Many fans of Attack on Titan, both the manga and anime, love the show for its detailed world-building, superb storytelling, and three-dimensional characters. Aside from the mystery that the nine Titan powers bring, you also see how the other characters make the manga more beautiful. And speaking of great characters, it’s time to put the spotlight on Hange Zoe.
Hange is one of the most beloved characters across the show for a good reason. They have proved that anyone can excel and rise above the occasion despite any limiting human capabilities because of their determination and perseverance.
Are you interested to know more about Hange? Are you looking to learn more in-depth details about the character? Then this blog is definitely for you. This blog will discuss their background, motivations, abilities, and interesting bits of trivia that only a few fans know about! So, read on and get to know the real Hange Zoe.
Bottom Line Up Front
Hange Zoe is one of the most beloved and followed characters in Attack on Titan. With their gender ambiguity, they gained traction and interest among many fans. And aside from that, they have a pretty unique character design and development throughout the story.
As the recent commander of the Survey Corps, Hange stands unfazed with all the current happenings in Paradis. Their quick wit and intellect stand out. Nobody gets in the way of Hange as they create strategic solutions and plans for the better of humanity.
Who is Hange Zoe?
Hange Zoë (ハンジ・ゾエ Hanji Zoe) is the 14th commander of the Survey Corps. Erwin Smith chose them right after his death. Formerly a squad leader in charge of the prestigious Fourth Squad, they invent innovative ways to eliminate the Titans. As the leader, Hange was also keen on researching the Titans’ origins, including Eren Yeager.
When the higher-ups promoted them as the commander, Hange held more responsibilities; they were in charge of expedition planning, managing the regiment, recruiting, and the other duties previously handled by Erwin. While this was not expected by many fans, thinking that Levi would then replace Erwin, Hange continues to prove to the audiences why Erwin made the right decision.
Hange played a significant role in the whole story and has been one of the pivotal characters who discovered the true nature of the Titans.
Hange Zoe: Appearance, Personality, Quotes, and More
It was evident that Hange sports a feminine body and physical features in the anime. However, that is entirely different from the manga. Show creator Hajime Isayama has known that Hange Zoe’s gender is unknown. Many people were curious whether Isayama meant to portray Hange as a female or male character.
They have an androgynous look with wide, light brown eyes and shoulder-length dark brown hair. Their hair is quite telling of their physical features as it is always in an unkempt high ponytail with bangs parted in the middle.
Previously, Hange wore thin oval-shaped glasses or goggles, depending on the circumstance. However, they lost their left eye when a massive explosion caught them caused by Bertolt’s Titan transformation. This event led them to wear a small black eye patch over it.
Hange is occasionally shown pulling their glasses up onto their forehead, which denotes her seriousness or agitation on the events. As for their clothes, Hange is often seen wearing the standard Survey Corps uniform with a button-up shirt underneath.
They wore the traditional green Survey Corps cloak on top of the uniform during missions or official businesses. Hange also wears a bolo-tie, as all military commanders do. When out of the uniform, they wore a unisex white button-up shirt and black pants.
Hange has an extreme fascination for the Titans and scientific exploration. Many people appear to be energetic, freethinking, and dynamic. They are a keen researcher who is observant and objective about their environment.
In the beginning, Hange explains why they joined the Survey Corps; their heart was full of hatred, but this changed when they had a close-up encounter with the Titans. All their resentment and insecurity vanished as they focused their energy and resources to create an innovative Titan research.
Hange showed compassion for his test subject and even teared up as they were forced to put some Titans in grueling and painful experiments. However, the growing threat of the Titan population has forced Hange to become rather stern and calm about the mission. They felt the imminent danger and terror the Titan posed.
They were afraid of uncovering the unknown despite being a brave soldier. This fear has led them to manifest signs of severe stress and exhaustion. They experienced extreme persona switches depending on who they interacted with. Hange is meticulous and thoughtful of their comrades’ well-being as a leader.
They could see past problems and create complex solutions to help their team. Sometimes, Hange also uses their wit and intellect to manipulate people to benefit humanity.
Hange is never greedy or self-serving, but they always exude a combination of a radiantly energetic attitude and a dark, sarcastic character.
This psychotic side was present, especially when Hange felt the urge to defend their peers’ from the enemies. Yet, despite their drastic personality changes, Hange has a great sense of control over everything, no matter what situation that may be.
The Brains of the Mission
There’s no doubt that Hange’s wisdom to decipher different situations and understand deep scientific concepts is a precious asset to humanity. Among the rest of the characters in Attack on Titan, Hange’s animosity yield an impressive amount of information and research. Their anger fueled their intelligence to excel and do better.
Hange’s capabilities didn’t fall on deaf ears and were noticed by their peers, especially by their superior Erwin Smith. Their persistence allowed them to carefully create strategies focused on defeating the Titans. Hange would spend countless hours studying different Titan subjects.
Because of the information left by one of their colleagues, Ilse Langnar, Hange was able to gain access and authority on Titan capture operations.
These operations significantly helped them get the necessary information to identify the Titans’ strengths and weaknesses. More than anything, they demonstrated their quick thinking and wits to build and develop cunning inventions.
However, Hange’s intelligence can also get the best of them by showing great outbursts of anger with no remorse to selfish and narcissistic people.
Expertise in Combat
Aside from Hange’s intellect, they were also well-versed in combat using vertical maneuvering equipment. They displayed superior skills in balancing and handling the equipment. Because of multiple expeditions, they have developed an impressive reaction time against the Titans. Hange also mastered being quick and agile to take down enemies with their blades.
