You have so much anime coming out of the wazoo at this point, each better than the one before. And yet there is some anime that, upon release, overshadow anything that’s come out in the past decade or so. They become these behemoth franchises with both plot and characters so iconic that you can’t look away. So, when one of those characters is rumored to be on the chopping block, well. Attack On Titan fans wasn’t exactly keen on fan-favorite Mikasa Ackerman dying on them.
The manga has ended, and, well, she survived. She did die by the end of Chapter 139.5, passing away as an old lady, having lived a fulfilled life after the events of the manga. Still, this beats the odds of most characters in the franchise, who have left in truly tragic ways. And the fact that Mikasa, of all people, got a substantial ending instead of being off by a Titan somewhere was so special to fans.
Surprisingly, Attack On Titan is one of those stories that didn’t rely on gratuitous death to further its plot, despite having so much of it. Its selling point wasn’t the shock factor or torture explicity but the genuinely good narrative that it had weaved for a decade. Some people might still be conflicted about the finale, but nobody can say that it didn’t deserve the title of being the most followed manga series of its time.
However, when it comes to the characters that did end up surviving (and those that didn’t), people had a lot of opinions. With someone as central to the main character, Eren Yaeger, as Mikasa, there’s bound to be a lot of dispute. And so, welcome to Lore Analysis – where we break down some of the most popular stories in anime to see where the plot might’ve led us. Foreshadowing is big in Attack On Titan, so was Mikasa always going to be one of the last still standing? Let’s discuss!
Mikasa Ackerman: All She Ever Knew Was Survival.
Mikasa is an odd one. She is possibly the most iconic female character in the entirety of the franchise. Like, maybe Levi Ackerman might surpass her in popularity in general, but Mikasa was always the central character of the story unfolding.
Even as a child, Mikasa was shown to be a born fighter. After her birth parents were killed by traffickers targeting her, she ran and came across a young Eren. It was him, along with his parents, who sheltered Mikasa and, later on, asked her to be part of their family. When the tragedy with his mom happened, and Eren vowed to join the Survey Corps, she followed him through it all.
Her very lineage as an Ackerman fuels the survivor in her, with her blood enhancing her abilities during battle and making her immune to Titan experimentation. As the last remanent of the Shoguns that claimed Paradis Island, she was a direct threat to the Marleyan Empire. If she wasn’t going to live, the plot would’ve ended then and there.
Mikasa And Eren: Why It Could Never Be?
Mikasa and Eren share a very strange bond. As children, Eren was her savior. He helped her escape the people that killed her parents and gave her a safe home. She was so protective of him, maybe even a little possessive. He was always weaker growing up, so Mikasa took it upon herself to be there for him.
So, when she had to face off against him when Eren decided to commit literal genocide through the Rumbling for his version of peace? Imagine what kind of position she must’ve been put in. Here was the boy she grew up with that she loved. And now he was lost to her in megalomania that could never be undone.
It’s why she killed him, wearing the very scarf that he gave her, that became indicative of their bond. She chose to sacrifice her own happy ending, a life by Eren’s side, for the greater good. But not once did she stop grieving the person that she had loved. She would visit his grave for decades after, now accompanied by a family she had made. And when she died, an elderly woman, the scarf was buried with her.
So, Mikasa survived, but at the cost of what she held dear most.