|Relatives|| Kenny Ackerman (Uncle) |
Kuchel Ackerman (Mother)
|Manga||Side Story: Captain Levi|
|Anime||Night of the Disbanding|
|Anime|| Hiroshi Kamiya (Japanese)|
Matthew Mercer (English)
| Great! This here is a Featured Article.
Levi Ackerman has been featured, meaning it was chosen as an article of interest.
|I don't know... I never have. I can believe in my own abilities or the choices of companions I trust. But no one ever knows how it will turn out.|
|— Levi to Eren|
Levi Ackerman (リヴァイ・アッカーマン Rivai Akkāman?, often incorrectly romanized as Rivaille) is a leading soldier in the Survey Corps, and is said to be humanity's most powerful soldier. He is also the leader of the Special Operations Squad.
Levi has short, straight black hair styled in an undercut, as well as narrow, intimidating grey eyes with dark circles under them and a deceptively youthful face. He is quite short, but his physique is well-developed in musculature from extensive 3DMG usage. He is usually either frowning or expressionless; that, plus his extremely calm demeanor, often makes it difficult to guess what he is thinking.
He is most often seen in his military uniform, along with his trademark white cravat. When embarking on expeditions outside the Walls, he also wears the Survey Corps' green hooded cloak. When forced to take leave from his duties due to injury, Levi was seen in a black suit, plain white shirt, cravat, and dress shoes. However, since the beginning of the The Uprising arc, he has left the cravat off. For most of the arc, as the Survey Corps were on the run from the rest of the military and the monarchy, he simply wore his 3DMG harness over casual clothes.
Levi is described as a "clean freak" by those who know him personally, as he prefers his environment to be spotlessly clean. He is averse to having either his person or his equipment soiled, and he has been known to wipe down his blood-smeared blades while still on the battlefield. However, he will not hesitate to touch filth if he deems it necessary. Instances of this include him rescuing a phlegm-coated Eren from the Female Titan's maw and holding a subordinate's bloody, gory hand as Levi comforted him during his last moments.
Despite his preoccupation with cleanliness, Levi is abrasive and not very approachable. He rarely shows emotion, giving a cold impression to others. His manner of speaking tends to be blunt and insulting, his comments are frequently coarse or otherwise inappropriate, and he is not above provoking or belittling those who oppose or irritate him. His sense of humor tends toward the vulgar, insulting, and dark. All of this makes him unsettling to a great many people.
In his pre-Survey Corps criminal life, when he lived in the Underground City, Levi refused to take orders from anyone (as Petra Ral tells Eren). However, after he joined the Survey Corps, he came to greatly respect Commander Erwin Smith, whose orders he follows willingly because he believes in Erwin's vision for the Corps. He also places great trust in his subordinates.
However, Levi's obedience is strictly limited to individuals he respects, and he has no problem showing open disdain for authority from anyone outside of this circle. At Eren's tribunal, he insulted the merchants by calling them "pigs" and told the Military Police to their faces that they weren't competent enough to handle Eren. He openly resents the MPs for their continual attempts to undermine the Survey Corps, and also presumably because of the criminal life he led before he joined the Survey Corps. In one scene, he mocks several MPs by observing that they've never battled or even seen a single Titan. When he sardonically suggests they join the Survey Corps, they back off.
Although he rarely shows it, Levi does have a sense of morality and empathy. One of his most defining characteristics is the great value he places on preserving human life. He himself has stated that he hates unnecessary casualties, and he tells his subordinates to use their judgment so that they can avoid blunders that might cost them their lives. When it was revealed that all Titans may have once been human beings themselves, Levi appeared to be devastated by the idea that he'd been killing human beings all along.
Because of their hazardous profession and his personal values, he cares greatly for his subordinates' welfare. When ordered to retreat early to Wall Rose at the end of the disastrous 57th Expedition, Levi was visibly distressed that so many of his soldiers had died on a fruitless mission. As they re-entered the gate, Petra's father approached him, cheerfully talking about his daughter and her unwavering devotion to Levi (in the anime; in the manga, he speaks of her devotion to the Survey Corps). Unbeknownst to him, his daughter had just been killed; though Levi remained calm, he was too overcome with grief to reply.
Though he bore no malice toward Eren, he was willing to resort to violence against him in order to save his life at his tribunal. Afterward, he appeared to look somewhat ashamed, and he made a point of asking Eren whether Eren resented him for the beating. Levi also was seen to be enraged and bereft by the loss of his entire first Special Operations Squad at the hands of the Female Titan. He has also stated that he carries the will of his fallen comrades, and that their collective grudge against the Titans further strengthens his resolve to continue to fight. Levi risked his life against the Female Titan to retrieve Eren from her mouth -- and to protect Mikasa, who had gone after her recklessly looking for retribution. He sustained an injury to his leg by doing so.
While Levi shows loyalty to and empathy for his comrades, he shows no mercy towards the Titans, slaughtering them indiscriminately with obvious indifference. When dealing with individuals he perceives to be enemies to mankind, Levi is capable of behaving sadistically, even vindictively. For example, when the Female Titan was captured, Levi -- who had just seen the corpses of his entire first Special Ops Squad -- told her he enjoyed watching her suffer and described in chilling detail how he intended to mutilate her human body. He has also committed torture numerous times in the past, as evidenced by the old blood splatters on the apron he dons when he and Hange Zoë torture Djel Sanes.
Though Levi is aware that his battle skill is in a different league from that of almost any other human soldier alive, he is not particularly arrogant about it, as he knows from experience that no human soldier is invulnerable. Few will argue with his claims that only he can handle certain difficult tasks, because he has proven his ability to accomplish them.
