Attack on Titan’s Most Underappreciated Titans

By Anthony Cocking (via AnimeLab)

We’re all familiar with the Colossal Titan, the Armored Titan, the Female Titan and the Snazzy Titan (the last of which is a character exclusive to my fanfic, DO NOT STEAL), but there are numerous garden-variety Titans littered throughout the series, too…

You know the ones: those without any kind of autonomy whatsoever, operating solely on their ravenous convictions. They enjoy a nosh whenever and wherever possible, and they would most certainly love to have you over for dinner.

Now that the December 7 launch of Attack on Titan Final Season is rapidly approaching, we figured it was the perfect opportunity to recap some of our favorite ‘pure’ Titans along the way. 

Please note that some of the names below are not official, and have been designated by the glorious Attack on Titan fandom or other supporting materials.

Please note as well that this list will be littered with spoilers leading all the way up to the end of Season 3. To be honest, we tried to play coy and avoid naming major characters at first, but it was becoming far too vague.

Titans demand certainty, after all. Certainty and tasty human flesh!

The “Crawling” Titan

Throwing a curveball at you here, by opening this list with one of the last Titans we see in the Season 3 finale. Trust me, it’s not recency bias; it just happens to be a Titan that only barely made its way onto the podium, in a manner most appropriate to its proportions.

En route to “paradise”, Eren and his comrades happen upon this malformed beast, slithering miserably towards the walls. It’s incapable of much more than this, meaning it’s no threat to humans unless they happen to lie down in front of it for some reason.

Beyond being a fellow patriot, there isn’t really anything to this Titan’s story at this point. It’s just some sad, hapless creature that represents the full cruelty of Titan transformation. It has a certain resonance to its misery that qualifies it for this list…for now!

The “Dauper” Titan

With so much attention paid to the tremendous Titans—rightfully so, as they will wreck your whole day in a span of seconds—there isn’t much love to go around for some of the little guys.

That said, there’s something particularly unnerving about this nasty dude here, who we first see gnawing on a poor old woman in a leisurely fashion. The “Dauper” Titan (whom I must resist the urge to erroneously ordain the ‘dapper titan’) moves with all of the urgency of a drowsing slug; however its distinctly human proportions and comparatively muted features add an air of menace.

It less resembles a Titan than it does a tall, dead-eyed automaton from a horror movie, doggedly pursuing its victims with the sole intention of consumption. Maybe it comes down to its conservative stature, or the jarring manner in which it is introduced; we just know for sure that we would prefer this gruesome customer doesn’t pay us a visit next spooky season.

The “Jumping” Titan

Technically speaking, there are two Titans who have been dubbed the “Jumping” Titan, with the more ballyhooed one making its presence felt in the Trost District invasion. It introduced poor Thomas to the inside of its stomach before setting off to find other cadets to keep him company in there.

The “Jumping” Titan we’re picking for this list, however, leaves a different kind of impression. When a trio of Titans suddenly begin sprinting towards the Scouts, this fabulous fellow leads the charge by literally pirouetting through the air. It then gallops across the plains with its arms outstretched as if it was hoping to dry an invisible shirt.

Trying to work out the minds of the Titans is a fool’s errand, so we don’t bother to question why the “Jumping” Titan 2.0 does these things. We’re just thankful that it did, because what it lacks in fighting acumen, it more than makes up for with its incredible grace.

Ms. Springer

Meeting a friend’s parents for the first time is usually pretty weird, but Conny Springer’s mother really takes things up a notch.

We first discover this Titan when Conny returns to Ragako, sprawled atop his childhood home in an immobile state. He concludes that his family must have escaped, only for it to choke out ‘welcome home’ in the most loving and yet disturbing manner imaginable.

Is this really his mother? Could she have truly suffered such an awful fate?

This Titan’s lasting impression isn’t from the mayhem it creates, as much as it is for the heartrending realization that something very wrong is going on here. As it seems to possess some degree of self-awareness, it could technically be disqualified from this list…. Would any ranking of pure Titans be complete without Ms. Springer, though? She’s not like a regular mom; she’s a cool mom!

The “Peering” Titan

Vaguely reminiscent of Fleischer-era animation with its enormous eyes, the “Peering” Titan is so called for the memorable scene where it stares upon Mina with a look of stern disapproval. Talk back, get snacked, yo.

Typically, this chap is more patient than its cohorts, surveying its target before making its next move. Not only does this make your last moments much more traumatic, it also humanizes it somewhat—as if you could perhaps negotiate with it.

