8 reasons why Annie's identity as the Female Titan was the most open secret in Attack on Titan
The introduction of the terrifying Female Titan into the story of Attack on Titan (Episode 17) is one of the most gripping highlights of Season 1. After the fall of Shiganshina, the scout regiment goes on the expedition of reclaiming it and finding the secret hidden in the basement of Eren's home.
On their way, they come face to face with the frightening presence of the seemingly mysterious Titan.
And fans were quick to deduce as to who this person was, owing to some very subtle yet noteworthy clues. In fact, Annie's identity of being the said Titan was easily anticipated precisely because of the several indicative factors that were masterfully woven into the story of Attack on Titan.
[Note: The article contains spoilers of Attack on Titan up to Season 1.]
8 key facts that connect Annie to the Female Titan in Attack on Titan
1) Physicality & physiological similarities
In the Battle For Trost District Arc of Attack on Titan, the concept of Titan Shifters was introduced through Eren's transformation. Furthermore, the resemblance of Eren's titan form with that of his person, established the notion of titans bearing similar physical attributes to their users.
This information when applied to the Female Titan narrows down the possibility of it being Annie almost immediately. Not only did she have blonde hair just like the Female Titan, but also its fit physique along with efficient and lethal combat style bore striking resemblance to hers.
2) Annie's apathy towards fellow cadets
Even though Annie joined the 104th class of cadets on her own volition, she remained distant and mostly detached from her fellow mates. This seemed unnervingly suspicious on Annie's part, which made her look even more dubious.
Noting this, the devout Attack on Titan fans were skeptical about her motivation for joining the cadets and started questioning whether the Female Titan was none other than Annie herself.
3) Female Titan letting Reiner get away
Though Annie remained mostly indifferent, one of the very few people that she was seen to interact with the most was Reiner. On a number of occasions, along with Bertholdt, the two of them shared screen space which gave the sense that these three are probably connected to each other in some way.
For this reason, when Reiner was able to get away from the Female Titan's death-grip without dying or being mortally wounded, it made the possibility of Annie being the said titan as clear as a day.
4) Her maneuvering the ODM gears
As an exceptionally skilled cadet, Annie finished in the top five of the 104th cadet class. Particularly when disguising herself as one of the scouts, her expertise came in handy as not even the elite Levi-squad suspected the hooded poser.
The one piloting the Female Titan having knowledge of and such masterful skills in maneuvering the ODM gears, make the fact even more obvious that it is none other than the ever efficient Annie herself.
5) She leaves Armin unscathed
In Episode 17 of Attack on Titan, when Armin is confronted with the menacing Female Titan, the fans were fearing the worst possible outcome. However, the Titan who was previously seen rampaging and leaving a bloodbath in her wake, halted and removed the hood to have a clear view of Armin, leaving him unscathed as well.
This was a very decisive moment as aside from her Marleyan compatriots, Annie only had a fondness for Armin.
6) Erwin's hunch
It was eventually revealed that the main purpose of the 57th expedition beyond the walls was to lure out titans. After coming to know about Titan Shifters, Commander Erwin was anticipating an attack from an intelligent titan.
Furthermore, he also predicted the titan shifter to be someone from within the walls and planned the attack in the forest accordingly.
Erwin's guess was proven right, with the Female Titan having knowledge of not only the expedition but also of Eren's identity was and where to look for him. And as a fellow 104th class cadet, Annie must've had easier access to this information, which made her an even greater suspect.
7) The chronology of events
Right after the scouts return from their expedition, the chronological order of the anime refocuses on the new recruits of the military police, namely Marlo, Annie and Hitch. In fact, Annie is shown to be the last one to arrive at the assembly of the new recruits. Furthermore, Marlo’s comment regarding Annie “slacking off ” raises suspicions.
This was an obvious hint to the viewers that Annie was out and about, while the rest of the new recruits were sleeping.
8) Annie's Ring
Commander Hange’s experiments on Eren revealed that Titan shifters can activate their Titan abilities by inflicting pain upon themselves. Having that fact established, Annie was shown to have a ring (with a pointy blade encased in it) and in the Attack on Titan manga, Mikasa even enquires her about it.
This ring acted as the last piece of the puzzle, solving the mystery and establishing Annie's identity of being the Female Titan, for once and all.