• Becoming the Mask
— While Annie remains aloof, she spares Armin's life during the 57th Expedition.
• Longing Look
— They stared wistfully at each other in the Alliance's departure.
• Love Confession
— Armin confesses to Annie that he wanted to see her.
• Love Is a Weakness
— Eren suspects that Armin's increasing fondness of Annie has clouded his judgement and made him unfit to protect their nation from the enemy.
• Obvious to Love
— Annie is confused about why Armin continued to see her in her crystal for over four years until he spells out "I Like You" to her.
• Shipper on Deck
— Hitch teases Armin about his frequent visits to Annie in her crystal prison, but she also admits she's happy that he continues to visit.
• Ship Tease
— Armin's frequent visits to Annie's crystal result in Hitch teasing him. His embarrassed reaction doesn't help his case. He later admits to Annie herself that he wants to be near her.
• Sugar and Ice Personality
— Annie is cold and distant, but Armin states that she hides her genuine kindness.
- Annie – “I mean... there must've been girls out there more fun and cheerful than me, right...?”
- Armin – “That... No... Annie, I did it because... because I... I missed you.”
- — Armin and Annie, Chapter 131
AruAni is the het ship between Armin Arlert and Annie Leonhart from the Attack on Titan fandom.
In the "sudden visitors" OVA, Annie and Armin are together for the whole of the episode while trying to assist Jean as he attempts to win a cook-off against Sasha. Annie is reluctant with helping at first but goes along with Armin. After Armin breaks his legs from trying to run away up a flight of stairs in fear at Jean's plan to steal beef from the officer's pantry, Annie immediately is no longer willing to help and leaves as soon as Armin tells Jean he can't help either. However, after Armin recovers, the two then later assist Jean with preparing his meal for the contest.
While having their ODM gear inspected, Annie subtly tries to persuade Armin to not join the Survey Corps and shows hints of sadness on his determination to join. However, she recognizes his strong spirit and compliments him, showing she has a gentle side as well as respect for Armin. Armin realizes how she actually cares about him and see's through her icy exterior and tells her he believes she is a 'nice person' much to Annie's surprise. Later when outside after the inspection, Annie can be seen staring at Armin despite him not saying anything, likely still thinking about his compliment to her.
On the Survey Corps' 57th expedition, Annie spares Armin's life twice whilst in Titan form even though she slays everyone else that came across her path with no hesitation. After Armin falls off his horse, Annie arches down towards him, lowers his hood, stares at his face and smiles at him but then proceeds to leave him without harm and continues moving forward. This is despite the fact that Annie acknowledges later being aware that leaving Armin alive would likely lead to him being able to use his wits to identify her as the Female Titan and thus potentially jeopardizing her mission. However, her growing feelings for him caused her to allow him to live. Armin, however, despite piecing together that Annie is most likely the Female Titan, waits an entire month before informing anyone about his theory because he was in denial and desperately wanted to be wrong about Annie being the enemy.
Armin secretly meets up with Annie to ask for her help as he informs her of his plan to escape and hide Eren till they gather enough evidence to overrule the council's ruling on him. Annie is reluctant to help at first but asks Armin if he came to her because he really thinks of her as such a good person (alluding to when Armin called her a nice person), and he tells her he'd only see her as such if she agrees to help him. Despite Annie realizing this is likely a trap set up by the Survey Corps (places on her ring in case she has to transform), she agrees to help and follow Armin just so he would still see her as a good person to him showing how much Armin's opinion of her matters to her and potentially risking the success of her mission for him.
As Armin, Annie, Eren and Mikasa walk through town together, Annie compliments Armin for the plan he came up with to escape. As they head underground, Annie refuses to go any further knowing its a trap and she wouldn't be able to transform if she proceeded. Annie tells Armin she feels hurt by the way he now looks at her with fear, Armin questions Annie on having Marco's ODM gear and if she killed the two captive titans. Annie replies to Armin asking why he never said anything for so long if he knew all this and he replies it was difficult for him and he didn't want to believe she was the enemy so he kept quiet. Armin tells Annie that the fact she was unwilling to kill him when she had so many chances to do so is the reason they've discovered her identity causing Annie to ponder about her feelings for Armin and why she wouldn't allow herself to kill him and how she feels hurt by him betraying her. Armin then begs Annie to come with them and they might be able co-operate but Annie declines and tells Armin she was just glad she could be a good person for him before she transforms into her titan form to kill Eren. During her fight with Eren, Annie spares Armin's life yet again as Armin rushed to Annie and asked her if she would be able to kill him now to which she could only look back at him in shock.