Of course, attempting parlay with the “Peering” Titan sounds like a bad idea to me, but I’m little more than a mere pontificator and I don’t want to yuck anyone’s yum, so if you really want to try it, you’re more than welcome to.

Definitely didn’t work for Sergeant Major Gross though, did it? I bet he tasted…absolutely divine.

You were expecting me to say gross there, weren’t you?

The “Gluttonous” Titan

Aesthetically alone, this Titan approaches elite status, with its enormous eyeballs that clearly see all and yet probably acknowledge nothing whatsoever (such is the poor comprehension of the Titans).

As far as plot impact goes, it’s actually one of the MVPs of the unanointed Titans, landing a critical chomp on Miche that eventually leads to his shocking and gruesome demise. Indeed, it’s one of my favorite scenes in Attack on Titan, which is a testament both to the series’ penchant for macabre storytelling and an admission of my own sick satisfaction when woebegone heroes are gobbled by hungry hordes.

A member of the Beast Titan’s crew, this diminutive ghoul pops up more than once, and even has a direct interaction with the head honcho, where it is reprimanded for its impulsive tendencies. In other words, the Beast Titan squeezes its head until it goes pop! But it handles the indignity quite well. What a trooper.

The “Bearded” Titan

By their very nature, Titans devour without discrimination. As such, their exploits are rarely noteworthy beyond ‘it ate ________’, with that blank space being filled in by whatever anonymous casualty was just claimed by the similarly anonymous Titan.

The “Bearded” Titan, however? It manages to sink its fangs into some pretty prime plot real estate by gobbling Eren himself, unwittingly setting off a chain of events that completely alters the course of humanity. Had it not happened to have strolled into Trost District that fateful day, Attack on Titan’s history may be very different.

Also, this Titan looks a lot like Santa, so it was a lock for this list anyway. If I sat on its lap, I would probably wish for it not to eat me.

The “Bigmouth” Titan

We are all the heroes of our own stories, and rarely is this quite so apparent as it is with the “Bigmouth” Titan (known in certain circles as the little Titan who could). Despite being nothing more than a short-lived also-ran in the pantheon of Titan greatness, this pipsqueak manages to rack up an admirable body count by putting its substantial maw to good use.

Moreover, it’s the first one to feel Eren’s wrath when he initially assumes his Titan form. A meeker combatant would see the gratuitous size difference as a potential drawback, but not our “Bigmouth” Titan. It leaps right into action like a true warrior, taking Eren to his limit in a narrow defeat…

…well, more accurately, he explodes its face with a single punch before stomping it into a bloody pulp. Depends on how you want to frame the situation, I suppose.

Sawney and Beane

Alright, we confess, this pair of Titans achieved very little in terms of Attack on Titan’s storyline. That being said, there are so few Titans in this franchise that have actual names, plus a minor arc that spans multiple episodes, so you’d best believe that we were going to highlight them here.

For Sawney and Beane, their claim to fame comes as Hange Zoë’s captive test subjects. They’re subjected to experiments that range from peaceful sleep pattern observations to having sharp objects prodded into their eyes, so their suffering is for the betterment of mankind…theoretically.

Should two insignificant guinea pigs really rank so highly on this list? Probably not, but would you be the one to tell Hange that they didn’t amount to much? We certainly couldn’t bear Hange’s wrath, so we’ll just proclaim them recipients of the silver medal and be on our merry way.

The “Smiling” Titan

The original eater of mothers, and still the best by a long shot. In later seasons, pure Titans begin to feel more like obstacles than threats, but in the first episode, Hannes can only cower in fear when he comes face to face with this single grinning fiend.

The indelible sight of Dina’s calm, almost endearing visage perfectly encapsulates the juxtaposition of these monsters. They operate without animosity, simply gulping whatever happens to be in front of them, carefree to the shrieking protests of their prey.

It’s just so eerily fitting that this Titan carrying out its instinctive purpose would have such a lasting effect on Eren…as well as anyone who has watched Attack on Titan.

Could this actually be the most iconic Titan in the whole series? Opinions are divided, and many would opt for the Colossal Titan, but for my money…this one takes the cake. It then recklessly proceeds to eat said cake, alongside the baker and anyone else who happens to be within reach.

Any favorites we missed out on? There are so many more that unfortunately didn’t make the cut (honorable mention goes to the Titan who jogs along with finger guns blazing), so there’s bound to be plenty more to discuss.

Let us know, and check out the Attack on Titan Final Season trailer if you haven’t already! It’s filled with all kinds of carnage, and we sure can’t wait to see what other new Titans could qualify for this list!