Despite his obedience to Erwin, Levi operates rather independently. Many of his Titan kills are solo, accomplished with little direct cooperation from other soldiers (due to him usually assigning them to hunt other Titans in the vicinity). Although he is looked up to by many, and he does not hesitate to give orders when necessary, he does not see himself as a leader, the way Erwin is a leader. He does not seem to have much use for hierarchy in general, and he leaves decisions up to his subordinates as often as he can.
- Main article: Attack on Titan: No Regrets
Levi originally lived the life of a thug in the underground city below the Capitol, along with his friends Farlan Church and Isabel Magnolia. They were eventually captured by Erwin Smith, Mike Zacharius, and Hange Zoë, after which Erwin blackmailed the "Thug Trio" into joined the Survey Corps. Before, when he was younger, he lived with Kenny Ackerman, who states that he taught Levi everything he knows It is implied that Kenny is his maternal uncle; Levi's mother Kuchel was a prostitute, his unknown father apparently one of her clients.
Levi is first seen leaving Trost District with the Survey Corps in the year 850. He leads his squad in assisting Hange as she pursues a Deviant Type Titan. He saves Oluo from being eaten by said Titan, after which Oluo declares that he'll follow Levi all his life. They then find Ilse Langnar's beheaded corpse in the hollow of a tree and her battered notebook on the ground. Levi identifies the latter as "her report."
Levi is then seen leaving Trost, along with the rest of the Survey Corps, on the 56th Expedition Beyond the walls -- the same day the Colossal Titan attacks said District. He is seen rescuing a dying soldier from a Titan's grasp before killing other two Titans. As his subordinate dies, Erwin orders him to Trost, because it's possible that the gate has been breached. After Eren seals the Trost gate and Armin Arlert retrieves him from his Titan body, the two of them plus Mikasa find themselves surrounded by Titans. Levi swoops down to their rescue. Three days later, after Eren awakes in the dungeon beneath the courthouse, Levi assures him that the higher-ups will let him join the Survey Corps -- and that he himself will make sure Eren doesn't get out of hand. Should that happen, Levi says, he will not hesitate to cut Eren down.
During Eren's trial, after Eren issues a verbal challenge to the spectators, Levi violently beats him on the spot, mainly by kicking him, and mockingly observes that while chained on his knees, Eren is perfectly placed for Levi's kicks. Armin has to restrain an infuriated Mikasa from coming to Eren's rescue. She glares at Levi after the trial, and Levi appears unsettled by her. The beating was an act of theater, designed to convince all witnesses that Levi can keep Eren under control, which the Military Police Brigade cannot.
After the trial, Levi hands Eren over to his Special Squad for the next month. They move into the castle that is the old Survey Corps HQ inside Wall Rose. Levi orders Eren to sleep in the castle dungeon, so that he won't accidentally transform and cause problems. During this month, Hange conducts experiments to try to get Eren to transform. If Eren goes out of control in Titan form, Levi intends to cut him out of the nape in a manner that would sever his human limbs, which would grow back in any case. However, Eren fails to transform, and his hands do not heal from his bites. The Squad decides to postpone any further experiments -- until, while having tea with them, Eren leans over to pick up a spoon and accidentally generates a partial Titan body. The alarmed Squad threatens him, and Levi has to defuse the situation.
During the 57th Expedition Beyond the Walls, Levi and his team are ordered to ride in the safest area of Erwin's formation. When the formation is suddenly attacked by an horde of Titans coming at their right flank, they change course toward the Forest of Giant Trees, and Levi's squad takes the central route.. Once the Female Titan appears, his squad begins to beg Levi to give them orders, but he continues to ride forward and look straight ahead.. Eren badly wants to transform and fight the Female Titan, but Petra and her comrades urge him to trust them, and Eren hesitates.. Levi tells Eren he's not wrong for wanting to transform -- that nobody can know the correct choice until after they've made it and there are results. Whatever Eren chooses to do, Levi says, he should do it and believe he won't regret it. Eren declares that he trusts in his squad's victory, and they keep going through the Forest.. This enables the Survey Corps to capture the Female Titan.
Shortly afterward, Levi gets separated from his squad. He reunites with Erwin and prepares to extract the human in control of the Female Titan from the nape of her neck. He and Mike attack her and try to cut her hands, only to discover her ability to harden her skin. After Erwin orders the cannons to be loaded with explosives and aimed at the Female Titan's wrists, Levi, standing on her head, taunts her with threats of violence, telling her he'd like to face her in her human form over the deaths of countless of his soldiers. In response, the Female Titan begins to roar. Shortly after, Titans come at her from all directions seeking to devour her. On Erwin's order, Levi and the rest of the Survey Corps élite try to protect her from them, but they fail. Erwin orders the Corps to retreat back to the Karanese District. However, Erwin notes that the steam from the Titan bodies will make it difficult for the rest of the Survey Corps to see the signal flares. He then realizes that the human inside the Female Titan may have escaped, and he orders Levi to replenish his gas canisters and blades.
After the Female Titan returns and kills Levi's entire squad, he and Mikasa join forces to retrieve Eren from her. Levi tells Mikasa to distract the Titan but avoid trying to kill her, since she's able to harden her skin. Levi then proceeds to attack the Female Titan, and after a series of successful attacks he incapacitates her. Seeing that the Female Titan is now helpless, Mikasa disobeys Levi's orders and attempts to assassinate her. In saving her from the Female Titan's hardened fist, Levi injures his left leg. Using the momentum gained from the last attack, he cuts through the Female Titan's facial muscles, causing her to open her mouth and reveal Eren inside. He grabs Eren and flees with him and Mikasa, whom he scolds for having risked the life of her "special friend" for the sake of vengeance.