When the Survey Corps capture Hitch and Marlowe, Hitch mentions Annie because she thought she died during the battle of Stohess, Hitch also says "She didn't have any friends right?" referring to Annie to which the others reply Annie was distant and anti-social so didn't interact with anyone but Armin's reaction to this is apparent and Mikasa notices it, she can be seen staring at him in multiple panels suggesting she knows about the two having a bond and so Annie wasn't as distant as others perceived at least with Armin.
As an outcome of the Battle of Shiganshina, Armin inherits Bertolt's memories and has since gained a much deeper understanding of Annie and her past, due to being turned into a titan and eating Bertolt. Four years on, Armin has been regularly visiting and confiding in Annie regarding his feelings and current events happening. Even though Annie is still in her crystal form and cannot speak, Armin makes an emotional appeal to her wishing she could say something to him. Armin shows he understands her better now for the things she has done having now experienced the anguish of being a bad person who has killed many innocent people too.
On Armin's next visit, he tries affectionately touching Annie's crystal but Hitch appears and begins teasing him after realizing he has a crush on her and tells him he's not allowed to touch Annie. Armin becomes very flustered and blushes as he tries to explain himself trying to claim he didn't have any inappropriate thoughts about Annie, then begs Hitch not to ban him from coming to visit her. Hitch tells Armin she won't ban him and in fact Annie is probably happy to have someone else to talk to other than her but he needs to focus on what's happening in the world instead of his developing feelings for Annie.
When Gabi confronts Armin about Falco, she informs him that the Armored Titan's hardening was undone causing Armin to have the realization that Annie could finally be free from her crystal. As Armin, Connie, Falco and Gabi sit down to eat, Armin tells Connie of his belief that Annie may be out of her crystal, not realizing that Annie was currently sat right next to him stuffing her face with pie with her hood on. The four finally realize Annie is with them and look at her in shock as Connie nervously starts mocking how Annie is eating but Armin comes to Annie's defense and tells Connie to leave her alone.
As the Alliance reach the harbor in attempts to secure the flying boat, Annie ends up in disagreement with the groups desire to protect the Azumabito and the flying boat whilst not killing any of the Yeagerists. She shows bemusement on their belief they can avoid causalities, she then specifically turns to Armin and asks him for what his big plan is, reminding him of when he managed to successfully trap her into revealing herself as the Female Titan causing Armin to look down in sadness at her words.
On the ship to Marley, Annie asks Armin if he's recovered and if he wants to take a seat next to her and talk. Annie thanks him for always coming to visit her while she was in her crystal for the last few years and that she was grateful because she was so lonely but she always looked forward to hearing him talk. Annie then asks Armin why he would bother spending so much time with her when she is stuck in a crystal and could never reply when he could have been spending his time with more fun and entertaining girls than her. Armin disagrees, and starts blushing, revealing the only person he wants to see is her much to Annie's surprise. Annie still questions him on his feelings and Armin asks her if she still doesn't get that he is in love with her despite how much Hitch teases him about it, to which Annie tries to deny understanding but reveals she has also started blushing implying she does indeed know and shares mutual romantic feelings for him too.
When the team is getting the flying boat ready for deployment, Mikasa talks to Annie. Annie says she won't come with them and she isn't going to fight anymore because she wants her last moments to be in peace whilst she is seen staring at Armin, implying she just wants to enjoy her last years with him and not worry about anything else. Mikasa notices Annie's words and her looking towards Armin and looks back at Annie with a surprised expression, Annie blushes in response to this realizing Mikasa has figured out the two have developed feelings for each other. Mikasa then asks Annie when did her and Armin become an item to which Annie tries to avoid answering and pretends she doesn't know what Mikasa is talking about. Mikasa notices her shyness and responds to Annie telling her she doesn't have to fight anymore but Armin is coming with the rest of the crew on the flying boat causing Annie to start clutching at her heart. As Annie says her goodbyes to the crew, she and Armin lock eyes at each other as Armin starts to wave goodbye to her but she can't bare to say goodbye to him and turns around to avoid eye contact. Mikasa notices this and asks Armin if he's okay with this but he responds he's just happy if Annie can keep being herself.
