing Levi in action, he hunted the gang down and used Levi's friends as leverage to recruit him into the Survey Corps. If he refused to join, Erwin was prepared to hand all three over to the Military Police Brigade to answer for their crimes.
- Atop a Mountain of Corpses: He imagines himself standing atop one, made from all the comrades and subordinates that have died under his command. It's a representation of his guilt, and the burden he willingly carries as a commander.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He barely gets in on the action, but when he does it's not pretty for his enemies.
- Badass Baritone: Stern yet reassuring, Erwin has a deep and powerful voice fit to command humanity's most hardened warriors; you will follow him when he yells "FORWARD!".
- Badass Creed: Taken from real military philosophy, Erwin likes to say some variation of "Offer your life to the cause."
- Badass in Charge: Erwin isn't just a brilliant commander, he's no slouch in combat, either. When a Titan catches him off-guard and bites his arm off in the operation to rescue Eren from the Titan Shifters, he keeps yelling orders, commanding the others to move forward anyway, all while getting carried away by said Titan. Then he shows up in time to free Eren from Bertholt's clutches.
- Beard of Sorrow: While recovering from the loss of his right arm, and processing all the horrible things he's learned.
- Beneath the Mask: Erwin has cultivated a cold and flawless public persona, concealing his emotions and thoughts from the world. Very rarely does he lower his guard enough to reveal any weakness or emotion, leaving only a select few that know the real Erwin.
- Big Good: The pragmatic and ruthless leader of the Survey Corps, Erwin wants to lead humanity to a brighter tomorrow... whatever the cost.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: A man of this caliber needs equally impressive eyebrows. They were huge even as a child.
- Broken Smile: In Chapter 51, when discussing the revelation that Titans are humans. He later tells Dot Pixis that he was actually smiling because he's finally gained the evidence that his father was right all along.
- Brutal Honesty: During his speech to the trainees, he flat out tells them that the probability of new recruits dying is about 50 % and that most of them will likely die soon. One of his subordinates even asks if he didn't scare them a bit too much. This is actually sensible since the Survey Corps needs most recruits that would volunteer despite knowing the terrible odds; everyone else would be poor fits for what they do.
- When the Commander of the Military Police Brigade questions him if he's responsible for the two Human Titans battling each other and wrecking Stohess in the process, he states that it was indeed his responsibility and doesn't try to make excuses.
- Career Versus Man: Rare male example. He faced such a decision in the past, ultimately deciding to devote himself to humanity instead of getting married. Nile, who got the girl in the end, points out he's crazy to have picked Titans over Marie.
- The Chains of Commanding: As Commander of the entire Survey Corps, Erwin has to make many tough calls, and when things go south it's all on his head. Erwin is usually shown to have the fortitude to press on, but even he has his limits.
- Chekhov's Gunman: It's easy to miss the first time around, but he actually appears twice in the first episode: the first is in the Action Prologue and the second is when the (defeated) Survey Corps returns to the Walls (he's the one that turns away in shame from Eren's enthusiasm). Five years prior to the 104th graduating class, he was a member of unknown rank and Keith Shadis was the Survey Corps commander.
- The Chessmaster: Known for his brilliant strategies, and for being a dangerously manipulative individual when necessary. He invented the formation that reduced losses significantly, and manages to manipulate those around him to great effect. Most notably, he sets in motion a month-long plan to draw out suspected enemies hidden within the ranks of the military and uses his entire military branch as pawns in it with only a select few trusted individuals being in on the real mission. He manages to manipulate not only the rank-and-file within the Survey Corps, but also the very highest chains of military command all in order to expose a threat he does not know for certain exists. All of this, while using Eren as the bait and placing the lives of every single person under his command in danger. Even when the primary goal of the mission fails, he manages to salvage it with a secondary plan that proves (mostly) successful. He is so good at that he essentially organizes a coup while under arrest and seizes control of the government during his impending execution. However, he meets his match against the Beast Titan, who cuts off all of his options with a simple pincer formation and forces him to resort to a suicidal charge.
- Chessmaster Sidekick: He was this to Keith Shadis, when the other man was still Commander of the Survey Corps. Keith admitted to having no head for political maneuvering, and gave Erwin permission to act freely on his own for the good of the Survey Corps. Even so, he noted that he felt like even he was merely a pawn in Erwin's various plans.
- Coldblooded Torture: He is tortured by the Central Brigade prior to being brought before the King's court, though the details are never given. He's clearly been beaten, and it is mentioned he did not break during "questioning".
- Colonel Badass: Depending on which one the rank of Branch Commander is closer to, since there already is an official general in charge of all three branches. He's no slouch when it comes to killing Titans with his own hands and has the guts to make appalling but necessary decisions in the heat of the moment without breaking down.
- Cold Ham: Despite his calm and serious demeanor, Erwin has a flair for the dramatic, usually whenever he's making speeches.
- Commanding Coolness: Commander of the Survey Corps.
- Creepy Child: Casually mentions that he was considered extremely unnerving as a little kid when Levi comments on his Broken Smile during Hange's briefing.
- Dare to Be Badass: His recruitment speech to the surviving members of the 104th manages to be both of these at once, due to his Brutal Honesty. He makes it absolutely clear that about half of them will die during their first mission, and within the next few years roughly 90% of them will have also died. But he promises those that survive will be exceptional soldiers with an excellent survival rate. One of his subordinates worries that it will scare away new recruits, and it does scare many away. Only 21 recruits remain to join the Survey Corps, even though most are clearly terrified over their decision.
- Death Equals Redemption: An anti-heroic rather than villainous version of the trope. After realizing that he was sending his soldiers to their deaths not for humanity but for his own selfish dreams, he ultimately decides to give up his ambitions and pay his soldiers back by joining them in their suicidal charge against the Beast Titan. While Levi had the opportunity to revive him with the Titan serum, he remembered this final wish of his and decided to let him rest alongside his fallen troops.
- Determinator: Erwin will secure humanity's future, at any and all costs, personal or otherwise. Losing the woman he loved to his closest friend, along with any chance of living happily in peace with a family, losing his friend and colleague Mike, losing an arm, being brutally tortured and then sentenced to the gallows, dealing with obtuse bureaucrats who care only for themselves and refuse to give him an inch of traction or a moment's consideration, an ungrateful populace who scoff at the sacrifices he and his men have made for them, or even hellish, man-devouring giants who have had humanity on the brink for over a century hasn't halted Erwin's relentless advance towards his objectives in the slightest.
- Disappeared Dad: His father was a teacher who got disposed of by the Central Branch of the Military Police because he knew too much about the Ancient Conspiracy. Erwin states his life goal has been to prove his father's theories correct.
- Distracted from Death: Dies quietly while what's left of the Survey Corps watches Bertolt die at the hands of Armin's Mindless Titan.
- Due to the Dead: Word of god revealed that Levi went back to Shinganshina after the battle to retrieve Erwin's skeletonised remains and a memorial service was held for him.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He can be seen in the first episode first when they're approaching a Titan. He's seen once again spotting an excited Eren before turning his gaze away from the boy.
- Engineered Public Confession: Plots this gambit with Pixis. If things come to their worst and Erwin is about to be hanged and the Survey Corps disbanded, Pixis will have a Garrison "messenger" falsely report Wall Rose's fall. The hope is that this will reveal the monarchy's true colors to the rest of the military, namely their callous indifference to the fates of everyone that's not them.
- Expy: In addition to being Named After Somebody Famous (see below), Word of God is that his character motivation and appearance were based on Adrian Veidt from Watchmen.
- A Father to His Men: Though he will sacrifice his soldiers if he deems it necessary, he deeply cares about them nonetheless. Well illustrated when he openly tells the recruits who choose to join the Survey Corps in spite of how scared they are to face the Titans again just how much he respects them.Erwin: The Survey Corps salutes all 21 of you. You endured your fear well... you are all brave soldiers. I respect you for that from the bottom of my heart.
- Feed the Mole: Suspecting spies within the ranks, he has different groups given different information on where in the formation Eren is stationed. It eventually leads Armin to accurately suspect Reiner of helping Annie during her attack.
- Frontline General: Usually averted, Erwin stays at the center of his travel formation so that he can command everyone effectively. However, he's fully capable at fighting alongside his men when necessary, and boldly leads the charge of the main distraction force against the Beast Titan.
- Game-Breaking Injury: Subverted. His right arm is severed just below the shoulder after a Titan catches him off guard as he tries to rescue Eren. After a short recovery, he's back on the field and it doesn't slow him down leading the Survey Corps. The actual impediment in slaying Titans never gets a chance to show up.
- Good Is Not Nice: More or less a requirement as the commanding officer of the regiment with the highest risk factor in the entire military. His job can be boiled down to being the one who decides where to send men to die.
- He shanghai'd Levi into joining the Survey Corps by subtly implying that without the Survey Corps protection, his friends would be brutalized by the Military Police for their crimes.
- Handicapped Badass: He manages to still be an incredible fighter, even when seriously injured in battle. He finishes the battle before getting appropriate medical assistance.
- He Who Fights Monsters: When Floch brings an Erwin in his dying throes to Levi, and Mikasa is trying to make Levi surrender the Titan Serum to use it on Armin, he describes Erwin as sonote :Floch: When I found Commander Erwin still breathing, I thought I'd put him out of his misery, but... that seemed like such a half-hearted end for him... I thought that maybe he still needed to experience more hell... and that's when I realized: The only one who can destroy all the Titans is the Devil! And my mission is to bring the devil back to life!!
- Heel Realization: He gradually comes to the realization that his ruthless decisions weren't necessarily for humanity's good, but out of a subconscious desire to fulfill his dream of finding the answer to the question he asked of his father — whether humans lived outside the walls.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Leads the other members of the Survey corps in a suicide attack against the Beast Titan, creating a distraction so Levi can swing in from the side and confront Zeke directly."Soldiers! Let your blood boil!! Soldiers! Let me hear your voices!! SOLDIERS! LET US FIGHT!!"
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Naturally as being the leader of the least respected branch the public doesn't think very highly of him. Best exemplified when they return from unsuccessful missions when the crowd shouts at him about people dying for no good reason (including the family members of the fallen), all he can do is keep walking without saying a word and with a Thousand-Yard Stare on his face.
- Hypocrite: As he acknowledges himself, in truth, he was asking his soldiers to die for humanity while he himself was unwilling to since he was still desperately trying to answer his question to his father. Of course, the sacrifices he demanded of his soldiers ultimately did help the people of the Walls, but it's still a grim thing to come to terms with. In the end, this is what drives him to join in their suicidal charge against the Beast Titan; he decided it was finally time to pay his men back with his own life.
- I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: Despite losing his arm, Erwin still manages to use his 3D Gear to great effect.
- I Did What I Had to Do: His justification for seemingly sending soldiers to their death, as he deems their sacrifices necessary to ensure humanity's survival.
- Chapter 48 ends with the quote, "Here is a man who will stain his hands with blood!" referring to how he's willing to draw an army of Titans to the Titan Shifters in order to rescue Eren from them. FYI: Half of the surviving members of the 104th Trainee Corps and a good chunk of the Garrison are about to be caught in the middle of it.
- I'm Going to Hell for This: Recognizing that he's caused the deaths of so many people, Erwin truly believes there's a spot in Hell waiting for him. Pixis remarks that he's the same and asks if he can join him there.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Has admirably high stats in all of the categories listed in the supplementary material, but unlike Levi and Hange, lacks any skill he is 'off the charts' at, so to speak.
- The Leader: Of the Supporting Leader flavour; he commands the bulk of the military's Titan-killing muscle against the Titans while Eren and co. are off with their own shenanigans.
- Married to the Job: Isayama stated in an interview that Erwin is this intentionally, as he doesn't know when he might die.
- The Mentor: Armin is learning quite a bit from him, and admires him greatly.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Word of God is that he was partially inspired by Erwin Rommel, the brilliant German Field Marshall and famed strategist of World War 2. Adding further to this, Erwin Smith's birthday (October 14th) is the same date that Erwin Rommel was forced to commit suicide by Those Wacky Nazis due to his involvement in the failed plot to assassinate Hitler. An interesting comparison in more than one way now that Erwin has revealed his plan to overthrow the current government for reasons similar to his namesake's.
- The Needs of the Many: He will knowingly sacrifice any number of military personnel and even civilians if it means that humanity as a whole will survive. See I Did What I Had to Do.
- Nerves of Steel: Never breaks his stern demeanor even in the most dangerous situations and can knowingly send good men and women to their deaths without batting an eye if he has to. He doesn't even flinch when he's threatened with immediate summary execution, when a stray Titan hand crashes within feet of him (sending everyone else ducking for cover), or while he's hanging out of a Titan's mouth. When his nerves finally do give out, it's only after losing an arm, almost everyone from a multi-Branch force, and seeing Eren about to be devoured. Even then, he only looks tired rather than giving into hysteria like most would in such a situation.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: As a child, he innocently told people about his father's theories about the Ancient Conspiracy. Including members of the Military Police. This resulted in his father being arrested, tortured, and murdered.
- Not So Above It All: And it's a big heart-warmer, too. In Chapter 72, the Survey Corps encounter something they've never seen before: the entire town of Trost cheering them on as they prepare to move out. After watching the younger corps members (such as Connie, Sasha, and even Jean) get caught up in the moment and cheer back, Erwin suddenly smiles (not his usual creepy smile for once, but a genuine grin) then gives out a good-old-fashioned HotBlooded Roar.
- Not So Stoic:
- His Broken Smile. He even admits that people found that face of his creepy when he was growing up.
- He's also capable of genuine shows of emotion apart from his creepy smiles, just very rarely.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Beneficial to humanity as his Survey Corps is, ultimately Erwin sacrifices the lives of his troops for his own personal goal of finding out for certain if humanity is extinct outside the walls, not just for humanity's sake. He realizes how much of a hypocrite this makes him and resolves to make up for it by leading a suicide charge with his men during the battle for Shiganshina.
- The One That Got Away: Nile Dok's wife, Marie. He chose the Survey Corps over her, abandoning any chance of a family and seems content with his decision.
- Only Sane Man: When one takes the rest of the Survey Corps' leadership into account, it's little wonder he's the one in charge. That is, he's the only one who even bothers to (or is capable of) associating with others like a relatively normal human being. Contrast Levi, Hange Zoë, and Mike Zacharius.
- Pragmatic Hero: He has to be; there's no such thing as victory without some sort of sacrifice in this setting.
- Precision F-Strike: The English dub reworks Erwin's order to keep pursuing Reiner even as a Titan bites his arm off and carries him away, underlining the desperate circumstances and Erwin's iron determination.Erwin: I SAID ADVANCE, GODDAMNIT!
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He is aware of how much of a potential advantage a Titan Shifter like Eren brings humanity and how much of a waste it would be to execute him for it. Furthermore, he immediately realizes the danger of a potential spy when Hange's research subjects get killed and stages an expedition to lure them out. Finally, he trusts Armin's evidence that Annie is the spy and arranges her capture with several other Survey Corps members.
- Rebel Leader: He's been accused, on more than one occasion, of having intentions to turn against the government. It finally happens, when he realizes that those in power cannot be trusted to save humanity.
- Recruiting the Criminal: How he and Levi first met, Erwin being the pragmatic commander he is.
- Rousing Speech: Erwin has a habit of shouting out brief but powerful speeches exhorting his men to advance with him whenever he's about to lead a particularly dangerous assault.Erwin: RAGE, MY SOLDIERS! SCREAM, MY SOLDIERS! FIGHT, MY SOLDIERS!!!
- Shirtless Scene: In Chapter 56, he's briefly shown getting dressed.
- Slasher Smile: When he sees Levi for the first time, Erwin briefly flashes a subdued one of these. His intent was to blackmail them into joining the Survey Corps rather than to kill them, but it's no less creepy.
- Take Up My Sword: In Shapter 84, he specifically refuses the syringe of Titan serum, despite Levi, Hange, and a few others restraining Eren and Mikasa so that Levi could give it to him instead of to Armin. Because of this action, Levi winds up giving this to Armin instead.
- The Spock: For Erwin, when there is a mission to be done, there are no emotions, only objectives. There are no people, only soldiers.
- The Stoic: Normally, he shows next-to-no emotional at all, only showing traces of fear when dangling out of a Titan's mouth. He also almost never smiles, save for a few brief moments.
- The Strategist: Amongst other accomplishments, he invented a special scouting formation designed to allow large groups to minimize Titan encounters when traveling long distances. It immediately decreased the casualties of the Survey Corps by 30%.
- We Have Reserves: Has this mentality towards not only his own soldiers, but civilians, any and all sacrifices and deaths are acceptable if it means saving humanity as a whole. This applies to himself as well; when on a vital mission, he gets badly injured by a Titan, yet he orders everyone to continue pursuing the objective, which would leave him to be eaten. When someone goes back for him anyway, he tells them that he has a replacement but their current goal rescuing Eren from the Shifters cannot be replaced.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His efforts for humanity's betterment are revolutionary, but he has filled many graveyards with countless good men and women along the way, and he knows it. He later intends to usurp the King, deeming the current government no longer capable of saving humanity.
- We Used to Be Friends: Nile Dok was once his good friend, during their time as Trainees. Conflict between their branches, and their responsibilities as commanders long ago strained their friendship. However, he still trusts Nile enough to openly discuss the conspiracy involving the Central branch of the Military Police Brigade and to seek his honest opinion concerning Eren.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: He always hits the battlefield a prepared man, but will readily adopt a new plan as unforeseen circumstances present themselves. His tendency to pull unpredictable and questionable gambits is occasionally lampshaded by people involved, often voicing their lack of knowledge regarding his ways and calling him out on throwing away soldiers' lives as he deems fit, all to make his plans come to fruition.
- You Are in Command Now:
- Invokes this to avoid being summarily executed by saying that the Military Police will have to deal with the mess themselves, calmly and sternly telling them who's in charge of what as the guns are trained on him.
