Levi Character Analysis: Episode 22: Female Titan
Ok, I was sleeping and dreaming about this. I just HAVE to get this out of my system. I have wanted to do an analysis of Levi for a while now, despite the fact that he is NOT my favorite character from Attack on Titan, Eren is. I have been dreaming about this, and for now, I must absolutely get it out of my system. I believe that the anime omitted very important, key aspects of many things, not excluding the characters.
For example, practically no one can understand WHY Eren hesitated while he had been in absolute rage prior. He sees Annie and...stops. It is cheap yes, but why? Well, they had been amazing partners in the manga, but the anime never showed it. However, I believe that certain characteristics of the setting can be taken straight from the anime, and this is exactly what I will be doing. I think I might do another one for Levi, bur for now, here it is.
I am assuming that anyone who is reading this has seen the scenes prior, right? Levi stumbled upon the death of his entire squad, Eren proceeded to fight the female titan, lost, Annie captures him, and is currently fleeing with him in her mouth. Right now, Levi and Mikasa are chasing her in the forest.
Levi had seen his entire squad dead, his eyes becoming darker and darker and finally resting on Petra's corpse. I fully believe that the point if this very moment was to hit the viewer, but had no underlying message or tone. In other words, it is not to show that Levi had any feelings for Petra: rather it may symbolize his regret. I am not blowing any minds when I say that Petra obviously had feelings for Levi. Thus, the look on Levi's face was deep regret, possibly he wished he had done something in return, may it be his own feelings, spending more time with her, etc. (I may be wrong). He might have known that she had been in love with him. Also, she is the pretty girl and basically a lot of people liked her. It was supposed to torment the viewer.
Levi came upon an an enraged Mikasa, and from years of experience, he knew that that was not going to get her anywhere thus he stops her, and tells her to maintain the distance. I want you guys to remember something: at the core, Levi is essentially the same person as Eren. If he had been as young as Eren, I have no doubt that he would have rushed to the female titan and would have started hacking at her. He could have left Mikasa behind and decide to hack the female titan immediately. However, that is not what he does.
He stops her and engages her in conversation.
I want you guys to think of that seriously. Levi had NO reason to do such a thing. This is a guy that did not even care when Mikasa called him a chibi in front of him while threatening to make him pay. He fully recognizes her rage and tries to not only alleviate hers, but his as well (more on that later). He possesses such a massive iron will, that 1) he holds back fully and does not demonstrate his rage-fueled murderous intents, 2) allows himself to act surprised when he recognizes her from the trial scene, and 3) asks her on the details of the situation.
I mentioned a little earlier how he wants to alleviate his pain. I will say this point-blank: Levi was talking a lot. I mean, a lot. Levi says a lot in the anime when he has to and I will draw your attention to the moments that he does: Ep 14: to try to bring up Erens ire to check his reaction to his insults, the trial scene to nail it into the complacent fuckers known as the Military, Ep 15 when Eren engages him in conversation, Eps 17-20, his entire squad yelling at him. Ep 19: to comfort Eren after his squad almost tried to kill him, to manipulate Eren into making the right decision, considering the fact that he DOES understand Eren's feelings and this guy reads people incredibly well. Then Ep 24: very beginning in his hit-and-miss way of comforting a nervous and tense Eren with his " He is probably constipated and having a rough day" shtick while trying to make himself feel better after the death of his own squad. Some part of him was angry at Erwin. Even Eren calls him out on it.
|He is beautiful...|
Levi: Maintain this distance. It may be tired, it does not appear to be going very fast. Eren seems to have been bitten right out of the neck. Is he dead?
Why the hell is Levi stating the obvious and then proceed to add is Eren dead? Levi is far from a dumbass and everyone knows that, thus WHY? I will have you remember the world he lives in. Shingeki no Kyojin is as cruel as it is unforgiving, and he has once stated himself that they focus on the worst case scenario. But that is not the full point, just a parcel. If Mikasa is chasing Annie, he is obviously not dead and for a usually silent character, he is very observant. I will continue:
Levi: Its goal may have been to eat Eren. If that's the case, he is in his stomach. It's more reasonable to assume that he is dead.
Mikasa: He is alive!
Levi: I hope you're right.
I will explain right now. The first quote is completely unnecessary. Levi is basically stating his thoughts right out loud. Levi does not state what he fully thinks out loud, especially to a girl he knows despises him and a dire situation where she is obviously very pissed. Levi, in an attempt to comfort her, guides her in a way to allow her to vent all the while keeping an entire meaningless conversation where Levi already knows that 1) the female titan is intelligent, 2) Eren is in her mouth, 3) she is fighting to escape after going through all the trouble of putting her in his mouth. What he doesn't know is if Eren is alive.
|His eyes were dark the ENTIRE time. Dark or blazing red...|
Mikasa accuses him of literally being incompetent. (I hate this bitch. I can do an analysis of her character and show how much I understand her, but I still hate her). Remember, Levi has a wrath boiling inside of him, keeping it at bay using immense control, but he hears her out, and her expression managed to soften when he looked at her. When Levi wants to, he can keep people at ease. He is just...not very good at it.
