When it comes to defeating Titans, Levi Ackerman is the shining star of the Attack on Titan world. He's got incredible skill on the battlefield and enough strategic intelligence to make him a formidable opponent — and that's all without the deadpan, sarcastic personality that delivers dry humor to the anime's audience.
With all of that in mind, it's really no wonder that Levi is such a beloved supporting character among Attack on Titan fans. And even as a supporting character, he gets plenty of time in the limelight, whether it's during epic battle sequences or flashbacks to his childhood. But even with all of the attention Levi gets during the anime, there's still plenty to learn about him.
Here are 10 things you probably didn't know about Levi Ackerman.
10 Levi Used To Be A Thief
Fans who have watched Levi lead the Scout Regiment with utter dedication will likely be surprised to learn that the Captain was formerly a criminal. Being raised by Kenny the Ripper certainly left its mark on Levi, and even if he never became the monster his uncle did, he ran with a band of thieves before being caught by the Scouts — and then forced to atone for his crimes.
Levi and the two other thieves he worked with — Isabel and Furlan — joined the Survey Corps as punishment, but Levi is the only one of the three who survived. Since joining, his priorities have shifted dramatically. Of course, he still has the cunning and ruthless nature that enabled him to succeed at being a criminal in the first place. But he's honed those talents for the good of humankind now, and playing the good guy looks a whole lot better on him.
9 He Once Hated Commander Erwin
In the Attack on Titan anime, Levi and Erwin have a relationship built on loyalty and respect, but it wasn't always this way between the two of them. When Erwin first caught Levi and his friends stealing and forced them to join the Scouts, Levi was less than thrilled with the arrangement. He focused most of his anger on Erwin, even vowing to kill him when the opportunity arose.
Of course, Levi changed his mind about the Survey Corps Commander as time went on. Still, it's amusing to look back at just how vehemently Levi once hated a man who eventually became one of his most-respected comrades.
8 Levi's Backstory Is Likely The Reason For His Obsession With Cleanliness
The majority of Levi's childhood was spent in the Underground City, which is essentially the slums of the Attack on Titan world. His mother was a prostitute living in poverty when she gave birth to him, and after she passed away, Levi was left with nothing. He eventually was taken in by Kenny, who taught him to become a criminal in order to survive.
Given that Levi grew up in a filthy home and neighborhood, it's safe to assume that this is the reason behind his obsession with cleanliness. The anime often shows him insisting that the Scouts' quarters are spotless, and he can even be found with a cleaning mask and feather duster on various occasions. It's a running gag throughout the series, but it seems to have a much more sinister backstory than people give it credit for.
7 Watchmen's Rorschach Was An Inspiration For Levi's Character
Fans of both Watchmen and Attack on Titan will be excited to learn that Levi's character was actually partially inspired by Watchmen's Rorshach. The manga's creator, Hajime Isayama, revealed that Rorschach is one of the many characters that have gone into Levi's imagining, and he certainly seems to be the most unexpected and interesting.
Rorschach and Levi are both fairly short, but they both have impressive combat skills and superior physical abilities despite their height. Like Rorschach, Levi is also willing to do unpleasant — and sometimes immoral — things to achieve a more important end. The white garment Levi wears around his neck is likely a nod to Rorschach and his white scarf, and that's honestly a pretty cool detail to pay homage to the character's inspiration.
6 Levi Is Older Than He Appears
Levi's small stature and nonchalant attitude lead many viewers to believe that he's in the early years of adulthood, but Levi's age is a bit older than most would assume. After much fan speculation, Isayama confirmed that the character is actually in his mid-30s.
Given Levi's level of skill, it makes sense that he'd have more life experience than someone who's still in their 20s. Still, what can we say? The guy just looks young. May we all age like Levi Ackerman has (and build that much muscle in the process).
5 Levi Uses An Unusual Sword Technique To Fight Titans
All of the members of the Scouts Regiment use blades to fight off Titans, but Levi's fighting style is actually unusual when compared to the others'. When using his blades, Levi shifts his stance so that he's holding his right sword backhanded with the blade facing out. This causes the blade to face behind him, allowing them to cut in circular, spinning motions.
This technique has served Levi well over the course of the series, and combined with his speed, it even allowed him to defeat the Beast Titan in one-on-one combat (that Zeke escaped was pure luck, if we're being honest).
4 Levi's Relationship With Sleep Isn't Ideal
Levi has been a member of the Scout Regiment for a while now, and the things the surviving Scouts have witnessed beyond the walls are enough to give anyone nightmares. And Levi does, in fact, have sleeping problems. Specifically, he struggles with insomnia, averaging only a few hours of sleep each night.
Because of his insomnia, Levi also views sleeping as a "nonevent" — so much so that he doesn't bother with a bed or pajamas. Apparently, he often sleeps in his chair and doesn't concern himself with changing clothes for the occasion. It sounds uncomfortable, but it also somehow sounds very much like Levi.
3 Levi Was Born On December 25
Birthdays don't often come up on Attack on Titan, and it probably makes sense that there's little time for parties or cake when the characters are so busy fending off Titans. With the dystopian setting, it's also unclear from just watching the show whether the characters use the same calendar system we do or not. As it turns out, they do.
It's been confirmed that Levi's birthday is on December 25, meaning the Attack on Titan characters must adhere to the same monthly calendar that we do. And hey, Levi's a gift to the Attack on Titan world, so it makes sense that he was born on Christmas.
2 Levi Loves Drinking Tea
With all of the action going on during Attack on Titan, it's easy to miss Levi's drinking preferences. But viewers who pay close attention will realize that Levi really seems to enjoy drinking tea, and this was confirmed by Isayama. In fact, Levi is such a huge tea drinker, he apparently goes to great lengths to ensure that it's part of the supply shipments sent to the military.
Isayama also revealed that, if the conflict between the Eldians and Marleyans ever ends — and if the threat of the Titans ever disappears — Levi's dream is to open his own tea shop. Hopefully, he'll be able to see that dream to fruition. If anyone deserves a relaxation period after all this fighting, it's Levi.
1 Levi Is One Of The Most Popular Characters In The Entire Series
Although Eren, Mikasa, and Armin are arguably the main trio of characters in Attack on Titan, Levi seems to be the favorite — something consistently demonstrated in the results of official popularity polls. Levi has landed in first place more than once during these contests, even despite the fact that he's a supporting character.
Levi's popularity is also confirmed by the fact that he got his own spin-off manga and anime adaptation, No Regrets. Fans were eager to learn more about the character, and the series was generally well received. Not many supporting characters can hold fans' interest for so long, but Levi definitely can.