Mikasa Kissing Eren: Why Does Ymir Smile?

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Here’s why Ymir smiles when Mikasa kisses Eren:

There is no official explanation for why Ymir smiles in this scene, so we are left to speculate.

It is possible that she’s smiling because all of the conflicts have been resolved and the world is at peace.

It might be because she is finally free.

It could be a combination of those and other factors.

So if you want to learn all about why seeing Mikasa kiss Eren makes Ymir smile, then this article is for you.

Let’s get right into it!

Mikasa Kissing Eren: Why Does Ymir Smile? (All the Info)

What Is Attack on Titan?

The first thing I should establish is that we’re talking about Attack on Titan here.

Now, if you’re a fan of the series and you don’t remember Eren and Mikasa kissing, then you should stop right now.

Let this be your official spoiler warning.

In order to answer the original question, I’m going to have to discuss events that take place at the very end of the series.

It’s a major spoiler.

If you’re not up to speed and want to avoid spoilers, this is a good place to stop reading.

Go catch up on the manga, and then come back.

With that covered, I need to explain a bit further for anyone who isn’t a fan of the series.

Attack on Titan is a famous manga and anime.

If you’re not familiar with these media, manga is like a Japanese comic book.

Meanwhile, anime is a form of Japanese cartoon.

It tends to be very stylized, and in cases like Attack on Titan, it is not intended for children.

In this case, Attack on Titan was originally a manga, written by Hajime Isayam.

It was first released in 2009, and the story fully concluded in 2021.

Meanwhile, the anime is an adaptation of the manga.

It covers the same events, but the anime has not yet concluded.

There is a final season in production that will cover the final events in the manga, but it hasn’t been released yet.

Because of all of that, we’re specifically talking about the manga and not the anime today.

Who Is Eren?

The story of Attack on Titan centers on Eren Yeager.

He lives in a world populated by humans and titans, and the latter is really important to the story.

In this world, titans are giant human-like creatures.

They are immortal, extremely powerful, and they eat humans.

After Eren sees his mother eaten by titans, he vows to destroy every last one of them.

This leads him to join the military, and more specifically, the Survey Corps.

Glossing over lots and lots of plot points, Eren eventually realizes that he has the power to turn into a titan.

Using this power, he masterminds a plot where he ultimately uses titans to rid the world of all of his people’s enemies, and that brings him into conflict with Mikasa.

Who Is Mikasa?

Mikasa is another central character in the series.

She is one of Eren’s two friends.

As children, Eren saved her life, and ever since, she is completely devoted to him.

She clearly loves him, and she goes through extraordinary lengths to protect and support him.

She’s also the most skilled fighter in the entire military.

Eventually, she realizes that Eren is willing to commit genocide for the purpose of his goal, and she resolves to stop him.

That brings the two into direct conflict, and it culminates in the scene we’re discussing today (which I’ll explain in detail in a moment).

Who Is Ymir?

The last character I need to explain is Ymir.

She was the very first character in the series to gain the power of the titans.

She gave birth to three daughters who ultimately became the progenitors of the Eldian people.

As a result, only Eldians have access to the power of the titans (Eren is Eldian).

As the founder of the race of titans, Ymir’s existence persists after death.

She remains in control of the root power of the titans, living in a bit of a limbo universe.

The whole time, she is waiting for something (we don’t know exactly what).

Eventually, Eren is able to enter that limbo universe, and he convinces Ymir to give him power over all of the titans.

That’s when he puts his master plan into motion.

When Does Mikasa Kiss Eren?

Ok. You know what source material is up for discussion.

You have an idea of who the characters are, but what exactly is happening?

This is referencing a specific chapter in the original manga (chapter 138: A Long Dream).

This is content that has not yet been covered in the anime, and as such, it’s a giant massive mega spoiler of doom.

This is your last spoiler warning.

Stop reading if you don’t want the ending of the entire story ruined for you.

You’re still here?

In that case, we’re talking about the last panel in Chapter 138.

In this panel, Mikasa is holding Eren’s severed head, and she kisses it.

In the background, you can see a specter of Ymir watching the moment unfold, and she is smiling.

In case it isn’t clear, to get to this point, Mikasa cut Eren out of the giant titan he was controlling, and she killed him.

She kisses him farewell, but he’s already dead.

There is only one other manga chapter after this, and it wraps things up.

This is the climax of Attack on Titan.

Why Does Ymir Smile? (4 Speculations)

Now that we’re all on the same page, we can get back to the matter at hand.

Why is Ymir smiling in this scene?

Well, there’s no official answer.

Hajime Isayama has never explained the smile, so we have to speculate.

I have a few ideas listed below.

Any of them are reasonable, and really, it’s probably a combination of some or all of them.

#1 Ymir Appreciates Love

This sounds sweet and romantic, right?

Ymir sees two people happily kissing, and she smiles because she’s a romantic deep down.

Then, you remember the context of the scene.

It’s not two people happily kissing.

It’s quite a bit more tragic and disturbing than that.

And yet, Ymir is smiling.

It could be that she has a twisted sense of romance.

After all, this seems about as traditionally romantic as her relationship with King Fritz.

It might actually seem romantic to her, hence the smile.

It’s a dark take, but it’s certainly possible. 

#2 Peace Is Achieved

What seems more likely to me is that she’s smiling because this scene is when peace is finally achieved.

Ymir certainly fought for the sake of her people, but she was never intrinsically violent, and she died basically from being completely exhausted after fighting for so long.

She’s also the one who put the curse on her people that led them to be pacifistic for so many centuries.

It lends to reason that she values peace.

This scene (and the kiss isn’t all that relevant in this case) is the moment when peace is truly achieved.

It’s not a partial peace like what was had when Paradis Island was hidden behind the walls.

It’s a lasting peace.

On top of that, it’s peace for all of her people.

Her descendants finally have peace, but so does the rest of the world.

If you recall, Ymir was not actually Eldian.

She was enslaved by them.

So, world peace is the only peace that can truly extend to all of her people.

#3 Ymir Is Finally Free

It’s also possible that Ymir is only smiling for herself.

After all, she proved to be an incredibly stubborn character, sticking with the status quo for thousands of years.

Ultimately, things only changed when Eren was able to reach her and promise her freedom.

After all of that time, freedom is what got through to her, and she gambled on that possible future by giving her power to Eren.

When Mikasa killed Eren, it finally freed Ymir.

The power that had bound her for so long died with Eren, and she could at long last be free to pass on.

Ultimately, it was Mikasa who actually granted the freedom that Eren promised (which may or may not have been his plan all along).

Ymir can be seen smiling both because she is finally free and because she is looking upon the agents of her freedom.

#4 Ymir Can Relate to Mikasa

There’s also a strong connection between Ymir and Mikasa.

They follow similar trajectories for some time.

Ymir was a slave to her feelings for King Fritz, and Mikasa was a slave to her feelings for Eren.

Yet, Ymir died still a slave, and her slavery was extended into her afterlife.

That’s how tightly she was bound.

Mikasa, at the final moment, chose her own freedom.

Even though she couldn’t get rid of her feelings for Eren, she overcame them to do what she believed was right.

Mikasa ended the war as only she could, and she effectively saved humanity in the process.

Ymir, seeing Mikasa’s choice and strength, is smiling because she can relate and because she is impressed.

Mikasa managed to do what Ymir had always wanted to be able to do.

You can actually combine this idea with some of the others.

Ymir is free.

Her people are free.

The world is free, and it’s all because Mikasa made the choice that Ymir never could.