I will draw your attention to the above page. After Mikasa explicitly tells him that it is his fault for Eren's capture, notice that Levi kept his calm. It is the fact that Eren and Mikasa are close friends that kept him going. It is that very nuanced notion that edge not only the determination in Levi's eyes (fourth-panel down: eyes in slits) and the anger that has got Mikasa slightly surprised, speculating and studious at once. The change of expressions though incredibly slight, is very obvious. He does not want to lose someone else when he KNOWS that he can do something. Levi may also have felt that he needed to make it up to Mikasa for having bloodied up Eren in in the court scene. Mikasa truly cares about Eren and so does Levi: and the fact that Mikasa might potentially kill him if he doesn't do anything propels him. I know I wanted to stick strictly to the anime, but when I read this part I just couldn't help myself . (Hypocrite me).
He tells her the plan because he has an anger that he wants to unleash on the female titan. He wants to avenge his squad which he cared so greatly about, and Eren whom he also cares about, but humanity needs. I have a serious feeling that if Mikasa had not been there Levi would have killed the female titan. In a way, Mikasa was his restraint. He told her to try not to kill the Female Titan because he knew that Mikasa would endanger herself (which she ended up doing anyhow). He goes as far as to try to keep Mikasa at bay because of his own personal vendetta against the female titan which he wants to take care of himself, but wants to make sure she does not die right in front of him. To justify and continue:
Levi: First, give up on killing the female titan.
Mikasa: But it killed many of our comrades!
Levi: As long as it can harden its skin, we can't kill it.
Here is a screenshot:
I want you guys to realize that one time lapse, that one second too long that he took to answer her. Considering the fast way that he answered her quickly and effectively before, that stood out. Not only how unhappy he sounds by Mikasa stating the obvious "It killed many of our comrades!", but the dark rings around his eyes in the above picture before he states "We can't kill it." I am very sure that Levi knows his own skill and strength. It makes perfect sense how he was able to go sonic all over her. No, he says that to try to keep Mikasa safe. This can also be interpreted as to the fact that he wants to keep following Erwin's plans, and just wants to torture Annie. He has stated that he wished that he could cut off her human legs in Ep 20 anyhow. Levi possesses a violent hatred for her, and hates what he stated. He hates the fact that she can harden her skin.
They speak of the plan, Mikasa acts accordingly and Levi could have stopped a wolf in its tracks:
I noticed that the fight was actually planned out by Levi. How? Levi was radiating strength and a tranquil fury. Annie knew he was humanity's strongest and might have even learned of how Levi incapacitated Eren at the trial. She knew the extent of his capacities. Thus in a desperate attempt to fend him off, she calculated that she should attack first, which is NOT how Annie fights. I want you guys to remember that she defends herself but using her opponent's strength against them, but never goes on the offensive unless attacked. Then, she proceeds to go further when she realizes that her enemy might pose a threat to her or will not stop their barrage of attack. Levi is so unsettling that she actually goes OUT of character and goes for a punch, and that is exactly what Levi wanted. How? He blazes up her arm and strikes her eyes. However, maybe she never liked him in the first place. The last thing that Annie saw was this:
|The hatred, and wrath... That fury...That desire to harm, to kill.|
Levi: Hey! we're getting out of here!
Levi: I think he is ockay. He is alive! But filthy. Forget about it...We'll retreat.
I think this is where the points that I raised are justified. Levi was elated, point blank. How? Compared to the previous conversation where he was completely calm and in control, he is very expressive. Notice the amount of exclamation marks? Listen to how he says "He is alive!" in the video. If that is not joy, I don't know what is. His very words were exclamations. In a way, he couldn't f*cking believe it. Jesus, Levi went as far as being himself "But filthy..."
He didn't even care about the titan anymore. He wants to retreat, as he has gotten 1) his revenge, 2) Eren was alive. What is the point of meaningless rage that won't bring back the rest of the Special Operations Squad? This one brat, that I care about is happy and that is good enough for me. Aww man, I was so happy listening to him that I rewound that part several times. Hiroshi Kamiya did a brilliant job conveying those subtle emotions while keeping Levi's somewhat stone-cold facade.
Remember that I said that he does not speak for no reason? He proceeds to tell Mikaa the truth, knowing that Mikasa will hear him out as Eren is alive. She is level-headed and he tells her to remain so. To focus on the core objective. THIS is the Levi I know. He might have still said too much though. Yeah, he still said too much. Matter-of-fact or not, he should have only said: "We'll retreat!" But by this time, everyone should have fallen into the conclusion that Levi was still full of pain and OOC. Levi is obviously being a hypocrite by telling her "Focus on the core objective." If she had not been there, who knows what would have happened. Jah, random observation: people have a lot of influence on how he acts. Erwin, and now Mikasa (for then only). I may be wrong on that account.
Levi, is without a doubt, one hell (a real otaku knows this pun!) of a character. If the Attack on Titan world is flawed, the characters are the highlight of the setting. That is why I fell in love with this show. They are complex, and can leave everything up to interpretation. Especially the crying Female Titan (the hell was that for??). He is a raging beast with a heart of gold, and all his actions have an underlying purpose. I will also do an analysis of Levi based on ep 14, but another time. Isayama Hajime possesses a keen intellect for complex characters. This is just an interpretation: this scene could just be what it is, with nothing deeply etched between the line. I love Levi without a doubt, but Eren still stands as my favorite with Levi as a close second!