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|“||The world is a cruel place. If you want to live, you have to fight.||„|
|~ Mikasa Ackerman|
|“||This world is cruel. And yet... so beautiful.||„|
|~ Mikasa's personal outlook on the way the world works.|
Mikasa Ackerman is the main female protagonist of Attack on Titan, the adoptive sister of Eren Yeager and mutual childhood friend of Armin Arlert. Mikasa hides her emotions but cares deeply for Eren — never hesitating to cry with tears of joy or despair depending on what happens to him. She shares an unbreakable bond with Eren following events in their past, and his mother requesting that she protect him made her even more overly protective of him than she was beforehand. She is the top-ranked graduate of the class.
She is voiced by Yui Ishikawa in the Japanese version of the anime and Trina Nishimura in the English version.
Mikasa is is very fit and has chin-length black hair. Originally, she wore her hair long, but when Eren told her to cut it, since it would be a hindrance during training, she did so (although Jean Kirschtein had just told her how beautiful it is). Her height is average, and she has blue, calm looking eyes.
She is normally always seen wearing the uniform of the Survey Corps, as well as a red scarf, which was given to her by Eren when they met after he saved her. It is very precious to her.
|“||Eren, if you're here, I can do anything.||„|
|~ Mikasa Ackerman|
A few years before joining the Yeager family, Mikasa appeared to be a cheerful, outgoing, yet unusually perceptive child. From an early age, Mikasa was aware of the harshness of nature, witnessing the manner in which predators would hunt and kill weaker prey. However, her innocence allowed her to push these thoughts to the back of her mind, and she continued to live happily with her parents. This illusory peace was shattered when a band of criminals brutally murdered her parents before her eyes in a failed kidnapping attempt on herself and her mother. To save herself and her rescuer, Eren Yeager, Mikasa managed to abandon all inhibition and hesitation, allowing her to kill one of her assailants. Following this traumatic event, Mikasa would gain a generally cynical outlook on life and accept the world as a cruel place where only those who are strong are able to survive.
After the murder of her parents, Mikasa has become noticeably emotionally withdrawn and serious, but she still loves and cares deeply for her friends, especially Eren and Armin, seeing them as the last remnants of a family she cannot afford to lose. Her personality as a teenager is very much influenced and molded by Eren, who told her she stood no chance of survival if she did not fight for it. His words continue to stay with her, and her mind automatically recalls them to spur her on when she is close to death. Her determination to protect Eren as much as possible may also have contributed greatly to her phenomenal skills as a soldier. Though she is among the best of the best, she remains humble and refrains from putting on airs or displaying arrogance.
Mikasa has a strong sense of right and wrong, but she is also very protective of Eren and does all she can to advise him to follow what she deems to be the right track. Despite that, she knows well that she cannot always sway Eren in his decisions and makes a point to follow Eren to almost everywhere he goes and stick by whatever final decisions he makes, just so that she can be around to help him out when he is in trouble. The sole reason she enlisted in the military and joined the Survey Corps after her graduation was to keep an eye on Eren, despite the fact that she truly wished to live out the rest of her days in relative peace within the Walls alongside him. She also takes Eren's opinion seriously, so much so that when he once said that her hair was too long, she immediately had it cut, even though Jean had just commented that it looked beautiful.
Despite all her blind loyalty, Mikasa is quite stoic and level-headed. Her will is remarkably strong, and she is rarely seen to lose her cool or be at a loss of what to do, no matter how bleak a situation seems to be. Even when she believed Eren to be dead, outwardly she managed to remain so calm that only Armin could tell that she was battling with the pain of losing Eren. However, she is not completely immune to the effects of her emotions. Her strong feelings for Eren, particularly when he is in harm's way, does at times cloud her judgement - sometimes to the endangerment of herself and others. A notable example is the occasion she briefly gave into her grief over Eren's apparent demise and lost the will to live - forgetting her responsibility for the lives of the soldiers she had taken upon herself to lead in the process. However, she was reawakened by her memories of Eren, after which she made a conscious decision to never give up again, as if she were to die, her memories of Eren would die with her. When she found him alive and well, she completely lost her composure and wept tears of joy.
Mikasa's bond with Eren is undoubtedly her most important relationship, and one that defines Mikasa. For Eren's sake, Mikasa has expressed a variety of emotions such as compassion, concern, anger, embarrassment, sadness and tenderness. She has openly wept tears of relief at his safety, and developed vengeful grudges towards those who harm him. She relentlessly attacked the Female Titan in a murderous fury as it attempted to abduct Eren, and later attempted to kill Reiner and Bertolt for trying to do the same. Mikasa blushed when it was insinuated she and Eren were lovers, and has suffered crippling distress at the thought of losing Eren forever. Mikasa also wears the red scarf Eren gave her when they first met, holding on to it as a source of strength and comfort when she is upset.