Later on as Armin has left with the rest of the crew to stop Eren, Annie is on the ship with Kiyomi and they’re discussing life choices and regrets. While thinking about her past, she remembers the last time she saw Armin’s face and is saddened by the possibility that she might not get to see him again, regretting not going with him but realizing its now too late. Gabi and Falco confront Annie about their plan for Falco to turn into a titan and follow the rest. Annie is angry at first at their suggestion believing it is unlikely to work and could just kill them all but Kiyomi tells Annie she is willing to take the risk as long as it allows them to have no regrets.
Annie, Gabi and Falco join the battle and swoop in to save everyone. Annie starts to ask Mikasa about if Armin is okay but shyly changes mid way to ask about Pieck, Mikasa already knows Annie is more concerned about Armin and informs her he's been captured and may die causing Annie to stare at her in shock but resolutely tells Mikasa she will save him. As Armin escapes a titan he begins falling through the air but is caught by Annie in the Female Titan's palm as the two look into each others eyes and instinctively say each others names.
After the battle of Heaven and Earth has ended and as Armin says his final goodbye to Mikasa, Armin steps up to confront secretary Muller and the Marleyan troops, who have at gun point the remaining Eldians, including Annie and her father. Armin speaks up and tries to convince secretary Muller of their humanity, which prompts Annie to look back. When Annie realizes that it is Armin who is speaking, she blushes and stares starstruck at him, while he puts himself in front of her and her father so they don't get shot while he finishes his Speech.
Three years later, in the time skip, Annie is now twenty-three and Armin is twenty-two. During the trip to Paradise Island, Annie enters the cabin where the team is discussing Historia's letter. She asks him whether or not the plan will work and seeks reassurance in his words (this is the first time Annie displays this kind of behavior with anyone and is very telling of the comfort they have around each other).
Armin reassures Annie, telling her that they still have a chance at brokering peace by telling their story. The last interaction they have as characters in the story is with each other and are shown side by side at the front of the boat with the others, with her looking sweetly at him. Headed to Paradise Island as Marley Ambassadors, having both lived in Marley for the past three years.
Throughout Season 1, the development between Armin and Annie showed the two formed a mutual bond with each other starting from when Armin called Annie a 'nice person'. It is believed that Annie was in shock at someone saying something so kind to her having never experienced such comforting words from someone in a long time. These words formed the foundation of their relationship as throughout the rest of Season 1 and then after Annie is finally freed from her crystal, the idea of Annie wanting to be a good person to Armin is brought up repeatedly showing how much his opinion of her matters to her.
From Annie's side, her feelings for Armin are much more obvious as her normal cold, harsh and at times heartless persona shifts when she's with Armin as she shows a much more kinder side when she's with him. We see Annie compliment Armin and try to convince him to not join the Survey Corps and appears saddened at the realization he will, multiple times she spares Armin's life knowingly at the expense of it potentially costing her mission as he would likely figure out her identity compared to anyone else and despite showing no hesitation or remorse killing anyone including other members of the 104th Cadet Corps like Jean. There's also the fact Armin was the one sent to persuade her to help them and the way he got her to help was by telling her he would see her as a bad person if she didn't come with him showing how much she wants to be seen as a good person in Armin's eyes especially as its shown she knew it was likely a trap all along yet she went with him anyway so he would like her. She also completely ignores Eren and Mikasa when she reveals she is the Female Titan, instead her final conversation she focuses only on Armin, how hurt she is at the way he looks at her now as an enemy and how hurt she felt by his betrayal but being glad she could be a good person to him.
Armin's feeling for Annie are more subtle during Season 1 but it is possible that Armin has had feelings for Annie before her reveal as the Female Titan. Armin endangered Eren and the rest of his comrades by ignoring all the evidence in front of his eyes and refusing to confess to the Survey Corps for a month that Annie was likely the Female Titan. There was also a distinction in the distress and guilt he felt after trying to capture Annie in comparison to Reiner and Bertholdt, who he reported immediately after realizing the subtle hints.
