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Kuklo (キュクロ Kyukuro?) is the main protagonist of the Attack on Titan prequel Before the Fall. He is the son of Elena and Heath Mansel and miraculously survived when his heavily pregnant mother was swallowed whole by a Titan.
In the light novels; Kuklo has pale skin, a slim build, and an average height. His eyes are dull brown, the same as his hair, which is shoulder length. Kuklo has numerous scars caused by Xavi Inocencio. One of them damaged his right eye, rendering it useless.
The manga depicts him as having reddish-brown hair with matching eyes. Originally, Kuklo is only fitted with a rag that barely covers him and chains to keep him restrained, but later wore civilian clothing as well as the standard uniform of the Survey Corps.
At first, Kuklo showed little to no knowledge of being able to speak, only repeating words people had mentioned in front of him. Despite showing a little bit of willpower, he was completely submissive to his captors and complied with their every command. The more time he spent with Sharle awoke an interest about the outside world. While feeling fear and hostility from many civilians, he also noticed other feelings that were foreign to him 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 love the people of this world.
While passionate in his goal of freeing the world of Titans, it can be argued that Kuklo has a one-track mind. He later admits that, due to his moniker and being alone for much of his early life, he did not envision himself living very long and does not know what to do with his life aside from fighting against Titans.
Storyher husband, a Squad Leader in the Survey Corps during an expedition, Elena becomes a member of a cult that worships Titans. While heavily pregnant, she leads a mob responsible for opening the gates and was devoured by the Titan that entered. Her corpse is discovered in a ball of Titan vomit, and two members of the Survey Corps cut her open after witnessing movement. Inside, they discover her infant son had miraculously survived.
Dubbed "The Titan's Son," Kuklo is hated and feared by the people within the Walls and forced to wander the streets. He is eventually caught and raised in captivity, and is kept alongside many exotic animals. Later, Kuklo is sold to Dario Inocencio in order for his son, Xavi, to practice abusing him in preparation for joining the military and building up Xavi's confidence for any potential conflict with real Titans. During the next several years, he is continuously beaten by Xavi and ridiculed by those brought to look at him by Dario. One night, he sees Dario's daughter Sharle, who has come to his cell with a knife to try and kill him. To her surprise, Kuklo grabs the knife and aims it at his chest, wishing for her to kill him. This makes Sharle realize he is not the child of a Titan but a human like her and the two form a friendship, with her teaching him how to speak, read, write, and about the history of the world they live in.
He spends several months enduring this abuse until he decides to escape with Sharle. The night before they plan to escape, the Inocencio estate is attacked by members of the Titan Cult in an attempt to rescue him (and ultimately appoint him as their new leader.) As one of the cultists attempts to free Kuklo, he notices that there is blood on the sword. Afraid that it is from Sharle, he demands to know who he killed. Amazed that he can talk, the cultist says it is from one of the guards. He goes on to state that the family that kept him chained up is being given an appropriate punishment; this causes Kuklo to break free from his chains and overpowers him. Afraid for Sharle's safety, he runs into the main house and looks for her. As he passes the corpses of numerous guards, he comes across Dario's dead body in the master bedroom. At that moment, both Sharle and Xavi arrive and see their father dead as well. In a fit of rage, Xavi blames Kuklo for the attack on his family and the death of his father; he then attacks Kuklo with a sword and permanently damages the latter's right eye before Kuklo is able to subdue him. With nothing left for either of them there, both Kuklo and Sharle escape and make their way to Shiganshina District.
