In all fandoms, it is common for ship wars to occur, intense debates on whether a particular character should be with one character or another. Basically, fans discuss who should end up with who, and which couples or pairs are the best. Ship wars!
Eren, as the protagonist of his very own anime and manga series, has been at the heart of many ship wars, with fans coupling him up with many different characters.
Some support the Eren and Historia ship (although Historia and Ymir shippers will kill you for this), some support the Eren and Annie ship (which completely goes against the Annie and Armin coupling), there are also many fans that back up the Eren and Levi ship (although we’re sure Levi would not agree to this, he finds Eren pretty annoying right?).
But the most popular ship in Attack on Titan, by a long shot, is Eren and Mikasa, also known as Eremika.
But here is the thing, is it the most popular coupling because there is truth to it? Or in other words, is it actually canon (true and confirmed by the story, aka official), or is it just the wishful thinking and theories of fans?
We can look into this more by answering the question of whether Eren is in love with Mikasa or not!
Does Mikasa Love Eren?
Before we talk about Eren’s feelings for Mikasa, let’s talk about what Mikasa feels for Eren, because it is a lot more simple. Mainly, because it is painfully obvious that Mikasa is completely and utterly in love with Eren. She’s practically obsessed.
But let’s get the context.
Mikasa’s family is murdered, and Eren saves her. This is also Mikasa’s awakening to violence, and her Ackerman genes activate, turning her into a skilled fighter and survivor.
She is then adopted by Eren’s family, and Eren becomes a sort of older brother/protector. The iconic symbol of this is the red scarf that Eren wraps around Mikasa when he first takes her home, which Mikasa refuses to ever take off.
From then on, Mikasa feels as though she has a life debt to repay to Eren, and makes it her job to protect him from everything. The problem is, Mikasa thinks the best way to do this is by fighting his battles for him because she’s good at violence.
Needless to say, Eren does not appreciate this at all, because he feels…babies, we guess we could say.
Over the years, it is very clear that Mikasa’s love for Eren grows into something deeper and more meaningful.
Eren is one of the main reasons for which she continues to fight for life, but also, she loves Eren for his willingness to fight and never give up, and cannot imagine a life without him by her side.
Really, there are very few fans that argue that Mikasa doesn’t love Eren because it’s impossible to argue that she doesn’t when she so clearly does!
Does Eren Love Mikasa?
We know that Mikasa loves Eren, but how does Eren feel? That’s where things get complicated because Eren never really makes it clear…(until the end of the manga, but we’ll talk about that later)
In many touching moments between the two characters, Eren reaffirms, over and over again, that he will always be there to take care of Mikasa. He wraps the scarf around her after saving her, and he’s always there in her time of need.
They are big parts of each other’s lives, and there’s no denying that Eren loves Mikasa. But…is that love more of brotherly love? Or is it actually something romantic? That’s where the fan wars come in.
Throughout their history, Eren is often annoyed at Mikasa’s attempts at protecting him and fighting for him. He is constantly frustrated because Mikasa taking over his fights essentially undermines him, and he feels as though she doesn’t trust him to win his own battles.
Not to mention, that Eren feels “mothered” by Mikasa, and often wants her to just leave him alone. Yet, the two are inseparable.
In fact, most of the time, Eren seems to be completely oblivious to Mikasa’s feelings and seems to be the only one to not realize how she loves him.
Throughout the story, many people also have to intervene and stop Mikasa from going berserk every time Eren is in trouble.
If it was up to Mikasa, she would be right beside Eren, protecting him, but Eren himself wants to be able to do his mission and prefers for Mikasa to be doing something else.
Essentially, it is pretty vague throughout the entire plot, and if anything, Eren seems to not be thinking about romance at all, as he is far too focused on his path for vengeance, and his goal to destroy all titans.
Things start to get interesting in season four of Attack on Titan, in which Eren goes rogue and ends up with a cult of followers known as the Yaegerists.
In this season, Eren is determined to bring upon the rumbling, which will destroy almost all of humanity, while Mikasa and Armin desperately try to convince him otherwise, but are unable to reason with him. Eren seems to be too far gone.
There is then one crucial scene between Eren and Mikasa, in which Eren reveals that he has always hated Mikasa. He goes on to cruelly say that the only reason Mikasa “loves” him or follows him around, is because of her genes.