AruAni is recognized as being one of the most popular het ships in the series. For example they are each others most popular pairing on sites such as Pixiv.
A Slap on Titan
In the popular parody series A Slap on Titan by Tom Andre, Armin falls in love with Annie and describes himself as the 'Crimson King' and Annie as his 'Dark Queen'. Armin believes Annie spared his life because she shares feelings for him too and so he chases after her using Jean and Reiner as pawns in hopes to gain her affection.
The game features events based on Armin and Annie's scenes during The Female Titan Arc. One event is inspired by the scene when Armin called Annie a 'nice person' from the manga and anime. Annie asks Armin if he'd be willing to die if ordered to which surprises him and he replies if it was for a good enough reason he'd happily lay down his life for it causing Annie to compliment his guts. Armin then decides to tease her by telling her she has a nice side to her which causes Annie to get flustered and Armin enjoys seeing her reaction knowing she wasn't expecting such a response.
Another event is inspired by the events and aftermath of the Survey Corps' 57th expedition where Annie spared Armin's life twice. The Female Titan approaches Armin but chooses not to kill him and instead leaves him alive much to Armin's shock. After returning back from the mission, Annie notices Armin has been staring at her lately. Armin invites Annie to join him, Mikasa and Eren as they leave the lodgings to train. Eren and Mikasa rush off together into the forest leaving the other two behind as Armin notices Annie has new ODM gear and he and asks her to be careful as it takes time to get used to the kinks of new gear. Annie thanks him for being concerned about her safety. During a conversation with Lyria, she reveals she was protected by someone who betrayed her empire to help her escape causing Annie to sympathize with her. Armin notices this and confronts Annie about why she felt sympathy for the person who betrayed her country leading him to realize she is the Female Titan.
Attack on Titan: Tactics
Annie is noticeably soft and lowers her guard during all her scenes she shares with Armin whereas she is usually cold and at times even aggressive whenever she's interacting with any other character. One of Annie's events features Armin watching her perform hand-to-hand combat moves on Reiner and Eren and send them flying away. Armin goes up to Annie and praises her for her techniques. Annie downplays his compliment saying it was nothing special but Armin disagrees with her and continues complimenting her moves. Armin asks Annie if she could teach him some of her techniques but she replies she isn't good at explaining them and is only able to teach them by physically doing them on a person and she thinks Armin may not be able to handle being attacked by her. Annie tells him he'd be better off asking Mikasa or Eren to teach him instead but he reveals he doesn't want to ask them for help as he feels like he's always just caused trouble for them. Armin then gets worried Annie is thinking he is implying he doesn't mind being a nuisance for her but Annie reassures him to not worry as she didn't take what he said in that way. Armin appreciates her words and apologizes to her for wasting her time but before he leaves Annie tells him she likes his determination to grow stronger.
During a special event to celebrate the winter holidays in the game, Armin and Annie had matching party outfits. The story for the event consists of Armin, Eren and Mikasa planning a secret Christmas party. When asking Annie to join them for help, she initially declines but as soon as Armin tells her that not helping them would make her a 'bad friend' she immediately changes her mind much to everyone's surprise at her quick turnaround just from Armin's words. Later, they get a Christmas tree for the party and Armin thanks Annie for helping them, Annie replies to him saying she's happy to join in things like this sometimes. Armin then tells her she can join in on another thing with them which is wearing formal outfits for the party. Annie is initially disgruntled at wearing a dress but Armin tells her she looks nice in it and later Annie comments to herself that her dress is beautiful and she feels giddy.
- Armin/Annie tag on AO3
- Armin & Annie tag on AO3
- Armin/Annie tag on FanFiction.net
- AruAni posts on Tumblr
- AruAni hashtag on Twitter
- アルアニ hashtag on Twitter
- アルアニ tag on Pixiv
Armin persuading Annie to help him
Armin visits Annie in her crystal.
Armin sees Annie in titan form
Annie and Armin in matching Winter Clothing for Attack on Titan: Tactics
Chimi Chara 4-Koma AruAni comic
Magazine talking about Annie's feelings for Armin in Season 1