|Former Affiliation||104th Trainees Squad|
|Anime|| Kishō Taniyama (Japanese)|
Mike McFarland (English)
Jean Kirstein (ジャン・キルシュタイン Jan Kirushutain?) is a graduate of the 104th Trainees Squad, among whom he ranked 6th best. Jean hails from Wall Rose's Trost District, and joined the military with hopes of obtaining a peaceful life as part of the Military Police Brigade, but would later find himself joining the Survey Corps.
AppearanceJean has short, light ash-brown hair with his sides and back trimmed shorter and of a darker hue. He has small, intense light-brown eyes, and is said to have the same vicious look in them as Eren does. Jean is of average height and build, and has a scowl similar to Eren's but is said to have a long face (a "horseface"). He is often seen wearing the typical uniform of the Scouting Legion worn with an olive grey button-up shirt.
His casual attire mostly consists of a white button-up shirt, dark pants, and a dark brown vest.
Jean is a very honest man. He holds no restraint when it comes to speaking his mind, even when he knows it would not be wise to do so or when it could spark conflict. Jean is also pragmatic: he has a strong aversion to exposing himself to dangerous situations, and has openly admitted his desire to join the Military Police is due to wanting an easy and safe life.
During his time as a trainee, Jean was extremely hot-headed, easily becoming frustrated and quick to resort to violence when pushed. Jean was also very cynical about defeating the Titans, believing that humanity has no chance against them. He openly mocked more idealistic individuals like Eren, and saw resisting the Titans as a hopeless cause.
Despite his shortcomings, Marco describes Jean as a natural leader, being able to understand others and assess situations well because of his flaws. Indeed, during the Battle of Trost, Jean proves capable of leading his fellow soldiers when they are left confused and leaderless, and rallies Armin and Reiner in an attack on the Female Titan, knowing that not fighting her would endanger the rest of the Survey Corps.
Although he presents himself as self-centered, Jean places high value on the lives of his comrades, and is ashamed and horrified when he must leave helpless allies behind to save himself and others. He was also willing to risk his life even if just to slow down the Female Titan, as refusing to do so would have certainly resulted in countless more deaths. Jean later criticized Erwin's plan of withholding information from his subordinates out fear that there was a spy among them, feeling that the plan did not justify the lives lost because of it.
Jean's first instinct is to always see life through cautious and doubtful eyes. He was hesitant to accept Armin and Reiner's plan of having the Rogue Titan fight for them, and immediately admitted to never having trusted Ymir when she seemingly kidnapped Krista. Despite this, following the second appearance of the Armored Titan, Jean was also the one to motivate Eren to continue fighting for humanity's victory, showing that he is slowly adopting the same idealistic outlooks he once criticized.
Jean hails from Wall Rose's peaceful town of Trost. Though he lived a relatively normal childhood under the loving care of his mother, Jean had always wished to live the comfortable life of a proud Military Police soldier in the inner district of Wall Sina.
After becoming of age, Jean enlisted into the military, joining what would be the 104th Trainees Squad. On the day of his enlistment, Jean admitted his desire of joining the Military Police, and received a headbutt from Keith Shadis for his troubles. That night, Jean would encounter Eren Yeager for the first time. The two immediately took a disliking towards each other and their respective ideals.
Jean would perform well during his training, motivated by his ambitious dream of ranking amongst the top 10 to join the Police Brigade, and his desire to outdo Eren.
As part of the 104th, Jean succeeded in ranking in the top 10 of its graduates, placing just under Eren and coming in at sixth. After the graduation ceremony, Jean, proud of his accomplishment and eager to join the Military Police, got into an altercation with Eren. Fancying himself a realist, Jean's ideals brought him to blows with the more idealistic Eren, who criticized Jean as a coward.
Following the second attack of the Colossal Titan, Jean, along with the rest of the 104th trainees, were sent to the front lines to deal with the Titans that had begun entering the city. Only days away from joining the Military Police, Jean tries to take his frustrations out on Eren, but the latter commands him to pull himself together for the sake of their allies.
Later, due to the supply shortage, Jean is unable to fight at first. With the arrival of Mikasa, he and the rest of the group rush towards the HQ to resupply. When Mikasa runs out of gas, Jean takes the lead, but quickly loses faith in his ability to shoulder the lives of others. Soon after, a soldier runs of fuel and the Titans swarm him. Seeing the opportunity, Jean commands everyone to take advantage of the distraction and make a break for the military HQ to refuel. Jean successfully leads the group to safety, but to his horror, several soldiers were left to die because of his command.