As they retreat to Karanese, the remainder of the Survey Corps is attacked by several Titans after one of the soldiers went to retrieve back the body of his fallen comrade. As the Titans close in on one of the carts, Levi, who cannot fight because of his injury, orders that the dead be rolled out of the cart to lighten the load so that they can outrun the Titans. One of the corpses is that of Petra; her shroud blows off, and her body is trampled. However, the unloading of the dead enables the living to outrun the pursuing Titans.
As they enter the Karanese gate, the Survey Corps receives a hostile response from the public for their failed mission. Levi is approached by Petra's father, who reveals that she wrote to him frequently. He tells Levi that, as a father, he's worried about Petra's decision to dedicate her life to him, as she is still quite young and has her whole life ahead of her. Levi continues to walk silently ahead without responding. A few days later, Eren is summoned to the Capitol for a trial to decide his fate. Beforehand, Levi, Erwin, Eren, and the other survivors reunite in the old Survey Corps HQ. Armin tells them his theory about the Female Titan's true identity. Levi himself, still injured, does not participate in the subsequent operation in the Stohess District; during this part of the arc he is only seen with Erwin.
Levi appears only a few times during the supposed breach of Wall Rose. He is seen accompanying Hange and the others as they head to Ehrmich District while they attempt to get information from Pastor Nick. Though he will not personally offer them any information, he agrees to reveal the identity of a person who is able to speak about the secrets of the Walls: Historia Reiss. The Shiganshina Trio offer to help locate her, and in describing her, Mikasa reveals the name of Ymir -- much to Hange's and Levi's surprise.
Levi is briefly seen again at Trost District, still sidelined due to his injury. After the appearance of the Armored and Colossal Titans atop Wall Rose, a detachment of about 100 soldiers from all three military branches is gathered. Some of the MPs express disappointment not to have seen any Titans nearby. Levi calls their bluff by inviting them to joint the Survey Corps any day so they can go outside of the Walls to fight them, whereupon they back down.
Eren is rescued from Reiner and Bertolt, but at a heavy price: Maybe 40 of the 100 military personnel survive, and the survivors are heavily injured. Afterward, Levi visits Erwin, who has lost his right arm in battle, in his hospital room. Hange arrives and informs them on her theory on the true origins of the Titans: that they were once human. Levi appears distressed that he was killing people all along. Erwin, by contrast, smiles; Levi is shocked and calls his reaction "creepy." Then he notifies Erwin that he's decided to form a new Special Operations Squad, consisting of the remaining members of the 104th Trainees Squad who have joined the Survey Corps. He believes that Eren will do his best as a soldier if he has to "fret" about the well-being of his old friends.
Levi's new squad has retreated to a remote location so that Hange can perform experiments with Eren's Titan without fear of discovery. He joins them there, complains that they haven't cleaned the cabin properly, and brings up the possibility of sealing the hole in Wall Maria. Armin believes that Eren might be able to do so with his hardened Titan forms, but that this possibility is not very high. Levi replies that it all depends on Eren, who must succeed at it. When Eren agrees, Levi orders Hange to carry out the experiments. However, Hange then shocks them by telling them that Pastor Nick has been murdered, and that he was tortured beforehand. Levi deduces that the murderer is probably trying to find Eren and Historia. He also guesses that Nick didn't reveal any information, as all his fingernails had been pulled out. Hange blames herself for his death. Levi and Hange eventually, and simultaneously, decide to pursue the culprits via their initial plan; Levi notes that this is what Erwin would do as well.
They eventually start the experiment with Eren's powers, where Levi is also present. When Eren stops responding and Mikasa heads straight for him, Levi plays with the idea of punishing her for disobeying orders, but Armin notes that the experiment is over. After Eren wakes up and is told about the results of the experiment, being unable to use the hardening ability, Levi complains about the situation. Mikasa tries to argue with him but Levi states that he isn't blaming Eren and describes the situation inside the Walls as 'shitty'. Hange 'translates' his words and encourages everyone to keep fighting. Later, the group receives orders from Erwin and leave their location. Eventually, they arrive to Trost and as they walk through the crowd, they are approached by people who blame Levi and the Survey Corps for losing their jobs. They continue until Levi notices an incoming carriage and while he ends up restrained, the carriage seemingly kidnaps Eren and Historia. However, it is revealed that Eren and Historia are hiding while the kidnapped ones are Jean Kirstein and Armin in disguise. At that time, Levi and his squad arrive, standing on top of the roof where the two are being held. Mikasa questions his injury and Levi states that his leg is moving pretty well.
The would-be kidnappers appear and begin talking amongst themselves, noting that they have no more chances to mess up. Just as their leader is discussing the plan, Mikasa appears to the side of one and cracks his head against her knee. At the same time, Levi emerges and throws the second man to the ground while Mikasa lunges for the third and final one. Jean and Historia free themselves while using the same ropes to tie up their kidnappers. After confirming with Connie Springer that there are only three, one of the men pulls a gun but is intercepted due to a well-timed arrow by Sasha Blouse. Levi begins his interrogation of the supposed leader but he denies being the leader, until Mikasa realizes she has seen him before. The man is revealed to be Dimo Reeves, president of the merchant company named after himself. Levi brings him to the top of Wall Rose overlooking Trost District and explains how humanity won a victory here due to Eren, whom Reeves had kidnapped, but Levi is cut off when Reeves claims to be too old for a lecture. Reeves admits to Levi that he only follows orders because his life and company are at stake. Levi notes how crucial Reeves Company is to the survival of Trost and agrees to hand over Eren and Historia so that the company can stay afloat, however he stipulates three conditions: Reeves Company must join the Survey Corps in resisting the government, the company and its members must fully trust the Survey Corps, and anytime the company obtains luxury goods the Survey Corps will receive preferential treatment. Reeves thinks for a minute before agreeing to the conditions, noting that he likes Levi. Reeves then tells Djel Sanes and Ralph, of the First Interior Squad, that he has Eren and Historia. He leads them along a narrow path and intentionally crashes the cart, leaving the two at the mercy of their own torturers: Levi and Hange.