After arriving in Shiganshina District, Kuklo recalls that this was his home. One day after receiving surgery on his eye, Kuklo wakes up from a nightmare and then gets up. When Sharle comes back from getting food, she advises him not to overdo it since he is still recovering from surgery and goes to change his bandages. Kuklo says he is fine, and that the bleeding has lessened. As she tends to Kuklo, Sharle apologizes for her brother scarring him and tells him that Xavi has joined the Training Corps; Sharle also mentions that the Military Police are looking for both of them in connection with the attack on her family. Determined to see a Titan to finally figure out whether or not he is, in fact, a child of one, Kuklo overhears about the first expedition planned by the Survey Corps to go outside the Wall in fifteen years. The next day Kuklo sees Wall Maria for the first time and is marveled at how big it is, remembering how Sharle told him about the Titan she saw two years ago. He notices several members of the Military Police approaching and leads Sharle away to avoid getting noticed. Kuklo sees his opportunity the next day and resolves to sneak outside the Wall aboard a horse-drawn carriage that contains the supplies for the Survey Corps expedition. Sharle gives Kuklo a haircut and, to protect himself, she gives him the knife from when they first met. Kuklo thanks her and leaves, promising Sharle that he will return soon.During the expedition, Kuklo accidentally fires off a green flare, revealing his presence to the Survey Corps. He gets out of his hiding place in the wagon and demands to see the captain; the soldiers do not respond so Kuklo decides to find the captain on his own. After being caught and brought before Carlo Pikale, Kuklo tells him that the reason he stowed away was so he could find a Titan. Unaware of Kuklo's true identity, Carlo asks him why he wishes to see a Titan so badly; Kuklo merely restates that he was looking to see a Titan for no real reason. Carlo is about to ask him his name, but Kuklo hears the approaching footsteps of a Titan; Carlo looks through binoculars and sees the Titan approaching, which is revealed to be the same one Sharle saw from atop Wall Maria in the past. Kuklo looks at the Titan and proudly proclaims that he is indeed a human. Carlo tells him to run while ordering the Survey Corps to fall back to Wall Maria. With the Titan tailing them, he looks around for weapons and finds a rifle. He grabs it but sees several Survey Corps members charge the attacking Titan and slash its legs with sword blades; this does nothing to stop its charge. Kuklo prepares to set off a wagon full of gunpowder but he gets sent flying. Instead of being crushed by the Titan chasing them, the Titan picks him and another soldier up and raises the two to its mouth, preparing to eat them. Moments before he is eaten, Kuklo remembers Sharle and the weapon she gave him; he drops the rifle and as a final effort to escape the Titan, Kuklo stabs the Titan in the eye.
Howling in pain and rage, the Titan throws Kuklo up into the air. Hurtling towards the ground, Kuklo drives his knife into the Titan's skin to lessen his fall. Kuklo still lands painfully, but is able to get back up on his feet to avoid the Titan's attacks. Carlo arrives and commends him for his bravery, 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 the remaining soldiers to retreat to Shiganshina. With them gone, he and Kuklo ride back to the cart wreckage and dodge the Titan's blow right behind them by jumping over the cart; this gives 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 but still are able to get the doors open in time for both Kuklo and Carlo.
Before Kuklo can get 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 the battle against the Titan outside the Walls. Afterward, Kuklo is escorted away.
Subsequent to his arrest, Kuklo sits alone in his cell and is distressed; he worries for Sharle's safety and frantically starts trying to dig his way out. Another prisoner across the hallway interrupts Kuklo, saying that he will get beaten if caught trying to escape again. The prisoner notes how young Kuklo looks and says to escape, you need to be smart. He reveals himself 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 in the North; he theorizes that since the Titans seems to come from the South, the most likely place for the city would be to the North. If it does not exist, Cardina suggests building Naraka themselves, causing Kuklo to call him crazy. Cardina says that since Kuklo is 'pretty stupid,' he is the only one who would possibly believe the story. Despite not knowing if Cardina is either praising or insulting him, Kuklo realizes that this is the most opportune chance to escape and agrees to help. He mentions he still has business within the walls and 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. As Kuklo tries to undo his bindings, a figure wearing the uniform of the Military Police sneaks into the wagon and tucks Sharle's knife behind Kuklo's binds. When the wagon starts moving, Kuklo frantically saws at his binds and frees everyone else on board, then follows Cardina after he jumps off the wagon. Kuklo looks behind and is surprised to see they are the only two that left the wagon. Cardina reckons that this is because the other prisoners have already given up on survival and grimly notes they are already over a kilometer outside the Walls. Nevertheless, the pair decide to run towards Shiganshina. Kuklo is asked where he got the knife from and jokingly asks if he is going to save them with it. After pausing to let Cardina catch up, Kuklo suddenly hears the footsteps of several nearby Titans.