- Also invokes this when death seems highly likely for him by dictating that Hange is next in line to command the Corps, and the next person after, etc.
Voiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya (JP), Matthew Mercer (EN), Rafael Escalante (Latin American Spanish)
Debut: Side Story 1 (Manga), Episode 4 (Anime)
A Captain in the Survey Corps, rumored to be the strongest soldier alive. He has a harsh and unsocial personality, but is well-regarded by his subordinates. He is injured in the aftermath of the first encounter with the Female Titan, and forced onto the sidelines during the subsequent battles. Once his injuries have sufficiently healed, he is placed in charge of protecting Eren once more and forms a new Special Operations Squad to assist him.
He is the main protagonist of the visual novel Attack on Titan: A Choice With No Regrets, a prequel detailing how he got into the Survey Corps.
- The Ace: Widely considered the most skilled warrior among the human forces, and for good reason. Watch him in action here.
- All for Nothing: Sadly invokes this in Chapter 112. With Eren's treachery and plot to circumvent the military apparently exposed, Levi somberly reflects on all the times he saved Eren's life at the cost of so many of his comrades', not willing to accept that the man he believed could be the savior of his people ultimately turned out to be a liability. He subsequently goes into denial and refuses to feed Eren to a new host, suggesting they kill Zeke instead.
- An Arm and a Leg: In Chapter 114, Levi loses a limb when Zeke blows himself up with a Thunder Spear that Levi had attached to him to keep him in check. In Chapter 115, it's shown he lost his right arm, as evidenced by his severed fingers lying in the triggers of his broken sword.
- Anger Born of Worry: Threatens to break Erwin's legs rather than let him go beyond the Walls again. It was difficult to tell if he would go through with it.
- Anti-Hero: He calls himself an "aberrant human" because how un-normal life in the criminal underground has made him, including his standards of what's acceptable and what's not. He still intends to do everything in humanity's name, saying he'll soil his hands if it means that everyone else doesn't have to.
- Arch-Enemy: With Zeke. Erwin's last order to Levi was to kill Zeke, and Zeke in turn kills nearly all of the Survey Corps. On the other hand, Levi appears to be the only one Zeke fears. After Zeke turns himself over to the Eldians and pledges his allegiance, Levi is the one entrusted to watch over him and the tension between them is positively icy. And given the increasing evidence of sabotage within the Eldian forces, it appears that a final confrontation between them is imminent.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: One does not become Captain of the Special Operations Squad by being an ordinary muppet.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
- A tragic example, but when Kenny dies, Levi is clearly quite upset about it despite everything that's happened between the two of them.
- He is shown to be very fond of Hange, striving to provide the care that his comrade tends to neglect.
- Badass Baritone: Matthew Mercer gives him a lower voice pitch than Hiroshi Kamiya, which makes it all the more appropriate for the World's Strongest Man.
- Badass Boast: Claims he and he alone can put Titan!Eren down like a dog easily if the situation deems it necessary. Going by the fact that he wrecks the Female Titan, who's even tougher than Titan!Eren, this is definitely no bluff, although it should be noted that she was worn down by the time of their fight.
- Badass Family: He's speculated to be related to Mikasa, as well as Kenny the Ripper. It's later confirmed by Kenny that Levi's mother was his younger sister, therefore making Levi his nephew.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Usually dresses in a snazzy suit when not in his Corps uniform (with the Classy Cravat no less!).
- Badass Normal: Capable of downing multiple Titans alone and utterly dominating the Central Military Police, themselves considered as a Badass Army,, he definitely lives up to his reputation as humanity's strongest soldier. The character databook has his combat skills at 11 out of 10. And he can hold his own against Titan Shifters, if not defeat them outright.
- Berserker Tears: The fact he is crying is not immediately obvious, as his face is obscured almost the entire time. When Levi loses his two best friends, Farlan and Isabel, Levi goes into a screaming rage and destroys the Titan that killed them. Only after he has finished off the Titan can Levi be heard sobbing.
- Big Good: Narratively speaking, he essentially shares the role with Erwin. He's humanity's strongest soldier and the leader of the Survey Corps' best squad, therefore being the most valuable human asset they have in the fight against the Titans. In fact, he's basically Erwin's second-in-command, and they consult and corroborate with each other on pretty much everything the Corps does.
- Bishōnen: Not so much in the main manga, where it's clear he's just short for his age, but the anime and Birth of Levi spinoff give him a androgynously slim and youthful physique and prettier, more effeminate features.
- Blatant Lies:Eren: You're talking a lot today, Captain.
Levi: Don't be stupid. I'm always this talkative.
- Blond, Brunette, Redhead: The brunette to Isabel's redhead and Farlan's blond in the prequel, as ¡Three Amigos!. In the story proper, he's the brunet to Erwin's blond and Hange's reddish-brown, as the most prominent Survey Corps members.
- Blood-Splattered Warrior: After managing to destroy every last member of Zeke's Titan battalion by himself, after losing the element of surprise, Levi returns from the battlefield in pursuit of Zeke while having gotten drenched in Titan blood faster than it could evaporate.
- Brains and Brawn: The brawn to Hange's brains, although Levi's no fool himself.
- Breakout Character: His character is so popular that he got his own spinoff manga with him as the main character.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Fractures his ankle shielding Mikasa from the Female Titan's fist. He's still able to use his gear and walk on it, but limps badly and ends up sidelined during the next crisis.
- Brutal Honesty: Says whatever's on his mind when he sees fit, politeness or dangerous circumstances be damned.
- Bulletproof Human Shield: Used an enemy's body as a shield, blocking shotgun fire, then swiftly killed his attackers in Chapter 58.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Just like nearly every high-ranked member of the Survey Corps. He regularly shows disrespect to his superiors and has Super OCD as his personal quirk, to the point that any squad assigned to him is liable to do a lot of cleaning outside of expeditions. No one says a thing, since he's the World's Strongest Man.
- Captain Obvious: He picks the worst time to be this. During an experiment Levi points out Erens faulty transformation, commenting that even his ass is hanging out. At this Hange retorts, I can see that!.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: You wouldn't think he realizes he's in a dangerous situation by his flippant comments. When he's engaging two Titans without any backup, he simply mocks their appearances before proceeding to dispatch them with ease. Based on what we later see he's capable of, it's easy to infer he wasn't even really trying all that hard.
- Celibate Hero: Levi doesn't seem to have much in the way of a dating life, though this is pretty understandable considering he spends most of his time fighting bloody wars against some very dangerous enemies (whether Titan or human). For the record though, he's apparently not quite completely disinterested in such matters, since Word of God claims that he does "like people taller than him".
- Character Development: In Gaiden, Levi initially only cared about himself, Farlan, and Isabel. After Farlan and Isabel both die due to his pride, Levi began caring about others, becoming A Father to His Men and not wanting to lose any more people that he cares about.
- After losing the Special Operations Squad and Kenny, whose pretty much the only family Levi has ever known, he seems to have learned a lesson about how the people he cares about might not be around forever, and makes the effort to let his new squad know how much he appreciates them.
- Character Tic: His unusual way of drinking tea. He prefers to grasp the top of the cup, rather than the handle. In an interview, Isayama explained that he does this because of an incident from his youth. He saved up enough money to purchase a tea set and a small amount of black tea, but the cup's handle broke when he tried to use it.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: All the other badass characters display abilities which show that they are highly skilled combatants. Levi's abilities are the only ones shown to be outright superhuman. Apparently this is an Ackerman family trait which spontaneously develops in a moment of great stress or trauma, which means Kenny and Mikasa are fully capable of matching his skills in battle.
- Children Forced to Kill: Possibly inevitable for an orphan living in an underground city, but after Kenny took him in he taught him how to fight dirty, and had him engage in plenty of knife fights with random thugs to test him.
- Classy Cravat: Played with. He wears one always, whether he's in dress uniform and attending a military tribunal or in the field cutting down Titan after Titan. He himself, on the other hand, is far from classy, as his coarse speech patterns and blunt snarkiness are quick to remind.
- Cold Equation:
- In the anime. While being pursued by Titans, Levi orders to abandon the bodies of those who died during the mission so that those who are still alive can escape.
- Combat Pragmatist: When facing Titans, he's capable of killing in simpler ways than his highly-advanced Spin Attack. But no matter what, he always uses the highest amount of force to make sure they go down. But this comes to a head during his battle with the Military Police 1st Division. He uses his hookshots from his 3DMG as weapons, hides in a bar knowing bartenders can use firearms for self-defense legally, and uses chairs for diversions knowing that the MP 1st Division Anti-Human 3DMG pistols can only hold one shot before having to reload.
- The Consigliere: To Erwin. He typically advises him on whatever their next course of action should be.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- Delivered this against the Female Titan who was considerably weakened after going through multiple transformations and having to fight against his squad as well as Eren's Titan form. (Levi himself points out that it seemed slower and may have been tired). Suffice to say, it was no match for him in the slightest.
- He shreds the Beast Titan to pieces in Chapter 81, forcing his human form out.
- In Chapter 103, he does it again.
- And for a third time in Chapter 113.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He was a thug living in the underground slums before joining the Survey Corps. Levi's past is painted red with death and hardship. He also has some sort of connection to Kenny Ackerman, a former serial killer and his uncle who momentarily took Levi under his care after he found him malnourished and sitting in a dark room with his dead mother. Kenny proceeded to teach Levi everything he knows about survival and then abandoned him when he thought Levi was strong enough to live on his own.
- Deadpan Snarker: To an absolutely amazing, and occasionally crude, degree.Levi: Maybe he's taking a shit and the shit just won't come out.
- Death Glare: The dull look of hatred he shoots Annie after she is captured and encased in crystal is absolutely withering.
- Delinquent: He's rumored to have been one before. Eren even expresses surprise that someone so seemingly-cavalier would follow orders from the chain of command.
- Didn't See That Coming:
- Invoked. Levi mentally takes note of the fact that his old mentor Kenny not only being still alive, but also a captain of the Central MP's First Brigade, was just about the absolute last thing he expected.
- Also invoked against Zeke, who was completely unprepared for a fighter of Levi's caliber and who wound up blindsided and broken when he didn't take Levi seriously.
- Disappeared Dad: His mother worked in a brothel and appears to have had a child — Levi — with one of her clients. His father is never mentioned otherwise.
- Doom Magnet: His companions — especially those under his command — have a tendency to die. First were his friends in A Choice With No Regrets, then his squad during the operation to capture the Female Titan, then his new squad in Chapter 57. Nifa, who was next to him, gets shot in the face in Chapter 57. Levi looks absolutely distraught.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: Gets his ankle sprained by the Female Titan and gets subsequently sidelined. As a result, the military and the main characters can't just rely on him to deal with each great threat for a while at least. It's likely that the second encounter with the Female Titan would have been *much* shorter if he had been sent after it.
- The Dreaded:
- To the degree where even the Female Titan is terrified of him when he tells her he wants revenge, after its initial capture.
- In a more lighthearted sense, most soldiers are at least wary of pissing off Levi, especially recruits and the top 10 of the 104th (except maybe Mikasa, when pushed). Eren in particular grew to fear Levi's wrath after getting beaten to a pulp during his trial after the Trost arc.
- Levi becomes this to the Central 1st Brigade MP, who are unnerved that he escaped a large-scale MP ambush and managed to slay several of their number despite them having every conceivable advantage. Prior to their final confrontation with the Scouts, they're just as scared of him as the Scouts are of Kenny.
- He also becomes this to the Beast Titan after slicing him up. After said instance, the Beast Titan's immediate reaction to Levi is to haul ass. Even after many years, Zeke confesses to his superior that he fears facing a member of the Ackerman family again.
- As of the return of the Survey Corps in Chapter 102 of the manga, Levi's fearsome reputation as an Ackerman has reached even Porco, who has never met him or any Ackerman for that matter, earning him the shared title of "demon of Paradis Island". He and Mikasa are referred to as The Ackerman by the Warriors at Liberio.
- Dysfunction Junction: Levi grew up on the streets in near total destitution. He was also raised by a legendary Serial Killer, who, for the moment, seems to want him dead.
- Establishing Character Moment: The first time we see him fighting, he's annoyed at having to wipe Titan blood off his hands — being a neat freak and all — and then immediately afterwards, he doesn't hesitate to grasp the bloody hand of a dying subordinate in order to comfort him. A Father to His Men, indeed.
- Everything Is Better With Spinning: Most notable in Episode 9 and Episode 22, the latter of which makes it look like a human buzzsaw.
- Expecting Someone Taller: Many people are surprised to see how... vertically challenged the World's Strongest Man is. Considering that he swings in midair with surgical precision, being bigger probably wouldn't help with that.
- Through an interview within the side manga, Attack on Titan: No Regrets—Birth of Levi, Word of God confirms a good portion of Levi's design was based on Hiei of YuYu Hakusho, especially his eyes.
- In another interview, Isayama admits that Levi's characterization as we know didn't take shape until the former watched Zack Snyder's adaptation of Watchmen and became interested with Rorschach's character, convincing himself of making a similar character with the blank slate he initially had. Within the story, the similarities show; both Rorschach and Levi are men of below-average height who are nonetheless incredible fighters. Levi also wears a white scarf just like Rorschach, and both happens to have had mothers working in a brothel.
- Face of a Thug: There's something slightly "off" about his eyes, leading to his comrades speculating that he used to be a criminal. Justified, as these rumors turn out to be true.
- A Father to His Men: The only thing he really cares about are his teammates. He knows that many of them will die, but he still despises unnecessary casualties. He's also prone to putting his men before himself, though never before the mission, as he shows in the anime when he gives Dieter a Survey Corps emblem (that may have been Petra's) and tells him it was Ivan's. To another nameless soldier that asks if he was of any use to humanity as he dies, he clasps his bloodied hand and says:Levi: You have done a great deal. And you will continue to do so. The resolve you leave behind will give me strength. I promise you... I will obliterate the Titans!
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Hange. In the spinoff A Choice With no Regrets, Levi wanted nothing to do with Hange when they first met. By the events of the main series, the two share a close bond, often exchanging banter, and Levi being comfortable enough to reach out and reprimand Hange when necessary. (And vice versa, as Hange is shown to reprimand him as well.)
- Foil: Levi functions as a foil for Eren. Both serve as symbols of hope for humanity, and the two share a deep hatred for Titans. However, while Eren starts out as a naive, unremarkable newbie, Levi is established as an experienced, capable, and powerful veteran. Levi is also revealed in his Prequel storyline to have had a close bond with his best friend and adopted sister, who chose to follow him into the Survey Corps much like Mikasa and Armin did with Eren. It's a dark mirror image of the bond the three children share, as Levi makes a prideful and foolhardy decision and is forced to watch helplessly as they are killed right before his eyes because of it.
- Fragile Speedster: Levi can maneuver in his gear at speeds far beyond normal human capability, but the one time a Titan lays a hand on him while he is saving Mikasa, he takes an injury that puts him out of commission for a few weeks. He's only as durable as any other human when faced with a monstrosity that size.
- Freudian Excuse: His obsession with cleanliness comes from a childhood of living in filth and squalor in the underground city, where his greatest desire was a clean place to eat and sleep.
- Game-Breaking Injury: His injured ankle, which leaves him sidelined and unable to do more than guard Pastor Nick during the crisis with the Wall Rose Titans and later, Eren being kidnapped by Reiner and Bertolt. He expresses his frustration at being useless.
- Gender-Neutral Writing: In Japanese, he is prone to using Japanese gender neutral pronouns for everyone. As an impersonal and rude Japanese speaking style, he uses the pronouns as a form of insulting people and to highlight his own rude personality. Among those he uses this on are his superiors such as Erwin Smith, and other Survey Corps members such as Hange Zoë.
- Good Is Not Nice:
- He fights because he's humanity's most experienced and proficient warrior and because he cares about his men. He also happens to not give a damn about anything else and will tell you this and other truths with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face. In general, he cares about his soldiers' well-being and hates unnecessary losses. It's hard to tell this at first glance, seeing how dismissive he is of everyone and how he callously insults them constantly.
- On the other hand, Levi has a penchant for violence many other characters find disturbing. It starts with his unnecessarily brutal beating of Eren, from which point on Mikasa began having fantasies of beating him in a similar manner. It comes to a head when he uses violence to coerce a stammering Historia into taking the throne, actually grabbing her around the throat. She gets her revenge later, probably being the first person to get away with striking Levi. Not that he was remotely hurt in any way...
- Levi happened to have been born and raised in violence, which is manifested in his actions and language. While he's aware that the use of violent means is not always warranted, there's very little else he can do even if he wants to express himself in more patient and kinder words and actions.
- Greed: Reeves describes Levi to be greedier than most businessmen. In his negotiations with Reeves, Levi tells the latter provide luxury goods for the Survey Corps and, according to Hange, Levi also lists black tea as a military expense.
- Has a Type: Word of God states that Levi likes people who are taller than him, which pleases pretty much all shippers.
- HeelFace Turn: The first glimpses of his backstory reveals he joined the Survey Corps with the intention of murdering Erwin. He's now Erwin's most loyal subordinate.
- Hidden Depths: Petra mentions to Eren that people are often surprised when they actually meet Levi, who is not what people expected. His crude way of speaking, harsh attitude, and obsession with cleanliness throw people off, almost as much as the glimpses of his kind heart underneath a layer of sour attitude.
- Hope Bringer: Long before the concept of Titan-shifting was discovered, Levi acted as this for humanity, and still does primarily, what with him being humanity's most gifted Titan slayer. Which is probably a large part of why people are so surprised by his utterly asocial and quirky personality. Still, his Leitmotif, 'Wings of Freedom', says it all, really.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In chapter 114, after dominating the Beast Titan yet again and putting Zeke at his mercy, he sticks a Thunder Spear in Zeke's gut to get him to stop moving while transporting him. Unfortunately for Levi, he underestimates Zeke's resolve, who triggers the spear to explode and either kills or at least severely maims Levi in the process.
