Why Did Jean Kirstein Want to Join the Military Police? 

Why did Jean Kirstein wake up one day and suddenly wish to join the military? Reviewing The Sudden Visitor: The Torturous Curse of Youth Attack on Titan OVA.

Grab a saddle and hitch up, because today we are going to discuss Jeanbo the Stallion’s OVA. 

Check out our analysis of Eren’s anime-only Memory Shards from ch 120 here

While on the surface, Jean’s OVA may seem like a simple cooking competition between he and Sasha. Watching it back with the context of the manga and four seasons of anime, however, reveals something else. 

It’s almost sickening how many core events were foreshadowed in these almost ‘throwaway’ OVAs that were never given much attention when they came out. Even I have to admit that I had largely ignored them years ago, only watching everything (with the exception of Ilse’s Notebook) just now.  

If you read my recent AoT Season 4 Episode 17 review, I talked about throwing everything I thought I knew about the manga series out, and starting over from scratch with the anime.  

It is under this same vein of context that I will be reviewing and analyzing Jean’s OVA. 

So without further ado – let’s begin! ☺ 

Why Did Jean Kirstein Join the Survey Corps?

Initially, Jean awoke from a dream one morning and drew a girl who looked like Mikasa. Wanting to meet the girl of his dreams, he decided to enroll in the military and follow the path laid out for him from there.

Ultimately he does meet Mikasa, Eren, and even Marco – who had a big influence on Jean’s life, self-confidence, and morals. (The memory of Marco even being one of the reasons Jean later decides to betray the Yeagerists after joining with them in the manga.)

But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here – let’s start at the beginning so that you can fully understand my theory on why Jean actually ended up in the Survey Corps, and not the Military Police like he originally dreamed.

What is The Sudden Visitor: The Torturous Curse of Adolescence OVA About?

The OVA starts with Jean waking up from a very long dream.  

We know it was a long dream because he overslept, and his mom barged into his room to bring him an omelet for breakfast. With his head and under the covers, Jean draws an image of what looks like Mikasa on paper with charcoal.

He also has this strange outburst where he shouts about joining the military police to “attain it”. 

Jean’s drawing of a girl who looks like Mikasa, juxtaposed to season one Mikasa before she cut her hair. Attack on Titan anime series.
“It’ll be mine! I’ll join the Military Police and live a safe, comfy life in the interior! It’ll be mine!” 

We don’t yet know what the “it” Jean is referring to by the end of the OVA, but we can figure it out by reading the manga. More on that later. 

In Attack on Titan Season one, Episode three – Jean and Mikasa meet. 
Jean is shocked to see Mikasa in real life? From AoT Season 1, Ep 3
Jean is shocked to see Mikasa in real life? From AoT Season 1, Ep 3

Jean is awestruck, and says he “wanted to-” before blurting out that he has never seen anyone like her before, and that she has very pretty hair. Mikasa says thanks, and walks to meet Eren outside of the mess hall. 

Jean watches her walk with Eren – who he just had a blowout with moments earlier – and then witnesses Eren flicking Mikasa’s hair and telling her to cut it – to which she  agrees. Jean, almost disgusted at what he witnessed, then wipes “his trust” on Connie, ending the scene.  

Attack on School Castes

Attack on School Castes is an AU Isayama created that is believed to be canon and modeled after a traditional American high school.  All of the SnK characters have their roles, along with an overarching connection to our story and its universe.  

Attack on School Castes Explainer. Notice the butterfly directly out of Sasha's reach?
Attack on School Castes Explainer. Notice the butterfly directly out of Sasha’s reach?

In this AU, Jean is a “bad boy” delinquent who has a crush on Mikasa, a goth girl into magic who is trying to curse him. In my Mikasa the Butterfly Goddess theory, I wrote about Mikasa’s ability to control the Attack on Titan anime and manga timelines.  

Her influence is signified by blue, and sometimes monochrome butterflies.  

Mikasa's blue and monochrome butterflies from the AoT Lost Girls OVA.
Mikasa’s blue and monochrome butterflies from the AoT Lost Girls OVA.
Mikasa makes a wish and the monochrome butterfly shows up in her OVA, a butterfly is crushed by a human footprint in the AoT S4 Pt 2 opening
Mikasa makes a wish and the monochrome butterfly shows up in her OVA, a butterfly is crushed by a human footprint in the AoT S4 Pt 2 opening

What’s interesting about this is that when viewing the picture explaining the castes, you can see Sasha leaping toward a butterfly – signifying that maybe Mikasa got to this timeline as well, but found Jean too annoying to bear. 

Shingeki no Kyojin manga ch 127 – Jean’s Dream Revealed? 

In Chapter 127 after Eren begins The Rumbling, Jean has this very strange moment where he is tuning everything out around him, except a dream – or rather vision of his future. 

In Shingeki no Kyojin Ch 127, Jean dreams of life with his wife, and their child in the interior. Notice, the woman looks like Mikasa, and the kid almost looks like Beren from SnK ch 139.
In Shingeki no Kyojin Ch 127, Jean dreams of life with his wife, and their child in the interior.
Notice, the woman looks like Mikasa, and the kid almost looks like Beren from SnK ch 139. 

Jean is talking to himself, saying he will ask for a prime piece of real estate in the interior, and drink the finest liquor all day as a reward for his sacrifices. No one would reprimand him, and he’s earned the right to live happily with his wife, kids, and grandkids.  

