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Armin Arlert
Anime | Manga

Armin

Name Armin Arlert
Biological Information
Gender Male
Birthday November 3rd[1]
Height 163 cm
Weight 55 kg
Affiliation Survey Corps Logo Survey Corps
Former Affiliation 104th Trainees Squad
Grad Rank Outside the top 10
Species Human
Status Alive
First Appearance
Manga To You, 2000 Years From Now
Anime To You, 2000 Years From Now
Voice actor
Anime Marina Inoue (Japanese)

Josh Grelle (English)

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Armin Arlert (アルミン・アルレルト Arumin Arureruto?) is a childhood friend of Eren Yeager's and Mikasa Ackerman's and the deuteragonist in the series. Although he is one of the physically weakest of the 104th Trainees Squad, his high intelligence and strategic genius make him an invaluable asset.

Appearance

Armin is rather short for his age with a petite build; this lead to his constant bullying as a child. Armin has a round face, framed by his blond hair, with large, expressive blue-eyes and a pudgy nose. Unlike Eren, Armin's face typically appears calm and thoughtful.[2]

In his childhood, he wore a long-sleeved single-buttoned jacket with a collared shirt, long dress-pants and dress shoes.[3] As a solider, Armin wears the traditional Survey Corps uniform. Underneath his short brown jacket, he wears a white and collared button up shirt, similar to the one he'd worn as an adolescent. Armin also accompanies his attire with a large green cape when assigned missions on the exterior of the Wall.[4]

Personality

Growing up, the naturally curious Armin had a deep fascination with the world that awaited beyond the walls, and even enthused his best friend, Eren, into sharing this passion.[5] Much of his free time was spent reading any book about the outside world he could find, but he would be branded a heretic for his unusual interest, and was frequently picked on.[6] Too timid to defend himself, Armin would often need to rely on his friends to protect him from local bullies. This, coupled with his frail physique, was a source of much shame for Armin, leading him to have poor self-esteem and believing himself to be a burden. Because of this, Armin was very eager to prove his worth, refusing to accept Reiner's pity during training, and his greatest ambition being to one day stand on equal footing as his friends.[7][8]

Episode 10

Armin ready to save the situation

Armin is exceptionally loyal and selfless, constantly worrying for the safety of his friends, and ready to throw himself into dangerous situations for them.[9] When he, Jean and Reiner had to decide who would be left behind without a horse, Armin immediately offered himself without hesitation, and when Jean was injured in battle, Armin rushed to his aid, placing himself in danger, as well.[10][11] Armin is also very level-headed, keeping Eren and Mikasa under control when their emotions get the better of them. He has talked down a fight Eren started with a soldier, and restrained Mikasa from acting rashly during Eren's military trial.[12][13]

Although initially meek and a bit cowardly, Armin's potential shines brighter as he gradually gains more confidence in himself.[14] Relieving himself of doubt, Armin has shown great investment in humanity's future, always striving for and thinking on how he can change things for the betterment of mankind.[15][16] However, Armin's life has also left him considerably jaded, and he has come to believe pragmatic actions and great sacrifice are necessary for change.[17] Armin admires strong leaders like Erwin Smith and Dot Pixis for their ability to push forward despite having to make hard decisions, vocally praising their cruel, but necessary actions.[18] Despite this cynical outlook, Armin's most consistent traits remain his kind heart and keen intuition, making him often concerned with the group's morality.[19][20]

History

Before Year 845

Armin originally lived in the Shiganshina District of Wall Maria with his parents and grandfather. Armin would often spend his time enthusing his closest friend, Eren, about the world beyond the walls, for which Armin held a passionate curiosity for. Reading about salty oceans, deserts and other surreal places, Armin expressed a desire to one day venture out and see these magnificent sights for himself, and also inspired Eren to dream of freedom beyond the safety of the walls.[21] However, Armin's interest in the outside world was met with frequent harassment by local bullies, who regarded him as a heretic.[22]

