Shonen heroes usually get a lot of flack, and perhaps rightfully so, for being one-dimensional, rough around the edges, and often annoying. Eren Jaeger, the primary lead of Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin), fits the bill perfectly. He’s frustratingly childish in his worldview, but moves ahead and becomes heroic because of sheer determination (that and his ability to TURN INTO A TITAN).
Unlike Armin or Erwin or even Levi, Eren has not a shred of eloquence in his speech. He’s not particularly bright, and his lack of speaking ability matches his age – he is only a teenager after all. And yet, smooth words and even leadership skills don’t matter much when it comes to Eren. What matters most about him is literally what’s inside.
In this way, Eren reminds me of Moses, the great prophet who brought the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. Do you remember that when God commands him to go free His people, Moses replies that he can’t because of his poor speaking skills? God even assigns Moses’ brother, Aaron, to him as a spokesperson. And yet, it’s through Moses, despite all the mumbles he must’ve uttered, that the millions of Israelites became free. God used a most imperfect man to do a miracle (dozens of miracles, actually).
Eren, too, seems to be on the path to becoming the savior of his people – indeed, of all people in the world of Attack on Titan. Even though he has no physical talents setting him apart, as Mikasa does; no leadership ability, like Jean; and no great intellect, like Armin, it’s still Eren who becomes the focus of the plan to save humanity, because of that something special hidden within him – the power to shift into a titan.
But there’s something even more than that within Eren – not only is the ability to become a titan within him, so is the very truth of the civilization in which they live. We don’t know all the details yet, but we do know that the key and explanation to everything has something to do with what’s inside of Eren, and it seems that by this truth, if all goes according to plan, humankind will be set free.
We’re no different. In the plain, fragile, earthly vessels of our existence lies the truth. The Bible states that Christ followers are greater than John the Baptist (Luke 7:28). It can’t be because we’re great with words or preaching – how few of us can do such things! – but because we have what he didn’t. The final story has been revealed to us, and we are born again because we know Christ in his redeeming grace.
We only need to be brave and courageous, like Eren, and show the world what’s inside of us already – true wings of freedom.