Hange Zoe Quotes
As the new commander and leader of the Survey Corps, Hange Zoe is highly regarded by their peers. They spoke meaningful dialogues that have pierced the hearts of many viewers. Hange’s wisdom and words are worth looking back on despite their limiting capabilities. Here are among the quotes you should know:
- “I led us all to this point. I kept moving forward, even if it meant killing so many of my comrades. It’s time I take responsibility for that.”
- “Ever since I joined the survey corps, I’ve had people dying on me everyday. But… you understand, don’t you? One day or another, everyone you care about eventually dies. It’s something we simply can’t accept. It’s a realization that could drive you insane… It’s painful… so painful… I get it. And still… we must keep moving forward.”
- “I want everyone to feel safe again soon…I want this to be a world where people can without fighting each other.”
- “Even if all we accomplished were small steps forward… We continued to give our lives if it meant that one day… humanity would be free from this terror.”
- “You may have had some sort of just cause in mind when you did this….”
- “He’s nothing more than a harmless man who just refuses to die.”
- “Do you know what exactly we in the survey corps have spilled our blood for?…”
These quotes clearly show Hange’s persona and character. It also expresses their deepest desires and motivations, allowing her to be a relatable and interesting character.
Interesting Trivia Facts about Hange
Hange Zoe Has Quite a Huge Following and Fan Base
Hange Zoe is among the most popular characters based on the Character Popularity Polls. They ranked seventh in the first-ever Character Popularity Polls despite not possessing any Titan power. In the following character popularity polls, their rank rises above the rest, ranking fifth and third consecutively.
Hange’s Gender is not Definite
Despite their feminine looks and physique in the anime series, AOT’s creator Hajime Isayama stressed that Hange’s gender is open to interpretation. He even instructed Kodansha Comics not to confirm the character gender in the translation.
Kodansha has removed all gendered pronouns for Hange and clarified that their gender is up for the reader’s interpretation.
The Name “Hange” is Often Translated as a Masculine-Sounding Name
While official merchandise and events held in Japan use Kodansha’s translation of names, there have been many iterations of Hange Zoe. Often, it is translated as “Hans Zoe,” which sounds rather masculine. You can notice the diminutive name Johannes from this translation – a German variation of the word “John.” On the other hand, “Zoe” is a Greek word that translates to “life.”
Hange’s Goggles are Rather for Distinction Rather Than Functionality
With more than a dozen notable characters throughout the manga, Isayama came up with this character’s defining design element to distinguish them from the other characters. So, it’s safe to say that Isayama added Hange’s eyepieces for a better character design.
Isayama was Clear about Hange’s Character Progression
Many of the AOT fans were quick to think that Levi would succeed Erwin’s role as the commander of the Survey Corps. However, Isayama was certain and directly addressed why he veered Hange’s character in this direction.
He wanted the next commander to be someone who could take on responsibility while allowing its members freedom and mobility – which might not be possible if Levi was the commander.
“True to Oneself” by Shinsei Kamattechan is a Song by Isayama for Hange’s Character
It’s no surprise why Isayama chose this song as it explores the subject of gender fluidity. The song points out the value of defying conventional gender stereotypes. This could be Isayama’s way of addressing Hange’s gender ambiguity comments.
Hange Could Have Been Named Differently
It’s usual for many manga creators and artists to put placeholder names for the characters. In the beginning, the rough sketches of the manga panels revealed that Yamada Yamada Hanako (山田花子 Yamada Hanako). Aside from this exciting trivia, the rough sketches also revealed that Mike Zacharius’ placeholder name was “Yamada Taro.” Fans have speculated and suggested the possible familial relationship between the two characters.
Question: Is Hange Zoë a Guy?
Answer: Again, Hange’s gender is yet to be determined in the manga. Despite her feminine physical appearance in the anime, Isayama states that their gender is undefined and debated. He even suggested removing all the words that assume Hange’s gender.
Question: How Did Hange Lose Her Eye?
Answer: Hange was a pretty clumsy and unkempt character. However, they didn’t lose their eye in a freak accident. They lost it in the act of bravery during the battle. Hange was caught in a massive explosion caused by Bertolt’s Titan transformation. Their eye got severely injured, and they had to wear a small black eye patch over them.
Question: Who Saved Hange from the Explosion?
Answer: When the Survey Corps realized that Bertolt was planning to transform as the Colossal Titan, Moblit Berner acted quickly as he desperately tried to reach and save Hange. Moblit pushes Hange into a nearby well just in the nick of time to shield them from the explosion. Moblit’s heroic act led to his demise as he was caught in the blast and killed.
Question: How Old is Hange Zoe?
Answer: Like many Attack on Titan characters, Isayama never revealed Hange’s age in anime or manga. However, there is released information about the age of some characters. Based on that, we can safely estimate that their age is around 28 to 30 years old when the story first introduced them in season one. Given that the most recent manga chapters are dated in 854, Hange is more or less between 32 to 34 years old.
Hange Zoe Guide: Finishing Up
Hange probably joins the list of favorite characters for a lot of fans. I like Hange, not for their physical appearance nor ability, but their personality. It’s pretty telling how Hange’s personality has evolved through the different chapters of the manga.
That’s why their character development is something I look forward to reading about and watching as well. Hange’s character is a testament that gender holds no boundaries and should not limit you for doing anything that you’re good at – which is quite progressive for the whole community.
As the anime’s season finale draws near, we’re excited to see Hange’s final moments on the battlefield. How about you, what do you look forward to most on Hange’s finale appearance? Whatever that may be, we hope this article gave you a more precise overview and a better glimpse of the character!