From behind them, the pair see the wagon overtaken and the other prisoners are eaten by a horde of Titans. Kuklo suggests they run to the west side of Wall Maria, and points to a light being shone atop Wall Maria from that side. 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 his ground. Despite this, the Titan eventually traps him and he is unable to move his arms within its grip. Only through the intervention of Cardina hitting the Titan with a small boulder does Kuklo manage to escape. Kuklo and Cardina proceed to attack together but are overwhelmed and forced to retreat once more.
They make a run for it, but are suddenly cut off by a large Titan tossing smaller ones towards them. 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. The two approach the line and both are surprised to see that the line tossed to them was not a rope but a cable. Puzzled, the soldier yells to them that it is a cable and to grab onto it; the soldier is able to pull 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.
The 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. As Kuklo hears about Cardina's parents pressuring him to become a member of the Military Police, Kuklo recalls back to his years as a slave that Dario had done the same thing with Xavi. He expresses his surprise at the thought of Cardina being an MP, something shared by the latter. Cardina then adds that Kuklo would make 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 his identity the whole time: Cardina revealed that Xavi was a trainee in the same class as him and, due to how often he bragged about cutting out the eye of 'The Titan Child', deduced that he was talking about Kuklo. 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 are going to the Industrial City within Wall Rose. Jorge informs Kuklo that Sharle is there as well and being taken care of by his friend living in the city; Kuklo realizes that Sharle must have seen him give the knife to Carlo, who passed it on to Jorge.
Jorge mentions that he also needs to return the machine he used to save them back to his friend. When Kuklo and Cardina ask what it is called, they are told that the machine does not sport a name at the moment; Jorge and the other soldiers just identify it as "The Device." Kuklo also learns from Cardina that the same device Jorge used also aided him in his battle against a Titan fifteen years ago, where he gained notoriety as being the first human who was successful in killing a Titan. When Kuklo inquires about why it is not being used by the Survey Corps, he learns that it can only move up or down, rendering it useless against Titans who can move in every direction.
Kuklo, Cardina, and Jorge soon arrive at Wall Rose. As they pass through the main gate, Kuklo notices the presence of numerous guards along the top of the gate. After finally arriving at the Industrial City, he spots even more troops; he informs Jorge of this and learns that the city is where all the weapons and equipment the military uses is produced. As Kuklo asks Jorge about where his friend is, he hears someone call his name; he turns around and sees Sharle. Sharle longingly hugs Kuklo and they make their way to Sharle's temporary abode in a factory. Kuklo notices different machines all throughout the workshop, including what appears to be another copy of the device Jorge used on the Wall. He is led into the office belonging to one of the city's foremen, revealing to be Xenophon Harkimo. Xenophon calls Kuklo by his infamous nickname, "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 both should consider joining the Survey Corps. Sharle interrupts and insists that Kuklo not join, but Kuklo disagrees and states that he does not mind; in fact, he requests to become a soldier and expresses a specific desire to learn how to use the "Device."
Kuklo is having dinner and sees Sharle leave the table. Concerned, 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 as long as she did for him to 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 hardships he has 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. He mentions to Sharle that, despite her assumptions, her father did care for her since he had made the knife to protect her, and which saved his own life while outside the Walls. Kuklo declares that he must ensure that Titans are eliminated as they are stopping him from achieving true freedom. He also predicts that someday, Titans will finally breach through the Walls. This 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 Kuklo stares in awe at the size of the main factory furnace. Soon a Military Police carriage arrives and Sharle holds Kuklo's hand to offer her comfort. Xenophon gives Kuklo and Cardina aliases for the Military Police to ensure their safety. They meet Jentsch Dafner, the commander of the Military Police who grants them access to the primary grove and welcomes them with a salute. He says if there are any issues to come see him and then leaves in a carriage, with both Kuklo and Cardina expressing relief that they were not recognized. Kuklo participates in a walk in the outskirts of town to reach the iron bamboo.
