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There are a lot of things people love about runaway anime and manga hit Attack on Titan. Aside from the iconic and unsettling Titans themselves, the series has a unique setting, unpredictable plot, and bouts of intensely visceral action.

Just about the only thing fans don’t gush over is, oddly enough, the main character. Sure, protagonist Eren may have the tragic back story, pure heart, and burning sense of justice that are required of male action anime leads, but in terms of popularity, he ranks far, far behind the coolly efficient Levi.

Whereas Attack on Titan’s narrative often slows down as Eren struggles under the weight of his role as protector of humanity, pretty much every second Levi appears on screen is dedicated to showing what a badass he is. Levi is so awesome, you wonder why he isn’t the star of his own anime. Well, soon enough, he will be.

In addition to creator Hajime Isayama’s original manga, a number of spinoff comics began serialization after the Attack on Titan anime turned the franchise into a full-fledged pop cultural phenomena. Some of these, like Attack on Titan: Junior High are silly gag series that obviously don’t exist within the same universe as the main story. One manga that is meant to be taken seriously, though, is Attack on Titan: No Regrets.

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Taking place years before the start of the normal Attack on Titan manga, No Regrets focuses on Levi’s past. As it opens, he’s not an elite member of the Titan-fighting Survey Corps, but instead the leader of a pack of thieves. As the story unfolds, the reader sees Levi meet the Survey Corps’ commander, Erwin, and take the first steps toward becoming the giant slayer he is when he and Eren meet.

▼ Levi, seen flanked by partner in crime Fallon and admirer Isabel

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The spinoff has proven popular enough that for the upcoming 15th and 16th collected volumes of the regular Attack on Titan manga, publisher Kodansha has recently announced that it will be releasing limited editions that come bundled with animated DVDs based on No Regrets.

Unlike Attack on Titan manga, No Regrets is serialized in Aria, a monthly comic anthology targeting female readers (which serves as testament to Levi’s gigantic fangirl fanbase). Neither the art nor story is by Isayama, but the two-part anime version brings back the key staff from the Attack on Titan TV anime, including director Testuro Araki, character designer Kyoji Asano, and the animators at Wit Studio.

Both limited-edition bundles are priced at 2,840 yen (US$28.10). Volume 15 is set to be released on December 9, with preorders being taken until September 19, while Volume 16 comes out April 9 of 2015, and can be ordered until January 23. There’s no word as to how long each DVD will be, but one thing we can say for sure, regardless of running time, is that at some point Levi will do something cold as ice, and look completely awesome while doing it.

Source: Hachima Kikou, Cinema Today
Top image: Blogspot
Insert images: Blogspot, Kodansha (1, 2), Aria