I’m probably biased because of playing the video game and being up to date with the manga. But I rather enjoy Jean Kirstein from Attack on Titan as my favorite supporting male.
I think his character changes for the better throughout the series. It probably also helps a bit that Jean is actually Isayama’s favorite character in the series. Jean comes off as a cocky and an inherently blunt person. But he’s really just a critical guy that is pretty cautious and considering his situation he’s just being pragmatic. At the beginning of the series he’s the number one person to butt heads with Eren because of their difference in ideals in the life they want to have. Jean wants to be safe inside the innermost walls with that military police whereas Eren wants to leave the walls. They just can’t see eye to eye; Jean thinks the survey corps is suicide and there’s no way to beat the titans and as we all know, killing titans is all Eren really strives for. They serve as good counterparts and even though they initially don’t see eye to eye; eventually they’ll come to tolerate the other.
I’ve probably said this before, but as I played Attack on Titan on PS4 I felt like I got a better look at each characters personalities. You’re probably wondering why since it is a hack and slash type game with very little story (that’s any different from the anime). Each character has a personality profile of what they’re strong at and what they’re weak at. Jean’s leadership capability is fairly high and is more reliable in battle in the game when he has a good team. Whereas Mikasa has very little leadership skills but high strength and stamina making her more effective as an independent fighter on the field. So their personalities do make a difference in the game. For instance, any time I had to use Armin – who is weak overall except in leadership – you basically use Armin to delegate tasks to a team; and I just failed horribly using him every time. I couldn’t use Armin efficiently as I could’ve.
As Marco (RIP) told Jean once that because of Jeans ability to quickly assess situations and read the atmosphere of the people around him and his ability to rally them, makes him a natural leader. Later on, he relinquished the idea of the posh life and joins the survey corps despite his own fears to stay true to the words of encouragement Marco had for him, and also reassesses his ideals after a speech Eren made. He is also willing to lay down his own life towards the end of the anime, showing that he does value his comrades as he decides that if he, Reiner and Armin don’t engage the female Titan, the rest of the survey corps would be wiped out.
Jean is both similar and different to Eren and this is why he makes a good supporting character. They challenge each other because of their difference in ideals but they also respect one another. And also Jeans unspoken rivalry for Mikasa is unbeknownst to Eren and probably another reason as to why he dislikes Eren. Maybe on a deeper level Eren may represent the things Jean could never be because he does have a type of facade on that’s it reflective of his personality. I just think they bring a great dynamic to the show – whether it be for comic relief or otherwise.
Anyways, that’s all for Jean and his loveable horse face! Till tomorrow! Gonna try to get my FFXV time in!…BUT after writing about Jean – maybe I should dedicate some time towards that platinum trophy instead and do FFXV o