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8 AOT Characters That Progressed The Most (Ranked)

Attack on Titan needs no introduction, the series’ action-packed gruesome scenes and intense plot twists speak for it themselves. 

Attack on Titan is an Anime series adapted from the Manga of the same name created by Hajime Isayama. Although Attack On Titan was his first Manga series it went on to become the best-selling Manga with its Anime adaptation winning hearts all over the world. 

The reason why it is so popular is that it’s a zombie mecha kaiju story set in a dystopian fantasy medieval setting that blatantly disregards fanservice in favor of presenting compelling characters and a deep plot.

The Colossal titan
The Colossal titan from Attack on Titan
Literal Title Shingeki no Kyojin
No. of seasons4
StudioWitts studio and MAPPA
Genre Seinen, Dark Fantasy
Specifications of Attack on Titan

The story starts with the last remnants of mankind who dream to be free one day being confined by the Walls of Paradis Island to protect themselves from the attack of man-eating colossal beings or Titans.

As the story unfolds many brain-twisting secrets are revealed introducing an array of new characters. Honorable men and women must stand up for what is right in a world where mankind is constantly on the brink of extinction.

You will see a drastic change in the development of characters as the story will progress. heroes becoming villains and villains becoming heroes. Here are the top 8 characters that progressed the most:

What is the Attack On Titans?

Attack on Titan (Hepburn: Shingeki no Kyojin, lit. “The Advancing Giant”) is a Japanese manga series designed by Hajime Isayama.

It takes place in a world where humanity is compelled to live in cities surrounded by three massive walls to defend them from monstrous man-eating humanoids known as Titans; the plot follows Eren Yeager, who pledges to annihilate the Titans after they destroy his hometown and kill his mother. From September 2009 to April 2021, it was serialized in Kodansha’s monthly magazine Bessatsu Shnen Magazine, with chapters compiled in 34 tankbon volumes.

Wit Studio (seasons 1-3) and MAPPA assembled an anime television series (season 4). From April to September 2013, a 25-episode first season aired, pursued by a 12-episode second season from April to June 2017. The third season of 22 episodes was broadcast in two parts, with the first 12 episodes showing from July to October 2018 and the remaining 10 episodes airing from April to July 2019.

The fourth and final season debuted in December 2020, with the first half consisting of 16 episodes. A second part of 12 episodes ran from January to April 2022, while the third and final part will be split into two halves, with the first half premiering in March 2023.

Why do so many people enjoy Attack On Titan?

Attack on Titan is a title that has mastered tension – the situation appears near hopeless and horrible, and it builds in the spectator a desire to see the problem solved, to see the long-term war finally won.

It also captivates the audience with the intrigue of size and verticality – it’s fascinating when a story manages to establish an action in a 3d area. This was one of the reasons why moviegoers found space warfare in the Star Wars films so exciting. When the viewer feels the titans’ huge scale and the complexity of motion with the “3d gear,” their imagination is engaged, and, well, it’s fun.

As a bonus, shock is mixed in with tension and verticality. The hooks keep the horror genre popular. Seeing a few heroes fight a desperate and near-hopeless war in, through, and over structures, with visceral consequences if they slip = adrenaline, curiosity, and emotion.

The show is fantastic in this aspect. Bringing off that level of suspense is extremely difficult; every action picture aspires to hit the kinds of high points that this series does. Attack on Titan wonderfully combines dilemma, shock/horror, and spatial action.

Yet there are several issues, first with the pacing (dealing with a complex past while giving the audience time to “reset” is as difficult as achieving periods of excitement) and, more importantly, with the general story arc. The promise of a “payoff” in which the dismal situation is rectified was postponed to a later season, and to make matters worse, the studio was unprepared to start a second season when they learned they had a hit.

Individuals who devote their time and energy to the show in the hopes of solving the mysteries and turning the situation around are left hanging, which understandably irritates viewers.

This is a flaw with the show, but also a weakness of the anime industry as a whole, which often gets its stories from the manga, which are ongoing and still being written as the anime itself is being constructed. And the goal of those mangas is to remain serialized for as long as possible, so they avoid or rush their conclusions. To really enjoy a title like AOT, you have to be more inquisitive in “the ride” than “the conclusion.”

Armin

Armin's development was extremely shocking for AOT fans
Armin’s development was extremely shocking for AOT fans

It was a shock to many fans who had been watching the series for years. Armin’s character was portrayed as a kind and caring person, who never wanted to hurt anyone.

For the most part of the series, Armin was a kind person who couldn’t bring himself to harm those around him. He was constantly looking for the least violent approach to handle a situation, and he would never agree to any way that included hurting other people.

Fans saw a different Armin in the last season. He obeyed Eren’s commands without hesitation. During the invasion of Marley, Armin evolved into the Colossal Titan, killing hundreds of people. Armin’s monstrosity was unthinkable to the fans.

Armin has always been portrayed as someone who wants peace at all costs and will do anything he can to achieve it. His transformation into an antagonist came as a shock because This nice guy just nuked an entire city!

Historia

Historia from AOT
The nature of Historia was fundamentally established by this revelation.