She is an Ackerman, and as he saved her life, she is then conditioned to want to protect him forever.
Eren states that he always hated the way in which she constantly followed him, and always did what he asked of her, and that she is nothing but a puppet guided by her Ackerman condition, that the feelings aren’t actually real.
(It’s a pretty brutal scene, and it’s safe to say that Mikasa rightfully breaks down in tears).
Fans were then torn as to whether Eren really did hate Mikasa, or if it was an act he was putting on to push her away and achieve his goals.
Does Eren hate Mikasa because he is that far gone? Lost in hatred, vengeance, and trauma. Or is he pretending to hate Mikasa so that she will give up on him, and not try and save him? Is it so that she will move aside so that he can go ahead and execute his plan?
Those that follow the anime, will not find out until the second part of season four is released, in January of 2022. However, those that follow the manga, already know exactly what happens, because they’ve read all the way up to the very ending of the story!
Up until the currently released content of the anime, there is no official answer as to whether Eren loves Mikasa or not (in a romantic way), but in the manga, the very last chapter brings forth the truth (at last), with some pretty important reveals. We will talk about that next.
The Ending Of Attack On Titan – Eren’s True Feelings For Mikasa
Okay, major warning, there are spoilers ahead. We repeat, SPOILERS AHEAD. If you follow the manga and have read the entire story, then you already know anyway, but if you only follow the anime, then these are things that have not yet been revealed to you!
Once again, spoiler warning!
Final spoiler warning.
Okay…proceed at your own risk…
Still here? Are you sure?
Okay then let’s get to it!
In the very last chapter of Attack on Titan, (yes, the final chapter, number 139), some major truths are revealed, including what Eren truly feels towards Mikasa.
At the beginning of this chapter, Armin and Eren are having one final conversation before the final battle. Eren shows how much it pains him that everything has come to this, but that there is no other way for peace to come about.
He must unleash the rumbling and attempt to kill all of humanity, and they must then kill him so that they are the heroes and peace with the rest of the world can be made.
At one point, Armin suggests that Mikasa will move on once Eren is dead, and perhaps she will find someone to love, someone new. At this, Eren finally reveals his true feelings, confessing that he has always loved her and that he wishes things could have been different.
In fact, to quote Eren.
“I don’t want that. Mikasa finding another man? I want her to think about me and no one else for the rest of my life. Even as I die, I want to be at the front of her mind for a while. Ten years at least. I don’t want to die. I want to be with Milasa.”
So there you have it, irrefutable proof from the manga itself, that Eren does indeed love Mikasa, and that he would have liked to spend his life with her!
So it becomes officially canon, despite it being in the very last chapter, that Eren loves Mikasa, and Mikasa loves Eren, so they could have ended up together.
That is…if Eren hadn’t died. In fact, it’s Mikasa that lands the final killing blow, ending Eren’s life…brutal and tragic.
It must be said that not all fans of the manga were happy about this reveal. For those that had always shipped Eren and Mikasa together, it was a confirmation (at last) that they were right, and the ultimate gift.
But for others, the revelation that Eren has always loved Mikasa came a bit out of nowhere. If he has always loved Mikasa, how come there has never been any sign of it? Why was he always so oblivious, and so annoyed at her?
How come Eren never showed any hints at all of having any romantic feelings towards her? And we can’t blame them. This reveal does come a bit out of the blue, and it surprised many people.
But at the same time, Eren has had a very difficult life. During the entire story, Eren has been focused on the mission of destroying all titans.
He has been dealing with trauma and loss and grief, with the difficulties of battles and wars, with the revelations of a world outside the walls, and being hated by the rest of the world.
Things were far too complicated to be thinking about love, or even a future with someone.
So it also kind of makes sense that it isn’t until that short peaceful calm before the storm, when he knows he is going to die, that he can finally open up and admit those sorts of feelings that he hasn’t been able to talk about before. You know?
Regardless of whether fans like it or not, the fact remains that Eren canonically loves Mikasa. They don’t end up together, because Eren dies, but they loved each other.
But what do you think? Do you support the Eremika ship? Do you think it’s right that Eren finally reveals he always loved Mikasa?