Once passing through the main gates, they continue on through the forest. Kuklo eventually reaches a clearing, where he is surrounded by iron bamboo. He notes how beautiful it is and goes to touch one, surprised to discover that it feels just like steel. He learns that Sharle's knife was crafted from iron bamboo, which is how he managed to deal damage to a Titan. When asked about why it is not used by all the soldiers, Kuklo learns that the grove they are at is the only place where it naturally grows and they are trying to learn how the bamboo absorbs the iron. Jorge tells everyone the story of the capture of a Titan fifteen years ago, with the supervision of Angel. Kuklo promises to Jorge that he will carry on Angel's determination and join the Survey Corps along with Cardina when he is able to; until then, he pledges to spend time practicing with the Device.
Later that night, Sharle brings some tea to their room; Cardina comes up with an excuse to leave so they can be alone. Sharle mentions that Kuklo acted strangely at the mention of the Titan who ate his mother; Kuklo states that he was not sure how to react due to never knowing his mother. Sharle hugs him and says that she will be his family. As several months pass, both Kuklo and Cardina practice with the Device. During one session, Kuklo envisions the practice Titan as Ogre and repeatedly lands numerous killing blows on it. Despite Cardina taking note on his incredible progress, Kuklo states that it is still an immobile target and that fighting an actual Titan with the Device will not be as easy.
Eventually, Jorge returns and states that the pressure from the Military Police has cooled off enough for them to return to Wall Maria. Despite Xenophon lamenting that the current version of the Device is not perfect, Kuklo reminds him that this test is to find out how to improve it. As Kuklo, Cardina and Jorge ride back to Wall Maria, they unknowingly pass by Xavi on his way to the Industrial City. After reaching Shiganshina, Kuklo is formally introduced to Carlo, the current head of the Survey Corps. They both laugh over how they survived a Titan attack months ago but are just now finding out each other's names. After getting settled in the Survey Corps barracks, Kuklo and the others travel to the Wall that night to demonstrate the improved Device.
At the top of the Wall they meet Maria Carlstead of the Garrison, who is revealed to have helped both Carlo and Jorge free Kuklo and Cardina. As they gear up for the test, Kuklo hears several Titans beneath them; as Maria contemplates them postponing the test due to inclement weather, Kuklo jumps off the Wall and reaches the ground. He prepares to signal back to the others when he nervously hears even more Titans approach. Regaining his composure, he is able to momentarily stun several and targets one to kill. Kuklo notices the ten-meter Titan coming from behind and braces himself to attack; to Kuklo's shock, it runs right past him. Turning around, he sees it is actually targeting Cardina.
Kuklo is able to send a signal to both Carlo and Jorge; with the Titan distracted and trying to get Cardina, Kuklo prepares to ambush the Titan and try to kill it. As he grapples to its neck, two events happen: the Titan jumps, throwing Kuklo off his target. Also, a smaller Titan catches Kuklo by surprise and swats him away, breaking his right arm and rendering the vertical wire useless. He is saved from smashing against the Wall by Carlo and Cardina, who bring up to the top of the Wall. As his wounds are tended to, Kuklo learns that the Titan he just escaped from, Ogre, was the same one who killed and devoured his father Heath.
As Kuklo heals, Jorge announces that the Military Police in Shiganshina have withdrawn and headed towards the Industrial City for unknown reasons. Kuklo immediately is concerned for Sharle's safety and declares he is going, despite Cardina and Carlo's concerns. Jorge volunteers to go as well to survey the situation; eventually Cardina goes too, to try and knock some sense into him. After arriving back at the Industrial City, the revolution started by the Dissidence Movement is already underway and the Military Police have shut down the main gate. Still concerned about Sharle, Kuklo uses the device to fly into the city while Jorge distracts the gate guards.
After landing, Kuklo looks in the direction of Xenophon's workshop and proceeds to use the alleyways to evade the patrolling MP's. After evading two guards by flying up, he has a realization that the device can be used to evade human threats as well as Titans. He eventually finds Sharle and Xenophon being accompanied by members of the Dissidence Movement. Fearful that they will hurt Sharle, Kuklo jumps down and engages several of the rebels but gets shot in the leg by a crossbow; at the same time, the Military Police arrive and open fire at the rebels. Kuklo flies away and follows them back to the main workshop; he sees Sharle knocked from the roof and is able to swing in and catch her.