Story

Fall of Shiganshina arc

The kids see Colossal Titan

Armin, Eren and Mikasa see the Colossal Titan

On one particular day, in the year 845, Armin would once again find himself cornered by bullies, mocking young Armin for his curiosity in the outside world.[23] Refusing to fight back, Armin would need to be rescued by the timely appearance of Eren and Mikasa. Later, Armin and his two friends settle by the riverbank, where Eren would brood over his desire to join the Survey Corps.[24] Just as Armin muses how the walls can't protect humanity forever, the Colossal Titan appears for the first time, and subsequently breaches Wall Maria as Armin and the others watch in horror.[25] As Titans flood the town, Eren and Mikasa head back home to find their doomed mother, and Armin tries to stop them, but finds himself petrified by fear. Unbeknownst to Eren and Mikasa, Armin was the one to locate and inform Hannes to fetch the two as they were going too close towards the Titans' direction. Armin makes it aboard an evacuation ship with Eren, Mikasa and his grandfather, and witnesses the Armored Titan's first appearance. One year later, Armin's grandfather was enlisted along with thousands of other refugees in a campaign to retake Wall Maria. However, he died on the mission, and Armin was left alone with Mikasa and Eren.[26]

104th Trainees Squad arc

Armin decides to enlist into military training along with Mikasa and Eren, no longer content with sitting by in the face of the Titan threat.[27] He was able to pass the basic aptitude test after some effort, and tried to help Eren with it when his friend struggled.[28] Armin was considered weak in physical strength, and graduated below the top ten. However, he was top of the class when it came to theoretical courses.[29]

Battle of Trost District arc

Armin is shaken by the news of the Titan attack on Trost. He trembles in fear, realizing how sorely unprepared they are to respond, but Eren manages to shake Armin out of it.[30] Armin joins Eren's squad in guarding the middle of Trost and departs with him to their prescribed location. Along the way, Armin's entire team is devoured by Titans, save Armin, himself, with Eren saving him at the cost of his own life.[31] Armin blames himself for Eren's death and falls into a depressive state, nearing suicidal, but pulls himself together with Mikasa's support.[32] During this time, Armin was present to witness the appearance of the mysterious Titan who would only hunt other Titans.[33]

With Trost's military headquarters overrun with Titans, and the soldiers running low on fuel for their gear, Armin devises a plan to lure the Rogue Titan towards the HQ to wipe out the surrounding Titans.[34] Once inside the HQ, Armin constructs a plan to eliminate the Titans infesting the supply depot inside. While Armin and several other soldiers act as bait, members of the 104th's top 10 would slay the seven Titans without having access to their maneuver gear.[35] Armin's strategy works, and the trainees refuel their gear.[36] Shortly after, Armin would witness Eren mysteriously emerging from the Rogue Titan's nape, unconscious, but alive.[37]

Episode 9

Eren, Mikasa and Armin surrounded by the soldiers

After being recovered, Eren was detained by a group of soldiers and was going to be executed. Armin and Mikasa defend him, as he wakes up surprised and confused. Eren plans to escape over the walls unless Armin was able to convince the soldiers regarding Eren's value to humanity. Eren tells him that his quick thinking had saved him and Mikasa before, as he was the one who went to Hannes when Shinganshina was being attacked.[38] Armin, more confident than ever, walks into the open and tries convincing the soldiers of Eren's strategic and tactical importance in turning the tide of the battle in Trost. As a soldier, he passionately declares to be ready to die for this cause and makes a grand salute. Pixis, noticing his determination and passion, prevents their execution.[39]

Now with a boost in self-confidence, he tells the senior strategists about a plan to retake Trost. He tells them that Eren could carry the boulder over to the hole while other soldiers could lure the Titans towards the walls. They proceed with the plan.[40] Later, when Eren loses control of his Titan form and knocks himself out, Armin rushes to Eren and lands on his back. Remembering the spot where Eren had risen earlier, Armin stabs into him a little askew so that it wouldn't be fatal, but would wake him up. He reminds Eren of his dream to go outside and his personal vendetta against the Titans.[41] Eren, successfully motivated by Armin's effort, carries the boulder and plugs the breach.[42]

After news had spread that two captured Titans, Sonny and Bean, were slain, Armin along with other trainees from the 104th Trainee Squad are called in for inspection. Armin, Annie and Connie discuss which branch of the military they would join, and Armin declares he intends to join the Survey Corps, to the surprise of Connie. Annie compliments Armin on his courage, but states she still wants to join the Military Police and survive.[43]