Finding the cowering resupply team, Jean strikes one in anger, telling them they are responsible for the soldiers who were killed. Soon after, Mikasa, Armin and Connie arrived with the help of the Rogue Titan. Still having to deal with the Titans in the headquarters, Jean is made part of the second group in Armin's plan to clear the supply room. Jean manages to slay his assigned Titan, and the plan succeeds.
After resupplying, he stays back with Reiner and Annie. After Reiner suggests helping the Rogue Titan out, Jean is very hesitant, as they had just barely escaped with their lives, and he is unwilling to risk it again for a Titan. Fortunately, they do not have to because the Titan broke itself free in order to attack another Titan, collapsing soon after. Witnessing Eren emerge from the nape of the Rogue Titan's neck, Jean ends up being one of the first people to learn about Eren's Titan shifting ability.
In the aftermath of the battle of Trost, Jean finds the body of his friend, Marco, in which Jean is clearly disturbed by the sight. Later he and the rest of the 104th trainees burn the corpses of their fellow comrades in a bonfire. During this moment, Jean remembers Eren's speech, and Marco's compliment about his mental strength. Mourning over Marco's death and internalizing his words of encouragement, he asks the other trainees which branch of the military they're planning to join, at which point he clenched his fist and, against his own wishes and fears, Jean declares that he will join the Survey Corps. During graduation, despite fearing what might happen to him in the future as he would inevitably encounter more Titans, he joins the Survey Corps instead of the Military Police Brigade.
After joining the Survey Corps, Jean confronts Eren regarding his role as humanity's saviour, declaring that he's putting his trust in him as he does not wish to die. Jean participates in the 57th Expedition of the Survey Corps.
Not long into the expedition, Jean encounters the Female Titan. Cooperating with Armin and Reiner, Jean engages the Female Titan, believing that if he does not at least slow it down, it will continue to wipe out more and more soldiers. The three succeed in confronting the Titan, but are quickly overpowered and are nearly killed, though they all escape with their lives. Following the battle, Jean has lost his horse, but Krista finds and returns it to him.
Making their way to Forest of Giant Trees, Jean is ordered to perch among its tall branches to distract Titans from entering while Erwin and Eren handle the Female Titan. While they wait, Armin confides to Jean his belief that their commander had suspected a spy was amongst them but declined to reveal this knowledge. Jean questions the morality of such a decision, but Armin defends Erwin, stating that it was a necessary risk, and the lives it cost is justified, though Jean has his doubts.
After the expedition fails, Jean returns safely to Wall Rose. Days later, he is chosen to pose as Eren due to both having similar eyes and demeanor.
Following the second appearance of the Female Titan, at Eren's bedside, Jean finally learns about Annie's true identity from Armin and how she is encased in a crystal to avoid interrogation. He also finds out about the Titans similar to the Colossal Titan inside the Walls being used due to their hardening abilities. Jean and Armin head down to the meeting between Commander Erwin Smith and the head of the Military Police Brigade, Nile Dok.
Jean reappears as a member of the squad with Erwin, who have come to assist with the breach of Wall Rose. He is present when a Garrison member informs Dot Pixis that there is no breach and that three more Titan Shifters have been identified. He is incredibly shocked and demands to know who they are, before Erwin calms him down and the Garrison member tells the rest of the story. He is outraged at Reiner's and Bertolt's betrayal and their secret correspondence with Annie. He also learns about Ymir being a Titan shifter and that both she and Eren are taken hostage. He becomes determined to stop his traitorous teammates, so he readily takes his stance with the Survey Corps, Military Police Brigade and Garrison.
He later observes another soldier being devoured by a Titan, noting that it is once again a member of the Military Police Brigade. The troops enter the forest in pursuit of the traitors, and he is among the group that encounters Ymir in her Titan form. When she suddenly attacks and kidnaps Historia Reiss by swallowing her, Jean is the one to rally the other soldiers and order them to pursue Ymir into the forest, Jean stating that he never trusted her to begin with.
Jean watches as Ymir, Bertolt, Eren, and Historia run away on the Armored Titan's back. He joins Hannes in following them and assists Mikasa in the assault on the Armored Titan. After realizing that he cannot use force to save Eren, he talks to Bertolt and Reiner about their time during training camp, and wonders if everything they shared was a lie. When Bertolt tells him it was not, Jean appears shocked.
Jean jumps off the Armored Titan once Hannes warns him about the oncoming Titan hoard. After joining Erwin in the charge, he saves Mikasa by stabbing it in the eye after it had grabbed her.  He is later knocked off his horse by one of the Titans thrown by the Armored Titan and is defended by Armin, but ultimately saved when Eren uses his powers to order all Titans in the area to attack the Armored Titan.
