Eren Jaeger Costume Analysis
By Skywing Knights // November 25, 2023
I’ll kill every last one of them and
break free of these walls!”
Who doesn’t love “Attack on Titan?”
Well, my roommate hates it, but she’s the best so I guess she gets a pass. As for me, “Attack on Titan” is definitely one of those series that is absolutely intriguing. (Who could have seen that coming? I’m not obsessed with mystery series and true crime and war stories at all, nooooooo…..)
Needless to say, I’ve ended up cosplaying many of the characters from “Attack on Titan”, which is why today we’re talking about the construction of my first cosplay for the series – Eren Jaeger. I’m not really sure why I chose to do Eren first. I suppose the easy answer is that he is the main character of the series. However, I don’t know if that’s exactly why.
I think I mostly was drawn to Eren in the beginning of the series because despite all the numbing horror around him, he felt something, whereas everyone else around him didn’t seem to. That’s a lot like how things can feel today at times. Things can feel awful, so awful that to get through them, we numb ourselves. But to feel is to be human, no matter how much it hurts. It’s the seed of compassion and empathy. So for Eren to not give into the temptation to numb himself, to embrace his feelings of guilt, anger, rage, and fury, it made him a very compelling character right from the start. Not to mention, he embraced the tragedy around him and ejected it through rage, which he used to make a difference. That’s kind of admirable if you ask me, because he didn’t run away when he could have. Perhaps his aim wasn’t to be ‘righteous’, but it was to aspire to seek freedom from a tyrrany of sorts. And that I believe is intrinsically one of the deepest desires of human beings.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about this protagonist in Hajime Isayama’s series first before we talk about this member of the Survey Corps. 😉
For years, Eren Jaeger wanted to go beyond the walls surrounding him, his family, and his community that protect them from the man-eating giants, known as Titans, that live beyond the walls.
But when a 60 meter tall Titan kicked down the gates to his hometown and unleashed the terror of the Titans, Eren was forced to watch his mother be eaten by one of the horrifying monsters. Swearing vengeance upon the Titans, Eren promised to destroy every last “little” one of them.
Little did he know how intrinsically connected he is to the secrets these monsters hold.
Character: Eren Jaeger
Series: “Attack on Titan” / 進撃の巨人 (Shingeki no Kyojin)
Creator: Hajime Isayama
Version: Anime Survey Corps Uniform
Difficulty Level: 50%
Photographer: WingedLight and Tsukasa325
Debut Date: August 12th, 2014
“I want to see and understand the world outside. I don’t want to die inside these walls without knowing what’s out there!”
Construction on Eren Jaeger:
Eren Jaeger was the first of my “Attack on Titan” characters, I think mostly because I felt that he was the easiest to relate to out of all of them. Also, I didn’t feel like I was suited to Levi… Though apparently I’m only 3 inches taller than him haha.
Anyway though, this outfit was pretty much all made from scratch. I bought the pants, but modified them to accommodate the straps, but that was pretty much the only thing, aside from the boots, that I bought.
I used a linen-polyester-cotton blend for his shirt and opted for something that would show wear and tear easily (but still remain strong). Specifically, I remember that I didn’t want it to be nice material. I wanted it to look rough, not new, and most importantly, poor. Like, that was all he could afford.
The key I actually got from Animate in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, so it was the legit key style from the Anime (not the manga) that I just added to a thin leather necklace tie. While making this, I realized I’d have to redo the key or find one for the manga if I ever do that version of Eren Jaeger. But for now, this works just as well, haha. (For reference, you can see the one based on the manga from the exhibit I went to in Ueno called “Attack on Wall Tokyo.”)
I completely hand made the jacket. It’s probably one of my favorite cosplay accessories. I even wear this thing out shopping sometimes, haha. It’s great and totally fun. To make it, I modified my favorite pattern – by Butterick, popping out the collar design a bit and shortening the ends of the jacket.
For the crests, I bought patches online. (I picked the Survey Corps because I felt that would be more useable in the long run). Then I proceeded to either sew, iron on, or hot glue them to the jacket lol. (The way I needed to bend kept the patches from staying securely in place with just iron on material since they were so thick).
I went with a stiffer material for the jacket itself, that weirdly had the sturdiness of new denim, but the feel of suiting. The material ended up being something that I found on discount at Tomato in Nippori, Tokyo. To go with it I choose a very light lining, which was a good thing too because oh my gosh, this thing just retains heat so well.
It’s great on a sunny, but chillier day. But in the middle of summer in the heat, don’t even get me started. I’ve sweated through this thing on occasion to my horror. It’s just that good at retaining heat.
For the green cloak (of surprisingly not as much heat) I used a thick cotton-polyester knit for construction from Nippori. I really liked the way it flowed and fell when it was still. Onto the last piece… the flipping straps. These cost about $100 to make, but it was worth it.
All the supplies I got in Nippori’s Fabric Town, save for a few from Tokyu Hands. They actually sold the straps by the roll. So my biggest obstacle ended up being figuring out how to put them together to create the harnesses etc.
(Thank you, Isayama for that one design, thank you, thank you! It was like, the one kind grace that you had given us at that point haha.)
I used snaps to attach the various straps to the center belt on my waist for this. Thus I was able to eliminate the need for sewing it into the pants. I made it so the snaps are hidden and it’s easy to get them on, which made for a great bonus.
My photographer friend Lindsey was all ready to help me when we shot at Hacos once. She was shocked that it only took like 5 minutes for me to get dressed and to get it all on.
View my Eren Jaeger Cosplay
in the Image Gallery:
“Something like that [muffler], I’ll wrap it as many times as I need to.”
I remember watching the anime for “Attack on Titan” first, then deciding to read the manga. Like most artists though, Isayama wasn’t the best when he first started drawing “Attack on Titan.” As a result, after several chapters I remember thinking to myself, “Well… I could just wait for Season 2…” At the time though, that would be about 3 years away. But just as the thought crossed my mind, I stumbled upon Isayama’s designs for the 3DM gear. My first thought? “Dang it.” Haha, there was no getting out of cosplaying something when the designs were literally right in front of me! XD
Eren Jaeger was one of the characters I originally thought about cosplaying first from the series. I think this was primarily because he was the easiest for me to relate to. Even with all the skills, power, and abilities that he had, he still felt rather useless or unable to make a difference (something I related to heavily at the time). I also really liked that he was the kind of person who pushed through things even when he wasn’t “good” at them from the onset. Again, his determination was a driving force in why I wanted to cosplay him.
I think at times in our lives, we can all feel that way. It’s as though we go through and work so hard in life. But then as things don’t pan out the way we expect, we feel a little hopeless.
What I like about Eren Jaeger though is that he continues to push through those thoughts. And he does this despite all of the heartache he endures. Not only that, but he does so in spite of the fact that he doesn’t know how it’s going to turn out in the end. .
That to me, is a great example of inner strength.
Till next time my loves,
PS. …Eren found a Gundam…XD