Levi Ackerman and Mikasa Ackerman are both easily two of the most popular characters from Attack on Titan.
They are both also very similar in character. Not only do they have tons of adoring fans, but both characters are excellent fighters, two of the best scouts in the whole Survey Corps, and are fiercely loyal.
Back in Season 3 of Attack on Titan, it was revealed that Captain Levi’s surname was Ackerman – something even Levi himself did not know.
So, seeing as these two characters are very similar and share the same surname, does this mean they are related? How closely – and why has no one brought it up in the anime?
Let’s take a closer look at the Ackerman and see if Levi and Mikasa are actually related.
The Ackerman Clan
The Ackerman clan is a family living within the Walls on the Isle of Paradis.
Their history begins centuries ago, when the Eldian Empire would experiment with Titan science, testing the lengths they could go to in order to conquer the entire world.
One of the accidental results of those many experiments were the Ackermans – people who suddenly had immense strength and survival instincts, making them adept fighters.
This power was called the ‘awakened power’. It is described by Levi as ‘knowing exactly what needs to be done’ and allows the Ackermans to have extreme physical abilities including inhuman strength, speed and agility.
Later in the anime, Zeke explains that this power is because the Ackermans can manifest the power of the titans while remaining human, and they can also gain access to the paths, inheriting the strength and experience of all the Ackermans before them.
This makes the Ackermans extremely powerful as they can use the power of the Titans without becoming a titan or inheriting any of the nine titan powers.
However, this ‘awakened power’ needs to be activated as it is not automatically awakened at birth. Each member of the Ackerman clan needs to awaken their power by triggering their survival instinct.
Traditionally, the Ackermans were raised to be warriors that protected Eldia’s ruler due to their huge amount of power.
They were respected and one of the most influential clans in Eldia up until King Karl Fritz decided to erect the Walls and make all the Eldians who lived within them forget about their history and believe that they are the last of humanity.
However, as Karl Fritz used the Founding Titan’s power to erase the Eldians’ memories, members of the Ackerman clan were not affected, and they refused to follow Karl Fritz’s ideology.
For this, the Ackermans were cast down, and Karl Fritz encouraged his people to oppress the Ackermans in fear that they would try to undo his work and reveal his lies to his people.
Over the years, members of the Ackerman clan fell into poverty and many were killed. There are only two known living survivors of the Ackerman clan left – Mikasa Ackerman and Levi Ackerman.
Mikasa And Levi
So – are Levi and Mikasa related?
Technically, yes they are, although neither are sure how closely. It has never been revealed by the manga’s writer, Hajime Isayama, just how closely Levi and Mikasa are related.
However, it is confirmed that both Levi and Mikasa are descended from the Ackerman bloodline, hence why they both share the surname Ackerman and both have access to the awakened power.
So, although we cannot say for certain that Levi and Mikasa are cousins or second cousins, we know that they are at least distantly related to each other. It is also confirmed that they are not siblings, or half siblings.
Mikasa was born to her Ackerman father and mother who were descended from the Azumabito family who resided in Eldia when Karl Fritz built the walls.
Just like with the Ackermans, the Azumabito family were not affected by Karl Fritz’s memory wipe as they were not of Eldian descent, leading to their rejection from society too.
Hence, Mikasa’s parents both lived away in isolation to escape the oppression set on them by Karl Fritz. Their only child is Mikasa.
On the other hand, Levi was born in the Underground – a subterranean city built beneath Mitras in the innermost part of the land within the Walls.
His mother was Kuchel Ackerman, the sister of Kenny Ackerman, and worked as a prostitute who fell pregnant by one of her clients. The identity of Levi’s father is never revealed, but he is most likely another Eldian living in the Underground.
So – we know for a fact that Mikasa and Levi are not siblings. It could be that Mikasa’s father is another sibling of Kenny and Kuchel, but this is never confirmed. Mikasa’s father is never given a name, nor does Kenny mention a brother when discussing the Ackermans with Levi.
It is most likely that Mikasa and Levi are descended from different branches of the Ackerman clan, making them distantly related.
Do Levi and Mikasa Know They Are Related?
Once Levi discovered his true surname, he definitely put two and two together.
However, this did not change their relationship. Both Levi and Mikasa are distant to one another, but both do their best as Scouts and work together to keep Eren safe. Their relationship can be best described as ‘comrades’ rather than as family, despite the fact that they share the same surname and powers.
So yes, both Mikasa and Levi know they are related, but it does not change their relationship with one another.
So Mikasa and Levi are both distantly related as they both share the surname Ackerman and both have the awakened power, meaning that they both are descended from the Ackerman clan bloodline.
Despite being the last surviving Ackermans, their relationship is closer to comrades than to family, especially as neither knew about the other growing up nor have they developed a close bond.
However, both are skilled fighters and powerful beings that will use their strength to either help Eren or to cut him down.