- Before the Fall manga
- Before the Fall novel
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Kuklo Munsell (キュクロ・マンセル Kyukuro Manseru?) is the main protagonist of the Attack on Titan prequel Before the Fall. He is the son of Heath and Elena Munsell and miraculously survived when his heavily pregnant mother was swallowed whole by a Titan.
In the light novels, Kuklo's skin is white, he has a slim build and medium height. His eyes are dull brown, the same as his hair, which is shoulder length. Kuklo has loads of scars, made by Xavi. One of them hurt his right eye, leaving it practically useless.
The manga depicts him as having reddish-brown hair with matching eyes. So far he is only fitted with a rag that barely goes past his hips and chains to keep him restrained, but later wore civilian clothing and military uniform.
Kuklo, at first, shows little to no knowledge of being able to speak, only repeating words people have mentioned in front of him. He is submissive to his captors, complying to their commands, but does show a little bit of willpower. When Sharle begins to teach him, he learns quickly and can converse with her easily. It seems that he is kind (only to Sharle so far) and curious of the outside world. In the manga, Kuklo shows a unique spatial awareness of his surroundings as he reveals to Sharle about the things he experience before being bought into the Inocencio household. While feeling the fear and hostility from the civilians, he also noticed other feelings from seeing two parents comforting their son. At first, he did not know what those other feelings mean until Sharle taught him about the world, and from there, Kuklo gained resolve to loved the people of this world.
The Titan's Son arc
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He spends several years enduring this abuse until the Inocencio estate isattacked by members of the Titan Cult in an attempt to rescue him. As a result, Dario is killed, and Kuklo loses his right eye from a wound inflicted by Xavi, in revenge for allegedly being the cause of this tragedy before Kuklo manages to subdue him. With nothing left for either of them there, Kuklo and Sharle make their escape.
Sometime after Sharle and Kuklo arrive in the Shiganshina District, Kuklo receives surgery on his eye while Sharle gets a job. Determined to see a Titan to determine whether or not he is in fact a child of one, Kuklo sneaks aboard a horse-drawn carriage that contains the supplies for the first Survey Corps expedition in 15 years, though not before receiving a haircut and promising Sharle that he will return soon.
In the middle of the expedition, Kuklo accidentally exposes himself by shooting off a green flare. After being caught and brought before Carlo Pikale, the person in charge as well as one of the two men who first found him as a baby. Unaware of Kuklo's true identity, he asks him why he wishes to see a Titan so badly, but is interrupted when Kuklo hears the approaching footsteps of a Titan, who just so happens to be the same Titan Sharle saw from atop Wall Maria in the past.
Kuklo looks into the jaws of the Titan and proclaims that he is a human. With the Titan tailing them, he looks around for weapons but finds that most are dysfunctional against Titans. He then finds gunpowder in the corresponding cart and attempts detaching it, but is accidentally thrown off the cart. Instead of being crushed by the Titan chasing them, the Titan picks him and another soldier up and raises Kuklo to his mouth, preparing to eat him. Kuklo, frantic, remembers Sharle and the weapon she gave him. As a final effort to escape the Titan, Kuklo stabs the Titan in the eye.
The Titan is visibly in pain and throws Kuklo upwards. Hurtling towards the ground, Kuklo drives his knife into the Titan's skin to lessen his fall. Kuklo lands painfully, but gets back up on his feet to avoid the Titan's attacks. Carlo commends him for his bravery and saves him on time, picking Kuklo up atop his horse. Kuklo and Carlo escape, but hear the screams of the soldiers behind them. As soon as the Titan has eradicated all its surrounding soldiers, it charges for Kuklo and Carlo. Carlo commands the squads to fend off the Titan, but their chances of success are slowly deteriorating. Kuklo points to the explosives in the detached cart. Despite the cart being crushed, the explosives are still intact. Kuklo is insistent on proving that his plan will work. Trusting his judgment, Carlo allows his plan to proceed.
Carlo orders his men to retreat to Shiganshina. With the soldiers gone, he and Kuklo ride back to the cart wreckage and dodge the Titan's blow right behind them by jumping over the cart, giving Kuklo the opportunity to detonate the explosives. The Titan's burning flesh starts to regenerate, but Kuklo and Carlo waste no time retreating to Shiganshina. The Garrison spot the Titan from on top of the Wall. When the Survey Corps finally return, the gate of said district opens. Unbeknownst to Kuklo, Sharle is delighted to find Kuklo riding back. Before Kuklo can make his way off the horse, he is courted by several Military Police Brigade officers and their commander, Gloria Bernhart. Gloria demands Carlo hand over Kuklo, listing the number of suspiciously alleged crimes that Kuklo has said to have committed and notifying that Kuklo is the infamous "Titan's son". Kuklo watches Sharle in the crowd but is unable to protest. Before leaving Kuklo in Gloria's hands, Carlo asks for his name. Kuklo answers and discreetly entrusts Carlo with Sharle's knife which aided him in battle against the Titan outside the Walls. Afterwards, Kuklo is escorted away.
