10 ways Eren is unlike any other Shonen protagonist

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The protagonist (or the antagonist depending on who you ask) of The attack of the Titans is known by many names around the world. Each of these names denotes a young man with incredible strength and independence, but none of them truly capture the unique essence of Eren Yeager.

RELATED: Attack On Titan: 10 Ways Eren Impacted History

Attack Titan, Eren, Protagonist, Coordinated, Hero, Warhammer Titan, Villain, Cadet, Founding Titan, Antagonist, Scout. Each of these titles refers to the same young man who goes by many names and who looks like no one else before him. In the world of The attack of the Titans and the larger world of shonen anime protagonists, Eren Yeager stands out as the face of an internationally successful franchise and a truly dynamic character.


ten Eren is more than willing to kill his enemies to consume them and gain more strength

Eren isn’t the first anime protagonist to consume others in order to gain more power, but he is one of the few who wants to assassinate others in order to gain more abilities. Committing murder for force is often something an antagonist is willing to do, but it’s rare to see a protagonist do it.

Even before Eren took on the role of antagonist, he was killing others to get stronger. First of all, it started in a dream, when he murdered his father and inherited the Attack Titan. Next, Eren began to assassinate Pure Eldian Titans in order to master his ODM equipment. After that, Eren heads madly into Marley and commits mass murder for the right to inherit more of Titan’s abilities.

9 The Titan / Skin Mecha concept is new to the Shonen anime genre

The mecha anime genre is nothing new. Neon GenisisThe popularity in the 90s sparked a trend in mecha anime that continues to this day. Code Geass, Gundam, and Gurren Lagann are each worth a watch, but none of them can touch the genius that is The attack of the Titans.

Although many do not see AoT as a mecha anime it borrows a lot from this genre. Eren is unique here to pilot a skin mecha rather than a technologically produced mecha, but he’s a human piloted giant nonetheless.

8 Eren tries to assassinate everyone on the planet with his power

Founding Titan of Eren's Skeletal Head

Even among the protagonists of the shonen anime who switch sides to become the antagonist of the series, it’s rare to find a character with the nerve to commit omnicide.

Light Yagami is a character who is often compared to Eren due to the way he commits villainous acts as the protagonist, but Light’s genocide is nothing compared to Eren’s.

7 He betrays his two best friends

Red swan Eren, Mikasa and Armin

Every good shonen protagonist makes friends on their way to the top of their respective power ladder. The anime trio is a common trope that places the protagonist next to two characters with whom they develop a lifelong friendship after their first meeting.

RELATED: Attack on Titan: 10 Times Shocked Eren Fans

Naruto has Sasuke and Sakura while Eren has Armin and Mikasa. The difference between these two groups is Eren’s betrayal. Unlike the average anime protagonist, Eren chooses his own selfish desire to murder billions of people over his two longtime friends.

6 Eren never holds the title of strongest hero in his anime world

Levi and Eren in the forest during an attack on Titan

Not all of the anime’s protagonists start their adventure as the strongest. It’s a trope that’s been extinct since the days of Dragon ball and Naruto. Yet, at some point in history, the protagonist is expected to become the strongest hero in their respective anime.

RELATED: Attack On Titan: 10 Times Eren Couldn’t Compete With Levi

Eren is one of the only anime protagonists who never becomes this strongest hero. While working as a member of the Survey Corps, Levi and Mikasa are more skilled warriors than Eren. By the time Eren reaches the heights of AoTThe power scale of, he’s a villain in his own right and is always surpassed by Mikasa.

5 Eren is a coward who can’t even face the truest version of himself.

Eren _ Attack on Titan _ Season 3

There are a lot of fearful anime characters, but none are as cowardly as Eren Yeager. This statement may be controversial to some, but Eren has lived in fear for so long that the only solution he can find to create world peace is omnicide.

Fans would also be wise to remember that Eren couldn’t get to the frontlines until he was one of the most powerful beings on the entire planet. On the flip side, characters like Armin, Jean, and Falco put their lives on the line without the power of multiple Titans flowing through their veins.

4 At the end of the attack on Titan, Eren loses

The protagonists don’t often lose. Period. Even outside of the shonen anime genre, it’s rare to see a protagonist lose. Of course, there are a number of instances where the protagonist loses in and out of the anime, but few are defeated as vigorously as Eren Yeager.

Not only is his plot foiled at the end of the The attack of the Titans manga, but the young Eren that fans have grown to love over the first three seasons of AoT also loses in the face of his own dark impulses.

3 Over the course of four seasons, Eren transforms into the enemy he has sworn to destroy

Pieck cheats on Eren, Attack on Titan season 4 finale

The first episode of The attack of the Titans is hard to forget. After Eren’s mother is devoured by the smiling Titan, the young man swears to go to war against all the Titans. He doesn’t know he’s a Titan himself.

Eren’s Hatred sends him down an intriguing and dynamic path that changes him in a way that no other Shonen protagonist has changed before. Instead of defeating his enemy, Eren becomes the thing he swore to destroy in the first place. The tropes of Shonen are said to have some viewers convinced that their protagonists are meant to be stagnant beacons of hope and strength, but Eren is different.

2 Eren is both the protagonist and the antagonist of the series

Eren before and after the time jump

Until the second half of the final season is animated, there is still an argument to be made for Marley Country, rather than Eren, filling the role of The attack of the Titansthe antagonist of. Up to this point in history, Marley is the real aggressor at the center of this international conflict. Once fans see Eren’s actions at the end of this series, Marley will take a back seat to the Eldian influenced by both Marley and Paradise forces.

RELATED: Attack on Titan: 5 of Marley’s Worst Crimes (& Heaven’s 5 ‘)

Eren is as much an antagonist in The attack of the Titans as Marley is. In fact, Eren is little more than a condensed pawn of revenge designed by the Marleyan people to commit genocide on an unprecedented scale.

1 Eren Yeager is the most popular Shonen protagonist of the modern era of anime

Eren Yeager

There are many other popular protagonists in the shonen anime. Goku and Naruto have reached the same international shores as Eren and have the added benefit of nostalgia for many adults who no longer watch anime.

Yet the genre of shonen anime has never been as popular as it is today, and Eren Yeager is its most unique protagonist of all time.

NEXT: Attack On Titan: 10 Anime Heroes Eren Would Work With


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