Ship /Don’t Ship.
Reasons why I ship it:
Well, where do I start?
I still remember my earlier days in the fandom and how striking was the figure of Erwin Smith when I saw him for the first time and I was quite reticent from shipping him because I was “too badass, why shipping, I ship him with danger or something”.
Levi and Erwin had this camaraderie bordering the soulmate thing for chapters and chapters, however the moment I can declare I was sold into the Eruri was the moment where Levi, while they’re being chased away by titans, while there’s people dying just behind him while he tries to escort Eren and his team towards the trap to the female titan; he never shows any hint of doubt in Erwin’s choice.
Now, I understand the relationship between a superior and a subordinate, so the obedience is an often trait. However what it really made me say: “Well, those two are something, at least in Levi’s side” it’s how Levi seems to deeply believe in his words in front of death. Literally.
The pressure of having your squad asking/demanding/begging for your attention and your protection, the fact you are leading literally the hope of humanity on your shoulders and still be able to trust blindly in the judgement of Erwin made me see bleeding hearts.
No, nothing pink or soft, it was fucking bleeding hearts and that pain of “Fuck, even if this is one-sides I fucking ship it, I’m done”.
In a world where war and death it’s knocking at your door, trust and devotion it’s such a delicate and rare thing to find that see such huge loyalty -fully reciprocated by Erwin’s side as we see after - just made my heart flutter. Then we saw more of their interactions and they both take such regards of their opinions, they respect them, they disagree but they still hold so much respect towards the other and they can still be such a dangerous combination it’s amazing.
When I saw Petra talking how Erwin is literally Levi’s reason to get in the Corps I didn’t think of a blind following because Levi it’s smart, he’s cunning as hell and he won’t throw to hell itself because he’s not seeing what is in front of him: he knows it, accepts it and embrace it because of him in the beginning and, while he rides with him, he does it for his comrades and for the purpose.
From Levi’s side I was done with chapters 20-30 from the manga.
Erwin’s side of the relationship was what it killed me.
Quoting a post from tumblr I liked a lot, Erwin isn’t heartless but he learned to use his heart less. I have that vision thanks to the little interactions we see with Mike and how he misses the camaraderie with him.
I just can’t help but to imagine a man who was like any other, caring; but he had to learn how to harden himself towards a purpose.
But you can still see parts of him he can’t control where he still cares, he still shows it and -in my headcanon at least- he knows it will be his cross: his emotions. Let’s remember the last Commander actually went nuts thanks to the pressure and I can’t help but see Erwin younger, in a beautiful building surrounded by flowers, birds and, in the middle of the place, there’s an adult man he admired, he worked with, he fought with hand by hand, his prior Chief now lays in a chair, drooling and with absent eyes.
And he’s given his position with the worst Titan outcome possible: They’re breaching the walls.
For him showing emotion means his death and the Legion’s. As simple as that.
So what he shows it’s trust, loyalty, caring in a sort of professional way. So when I see the ease how Levi practically criticize when he’s too uncaring, still has a voice in his reunions, still shares a slice of his private life with him and when Levi shows such loyalty towards him… chapter 29 to 33 makes me cry.
Thanks to the translation of the manga and the lines in the anime you realize how, even with the entire titan fiasco, he decides to prioritize Levi’s life -either for the Legion or for selfish desires- and he makes it obvious. When Levi returns from the fiasco of his team he stays quiet, almost waiting for him to blame him for their deaths, like if that helps Levi to feel better then so be it.
"Corpses are corpses, love and hate the living ones" line he says in the anime just kills me because he talks to the recruits but he also talks to Levi, who’s just next to him and just kill me.
Then Levi, as support, goes with Erwin to the summoning of the Capital,even when only Erwin and Eren are summoned and he decides to stay with Erwin even with his leg hurting like hell… it’s a mature relationship.
They’re in a level where words aren’t needed to understand each other, where sacrifices are things that are expected but they still worry for eachother in their own ways, where neither of them can actually show freely emotions because too many lives are hanging on their necks for them to be able to, so they stay together as partners, brothers in arms and companions.
The current spin off and the canon material the magazines are giving about their relationship establish they know eachother for so long and they went from mortal enemies with Levi enrolling to kill Erwin, to being almost inseparable just makes the bleeding heart they give me beat painfully with the ache of an OTP.
I’m just Damn, they’re OTP. No. They hurt me and I love them.