- Horrifying the Horror: His fight with Beast Titan is pure embodiment of this trope. Levi shred Beast Titan to pieces and managed to inflict so much damage that even Beast Titan called Levi a monster. Years later, Zeke(Beast Titan), said he never wants to see that man again.
- Hurting Hero: Subtle, but it's there. All the death and hardship he's had to deal with his entire life seems to finally be getting to him, as he takes the deaths of his friends and subordinates rather personally. That won't stop him from doing what needs to be done.
- Zeke attempts to abuse this in chapter 113. He transforms an entire troop of Levi's men into Titans around him, believing Levi would never kill his own men of his own free will and will lose the will to fight if faced with them, even if they are Titans. Levi proves him wrong by killing all of them, before chasing after and effortlessly defeating Zeke again. He lets him know he made a gross miscalculation in assuming that Levi's strong feelings for his comrades meant he would never kill them if the situation demanded it.
- I Choose to Stay: Levi originally despises Erwin, but after coming to respect the man he once sought to kill, and losing everything else, he decides to remain with the Survey Corps.
- I Did What I Had to Do: His initial cruelty towards Eren was a large part of what kept him from winding up with people who were dead set on dissecting him. The same goes for initially choosing to not fight back when the Female Titan was chasing down his unit. They were baiting her into a trap that would have allowed them to catch her alive were it not for the fact that she had an ace up her sleeve.
- He later justifies his more callous actions (such as brutally beating Sanes for information and cruelly telling Historia to either go through with their plan or leave) as being necessary to save humanity; if he's the only one who has to dirty his hands, then all the better.
- I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Basically says this in 'A Choice With No Regrets'.
- Implacable Man: As Zeke discovered in Chapter 83 when he (after being defeated by Levi and escaping thanks to the Mule Titan) and the Mule Titan drop down from the Wall and start hauling ass. They don't make it far before getting into a standoff with Eren as they try to rescue the incapacitated Bertolt, which allows the reason for their flight enough time to catch-up. Levi appears at the top of the Wall, drenched in steaming Titan blood, apparently having slaughtered the rest of Zeke's Titan horde while giving chase. Zeke decides it's time to get the hell out of there. Played with in that he's physically exhausted after the ordeal and couldn't have continued indefinitely (as Mikasa noticed that she could have physically overpowered him if she wanted to), though his physical stamina is still well above average.Zeke: What...?! Are you kidding me?! He followed me all the way in here...Zeke: ...Monster...
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Put Levi and Titans in the same scene and watch the magic happen. Even by Survey Corps standards, Levi's dexterity with the 3D Maneuver Gear's blades is unparalleled, practically cutting through the Female Titan's flesh like a hot knife through butter. Later on, when confronted by the Military Police's Central 1st Brigade, he shows that he's perfectly able to deflect highly explosive bullets shot at him. Then we watch him cut down Zeke...
- Ineffectual Loner: Averted. Levi clearly prefers to do things on his own (his Teamwork is rated 2/10 in the guidebook), but he still manages to make a difference even as a lone wolf. His style is to kill Titan after Titan by himself without relying on others, and can even take on the Female Titan solo without a squad backing him up. This shows the amount of confidence he has in his own skills, knowing he can get the job done alone and not wanting others to be put at risk.
- Inexplicably Awesome: We don't really know why Levi is such a hardcore, bullet-dodging, Titan-eviscerating death machine, we just sort of know he is. His recently revealed last name, confirmed past as a notorious street thug, implied connection to Mikasa, ambiguous age, and apparent training under legendary serial killer 'Kenny the Ripper' all just adds to the sentiment. It's later revealed that Levi is a member of the Ackerman family, a group of people with phenomenal, almost inhuman combat skills that are unlocked after experiencing a stressful or traumatic event. Not only that, they're immune to the brainwashing that the rest of the populace is susceptible to.
- The Insomniac: Word of God is that Levi cannot sleep for more than three hours at a time.
- Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Averted Trope. Oluo emulates Levi out of admiration. While this seems to bug Petra, Levi himself doesn't seem to mind it all that much.
- It's Personal:
- Taking heavy losses is nothing new for the Survey Corps and Levi takes it in stride, but when his own elite squad sent after the Female Titan is annihilated and he's noticeably distraught about it. And let's just say his prequel manga's storyline goes a long way to explaining his burning hatred of Titans...
- In Chapter 105, it's shown that he holds a personal grudge against Zeke due to his massacring of the Survey Corps and killing of Erwin during the Battle of Shinganshina, all added to the fact that Zeke was able to slip through his fingers. In the following chapter, Zeke tries to converse with Levi about other things, but practically all of Levi's responses are threats to Zeke's life. It's further implied that Levi hates him due to the fact that, because of what he did to the people of Rakago, Zeke made Levi realize an awful truth: that he's been swiftly killing people when he kills Titans. Chapters 112 and 113 add fuel to the fire when Zeke transforms a whole group of his survey corps troops into Titans and has them attack him. Levi reluctantly slaughters his titanized comrades and then proceeds to furiously chase down Zeke and defeat him and his Beast Titan once more. Afterwards he's quick to let Zeke know what he thinks of the Titan shifter for forcing him into killing 30 of his own comrades before torturing Zeke for good measure, by dicing his limbs while the latter is conscious.
- It Runs in the Family: In addition to the Ackermans having almost inhumanly exceptional physical capabilities, it seems they also have a tendency to develop a powerful Undying Loyalty to at least one person in their life. For Levi, that's Erwin.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: He has discussed a willingness to do this at least once. Needing answers as soon as possible, he helps Hange torture the captured officers from the Military Police's Central branch. He takes an active role in Sanes' interrogation, beating him to a bloody pulp.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Goes with Brutal Honesty: even when he's being an asshat about it he usually is right. During Eren's trial he belittles the merchants for being greedy pigs. Rude, yes, but it's true that they care more about their own safety than land to feed the starving refugees.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is rude, mean and in general unpleasant to be around. But he cares for his men.
- Kick the Dog: Beats on Eren pretty hard during his tribunal as part of Erwin's plan to get him into the Survey Corps. He still takes it farther than necessary and belittles him as a dog who needs to be trained. He had no problem with beating on a chained-up boy, even pausing to note how easy it is to kick someone on their knees before resuming.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: He was violently protective of Isabel, who he treated as a little sister. When she came home beaten up and sporting a Traumatic Haircut, he went out and found those responsible. He returns later that night with a bloody knife and doesn't respond when Farlan asks if he killed them.
- Knockout Ambush: According to side material, he deals with Hange's tendency to put off bathing by knocking Hange out for a bath (though Hange says its more like being cleaned than being bathed).
- The Leader: Levi, Squad Captain and World's Strongest Man.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "You all have such interesting faces..."
- Leitmotif: The second intro theme, Jiyuu no Tsubasa (Wings of Freedom), is stated to be Levi's theme.
- Lightning Bruiser: Though he's a Glass Cannon and Fragile Speedster to Titans, he is unquestionably a Lightning Bruiser to other humans; When he fights against the secret police, he kills them with even less effort than it takes him to kill a Titan, at one point cutting a guy clean in half like it's nothing. This is because, despite his distinct lack of height, Levi's ripped and much faster than most would expect someone of his particular... persuasion, to be.
- Long-Lost Relative: Mikasa, or so it would seem. Levi seems to be aware of the connection from the beginning, however.
- Make Sure He's Dead: During the attack on the Liberio District, Levi manages to down Zeke's Beast Titan (much to everyone's surprise) by slicing its nape, then fires a thunder spear at it for good measure.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: Levi simply enjoys the finer things in life, even if he doesn't look it. From expensive suits, to black tea, to very specific furnishings for his castle. Considering he spent all of his childhood and most of his adult life in utterly bleak poverty, coupled with his overall greedy personality, Levi is very obviously milking the Survey Corps' budget for everything its worth.
- The Mentor: In the field, he starts taking Mikasa under his wing and usually pairs with her. Mikasa even starts emulating his moves when fighting Titans.
- Mildly Military: The result of a former criminal entering the Survey Corps under loyalty to Erwin. Levi frequently disrespects those around him (both superiors and subordinates), eschews teamwork in favor of fighting by himself, uses a Reverse Grip Spin Attack style that his contemporaries detest, and in general does things his own way. He gets away with it all likely because of him being a Bunny-Ears Lawyer supreme at killing Titans.
- Moment of Weakness: He ends of passing over his one chance to kill Zeke by trying to save Erwin at the same time. This allows Zeke to be rescued by the other Titans and leaves Levi essentially with his wings clipped.
- Motivational Lie: In the anime, he takes a break from his trademark Brutal Honesty when his men need him to. During Episode 22, he gives Dieter a Survey Corps emblem, saying it was Dieter's friend's and it proves he was alive even without the body, even though it is implied to have actually belonged to Petra, which translates to Levi giving up the last shred that remained of his squadmate after her body got dumped, too.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Played with. Quite short for the World's Strongest Man, but surprisingly well-built for his height. Though not particularly bulky, he's way more heavy than a man his size should be, suggesting he has a lot of muscle packed away in his frame. This immense physical strength, coupled with his advantageous size for maneuvering, is probably what makes him so dangerous.
- My God, What Have I Done?:
- He briefly looks distraught when he comes to terms with evidence that the Titans they have been fighting may once have been people.
- Has another moment in Gaiden, after realizing that his pride blinded him and led to Farlan and Isabel's deaths.
- Mysterious Past: Rumors float around about who he is and what he did before joining the military. The prequel mini-series focusing on him intends to delve into his past.
- The Napoleon: He has an abrasive demeanor, and stands at 160cm or 5'3, making him the second shortest male character in the series, only two centimeters taller than Connie. It's implied that Levi's growth was stunted due to his harsh upbringing, as when he was a child, Kenny found him in a state of severe undernourishment in the underground settlement in the interior of Wall Sina.
Levi: "You idiots only know how to grow tall."
- But then Connie starts shooting up his height tailing Jean and Eren, making Levi officially the shortest of the series.
- Neat Freak: Obsessed with cleanliness, requiring his squad to clean their new headquarters and even pausing in the middle of battle to clean evaporating Titan blood off his sword handle.
- Neck Lift: Like Hange, Levi will lift others by their collar. He does this to Historia.
- Nerves of Steel: Titans? Just another day on the job. A hostile Human Titan that freaks everyone else out? Doesn't bat an eye. When he later engages the aforementioned threat, he does it in the same collected demeanor (with a bit of Tranquil Fury) despite knowing just how dangerous it is.
- No Badass to His Valet: Certified killing machine with an icy cold demeanor or not, Hange Zoë is absolutely not afraid to irritate and/or mess with Levi during their down time.
- Nobody Poops: Averted, when he suggests their commanding officer is taking so long because maybe he's having trouble taking a dump.
- Nominal Hero: In "A Choice With No Regrets." He was just a common street thug who got straight up blackmailed by Erwin into joining the Survey Corps, and then resolved to murder his new 'commander' as soon as it became a viable option. Though he did have a couple of Morality Pets in the form of Isabel and Farland, he was just as mean and antisocial as he is now, and lacked any heroic attributes.
- No Social Skills: People are not Levi's strong suit. His ability to communicate is so bad he actually needs Hange to act as his interpreter. He does get slightly better about it, but still doesn't bother to act nice or approachable.
- Not So Different:
- He himself mentions that he and the Female Titan are somewhat alike in their ruthlessly efficient killing methods as he coldly explains exactly how he's going to chop its limbs off (not the Titan's limbs, the human's) and enjoy it.
- He's also quite similar to Eren, at face-value, Levi looks uninterested in the world and the situation his society is in, but he is actually just as passionate about the annihilation of Titans as Eren is.
- Levi was shown in Gaiden that he had to make the decision between trusting himself and trusting in his comrades, trying to decide if he should get Erwin's documents alone or with Isabel and Farlan. He chooses to go by himself so Isabel and Farlan's chances of survival were higher, but it turns out five Titans were heading right for the direction the two were travelling to regroup with their squad. Levi notices this and immediately turns around to save them, he arrives in time to see his squad die right in front of him. This scene is oddly similar to Eren's decision regarding the Special Operations Unit when facing the Female Titan, and the outcome.Levi: You never know which decision is the right one, you must make your choice and live with it.
- Not So Stoic: On several occasions he has broken from his usual icy façade, which highlights how shocking/disturbing the triggering event is. He starts to do this increasingly more as the series goes on.
- The closest he gets to showing major emotions up to the Female Titan arc is his borderline Tranquil Fury versus the Female Titan, which he has good reason to hate. After the death of his teammates, he's visibly affected when he zips by their dead bodies. Eren even mentions, "Corporal... Today... You are kind of talkative". He is also worried when Mikasa makes a nearly lethal blunder during their battle with the Female Titan, and is clearly concerned about Eren's state once rescued.
- He was extremely concerned upon witnessing Erwin's creepy smile.
- He's also quite troubled when he learned that all those Titans he dedicated himself to killing may once have been humans.
- And he also looks horrified and flat-out enraged when Kenny blows Nifa's head apart right next to him, and followed shortly by the rest of the squad Levi was leading. His gaze lingers on the gory ruin which was once her face for a few moments before he makes his escape.
- He also seems somewhat distressed when Kenny himself dies.
- Started showing increasing concern and stress over Erwin's well-bieng and state of mind after Erwin lost his arm; see Anger Born of Worry above.
- He also seems extremely distressed when he tells Erwin to die so that he can take care of the Beast Titan. He shows some real fear, anger, and sadness during this whole arc, and even makes the poor judgment call to let Zeke live on the off chance that he can use him to revive Erwin.
- Number Two: Erwin's. Erwin is also one of the few people Levi fully respects, although that still doesn't exempt him from Levi's rudeness. Following Hange's Field Promotion, Levi seems to follow the new leader's orders, all while maintaining the usual vitriol.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
- The only time Levi well and truly loses his cool is when Farlan and Isabel die at the hands of the Titans. He flies into an Unstoppable Rage, complete with Berserker Tears and There Is No Kill Like Overkill when he brutally hacks apart the Titans responsible. Considering how utterly emotionless his personality tends to be at all other times, it borders on downright horrifying to watch.
- Having lost Kenny, his only family, leaves Levi noticeably distraught. After Historia is crowned Queen, she heads to Levi to fulfill the promise she made to Dimo Reeves to punch Levi and dare him to punch him back, which she actually does while surrounded by her teammates. However, the act leavens Levi's sadness, who takes it as an attempt from them to cheer him up, which ends up catching them completely off guard.
- Odd Friendship: With Hange, of course. Hange is a zany Mad Scientist. Levi is a dour Reformed Criminal. Hange's friendly, nice, personable, and excitable. Levi's... not.
- Older Than He Looks: Though he doesn't look much older than the teenaged characters, Levi is stated to be "much older" than people think. Character design notes suggest the lines around his eyes are wrinkles, with the official twitter account noting that his age may be a future plot point and that it is greater than 30 years.
- One-Man Army: Others claim he's as effective by himself as an entire brigade of regular soldiers.
- This claim is proven in his battle with the Female Titan, which he takes on alone and inflicts serious damage, while entire squads of highly skilled soldiers died fighting against it and failed to even injure it.
- During the Battle to reclaim Wall Maria, Erwin specifically orders Levi to take down the Beast Titan saying he's the only soldier who can possibly do it. He accomplishes this goal by using the surrounding Titans on the right hand side of Zeke as perches, killing said Titans along the way, and curb stomping the Beast Titan with barely any effort. Even when Zeke runs away on the Mule Titan and calls the remainder of his Vanguard to attack Levi, the latter massacres all of the remaining Titans off-screen despite having lost the element of surprise, being stuck on the ground with no areas to grapple to, and being severely outnumbered.
- Only One Name: Played straight, right until Chapter 56 where his last name is revealed to be Ackerman.
- Parental Abandonment: He was raised and trained by Kenny after his mother died, until Kenny wordlessly abandoned him when he saw Levi was capable of surviving on his own. However, subverted when Kenny reveals during his last moments, that the real reason was that he felt as though he was not fit to be a parent at all.
- Perpetual Frowner: He does not smile. Considering the life he has lead, this is not surprising.
- Despite this being his default expression, the one time he does smile genuinely, it's in front of his new special ops squad. The kids are stunned, to say the least.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Despite his midget status, he slays the behemoth-sized antagonists of this series better than anyone else. Him being so short (lower centre of gravity), and having such a well-developed physique (weighs 65 kgs at 5'3") probably has something to do with it. He's also a capable brawler and can throw around opponents twice his size.
- Put On The Bus: He breaks his ankle while saving Mikasa from the Female Titan, while he was able to incapacitate her, rescue Eren, and flee from her before she regenerated, he is left behind to recover and protect Pastor Nick while the rest of the Survey Corp go on the 58th Expedition, thus leaving him out of very important battles in the series and he shows irritation about being injured and left behind.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's badass, cares deeply for his subordinates, isn't afraid to put selfish nobility in their place, and his initial cruelty towards Eren was a farce meant to keep him from getting dissected and ensuring that he wound up with the Survey Corps. All while seeming like an indifferent jackass most of the time.
- Recruiting the Criminal: Erwin originally recruited Levi into the Survey Corps after witnessing his skills with 3DMG as a hoodlum.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In Episode 22 of the anime, after slicing up the Female Titan's arm, he launches himself at her and his eyes become red for a moment before continuing his attack; take warning indeed.
- Reformed Criminal: Rumored to have been an infamous criminal prior to being recruited by Erwin. This rumor is verified in his Spin-Off.
- Restraining Bolt: He himself is Eren's bolt to ensure he doesn't step too far out of line. Considering how he's being tasked with putting down a Titan Shifter if necessary, it's just a testament to his badassery.
