Attack on Titan is a really great show.
It draws a lot of emotions out of me from excitement, to sadness, to horror.
The feelings of horror I get when watching it come from how brutal the show can be.
A lot of characters die and not in very nice ways.
But, in order to really feel this horror whenever these characters meet their fate, I need to care for them.
If the characters were bad or unlikable then Attack on Titan would fall flat on its face.
Thankfully, for the most part, the characters are all fantastic.
I care for almost each and every one of them, making the show more gripping when they are in danger.
The characters are so good I have decided to do a top 10 list on my favourite characters from Attack on Titan.
However, keep in mind, even though I have read the manga, I have only read up to where season two ends because I want to experience the story on television before I read it.
So do not expect to see any characters who appear after season two on this list and some characters may be lower on the list than you expect because they have not been given enough time to shine yet.
These characters will probably appear on my list when I re-do it after watching season three, which will air this year.
Before I begin, I want to give out some quick honorable mentions.
These go to Dot Pixis, Annie Leonhart, Krista Lenz/Historia Reiss and Conny Springer.
I considered putting all of these characters on the list but the others were just better.
So now let’s go into my top 10 favourite characters from Attack on Titan
10. Eren Jaegar
Okay, so it is no secret that I did not like Eren in season one.
I thought he was a terrible main character.
He was an arrogant, hypocritical jerk with no character development until the back half of the season.
So, imagine my surprise, when I read the season one part of the manga and found that Eren was actually likeable there.
He did not judge people for not wanting to fight the Titans and he did not go on his repetitive spiel about how he was going to kill all the Titans as much.
The anime really screwed Eren up in the first season.
Thankfully though, Eren’s likability in the manga was transferred into season two and I was finally able to relate to him.
Eren was incredibly sympathetic in season two, especially when learning of Reiner and Bertholdt’s betrayal and during his emotional breakdown when Hannes died.
This likability in season two and his admittedly cool moments in season one, when he transformed into a Titan, was just enough to put in the number ten spot.
As the series goes on Eren will hopefully remain as likeable as he was in the second season because, if he does, he is sure to go higher on my list of favourite characters.
9. Hange Zoe
Interesting fact: in the manga Hange’s gender is actually kept ambiguous.
It is up to the reader if Hange is male or female.
Unfortunately, they were not able to keep this up in anime as Hange is confirmed to be female.
While it would have been nice for it to be kept ambiguous like in the manga, it does not change the fact that Hange is still a great character.
She is also a unique one because she is one of the only characters who does not hate the Titans.
She is basically obsessed with learning about them and even becomes attached to the ones she uses for experiments.
Hange is also shown to be slightly crazy with her efforts to catch and learn about Titans.
My favourite scene of her would have to be in the season one finale, when she is laying a trap for the Female Titan, Annie.
She is shown to be giggling like a mad woman at the prospect of catching her, leading her assistant Moblit to say she is, “getting that look in her eyes, again.”
Hange is just fun to watch because you never know what crazy thing she is going to do next.
8. Sasha Braus
In season one Sasha was just a basic comic relief character.
She was like a female Goku because of the fact that she was always eating and yet never gaining any weight.
Still, despite only being comic relief in the first season, she was so likeable that she quickly became one of my favourites.
Her personality was just so endearing and she only got better in the second season, where she had her own episode.
In the second episode, I’m Home, we learn a lot about Sasha’s past and also get to see her have some really cool moments like when she saves a little girl.
I’m Home made her so much more than just comic relief.
I am so glad that the Manga’s writer, Hajime Isayama, backed out of killing Sasha during her storyline because she is such a likeable character.
I can see more development and food jokes in Sasha’s future on Attack on Titan.
Please, don’t hate me.
I know Levi is a fan favourite character and I can certainly see why.
He was one of my favourite characters in the second half of season one because he was a well layered character, with more than a few awesome moments.
The problem is that in the first half of season one and in season two Levi does almost nothing.
Since I have not read past season two in the manga I do not know if Levi does more then but because so many people like him I have to hope so.
In fact, I believe that Levi coming in at number seven, despite having far less screen time than the previous three characters on my list is a testament to how great of a character he is.
Levi is considered to be humanities strongest fighter but, even so, he has his own quirks, like his obsession with cleaning.
In the episodes Crushing Blow and The Defeated we really get a sense of who Levi is.
We can see that he has been hit hard by the death of his squad and later having to leave their corpses to be eaten by the Titans but he buries this pain to focus on his mission.
Levi is the kind of guy who keeps his grief inside and never allows himself to show weakness.
It makes a very interesting character and I hope we get more of him in season three.
6. Reiner Braun
In season one Reiner was a good character and he certainly did have his moments like in the episode Female Titan, however he was not one of my favourites because I did not find him to be a particularly deep character.
This all changed in season two though because right from the beginning it was clear there was something off about Reiner.
Finally, in my favourite episode of Attack on Titan, Warrior, Reiner was shockingly revealed to be the Armoured Titan.
However, although shocking, this did not make much sense because Reiner had done so much to help those he was fighting against.
This issue was later cleared up in the best way.
It is revealed in the episode Opening that Reiner is suffering from a severe case of PTSD, due to the atrocities he has committed and two personalities have emerged because of this.
