Levi Ackermann is the strongest and most talented soldier of the Survey Corps and is the leader of the Special Operations Squad. Levi with a dark past lived his life as a thug in the underground before changing his life in the Survey Corps, thanks to Erwin Smith who scouted him. Although very cold, distant, and strict, he has strong leadership skills that inspire the people around him. The main character of Attack on Titan, Eren Jaeger especially, respects Levi for his leadership and abilities.
Levi is often seen disciplining and controlling his subordinates through physical means, especially, Eren but all with good intention. His strictness in his lessons is all necessary when trying to instruct his subordinates who can potentially lose their lives due to simple mistakes on the battlefield. Being in such a high-ranking position makes him feel responsible for the soldiers he leads and shows distress when they die.
Throughout the series, Levi is seen attacking Titans swiftly and effectively while having an expressionless face most of the time.
Son of a prostitute named Kuchel Ackerman, Levi lived in the Underground. Kenny Ackerman, Kuchel’s brother takes Levi into his care noticing that his sister had passed away. Kenny taught everything he knew to Levi. He was especially skilled in the art of killing as Kenny was infamously known as Kenny the ripper. However, he wasn’t so heartless to let a child die, but not nice enough to be a parent as Kenny says in Season 3, Episode 10 of the anime series.
Kenny teaches Levi how to survive in the underworld by, first, holding a knife and swinging it in addition to how to “get along with people”, “greeting people”, closing deals as the scene pans from Levi holding a knife and swinging it too intimidating people like a gangster.
One day, as soon as Kenny felt that Levi had learned enough of what needed to be learned, Kenny abandons Levi in the midst of a fight.
- Name: Levi Ackerman
- Date of Birth: December 25
- Height: 160 cm
- Weight: 65 kg
- Birthplace: Unknown
- Appearance: Short black hair in an undercut style. He is often seen as emotionless with narrow and dull eyes. With limited facial expressions, it is difficult to tell what he is thinking about or feeling.
Ranking high in combat, initiative, and wits, Levi is a natural leader yet he doesn’t think of himself as one. He trusts Erwin Smith and sees him as a better leader figure than he is.
Although he is often viewed as indifferent, he shows his warmth through his actions and by coming to the rescue to his comrades and friends. Through this backstory, as seen on Attack On Titan: A Choice With No Regrets – OVA Episode 1 Part 1. Levi seems to be unaware and naive of the world. He shows a general interest in what there is to come as a citizen of the surface. Being in the Survey Corps presented him with an opportunity to live a normal and respectable life while killing Titans.
In this part of the series, his two friends Furlan Church and Isabel Magnolia are killed on the 23rd Expedition beyond the walls. Putting parts of the pieces together, it becomes clear of why Levi is the way he is. Having a disturbed past of his mother dying at a young age, growing up with his uncle who teaches him violence, being abandoned, and losing two people he was close to may explain his indifference to basic human experiences including death and killing.
Path to the Special Operations Squad
Levi spends his adult life as a thug with friends Furlan Church and Isabel Magnolia. It is also revealed that he and Farland learned how to use vertical maneuvering gear (possibly stolen) by themselves which presented a high level of skill and cleverness.
At first, Levi is approached by Nicholas Lobov, who threatens and bribes him to kill Captain Erwin Smith of the Survey Corps. Erwin held evidence of Nicholas Lobov’s illegal activities and could if wanted to take him out of his high-ranking position. Nicholas Lobov tells Levi to join the Survey Corps as a con to assassinate Erwin. The reward: Citizenship on the surface as all of them, Levi, Furlan, and Isabel were from the underground and possibly lived undocumented lives.
He is later pursued by the Survey Corps and Erwin. Ewin makes a deal with Levi. Levi’s crimes of his past as a thug would be forgiven in the condition of Levi joining the Survey Corps on the 23rd expedition beyond the walls. At that time, Levi was still a thug and lacked discipline however provided to be useful to the Survey Corps. While on the expedition, events quickly escalated and a Titan killed Furlan and Isabel. Levi as he took a detour on a plan to kill Erwin Smith, became the only survivor left.
Realizing that his friends have been killed, Levi spins into a killing rage and kills the Titan who took the lives of his friends. Erwin Smith sternly tells Levi that his plans have been foiled and the evidence of Nicholas Lobov’s illegal activities come to light and is now finished.
Erwin continues with “We’re going to continue Expeditions. You will come with me”. From here Levi makes the decision to continue becoming the best soldier and leader of the Survey Corps and gain a profound respect for Erwin Smith.