Hange begins to torture Sanes by pulling his fingernails out, an act which perplexes Sanes since he is not being asked any questions. Levi joins in by delivering a left hook to Sanes' face and then asks if this is how Pastor Nick was treated. Sanes starts to explain this his squad are responsible for the lack of war in the walls, mostly because they crush any opposition. He pleads for Hange and Levi to thank him for all he has done. Levi claims to understand but then tells Sanes he will be punished if he does not answer the next question: who are the Reiss Family? Sanes explains that they are just a noble family but Levi inquires further about why they know about the wall titans. Sanes is tortured for failing to answer by Hange, and notices how much the two seem to be enjoying this. He recalls his own life and how he finds it enjoyable to torture those who can not fight back. Sanes justifies his existence and actions by claiming it was all done for the King and the security of the walls. Despite doing this, he yells that his life has been covered in blood and he deserves to be tortured to death. Outside the torture room, his partner Ralph has seemingly told Levi and Hange everything, even including that he does not care for Sanes. Believing that he has been betrayed and there is no point to keep resisting he answers Levi's question and says that the Reiss Family are the real Royal Family.
After confirming the truth about the Reiss family from Sanes, Levi leaves his fate to Hange. He assembles his squad along with Keiji, Nifa, and another member from Hange's squad. He asks Nifa to begin the meeting but she questions who the three unknown men are. Dimo Reeves identifies himself and an associate before revealing the last stranger to be his son, Flegel Reeves. Flegel makes a sarcastic comment about the poor welcome they received and is subsequently hit by his father, who notes that Flegel is spoiled and behaves like a child. They offer to leave a final time but Levi assures them the information Nifa has concerns the fate of the world, and so she begins. She tells how the current King is nothing more than a puppet in place for the real rulers of humanity: the Reiss Family. Historia is visibly shocked and Armin asks if putting Historia on the throne is their main objective, to which Levi replies that it is. He asks for Historia's opinion and when he hears that she won't, he orders her to do it anyway. She again refuses and in response Levi grabs her by the collar and violently lifts her into the air, much to horror of everyone else. He tells her that she can run away, but that the Survey Corps will use all their power to retrieve her and force her to be queen. After releasing her he is told be Jean not to do that, which forces a dark response from their Captain. He tells them that the world is harsh, he is not normal due to seeing so many horrid things, but would still fight his hardest to defend his fellow man. Although Levi is willing to admit that his actions are wrong, he adds that this level of brutality is still preferable to death by a Titan. If Historia agrees to help, he believes they can avoid all of this due to having power and authority. After yelling in her face she frighteningly agrees to fulfill her next role, and is thanked by Levi. Nifa begins to tell Erwin's orders which are to hand over Eren and Historia to the Reebs company, and then follow the First Interior Squad that comes to get them. This will lead them straight to the real ruler of humanity and Historia's father, Rod Reiss. The Survey Corps will then capture him and ask why he keeps humanity divided and holds back technology; a satisfactory set of answers will lead to him being let go, but anything else will result in him being replaced. Levi then dismisses the meeting and sets the plan in motion. Reeves takes the two and is met by Kenny Ackerman of the First Interior Squad, but thanks him for his duty and asks to speak with him alone. After inquiring if Reeves knows who Levi is, the Captain brutally slits his throat and notes that Levi is his problem now. Levi is then shown in his uniform sitting on top of a tree branch, quietly contemplating.
Erwin's plan is put into effect and all members of Levi's squad are under cover at a horse stable in Trost. They learn that the murder of Dimo Reeves is being blamed on the Survey Corps, and they are now under the control of the military police; the remaining members are wanted criminals. Jean, Connie, and Sasha all agree that they could never kill someone, even if Levi ordered it. They also are united in their criticism of Levi's actions towards Historia. Armin disagrees and asks Mikasa for her opinion, and she surprisingly says that following Levi is their best option at this point. Levi appears with Nifa on a rooftop staking out a street. Keiji is watching from behind a building, and a member of Hange's squad who wears goggles is on another roof. Caskets are being moved into a cart and Levi notes that those must contain Eren and Historia. Levi thinks outloud that this is different from the First Interior Squad's usual tactics and is similar to 'his'. Nifa questions this and Levi asks if she knows who 'Kenny the Ripper' is. Nifa explains that he was a serial killer from the capital who killed 100 Military Police, but dismisses it as a rumor. Levi tells her that the stories are true and he even lived with the serial killer for a while. Nifa scolds her Captain that this is no time for jokes while Levi notices that the tactics he is using are very similar to Kenny's. Just as the realization hits him, Kenny Ackerman appears behind him, wearing 3D Maneuver Gear that is modified with guns for killing humans, and fires at himself and Nifa, he narrowly dodges but Nifa is shot in the head and killed instantly. At the same time, Keiji and the goggled member are shot in the head as well. Kenny remarks that Levi is all grown up, before firing a hook and then lifting himself over the chimney Levi is hiding behind. With a clear shot he fires and remarks that Levi hasn't changed, while Levi yells his enemy's name and draws his blades.