Subsequent to his arrest, Kuklo sits in his cell and is distressed. Another prisoner interrupts Kuklo, revealing to be Cardina Baumeister. This shocks Kuklo, as he notes that a Baumeister was meant to be Sharle's betrothed. They exchange introductions, and Kuklo finds out that some prisoners being held have not committed any notable crimes. Cardina for example, had been involved in political disputes and got arrested by higher ups just to be reprimanded. Cardina explains to him that in two weeks time, they are to be deported from inside the Walls and fed to the Titans to pay for their crimes. Despite his punishment, Cardina has other plans. He plans to go to Naraka, a rumored city of exiles. If it does not exist, Cardina suggests to build Naraka themselves. Kuklo makes the most of his last two weeks in the dungeons by conserving his energy.Kuklo and the other prisoners are bound and gagged inside the wagon. Before it takes off, an ambiguous figure in Military Police uniform presents Kuklo with Sharle's knife by tucking it behind Kuklo's binds. When the wagon starts moving, Kuklo frantically saws at his binds and frees everyone else on board. Unlike Kuklo and Cardina, the other prisoners are insistent on staying. Cardina reckons that this is because they have already given up on survival. The pair decide to run towards Shiganshina. Kuklo suddenly hears the footsteps of Titans drawing nearer. From behind them, the pair see the other prisoners being eaten by a horde of Titans. Kuklo suggests they run to the west side of Wall Maria, and reasons that there is a light atop Wall Maria and that they follow it. Cardina puts his faith into Kuklo, who secretly worries that there might be nothing there. Contrary to his qualms, Kuklo finds a Military Police officer on top of the Wall shining said light. Kuklo immediately recognizes the soldier as the same man who gave him the knife. The soldier throws them down a line down the Wall and Kuklo runs to it, however he discovers that Cardina is about to be picked up by the Titan chasing them. Kuklo runs back to help Cardina, disregarding the soldier's advice to leave Cardina behind. Instead of eating Cardina, the Titan picks him up and throws him to the side. Kuklo instructs Cardina to climb up the Wall using the rope while he buys them time. Kuklo uses only the knife to defend himself against the Titan and holds is ground. But before Kuklo is able to make another offensive attack, the Titan traps him and he is unable to move his arms within its grip. Cardina comes to Kuklo's rescue by hitting the Titan with a small boulder, making the Titan free Kuklo in the process. Kuklo and Cardina proceed to attack together. They make a run for it, but are approached by several other Titans. Kuklo instructs Cardina to use him as a step to leap over the incoming Titan and run to the line while he temporarily subdues incoming Titans using the knife. Cardina reluctantly does so, but Kuklo comes out of his fight with another Titan unscathed. The two approach the line and the soldier pulls them up the Wall using a machine. When Kuklo and Cardina reach the top of Wall Maria, they thank the soldier, who pulls down his hood and reveals himself to be Jorge Pikale - the first human being who defeated a Titan. While learning more about the "Device", Kuklo discovers that it has a fatal flaw: it can only move up or down, despite the fact that Titans may move around anywhere, making it inept for the Survey Corps to use. Kuklo also learns that Jorge credits the inventor of the "Device" for his victory.
Visit to the Industrial City arcThe next morning, Kuklo and Cardina ride Jorge's wagon to safety. Jorge addresses how he needed to take advantage of their exile in order to keep them under his custody, while being filed "deceased" on their records, although it had been a last-minute rescue. To Kuklo's surprise, Cardina reveals that he had been Jorge's pupil while a trainee. He then adds that Kuklo would have made a great soldier, as Kuklo received praise from both Jorge and his son - the current commander of the Survey Corps, making him seem really like the Titan's son. Kuklo is a little taken aback at how Cardina knew the whole time. Cardina deduced that the Titan's son had to be Kuklo, as his fellow trainee Xavi constantly bragged about cutting out Kuklo's right eye. While Xavi's mention brings Sharle up to mind, Kuklo is concerned on her whereabouts. He finally asks Jorge where he is taking them, and he replies that they're going to the Industrial City within Wall Rose. Jorge informs Kuklo that Sharle is being taken care of by his friend living in the city, and that Jorge needs to return the machine he used to save them to his friend. But as the machine does not sport a name, the soldiers just identify it as the "Device". It also aided in Jorge's battle against a Titan fifteen years ago.