The Female Titan arc

Armin encounters the Female Titan

Armin encounters the Female Titan

After joining the Survey Corps with Eren, Mikasa and the rest of the 104th's top 10 (excluding Annie Leonhart), Armin participates in the Survey Corps' 57th expedition, venturing beyond Wall Rose. Not long into the expedition, Armin's squad encounters the Female Titan, which is seemingly highly intelligent and knowledgeable about military formation. The Female Titan kills Armin's entire squad, but spares Armin's life after carefully unhooding him and observing his face.[44] As the Female Titan moves on, Reiner and Jean meet up with Armin and the three pursue the mysterious Titan. Armin suggests the Female Titan, like Eren, is a shifter and is likely hunting for Eren. The three attempt to engage the Female Titan, and are nearly killed, but manage to stall her, though she immediately beelines for Eren's direction after warding Armin's group off.[45]

Though they survived the encounter, Armin, Jean and Reiner are left stranded with only one horse, which is only strong enough to carry two at a time. After being bandaged up by Reiner, Armin offers himself to be left behind, but luckily, Krista quickly arrives with two spare horses in tow.[46]

Reaching the Forest of Giant Trees, Armin and his fellow soldiers perch on its many high branches, distracting Titans while Erwin confronts the Female Titan. While they wait, Armin concludes that Erwin withheld vital information from most of the soldiers out of fear of traitors existing amongst them. Jean criticizes his commander's actions, but Armin defends Erwin, stating that playing it safe will not bring about change.[47] When the expedition ultimately ends in failure, Armin safely returns to Wall Rose with the remainder of the Survey Corps.

Annie confronted by Armin and co

Annie confronted by Armin

Some time later, in Stohess District, Armin locates and asks Annie, as a Military Police member, for her help in hiding Eren as they need to flee Wall Sina to avoid Eren's inevitable execution. Although initially hesitant, Annie accepts, and Armin explains that they must smuggle Eren out of Wall Sina by foot and will take an underground route. As he, Eren and Mikasa enter the underground, Annie refuses to continue on, realizing that Armin has led her into a trap. Armin confronts Annie, questioning why she was in possession of Marco Bott's 3DMG during gear inspection. Annie claims that she simply found it, but admits to have killed the two captured Titans using her own gear when Armin accuses her of such. Annie questions why Armin did not take action if he was already so suspicious of her, but Armin states he simply could not believe it, and questions why Annie chose to not kill him when she had the chance. Annie isn't sure herself, but congratulates Armin on managing to corner her, confirming her identity as the Female Titan-shifter.[48]

Armin fires a sound grenade, signaling hidden soldiers to restrain Annie. Despite their efforts, Annie succeeds in injuring herself using a barb hidden in her father's ring, allowing her to transform. Anticipating this, Mikasa grabs both Eren and Armin and takes them further underground as Annie in her Titan form attempts to grasp them. Seeing that his strategy has failed, Armin initiates plan B, trying to encourage Eren to fight Annie. Eren tries repeatedly to assume his Titan form, but cannot due to his reluctance to fight Annie.[49] Having no other option, Armin suggests he and Mikasa distract Annie so that Eren may safely flee. Realizing that if he does not fight, his friends will surely die, Eren finally transforms into a Titan and fights Annie.[50] 

After a horrendous struggle, Annie is successfully captured, and Armin takes a moment to rest with the others. Armin informs Jean that Eren's summons to the King were cancelled and that Annie is indeed the Female Titan. She's been detained underground after encasing herself in a crystal to avoid interrogation. Reflecting on the mysterious Titans found in the walls, Armin cannot fathom how the walls were built in the first place, but hypothesizes that abilities like Annie's hardening power were somehow employed to construct the walls.[51]

Armin's hypothesis is later confirmed when the rock sample Squad Leader Hange had picked up from Annie's Titan body matched the properties of the Walls. With this information in mind, Armin and Hange propose a way to repair Wall Maria: Eren using his own hardening ability to mend the breach.[52] Pastor Nick informs the group about a girl in the Survey Corps who may know more about the walls, stating that while he cannot share any more, she can. Armin and the others immediately recognize the girl in question to be Krista Lenz.[53]

Clash of the Titans arc

Once the Survey Corps had rescued the others from the South Squad, Armin learns that Krista's real name is Historia and how heavily injured Ymir was during her fight with the Titans. He immediately learns of Reiner and Bertolt's secret correspondence with Annie. Like Mikasa, Armin was very angry to learn about their betrayal after overhearing the confession about them being responsible for Wall Maria being breached.