- The Reveal: Levi's last name is revealed in Chapter 56, his full name being Levi Ackerman. Additionally, it's revealed that the man who killed Historia's mother, Kenny Ackerman, raised him. He's Kenny's nephew, but his full connection to Mikasa is still a mystery.
- Reverse Grip: He switches his right-hand blade to this to facilitate his Spin Attack fighting style.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
- Defied. Even though it'd be perfectly understandable for him to try to slay the Female Titan for killing his elite squad, he still keeps a realistic grasp on the situation: the circumstances would likely not let him get a killing blow off and retrieving Eren alive is a more important priority. He does give it one hell of an ass-whooping regardless.
- Played straight in 'A Choice With No Regrets,'. When Isabel and Farlan are killed, Levi swiftly, easily, and utterly slaughters the Titans responsible. He then tries to kill Erwin because Levi sees their deaths as his doing, and only relents after he realizes it was not Erwin's fault, but rather his own.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Both in and out of uniform, Levi seems to prefer high-end accouterments, such as his classy, trademark white cravat. He even sports a lovely suit during one of his visits to the capital.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Word of God describes him as having experienced so much, his emotional range has been severely stunted. He once had the kind of passion and capacity for Unstoppable Rage as Eren, but has slowly been worn down over the years. He can still feel, but not nearly to the degree he once could.
- Shirtless Scene: In Chapter 59◊, six-pack abs and all.
- Shoot the Dog:
- He's distraught when he finds out the truth behind mindless Titans, though he seems to have resigned himself to putting them out of their misery.
- Particularly tragic in episode 113 when Zeke turns his subordinates into Titans with his spinal fluid, forcing Levi to slay all of them in self-defense.
- Shrouded in Myth: No one really knows who he was before he joined the Survey Corps.
- Single-Stroke Battle: Most of his on-screen kills are done very quickly and take only one attempt. The lone exception is the Female Titan, which required a considerable amount of wearing down through rapid strikes to even get close to defeating it.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Peppers his speech with curses and insults, though to a slightly lesser degree in the anime.
- Smug Super: Levi freely taunts and insults Titans during battle, knowing full well how powerful he personally is.
- That being said, Levi also does not seem to overestimate his own abilities, knowing full well that he is only human, and that that sort of mentality tends to get people killed absurdly quickly in this setting.
- Sole Survivor: Has a tendency to end up this, contributing to his Doom Magnet status. First his entire original squad in the prequel, then the Special Operations Squad, then Hange's squad...
- Son of a Whore: Kenny Ackerman, in his younger days, was searching for the remaining Ackerman family members, and conveniently reported to have found his sister, who was working at a brothel and had a child with one of her clients. They are maternal uncle and nephew, respectively.
- Speed Blitz: Does this every time he is fighting. Even Mikasa can't keep up with him.
- Spell My Name with an "S": His name is also commonly spelled Rivaille. The French edition writes it Livaï.
- Spin Attack: A staple of his fighting style. Taken Up to Eleven and beyond in his fight against the Female Titan. Sonic himself would be impressed.
- Super Strength: To an even greater extent than Mikasa; he can lift and flip grown men twice his size (even when he was a kid) and even stopped the Female Titan's hand, though he does break his leg.
- The Spock: Completely emotionless during an operation and never loses sight of the objective. He's even more levelheaded than fellow stoic Mikasa who momentarily forgets about the main priority (keep Eren safe) in favor of trying to kill the Female Titan in a fit of rage. Levi has to stop her, secure Eren, then retreat without killing it, lecturing Mikasa about keeping their objectives in mind despite having every right to lose it himself.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Particularly in the anime, which expands his role while sacrificing scenes from the source material. He's gained a Spin-Off, and been featured heavily in two story arcs while minimizing the focus on Eren's comrades.
- Spot of Tea: Often seen casually sipping a cup of tea when there's no action going on. This plus his Classy Cravat contrast strongly with how un-sophisticated his attitude and speech are.
- The Stoic: To the point where he doesn't change expression or tone once despite a hostile Human Titan pursuing his squad, something that causes everyone else to freak the hell out.
- The Strategist: While his sheer badassery tends to be at the forefront of Levi's traits, he also demonstrates a lot of capacity for quick-thinking tactics. In his spinoff, he has his street rat friends disable a abnormal Titan's legs before he goes in for the kill while the two other military-trained Survey Corps members of his squad are flatfooted on how to kill it on open grounds, implying he had just invented the tactic which is used by other Survey Corps members in the main storyline in the future. When chased by the Anti-Human Suppression Squad, he hides under a bar's counter reasoning that a shotgun would be under there for the bar's self-defence that he could use, baits out their fire by tossing a chair out of the bar before busting out the bar himself, and uses his 3DMG as a weapon while bringing his victim's corpse over to him to make use as a Bulletproof Human Shield
- Still Wearing the Old Colors: Post-timeskip, the Survey Corps has opted for an all-black uniform that's more flight efficient and has ditched the Corps's signature green cape with its sigil, with the exception of Levi, who still wears it. Word of God has compared him to a grumpy old man who's unable to let go of the past.
- Super OCD: A total neat freak. His first order when they reach the old Survey Corps HQ is that everybody spend the day scrubbing it clean.
- Super Reflexes: In the time it took for a Titan Shifter to turn around and swipe at him, he dodges the attack and spins fast enough to enter buzzsaw mode onto the exposed arm. He is also fast enough to react to and dodge gunfire.
- Super Soldier: In the process of delivering a ""The Reason You Suck" Speech" to Mikasa, Eren claims that the Ackerman's superhuman physical abilities are the result of the Eldian Empire fiddling around with Titan science long ago and accidentally causing the entire Ackerman bloodline to possess the hidden capability to use the strength of the Titans while maintaining a human form. Therefore, naturally, this would apply to Levi as well if true.
- Super Speed: This guy really takes speed-blitzing to a whole new level. Fight after fight the Female Titan comes out of unscathed because of her previously unseen ability as a Titan to harden her flesh so that even the Titan skin-piercing swords that are standard issue in the military couldn't damage her. Levi wrecks her because his strikes are so swift it doesn't even matter.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: A few times he can be seen making use of dulled blades (that would otherwise be discarded) by whipping them into the eyes of Titans.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: As Levi returns from the mission that the Female Titan sabotaged, Petra's father greets him, wanting to discuss the future of his beloved daughter. Levi's face is completely frozen — he doesn't speak, he doesn't even blink. It's genuinely disturbing.
- ¡Three Amigos!: Once formed a trio with Isabel Magnolia and Farlan Church.
- Toilet Humor: Dabbles in this rather frequently. Hange is the only one who actually plays along with it.
- Token Evil Teammate: Used to be this for the Survey Corps before his eventual HeelFace Turn. Which makes the way he carries out his heroics in the present day make that much more sense.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Black Tea, considered a luxury good. He affords it by writing it off as a military expense, and later includes it in his list of demands when negotiating with a potential ally. This is the only pleasure he indulges into, which is considerable due to the agricultural limitations of the lands in the Three Walls.
- Tranquil Fury: He shows so little emotion that basically the only way to tell he's this is the shadowing around his eyes and his tone of voice.
- When talking to the bound Female Titan his tone is rather icy, and it's clear he's at least ticked off talking to the thing that killed his soldiers.
- Later on when he sees that his own squad was killed by the Female Titan his eyes are shadowed almost completely black.
- Finally, when he faces the Female Titan he shows the most emotion he probably ever will while still containing himself, managing to balance this trope and a burning desire for revenge.
- True Companions: Levi gains an assortment of companions over the course of his life, but none of their tales seem to end happily. First Isabel and Farlan, and years later, the Special Operation Squad all die on expeditions.
- Uncertain Doom: Most of Chapter 115 goes by without seeing what happened to Levi after the Lightning Spear exploded, once Hanji and the Yeagerists make their way to the scene, Hanji finds his body and claims he's dead but refuses to allow anyone to actually assess his body. However, once Zeke reimerges from the stomach of a Titan suddenly healed, Hanji jumps into the river next to them with Levi, leaving room to interpretation on if Levi is truly dead or if he's just mortally wounded.
- Unscrupulous Hero: The sort of Anti-Hero he is now. He mercilessly beats the shit out of Eren in front of an entire court room just to prove a point (which horrified even the guys who had wanted to dissect Eren to see what makes him tick,) he brutally coerces Historia into accepting her role in their rebellion, he goes out of his way to blankly tell the Female Titan just how much is going to enjoy torturing her, is extremely ruthless when it comes to fighting humanity's foes, and is just an all around vicious and unpleasant person. But he does care for others, and has genuinely heroic and selfless intentions.
- Untouchable Until Tagged: Levi can blitz around and kill Titan after Titan without even coming close to being harmed, making it seem like he's invincible. Once he sprains his ankle fighting the Female Titan, though, the audience is reminded that even Levi is only human and even a seemingly minor injury will still put him out of commission.
- Unstoppable Rage: When both of Levi's friends are eaten by a titan, he goes into a rage and absolutely massacres the titan without leaving much of it's body intact.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Hange, who he calls "Shitty Glasses".
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Levi only really cares about his fellow soldiers. On the other hand, to Hange's frustration, Levi sees Titans as nothing more than monsters that should be dispatched as soon as possible. It is because of this attitude that Levi is deeply shaken when he learns of what Titans really are.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Anyone who disagree with his "methods" will quickly learn that trying to call him out on it won't work; At all. He typically responds along the lines of, "You're right. Now shut up and do something useful."
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Levi's aware that there's more ways to get things done than violence and intimidation, he just doesn't know any other way due to his vicious upbringing as a street thug.
- When She Smiles: In Chapter 69, he smiles as he thanks his squad. It's actually quite nice. Seeing as Levi NEVER smiles and always has a frown on his face they were quite shocked to see it. Just look...
- Wolverine Publicity: Judging from official material and merchandise, it would seem Levi is the deuteragonist instead of Mikasa or the third member of the Power Trio, instead of Armin. This is, of course, because he's insanely popular.
- The Worf Effect: Downplayed. Levi ducks for cover and goes on the defensive when confronted by his uncle Kenny Ackerman... which is really all that was needed to show us that Kenny is the real deal. Levi explains to his men that Kenny is the one who trained him how to fight in the first place, so they should treat fighting him as if they were fighting Levi himself. And that basically means get the hell away from him.
- World's Strongest Man: He's reputed to be as strong as an entire brigade and is dubbed as humanity's strongest soldier. He is shown downing Titans without effort and dominated the Female Titan in battle, the latter who murdered countless of other soldiers, including Levi's own personal squad. He makes Mikasa look like a plebeian Red Shirt. The thing about Levi though is that, unlike what you would usually expect from this trope, it's his speed that elevates him to this status rather than strength or durability (although he is exceptionally strong for his size). Even a regular, mindless Titan could easily crush him if they caught him, but he's simply so fast that he eviscerates his target before they can defend themselves.
- He also pretty much solidifies his claim to the title when he faces off against Zeke (AKA the Beast Titan), who Reiner insists is the strongest of the Warriors (the hostile Titan Shifters from Marley). He cuts the Beast Titan up just as easily as any other Titan and has Zeke amputated and completely at his mercy within seconds. For reference, Zeke killed Mike Zacharias — humanity's second strongest soldier behind Levi — with minimal effort.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Comforts Armin after his first kill, telling him that he made the good decision to save Jean's life.
- You're Insane!: Is called a "madman" in Chapter 60.
Voiced by: Romi Park (JP), Jessica Calvello (EN)
Debut: Side Story 1 (Manga), Episode 1 (Anime)
Leader of the 4th Squad. Deeply involved in Titan research and regarded as something of an eccentric as a result. Hange is given the responsibility of studying Eren's Titan powers, as well as creating a suitable trap for the mission outside the Walls. Hange is later entrusted with supervising Pastor Nick, and is enraged when he is murdered at the hands of the corrupt 1st Central Branch of the Military Police Brigade. After being named Acting Commander of the Survey Corps by Erwin Smith, Hange, with help from the common people, ignites a revolution within the walls against the ruling powers; following Erwin's demise, she formally becomes the 14th Commander of the Survey Corps, being the highest ranked officer available. While presented as an individual with an ambiguous gender in the manga, Hange is presented as a woman in the anime adaptation.
- Action Survivor: As one of the highest ranking members of the Survey Corps, Hange has survived a minimum of six years of Expeditions outside the Walls. This is stated to be an astounding feat, and a testament to incredible battle prowess since long-term survival rates among the Survey Corps are infamously poor. The veteran members of the Survey Corps are, therefore, noted to be the very best soldiers Humanity has to offer.
- Admiring the Abomination: Does not seem to fear Titans the way most do. Instead Hange finds them quite fascinating and, as a result, gives Eren a lot of (mostly unwanted) attention in order to learn more about the process of Titan-shifting. Hange's response to seeing Eren transform for the first time is to rush towards him, arms flailing, begging to be allowed to touch him.
- Adorable Abomination: Is capable of seeing Titans this way. When speaking to Eren about Titan subjects Chikatilo and Albert, Hange describes how "beautiful" their smiles were and feels terrible for accidently killing them.
- Adorkable: Well, about as adorkable as you can get talking about creatures trying to kill you.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Does this to Flegel.
- Ambiguous Gender: Word of God is that "either [pronoun] is fine", giving fans carte blanche to decide Hange's biological sex and gender identity for themselves. The anime adaptation and "A Choice with no Regrets" both portray Hange as physically femininenote , but similarly avoids giving any indications through Gender-Neutral Writing.
- Anger Born of Worry: Hange berates Keith Shadis for withholding crucial information regarding Dr. Yeager, though is angrier at his defeatist attitude; this stems from the fact that when he was commander of the Survey Corps, Hange had a crush on him and looked up to him. Hange was understandably not happy at seeing a dear person and comrade in such a sorry state and dwelling in self-deprecation.
- Anti-Hero: Of the Pragmatic Hero archetype, as Hange Will torture people if it's 'necessary'.
- Apologetic Attacker: Did this to a Titan in the Ilse OVA.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Several times. Hange was able to determine the Armored Titan's weak points, as well as where the Armored and Colossal Titans took Eren. Hange also figured out how Nick died (see Sherlock Scan).
- Badass Adorable: Hange can be this at times, blending a child's excitement for interesting things with incredible fighting skills.
- Badass Boast: Gave a somewhat creepy one to the Female Titan in Stohess District.Hange: Here, you're too far in to get Titans to devour you like before. But don't worry. I'll be the one devouring you instead. I'll devour all the information we can drag out of you.
- Badass Bookworm: A highly-skilled soldier, but also a brilliant scientist whose theories regarding the Titans came true.
- Badass in Charge: Commands multiple squads. Definitely becomes this once Erwin declares Hange the new commander in Chapter 57.
- Badass Normal: Hange lacks the nigh-superhuman skills of people like Levi and Mikasa, as well as the inhuman powers of the Titan Shifters but is by far one of the best fighters in the series. Instead, Hange often relies on a combination of incredible analytic skills, knowledge, and keen instincts to get through a battle.
- Beneath the Mask: Hange has intentionally built a cheerful, quirky persona up to hide a more ruthless and brilliant nature. During their discussion about Titan research, Hange admits to Eren having been a much different person in the past — glimpses of Hange's old ways emerge when particularly angry.
- Beware the Nice Ones: A very nice person most of the time, but beware if you get on Hange's bad side. Both Pastor Nick and Sanes learned that the hard way. Word of God states he personally finds Hange to be the scariest character in the series, precisely because of that ability to switch between silly and friendly to menacing and even cruel.
- Hange considered mangling Roy's hands for slandering three subordinates, who were murdered by the Central Military Police, but decides not to upon realizing how difficult his situation was.
- Berserk Button: The normally easygoing Hange becomes one of the scariest and most dangerous characters in the series when certain lines are crossed. Don't say Hange's research is impossible. You will deeply regret it.
- Hanges High-Altitude Interrogation with Nick resulted from the realization that he was withholding vital information that could have prevented the deaths of many comrades.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Initially, Hange appears to be for Plucky Comic Relief though as time goes on we're reminded just why Hange's a Squad Leader and senior officer in the Survey Corps.
- Big Damn Heroes: Presumed dead when the Colossus Titan nukes the city. Shows up a few chapters later just in time to help provide one of the finishing blows to Reiner.
- Blatant Lies: "There were cockroaches."
- Blind Without 'Em: A mild case. Hange can barely make out the faces of those nearby without glasses, but neatly avoids the awkwardness of losing them by always wearing military-issue goggles when in the field and carrying an extra pair at all times. When explaining how poor Hange's vision is, Isayama stated that Hange cannot tell Reiner and Jean apart without glasses. This is likely a reference to readers having trouble telling them apart in early chapters of the series.
- Blood Knight: Once upon a time, but eventually realized that fighting the Titans with hate wasn't working and adopted a more...unique approach. But still shows some particularly disturbing glee at the prospect of trapping the Female Titan for the second time — Moblit even lampshades how crazy Hange looked during that incident.
- Blunt "Yes": When Levi asks if Hange was taking a long dump.Levi: What, were you taking a sweet long dump or something?
Hange: Well, that too.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: The guidebook "Outside" describes the harried assistant Moblit as the tsukkomi to Hange's boke.
- Brains and Brawn: The brains to Levi's brawn, though Hange is also a pretty lethal fighter.
- Brainy Brunette: Not just a highly competent Titan scientist, but also a military strategist who've we've seen commanding multiple squads in additional to Hange's own squad. Also possesses high deductive capabilities, shown when piecing together clues (with help from Connie) that the Wall Rose Titans used to be humans and when figuring out very quickly what must have happened to Pastor Nick just from a few glances of the crime scene.
- Break Them by Talking: Coupled with "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Sanes. By the time Hange is done, he's in tears.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A skilled fighter, but also... quirky. Always too eager to be around Titans despite how dangerous they are.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Spouts an absent-minded "That was close!" after only barely dodging a Titan, seemingly unaware of just how close it really was.
