Why are Mikasa and Levi Ackerman so strong in ‘Attack on Titan?’ The Ackerman clan’s unique abilities, explained

Mikasa Ackerman and Levi Ackerman Attack on Titan
Image via Crynchyroll

Attack on Titan is a story full of powerful characters. Granted, most of them are titan shifters with characteristics and abilities that far surpass human biology, but we can’t totally discredit the humans in this universe. There are plenty of strong non-titan characters both in and outside the Survey Corps Regiment. They are highly skilled in combat and capable of posing a serious threat to their enemies. Without question, Mikasa and Levi Ackerman are at the top of that list.

While the blood relation between these two characters has not always been evident, when the dots connected, it all made sense. Levi had long been known within the Walls of Eldia as humanity’s strongest soldier, and Mikasa, despite being younger and thus less experienced, quickly made a name for herself after she joined the 104th Cadet Corps.

Later, when they started working together as members of the Survey Corps, the similarities between the characters became more noticeable, especially when it came to their unique strength and fighting abilities. However, it’s worth mentioning that Levi and Mikasa showed impressive skill in hand-to-hand combat before even beginning their military training. This was due to their Ackerman blood, which gives them special abilities.

The Ackerman family’s abilities

Image via MAPPA Ltd

Much like other Eldians, the Ackerman family members are Subjects of Ymir. However, it’s impossible for them to be turned into pure titans, and they have the ability to resist the Founding Titan’s power to erase and alter memories. It’s worth noting that there are other clans and families within the Walls of Eldia who share the same immunity, the best examples being the Asian clan — which Mikasa is also part of, on her mother’s side — and the noble families of the Kingdom.

Furthermore, it’s said that an even greater special power is passed down through the Ackerman blood. This is a power that initially lies dormant but can be triggered by a survival instinct, awakening enhanced physical abilities in the clan members and granting them the combat experience of all their Ackerman ancestors. This is why all the clan members in the series — namely Mikasa, Levi, and Kenny — are excellent fighters.

What makes the Ackerman clan different?

Levi Ackerman from Attack on Titan
Screengrab via Crunchyroll

The Ackerman lineage dates back to a time before the Walls. Back then, the Eldian Empire ran experiments with titan science on the Subjects of Ymir, which resulted in the creation of the Ackermans. They were specifically designed to protect the monarchy at all costs, acquiring a great sense of loyalty along with their special abilities.

After the rising of the Walls, however, the Ackerman clan rejected King Fritz’s vow to renounce war, which led to its members being hunted and persecuted. To protect their children, the survivors opted to not tell them about the outside world, which explains why neither Levi nor Mikasa had any knowledge of it at the start of the series.

Attack on Titan is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.