Levi begins his fight with Kenny Ackerman by deflecting a bullet and then launching his blade toward his enemy. Kenny shows panic but easily blocks the weapon and fires again, however he misses as Levi conceals himself with his Survey Corps cloak. Levi grimly looks at Nifa and then makes a run for it as First Interior Squad members chase after him using their modified 3D Maneuver Gear. Levi quickly realizes that should he stick with the original plan, he will lose Eren and Historia in addition to his entire squad. Three more First Interior Squad members appear and fire at Levi, who barely dodges before realizing this is an ambush. More shots are fired that produce a wound on the left side of Levi's face before he desperately launches himself into a bar. Kenny approaches the door claiming to smell a rat before bursting in and proclaiming that the great policeman has come to kill the evil villain. Levi, now hiding behind the counter, tells Ackerman to leave him alone to which he refuses. Levi then notes the irony of a mass murderer of Military Police members becoming one himself, to which Kenny replies that Levi is too young to understand adult matters. The former Serial Killer begins to lecture that he taught Levi better than to hide in an enclosed area, since any escape would mean certain death. The conversation continues as Ackerman wonders why Levi joined the Survey Corps, and suggests it was to escape the past where they lived in garbage and it took everything just to survive. They did find salvation in hobbies, although Levi questions why killing his subordinates is a hobby for Ackerman. The Captain responds that he will do anything to achieve larger goals and that Levi is no saint either. During the conversation Levi quietly loaded the barkeepers rifle and repositioned a bottle so he could see Kenny. Just as his former teacher throws a chair at him, Levi blind fires the rifle at Ackerman who is knocked back even though the chair absorbs most of the blast. After thanking the barkeeper, Levi tosses a chair through a window to distract the members outside before emerging himself and firing a cable into the throat of one of them. The remaining two members reload and fire at a charging Levi who uses the dead man as a meat shield so that he can get in close and slash both of their necks. Kenny is revealed to have survived unharmed before remarking to his female assistant that his dream is slipping further away. As his squad is debating what to do at the sound of gunshots, Levi appears with the First Interior Squad in hot pursuit. He fires a cable into the side of one of them and then reels the man right into his sword, cutting him in half. Levi orders his squad to abandon their plan and any chance of saving Eren and Historia. After being told to support the escape, Mikasa angrily wonders about their two captured members, to which Levi replies that they will have to find another way to save them if they survive. Levi then gives one final order: kill the enemy whenever possible, no exceptions. Levi launches a blade into the skulls of one of their pursuers before another one is kicked into the cart by Mikasa before they had a chance to shoot Armin. Jean, armed with a rifle, demands that she not move but she successfully reverses the situation and now has Jean at gunpoint. The entire squad looks on in horror as a lone gunshot is heard.
Levi and his squad are able to escape the pursuit of the First Interior Squad and the next day the Military Police arrive, led by Nile Dok himself. Roy and Beaure of Berg Newspapers are there to get the report as well. Nile tells Roy to censor most of the report and he is compliant. The Survey Corps is now in a rural horse stable and Jean has survived the attempt on his life. Before the First Interior Squad member was able to shoot him, Armin quickly reacted and shot her, saving Jean's life. Outside the stable he is vomiting and crying at the realization that he killed someone. Inside, Levi's wounds are being stitched up by Sasha and they have a fire where Levi assumes that Armin is unable to eat because how how filthy the stable is. Armin wonders how he was able to shoot first when the First Interior Squad member already had her gun drawn, to which Levi replies that she hesitated. Armin continues to wrestle with what he did while Levi tells him to forget that past and that his hands are already dirty. He goes on to lecture that Jean wouldn't be here if Armin hadn't of killed her. Jean explains to Levi that he always thought his captain's way of doing things was wrong, but has come to realize that is it their only option. Levi agrees that Jean's softness put them in a bad spot, but he also does not claim to always be right. Marlo Freudenberg and Hitch Dreyse have been sent into the forest to look for the Survey Corps. While looking they debate how humane the Survey Corps' actions have been, noting that they were responsible for letting the Female Titan loose in Stohess District. They find Armin collecting water and tell him to turn around and come with them. Just as Armin turns around Mikasa and Levi jump from the trees and put their swords to the two MP's necks, telling them to hand over their weapons. Levi orders them to remove their weapons and uniforms, and comes up with a hasty plan to infiltrate the Military Police to find out where Eren and Historia are. After confirming who they are, Levi orders the squad to be ready to move at any time since there will undoubtedly be more Military Police members coming. Before he can announce the fate of his prisoners, Hitch screams that the Survey Corps is responsible for countless death and shouldn't act so right. Levi agrees with Hitch just as she informs them that nothing has been heard of Annie Leonhart since. She theorizes that it was due to being mauled by the Titan, but Levi tells her the truth that Annie is the Female Titan. Levi tells them that they will eventually be released once the Survey Corps is long gone but Marlo interrupts by asking what really happened to Dimo Reeves. Levi again tells the truth that he was murdered by the First Interior Squad which convinces Marlo to help them for the sake of saving humanity. Marlo offers to infiltrate the Military Police himself but Levi refuses, citing the fact that he can't be sure how committed Marlo is to helping them. After ordering Sasha to tie the two up, Jean volunteers to take care of the two, to which Levi agrees. Jean informs them that he intends to kill them since they can't be trusted. However, Jean's true purpose is to test them in order to gauge their loyalty to the Survey Corps. He trips on his own feet and then convinces Marlo to drop the knife to prove his loyalty. Just as he does, Hitch smashes Jean in the face with a stick who falls to the ground and explains everything. The Survey Corps appear outside the First Interior Squad compound thanks to the assistance of Marlo and Hitch who are now absent. Levi tells his squad that it's time to go and notes that finally they will strike first.
