one of the most tragic things about mikasa ackerman as a character is that yes, we know that she is strong. her strength seeps through in such obvious ways, both physically and even emotionally when we see her be austere and decisive in the things she gives her heart to. and she specifies all of this in her famous quote, stating that she doesn’t “have the heart or time to spare” to have sympathy for bertholdt and reiner when they are trying to abduct eren.
but you know what really fucks me up about her?
mikasa, despite all her revered strength is, to the core, still very much that little girl eren saved all those years ago. still, to this day, she is one to follow orders, not so much contrive strategies on her own. she’s fragile and vulnerable to the things armin and eren tell her and she cries unbidden–we have seen this–when particularly eren hurts her feelings. she grieves for them, and not so much ever for herself. she hurts when they are in pain. she does everything she can to protect them, even when she doesn’t always know the best way to go about that. we see her turn desolate and even shameful when she angers armin and eren. she doesn’t fight them back when they lurch directly at her, unless she’s in a position where she has to protect one from the other. we see that when she socks eren in the face for calling armin a wimp, but we also see her pained when they target her. a clear example of this is when eren straight up breaks her heart:
at one point, we also see armin snap at her for being so vulnerable and naive. she asks him what it is that she should do while the world is literally ending. he tells her to think for herself for once, and then loses his shit on her when she asks about what they should do about eren. eren is legit about to commit massive genocide, but she sees completely through that. she just sees family. and this makes armin snap at her for being so naive.
mikasa seeks guidance in almost everything she does when it comes to fighting. when something is demanded of her, she adheres to the task without question. she can be very idealistic, still so pure in her ideas of how the war can go about ending with all walking out unscathed. she clings to eren and armin, and it’s so blatantly stated that yes, she does this because they are her family. and most importantly, eren is her family.
but i need to clarify that this doesn’t mean that she doesn’t see eren’s flaws. she does, she sees them completely. she doesn’t idolize or sanctify him. she sees him for all his ugliness and undoings. but still, she chooses to stick through it to honor the promise she made to carla, to honor the attachment she has to him as a person who not only saved her, but has shown her the beauties of the world. we see her heart break when she tells eren that there’s no turning back now once he kills civilians while infiltrating marley.
she has stated that she died the day that her parents were murdered, and that eren gave her life again by saving her, taking her in, and giving her a home. but that little girl that died that day is still there, and she’s the one that defends, that supports, that nurtures and protects those she loves most. those she has left. she’s the one that cries, that wants to do better, that wants simply what is best and softest for the world. she wants this despite being a young adult now, despite seeing some of the absolute cruelest things. she still, at times, sees things through the idealistic eyes of a child.
we even see her behave in small, childish ways at certain times. like when she’s excited about having ice cream for the first time, and she’s clumsy in the water when they reach the ocean and we also see the subtleties in her personality at times, how she’s honestly a dork and very sarcastic: when she tempts sasha with bread and when historia is freaking out over her ackerman mark and she’s like “uhhhhhh” and when she deadpans that she “didn’t raise him like this” when armin is talking about morbid things.
mikasa is so, so much more than her attachment to eren. to armin. she is her own person, and yet she gets compacted and diminished to a clingy, desperate girl with absolutely no regard to her true character, to the circumstances that have even made her who she is in the first place. yes, she loves eren and armin. she loves them completely and would follow them to her own death. but this doesn’t mean this is all there is to her. i honestly don’t understand how her love for them, and again especially eren, erases all else that there is about her.
and why in the world is she perceived as monotone, emotionless? she cries the most in the manga, perhaps more than even eren. she hurts, she feels, she expresses herself, sometimes completely, like when dina’s titan is about to kill them and she expresses her immense gratitude to eren and tries to straight up kiss him. we see her be the definition of shooketh itself when eren takes her off guard and asks her what he is to her.
do you SEE that face? does that LOOK emotionless, monotone, detached to you?
i genuinely hurt for her as a character, because she is so direly misunderstood. yes, she is strong and admirably so. it could be argued that her strength is unparalleled. but within all the grit and muscle, inside all the righteousness and strength, is the nine-year-old girl whose parents were the entire world, and a small cabin in the woods was all she knew until it all got abruptly interrupted and taken from her in the cruelest of ways. how can you expect a kid to ever process that, when she’d never seen human violence in her life before?
so cut the girl some slack. damn. she deserves better.
My heart is just overflowing with happiness after i read chapter 131 earlier. I'm also sad because we don't know what isayama will do. Oof! I'm sorry but i need a pregnant annie complaining to armin how much it hurts and asking why it happened in the first place
Oof, I feel you but at the same time I’ve never drawn that before dagfdsgf so I hope this can satisfy