He survives the retreat back to wall Rose and assumes that 60% of the soldiers who went to retrieve Eren died, and another 20% are critically wounded. He notes that what Eren does will decide if the sacrifices were worth it. This revelation convinces Eren to not hold back and do anything he can to retake Wall Maria. Jean later appears as a member of Squad Levi, carrying supplies with Sasha and Armin.
Jean sits in silence as Levi, Armin, and Hange reveal their plan to use Eren to seal Wall Maria by hardening his skin like The Female Titan. He is also present when Historia reveals the truth about her past. Jean later poses as Eren in accordance with Erwin's orders, although he is not happy about being Eren's double. He assists in taking down his captors who turn out to be members of the Reeves corporation, led by the President himself.
At their new base, Jean expresses worry over who their enemies really are, and theorizes that they will be hung if their revolution to replace the king with Historia fails. He hears Erwin's plan from Nifa to hand over Eren and Historia to the Military Police so that they can find Rod Reiss. He is shocked when Levi starts attacking Historia and tells him that such action is unnecessary.
After the Survey Corps is accused of the murder of Dimo Reeves, Jean is among the members that remain in hiding. He passes unnoticed among the crowds gathered to hand out flyers and discuss the fugitives, wearing a hat and cloak to disguise himself. Upon rejoining the others at a stable, he passes out the flyers detailing Levi's appearance and crimes, and expresses doubt about their circumstances. He states he expected to be killed by a Titan, not forced to become a hated fugitive from the law. Disheartened, he expresses doubts about Levi and their current situation, stating that he would refuse to kill another human even if ordered to do so. His doubts are echoed by Connie and Sasha, who both express anger and misgivings about Levi. Armin and Mikasa rebuke them, stating that they need to make their decision immediately.
Jean is highly adept at using Three Dimensional Maneuver Gear, being able to maneuver well even on open terrain, which is considered extremely difficult. Jean is also an exceptionally level-headed individual, able to see the big picture, and make tactically wise decisions when it counts. It were these traits that earned Jean his rank as 6th best amongst the 104th squad.
- Marco Bott – Since their days as trainees, Marco has been Jean’s closest friend and confidant. Jean would occasionally mock Marco for his idealistic reasons for joining the Military Police, insisting that the only reason anyone would join would be for the safety and comfort. Despite this, it was Marco who encouraged him to accept his abilities as a leader, and his death at Trost had a life-altering impact on Jean.
- Eren Yeager – Jean and Eren initially share a fierce rivalry which stems from their differing view points: while Jean sees Eren’s eagerness to join the Survey Corps as suicidal and foolish, Eren sees Jean’s desire of joining the Military Police as cowardly and selfish. It was actually Jean’s desire to outdo Eren that would push him to improve himself during training. Despite their bitter rivalry, which would occasionally turn violent, Jean also respects Eren to a certain degree, admitting that he lacks the latter’s courage. Upon realizing Eren’s potential as a Titan Shifter and the hope he represents for mankind, Jean sets aside his enmity for Eren.
- Mikasa Ackerman – From the moment he laid eyes on Mikasa, Jean has had a crush on her, and admires her beautiful black hair, although Mikasa has more or less remained indifferent to Jean. During casual conversation, Jean tends to blush and stutter around Mikasa, and immediately jumped to her rescue when a Titan threatened her. Despite his crush, Jean does not sympathize with Mikasa’s devotion to Eren, stating that most people do not share her willingness to throw their lives away for him. It was this same devotion that partially fueled Jean’s resentment of Eren.
- Armin Arlert – Although Jean was initially put off by Armin’s dedication to Eren, the two eventually manage to find common ground in their similarly rational natures. Jean and Armin often share complex conversations of morality, strategy, and the problems at hand. While Jean usually takes a more humanistic stand, Armin will often defend a more pragmatic point of view. Despite their differences, Jean and Armin gradually become friends.
- Hajime Isayama has said his favourite character is Jean.
- "Jean" is the French variant of "John", meaning "Blessed by God".
|104th Trainees Squad|
|Squad Leaders||Hange Zoë · Mike Zacharius|
|Team Leaders||Dita Ness · Darius Baer-Varbrun|
|Special Operations Squad|| Eld Jinn · Petra Ral · Oluo Bozado · Gunther Schultz|
Eren Yeager · Historia Reiss · Mikasa Ackerman · Armin Arlert · Jean Kirstein · Connie Springer · Sasha Blouse
|Squad Members||Braun · Dieter · Gelgar · Henning · Ilse Langnar · Jurgen · Keiji · Lauda · Luke Siss · Lynne · Moblit Berner · Nanaba · Nifa · Pere · Thomas|
|Former Members||Bertolt Hoover · Keith Shadis · Reiner Braun · Ymir|
|Before the Fall members||Carlo Pikale · Sorum Humé · Kuklo|