Hange Zo is a Squad Leader of the Survey Corps in charge of the 4th squad, and directs experiments in Titan research. Hange Zoë (ハンジ・ゾエ Hanji Zoe?) was the 14th commander (団長 Danchō?) of the Survey Corps, named so by Erwin Smith before his death. Hange was formerly a squad leader (分隊長 Bun-taichō?) in charge of the Fourth Squad, having the duties of innovative inventing and conducting research on Titans, including Eren Yeager. After being promoted to commander, Hange was also in charge of expedition planning, management of the regiment, recruiting, and all the other responsibilities previously handled by Erwin. Upon their death, they were succeeded by Armin Arlert. Hange had wide, light brown eyes and shoulder length dark brown hair that they often kept tied up in an unkempt high ponytail with bangs parted down the middle. When Hange was caught in an explosion caused by Bertolt Hoover transforming, their left eye was badly injured. This led them to wear a small black eye patch over it. As a constantly busy person, their hair was thrown up very quickly and was usually oily and unclean.
Along with their eye patch, Hange wore square, thick-rimmed glasses that had bands strapped around their head to keep them from dislodging during combat. However, when they were out of combat they wore thin oval-shaped glasses, still keeping the bands on their head most of the time. Hange was occasionally shown pulling their glasses up onto their forehead from time to time, often to indicate seriousness or anger. Hange was often seen wearing the normal Survey Corps uniform with a white button-up shirt underneath. When on missions or business, they wore the traditional green Survey Corps cloak and in addition to this uniform, Hange wore a bolo-tie at all times as the other military commanders do. When out of uniform, Hange usually wore a white button-up shirt with black pants, and occasionally sporting a black coat. If Hange was in a hurry, they would only wear their Survey Corps jacket; even if it was over their sleepwear. To most people, Hange appeared to be an energetic, freethinking researcher with a very unique way of conducting themselves and their work through their rather observant and objective character. Hange explains that when they first joined the Survey Corps, their heart was filled with hatred; untill they kicked the head of a 3 meter Titan and were shocked at how abnormally light it was. This drove Hange to forget most of the resentment and insecurity they held onto, and take on a new approach to Titan research.
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As the threat of the enemy became more severe, Hange less frequently showed their lighthearted nature, often remaining calm and serious. However, they still displayed great empathy toward others, including the dead and suffering. This was last seen when Hange attempted to console Mikasa Ackerman by explaining their agony over the constant loss of their comrades - hugging her in sorrow. Titans and concern toward Hange's dear ones appeared to be greater. As their responsibilities continued to grow with their position as Commander, Hange more frequently showed signs of severe anger, stress, and exhaustion. Hange was a genius, using their brain to create weapons, tactical plans, and inventions for the benefit of humanity. As a leader, Hange was thoughtful of their comrades, and could easily figure out complex problems in order to create plans for their teamsmates to carry out. On a less cheerful note, they could use this genius anyway they could, being able to easily manipulate people to do what Hange wanted, in order to benefit humanity (see Intelligence). However, Hange's energetic attitude was only half of their personality, alongside a darker attitude normally kept under their usual self. They showed a psychotic side when giving a demented smile to Djel Sannes, telling him of the horrible pain Hange was going to cause him for what he did to Hange's friend, Minister Nick. Furthermore, Hange even smiled and sarcastically joked with Sannes during his torture at Hange's and Levi Ackerman's hands.
Manga Mindset. Genius Thought!
Probably the strongest emotion Hange expressed was anger, as they were often seen flipping from calm and collected to rage-filled and threatening. However, this extreme change in personality was usually brief as they quickly calmed down themselves, and was only seen in highly urgent situations; this change of character is often marked by Hange putting their glasses on top of their head, and their cheery nature can be seen returning when they put them back down. During an expedition outside of Wall Rose, Hange and Levi found the corpse of a fallen Survey Corps member. Upon looking at the soldier's armband, Hange states that it is from the 34th expedition, belonging to a woman named Ilse Langnar who had died a year prior. Hange is present among the Survey Corps as they leave Trost District on another expedition to study the world outside the Walls and lay groundwork for their eventual return to Shiganshina District to crack Wall Maria. As the crowd admires Captain Levi, Hange jokes that his admirers would be disappointed if they knew what a clean freak he was.
