Mikasa Ackerman is one of those Attack on Titan characters that everybody loves from the beginning. Why? She’s strong, independent, clever and doesn’t take any crap from anyone. In this Character Analysis, we’re going to talk about Mikasa’s past, the effect that Eren had in her life and her role in the story.
WARNING: This article will contain spoilers for the anime
Attack on Titan deals with the consequences of living in fear of the Titans. The constant fear of either being killed or seeing those you love being killed. However, Mikasa Ackerman didn’t need to wait for the Colossal Titan to break Wall Maria to feel that fear… she had already been though hell. And it wasn’t because of the Titans, but because of humanity itself.
Mikasa’s family was attacked by a bunch of criminals who killed her parents and kidnapped her to sell her in the black market for being half-Japanese, which was very rare at the time. This horrible event was what brought Eren Jaeger to her as the 10 year old killed the two kidnappers in a brutal scene that makes us question his sanity. From that day on (and after Eren gave her that red scarf that is so precious to her), Mikasa became Eren’s adoptive sister and best friend next to Armin. Shipping aside, it’s also pretty much established that Mikasa has a crush on Eren (I’d call it semi-canon).
Mikasa’s relationship with Eren is very important since it continuously shapes her personality and impacts on her actions. Mikasa owes a lot to Eren, not only for having saved her but from having given her a new perspective on life. When Eren saved her, he made her realise something that was all around her all that time: “this world is merciless” and you have to fight for yourself to survive.
After Eren’s death, she gives a speech that even though many people attribute it to Mikasa, it’s actually from Eren: “If i can’t, then I’ll die. But if I win, I’ll live. Unless I fight I cannot win“. Apart from showing Mikasa’s take on the situation, this quote also serves as a phrase to make them be brave when fighting the Titans. And when she’s completely suicidal fighting that Titan after Eren’s death, she realises she has to keep fighting for his sake: “Once I’m dead, I won’t even be able to remember you. So I’ll win, no matter what. I’ll live, no matter what!”
Despite having learnt many things from him, Mikasa and Eren are complete opposites. Mikasa is rational and thoughtful. So much that she usually comes out as cold and ruthless. After Eren died, when you expected Mikasa to be the one who took it worse, she told Armin that “this isn’t the time to be emotional”. Because of this difference and because of how much she owes Eren, she’s always looking out for him and going with him everywhere to keep an eye on him because of his impulsiveness.
Puting Eren aside, Mikasa is also incredibly skilled with the 3D Maneuver Gear, being considered one the best soldiers not only of her generation but of the entire history of the military.
“Her performance is exemplary in every subject. She is truly a genius of historically-unprecedented significance”
For that and for being incredibly badass and not tolerant towards arrogant rich people she’s loved as one of the best and most badass characters in the series, next to Levi. After Eren’s death many people expected the protagonism to switch to Mikasa. That didn’t happen but Mikasa still manages to be one of the most relevant and interesting characters of the story, often serving an example of what an amazing job Hajime Isayama does with his female characters.