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Marco has short black hair which he keeps parted down the middle. He wears a black Japanese school uniform.
Although Marco is not shown to be very talkative, his interactions with his classmates have proven him to be very kind, and he will often go out of his way to help others. He is also shown to be very popular with his classmates, inadvertently convincing them to elect him class president while giving a speech on why Jean deserved the position.
While waiting for class to begin, Marco sits at his desk reading a book. After roll call, the teacher tells each student to stand up and share their dream with their classmates. When a boy named Eren Yeager tells the class that it is his dream to drive the Titans out of the world, he is mocked by another boy named Jean. When Eren gets mocked, a feud begins. A girl named Mikasa Ackerman intervenes and stops the fighting. After Mikasa returns to the classroom from consoling Eren outside, she is worried about how he will get along with his classmates and decides to ask her classmates' impressions on him. Marco admits that he is afraid of the Titans and he does not think that he and Eren would get along.
Later that day, a Titan tries to eat Eren. Like the other students, Marco does nothing to help Eren because he is too scared. Eventually, Mikasa stands up to the Titan and saves Eren. When Eren regains consciousness, Mikasa tells everyone that Eren puts himself in harm's way to keep everyone safe. At first, everyone stands there with blank expressions of their faces, but Marco admits that Eren was incredible and that he would not have to fear the Titans with Eren around.