Kuklo, Cardina, and Jorge enter Wall Rose. They enter the Industrial City, and Sharle finds Kuklo after running errands in the village. Sharle longingly hugs Kuklo and they make their way to Sharle's temporary abode in a factory. Kuklo walks into the office belonging to one of the city's foremen, revealing to be Xenophon Harkimo. Xenophon calls Kuklo informally with the alias "Titan's son", but Kuklo introduces himself properly. Xenophon curiously asks for Kuklo and Cardina to show him their arms, noting that the two of them have good potential as fighters. Xenophon adds that the Survey Corps are short on men, and suggests that they consider joining the Survey Corps. Sharle interrupts and stands to Kuklo's defense, but Kuklo claims that he does not mind joining. He states that he wants to be a soldier, but before he joins the Survey Corps he must learn how to use the "Device".
Kuklo is having dinner quietly. As Sharle leaves the table, Kuklo follows her and walks in on her attempting to destroy the "Device" in Xenophon's office. He apologizes to Sharle for making her wait long for his return. While Sharle feels bad for him not scolding her, Kuklo embraces a now-crying Sharle. When things have toned down, Sharle asks Kuklo why he would still want to join the Survey Corps despite the hardship he is been through. Kuklo simply grins at Sharle and replies that he "loves the people of this world". He explains how he found that people have deep emotions that he would like to know more about. As such, he thanks Sharle for teaching him about the world. Kuklo admits to Sharle that he bears no hatred towards Dario or Xavi. Kuklo declares that he must ensure that Titans are eliminated as they are stopping him from achieving true freedom. He affirms that someday they will breach the Walls. His statement alarms Sharle, along with Xenophon, Jorge, and Cardina who were listening in the background.
The next morning, Jorge offers to show Kuklo and Cardina the iron bamboo. They first have a stroll around town, where they run into Military Police officers. Sharle holds Kuklo's hand to offer her comfort. Xenophon gives Kuklo and Cardina aliases for the Military Police to ensure their safety. There, they meet Jentsch Dafner, the commander of the Military Police.
Kuklo participates in a walk in the outskirts of town to reach the iron bamboo. He reaches a clearing, where he is surrounded by iron bamboo. He learns that Sharle's knife was crafted from iron bamboo, which is how he managed to deal damage to a Titan. Jorge tells everyone the story of the capture of a Titan fifteen years ago, with the supervision of Angel.
- Sharle Inocencio - The daughter of Dario Inocencio and younger sister of Xavi Inocencio. She initially decides she is going to kill him. But after meeting him, she is surprised to find Kuklo to be different from the Titans she had seen and begins to question Kuklo about his personal information. Because of this, she starts teaching him about the world within the Walls and what little they know about Titans. Kuklo is shown to be kind towards Sharle and the two formed a strong friendship with one another during their time spent together. When Kuklo stated that he was going to escape, he asked Sharle to follow him. Which she tearfully agreed, to Kuklo's joy and coming feelings for her.
- Xavi Inocencio - After Kuklo was purchased by Xavi's father Dario, he was given to Xavi as a gift. Xavi regularly beat and abused Kuklo in an effort to become stronger. He would also bring friends to Kuklo's cell, where he would boast about besting the son of a Titan. After Kuklo was freed by the Titan Cult and bested Xavi in combat, Xavi developed an intense loathing for him, and began going to great lengths to exact revenge upon him, including lying to the Military and claiming that Kuklo kidnapped Sharle and arranged for the murder of Dario. Despite all of this, however, Kuklo has revealed to Sharle that he holds no ill contempt towards her older brother, as Xavi used only his hands when beating Kuklo, rather than weapons, and always allowed Kuklo to resist or fight back. Overall, Kuklo knows that he was being treated as a tool, but also knows that deep down, Xavi only did what he did out of desperation to become stronger.
- Dario Inocencio - They have very few interactions with each other, mainly because Kuklo was bought and kept in the basement specifically for Xavi's training against Titans. Kuklo has revealed that he holds no ill contempt towards Dario and felt that being imprisoned in the household was better than living out in the streets as a sideshow. Kuklo also believed that deep down, Dario loved Xavi and Sharle as his children and did what was best for them.
- Elena Munsell - His birth mother who died before he was born. Her death being the reason he is called the "Child of Titan".
- Heath Munsell - His birth father who died before he was born. His death being the reason for Elena's drastic decision.
- Cardina Baumeister - Though Kuklo was initially distrusting of Cardina, the two quickly developed a bond while imprisoned together. Kuklo has shown himself to be very loyal to Cardina, going so far as to risk his life several times while outside the Walls in order to save Cardina.
- In Ancient Greek, Kuklo is derived from the word Kuklōps, meaning Cyclops. This is fitting, given the fact that Kuklo currently only has one working eye, his right eye having been damaged by Xavi.