Levi's squad infiltrates the First Interior Squad compound and eliminate the guards by injuring, not killing them. They depart with one hostage as Levi says that those two were not there, just as he thought. Levi asks the hostage where Eren and 'Krista' are and he replies by asking about the condition of his men. Levi tells the truth that they are not dead but will be unable to pursue the Survey Corps. The hostage tells Levi that there were many servants there who knew nothing about the First Interior Squad and undoubtedly were cut up as well. Levi claims to be sorry while kicking the man in the teeth and repeating his previous question. The hostage shouts that the Survey Corps is only able to run in circles while they betray their own comrades, and notes that the first to be punished will be the leader, Erwin Smith. He advises Levi that his only option is to surrender himself to execution in order to save the rest of his squad, even offering to mediate the conflict for him. Levi refuses and again repeats his question, to which his hostage responds that Levi is willing to sacrifice everyone in order to continue a futile struggle. Levi is prepared to admit that some lives in the Survey Corps are more important than others. He pins the man to a tree while explaining to him that the monarchy would never pass up the chance to eliminate the Survey Corps so surrendering is pointless, he then breaks the man's arm and repeats his question for a fourth time. Finally the hostage breaks and with tears in his eyes he says he does not know and that Kenny Ackerman tells them nothing. Levi and Mikasa are both intrigued to hear his last name which Levi makes sure to confirm with the man. While he does concede that it is unlikely that his hostage knows where Eren and Historia are, he assumes the man has a pretty good guess. After threatening to break more of his bones the man calls Levi insane, prompting Levi to respond that he might be. At that moment Sasha announces targets coming in, as the Survey Corps conceals themselves the hostage again repeats that they have no chance and will finally pay for everything they've done.
The targets coming in are revealed to be Marlo, Hitch, and Hange. Hange presents Levi with a report from the Belk Newspaper Agency. Within it, it announces that the Survey Corps was framed for the murder of Dimo Reeves by the First Interior Squad, that the press has been forced to print propaganda, and that King Fritz is a puppet for a noble family who remains in seclusion. She announces that the Survey Corps has been absolved of their crimes and that the Capital along with it's administrative areas are under the control of Commander-in-Chief Darius Zackly. Levi asks what did they do and Hange answers that is was the individual choices of people that changed this world. He apologizes for the deaths of Keiji, Nifa, and the goggled member. Hange is grim but finds hope in the fact that their sacrifice enabled Levi to beat the First Interior Squad. Levi corrects her that not all of them have been beaten since Kenny Ackerman escaped, and Eren is still missing along with Historia. Hange holds up an envelope and tells Levi that she has a clue where they might be.
Hange tells Levi's squad that she believes Eren is going to be eaten in order to obtain his Titan power. She then reveals that Erwin had a report commissioned on the Reiss estate, collected by Survey Corps members dressed as farmers. Hange begins to say that 5 years ago the Reiss family consisted of Rod Reiss, his wife, five children, and the illegitimate child Historia. Frieda Reiss was his eldest daughter who everyone loved; she often visited the surrounding farms. However, the night Wall Maria was breached a group of bandits destroyed the Reiss Chapel. At the time the entire Reiss family was inside the church and perished, except for Rod Reiss. Hange concludes the report by adding that this was several days before Historia's mother was killed. Levi speculates that he was trying to find Historia due to blood ties and then wonders if the Reiss blood line is special. Mikasa asks Hange to reveal where Eren and Historia are but she responds that they will talk about that later. Hange finds the destroying of the chapel to be the most interesting event. She theorizes that normal bandits never would have bothered to destroy the chapel, only taking the materials inside. In addition, Rod Reiss immediately rebuilt the chapel using his own finances. Levi, having taken in all this information, orders everyone present to head for the chapel, which they all agree with. Hange adds that they have to hurry since Rod Reiss will likely eat Eren very soon. Armin wonders to himself how Eren became a Titan and whom he ate to become a Titan Shifter.
After stopping at a barn to get supplies, Levi decides to tell his squad and Hanji about Kenny Ackerman, whom he refers to as 'Kenny the Ripper'. Levi tells them that he is their most dangerous enemy ever as he compares Kenny to himself, except more dangerous because he has weapons designed to kill people. Sasha and Connie express serious doubt as Mikasa says they cannot wait for Erwin and the army to arrive. Armin and Jean ponder on whether Kenny has any weaknesses, as Hanji asks Levi if he has any more information since he and Kenny use to live together. Levi apologizes and says that only yesterday did he even hear Kenny's last name, Ackerman. He asks Mikasa if she is possibly a relative of his. Mikasa begins to recount a story by saying that her father's family had been persecuted in the city, and that her mother lost her place in the city due to her race. She tells Levi that even her father did not know why the Ackerman name was being persecuted. After thinking for a moment Levi bluntly asks if Mikasa ever felt like she had a power awakened within her. Thinking back to her experience killing a kidnapper with Eren, she says that she did before Levi says Kenny had the same thing happen to him. Levi then adds that he felt the same thing at one point.