- The Chains of Commanding: Starts to increasingly feel them after Eren goes on a rogue mission to assassinate the leadership of the Marley Empire when he feels they aren't doing enough to gain their freedom. She understands his position but imprisons him anyway because he still acted on his own and the result caused the deaths of multiple allies and united the rest of the world against them. And due to her decision to imprison Eren, soldiers who thought he was right started leaking info out to the public about Eren's imprisonment, causing public outcry. She is forced to punish the leakers as well for insubordination, but is clearly frustrated about everything, wondering if she is doing the right thing.
- Character Development: As opposed to Flanderization, the longer the story goes, the less bubbly and unhinged Hange becomes.
- The Chessmaster: With Erwin out of commission Hange must fulfill this role.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Eccentric but still grounded in reality most of the time... except when experimenting. Also needs several assistants to avoid getting chomped on when getting too close to the test subjects. This gets lampshaded by Levi as the Survey Corps is about to embark on their 56th Expedition:
- Commanding Coolness: As of Chapter 57, Hange is named the 14th Commander of the Survey Corps by Erwin.
- Contralto of Danger: Hange's gender is up to fan interpretation but is presented as female in the anime. Although Hange is one of the friendliest characters in the series, the Japanese dub gives Hange a deep voice (being voiced by Romi Park) which tends to lower as Hange becomes more serious.
- Cooldown Hug: Hange gives one to Mikasa when she's about to kill Flocke and Levi over the Titan Serum syringe, restraining her while giving a heartfelt speech.
- Creepy Good: Highly important to the war effort and well-intentioned, but creeps everyone out, which is played for laughs. Except when Hange gets genuinely creepy, particularly with the first and especially the second encounter with the Female Titan.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Being badass while being a Cloud Cuckoolander and is often seen as Too Dumb to Live. Sometimes Hange will do this on purpose.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Remember how anguished Hange was about having to torture Sawney and Bean For Science! and how weirdly everyone regarded anyone showing sympathy to the Titans and trying to communicate with them? Fast forward about thirty chapters, it is revealed that Titans are actually innocent humans unwittingly transformed into man-eating giants. Hange's reaction to this development is suitably unhappy.
- A Day in the Limelight: The anime OVA, Ilse's Notebook, focuses heavily on Hange's character.
- Deadpan Snarker: "Yes, you prevented the technological advancement of humanity. Thank you very much."
- Death Glare: To Pastor Nick, and Sanes.
- Death Notification: Does this on behalf of Ilse, whose parents hoped that she was still alive even though "MIA" means "most likely eaten" in this setting.
- Determinator: Even to the point of being a Determined Defeatist. Hange's ideas may be considered impossible, but that doesn't stop Hange from researching.
- Dirty Business: Hange will stab Titan subjects for the sake of research, and will torture people if it gets answers. However, that doesn't mean Hange has to like it.
- Doing Research: Unlike most Survey Corps members who are busy fighting for their lives, Hange's main priority during missions is to gather information on the Titans (maybe capture one for experimentation), as well as implement experimental Survey Corps weapons and make notes on their efficacy so as to make improvements, such as the explosive-propelled hooked wires used en masse to capture Titans alive.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Played for laughs in the Ilse OVA, where Oluo suffers as a result of this. Hange apologizes afterwards.
- The Dreaded: Believe it or not, Hange can get every bit as terrifying (if not more so) as Levi.
- Dynamic Entry: In Chapter 60, Hange and Moblit violently surprise members of the central military police with a swift diving kick.
- Eccentric Mentor: Hange appears to be a Cloudcuckoolander, but Hange also acts as a source of wisdom and knowledge for Eren, and helps Flegel take on his role as the new CEO of the Reeves Company. In the guidebooks Hange is shown to have a wisdom stat of 11/10.
- Embarrassing Nickname: "Shitty Glasses", courtesy of Levi.
- Establishing Character Moment: In the anime, fawning over a Titan then swiftly killing it once it gets too close.
- In 'A Choice With No Regrets,' it's trying to make friends with Isabel, Farlan, and Levi, complimenting them on their fighting prowess while simultaneously probing Levi with a barrage of questions, both for advice and out of curiosity. Hange is among the first survey corpsmen not shown to be either suspicious or outright distainful towards the trio, their origins, or their Mildly Military manners.
- Everyone Has Standards: Horrified when it's revealed that the Titans, considered experimental test subjects, were once human.
- Exact Words: See Establishing Character Moment. Hange promises the Titan, "I won't hurt you." Once it tries to attack, Hange kills it in one blow, telling it "See? That didn't hurt at all, now did it?".
- Eyepatch of Power: Hange wears one after the timeskip, having lost an eye in Shighanshina.
- Eye Scream: Hange loses an eye during the battle of Shighanshina, after narrowly surviving the Colossal Titan's explosive transformation.
- Field Promotion: Knowing he is about to be arrested, Erwin names Hange as the next commander of the Survey Corps.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Although Hange was friendly to Levi since the beginning, it was not mutual (not that it differs from his default aloofness).
- Fluffy Tamer: Hange's got the mind for it, but Titans have proven to be quite the problem children. In the words of Eren, Hange treats them like "badly behaved pets".
- Forgiveness: With the understanding that Nick may have good reasons for keeping his lips sealed, Hange eventually forgives him and is even able to call him "friend". His death lead to Hange's Heroic BSoD and Torture Technician role.
- For Science!: Hange's entire life philosophy.
- Genius Slob: Often forgets to bathe, requiring drastic measures from Levi
- Genki Girl: An adult example. Becomes particularly apparent when Hange starts talking about Titans.
- The Glasses Come Off: Hange not wearing glasses indicates that the usual, eccentric personality is currently taking a backseat to the cold, professional mind underneath.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Hange sports this when confronting the Female Titan. Light is focused on the eyes, but the rest of the face is shadowed, resulting in this appearance.
- Good Is Not Soft: Generally a polite, funny, kind person. But any senior officer in the Survey Corps is not someone to make angry, as Pastor Nick learns the hard way. Later on, Hange serves as a Torture Technician for the Survey Corps and is graphically shown working on Djel Sanes. Hange is kind towards allies, but God help you if you're an enemy.
- Heroic BSoD: Initially, guilt over Pastor Nick's fate leaves Hange behaving in an overly cautious fashion. Some prodding from Levi shakes Hange out of it.
- Heroic Resolve: Though seriously wounded by the Colossal Titan's explosion, Hange crawls across the ground in order to offer advice to the rescue party.
- Hidden Depths: At first glance Hange appears to be a friendly and overly enthusiastic Mad Scientist that may come off as Too Dumb to Live. But, as situations grow more serious Hange reveals a composed and calculating mind, and demonstrates a capacity for ruthlessness.
- High-Altitude Interrogation: When questioning Pastor Nick about the Titan found inside the Wall.
- Hope Springs Eternal: In Chapter 37, Armin suggests that they carry out an operation at night which would give them a chance to plug up the breach in the wall. At this Hange realizes that despite their situation there is still hope.
- Humble Hero: Takes no credit for their accomplishments in the uprising.Levi: How in the world... what did you do to them?
Hange: We didn't do anything. It was everyones individual choices that brought change to our world.
- Hurting Hero: Hange is noticeably distraught after the ordeal with Sanes.
- I Hate Past Me: Hange admits to Eren for having been a much different person in the past, one who used hatred and anger to fight.(See Blood Knight) Glimpses of Hanges old ways emerge when particularly angry, such as the High-Altitude Interrogation with Nick and Cold-Blooded Torture with Sanes. After both incidents Hange is shown to be distraught and regretful.
- I Lied: Tricks Sanes into believing that he was betrayed by his comrade.
- If We Survive This: In the ACWNR manga, Hange tells Levi, Farlan, and Isabel that "if we make it back alive, I'll buy you lunch sometime!".
- In-Series Nickname: Levi calls Hange "Kuso megane"note . The english equivalent would be "four-eyes".
- It's All My Fault: Hange takes responsibility for Pastor Nick's death and decides to avenge him... by giving the killers the same treatment they gave him.
- It's Personal: Hange wasn't torturing Sanes when ripping out the latter's nails, that was for the things he did to Pastor Nick.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Tortures Djel Sanes and his comrade for information, with Levi's assistance.
- Jump Scare: Hange rushing hand-and-face-first out of excitement into Eren's jail cell bars freaks out both Eren and likely the audience, too.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Quirky, eccentric, friendly Hange is not a person to be underestimated.
- Mad Scientist: Hange's Titan obsession may be extremely useful to the war effort, but it freaks everyone out.
- Made of Iron: Despite being brutally slammed back-first against a stone pillar during the underground fight with Kenny Ackerman's squad, with likely enough force to severely damage a normal person's spine, Hange recovers from it very quickly, being back on their feet after only a bit of recovery.
- Hange manages to survive the Colossal Titan transforming fairly near her, which to say was surviving a very large explosion with only renaissance-era dwellings as cover. She even gets to reveal her survival by pulling a Big Damn Heroes.
- Meganekko: Levi brings it up every time he refers to Hange as "shitty four-eyes".
- The Mentor: To Kare in the Attack On Titan 2 canon, of a sort. While everyone in the Survey Corps recognized Kare's talent when mopping up the Titans during the Battle of Trost, she's the one who actually took the initiative and shanghaied Kare into the Survey Corps despite Kare not placing in the top 10. Kare, being...who they are doesn't exactly need too much mentorship, but Hange is the one who introduces them to the Survey Corps command and helps them get settled in. After Kare's Heroic Sacrifice to save Eren and the rest of the Survey Corps recruits, Hange is seen in an argument with Erwin, with the implication that she is trying to get a team together to recover Kare, but Erwin isn't budging due to the losses.
- Messy Hair: Hange's hair is never tidy. The androgynous way it's drawn in the manga further fueled the Ambiguous Gender issue.
- A Mother to Her Men: Like the other commanding officers Hange places the mission of the Corps first, but Hange does this while valuing the life of each soldier. When Oluo apologizes for impeding on Hanges plan to capture the Talking Titan, Hange says No, Im the one who needs to apologize. I almost got you killed, Im sorry. But, never again say that your life is a cheap thing, Alright?
- Motor Mouth: Hange talked from dusk to daybreak non-stop about Titan research to poor Eren. About things he already knew, no less.
- Mutilation Interrogation: Hange presents Sanes with a whole tray of his own fingernails. Sanes' comrade, on the other hand, only lasted one fingernail before breaking.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Hange's expression, upon realizing that Titans are human, goes from merely uncomfortable, to horrified realization, to grim acceptance.
- Nature Lover: If mankind was liberated from Titans, Hange would like to research the vegetation outside the walls.
- Neck Lift: Where Hange lifts others by their collar. May do this if you make them mad (seen with Nick's High-Altitude Interrogation) but it's also Played for Laughs in the Ilse OVA with Oluo.
- Nerds Are Sexy: As crazy as she is, she's no doubt the brains of the Scout Regiment. She's not bad looking either.
- Nice Girl: Very much so, unless pushed too far.
- The Nicknamer:
- Hange gives a name to any Titan the Survey Corps capture. This varies from Affectionate Nickname (in the english dub, Hange also uses affectionate terms such as "beautiful" or "sweetpea") to variations of Fluffy the Terrible (names one Titan "Sonny" and the other "Bean").
- Hange refers to Levi as the "little guy" in Chapter 62.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Has a noticeably unhealthy fascination with Titans. While naming captured Titans, Hange talks about Real Life cannibals a bit too eagerly (and in enough detail to make the others feel sick).
- Now It's My Turn: Hange says this before killing a Titan in Episode 9.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Gives up trying to press the presiding Military Police for details and immediately presents Nick as a very good friend, feigning ignorance about Nick's affairs in order to not draw any further attention once Hange pieces together that Pastor Nick was likely tortured then killed by the Military Brigade Police.
- Odd Friendship: With Levi, though Hange really seems to be the kind of person who can make friends with anybody.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The deaths of Pastor Nick, her team, and later Erwin's left a more somber, serious person than Hange was before. Over the course of the story, Hange becomes increasingly less cheery. Both sadness and rage get the better of Hange with time.
- Opaque Lenses: Whenever Hange begins to get enthusiastic. This may spell trouble for whoever Hange directs this enthusiasm to.
- The Plan: Being The Strategist, Hange plays an active role in making the Scouting Legion's plans. This role becomes more prominent when Erwin is out of commission, as we see Levi relying on Hange to develop methods for countering their enemies. Hange later reveals the identity of Reeves true killers by setting a trap that would provoke a confession out of them.
- The Pollyanna: Hange hated Titans with a burning passion, but is now able to talk about them enthusiastically.
- Rage Breaking Point: Tries to hold back feelings of anger, but there is a limit to this.
- Rebel Leader: is put in charge of the rebellion.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When serious or angered Hange's brown eyes may show a brighter red hue. This is especially obvious in the Ilse OVA, when Oluo tells Hange it's impossible to capture a Titan.
- Say My Name: Played for laughs when Sonny and Bean are murdered.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: When Hange's doing something particularly ruthless, expect to see a dark figure with a Slasher Smile and glowing glasses.
- Science Hero: Basically, all knowledge about Titans past "they eat people" came from Hange's experiments. Hange's also looking for new ways to subdue or even communicate with Titans, although the second goal has had nonexistent progress.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The Ilse OVA shows Hange ignoring Erwin's orders in order to capture Titans for the sake of Humanity.
- Self-Deprecation: When Flegel reminds that the Survey Corps have been defeated, Hange responds that that's regular business for them.
- Sherlock Scan: Able to deduce how Pastor was murdered and who murdered him, from a quick glance and briefly holding the hands of one of his murderers while pretending to be a grieving friend.
- Hange is implied to have done this again in the aforementioned Big Damn Heroes moment. With no prior communication, within seconds of arriving to the battle with the Armored Titan, Hange was able to figure out the Corps plan, and provide critical aid to them.
- Slasher Smile: Wears a chilling one whenever excited. Also sports one in the second opening◊ while covered in blood.
- Smarter Than You Look: Hange may come off as Too Dumb to Live, but is a skilled soldier, as well as the lead scientist of the Survey Corps. And is now its fourteenth commander.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: The bespectacled Hange is the leader of scientific research in the Survey Corps.
- So Proud of You: To Flegel, whom Hange encourages with praise when he plucks up the courage to take his place as the new president of the Reeves Company.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Crunchyroll uses Hange, while Funimation uses Hanzi, and the French edition Hansi. And for some reason, Kondansha USA spells it as Zoë Hange even though it's actually Hange Zoë. On the official goods in Japan, it's Hans Zoë.
- Squee!: It takes a very special kind of Nightmare Fetishist to have this reaction to encountering abnormal Titans or a partially-formed Human Titan arm rather than horror or fear.
- Staring Down Cthulhu: After capturing the Female Titan a second time, Hange gives a Badass Boast while staring into its eye with the Glowing Eyes of Doom and Scary Shiny Glasses. Intimidated, the Female Titan retaliates and breaks free.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: While Flegel hides in an alleyway, Hange appears above him unexpectedly, surprising him. Hange appears out of nowhere again at the Stohess News Agency, shocking the reporters there.
- Stepford Smiler: As circumstances become more and more stressful, Hange must deliberately put on a wacky act so as to not worry the others.
- The Storyteller: Storytelling is a part of Hange's Titan naming ceremony. It can get pretty detailed...
- This Is Unforgivable!: Hange took the torture and assassination of Pastor Nick by the 1st Brigade very personally, making a personal goal to avenge him at all costs. His and the assassination of Dimo Reeves become crucial in the Survey Corps' fight against the Royal Government and the 1st Brigade, spearheaded by Hange.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Hange is usually very warm, empathetic, friendly, and easygoing. But also capable of being cold, harsh, and serious when necessary.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Though disgusted by what they've done as part of the Government Conspiracy, Hange comes to feel sorry for both Pastor Nick and Djel Sanes. They're all people willing to do whatever is necessary for what they believe is the greater good, and after seeing Sanes have a Villainous Breakdown, Hange is upset enough to kick over a table in frustration.
- Tap on the Head: Occasionally receives these from Levi, who punches Hange out and throws them into a bathtub when they needs a bath. This doesn't seem to affect Hange's mental faculties or wellbeing.
- Tears of Remorse: Hange cries when stabbing the captured Titan Bean, grieving at how much pain it was causing him.
- Thinker Pose: Does this in Chapter 25/Episode 19.
- Too Dumb to Live: Discussed, as people are amazed that Hange is still alive despite ardent enthusiasm regarding Titan research. (Hint: That would be the job of Moblit, who's charged with keeping Hange out of too extreme danger.)
- Torture Technician: A heroic example, strangely enough. Hange might be bothered when experimenting on captured Titans, but Djel Sanes finds no mercy when captured. Hange breaks out various equipment, and starts ripping out fingernails and teeth for good measure. Then there's the last instrument which would have been used to crush his testicles..
- Tranquil Fury: expect to see this when things get serious.
- The Trickster: Hange goes against conventional behavior, openly questions authority (See Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!), encourages enthusiasm (from Eren), and is not above playing dumb or outright lying to manipulate enemies. Like other tricksters, Hange is also intelligent and wise, and acts as a bringer of new knowledge.
- True Companions: With the other commanding officers, in particular Erwin and Levi.
- Translator Buddy: Hange acts as Levi's 'interpreter', translating his strange and often harsh way of speaking into words that others can understand and won't be offended by. This role is mentioned in Hange's Close Up interview as well as in Levi's horoscope, which states that "without Hanjis translation its nearly impossible to understand Levis intended meaning"
- "Uh-Oh" Eyes: When Hange is really about to do something terrible, expect a blank expression and either a flat gaze or Hidden Eyes.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Levi. Hange will playfully call Levi a "clean-freak" but the vitriol mainly comes from him.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Reprimands Levi for going too far with Eren during the latter's trial.
