Attack on Titan has been a hit since its debut in 2013, and creator Hajime Isayama has continued to shock audiences worldwide with every new development. One character who has had fans hooked since his first appearance is Captain Levi Ackerman, the harsh and anti-social soldier.
Despite this, his brooding personality is not what makes Levi so memorable -- it's his height. Levi stands at a smaller 5'3, but this has never halted him in terms of ability. In fact, his height is more of a benefit on the battlefield than bulk and brawn. Levi also differs from classic shorter anime characters of a similar build, making him even more intriguing.
Levi Ackerman's Unique Portrayal as a Short Anime Character
Levi Ackerman is humanity's strongest soldier in Attack on Titan, and more often than not the strongest characters follow a certain algorithm: gigantic, towering over others and possessing more muscle than sense. This is how the most exceptionally powerful characters are depicted across many media formats, as though they should physically look the part to be considered the best.
In the same vein, smaller characters are usually seen as scrawny, weak and frail. Tiny and useless, waiting for the big brawny character to save them. Sometimes they are even used as comic relief, only present to be the butt of the occasional short joke.
Levi, of course, doesn't fit into either of these categories, and his height doesn't define his character. A small man and well aware of it, his height is never used for laughs and isn't commented on. Many others tower over him -- often by a foot or more -- looking down on Levi literally but never figuratively. His height is rarely mentioned throughout Attack on Titan, but those who do mention it tend to do so when they first meet.
Humanity's strongest soldier is short but slays gigantic enemies better than anyone, without even flinching. His god-like abilities help him take down men twice his height with ease, and Levi never even thinks about the possibility of defeat -- it's not an option. Despite being 5'3, Levi is truly an unmatched figure of strength and dexterity.
Levi's Height Gives Him Greater Mobility When Fighting Titans
It's even arguable that Levi's stature is what makes him such a superior member of the Survey Corps. Having a smaller frame allows him to use his omnidirectional mobility gear with a higher rate of success, flying faster, turning quicker and killing more easily. Levi can even tuck himself in a ball, picking up unimaginable speed while spinning to slaughter even the most notorious Titans.
A small part of Levi probably cares about his height, especially considering he's often surrounded by people taller than him. He likely stopped growing as a teenager while others continued, stunted by genetics or the result of malnutrition and lack of sunlight. As an adult, Levi couldn't care less about being short. He knows he's stronger than anyone who would dare challenge him, so there's no point in dwelling on something that can't be changed.
Levi is well aware that he is unusually small, but this doesn't stop anyone in Attack on Titan -- especially himself -- from taking him seriously. Nor does his height lessen his inhuman strength. No one would dare even comment on Levi's size, lest they suffer his wrath. Tiny, packed with muscle and fueled by self-assurance and spite, Levi Ackerman is small but deadly -- all 5'3 of him.