If there’s something you don’t understand, learn to understand it. -Hange Zoe
Before I get into it, this series used to be called “Women in Fiction.” But because Hange’s gender isn’t specifically stated in the manga I realized it shouldn’t matter any way. Instead I’ll focus on the reasons why they’re strong characters and not just in the physical sense.
Also, because I’m not yet caught up with the manga I’ll just be focusing on the anime version, and refer to Hange as “she.”
The Rise of Hange
When Hange first joined the Survey Corps rage fueled her in battle to kill Titans. After discovering more about them she became obsessed with learning and understanding their nature. This led her to become a top researcher and conduct experiments on the Titans. To many, her ways of experimentation are eccentric and possibly crazy, but when Hange has her mind focused on one thing nothing can change her views, especially outside voices.
Over time she became a squad leader earning respect for her impressive skills and quick wits.
There’s no better way to describe Hange than passionate. She dedicates her life to understanding Titans and trying to communicate with them. She sees them as more than human-killing machines. This may get odd looks from her friends and comrades but Hange keeps her mind focused.
Hange expresses each of her emotions whole heartedly and with all she has. She doesn’t hold anything back unless the situation demands it.
When it comes to the lives of others, Hange can assess a situation and put her emotions aside. Her brain comes before her heart and knows what to do even when things get out of hand.
Take the season two finale. In any circumstance that involves Titans, Hange is ready and willing to put herself out there. However, possibly discovering the Titans are humans, and as she’s reporting this information to the Commander Erwin and Pyxis as well as Levi she keeps a blank state. Upon seeing their reactions, tries to reassure Levi they have no concrete proof. Knowing how much it bothers Levi, Hange puts her business side forward.
Head vs Heart
Like I said, Hange can have control over her emotions when she needs to, which makes her a great leader. Despite her reputation she has the respect of others. What she’s uncovered is far beyond anything they’ve known about the Titans. This is where discipline and patience to come in.
Her emotions can change on a dime.
Take the first time Eren fought Reiner in Titan form. Hange plops down on Eren’s Titan shoulder and tells him what to do and he nods in response. After this Hange displays a look of awe and is clearly excited a Titan understood and responded to her. I think it’s a great scene to show who Hange is.
Why Love Hange
What do most people want in a character? Other than being relatable, to have dreams and goals. The first time we really get to know Hange she spent an entire night explaining to Eren about her Titan research and it didn’t even end there.
When she discovered the two Titans she’s experimented on dead, you actually feel for her. For her to spend so much time and to see it gone in seconds is enough to make you question why you feel bad over their deaths. We’re supposed to hate Titans, to feel the way Eren feels. And yet Hange puts your mind into a different perspective. This can be applied to any aspects of life.
We shouldn’t assume anything and should take the time to learn about things we don’t understand.
When it comes to Hange she’s just not physically a fighter but mentally and uses her knowledge rise to the top. If she needs to put her feelings aside and become leader and an example for others, she can on the spot. Her passion for discovery is why she’s such a likable character and the fact that she doesn’t care what others think about her is another reason we love her even more.