- In response to Eren and Mikasa attacking Levi in order to make sure that Armin gets the lifesaving Titan injection (Hange thinks Erwin should get it, even after Levi changes his mind), when they say that they'll accept any punishment for their actions, she says that they can't just do what they want under the justification that they'll accept the consequences.
- Workaholic: So much so that Hange forgets to eat, sleep, and bathe. As a result, Moblit tends to act very motherly towards Hange, making sure Hange eats and sleeps properly. Even Levi steps in to help by knocking Hange out for a bath.
- You Are in Command Now: Is on the receiving end of this from Erwin, who names Hange the Commander of the Survey Corps as he goes to answer to the monarchy.(Despite this, Hange continues to go by the title of "Squad Leader"). Hange is forced to fully assume the mantle after the Battle to Reclaim Wall Maria with Erwin's death.
- You Did Everything You Could: When Levi apologizes for getting three of Hanges subordinates killed, Hange gently reassures him.
- You Monster!: Sanes calls Hange a "demon"...and Hange agrees.
- You're Insane!: Oluo outright calls Hange crazy in the Ilse OVA.
- You Won't Feel a Thing: Cheerfully promises Titans this before killing them. Hange's adoration is not always a good thing.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Just look at what happened to Nick and Sanes.Question: Who is the scariest when they're angry?
Isayama: Hange. You can get a glimpse of it when Hange was trying to drop Nick from the wall.
Voiced by: Kenta Miyake (JP), Jason Douglas (EN)
Debut: Side Story 1 (Manga), Episode 4 (Anime)
A highly regarded officer, considered second only to Levi in terms of strength. He has an unusually sensitive nose, allowing him to detect the stench of Titans over a distance. He's placed in charge of guarding and observing the new recruits suspected of being The Mole. However, during the attack within Wall Rose, he goes off alone to buy the others time and ends up being killed after encountering the Beast Titan.
- An Arm and a Leg: His leg is partially severed when a Titan bites him, and it dangles at an unnatural angle afterwards.
- Badass Beard: Not quite as prominent as his moustache, but helps to give him an older appearance and mark him as a veteran.
- Badass Mustache: The number of named Survey Corpsmen to have moustaches can be counted on one hand, and he's one of them. And unlike Pixis, Mike sees his own bit of badassery before getting killed by the Beast Titan.
- Badass Normal: There is a reason that he was Humanity's Strongest before Levi came around. His official stats list his combat skills as a perfect 10/10. The only other people who achieve that are Levi himself who is an Ackerman, and thus not normal), Erwin, Annie (who is a Titan Shifter), and Mikasa, who is also an Ackerman and thus has a powerful combat-oriented gene trigger.
- Break the Badass: Mike, one of the Survey Corps' best leaders and a hardened veteran, is scared speechless when he is cornered by the Beast Titan.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He greets people by sniffing them, something people tolerate because he's an exceptional soldier.
- Chekhov's Skill: His finely attuned nose is mentioned when he's introduced by sniffing Eren out of the blue. It comes up later when it is revealed his sense of smell is strong enough to detect incoming Titans from great distances.
- The Confidant: He tries to be this to Erwin, seeing through his many schemes and hidden agendas. While it isn't clear how long they've been working together, it's clear the two go back quite a bit.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Fed to a horde of Titans, who quite graphically begin tearing him to pieces in an on-panel feeding frenzy. It's far worse in the second season of the anime, where the first episode ends with his body being ripped in two.
- A Death in the Limelight: He's been in the background as one of the major officers, but suddenly gets serious focus and significant Character Development just in time for him to encounter the Beast Titan and die horribly.
- Deer in the Headlights: When the Beast Titan speaks to him, he's so shocked and terrified he cannot move or speak.
- Determinator: Insists that humanity has only been defeated when they stop fighting. The Beast Titan does terrify him enough to sap all his fighting willpower temporarily, but he regains mometarily it before he dies.
- Devoured by the Horde: He suffers a brutal one when the Beast Titan removes his 3D Maneuver Gear and leaves him to be eaten by several Titans of differing sizes and all he can do is scream as he's devoured.
- Did Not Think This Through: In the anime rendition of his encounter with the Beast Titan, it was completely willing to ignore him as long as he remained curled up on the ground in terror. The moment Mike drew his swords and went after The Beast, it called up the other four Titans nearby and had them literally rip him apart.
- Didn't See That Coming: Completely used to Mindless and Aberrant Titans, Mike was unprepared to deal with an intelligent one that could use a horse as a deadly projectile. The near miss off-balances him enough for a regular Titan to grab him.
- Do Not Go Gentle: States that humanity has not truly lost until they stop fighting. He later recalls saying this and decides to attack the Beast Titan (and likely die) rather than wait to get eaten (his leg was destroyed and he had no horse to escape).
- Eaten Alive: Perhaps one of the most horrifying cases in the entire series, and that's saying something. To several Titans of differing sizes, in fact.
- Face Death with Dignity: After the Beast Titan takes his gear from him, Mike recalls his earlier statement that humanity's defeat is not certain as long as they keep on fighting, and then raises his blade with a determined glare. Then he is overwhelmed with terror as the Titans charge at him from every direction and he dies weeping hysterically and pleading for his life.
- A Father to His Men: A capable and inspiring leader, perfectly willing to make himself a decoy to ensure the escape of those under his command.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: For a long time he was completely unmentioned, even though it took the Beast Titan to take him down. This is averted in the end, however. The next time the Corpsmen come face-to-face with the Beast Titan, Erwin has an inner monologue about all of the people that have died to get him to this point, depicting him standing on a mountain of corpses. The one directly under Erwin's feet is Mike.
- Gentle Giant: Mike stands at 196 cm (6'4"), making him the second tallest human in the series (behind Keith Shadis who stands at 198 cm). Mike's also a fairly mellow guy.
- Heroic Sacrifice: During the "Titans within Wall Rose" crisis, Mike goes off alone to thin out the horde of Titans so his squad and part of the 104th can warn the nearby villages. His men insist that Mike is strong enough to make it back...
- Hidden Depths: A strange but quiet soldier, with a habit of sniffing people. He also happens to be a skilled leader capable of giving Rousing Speeches as necessary, and quite good at reading Erwin's true intentions.
- Inelegant Blubbering: At the moment of his graphic death, he cries and wails uncontrollably, begging the Titans devouring him to stop.
- Meaningful Name: Another brilliant example by Isayama. Though his name is apparently pronounced "mee-kay" (in accordance with Japanese phonetics), "Mike" is often short for "Michael". Michael is the angel of God's army known for being its most powerful swordsman, fitting with his position as the strongest soldier of the Corps before Levi came along. "Zacharius" was the name of a biblical man cursed with muteness, and Mike is a very quiet person.
- The Nose Knows: Is said to have a nose so sensitive that it can track Titans further than human sight.
- Number Two: He was this to Erwin, prior to Levi's recruitment. They shared the responsibility afterwards, with Mike taking command when necessary and being entrusted with vital missions such as guarding the new recruits under suspicion of being The Mole.
- One-Man Army: He was the Survey Corps' strongest soldier before Levi was recruited and still slaughters dozens of Titans solo without much effort. It's the Beast Titan who finally manages to take him down.
- The Quiet One: Mike fits the classic "strong, silent type" mold.
- The Reliable One: Unlike Levi and Hange, he often operates quietly in the background and gets things done.
- Rousing Speech: Gives a brief one to shake Nanaba out of despair, stating that humanity will only lose once they give up and stop fighting.
- Sacrificial Lion: Introduced as one of the strongest members within the Survey Corps, but dies without having accomplished much on screen.
- Although, it should be noted that during "A Choice With No Regrets", Mike gets a few good moments, including breaking through a literal wall during a fight with Levi.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Previews of the official English patch for the second Attack on Titan game spell his first name as "Miche".
- Super Senses: His sense of smell is so keen he can tell which direction Titans are coming from even when the sound of them drowns out trying to tell the same information by hearing.
- The Worf Effect: Humanity's second strongest soldier behind Levi, but he's killed by the Beast Titan to show how dangerous it is. It makes it even more shocking (and awesome) when Levi shows that even the Beast Titan is no match for him as he cuts him up easily.
- Justified in that Mike never got a chance to get close to the Beast Titan, which cleverly used Mike's horse as a projectile to put Mike at its mercy without having to approach him itself.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: He manages to kill almost all the Titans he'd lured off, and prepares to rejoin the others... when the Beast Titan shows up to ruin his day. Even so, learning that there's a sentient Titan capable of human speech that can command other Titans is a huge thing. Too bad he's killed once the Beast Titan has no more use for him.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The moment the Beast Titan has no more use for Mike, it lets the other Titans have at him. It... isn't a pleasant end.
Special Operations Squad / Team Levi
- Attack Pattern Alpha: Petra, Eld, and Oluo perform one to gradually cripple the Female Titan.
- Badass Crew: They have a total kill count of over two hundred Titans. Petra, Eld, and Oluo do extremely well against the Female Titan, who had, until then, destroyed anyone who tried to attack her with little effort. Unfortunately, she heals from one of her injuries sooner than anticipated, which ends up being more than enough for her to turn the tables on them.
- Body-Count Competition: They're not shown competing with each other for Titan kills, but Eren establishes each member's reputation to the audience by mentioning their Titan kill and assist counts, suggesting that they do keep track of their kills like real life flying aces or snipers.
- Break the Haughty: Eld, Petra, and Oluo insist that they can fight the Female Titan without Eren's help, but it all goes downhill once Eld is killed, and Petra and Oluo are left in shock from the Titan's powers.
- Changing of the Guard: The remaining members of the 104th Trainee Corps' Top 10 (And Armin) eventually form the new Squad Levi.
- Didn't See That Coming: They were unaware of the Female Titans abilities and Entertainingly Wrong Type 5 because they falsely assumed that the best decision was to keep Eren from participating in the fight against her.
- Dies Wide Open: All of them, and the anime never lets you forget it.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Nope. Despite being some of humanity's most elite soldiers and being the handpicked squad of the World's Strongest Man himself, much of their screen time is devoted to them carrying out their squad leader's excessive and tedious cleaning wherever they seem to go, and otherwise being glorified guards with the expressed purpose of keeping Eren and his Titan-shifting abilities in line. When we finally do see them go on an expedition outside the walls to showcase their badassery, we are quickly reminded that nobody in the Survey Corps has a 'glamorous' job when they are all brutally offed by the Female Titan.
- Entertainingly Wrong: It was through the Power of Trust that made Squad Levi strong and it was through that which allowed them to capture the Female Titan. Naturally, they believed The Squad alone would be enough to kill her, except they were wrong.
- Et Tu, Brute?: When Eren unexpectedly transforms his Titan arm the squad treats him as a monstrous threat, leaving him bewildered and hurt by their lack of trust in him. Even Petra, who often preaches about The Power of Trust and teamwork, doesn't trust Eren initially and actually admits to having been scared of him.
- Four Is Death: The squad consists of four, skilled and tested soldiers, hand-picked by Levi.
- The Gwen Stacy: Eren blames himself for their deaths. In the anime, remembering what the Female Titan did to them is enough motivation for him to get up and fight her again.
- Hero Secret Service: Initially it seems their only job is to kill Eren in the event that he goes berserk, but it's later revealed that they're meant to protect him as well.
- In-Universe Nickname: Squad Levi.
- The Power of Trust: This allows them to fight effectively as a team (see True Companions)and they (Petra especially) urge Eren to place his trust entirely in his comrades. The first time this happens it results in the capture of the Female Titan. The second it happens, it results in the Female Titan murdering the entire squad while pursuing Eren. He later blames himself for their deaths, and his own failure to act sooner.
- Promise Me You Won't X: Its implied that Petra and the rest of the Special Operations squad made Eren promise not to transform into his Titan form unless his life was in danger. Captain Levi releases Eren from this promise.
- Sacrificial Lion: The entire squad is killed in battle by the Female Titan as icing on the cake as to how deadly she is.
- Self-Harm: After initially having difficulty trusting Eren, they show their willingness to have faith in him by biting down on their own hands, mimicking the technique Eren always puts himself through.
- The Squad: With Petra serving as The Squadette.
- Taking Up the Mantle: The members of the 104th Trainee Corps who survived the mission to rescue Eren and did not turn traitor all wind up as the new Levi Squad in Chapter 51.
- True Companions: They are very devoted to each other. This makes them very effective in battle, able to perform deadly, synchronized attacks without even speaking because of the strong bond between them. The squad is still composed of True Companions as the top 10 104th Trainees (And Armin) take over, and Eren despairs to see the stark resemblances between the first and second groups as both goof off in the middle of doing Levi's cleaning.
- Underestimating Badassery: Thinking they were dealing with something like Eren or a regular Abnormal Titan, they grossly underestimate how powerful and intelligent the Female Titan is, and make a severe tactical mistake in not having Eren transform to tank for them. They pay for this mistake with their lives. Contrast this with the fight between the Female Titan and Eren with Mikasa.
Voiced by: Natsuki Aikawa (JP), Caitlin Glass (EN)
Debut: Side Story 1 (Manga), Episode 9 (Anime)
A member of Levi's squad, she is kind-hearted and devoted to her comrades. When Eren joins them, she takes him under her wing and encourages him to place his trust in his new comrades. She is the second to last to die in battle with the Female Titan.
- Action Girl: Despite being the smallest and one of the youngest of the squad, with 10 solo Titan kills and 48 kills as a team, Petra has taken part in the most Titan killings in the special operations squad, barring Levi, of course.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Manga illustrations give her light blonde hair and blue eyes, while the anime gives her strawberry blonde hair and amber eyes. This is likely to differentiate her from the other blond haired, blue eyed characters.
- Angry Fist-Shake: A version of this. When she assumes Eren is questioning her trustworthiness, she clenches onto the hilts of her blades and swings them angrily at him.
- Big "NO!": Gives a very similar reaction when Eld reveals what she did on her first expedition (see Tears of Fear and Bring My Brown Pants)Petra: GYAAAH! Don't tell him that!!! What if he loses all his respect for us, huh?!
- Bring My Brown Pants: Eld reveals that she cried and pissed herself during her first mission. Cue Freak Out.
- The Chick: Petra is the only female in the group who constantly encourages loyalty and teamwork. She tries hardest to make Eren feel welcome.
- Childhood Friends: With Oluo, which is mentioned in side material. Its implied they knew each other before joining the corps as Petra often says you weren't always like this in regards to Oluos habit of imitating Levi.
- Comical Angry Face: Freaks out like this when Eld reveals that she cried and wet herself on her first expedition.
- Cool Big Sis: Petra attempts to be this towards Eren. She comes off as this at first, trying to make him feel more comfortable as a new member of the Levi squad. Later Eld reveals to Eren about her 'accident' during her first expedition, and she's mortified, expressing concern that Eren may lose respect for her.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The Female Titan leaps across a clearing and crushes her against a tree with her foot.
- Curtains Match the Window: In the anime. She is blonde and blue-eyed in the manga.
- Daddy's Girl: Petra appears to have a close relationship with her father. As the soldiers return from the 57th expedition, he speaks to Levi about the (troubling) letters that Petra sent him. He interprets her enthusiasm to serve in the Captains squad as a sign that she held romantic feelings for him and anxiously tells Levi that its too early to insist she get married.
- Deer in the Headlights: Despite Oluos shouts to move, Petra takes too long to realize how the Female Titan recovered and is in such shock that she is unable to move out of the way when it comes rushing towards her. Cue the Female Titan stomping her against a tree.
- Despair Event Horizon: Her death was avoidable, but she was completely shocked and in despair from Eld's sudden death.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: When up against the Female Titan, Petra screams "come at me!" and "I'll kill you!", only to be crushed against a tree not long after.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: To Oluo. Though she may jab him in the ribs or verbally lash out at him, he never returns the treatment.
- Due to the Dead: Averted in the anime. Petra's body, among many others, is abandoned so that the surviving Survey Corps may escape from pursuing Titans.
- Fiery Redhead: In the anime, at least. Although polite and kind, she has a short temper and is very aggressive. She elbows Oluo in the ribs when he makes a snide remark about the death of Hange's Titan subjects. When Eren wonders why she and the rest of the Special Ops squad were not included in the plan regarding the Female Titan, Petra immediately draws her blades and swings them at him in a threatening manner, assuming Eren is questioning her trustworthiness.
- The Heart: Knows her teammates well and helps Eren integrate with them (and their oddness).
- Ineffectual Death Threats: Threatens to kill the Female Titan, but only goes as far as wounding her.
- I Wished You Were Dead: In one of their quarrels Petra tells Oluo that he should have bit his tongue and died. In response, he tells her that she shouldn't wish for a comrades death.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Petra's obviously a big fangirl of Levi, a person whom she looks up to (her father actually describes her as his starry eyed daughter). According to the letters sent to her father, she was thrilled to be picked as a part of Levis squad and was also very eager to work under his command. She felt it was a high honor to be of some use to the Captain and would give it her all to live up to his expectations. It's possible she harbors romantic feelings for the Captain as well. (See Implied Love Interest.)
- Like an Old Married Couple: In the guidebook, Petra is described to act like "an old married couple" with Oluo due to their frequent bickering (which is considered as a lovers quarrel). In one of their quarrels, Oluo remarks that Petra is far from ready to be his wife.
- Meaningful Name: "Petra" means "stone" and "Ral" sounds like "wall", so her name would be 'stone wall'. Guess what the last thing a Titan put their foot through was?
- Moment of Weakness: Whenever her fear gets the better of her.
- Nice Girl: Although her moods can be quite extreme, she is generally polite and nice. The guidebook gives her a 10/10 in Kindness.