After arriving at the Reiss chapel, Levi and Hange find the secret entrance as Hange hopes that the layout is what she anticipated. After Armin confirms that the preparations are complete Levi asks his squad if they are ready to get their hands dirty by killing. After a brief look around the room, he concludes that they are looking good. After descending the group rolls several barrels full of gas down the stairs. With incredible speed Levi and the others enter while Sasha shoots a flaming arrow at one of the barrels, creating a smokescreen that blocks the view of the First Interior Squad. Levi and Mikasa draw their blades and advance through the air using the smoke. As several First Interior Squad members are about to fire at them, the rest of the Survey Corps fires signal flares to further obscure the two. Levi quickly begins counting his enemies before yelling that there are 35 around the pillars. Sasha continues to shoot barrels and further fill the room with smoke which allows Jean to sneak behind an enemy and lodge a blade deep in his neck, killing him. Connie avoids the fire of two members before making a deep cut into the back of one of their heads. As the other prepares to shoot him Sasha launches an arrow into her heart as Armin tells Connie to fight with the smoke while he fires more flares. Just as Hange kills one Mikasa slices one while cracking another in the face with her foot. Levi continues to cut his way through enemies before noticing Kenny's subordinate, who dodges an attack from him. She fires twice at Hange but misses, leading Hange to charge at her knowing that she has no bullets. During her lunge, Kenny's subordinate fires her hook into Hange's shoulder. As Hange screams in pain and continues to fly by Kenny's subordinate, the hook reaches its length limit and frees itself from Hange's shoulder after pulling harshly on Kenny's subordinate's arm. Hange tumbles to the ground seemingly unconscious as Levi and the others look on with concern. Due to the mounting casualties Kenny's subordinate orders a retreat away from the smoke to regroup. Levi reacts by ordering Armin to take care of Hange and for everyone else to chase the fleeing enemy. As Levi chases the First Interior Squad he wonders where Kenny is and is still angry at him.
As Levi and the rest of his squad, minus Armin and Hange, chase the retreating First Interior Squad, they are perched up against various pillars when they see a bright light coming in the distance. Levi, knowing that this is a Titan shifting, says damn it as he realizes that they are running out of time. Levi and the rest of his squad arrive just in time to witness Historia being blown back by Rod Reiss, who has transformed into a Titan. Historia is caught by Mikasa who asks if she is ok, while Levi, Jean, and Connie attempt to free Eren from the chains locking him to the floor. Connie has trouble finding the right key which prompts Levi to tell him to hurry up. Jean mockingly calls Eren “Mr. Shirtless” while telling him to pay attention since they have to fight Rod and the remains of the First Interior Squad. Levi informs them of their dire situation and points to the collapsing roof, due to the size of Rod, as their biggest problem. The three Survey Corps members succeed in freeing Eren and pulling him away just before a boulder falls where they were standing. Levi rhetorically asks how shitty the situation could be and notes that Rod’s Titan looks even bigger than the Colossal Titan. As Rod’s Titan continues trying to stand up more of the cave ceiling crumbles around him, which causes Kenny to say Rod has messed up and was obviously just as ignorant about Titans as everyone else. In the process of escaping, his female subordinate and other First Interior Squad members come towards him, leading Kenny to call them idiots and ordering them to stay back. Jean bleakly points out that there is no escape route before everyone looks at Eren, hoping he will save them. He lets out a loud grunt and begins to cry while apologizing for how useless he has been. Just as he declares that he was never the greatest hope for humanity he notices a small bottle from Rod’s bag and reads “Armor” on it. Jean angrily asks why he wants to play the tragic hero when he has been able to settle everything before this. Connie adds that he is being too timid while Sasha claims that she doesn’t want to get used to this. Levi grimly remarks that it would be hard enough to escape carrying Eren and Historia, as Mikasa adds that they will certainly be burned to death if they get close to Rod. Sasha screams that they have no other choice before Eren responds that there is no way to escape. Historia harshly asks if he just wants to sit here and die because they are enemies of humanity. Levi apologizes to Eren for always doing this before asking him to do whatever he wants, drawing a parallel to what Levi said back in the Forest of Giant Trees when they were being chased by the Female Titan. Eren, having heard enough, grabs the “Armor” bottle and breaks it in his mouth while sprinting towards Rod and transforming.
Levi is excellent at using the 3D Maneuver Gear, to a point that everyone says he is the best at it. He is also said to be as valuable as an entire brigade, far outweighing all of the other soldiers. Furthermore, he was considered extremely strong even before joining the Survey Corps.
Aside from his extraordinary battle skill, Levi has shown a profound ability to quickly analyze situations, and make calculated decisions in the heat of battle. This has given him the ability to save himself and his comrades on many occasions such as when he realizes the Female Titan cannot be killed easily because of her skin hardening and regenerative abilities, and subsequently saves Mikasa when she tries to slay the Female Titan herself. However, Levi admits that he doesn't believe a person can be right all the time, and some scenarios are beyond a person's control.
Levi has formidable physical strength, which is no doubt evident by his mastery of the 3D Maneuver Gear. Despite his small stature, his body is well built with heavy muscle, making him very strong, and easily able to defeat his opponents. At one point, Levi stops the Female Titan's punch with just his foot. This doesn't stop it from injuring him though.
Method Of Wielding Swords
When Levi first joined the Survey Corps, he wielded the swords in a way his squad leader called "wrong." However, this method has greatly helped his ability to slay titans. This method involves holding one sword in his left hand with the blade facing upwards, and having the other in his right hand with the blade facing down. By doing this, the blades cut in a "circle" around him, allowing him to maintain incredible speed and agility while fighting: while at the same time helping him keep his stamina up without wasting his stamina and strength needlessly enabling him to fight for longer periods of time and taking multiple targets out simultaneously at one time.
