When it comes to discussing a special someone from Attack on Titan for our weekly character celebratory posts, Sasha Braus may not be the immediate first choice for many people.
Both Mikasa and Annie are both highly capable, strong women, deserving their own faces and names exhibited in the hall of fame as Waifu Wednesday selections — and yet, Sasha Braus has never once left the realm of my brain nor heart space in comparison, bearing no room for anyone else to join.
Sasha is simply so easy to love, and happens to be one of my absolute favourite aspects of the show overall for her energy and enthusiasm in a ruthless world. It’s endearing, admirable, and an extremely appreciated outlook on life in this bleak and sad story – she is my Best Girl of Attack on Titan, so let’s discuss why that is.
Who is Sasha Braus?
But first, the basics. Sasha Braus is a supporting cast member of Attack on Titan, and is a part of the Survey Corps who ranked as the 9th best member of the 104th Training Corps. She was originally from Dauper, a village located within Wall Rose, and has a particular accent which embarrasses her when others point it out for her “countryside” way of speaking. Again, how much more endearing can she get? Let’s jump right into the details to answer just that!
Why we love her
Sasha may not be that significant of an individual in comparison to the series’ main characters Eren, Mikasa and Armin, but she has plenty of moments to shine, depicting her growth, likability, and relatability, as she captures our hearts with each and every exposure of her cheery self.
She has shown, time and time again, how formidable and strong she is. It is admittedly not the same strength nor ability as say, the aforementioned Mikasa or Annie, but this fact alone makes the few glimpses of Sasha psyching herself up and putting herself into danger as truly commendable — she continuously grows as a comrade, fighter and protector of others.
This is absolutely solidified by one of her earliest demonstrations of how truly brave and selfless she is – the moment she manages to take down a Titan with the unconventional weapon of a bow and arrow in order to save a defenceless young girl, Kaya. Her mental strength and determination to do the right thing is integral to her character as we see first-hand right here, and is one of the most exhilarating moments of the series. It’s one of only a handful of characters who manage to beat and escape an encounter with a Titan without dying — all without having her proper equipment on hand.
And despite not being on the same level of brawn and agility as most of her other comrades, Sasha has saved her friends and others in jeopardy on more occasions than just this moment. Her keen perception and listening skills have saved her skin and those around her a number of times — she even willingly throws herself into harm’s way to protect her comrades when she’s not suitably equipped for the risk at hand.
These moments are massively important to her character, who once cowered in fear at the possibility of dying at the hands of Titans — eventually, she’s always going headstrong into battle for the sake of her friends and the welfare of her entire world. But possibly my absolutely favourite aspect of Sasha is simply her character. Sasha acts as a constant morale booster for those around her, reminding everyone that they must retain their humanity for the greater good, and to simply be herself around them even during their most tense and hopeless situations to keep a sliver of hope and positivity alive for the team.
Why you’ll love her
Or simply put, how could you not? Sasha’s introduction into the gritty series remains as one of the most memorable scenes, showing an awkward young girl chomping on a potato — a scene which led to her becoming affectionately known as “potato girl”. This scene swiftly established one of Sasha’s most defining characteristics with her love of food, whilst giving the particularly nerve-wracking scene of the Survey Corps introducing themselves an unexpected break of comedy to settle everyone down.
Quite simply, her fixation on food acts as her major reason for seeking freedom and a better future alongside her comrades; she wants to have at least a taste of as many dishes there are in the great beyond. And when she does do exactly this, even when depicted in just a single scene, it’s truly gratifying and heart-warming to see how far she has come. And it remains consistently comedic, too — it’s a delight to see her taking no nonsense from figures of authority when it comes to stealing food, even doing so during her time in the Scout Corps.
In fact, Sasha is a rare case of a character serving as so much more than mere comic relief. She is a fully realised character, being a breath of fresh air for her comrades and the audience alike through her silly antics and infectiously positive energy. But she’s also grounded in the sense that she feels like a genuine human with a heart of gold — and with her own flaws that she learns to overcome and develop from. She’s kind to everyone, throws herself into danger for the sake of others’ well-being, and slowly reveals her inner strength we never knew she had initially.
For instance, she joined the Survey Corps out of respect and for the sake of retaining her family’s name, and this in itself is a shockingly noble and thoughtful gesture to follow despite all the hardships and endless possibilities of her meeting her end early on by doing so. And it highlights a Sasha who has grown ever since she first joined them, as the old Sasha was both closed-minded when it came to sharing food, and had tunnel vision when it came to viewing the world — only her village and herself mattered to her. It is at a complete contrast to the older, more wise and understanding Sasha we know and love today.
Sasha is always seen to be underrepresented when its main characters of the show outshine her every step of the way, but that makes her all the more appealing and universally beloved. She is not always the hero, or the most exceptional individual in the scene, but when she is, it is undisputedly the most impressive feat of them all. And I simply love her for everything she is and represents – another ray of sunshine within the anime/manga medium.
Watch Attack on Titan for seeing its best girl in action now on Crunchyroll!
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