- The Power of Trust: Petra believed in this more than anybody, but sadly, it ends up played straight at first only to be horribly subverted later on. Though it served her well fighting regular Titans (and they were able to get lucky once with a Shifter the first time), Petra overestimates the effectiveness of the squad when fighting the Female Titan and Reality Ensues as a result; three people trying to take on a 14 meter tall Lightning Bruiser with human intelligence does not end well. Ultimately, the story presents the view that the power of trust is important, but sometimes being selfish actually can be the right choice.
- Pride: Fears Eren will lose respect for her and also gets angry when her trustworthiness is questioned. Petra is also very proud to be a part of Levis squad, which she boasted about in the letters to her father
- Screaming Woman: With the Female Titan right behind her, Petra cries out in fear until she's eventually crushed to death.
- The Squadette: Only female in Squad Levi.
- Support Party Member: Has the most assists in the squad. We see her and Oluo aiding Eld against the Female Titan. She's also seen performing numerous non-combative tasks such as relaying messages, refilling gas, treating the wounded, and relocating reinforcements.
- Team Mom: Nurturing towards Eren though, like many Team Moms, she can also be quite bossy too and is known to bicker Like an Old Married Couple with Oluo.
- Team Spirit: Teamwork is something that Petra highly values. At almost every instance that she appears she will say something regarding The Team. While this can reliably kill Titans (like the Trost battle demonstrates) sometimes teamwork just isn't enough. (See The Power of Trust and Wide-Eyed Idealist)
- Tears of Fear: She cried and wet herself on her first expedition.
- This Cannot Be!: After Eld is killed by the Female Titan, Petra frantically wonders how this could happen, exclaiming that, "It can't possibly see!"
- Tiny Tyrannical Girl: The shortest and most petite in the squad (even smaller than Levi) who tends to order people around. She is frequently seen nagging Oluo to stop imitating the Captain and yells at Eld to keep quiet about her accident. She also expects everyone to work as a team and shows disapproval to those who don't.
- Trampled Under Foot: Her cause of death, essentially.
- Tsundere: The Dere-Dere type. She's usually polite, caring, and nice but she can also be harsh, irritable, and aggressive. She's like this to Oluo in particular. The Ilse OVA shows Petra getting angry with him for imitating Levi and then fretting over him after Hange gets a little too rough with him.
- Undying Loyalty: As long as shes not overcome by fear, Petra will obey Levis orders even if it means letting her comrades die.
- Unequal Pairing: If shipped with Levi (due to their Captain-Subordinate relationship).
- Volleying Insults: Theres quite a bit of this between Petra and Oluo, though the insults mainly come from her. She calls Oluo a dumbass and tells him hes pathetic but none of this seems to affect him
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Despite Levi saying he never knows what the "right" decision is, Petra insists that trusting the squad is always the "right" decision. At first this appears to be true (see The Power of Trust) but she then dies horribly after convincing Eren to put his faith in the squad a second time. This side of her is also noticed by Levi in the Visual Novel.
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Has this expression whenever shocked or afraid.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Petra strongly believes that The Power of Trust will get them through their battles. While that may be the case in most shounen series, it's not always the case with this one.
Voiced by: Shinji Kawada (JP), Christopher Corey Smith (EN)
Debut: Chapter 20 (Manga), Episode 15 (Anime)
A member of the Special Operations Squad, handpicked by Levi. He seems like a comical and incompetent man, but is actually an exceptional soldier with an incredibly high kill count. He is the final member to die at the hands of the Female Titan.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Though he doesn't go around challenging people, he's kind of obnoxious and annoying regardless. Then we see that he really can back his bragging up.
- Badass Normal: By the time he met Eren, Oluo has killed 9 Titans as a team, and a whopping 39 Titans on his own.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Silly he might be, but he is actually the best out of Levi's Special Operations Squad when it comes to taking out Titans solo.
- Big Ego, Hidden Depths: Despite his arrogance, Oluo greatly respects Levi and is quite attached to his teammates. This is best seen in the Ilse OVA, which shows a more humble side of Oluo, though his smugness would clearly only heighten with time.
- Bring My Brown Pants: According to Eld, Oluo cried and wet his pants during his first mission.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Like Levi, he can be a jerkface to everyone around him and has his own quirk of inexplicably biting his tongue every time he talks on horseback. He's still respected for his high Titan-killing prowess, especially since most of his kills were solo ones.
- Butt-Monkey: All throughout the Ilse OVA where a lot of unfortunate and painful things just keep happening to Oluo one after another. All of it is Played for Laughs, of course.
- Classy Cravat: He started wearing one sometime after Levi saved his life, clearly trying to imitate him.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's loud and obnoxious, but he's got the highest count of solo kills. With 39 solo Titan kills in his record, he stands out among his teammates whose kills are mainly done as part of a team. He's also the only member of the squad to successfully reach the Female Titan's nape and could have taken her down if it wasn't for her hardening ability.
- Despair Event Horizon: Watching Petra die at the hands of the Female Titan was too much for him and he charged blindly to his death.
- High-Pressure Blood: Downplayed, though there's still quite a lot of blood spraying whenever he bites his tongue.
- Ineffectual Loner: Played with. He has no problem working as a team, though his reputation comes from having many solo kills, somewhat like Levi.
- Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: He tries to copy Levi's look and speaking style, much to Petra's constant annoyance. It's because Levi saved his life and as a result he looks up to him and respects him.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: Petras insults dont seem to bother him, except the part where she tells him he should have bitten his tongue off and died. He responds by saying she should never wish for a comrades death.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He can be quite rude and insolent, but he also truly believes in the Survey Corps' fight for mankind's freedom and is as much of a True Companion as the rest of his squad.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": He looks up to Levi, greatly attributed to Levi having saved his life in the past.
- The Lancer: Oluo is most prone to arguing and complaining as well as the second best at Titan slaying.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: A montage in the anime reveals he has five younger siblings at home, all under recruitment age.
- Miles Gloriosus: He's an obnoxious and loud-mouthed jerk that gives Eren a hard time, so it's easy to think he's all talk. He's not.
- Revenge: He momentarily despairs when Eld and Petra are slain by the Female Titan, but, fueled by rage, he resolves to avenge them. It doesn't work.
- Running Gag: He tends to bite his tongue whenever he attempts to talk and ride at the same time.
- Senseless Sacrifice: His death borders on this. He had a chance to escape after the Female Titan wiped out his squad, but despite seeing the multiple failures this has brought about he goes right for the Female Titan's neck as soon as he sees an opening. Unfortunately, Oluo did not know about the Titan's ability to harden.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Naturally as a part of trying to imitate Levi in every way. The guidebook gives his foul mouth 10 out of 10 as a joke rating.
- Smug Super: The most boastful soldier in the series about his abilities, though with dozens and dozens of solo Titan kills he can get away with it.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Auruo Bossard"
- Wrecked Weapon: His swords are broken when he slashes in vain against the Female Titan's hardened neck. Left in shock of his adversary's defenses, Oluo is quickly killed a moment later.
Voiced by: Susumu Chiba (JP), Vic Mignogna (EN)
Debut: Chapter 20 (Manga), Episode 9 (Anime)
A member of the Special Operations Squad, handpicked by Levi to guard Eren. He is the second member to be killed by the Female Titan, leaving Petra and Oluo deeply shaken.
- Badass Beard: A neatly trimmed goatee.
- Badass Normal: Eld managed to kill 14 Titans single-handedly, and 32 with a team over the course of his career.
- Fear Is the Appropriate Response: He believes this. In the Visual Novel Eld explains that if a soldier is not cowardly, he wont be able to survive. The finest soldier is a coward at heart. He treasures his life, so he does all he can to live.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Bitten in half by the Female Titan, and then spit out.
- I Will Wait for You: A montage in the anime reveals a beautiful young woman waiting for him to return from his mission. She's listed in the credits as his lover.
- Number Two: Is second in command after Levi. He is told to lead the Special Operations Squad when Levi has to check on the captured Female Titan.
- Only Sane Man: Eld seems to be the most level-headed of his squad. When Eren accidentally forms a Titan arm, his response is to ask why Eren his reasoning behind performing such an act, while Gunther is demanding proof that Eren is not an enemy, Petra panics the most and thinks principally of Levi's safety, and Oluo just outright threatens to kill Eren if he moves.
- The Smart Guy: Eld's most notable asset is his keen memory, and he led the others in tactics when Levi was absent.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Erd Gin", though the anime goes by "Eld."
Voiced by: Kouzou Mito (JP), Brett Weaver (EN)
Debut: Chapter 20 (Manga), Episode 9 (Anime)
A member of the Special Operations Squad, handpicked by Levi to guard Eren. He is the first to be killed by the Female Titan, when she ambushes the Squad in human form.
- Badass Normal: He holds 7 solo Titan kills and 40 kills as a team under his belt.
- Friend or Foe: Gunther is the only one in the squad who demands proof that Eren is not an enemy during the accidental-transformation incident. The others question his reason for performing such an act or immediately assume that he's a threat.
- Not So Above It All: While escorting Eren through dangerous territory, he criticizes the group for lightheartedly talking about whether they urinated themselves or not during their first scouting missions... but then clarifies, "By the way, Eren, I didn't piss myself, either!"
- Off with His Head!: He's almost completely decapitated by Annie, in a sick parody of how the humans kill Titans.
- The Quiet One: In what little was shown of Gunther, he was the least willing of the squad to share personal details about himself. If he spoke, it would only be to discuss a serious matter. His defining trait in the official guide book is "silence."
- Sacrificial Lion: First of Squad Levi to get killed by the Female Titan. Just in case the audience didn't get the message that being badass and a named character doesn't ensure survival.
- The Big Guy: Gunther personifies the strong, silent archetype, being the tallest of the bunch, but also the most serious and reserved.
After the demise of his Special Operation Squad at the hands of the Female Titan, a new team is formed out of necessity out of the new cadets, forming a new Team Levi that operates henceforth. Unlike the previous iteration, this new team also operates under the leadership of Hange Zoe as well.
Mike's Squad / Team Mike
- Badass Crew: A given, being Survey Corps.
- Heroic Sacrifice: They buy as much time for the trainees as they can when they're attacked by Titans at Castle Utgard.
- Sole Survivor: Due to being sent away by Mike to relay a message, Lauda is the only member of Mike's squad who is still alive.
- True Companions: Each member expressed great loyalty and trust in one another. This camaraderie made them an extremely efficient fighting force, even against overwhelming odds.
Voiced by: Asami Shimoda (JP), Lydia Mackay (EN)
Debut: Chapter 27 (Manga), Episode 20 (Anime)
An experienced and capable soldier, charged with guarding members of the new recruits from the 104th. She's killed during the attack on Castle Utgard.
- Abusive Parents: It's implied her father was abusive. When she dies, Nanaba is screaming to her father that she'll 'be good' as the Titans rip her apart.
- Ambiguous Gender: At first, leaving the audience unsure about Nanaba's biological sex. The editors have since clarified that Nanaba is a woman.
- Badass Normal: She kills a lot of Titans together with the rest of The Team while defending the trainees at Castle Utgard, and she might have actually led them to victory if the Beast Titan hadn't started throwing chunks of the Wall and summoned more Titans.
- Bifauxnen: Nanaba looks fairly ambiguous, and would make one handsome dude.
- Boyish Short Hair: Fueling the confusion over her gender.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Torn to pieces by a group of Titans, while still alive and screaming.
- Determinator: She's initially shaken when first seeing that Titans have entered Wall Rose, but broken out of it by Mike's Rousing Speech. Afterwards, Nanaba is unflinchingly resolute in the face of the crisis, holding together even when things look their worst. Even when down to a single, dulled blade and out of gas, Nanaba doesn't stop fighting.
- Devoured by the Horde: Her ultimate fate.
- Face Death with Dignity: Fully ready to die when defending Castle Utgard and accepts it when she's out of gas. Then when the Titans actually get a hold of her, she dies screaming in pain and terror.
- Gender-Neutral Writing: Like Hange, her ambiguous gender isn't helped by the author's tendency toward this. Nanaba uses "Watashi", which can be used by either men or women formally.
- Heroic Resolve: Given a 11/10 in "Resolve" by the official Guidebook.
- Mauve Shirt: Has enough time to establish a personality before she gets killed.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Charges down the tower to rescue Gelgar after his head injury causes him to fall into a Titan's grasp, while running on fumes. Nanaba successfully frees him and kills the Titan, but runs out of gas and both are devoured.
- Spin Attack: Kills a Titan by performing a somersaulting slash.
- Unfortunate Names: As many fans have noted, Nanaba is quite similar to banana.
Voiced by: Felecia Angelle (English)
Debut: Chapter 37 (Manga), Episode 26 (Anime)
An experienced and capable soldier, charged with guarding members of the new recruits from the 104th. She is eventually killed when the Beast Titan hurls pieces of the Wall at Castle Utgard.
- Badass Normal: She and her comrades kill many Titans while defending the trainees in their care. They might have even killed all Titans by themselves if the Beast Titan hadn't started hurling pieces of the Wall at them, killing her and Henning in the process.
- Redshirt: She's essentially an extra with a name. This goes about as well as you'd expect.
- Team Mom: She expresses great concern for the welfare of the trainees in her care.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: She wears her long hair pulled back in a messy ponytail, keeping it out of her way.
Voiced by: Jason Charles Miller (English)
Debut: Chapter 35 (Manga), Episode 26 (Anime)
An experienced and capable soldier, charged with guarding members of the new recruits from the 104th. He is killed during the night attack on Castle Utgard, after running out of gas.
- The Alcoholic: He sure loves to drink, and is thrilled when he discovers an unopened bottle of wine.
- Badass Normal: Kills a lot of Titans together with his comrades while defending the trainees at Castle Utgard, and they might have even killed them all if the Beast Titan hadn't started hurling pieces of the Wall at them, killing Lynne and Henning in the process. Even then he and Nanaba keep on fighting until their gas runs out.
- Delinquent Hair: His pompadour is one of the few examples of a soldier that bothers with styled hair.
- Eaten Alive: Gelgar's struggle ends with his head in the jaws of a Titan.
- Mauve Shirt: Has more personality than most Survey Corps soldiers, although he still gets killed off without much fanfare.
- Motivational Lie: Though he isn't sure what happened, Gelgar convinces Connie that the people of his village escaped the Titans so that he won't worry about it for the time being.
- One Last Smoke: He's delighted when he discovers an unopened bottle of wine, and plans to drink it later. When he's wounded and about to die, he finds the bottle again. He's glad to get to have a drink before he dies... only to discover that it's empty. He completely breaks down, demanding to know who drank it. (It was used to treat Reiner's wound earlier.)
- Skewed Priorities: Sometimes he over-prioritizes alcohol. As he is grasped by a Titan, about to be eaten, Gelgar spends his final moments flipping out when he discovers he can't even have a last drink before dying.
- Sorry That I'm Dying: With no swords or strength left to fight with, Gelgar apologizes to Nanaba just before he falls to the Titans waiting for him below.
- Team Dad: Expresses concern for the trainees in his care, as shown when he wants to spare Connie the thought of his family having died, after he realizes that something is seriously off about Connie's hometown's fate and that they couldn't have gotten far without horses, anyway.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Dies shortly after being introduced.
Debut: Chapter 35 (Manga), Episode 26 (Anime)
An experienced and capable soldier, charged with guarding members of the new recruits from the 104th. He is eventually killed when the Beast Titan hurls pieces of the Wall at Castle Utgard.
- Badass Normal: He and his comrades kill many Titans while defending the trainees in their care. They might have even killed all Titans by themselves if the Beast Titan hadn't started hurling pieces of the Wall at them, killing him and Lynne in the process.
- Flat "What": His reaction to pieces of the Wall being hurled at them from the Beast Titan. Also his last words.
- The Generic Guy: He doesn't stand out nearly as much as the others, being rather average.
- Red Shirt: Let's be honest, nobody expected this guy to live for very long.
Hanges Squad / Team Hange
- Boom, Headshot!: The fate of Nifa, Keiji, and their unnamed comrade.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: The squad is mentioned to be stuck doing things like reminding their leader to eat and sleep, as well as helping Levi knock out and bathe Hange when personal hygiene is neglected for too long.
- Combat Medic: Nifa and the others were seen organizing the care of the wounded during the battle with the Colossal Titan.
- Doing Research: Their squad specializes in research.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In the manga, all three of them had several appearances as background characters before names were revealed.
- Red Shirt: Keiji and the unnamed "Goggles" were given little characterization prior to their deaths.
- Sacrificial Lion: All but Moblit were killed by the Anti-Human Suppression Squad.
Voiced by: Rintarou Nishi (JP), Jerry Jewell (EN)
Debut: Chapter 20 (Manga), Episode 15 (Anime)
Deputy Squad Leader of the 4th Squad. He often acts as Hange's research assistant and struggles to keep Hange out of harm's way. He was badly injured during the battle with the traitors, but recovers in time to help in the investigation of the Central Brigade and uprising against the government.
- The Alcoholic: Word of God says Moblit drinks the most, which really isn't all that surprising considering what he deals with...
- Beleaguered Assistant: You can't help but pity the poor guy for having to put up with his boss's crazy antics. He's exasperated from having to bail Hange out on a regular basis to avoid getting eaten by Titans or when a Military Police Brigade officer is roughing Hange up.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: His official stats give him a 10/10 in "Tsukkomi", referring to his relationship with Hange.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: To Hange, of course.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Saved Hange from getting caught in the massive explosion of Bertolt's transformation to Colossal Titan by pushing her into a well... before he gets caught in it.
- Forced to Watch: By virtue of her physical position at the time it happened, Hange bore witness of how Moblit was caught and vaporized by the Colossal Titan's explosion.
- Only Sane Man: He seems to have a fairly good head on his shoulders, considering he works for Hange.
- The Reliable One: As Hange's deputy, Moblit is always running around trying to keep Hange out of trouble. He also backs Hange up in official matters.
- Satellite Character: He is Hange's loyal assistant, and his duty, essentially, is to extend his Squad Leader's life expectancy as much as possible. Any other duties he may have are not focused on.
