|If something happens we'll be sure to hop into action. But you know, there hasn't been a single incident in a hundred years.|
|— Hugo reassures Eren about peace from the Titans|
Hugo has brown hair that is always slicked back. Hugo was quite rotund and wore the typical uniform of a member of the Garrison with a gray v-neck underneath. In combat, he also donned the omni-directional mobility gear.
Hugo appears to be a laid-back and somewhat cowardly individual. However, when in the line of duty, he became a leader among the Garrison, barking orders and taking charge of the defense of Shiganshina's inner gate. Even as he was about to be attacked, his only worry was making sure the gate closed before the Armored Titan reached it.
Before the Fall of Wall Maria, Hugo would often sit around drinking and socializing with fellow soldiers in Shiganshina District. On one of these days, Eren Jaeger got into an aggressive fist fight with three other boys and the soldiers were called upon by a merchant to stop them. However, a drunken Hannes claimed that someone more qualified to help would be along shortly. Moments later, Mikasa Ackermann came to save Eren with Armin Arlelt trailing behind. The soldiers then cheered on the children as they fought until the merchant threw a bottle at Hugo, calling him a waste of taxes. While Hugo attempted to fight him, Hannes claimed that the merchant was speaking the truth and stopped him until the merchant hit him in the face as well. The two then engaged in a fist fight until a Military Police officer came and stopped them, causing the three boys and Eren to run off.
During a workday in Shiganshina, the Garrison soldiers tease Eren for being distressed about their tactless negligence in keeping the people within the Walls safe from the Titans. Hugo explains to Eren that they are safe behind the Walls, and that nothing has happened for a century.
Hugo later conducts the evacuation of the Shiganshina District, shepherding citizens and commanding his fellow Garrison soldiers that man the cannons. They continue firing despite the cannons' terrible accuracy, and even after hearing and seeing Shiganshina's inner gate begin to close. When the Armored Titan appears and charges towards the inner gate, he and his comrades try to repel it, but their attempts are futile and the Titan smashes through the gate, successfully breaching Wall Maria and sending Hugo and other Garrison members flying in the process.