Mikasa and her mother are the last of their clan and the oriental (Asian) race. Before her parents' death, she lived peacefully with them in the farmlands of Wall Maria. Mikasa underwent a painful scarring ritual from her mother, whom cut into her skin the mark of their oriental clan. Being the last of their race made them high value targets to human traffickers, who killed Mikasa's parents and kidnapped her when she was only 9 years old. She is rescued by Eren who tricks and kills two of the slavers. He was then overwhelmed by the third trafficker and on the verge of being strangled. Desperately, Eren urges Mikasa to fight to win. Although she was initially frightened, she came to realize that "this world is a callous and merciless place" and dispatched the kidnapper who was trying to kill Eren. This event awakened the fighting instincts and perfect self-control that would later turn her into a formidable soldier. She lived with Eren's family in Wall Maria's Shiganshina District until the beginning of the story.
StoryMikasa, upon graduation, is ranked first. Before having the chance to fully apply in the Scouting Legion so she can keep Eren safe, the Colossal Titan breaches Wall Rose the same way it did with Wall Maria. Much to her dismay, Mikasa is assigned to the rear guard with Annie to help fend off the Titans while the civilians escape into the safety of Wall Shina. Mikasa, before fulfilling her duty, makes Eren promise her not to do anything reckless. Later on, as a Titan approaches the escaping civilians, Mikasa kills it, saving everyone. She then witnesses why the civilians are taking too long to escape: a cargo blocking the way. Mikasa asks the businessman to move the cargo so that the people would escape, but when he refuses, Mikasa threatens him, which scares the businessman. Seeing a mother and daughter being grateful to her, Mikasa for a moment is brought back to the time she lost her own parents and realizes that Eren is the only family she has.
Thus, with the evacuation of Trost District citizens complete, she heads to the front guard in order to aid her comrades. However, the sole trainee survivors are low on gas, making them unable to scale the wall while the supply team inside the headquarters has barricaded themselves in against the onslaught of multiple Titans. After hearing Eren's supposed death, Mikasa calmly regroups the survivors to break through the Titans assaulting the headquarters.
However, due to her not rationally thinking after hearing Eren's supposed death, she does not notice that she's running out of gas. As two Titans close in on her, she contemplates giving up and begins to remember her time with Eren, when suddenly, she remembers Eren yelling at her to fight, which gives her motivation. When Mikasa prepares to kill a Titan reaching for her, another Titan arrives and kills the other Titan.
This Titan, which ignores Mikasa gives Armin enough time to rescue Mikasa and they both continue heading to the supply HQ. As they watch this rogue Titan continue killing other Titans, they hatch a plan to lure it to the HQ and relieve the siege there. With its (unintentional) help, the trainees manage to successfully refill their gas tanks and have clear access to the Wall. However, as they watch the rogue Titan dispose of the last Titans surrounding them, Eren appears out of its spine. Overcome with relief that Eren is alive, Mikasa quickly rescues and embraces him and together, everyone leaves for the Wall.
However, their commander fears Eren is a Titan and attempts to have Mikasa and Armin executed along with him. After a tense standoff, they are saved when Commander Dot Pixis, head administrator of the southern region, intervenes. They are sent on a mission to stopper the breach in the Wall with a rock that only Eren in Titan form can lift.
As the mission commences and Eren goes into Titan form, he attacks Mikasa and eventually knocks himself out. The elite team designated to defend Eren as he carries the rock quarrel among themselves about what to do next. Mikasa was on the verge of attacking them until the team leader orders everyone to continue protecting Eren until he recovers.
Eren eventually snaps out of it and successfully places the rock down. However, he is brought before a military tribunal to decide his future. Despite Mikasa's best efforts to defend him, she is forced to testify against Eren as his reckless actions have frightened many people in the courtroom.
Sometime later, Mikasa and everyone else were having their Three Dimensional Maneuver Gear (3DMG) inspected and in order to find out which 3DMG was used to kill the two captured titans. Later on, Commander Irvin Smith comes to recruit new members for the Scouting Legion which is scheduling an expedition within a few months. Many left except for Mikasa, Reiner, Armin, Sasha, Christa, Connie, Jean, Berthold and a few others.
Shortly after leaving for Wall Maria, the Female Titan appeared and given her knowledge of military formation, she was able to defeat the Scouting Legion. After kidnapping Eren, Mikasa teamed up with Levi and attacked the Female Titan relentlessly until they got Eren back. Following the Scouting Legions' failure, Armin had convinced Annie to help them out until they can gather evidence to prove to the King that the walls need to be protected better. During that time, Mikasa took notice of the lack of diligence and honor in the Military Police. She prepared for battle when she got fed up with Annie's games and excuses. She took off her disguise and drew out her 3DMG to fight her. Mikasa calls her out as the Female Titan who attacked them earlier.
Mikasa learned that Eren in his titan form isn't powerful enough to defeat Annie by himself. Being the strongest and most powerful soldier herself, she decides to take the fight to her. Despite being ordered to pull away from Lt. Hanji, Mikasa manages to make it to Annie as she attempted to climb over Wall Shina to escape to the flat lands. She cuts off all her fingers and pushes her off to fall to the ground. Annie is therefore captured, but encases herself in a crystal to avoid interrogation. However, it was far from over as Mikasa has just taken noticed of a titan hiding behind the wall, similar to the Colossal Titan.