Kuklo continues to fly away until reaching a safe distance away. After coming back down, Kuklo is taken back by Sharle running over to him, overjoyed to see him alive and safe. He stumbles a bit, revealing to Sharle that his right arm and left leg are wounded. Sharle tears off part of her dress to use as a bandage for Kuklo's leg and they both begin to head to where Jorge and Cardina are located. Kuklo states that the Military Police forces from Shiganshina are in the Industrial City and once they regroup, they can all leave the city. Sharle asks why he is not using the device and Kuklo states that it would draw too much attention to them; plus, there are no structures around that are tall enough for him to utilize it properly. Sharle apologizes for him getting shot in the leg and Kuklo replies that he sensed no malice from the woman who did. He goes on to say that he is aware of the rebellion caused by the Dissidence Movement and the MP's preemptive strike to quell it. Both Kuklo and Sharle agree that the rebels had no choice but to rise up in order to try and have a better life; when Sharle asks Kuklo what he would have done, Kuklo states that he would have broken through the cage of fear that was holding the rebels back. He goes on to say that, to an extent, all the people living within the walls are safe but also afraid to get out and see what the world beyond the Walls is like.
All of a sudden, they hear a voice from behind and Kuklo is shocked to see that it is Xavi; Xavi is surprised as well to see Kuklo as he thought the latter was killed outside Wall Maria. They immediately draw swords and try to strike the other. Kuklo tries to protect Sharle from her deranged brother as he once again places the blame of their father's death on Kuklo, calling him a curse to those around him. When he is offered the chance to live if he hands over Sharle, Kuklo refuses. He is then blind-sided by Xavi, who continues to taunt him. Sharle tries to appease Xavi by agreeing but Kuklo refuses once more. As Xavi rushes him, Kuklo maneuvers out of the way and cuts through Xavi's sword. He aims one of the anchors at Xavi but, remembering Xavi's claim of how everyone dies around him, hesitates to fire. Kuklo is cut along the back of his upper leg and tumbles to the ground, falling unconscious into a nearby river.
After nearly a week, Kuklo finally regains consciousness within a cabin in Wall Rose. As the memories of his duel with Xavi (and Sharle being taken) return to him, a young woman enters and introduces herself as Rosa Carlstead, Maria's daughter and a member of the Training Corps. She tells Kuklo that she found him along with the other members of her squad. When Rosa mentions a wound from Xavi's sword, Kuklo begins to panic and frantically asks where the device is; to his relief, Rosa shows it tucked away in a cabinet within the room. Kuklo thanks her and mentions that it is an important tool he borrowed that will destroy Titans. Seeing Rosa's look of amazement, Kuklo introduces himself as a tester of inventions and that he knows Rosa's mother as well as Jorge Pikale. Later that night Rosa brings the others of her squad and, despite their inquiries, Kuklo does not reveal much of his history with Jorge or the Military Police. One of the recruits, Felix, mentions that Jorge will be paying a visit to the Training Corps Academy in a few weeks; due to them all wishing to join the Survey Corps, Rosa asks Kuklo if he can put in a good word with Jorge and Carlo. He agrees to but warns them that if they are determined to join, they must be serious about training; he reveals that he was present at one of the recent expeditions and that several of his scars are from Titan attacks.
