- Volume 0 manga
Murakumo (むらくも Murakumo?), often formally referred to as Private Murakumo (むらくも二等兵 Murakumo Nitōhei?) was a soldier working in the Vanguard Corps and a Titan. Although his parents were killed by Titans, he claimed to have joined the Corps not out of a sense of vengeance, but out of a desire to protect his fellow soldiers. He is one of the protagonists of Attack on Titan 0, the draft story written by Hajime Isayama which would later evolve into Attack on Titan.
Murakumo had shoulder-length black hair with bangs that fell over his eyes. He tended to remain somewhat expressionless, only ever showing emotion when he battled Titans, or was startled by something.
His Titan form was similar to that of a regular Titan but with dark long hair. This form resembled Eren Yeager's Titan form, but his form was thinner, did not have a divided jaw and its eyes did not have pupils.
Murakumo tended not to show to much emotion towards others, or towards anything in general. Despite this, Murakumo was truly passionate in his quest to defend others against the Titans, to the point that he became angered when Tsubaki asked if he had joined the Vanguard Corps simply to exact revenge on the Titans. Murakumo was an incredibly serious individual, with Tsubaki apparently being his only friend (as the rest of the town suspected him of being a Titan).
Murakumo returns to an outpost at the edge of town, ignoring the fact that the townspeople are watching and avoiding him. Upon arriving at the outpost, he is greeted by Tsubaki, who immediately asks him to train her, explaining that she had heard that he was the only experienced soldier to survive fighting the Titans. Murakumo asks her if she had heard the rumors in town that he is a Titan. Tsubaki rejects the idea, rationalizing that if Murakumo were a Titan he would have already devoured the residents of the town. Murakumo pauses, then hurriedly agrees that he could not possibly be one of the Titans. He then begins tinkering with a radio, again rebuffing Tsubaki's pleas to train her. As another soldier comes to relieve him, Tsubaki begins to leave, dejected, when Murakumo stops her, telling her that if she truly wants to join the Vanguard, she should practise her sword swings 100 times a day. Tsubaki is thrilled. She asks Murakumo if he joined the Vanguard to kill the Titans as revenge for them killing his parents. Angered, Murakumo tells her that he joined the Vanguard Corps to protect his allies, and orders her to remember that as he leaves.
While in town, Murakumo is surrounded by Vanguard Corps' 5th unit and informed that he has been accused by his superior officer, Takanami, of being a Titan, and must surrender his weapons. Murakumo is shocked that Takanami would accuse him of being a Titan, but complies. However, as he is removing his equipment, he notices one of the soldiers, and attacks him, to the shock and horror of those watching. Murakumo explains that he recognized the soldier in question as one who had died 10 years prior: his father. The soldier then transforms into a Titan, along with the entirety of the 5th unit. Murakumo and Takanami retreat to the nearby buildings, and watch from the rooftops as the Titan that was disguised as Murakumo's father is cannibalized by the other Titans. As Murakumo prepares to attack the Titans, Takanami tries to suggest that they abandon the city, to which Murakumo readily disagrees. Their argument is cut short by the arrival of Tsubaki, who angrily challenges the Titans. As one attacks her, Murakumo attacks, cutting off its hand. Murakumo commends her, and tells her that she has done enough, and to leave the rest to him, before attacking the Titans. As he fights, Murakumo is joined by Takanami, and together they successfully bring down one of the Titans. As Murakumo turns to attack a second Titan, he is surprised to see it leap over him, instead attacking and devouring Takanami. Angrily, he attacks the Titan, but is caught in its grasp. Though he tries to break free, he is unable to escape, and the Titan bites him in half.
After having been so badly damaged, Murakumo's mutilated body transforms into his Titan form. Seeing that the Titan that attacked him is attacking Tsubaki, Murakumo crushes the Titan's head, before throwing it at the remaining Titans. Murakumo reflects on the first time he became a Titan, transforming inside a Titan after it had eaten him, and killing it, before turning his attentions to the remaining Titans. He orders Tsubaki to stay behind, and begins slaughtering the remaining Titans. However, he is attacked from behind by one of the Titans, ripping open his shoulder and revealing his weak spot. He manages to kill this Titan by punching its face off. Finally, he prepares to kill the last Titan but is surprised when it aims for his exposed weak spot. The Titan jumps towards him and he is unable to stop it from destroying it, having only enough strength to destroy its weak spot and kill it with a powerful bite before collapsing himself.
During a previous battle with Titans, Murakumo was partially devoured by a Titan. Inside the Titan, Murakumo's shifting ability awakened and he transformed into a Titan, destroying the Titan that devoured him. Like most of the Titans in Attack on Titan 0, Murakumo's Titan form lacks pupils in its eyes.
It is unclear if, like the Titan shifters in the Attack on Titan series, it is necessary for Murakumo to harm himself to trigger his transformation, though the fact that both of the times his ability was triggered, he had been devoured by a Titan suggests that physical harm is necessary for him to transform.
- Regeneration: Although Murakumo's Titan form never displayed the ability to regenerate its limbs, Murakumo's human form demonstrated regeneration abilities, regenerating the limbs Murakumo lost when he was partially devoured by a Titan while on a mission in Titan territory.
- Enhanced Strength: Despite its thin form, with little visible muscle, Murakumo's Titan form has displayed considerable strength compared to other Titans, performing great feats of strength such as crushing a Titan's head with one hand, before easily throwing it away from Tsubaki. He is also able to defeat a large number of attacking Titans on his own with relative ease.
- Enhanced Endurance: Murakumo has displayed remarkable endurance in his Titan form, able to continue fighting Titans with relative ease even after his arm is nearly ripped off in Titan form, exposing his Nucleus. Even after his Nucleus is destroyed, Murakumo is able to stay alive and continue fighting long enough to defeat the Titan that attacked him, despite his severely weakened state.
- Tsubaki - Although Murakumo was somewhat cold to Tsubaki and rejected to train her, he genuinely cared for her, giving her advice on how to train to join the Vanguard Corps, and risking his life against the Titans to protect her.
- Murakumo seems to be a mixture between Mikasa Ackerman, Levi Ackerman and Eren Yeager: his human form heavily resembles Mikasa's, his personality is a lot like Levi's, and his Titan form is nearly identical to Eren's; only lacking the divided jaw line Eren's has, and being also thinner and less muscular.
- His appearance also resembles that of Hajime Isayama's himself.