As both the Scouting Legion and Military Police takes an encased Annie underground to detain her, Mikasa realizes the Titan hiding in Wall Shina is breathing, but is too weak to move due to a lack of sunlight. Mikasa remains at Eren's bedside as Armin and Jean head down to a meeting involving Commander Smith and the Military Police.
Mikasa, Eren and the other members of the Scouting Legion comes to rescue Reiner and the others from the other titans. She was among the others who learned Christa's real name being Historia. Mikasa is outraged when she overhears Reiner confessing that he and Berthold were responsible for the attack on Wall Maria, 5 years ago and wanted Eren to join them. She took them by surprise by attacking them and told him to run. As Eren battles with Reiner, Mikasa faces her own troubles and regretted not cutting off both his and Berthold's heads when she had the chance. During the fight with Reiner, she saw Eren in trouble and tried to fight him off. However due to the thickness of the armor, Mikasa had a hard time slicing the nape of Reiner's neck.
During a flashback, Mikasa asked Annie to teach her a move that she was teaching Eren, which eventually called for a bet with the 104th Training Class to see whom was the stronger fighter. Eventually, Armin saw a weak link in Reiner's line of defense in which his armor is breaking and gives Mikasa extra blades to replace her own. Taking advantage of the information, she cut his at the back of the knee caps and it turned out to be his weak point.
In Ch.45, Mikasa along with Hanji and others from the Scouting Legion are injured from the heat blast from Berthold's titan from. While Armin helps them recover, he gives Mikasa the news that she was dreading to hear: Eren along with Ymir was kidnapped by both Reiner and Berthold. Taking the scarf that he gave her, Mikasa covered her face with it and asks why Eren always runs off on them like that. When she previously fought Annie in her titan form, Mikasa and Levi were able to recover him back. This time, she feels like she has failed in keeping her adoptive mother's promise in always protecting him and wept. As Armin tried to console her, Hannes arrives to give out rations to the Legion. It was he who reminds her that despite him running off the way he does and often losing fights, he never gave up on them. Even thought the odds were stacked against him and is unwilling to admit it, Hannes always knew that Eren relied on both Mikasa and Armin when he needed them. His words and his assistance reinvigorated them and are more determined to rescue Eren. Mikasa lowered her scarf and begins eating. Feeling the same feeling that Historia has in wanting to rescue Ymir, she took her stance with the Scouting Legion.
She spearheads the attack on the traitors, aggressively chasing them down as they attempt to flee from the Forest of Giant Trees. Realizing that armor was protecting Reiner's joints this time, she instead targets Ymir and slashes into her face. Afterwards, she attempts to kill Bertholdt, who escapes by hiding between the Armored Titan's throat and his hands. Changing targets again, she prepares to try to kill Ymir and is only stopped when Christa intervenes. However, she is unmoved by Christa's words and threatens to kill anyone that gets in her way. Her cold expression and statement that she has no mercy or compassion to spare forces Christa and Ymir to back down, allowing her to focus on trying to find a way to take down the traitors.
Jean and Connie try to speak to Bertholdt and coax him into surrendering, but Mikasa coldly states that their reasons don't matter. She calls Reiner and Bertholdt a "plague upon humanity" and advises the others not to show mercy. This causes Bertholdt to yell at her, first stating that they never wanted to kill anyone and admitting to having cared for the others in the 104th. She is visibly shocked by this outburst, enough that it snaps her out of her murderous rage. Mikasa asks them to give Eren back, but her request is rebuffed as he claims it has to be done.
Owing to the need to protect her adoptive brother who often runs off looking for trouble, Mikasa had honed herself to be a talented fighter at a very young age, often throwing boys bigger than her with ease, gaining her reputation. An example of this is when Armin was being bullied and Eren came to his rescue. The boys were preparing to take Eren on when they saw Mikasa behind him and promptly ran away, even though the bullies have superior numbers. She is strong to lift Eren off the ground without effort.
While she was still training, Keith even denoted that Mikasa's performance is exemplary in every subject, and that she is truly a genius. Combined with her prodigious skill in 3D Maneuver Gear, she can easily take down Titans with speed and efficiency. This has lead to her being mentioned as a military genius many times and "worth a hundred ordinary soldiers". With such prodigious skills coupled with her own remarkable will, she displays lethality against titans rarely seen among soldiers, recruits or veterans alike. This has been proven true when she took Annie in her Titan form, who had killed numerous experienced veterans with ease before, and survived.
- Mikasa is a Malagasy word meaning "resolve", while "Ackerman" is a German surname meaning "farmer".
- Mikasa ranked third in the characters popularity poll for Attack on Titan.
- The scarf she always wears was given to her by Eren after saving her from the human-traffickers.
- It could be a reference to the "red string of fate", symbolising a connection between soulmates or lovers.
- A Mikasa was a battleship used by the Japanese in the early 1900's.
- In a Volume 11 sideart Isayama portrayed several characters transformed into Titans. Mikasa took the form of a heavily muscled Titan.
- In live-action adaptation, instead of being an adoptive sister of Eren whom very close to him, her relationship changed into be a girlfriend for him.