Roughly a week and a half passes when Kuklo hears movement outside the cabin one evening; horrified, he learns that it is a few members of the Military Police looking for any survivors of the Dissidence Movement. Nervously, Kuklo resolves to fight them and equips himself with the device. Eventually, he hears the arrival of Rosa and her friends, as well as Jorge. They all buy Kuklo enough time to escape before the MP's are able to search the cabin. After the two MP's leave, Kuklo reunites with Jorge and displays how to use the device to the amazed trainees. He then gets updated by Jorge and learns that they have lost access to the Industrial City due to the rebellion; therefore, development on the device has been halted for the time being. However, Kuklo is glad to hear that both Carlo and Cardina are currently developing a course on how to effectively use the device and will be available for volunteers in the Training Corps; Jorge mentions that the ultimate goal is to have all members of the Survey Corps trained and equipped with the device.Eventually, Kuklo and Cardina are made honorary members of the Survey Corps and assigned with Jorge to train new recruits over the span of three months. Kuklo hears that Rosa lost consciousness during a logistics exercise and pays her a visit that evening. He reassures her that her squad has not been disqualified and they will be judged over the span of three months; Kuklo encourages Rosa to keep up and that learning to use the device will happen roughly one month into the training regiment. At the one-month mark, Kuklo notes that Rosa has adjusted well and possibly will last to the very end; Cardina says they all have done well and should start the next exercise the following day. During the last run of the day, a carriage arrives at the barracks and Kuklo embraces Sharle. Hearing another voice, Kuklo turns and sees a man exiting as well. He is stunned to see that it is the famed inventor, Angel. Overcoming his initial surprise, Kuklo introduces himself and states how he has been making great use of the device; he is slightly put off that Angel discards the compliments to his old design. They all go inside and, after hearing Angel and Sharle's story, is introduced to the updated and final evolution of the device known as the vertical maneuvering equipment.
After putting it on, Kuklo is initially hesitant about it due to the control mechanism now being in two hands without any means to defend himself. He is instructed to put the handles against the top of the metal boxes on his sides until they click; once they do, he pulls out the handle and sees a blade now attached. Noting how much lighter it is, Kuklo's told that it has more cutting power and durable than the swords he used before. Hearing Xenophon referring to it as his greatest work, Kuklo brushes aside his concerns and skepticism and wishes to test it out as soon as possible. Heading to a forest, Kuklo launches the anchors and takes off, caught by surprise how much faster the equipment is than the previous version he used. Struggling at first, he eventually starts to commit the movements to memory and is excited how much easier it is to use. Landing, he lauds the equipment as incredible. He is surprised to hear that Sharle was the one who came up with the idea of combining the control mechanism and the sword, as well that she was the one who ventured on her own and was able to convince Angel to come out of his exile. Kuklo is shocked to hear that the Military Police is aware of the device's existence and that the Survey Corps will be dismantled if a planned expedition two months from now to test its effectiveness fails.Kuklo comes to Sharle's defense when Jorge starts criticizing her for giving in to Gloria's demands, stating that it is not enough time. As they return back to the barracks, Kuklo realizes that Jorge was angry due to the fact the planned expedition will take place at about the same time the recruits are slated to finish their training regimen. He ponders that it cannot be merely a coincidence and that the Military Police probably set it to help increase the chances of the Survey Corps failing. Kuklo is shocked to hear from Angel that Gloria is aware Kuklo is still alive and knows all the details of the vertical maneuvering equipment from Cardina's report. After hearing that Gloria was able to convince her uncle to even allow the Corps three months (along with the fact she is the first person outside of the Survey Corp interested in using the gear to fight Titans), Kuklo wonders if she could possibly be trusted; Sharle is not optimistic due to her hard-line stance and methods. The next day, Kuklo and Cardina build a version of the aptitude device they used to work on balancing while discussing the change in the training regimen. Kuklo resolves to go out and kill a Titan by himself if needed, but he is shocked to hear Xavi's voice coming from behind and forbidding him from doing so.
Surprised to see Xavi again so soon after their last confrontation, Kuklo fears what he might do but is somewhat surprised to hear that Xavi is not looking to fight or arrest him; Xavi has been sent as a monitor to inspect the training regimen process and overlook the recruits on behalf of the Military Police. Kuklo becomes incensed when Xavi forbids him from killing a Titan by himself, but does nothing. He glares at Xavi as the latter walks away to speak with Carlo. Soon afterwards, Kuklo instructs the recruits how to operate the aptitude tools built and demonstrates by maintaining his balance. He sends one after the other and is pleased when Ivo is the first to stay balanced. Eventually, Xavi approaches and asks permission to try the test himself. Kuklo relents and is surprised along with everyone else present when Xavi effortlessly stays balanced. During an assembly later in the day, Kuklo is shocked to hear that Xavi will be part of the expedition. That night they go over the results and after it concludes, Kuklo hears that Xavi was placed in the mission to keep an eye on him; he expresses disappointment on possibly not being allowed to go on the expedition. Carlo states that he is, due to being the most proficient user of the equipment. Estatic that he is still part of the mission, Kuklo promises to do his part.