During the battle with Bertolt and Reiner, Armin states that the Colossal has very slow movements and that they should exploit it. However, they were taken by surprise when he uses his vapors of heat to keep them off him. Realising that Bertolt is just as desperate to stay alive, Lt. Hange orders Armin and the other members of the Survey Corps to go after Reiner. Armin discovers a weak link to Reiner's line of defense when he saw his armor break. Giving Mikasa and extra set of blades, he tells her to go ofter the back of his knee caps. Soon Bertolt took everyone by surprise by falling off the wall.

With Eren and Ymir now kidnapped by Bertolt and Reiner, he focuses his attention in helping Mikasa and the others until help arrives. Armin tells her the news that she had been dreading and wrapping her lower face in the scarf, she cried. She asks him why he always has to leave them behind when trouble rises. As Armin tries to console her, Hannes arrives to give out rations to everyone in the Survey Corps. He tells them that Eren has always been like that, running into fights despite knowing the odds are against him. Hannes even mentions that although he won't admit it, he always knew Armin and Mikasa were there to help him out. Reinvigorated and determined to rescue both Eren and Ymir, he takes his stance with the Survey Corps, Wall Guards and Military Police. Armin wants Historia to stay within the walls, but she refuses and decides to join them.

Armin and the others reach the Forest of Giant Trees where Reiner and Bertolt were resting. While inside the forest on their 3D gears, they notice Ymir's Titan form. Armin suspiciously notices that she was surveying everyone and wasn't responding to anyone. His suspicions were confirmed when she captures Krista and escapes. He realizes that Ymir was definitely working against them.

A short time later, he joins the other former members of the 104th in confronting the traitors. He remains silent during the initial confrontation, and is forced to briefly retreat when Erwin Smith lures a swarm of Titans into attacking the Armored Titan. When his commander is wounded and carried off by a Titan, Armin remains focused on the mission and joins the second attempt to retrieve Eren. Using his gear to climb onto the Armored Titan's head, he desperately attempts to think of what can be "sacrificed" in order to change their situation. Remembering Bertolt's concern when Annie joined another branch alone, Armin informs her accomplices that she has been captured. Taking his bluff a step further, he inquires whether they intend to leave her behind in the Northern District, and cruelly describes how she is being tortured. This has the intended effect, shocking Reiner and driving Bertolt into a rage. This allows Erwin, now missing an arm, to wound Bertolt and free Eren. With their mission accomplished, Armin and the others attempt to retreat as quickly as possible. However, their path is blocked when Reiner panics and begins to throw Titans to prevent their escape.

This horrifies Armin, and he wonders why Reiner would do this when it endangers Eren. At some point during the battle, a Titan lands near him and knocks Jean unconscious. With no where to run, Armin drags Jean towards a small cluster of trees and prepares to face an advancing Titan with only one sword. He looks towards where Eren and Mikasa are, seeing them in just as desperate a situation. The friends exchange teary-eyed glances, preparing for the end.

He is saved when Eren's power as the Coordinate manifests, causing the Titans to attack first the Smiling Titan and then the Armored Titan. This allows Armin to retrieve a horse, and carry a wounded Jean to safety. They retreat from the battlefield, mourning for the loss of Hannes and remembering their childhood with him.

A week later, Armin would be recruited by Levi to form a new Special Operations Squad alongside the remaining members of the 104th's top 10 trainees. During their first official operation, Armin serves as a body double for Historia, and is eventually captured by the organization that wishes to take possession of Eren and Historia.

Abilities

Planning the operation

Armin discusses the plan of retaking Trost

Being one of the physically weakest soldiers there are, he is rarely assigned to the frontlines and rarely seen using his 3DMG for fights. His main strength however, lies within his intelligence - an innate abilities in deduction and forming strategies, be it in a war room or on the fly, as well as an eye for obscure details, making him a remarkable field tactician, a trait that only he displays among the current recruits. His strategies helped save his fellow soldiers numerous times and more remarkably, he is the key person who deduced the identities of all hostile Titan shifters among the current recruits. He wasn't able to display his remarkable intelligence earlier due to a serious lack of confidence in himself. After acknowledging that he is actually far more useful than he thought he is, his genius as a tactician began to show and thus far, even commanders are shown to take his opinions in matters relating to Titans seriously.