Hange and Mike Zacharias are assigned to take Eren to his court hearing in front of the leaders of the Military. Hange is present with the rest of the Survey Corps as Levi beats up Eren and checks on his condition after the tribunal is over, noting that Eren's lost tooth grew back. Later, when Eren and the Special Operations Squad are at the former Survey Corps Headquarters, Hange explains that Hange is in charge of experimenting with captured Titans Sonny and Bean and begins to prep Eren on previous experiments, but noting his enthusiasm to learn, ends up talking until morning. Hange was about to talk about the curious precedent involving Ilse Langnar when they were interrupted with news that Bean and Sonny were dead. Rushing to the site, Hange cries at the loss of the Titans. Hange later moves forward with the experiments on Eren. When it turns out Eren cannot turn into a Titan at will, Hange is a little disheartened. However, seeing Eren's Titan hand later on earned an overly-excited response from Hange and breaks the tension between Eren and the Special Operations Squad. When Hange excitedly runs to Eren and touches his Titan arm, Hange burns their own hands on the exposed muscle.
Hange concludes that Eren's Titan powers are only awakened when he has a clear objective in mind, such as defending his friends from a cannon. Hange also hypothesized that this switch must have a good reason as well as being connected to the Titan's nature. During the 57th Expedition Outside the Walls, a Female Titan attacks the Survey Corps and decimates their ranks. After the Female Titan is lured into the Survey Corps' trap in a Titan Forest and captured, Hange mockingly explains to it that the Special target restraining weapon is designed so that the more its wounds heal the more its joints will be immobilized. The Female Titan lets out a deafeningly loud roar, leading numerous Titans begin to swarm the area and attack it. When they begin to devour the Female Titan, Erwin orders all squads to engage the Titans and defend the Female to the death. Hange fights relentlessly among their comrades but to no avail. The Commander, realizing that all is lost, orders his soldiers to pull back and return to Karenes District. As they retreat from the forest, Hange asks Erwin why he ordered Levi to resupply and split off from them.
Erwin asks Hange if they saw the Female Titan's operator get eaten along with the Titan itself, and Hange realizes with horror that their enemy is still alive. Hange's squad is tasked with capturing Annie Leonhart in Stohess District after it is revealed that she is the Female Titan. After Annie is incapacitated, Hange stops Keiji from continuing to try and break open the crystal Annie encased herself in to avoid capture. Hange orders the crystal containing Annie be removed to safety and worries for the future of the Survey Corps after this failure of a mission. Hange then notices Mikasa is still on the Wall, and is surprised to see that she has found a Titan within the hole. This makes Hange speculate if there are Titans all throughout the Walls. Hange is then approached by Minister Nick who begs the soldiers to stop sunlight from hitting the Titan's face to prevent it from awakening. After this, Hange tries to question the Minister about what they had just seen, but he roughly states that they do not need to know anything about it, and even threatens to demand compensation for damages done to his church. Furious at his attitude, Hange grabs Nick and holds him over the side of the Wall as a threat, demanding that Nick explain why there are Titans inside the Wall. Hange comes to the conclusion that his religion has been so opposed to Wall modifications because of what they know is inside the Wall. Hange claims that the people of the Survey Corps sacrifice their lives hoping that one day it will mean something, and because of this they have the right to know what they saw inside the Wall and why it is there.
However, Nick refuses to reveal anything and clearly shows that he would rather die than tell his secrets, but Hange decides to let him live and throws him back onto the Wall. Twenty hours after Titans are sighted in Wall Rose, Hange is seen on a carriage with Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Levi, and Nick. When Armin questions the reasoning for Nick being there, Hange explains that Nick and the Church of the Walls are keeping secrets about the Titans within the Wall. When Eren lashes out at him, Hange explains that Nick is now considering talking, so he is going to see what the effects of the current situation are doing to the people and Hange explains that he is probably keeping quiet because there is a motive greater than saving humanity. It is revealed that Levi is holding Nick at gunpoint and he states that he will easily keep an eye on Nick.