When arriving with the trainees to Wall Maria, Kuklo and Cardina demonstrate how to use the equipment by flying up to the top of the Wall. After greeting Maria, Kuklo inquires about the Titans; he learns that there are more than usual that day (possibly sensing a larger number of humans nearby). As the Garrison fires the cannons at the Titans, Kuklo notices that they regenerate any damage accumulated to the body; Cardina agrees, realizing that the upcoming expedition will be unable to utilize the Garrison forces due to how quickly the Titans regenerate and the cannons would place the Survey Corps soldiers in danger. After Xavi brings up in a meeting that many trainees have withdrawn from the program, Kuklo mentions in private to Carlo that there is still some hesitation shown by several trainees. As the trainees undergo the second aptitude test, Kuklo tests Rosa and she manages to pass. Later that night, he agrees with Cardina's assessment that Rosa's group has really stood out among all the others; Kuklo notes that eight trainees still need to pass and wonders if they will all be ready for the expedition. He theorizes that both of them, and the instructors, will need to improve along with the trainees in order to give them all a chance to succeed. The next day, Kuklo watches and smiles at Rosa's performance with the vertical maneuvering equipment, believing that she could even surpass him at some point if she continues to practice with the gear. He agrees with Cardina that while Rosa's reflexes are excellent, her strength for swinging the blades might be a problem later on.
He is then tasked by Carlo to instruct the trainees on how to attack the Titan training dummy him and Cardina used during the initial testing of the equipment. After demonstrating, Kuklo sees Rosa experience a problem with her gear and manages to catch her before she hits the ground. Kuklo becomes disturbed after Sharle reveals that Rosa's equipment was sabotaged. After preventing Felix from approaching Rosa, Kuklo is told to inform Cardina and the tertiary group of what happened. Later that night, Kuklo hears from both Sharle and Angel that a total of four sets of equipment were sabotaged. After Sharle and Carlo voice concerns that Xavi was possibly responsible, Kuklo disagrees; he reminds Sharle that Xavi would attack his opponents head on instead of via sabotage. After Jorge gives an alibi for Xavi due to training him personally, Kuklo suddenly hears movement outside the meeting room; he quickly goes and inspects the area, narrowly missing Xavi's spy Fuchs eavesdropping on the proceedings. Kuklo inquires how soon a lock can be placed on the armory and asks for the announcement to be made during dinner that night. After the meeting is dismissed, Kuklo walks down a hallway, but pauses at a window. Sensing movement outside, he looks but is unable to see anything.
Kuklo later realizes that Fuchs was the person he heard outside the meeting earlier. Knowing that both him and Xavi would be vital in discovering the perpetrators, Kuklo asks Sharle to ask Xavi to help assist in the investigation; he hears from her that Xavi begrudgingly agreed to the request. After the identities of the saboteurs are revealed, Kuklo goes to Xavi's quarters and thanks both him and Fuchs for helping; while he anticipated Xavi's indifferent response, Kuklo becomes worried when Xavi tells Kuklo he is now in debt to the Inocencio family and owes him a favor.
Kuklo and the others travel to Wall Maria for the final preparations before they head out on the expedition; during this time, both his and Cardina's criminal records have been erased by the Military Police. In addition, the two are officially made members of the Survey Corps, joining the team consisting of the special training class. Kuklo journeys to Wall Maria and inspects the area along with Sharle, Jorge Pikale and Maria. They notice the lack of Titans in the area due to a recent rain storm, which could be a problem later on for them. Due to his anticipation for the expedition to begin, Kuklo is unable to sleep and when the rain lets up, he immediately goes outside and continues practicing with the vertical maneuvering equipment.
He spots Sharle on the ground and breaks off from his practice. He takes her by the hand and flies up to a nearby tree. He mentions how, despite objections from Jorge Pikale, the expedition will take place the following day. While watching the sunrise, Sharle asks Kuklo what he plans to do once the expedition ends; taken back by this, Kuklo admits that he has always been in the shadow of being known as "The Titan's Son". Aside from staying in the Survey Corps as long as possible, he currently has no idea what he will do with his life. Reflecting on the fact that he is now surrounded by those who care about him (and is no longer alone in the world), Kuklo is confident that he will figure it out once he returns back from the expedition.