- Eren Yeager - As humanity's strongest soldier, Levi commands great respect from Eren. Upon encountering Eren personally, Levi treated him like an animal, wary of his Titan shifting power, though he was impressed by Eren's passion. Upon getting to know him, Levi began treating Eren as he does most others: dismissively and coldly. However, Levi also becomes a mentor of sorts to Eren, understanding the potential good the young recruit is capable of, and offering advice during Eren's moments of doubt. He later becomes more patient with Eren, forgiving his mistakes, and nurturing his growth as a soldier, and as a vanguard for humanity's hope.
- Erwin Smith - Levi and Erwin's relationship was not initially an amicable one. After being captured and blackmailed by Erwin into joining the Survey Corps, Levi at first wanted to kill him, but he later chose to set aside his revenge. Erwin eventually became one of the few people Levi places full trust in, obeying his every command and judgement. However, this doesn't stop Levi from speaking in his usual rude manner around him. Erwin is also one of the few people that can maintain casual conversation with Levi, able to exchange brief banter with one another on equal grounds.
- Hange Zoë - Levi was introduced to Hange during his first expedition as part of the Survey Corps. Levi immediately snubbed Hange's attempts at getting to know him, but their relationship would eventually improve over the years. By the events of the story, Levi and Hange are on better terms, though Levi is still annoyed by her obsession with capturing Titans, and dislikes her recklessness. Levi has gradually become more familiar with Hange, able to comfortably reach out and reprimand her when she gets too carried away. After years of working side by side, the two share a strong bond of trust, and Levi does not doubt any theories she may have on the Titans, even if he may dislike them.
- Mikasa Ackerman - Mikasa quickly took a disliking to Levi, one of the first actions she witnesses is of him beating Eren at his military trial. Since then, Mikasa held a grudge against Levi, swearing to one day make him pay for his actions. She would later lash out at Levi, blaming him for Eren's capture by the Female Titan, and her carelessness would later result in Levi needing to rescue her at the cost of injuring his leg. While sidelined, Levi repeatedly offers advice to Mikasa, who deeply regrets her mistake and endeavours to protect Eren in his place. By the time of the Survey Corps' rebellion, Mikasa largely had set aside her bitterness for Levi, choosing to trust his leadership. The two share the last name Ackerman, because Levi's mentor, Kenny Ackerman, has some sort of connection to Mikasa's father.
- Petra Ral - Petra served under Levi in the Survey Corps and was later handpicked by him to be in his first Special Operations Squad. She harbored a deep respect for him and was proud to be a part of his team. Levi seemed to trust her and her capabilities as a soldier, as she held one of the highest records for killing Titans (48 assist kills and 10 solo kills). After Petra was killed by the Female Titan Levi guarded her body until the Scouts had to retreat back to the wall and was horrified after her father informed him of her intentions to dedicate her life to serving him and the squad, possibly because her father assumed that she had feelings for him.
- Isabel Magnolia - They were close friends when they lived below the capital. She used to name him as her big brother.
- Farlan Church - They were close friends when they lived below the capital.
- Kenny Ackerman - Former mentor and previously lived with each other during Levi's youth. Their surname connection is currently unknown.
- Levi ranked first in the Characters Popularity Poll, a place above the series protagonist, Eren Yeager.
- He is attributed with the literal title of "leader of the soldiers" (兵士長 Heishichō?) among the Survey Corps. This title is often shortened and translated as "Captain" (兵長 Heichō?), and it is the title that he is commonly referred to by his comrades.
- His name is Hebrew in origin, and means "attached" or "joining".
- His romanized name means "revival" in Japanese
- "Levi" is also a diminutive of the Hungarian given name "Levente", which means "existing" and is Slavic in origin.
- His name was inspired by a person from the American documentary 'Jesus Camp'.
- Levi's age is one of several mysteries Isayama has hinted about in interviews. He has stated that Levi is "surprisingly old", but had once declined to give an exact answer  beyond stating that he is "older than 30".
- Levi's position in the Survey Corps is not actually an official ranking, and because he is an exception to the usual chain-of-command, his duties are unique.
- Levi seems to have a fondness for black tea or enjoys collecting tea leaves.
- His liquor tolerance is not bad, more specifically, he does not get drunk.
- Levi takes three-minute combat showers.
- He only sleeps an average of 2-3 hours.
- At a recent convention, Isayama has said that Levi had once wanted to open a tea shop.
- (To a group of Titans) "Each and every one of you... making those silly faces."
- (To a dying subordinate) "You've served more than enough, and you'll continue to do so. The will you leave behind will give me strength. I promise, I will drive the Titans to extinction no matter what!"
- (To Eren during his trial) "This is just my cherished opinion, but I think that pain is the most effective means of discipline. What I think you need right now is not lecturing, but precept. And since you're on your knees, you're in just the right position to be easily kicked."
- (To Petra about Eren) "It's clear to me. This guy's a true monster. His Titan abilities have nothing to do with it either. No matter how much force you hold him down with, no matter what kind of cage you shut him up in, forcing this guy's will into submission is something nobody can do."
- (In the Forest of Giant Trees) "Eren, the difference between your judgement and ours is something that arises from the gap in our experience. But not relying on something like that is just fine. Choose. Whether you should believe in yourself, or believe in the Survey Corps, myself included. I myself don't know... I never have. Whether I believed in my own abilities, or whether I believed in the decisions of my trusted comrades, in the end no one ever knew what the outcome would be. So I guess... you have to do your best to make a decision that you won't regret."
- "Nile, are you brains as hollow as that peach fuzz of yours?"
|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|