Armin Arlert's Statistics[54]:

Combat
2/10
Initiative
6/10
Wits
10/10
Teamwork
8/10
Judgment
10/10


Relationships

  • Eren Yeager - Eren is Armin's closest friend. Armin has always looked up to Eren as he was always trying to save him from local bullies. He used to discuss with Eren about the outside world and gave him dreams about exploration and freedom. Armin initially felt that he was worthless and incompetent in front of him. Eren, on the other hand, believed that his reasoning abilities had saved him and Mikasa a number of times and trusted him deeply. Eren gave him enough confidence to face a group of soldiers to convince them of his strategical value to humankind.
  • Mikasa Ackerman - Mikasa is a close friend of Armin's. Whenever Armin got into trouble with local bullies, Mikasa would come and save him. Armin looked up to Mikasa's strength and courage and felt inferior to her. Mikasa, however, believed in Armin's abilities to reason out the best solution in a dire situation and trusted him deeply. She was responsible for boosting Armin's confidence and shaping his character.
  • Jean Kirstein - While Armin was initially not that close to Jean due to the latter's rivalry with Eren, their relationship has changed considerably since joining the Survey Corps. Armin's growth as a strategist has aligned with Jean's growth as a leader, and the two often share insights or opinions with one another.
  • Annie Leonhart - The two are shown to share a mutual respect for each other, expressing admiration for each others' hidden qualities. This causes her to hesitate when attacking in her Titan form, a mistake which allows Armin to discover her true identity. He then uses emotional blackmail in order to lure her into a trap and facilitates her eventual capture.
  • Reiner Braun - Reiner is shown to have been protective of Armin, helping him during physical training exercises and carrying him to safety during dangerous operations. Armin initially defends him when he is suspected of being a spy, but quickly realizes the truth and provides evidence of Reiner's guilt.
  • Marco Bott - Armin notes that they were friends, and did maintenance of their gear together. This later allows him to recognize Marco's stolen gear when it is presented by Annie as her own.

Trivia

  • Armin-Chara Design

    Armin's character design for the anime

    The name "Armin" may have multiple meanings, either from an old German word meaning "whole", or "Herman", meaning "soldier".
  • His birthday, November 3rd, is celebrated in Japan as Culture Day. This holiday promotes academics, culture, and the fine arts.
  • In sideart for Volume 11, Armin, along with a few other characters, was depicted transforming into a Titan. His form had a large head that was almost the same size as his small body.

References

  1. Attack on Titan Guidebook: OUTSIDE
  2. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 15, Page 6
  3. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 1, Page 46
  4. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 23, Page 1
  5. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 4, Page 40
  6. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 1, Page 40
  7. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 15, Pages 3
  8. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 5, Page 14
  9. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 8, Pages 3
  10. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 24, Page 6
  11. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 50, Page 22
  12. Attack on Titan Anime: Episode 2
  13. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 19, Page 52
  14. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 11, Page 33
  15. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 11, Pages 38-39
  16. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 52, Page 24
  17. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 27, Page 17
  18. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 27, Pages 16-17
  19. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 52, Page 26
  20. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 59, Page 14
  21. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 4, Pages 42-43
  22. Attack on Titan Manga Chapter 5, Page 13-14
  23. Attack on Titan Manga Chapter 1, Page 40
  24. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 1, Page 42
  25. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 1, Page 47
  26. Attack on Titan Anime: Episode 2
  27. Attack on Titan Anime: Episode 2
  28. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 15, Page 39
  29. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 18, Page 3
  30. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 4, Page 15
  31. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 4, Page 42
  32. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 8, Page 13
  33. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 8, Page 4
  34. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 8, Page 34
  35. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 9, Pages 7
  36. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 9, Page 20
  37. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 9, Page 31
  38. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 10, Pages 1-44
  39. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 11, Pages 12-40
  40. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 12, Pages 20-21
  41. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 13, Pages 29-40
  42. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 14, Pages 9-11
  43. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 21, Pages 2-6
  44. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 22, Pages 35-42
  45. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 23
  46. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 24, Pages 1-9
  47. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 59, Pages 5-17
  48. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 31, Pages 19-44
  49. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 32, Pages 1-17
  50. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 32, Pages 34-43
  51. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 34, Pages 27-29
  52. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 37, Pages 1-14
  53. Attack on Titan Manga: Chapter 37, Pages 28-29
  54. Attack on Titan Guidebook: INSIDE


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