The following day, Kuklo rides near the front and looks out to see the residents living in Shiganshina. Overhearing several mention how the soldiers are mostly in their late teens, Kuklo inquires to Cardina if he thinks the crowd has high hopes for the expedition to be a success. He is surprised by Cardina's subdued response, noting that he is not usually this grim. Then, a scuffle is heard as a member of the crowd gets close to the procession. The man begs for them to avenge his family that were killed during the rampage fifteen years ago when a Titan got through the gates. Getting off his horse, Kuklo helps the man up and promises they will succeed. This causes many others to request they avenge their family and friends who were killed as well. Satisfied with how he managed to raise the morale of the crowd, Kuklo proclaims they carry all the hopes of humanity on their shoulders; Carlo then has the gate opened and Kuklo rides out with the other Survey Corps soldiers, marking the beginning of the expedition.
Despite losing an eye, Kuklo has a strong spatial sense of the area around him and can instinctively think on the fly to deal with additional unforeseen threats. He has a heightened sense of hearing, being able to sense when either Titans or enemies are approaching long before others can, even with assistance of binoculars.
The years of being beaten by Xavi helped develop Kuklo's strength, along with increasing his agility. Additional training with the early (and final) versions of the vertical maneuvering equipment have turned him into a very powerful and capable fighter with high levels of endurance. Many people have also noted that Kuklo seems to heal and recover from injuries at an accelerated rate; only several days after sustaining a broken arm, numerous fractures and both legs getting injured, Kuklo was back on his feet with little to no scars to show.
- Sharle Inocencio - Initially, Kuklo saw Sharle as similar to her father and older brother; when she came down to try and kill him with a dagger, Kuklo grabbed and pointed the weapon at his chest, silently begging her to kill him. Kuklo is surprised when Sharle backs off and later returns with some food. Overcome with emotion at seeing someone treating him with compassion for the first time in his life, Kuklo quickly bonds with Sharle and the two form a strong friendship with one another. When Kuklo planned his escape from the Inocencio home, he recognized how Sharle was just as much a prisoner as he was and immediately asked her to come with him. While living in both Shiganshina and the Industrial City, Kuklo's passion and occasional recklessness can sometimes put him at odds with Sharle as she worries about him; Kuklo does acknowledge this and whenever he is gone longer than expected, Kuklo apologizes for having her worry about him.
- 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 held 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. However, Xavi still blames Kuklo for his father's death and recent encounters with him have made Kuklo more wary and alert around him.
- 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 - Due to being eaten by a Titan before he was born, Kuklo did not have a chance to see or bond with his mother. Her death (and his unexpected survival) are what led to him being labeled as "The Titan's Child."
- Cardina Baumeister - Though Kuklo was initially distrusting of Cardina, the two quickly developed a bond of trust and conspired to escape together while imprisoned. Soon becoming friends, Kuklo has shown himself to be very loyal to Cardina and vice-versa. Kuklo would go so far as to risk his life several times while outside the Walls in order to save Cardina; along with several others, Kuklo has recognized that Cardina is highly intellectual and heeds any advice or suggestions the latter may have.
- Jorge Pikale - As Jorge was the one who saved Kuklo and Cardina from being killed by Titans, Kuklo has a great deal of respect for him. Likewise, Jorge sees great skill and promise in Kuklo and would task him as one of the main instructors of new recruits on how to properly use the vertical maneuvering equipment.
- Rosa Carlstead - After meeting Rosa, Kuklo was impressed by her and her friends' determination to join the Survey Corps. He grew to respect her after she took time out of her training at the academy to help him recover from his injuries. During the training period, Kuklo would return the favor and was always willing to give Rosa advice on how to improve her performance. He takes pride in seeing how far Rosa has come, smiling after seeing her pass the aptitude test and display a natural talent for using the vertical maneuvering equipment; he even states that Rosa has a high probability of surpassing even himself.
- 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.