Attack on Titan, a post-apocalyptic fantasy manga and anime, follows the story of three friends determined to defy the man-eating Titans that dominate their world. Among them is Armin Arlert, renowned for his tactical brilliance despite his physical weakness. The question arises: did Armin survive the perils he faced?
A Brief Background
Armin Arlert, a member of the 104th Survey Corps, proved himself invaluable due to his strategic acumen, compensating for his lack of physical prowess. Orphaned at a young age when his parents were executed for attempting to escape the walls, Armin's deep curiosity about the outside world drove him. Despite being bullied, he formed a steadfast friendship with Eren and Mikasa, ultimately joining the Survey Corps to protect humanity and explore the unknown.
The Transformation into the Colossal Titan
Armin's fate takes a significant turn during the "Return to Shigashina" arc. In Chapter 82 of the Attack on Titan manga and Season 3, Episode 18 of the anime, the Survey Corps embarks on a mission to reclaim Shigashina. In a face-off with Bertholdt, the current Colossal Titan, Armin formulates a plan that enables him to confront the towering Titan. As he scales the creature, Bertholdt attempts to deter him by unleashing scorching steam. Despite the intense heat and relentless attacks, Armin survives, albeit sustaining severe burns. Eren eventually removes Bertholdt from the Colossal Titan, leaving Armin to mourn his fallen comrade on the rooftop.
The Decision to Save Armin
While Armin lies seemingly lifeless, Zeke confronts Eren, and Levi rushes to his aid. Surprisingly, Armin coughs, signifying that he is still alive. Eren implores Levi to administer the Titan Serum to save Armin's life. Initially inclined to comply, Levi's decision shifts when the near-death Erwin arrives on the scene. Eren's appeals notwithstanding, Levi chooses to honor Armin's longing to witness the ocean. Erwin selflessly relinquishes the serum to Armin, whose body undergoes regeneration in his pure Titan form.
Armin's Transformation and Guilt
Upon awakening, Armin discovers the truth about his revival and the fact that he received the serum instead of Erwin. More startling to him is the realization that he now possesses the power of the Colossal Titan, having consumed Bertholdt. Wrestling with guilt over being saved at Erwin's expense, Armin seldom relies on the Colossal Titan's abilities in battle. Instead, he prefers his armored gear and the support of his fellow soldiers. This reluctance stems from the havoc, destruction, and death caused by the Colossal Titan's power, deepening Armin's remorse.
Armin Arlert does survive the events at Shigashina, but his journey takes an unexpected and transformative path. Acquiring the Colossal Titan's power carries heavy emotional burdens, testing his resolve and instilling a profound sense of guilt. Despite the power at his disposal, Armin often chooses to fight alongside his comrades rather than embrace his Titan abilities. The impact of these experiences on Armin's character development adds a compelling layer to the narrative of Attack on Titan.