- Science Hero: Glimpsed working in the lab with Hange.
- Sole Survivor: He is the only surviving member of Hange's personal squad, thanks to having stayed with her. The others were all killed while accompanying Levi on the failed mission to rescue Eren and Historia.
- Subordinate Excuse: Hinted at. In side material, it's revealed that he harbors feelings of jealousy towards Levi concerning how close he is to Hange.
- Team Mom: According to Hange, "Moblit says things a mother would say. Like, did you eat properly? Or, did you sleep well?"
- Too Dumb to Live: This seems to be his opinion of his boss, although it's justified considering he has to stop Hange from sticking any body parts in a Titan's mouth.
Debut: Chapter 42 (Manga), Episode 26 (Anime)
A member of the 4th Squad, under the command of Hange Zoë. An observant and devoted soldier, she is entrusted to handle several matters of a sensitive nature. She is killed when the 1st Brigade's Suppression Squad ambushes the Survey Corps.
- Boom Head Shot: Was killed in this way.
- The Confidant: Was this to Levi, who tells Nifa about his past relationship with the infamous serial killer Kenny the Ripper. This is notable since it's coming directly from Levi himself rather than from rumors circulating within the barracks (which was the case with Petra and most likely with the other non-veteran soldiers as well).
- Facial Horror: As a result of being shot in the face.
- The Fashionista: According to Isayama, Nifa is the most "stylish" character.
- Gallows Humor: "At least it's not a group of necrophiliacs!"
- Gory Discretion Shot: In the anime, the audience is spared the graphic sight of Nifa's exploded head, just the shooting itself and a Dead-Hand Shot. Of course, this is Averted in the manga, which shows the bullet exploding her head and the bloody aftermath in full, gory detail.
- Red Shirt: As to be expected, being a member of the Survey Corps and being targeted by the Central Military Police who specialize in killing humans.
- The Reliable One: Her superiors trust her with multiple sensitive assignments. Hange assigns Nifa with overseeing the transfer of a wounded Ymir to Trost. Erwin includes her in his meeting with Pixis and has her relay highly confidential information to Levi and Hange during the early stages of their plan.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She has very few lines before being killed off.
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: During the Clash of the Titans arc, when poor Connie desperately asks her where Reiner and Bertolt are when the Armored and Colossus Titans appear.
- Your Head Asplode: Everything from her jaw up is left splattered all over the roofs.
Debut: Chapter 5 (Manga)
A resident from Trost District, inspired to join the Survey Corps after Mikasa saved her as a child.
- Agent Provocateur: She's arrested for leaking information with the intention of stirring up the masses.
- The Bus Came Back: The little girl from Trost appears dozens of chapters later, trying to follow in Mikasa's footsteps.
- Enemy Mine: When Marley performs a raid on Paradis, Mikasa somewhat reluctantly teams up with Louise in order to help Eren, despite being in rival military factions.
- Foil: To Kaya, another child rescued by a member of the 104th. While Kaya grew up to become an All-Loving Hero, Louise became a soldier and has been swept up in the nationalistic faction of the military.
- Hero Worship: She worships Mikasa for saving her from a Titan. This causes her to develop a Might Makes Right mentality regarding her actions.
- His Own Worst Enemy: Invoked. After hearing Louise's reasons for carrying out the attack on Liberio and adopting the proselyte views of the Anti-Marleyan faction, Mikasa tells the girl that the best thing she can do for herself at that point is to shut her damn mouth up, as she's not doing herself any favors.
- Ironic Echo: Mikasa's iconic salute after saving a little girl is returned years later, after she locks said woman in the brig. It's not a happy moment, and Mikasa is visibly bothered by the exchange.
- Loony Fan: Her admiration of Mikasa has resulted in her taking actions she thought would make her happy. This includes joining a nationalistic faction within the military and leaking information in support of Eren's rampage. She doesn't understand why Mikasa doesn't appreciate her efforts to help Eren.
- Patriotic Fervor: She's a member of Floch's group, swept up in the desire to revive the Eldian Empire.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: She was present for the attack on Trost, and witnessed the horrors up close. Years later, she takes part in the attack on Liberio as a active member of the Survey Corps.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Her reason for siding with Floch's faction and stirring the populace against her superiors.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Unlike Floch who's motivated by revenge and hatred towards the people outside the walls. She's basically a Naïve Newcomer who believes that she's doing the right thing.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Actively stirs up the populace against her superiors. But she genuinely believes that Eren is the hero of the Eldian Empire, and that using the Rumbling against the rest of humanity is the right thing to do.
Voiced by: Koichi Sakaguchi (JP), Jonathan Brooks (EN)
Debut: Chapter 22 (Manga), Episode 16 (Anime)
The initial Squad Leader for the new recruits, and later Armin's squad leader during the 57th expedition. He is a kind-hearted man, and has a strong bond with his personal horse, Shallot. He is among the Female Titan's first victims.
- Badass Normal: Fighting Titans on flat, open ground is exceptionally dangerous. He shows how it's done, taking down an Aberrant with incredible skill and style.
- Cool Teacher: Ness handles educating new Survey Corps recruits in horse handling and Survey Corps tactics.
- A Father to His Men: He's genuinely kind to the rookies, and takes every possible action to ensure that they remain safe during their first mission.
- Horsing Around: He mentions that his horse Shallot tends to chew on people's hair. This is quickly revealed to be why he always wears a handkerchief, as he is balding.
- Perma-Stubble: In all of his appearances, he has a fair bit of stubble outlining his mouth and chin, a reference to his age and maturity.
- Prematurely Bald: Due to his horse chewing on his hair, supposedly.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Ness, introduced as a likable and kindhearted character, is quickly one of the first to be killed by the Female Titan.
Voiced by: Sachi Kokuryu (JP), Marissa Lenti (EN)
Debut: Side Story 2 (Manga), Ilse's Notebook: Record of a Fallen Soldier (Anime OVA)
A member of the 34th expedition, and the last survivor of her unit. Her notebook of her experiences with the Survey Corps were found after her death.
- Adaptation Expansion: The anime OVA makes a lot of additions to her special chapter, notably on what happened to her after she was eaten.
- Apocalyptic Log: She leaves one behind.
- Chekhov's Gun: Her notebook, later discovered by Levi and Zoë. It includes mention of Ymir.
- Dead Guy on Display: The Survey Corps discover her headless corpse, seated inside a hollowed out section of tree. It appears to be some kind of twisted shrine, and greatly disturbs them.
- Determinator: With everyone else dead and without a horse or working maneuver gear, she resolves to run all the way back to the Walls and keeps writing, determined to make her notes and everyone's sacrifices of some use. Taken Up to Eleven in the anime, where she keeps on writing with her head between the Titan's jaws.
- Face Death with Dignity: She tries to do this, continuing to write in her notebook even while there's a Titan looming over her. Even when she has a Freak Out and attempts to run for her life, she still keeps writing when it catches her and she's moments from being eaten.
- First Contact: She attempts it. It does not end well for her.
- Foregone Conclusion: The chances of Ilse surviving outside the walls without gear, without a horse and without any weapon to speak of is microscopically low. She pains that she won't die having made a significant contribution to the cause or bringing a source of pride to her parents, but in the end she provided a crucial bit of information to the Survey Corps.
- Freak Out: When the Aberrant Titan she encounters won't answer her questions.
- Identical Stranger: She strongly resembles Ymir, which confuses the Aberrant Titan she encounters. When she freaks out, it realizes she's not Ymir, who is almost always The Stoic.
- Off with His Head!: Her head ends up being bitten off.
- Plot-Triggering Death: Her demise, though years past, provided the basis for the current Survey Corps to investigate the nature of the Titans and their connection to humans.
- Posthumous Character: Died long before the story begins, but her recovered notes are important to the plot.
- Survival Mantra: "I will not give up".
- Youthful Freckles: Her face sprinkles are one of the key traits she shares in common with Ymir.
Voiced by: Yoshihito Sasaki (JP), John Burgmeier (EN)
Debut: Episode 22 (Anime)
A soldier taking part in the 57th Expedition. His desperation to reclaim the body of his fallen friend places the formation in danger.
- Canon Foreigner: An anime-only character.
- Messy Hair: Possibly attributed to his more youthful appearance, Dieter's hairstyle is simple and brushed to the side.
- The McCoy: Dieter represents the Survey Corps' humanity and the harm that having a conscience can bring.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: As it turns out, defying orders has some dire consequences, no matter what your intentions are.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: After risking everything to reclaim his friend's body, he not only loses it... but gets his other friend killed and forces the dumping of all the other recovered bodies in the process.
- Strawman Emotional: His subplot in Episode 22 proves how dangerous soldiers who prioritize emotion can be.
- Tears of Remorse: Dieter can be seen curled up in a Troubled Fetal Position and sobbing after the whole fiasco, and it's easy to understand why.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Has a major one after the incident that he caused. Levi sees it and doesn't chew him out for disobeying orders, seeing how he's clearly learnt his lesson and doesn't need to be broken any further.
- Too Dumb to Live: He gets his friend killed, and very narrowly escapes the same fate thanks to Mikasa.
- Tragic Keepsake: Dieter is given a Survey Corps patch, which Levi claims came from his deceased friend Ivan. However, it's implied that Levi gives him Petra's badge he himself took from her uniform earlier.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Expresses horror at Erwin and Levi's willingness to simply abandon the bodies of their comrades.
Following the defeat of the Royal Government and the institution of Historia Reiss as Queen of the Walls, the military's attention veers towards the recovery of Wall Maria, making many members of the MPs and the Garrison choose to join the Survey Corps to aid in the portentous mission.
A graduate of the 104th Trainee Corps, originally from the Garrison, who enthusiastically joins the Survey Corps with the mission to retake Wall Maria. See the 104th Trainee Corps character page for more information.
A graduate of the 104th Trainee Corps, originally from the Military Police, who joins the Survey Corps having expressed his interest to do so during the Uprising. See the Military Police Brigade character page for more information.
A Choice With No Regrets Characters
Voiced by: Mana Hirata (visual novel), Mariya Ise (anime, JP)]
Debut: No Regrets Chapter 0 (Manga), A Choice with No Regrets: Part One (Anime OVA)
A member of the criminal gang led by Levi, recruited by force into the Survey Corps by Erwin Smith. Levi rescued her from starving as a child, and she worshiped him as a surrogate older brother. Energetic and tomboyish, she was often teased for not being very intelligent. She was killed in action during an expedition.
- Becoming the Mask: She doesn't take long to sympathize with the Survey Corps and performs an enthusiastic and heartfelt (if wrong) salute when Flagon gives a Rousing Speech about succeeding on their expedition.
- Big Brother Worship: She adores Levi, her surrogate brother, and takes issue to anyone bad-mouthing her "big brother".
- Blond, Brunette, Redhead: The Redhead to Farlan's blond and Levi's brunet.
- Bloodier and Gorier: An interesting case, in the manga, she dies as a result of being caught between two Titans that collide with each other. In the OVA, neither the viewer nor Levi gets to see how she died; however, it is shown that her body must have been consumed as only her severed head remained.
- Book Dumb: Her comrades tease her about her lack of education, as she struggles with even basic math.
- Conveniently an Orphan: She was an orphan rescued by Levi.
- Cute, but Cacophonic: One side chapter has her try to sing whenever she is starving, a trick taught by an old man back in her hometown. It's so terrible that a brick in the wall started cracking, and everyone had to cover their ears, with Levi shouting that they should just feed her since she won't stop until they do so.
- Dead Partner: To Levi.
- Death by Origin Story: Isabel's ultimate fate played a role in making Levi the man he is today.
- Dies Wide Open: When Levi finds her remains, her eyes are open wide in shock and horror. He closes them before dealing with Erwin.
- Doomed by Canon: Nowhere to be seen six years later, making it clear that she died somewhere in between. She was killed during her first expedition, ambushed by Titans.
- Fiery Redhead: She's the most expressive and headstrong of her friends.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Downplayed. While never mentioned in the main series directly, fans long speculated Levi's soft spot for the main trio came from his own past. They were right.
- Friend to All Living Things: When a comrade notes how good she is with the horses, Isabel explains that she's always been good with animals. Her people skills are the problem.
- Girlish Pigtails: One of her defining traits. At some point in the past, her left tail was forcibly cut off by some slum thugs, though it has since grown back.
- Hot-Blooded: Isabel is very self-confident and spirited, and takes action with a huge grin on her face.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: She's surprisingly starry-eyed for a criminal raised on the streets.
- The Lad-ette: Proud and aggressive, Isabel makes sure that her male peers see her as an equal.
- Like Brother and Sister: She thinks of Levi as her brother, and greatly admires him.
- Little Miss Badass: Her youth and cute appearance contrast her skill as a fighter.
- One of the Boys: Having lived under the same roof as Levi and Farlan, Isabel does not understand why she needs to sleep in a separate room from the men while in the Survey Corps.
- Plucky Girl: She's quite upbeat for a street urchin, reacting with awe rather than fear when she and the others are pursued by the Survey Corps.
- Protectorate: When she comes back bloody and missing a pigtail, Levi goes out. He returns later cleaning a knife, and doesn't answer when Farlan asks if he killed those responsible.
- Reformed Criminal: Sort of, as she gave up a life of crime to follow Levi into the Survey Corps.
- Sacrificial Lion: After being built up as one of Levi's True Companions with sympathizing views on the Survey Corps, she's his first friend to get killed, followed shortly by Flagon, then Farlan's deaths. This particularly shook Levi's ego and made him realize his blind pride in trying to find Erwin alone in the rain.
- Street Urchin: Her former life prior to meeting Farlan and Levi.
Debut: No Regrets Chapter 0 (Manga), A Choice with No Regrets: Part One (Anime OVA)
A member of the criminal gang led by Levi, recruited by force into the Survey Corps by Erwin Smith. He is serious and highly intelligent, often serving as the schemer and strategist of the group. He was eventually killed in action during an expedition.
- Badass Bookworm: He was quite the skilled fighter, especially when working in tandem with Levi and Isabel.
- Bishōnen: He's very handsome, with hair so pale it looks silver.
- Blond, Brunette, Redhead: The blond to Levi's brunet and Isabel's redhead.
- Bloodier and Gorier: Gorier more so than bloodier. In the OVA for "A Choice With No Regrets," Levi arrives as the Titan eats Farlan, not getting to see Farlan wave him off, and Farlan not even getting the chance to see Levi before he dies. The anime just makes the death look gorier in comparison to the manga.
- Character Tic: After joining the Survey Corps, Farlan tries to adopt the military's Strange Salute, but consistently does it incorrectly.
- Cowardly Lion: He is initially hesitant to fight Titans, but manages to pull himself together under Levi's leadership.
- Dead Partner: To Levi.
- Death by Origin Story: Farlan's ultimate fate has a hand in what made Levi the man he is today.
- Defeat Means Friendship: He was the original leader of the gang, until Levi defeated him in a fight. Afterwards, they became close friends.
- Doomed by Canon: Nowhere to be seen six years later, making it pretty clear something happened to him. He died during his first expedition, ambushed by Titans.
- Face Death with Dignity: A double-subversion. He starts out emotional, grieving for the loss of his comrades, and horrified when he realizes his gear is damaged beyond repair... but once the Titan grabs him he calmly accepts his fate.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Downplayed. While never mentioned in the main series directly, fans long speculated Levi's soft spot for the main trio came from his own past. They were right.
- Go Out with a Smile: In the manga he gives Levi a rather sad one before being eaten.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Levi manages to catch his arm and pull him away from the Titan, but only his upper torso remains.
- Obi-Wan Moment: His final moments are spent offering Levi a final smile and a wave, in what may be the only time a character in the series has ever managed to actually face death at the hands of the Titans in a dignified manner.
- Only Sane Man: The most level-headed and calm of the trio.
- Reformed Criminal: Abandoned his life of crime to follow Levi into the Survey Corps.
- Remember That You Trust Me: Levi and Farlan have forged a great deal of trust in one another, and it was at Farlan's proposal that Levi would choose to temporarily set aside his revenge against Erwin, if only for the good of the trio.
- The Sneaky Guy: Farlan has twice managed to sneak into Erwin's quarters and break into his belongings without being found out.
- True Companions: With Levi and Isabel.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Stealing the aforementioned maneuver gear leads to the trio catching Erwin's attention, which sets off a chain of events that ends very poorly for the three of them.
- The World Is Just Awesome: Dreamed of exploring the outside world, and obtained sets of stolen maneuver gear from the military for this purpose.
Debut: No Regrets Chapter 3 (Manga), A Choice with No Regrets: Part Two (Anime OVA)
A Squad Leader in the Survey Corps. Levi, Isabel, and Farlan are assigned to his squad, though he has great difficulty accepting former criminals into his team. He was killed in action during Levi's first expedition.
- Commander Contrarian: Flagon has no patience for the Mildly Military Levi and criticizes him on his attitude and Reverse Grip style.
- A Father to His Men: He doesn't think twice about putting his life on the line for his subordinates. When Farlan is incapacitated, he steps in to protect him, but is ambushed and killed by a Titan. Farlan himself is soon eaten by the same Titan afterwards.
- Headbutting Heroes: He and Levi do not get along. Levi's sassy attitude also doesn't help.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Flagon holds prejudice towards Levi, rudely assuming the latter to be an unkept thug. However, he cares for his other squad mates and is willing to risk his life for humanity's sake.
- Senseless Sacrifice: He dies protecting Farlan, who is also killed shortly after.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: His fate is not shown on-screen in the OVA.
- Wrong for the Right Reasons: He objects strongly to former criminals being inducted into the Survey Corps because it'll damage the troop's esteem and morale. What he didn't know was that they actually were planning something sinister...
The predecessor of Erwin at the command of the Survey Corps, now a drill sergeant at the Trainee Corps.
See the Other Characters page.