Given all of the characters that die in Attack on Titan, it can be difficult to figure out who to get attached to. As a result, most fans tend to forget most of the minor characters. This is a shame, as there are so many cool characters that go underappreciated by viewers. One such character is Nanaba of the Survey Corps.
Nanaba is actually pretty great. She has a level head, excellent combat skills and strongly values her allies. She puts all of this to good use as a member of Squad Mike. Unfortunately, most fans have long since forgotten about her, as she's dead by Episode 29 of the anime, "Soldier." As a reminder of what makes this relatively minor character worth remembering, here's an overview of everything important there is to know about Nanaba.
Nanaba briefly appears in Season 1, but she doesn't really take an active role in the story until Season 2. She and the rest of Squad Mike are tasked with overseeing members of the 104th Training Corps who might be Titan-shifting spies like Annie Leonhart. However, her job comes to an abrupt end when Titans make it past Wall Rose.
This is where fans start getting a real look at Nanaba as a person. When she sees the Titans, she despairs at the thought of humanity's defeat. However, with Mike's words of encouragement, she's able to quickly regain her composure and carry out her mission, bravely escorting the 104th recruits to safety.
Fans can take her moment of weakness in two ways. On one hand, it could be interpreted as an inability to handle pressure when she's caught unprepared. On the other hand, the speed at which she pulls herself together again can be seen as a sign of her strong mental fortitude and resolve.
Nanaba continues to show her prowess on the battlefield. In Episode 29, she and the other members of Squad Mike must protect the unarmed 104th from oncoming Titans, which she cuts down with grace and efficiency. She's no Levi, but she's a respectably capable soldier in her own right.
Unfortunately, Nanaba meets a fate all too familiar in Attack on Titan. She uses the last of her blades and her ODM fuel trying to save another comrade with nothing left. As she's torn apart by the Titans, she desperately calls out for her apparently abusive father. Besides this break in character for justifiable reasons, she goes out like a true hero.
Despite her death, Nanaba still has her place in the story. She shows up when Erwin and Levi think back to all the brave souls who gave their lives for the sake of humanity. Even if she's forgotten by fans of the show, she still holds a special place in the hearts of her comrades.
For those who do know Nanaba, there's often something about her character that perplexes them -- her canonical gender. Like Zoe Hange, she's confirmed female in the anime, though she comes off as androgynous to many. According to his blog, Isayama is content with letting readers decide Nanaba's gender for themselves. So, while Nanaba is canonically a woman, if fans want to see her as something else, that's not a problem.
For what little screen time Nanaba gets, she uses it well. She establishes herself as a cool veteran Titan-killer with the strength of mind and body to back it up. She may falter, but she'll always be sure to try her best for her friends and allies. May she be remembered as a champion of mankind and a legend among the Attack on Titan cast.