Levi Ackerman is a character from the Attack on Titan anime and manga.
A Captain in the Survey Corps, rumored to be the strongest soldier alive. He has a harsh and unsocial personality, but is well-regarded by his subordinates. He is injured in the aftermath of the first encounter with the Female Titan, and forced onto the sidelines during the subsequent battles. Once his injuries have sufficiently healed, he is placed in charge of protecting Eren once more and forms a new Special Operations Squad to assist him.
In the AWA fics, Levi is a student at the AWA Academy and is part of Class 8 as it's vice-class representative.
Levi has short, straight black hair styled in an undercut, as well as narrow, intimidating dull gray 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 vertical maneuvering equipment usage. He is usually either frowning or expressionless; that, plus his extremely calm demeanor, often makes it difficult for others to guess what he is thinking.
He is most often seen in his Survey Corps uniform, with a light gray button up shirt underneath along with his trademark white ascot. When embarking on expeditions outside the Walls, he also wears the Survey Corps' green hooded cloak. Once, when forced to take leave from his duties due to injury, Levi was seen in a black suit, plain white shirt, ascot, and dress shoes. However, since the beginning of the The Uprising arc, he has left the ascot off. For most of the arc, during which the Survey Corps were on the run from the military and monarchy, he simply wore his vertical maneuvering equipment harness over casual clothes.
Levi is described as a "clean freak" by those who know him personally, as he prefers his environment and himself to be spotlessly clean. He is averse to having either himself or his equipment soiled, and 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.
Despite his preoccupation with cleanliness, Levi is not very approachable. He rarely shows emotion, giving a cold impression to others. His manner of speaking tends to be very blunt, even insulting, and his comments are often coarse or inappropriate. 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 number of 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), though he placed a great trust in his comrades, something he would later do with his subordinates. However, after he joined the Survey Corps, he came to greatly respect Commander Erwin Smith, whose orders he follows willingly because he trusts in Erwin's vision for the Corps.
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 that they were not competent enough to handle Eren, mocking several MPs by observing that they have never battled or even seen a single Titan. He even sardonically suggests that they join the Survey Corps, which caused them to back off. He openly resents most of 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 Corps.
Although he rarely shows it, Levi has a strong sense of morality and empathy. One of his most defining characteristics is the great value he places on preserving human life; this is especially shown when it was revealed that all Titans might have once been human themselves. The thought that he had unknowingly been killing humans all this time disturbs him greatly.
Though he bore no malice against Eren, he was willing to resort to violence in order to save his life at his tribunal, eventually asking Eren whether he resented him for the beating. Levi himself has stated that he hates unnecessary casualties, and he tells his subordinates to use their judgment so that they can avoid blunders that may cost them their lives.
Because of their hazardous profession and his personal values, he cares greatly for his subordinates' welfare. This is seen several times: 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. Later, he risked his life against the Female Titan in order to retrieve Eren from her mouth and also to protect to Mikasa, who had gone after her recklessly looking for vengeance. As they re-entered the gate, Petra's father approached him, cheerfully talking about his daughter and her unwavering devotion to the Survey Corps. Unbeknownst to him, his daughter had just been killed; Levi remained silent, he was too overcome with grief to reply. Levi was visibly affected by the loss of his entire original Special Operations Squadat the hands of the Female Titan, stating 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.
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, Levi does not see himself as a leader in the same way Erwin is. 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.
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.
While Levi shows loyalty 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 told her he enjoyed watching her suffer and described in chilling detail how he intended to mutilate her human body. He has also tortured Djel Sannes with Hange Zoë, punching him and twisting his already broken nose.
Levi is occasionally known to lose his calm demeanor and to use threats or violence to get others to listen to him, even if they are fellow members of the corps. An example of such behavior was shown when he directly ordered Historia Reiss to take on the role of queen when the question was presented to her. When she shakily says she is unfit, he grabs her and lifts her off the ground, choking her and telling her to fight back if she does not like it. He then drops her and yells at her to make her decision, but is however calm once again when she complies with his demands.
Levi is excellent at using the vertical maneuvering equipment, 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.
He has shown the capability of incapacitating the Female Titan by moving too fast for her to defend, something which whole squads and even Eren in his Titan form could not accomplish. He even defeated Zeke Yeager in his Beast Titan form, who is one of Marley army's strongest Warriors and an extremely skillful Titan. Neither of these assaults are without some degree of prior planning and situational advantage, as the Female Titan was tired out from multiple conflicts in the span of a few hours, and Levi had engaged Zeke by surprise, getting too close to defend against before Zeke noticed. That said, Levi's full abilities with his blades are still tremendous, able to carve the Beast Titan's arm into multiple clean pieces so fast they fell in unison.
Levi has formidable physical strength, which is no doubt evident by his mastery of the vertical maneuvering equipment. 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 intercepts one of the Female Titan's attacks, by using her hand to launch himself towards her mouth before she could hit Mikasa. This does not stop him from injuring himself though.
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, or the time when he fights Kenny Ackerman inside a bar, using chairs, a double-barreled shotgun and even corpses to stop his adversaries. However, Levi admits that he does not believe a person can be right all the time, and some scenarios are beyond a person's control.
Levi has an unusual fighting stance that involves holding his right sword backhanded with the blade facing out and being behind him instead of in front of him. By doing this, the blades cut in a "circle" around him, and give him the ability to utilize spinning and other rotating attacks, allowing him to maintain incredible speed and agility while fighting. At the same time, this helps him keep his energy up without wasting stamina and strength needlessly, enabling him to fight for longer periods of time and take multiple targets out simultaneously. This reverse-grip technique may have been inspired by Kenny Ackerman's lessons on knife-wielding, in which Levi learned at a young age how to hold a blade in a reverse grip.
- He is attributed with the title of squad captain among the Survey Corps. However, his comrades and subordinates usually call him by the shortened title of "captain", though the literal translation of this rank is "Lance Corporal." This has led to the wrong idea that he is actually a Lance Corporal, a somewhat low rank.
- His name is Hebrew in origin, and means "attached" or "joining".
- Levi's age is one of several mysteries Isayama has hinted about in interviews. He once stated that Levi is "surprisingly old", but declined to give an exact answer beyond stating that he is "older than 30". In February 2016 he was interviewed again at the Attack on Titan "The Real" theme park, and when questioned about Levi's age responded that he is in his "late thirties". However, Marina Inoue (Armin Arlert's voice actress) later rectified and said Isayama made a mistake due to nervousness, and had asked her to correct that Levi is actually in his "early thirties". This was further confirmed in the Attack on Titan ANSWERS guidebook.
- In Levi, Erwin, and Hange's character interview, it was said that Levi forcefully bathes Hange by knocking her unconscious.
- At a recent convention, Isayama has said that Levi had once wanted to open a tea shop.
- Levi's liquor tolerance is not bad. More specifically, he does not get drunk.
- He only sleeps an average of 2–3 hours.
- In the AWA fics, Levi is good friends with Lester the Unlikely... of all people.