There are so many great side characters in Attack on Titan, it makes choosing one favourite much more difficult than last time when I was choosing my favourite main character.
Although the rest of the cadets have never done much for me, the senior members of the Survey Corps could have a show all to themselves (Levi actually does have a couple of OVA episodes…). Hange is a great mix between very funny and extremely cunning and I needn’t give an explanation as to why Levi is awesome. However, I’m not going with either of them because my number 1 side character in Attack on Titan has to be Erwin Smith.
Back before world politics became a nightmare I wrote an article on why Erwin Smith would make a great president. And it is because of some of the reasons I wrote about then, that I view him as best supporting character in the series. You might describe Erwin’s primary ‘function’ in the show as the leader figure, and god doesn’t he do it well. Once we are introduced to him in the second part of the show in Eren’s trial, we know that this is a man not to be messed with. While Levi steals the spotlight, knocking a tooth or two out, Erwin quietly, but decisively makes the biggest wave by being the first one to truly extend a hand to the boy who could transform into a man eating monster.
If after this episode though, you somehow thought that Erwin was a soft fool, who was forced to resort to weapons he couldn’t understand or control to gain a victory, the Female Titan arc would have proved you wrong. As Eren is proven useless in the face of a new threat, it is only because of the enemies secret trump card that he is not victorious on strategy alone and only because of him do the Survey Corps manage to return to Wall Rose in tact.
It’s also worth saying that we’ve got a lot to look forward to with Erwin’s character going forward in season two and even season three. In the Return to Shiganshina arc we get to see the very best of Erwin; I’d even go so far as to say that he incapsulates everything that humanity within Attack on Titan strives for.
He’s bold, brave, intelligent, kind, realistic and entirely selfless. What’s not to like?