Gah this is tough because I don’t think I’ve ever really looked hard or had that “A-ha!” moment where I watched a character that reminded me of myself. I’ve seen bits and pieces of myself in several characters but not in it’s entirety. I’ve never really tried to look for myself in a character – despite how many shows I’ve watched.
A friend from community college and I actually had a similar conversation as we played Attack On Titan together on our PlayStations. He had asked me which AoT character was most like me and I was dumbfounded. All the characters I liked were my opposites. So he said, “there is someone I think is really like you though”. So I asked him who he thought was most like me. And he said “Armin Arlert.” It took me awhile for that to settle in. After I listened to his reasonings – I decided to re-watch Attack on Titan here and there and paid more attention to Armin. I found that Armin and I are similar on a deeper level and that what my friend saw on was just a scratch on the surface. That was when I acknowledged Armin as my counterpart on my own; though I am by no means a genius tactician as he is.
This friend of mine was one that I had made in some classes we took together in community college and we had formed a little group. He thought of me as Armin because Armin was the smart one, the planner, and knew the best way to approach things and was the problem solver. I was really flattered he actually had thought that way about me.
But that just fed into WHY I also think I believe Armin is the character most like me. That disbelief in something so positive being equated with me. Like Armin, I’ve battled with low self-esteem. I’ve battled with thinking I’m just a burden to my friends and can’t contribute anything meaninful. I felt this way especially with my group of friends at my Architecture school. Everyone seemed to be much more talented than I could ever be.
Just like that scene where Eren transforms into a Titan against the Garrison to protect Armin and Mikasa. Armin’s bewildered as Mikasa and Eren then recount the ways Armin has saved them. I’ve had several moments of my own like this. One of those was stated earlier; when my friend said I was like Armin because I was smart; I looked back at our group and realized I had always been the level-headed one in the group and was always the thinker. In Architecture school, my close friends also talked to me the way Eren and Mikasa did – they recounted all the times I’d saved them for being quick on my feet about ideas and other random pieces of information. Those kinds of revelations to have really shook up what I think about myself.
The other things I find about Armin that align with me is that Armin is a dreamer yet analytical. He’s able to stay calm in any situation and is able to think through anything. Like Armin, I handle pressure pretty well. He’s got a curious mind and his curiousity is what drives him in life. Like Armin I’m incredibly loyal to my friends and selfless when it comes to them. These are Armins’ strengths as well as mine. And for everything I’ve stated above; this is why I think I’m most like Armin in the anime universe.