Historia’s development as a character has been excellent. She came seen as a very reclusive person in the first few seasons, but her encounters with Ymir made her understand her flaws.

This revelation was crucial in defining Historia as a character. She embraced the challenge of being the new Queen of Paradis Island and performed well. She’s one of the few characters who improved through time.

Historia is also one of the main characters in Attack on Titan, and she plays a huge role in the story. Her backstory is very interesting and it makes you want to know more about how she ended up being an important person in this world.

Overall, I think Historia’s character arc was very well done by Isayama because he managed to make her feel like an actual human being instead of just another background character who serves no purpose whatsoever other than being there for exposition purposes only.

Erwin

Erwin Smith, the scout leader
Erwin admitted that he had been selfish at first.

Erwin’s mission was to discover the truth about the titans and the rest of the earth. He was willing to make any sacrifice required to preserve his survival till he discovered the mysteries. Erwin matured in season three, realizing that some things were more important than his ambitions.

Erwin acknowledged that he was initially self-centered. The Scoutmaster was fully aware that the monarchy’s replacement may have resulted in widespread unrest. Nevertheless, he disassembled them so that he might investigate what lies outside the walled territory.

Erwin did not, however, remain to be fixated on his destiny. He ordered Levi to give the Colossal Titan to Armin rather than himself and led the valiant last assault against Zeke Yeager. For a little period, this kept Eren loyal.

Ymir

Ymir from Attack on titan season 4
What makes Ymir such an intriguing character is her development from a self-centered individual to someone who recognizes that there is more to life than just herself.

Ymir and Historia are two vastly different characters with two very different personalities, while Ymir comes off as a greedy, haughty young woman, Historia moves her heart and makes her rethink her perspective.

When the warriors eventually arrived on the island, Ymir decided to accompany them on the condition that Marley spares her loved one. Reiner consented, and while Ymir did not fight in the second battle for Shiganshina, her sacrifice put the Jaw Titan back in the hands of a terrifying foe.

Ymir’s transition from a selfish person to someone who understands that there is more to life than herself is what makes her such an interesting character. She shows us that even though she may have started as a cold-hearted individual, she can change for the better when given the right circumstances.

Eren

Eren became totally captivated by the desire to overthrow the Marley Empire.
Eren became totally captivated by the desire to overthrow the Marley Empire.

Eren was an impulsive teenager when the Rumbling began. He was hotheaded and had far more strength than sense at first, but as he learned to control his emotions and improve his abilities, he became a much more reasonable person.

Even though Eren’s actions were often very contentious, he did his best to keep his friends out of trouble. This allowed him to escape the blame for any wrongdoing if the Rumbling succeeded or failed.

Eren’s character grew dramatically during the next few seasons. He evolved into someone who had no regard for his teammates. Eren got completely consumed by the ambition of dismantling the Marley Empire.

Evolution of Eren Yeager

Gabi

Gabi is the most disliked character of AOT
Gabi is the most disliked character of AOT

Gabi is one of the most hated characters in Attack on Titan. Gabi is a young woman who was born in Marley, but she grew up in Eldia.

Her father was killed by the Titans when she was just a child. She then became one of many individuals attempting to become the next warrior candidates in order to please their families and improve their quality of life.

Gabi was exclusively focused on eliminating Marley’s adversaries because of her background. She thought that the Eldians on Paradis Island were monsters who only desired to wreak more havoc and kill the planet.

However, after being kidnapped and brought to Paradis Island, Gabi started to understand how mistaken she had been. After spending time on the island and having an Eldian rescue her life, Gabi’s worldview was dramatically altered.

Mikasa

Mikasa
Mikasa is the beloved MC of the series

Mikasa’s character development is more subtle than that of other characters. Mikasa was preoccupied with keeping Eren safe at the start of the series. She was completely unconcerned with what other people experienced.

Mikasa’s conduct evolved. She got warmer with others and began to trust them. Mikasa got more emotional as well, as seen by her grief at Sasha’s death.

Mikasa’s personality continued to evolve as she grew up, developing into someone who cared about others more than herself and became more tolerant of them as well.

Reiner

Reiner Braun is regarded as the titans' real heart.
Reiner Braun is regarded as the titans’ real heart.

Eren’s best friend and teacher, Reiner Braun, was revealed to be one of the Titans that killed Eren’s mother.

All of us were taken aback, but we prepare for the most devastating news.

Reiner was a regular guy, who taught Eren everything he knows about life and what it means to be human. He appeared to be a regular person, and he fits in with the Survey Corps.

Reiner was revealed to be the Armoured Titan, who shattered the walls and killed countless humans, including Eren’s mother.

Reiner looked different again in the last season, he seems torn and upset about the situation.

My thoughts

  • If you love the genre of zombies, mecha, and cool characters then I would definitely recommend checking out Attack on Titan.
  • The top two entries are, in my mind. There aren’t many characters that can reach the level of Armin or Historia in character development.
  • The further you go down the list, the more debatable it gets. Mikasa is a definite shoo-in for the top eight, while Gabi would be an easy contender against her if not for her lack of development in comparison to so many other characters.

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