“We fought with our lives on the line. And that’s why this island has a future…” 

At which point Hanje begins banging on the window outside, and Jean with half-closed eyes tries to pretend he doesn’t hear it. 

Then, something strange happens… 

As if another voice is in his head, the dialogue on screen next to Jean turns from a tone of reminiscing to almost demanding. 

Jean repeats to himself “I didn’t hear anything…I didn’t hear that” and another voice responds “Don’t go…Don’t think. If you just stay here, that prime central real estate is yours.”  

Jean then opens his eyes again and says “If I just stay…”

In Ch 126, did jean join the Yeagerist temporarily because it might bring him closer to his dream? Look at his eye contact with Mikasa. I know he later decides to betray Eren and the Yeagerist cause because of (seemingly) Marco but...we can't leave this speculation out.
In Ch 126, did jean join the Yeagerist temporarily because it might bring him closer to his dream? Look at his eye contact with Mikasa.
I know he later decides to betray Eren and the Yeagerist cause because of (seemingly) Marco but…we can’t leave this speculation out.

Jean then decides to leave the building, opting to meet up with Hange and Mikasa. 

As for the reason for his departure, he explains in the previous chapter (126) that he couldn’t stay, otherwise the “burned bones” would never forgive him.  

In his vision, Jean knows that because he fought with his life on the line, the island has a future. Despite being told not to leave, he does and learns that Hange wants to depose Eren – causing Paradis Island to lose its future, and effectively ‘kill’ Jean’s dream. (Is that why a voice was telling him to stay?)
In his vision, Jean knows that because he fought with his life on the line, the island has a future. Despite being told not to leave, he does and learns that Hange wants to depose Eren – causing Paradis Island to lose its future, and effectively ‘kill’ Jean’s dream.  (Is that why a voice was telling him to stay?)

I’d like to think this was a reference to Marco’s death, but I’m not too certain. 

What Happened Between Mikasa and Jean in the Future?
In Chapter 139 of the Shingeki no Kyojin Manga’s Extra Pages – Jean and Mikasa get married. 

“It’ll be mine! I’ll join the Military Police and live a safe, comfy life in the interior! It’ll be mine!” 

Jean has lots of kids, grandkids – but Mikasa never takes off the scarf

Jean, Mikasa, and their family visit Eren's 'grave' in SnK Ch 139.
Jean, Mikasa, and their family visit Eren’s ‘grave’ in SnK Ch 139.
The Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 2 Ending

The Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 2 Ending theme is a direct mirror to Mikasa’s from Season 1. 

In it, Eren walks with a dagger in hand and shares some of his thoughts. One line really struck out to me: 

Eren asks "Am I not good enough and is he better for you?" before remarking that "there was just a wall" which may also hint at time travel. (more on that in a future post)
Eren asks “Am I not good enough and is he better for you?” before remarking that “there was just a wall” which may also hint at time travel. (more on that in a future post)

So to contextualize all of this… 

Did Eren Yeager choose to let Jean Kirstein have Mikasa as his ‘replacement’ in that timeline after he was gone? 
Jean laments playing Eren's body double for the 2nd time during the Uprising Arc. There are two fights - two rounds. Two timelines - both the anime and the manga. From AoT Season 3, Episode 1
Jean laments playing Eren’s body double for the 2nd time during the Uprising Arc. There are two fights two rounds. Two timelines – both the anime and the manga. From AoT Season 3, Episode 1

I do have a few more theories on why this is true, but given the evidence above – I think it’s safe to say that Eren sent Jean memories of Mikasa through PATHs and in a dream. Eren could even be the “sudden visitor” referenced in this OVAs title.  

In other words: Jean dreamed of Mikasa at the beginning of his OVA because Eren sent him memories of the manga timeline’s future where Jean and Mikasa are (happily) married.

This is why Jean is so surprised to see Mikasa, and instantly falls in love with her – because in another timeline (or reality) the two are married with kids. Thus, explaining his blind pursuit in joining the Survey Corps, Yeagerist, and (almost the) Military Police. 

So as for the quote I began this article with…I think the “it” Jean was talking about, was simply a family. 

Similar architecture, but different timelines. If Paradis won back then, it would still take them time to develop automobiles - not an entire lifetime like in Ch 139.
Similar architecture, but different timelines. If Paradis won back then, it would still take them time to develop automobiles – not an entire lifetime like in Ch 139.

The life of living comfortably, free from titans. Drinking good wine and quite literally living with the girl from his dreams – which would be Mikasa. 

Jean tries to drink wine reserved for the MPs in Shingeki no Kyojin ch 111.
Jean tries to drink wine reserved for the MPs in Shingeki no Kyojin ch 111.

I know this may not make much sense right now, but I’m working on a few other posts detailing what I’m going to refer to as the “Broken Pieces” theory. I may also have an additional post related to this topic, along with every other parallel I noticed in Jean’s OVA on Patreon in the coming days, so please look forward to that ☺. 

Until Next Time… 

 Jean chooses to trust Onyankopon, but hesitates to help Eren if it means that he can no longer have kids. From AoT S4 Ep 17
Jean chooses to trust Onyankopon, but hesitates to help Eren if it means that he can no longer have kids. From AoT S4 Ep 17

Was there something I missed? 

Or anything that still doesn’t make sense? 

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more weekly Attack on Titan the Final Season reviews and discussions!   

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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

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