There is his warrior personality, where he works to destroy the walls and his soldier personality, where he works to preserve them.
This makes Reiner one of the most complex characters in the show and it will be very interesting to see how his split personality will have an impact on the show going forward.
5. Erwin Smith
A lot of people say Levi is the most awesome character in Attack on Titan.
Well, to them I say, “have you even seen Commander Erwin?”
Erwin is the kind of commander who anyone would follow into battle.
He is courageous, smart and willing to sacrifice anything, including his own life, for the survival of humanity.
To say that Erwin has his awesome moments would be an understatement.
There are so many times when he just steals the show.
From him shouting, “fire”, during Bite, to him glaring at Nile during the ending moments of Mercy.
But, by far his best moment has to be in the episode Charge.
In this episode, Erwin has his arm ripped off by a Titan and not only shouts at his soldiers to keep going but even continues fighting and saves Eren’s life… all of this with only one arm.
Erwin is just a really awesome character who has seemingly an endless amount of cool moments.
If you had told me, after I watched season one, that Ymir would be my favourite character of season two, I would have probably laughed at you.
Ymir was one of the most forgettable characters of the first season and yet, somehow, in the second she is the best character.
I loved Ymir’s story in season two and what we learned about the world, through her.
Ymir’s backstory alone solidified her as my favourite character of the second season and the flashback itself is one of my favourite moments of Attack on Titan.
Ymir’s reveal as a Titan was expertly done and her motives were kept pretty ambiguous up until her flashback, which made her all the more interesting.
Also, her relationship with Krista/Historia is now my favourite relationship in Attack on Titan because of how well developed it is.
Their bond is certainly stronger than Eren and Mikasa’s.
Ymir’s story just ties perfectly into what is happening and I know there will be some reveals in season three to further explain how her backstory fits into everything.
Overall, Ymir was just a fantastic character in the second season but what stops her from being higher on the list is how forgettable she was in the first season.
3. Jean Kirstein
Jean was my favourite character of season one.
His character arc was just fantastic.
He started off as a cowardly guy, trying to join the Military Police just so he could live in the interior, safely away from the Titans.
However, after the death of his friend Marco, Jean was faced with either doing what was right or would keep him safe.
Marco’s death inspired him to join the Scouting Regiment and take the fight to the Titans.
Since then he has worked hard to achieve that goal, even putting aside his dislike of Eren to do the right thing.
He developed so much in the first season that he wonders what he was thinking when he wanted to join the Military Police when he sees how they act.
Jean was just a really great character but the reason he is at number three and not in the top two is because of how little he featured in season two.
He only takes part in the battle during the final two episodes and while he does do some important stuff in these episodes, like confront Bertholdt and save Mikasa’s life, he still does not do much throughout the season and receives almost no development.
This is disappointing, considering how great he was in season one and stops him from being higher on the list.
2. Mikasa Ackerman
Mikasa is definitely one of the coolest characters in Attack on Titan.
She has just as many amazing moments as Levi and Erwin and is actually pretty scary at times.
She is the last person you would want to cross.
the scene where she glares at Bertholdt in the episode Charge was thrilling and a highlight of the episode.
Mikasa’s one goal in life is to protect Eren at all costs.
This came from him saving her life from a group of sex traffickers, after they murdered her parents.
This changed Mikasa from a sweet, ordinary girl to a cold hearted individual, who only allows herself to care for a select few people, like Eren and Armin.
She is also humanity’s best fighter, next to Levi, and this is clearly seen through her level of skill.
She is a character who has so many memorable moments throughout the first and second season, one of which is when she delivers the best quote in Attack on Titan during the episode Mercy, “we live in a cruel world.”
While, she does not get as much development as other characters she does have some moments of it, like when she realizes she held back on Reiner and Bertholdt when she attacked them because she subconsciously did not want to kill them.
Still, it is the lack of Mikasa’s development across the first two seasons that held her back from taking the top spot.
Mikasa is a still an awesome character though, who will hopefully grow more as a character in the next season.
1. Armin Arlert
I think a lot of people do not give Armin enough credit, which is really unfair.
Yes, he is not good at physical confrontations (I do not think he has even killed a Titan yet), but Armin has still done some very important things and saved a lot of lives by using his head.
He came up with the plan for Eren to use his Titan ability to bloke the hole in the wall, he stalled the Female Titan, saving Jean’s life, and later deduced her identity, and he stalled Bertholdt by lying to him about torturing Annie, giving Erwin enough time to come in and rescue Eren.
These are some of the many important things Armin has done throughout the series.
And to think some people do not like Armin?
The reason Armin is also my favourite character as of season two is because of how much I relate to him.
When we first meet Armin, he is very unsure of himself and considers himself a burden to his friends.
This makes him rising above this, recognizing how useful he can be and then using the skills he has to get things done, pretty inspiring.
With the number of important things Armin has done in the series and how much I related to his character arc, I consider Armin to be the best character in Attack on Titan, as of season two.
Attack on Titan is a show with great characters.
They are almost all relatable and you fear for their lives when they are in danger.
After season three ends I plan to re-do my list of my top 10 favourite characters to see if that season has changed my opinion.
I will just have to wait until July to see if the next Attack on Titan season can put some other characters on my list, or move the ones on it higher.