My Hero Academia is an anime series that follows the story of a group of people called “heroes” who possess a superpower called “Quirk”. Each hero has a distinctive Quirk they train to develop at the U.A. High School. They undergo preparation to hone their abilities to fight villains that threaten the world’s peace. My Hero Academia explores various themes like heroism, friendship, perseverance, identity, responsibility, prejudice, family, trauma, and sacrifice.
However, the series does not only shed light on the backstories of the heroes but also the villains. One such case is how My Hero Academia explores the father-son relationship between Endeavor and Dabi.
Who is Endeavour?
- Endeavor, or Enji Todoroki, is the current No. 1 Pro Hero in Japan, known for his powerful fire-based Quirk and his intense obsession to be the best. However, his madness-like driven pursuit of victory and his past abusive behaviour toward his family cost him greatly in the story.
- His actions can be seen in his son, Todoriki Shoto, who is scarred both mentally and physically because of his father’s irrational acts. He is a complex and controversial character who is struggling to make amends for his past mistakes and become a better person, both as a hero and a father.
Who is Dabi?
Dabi is a villain affiliated with the League of Villains, known for his blue flames, which are incredibly powerful and can cause immense destruction. Introduced in the later parts of the season, he is a fairly new character and quite a mysterious figure, with his face almost always obscured by shadows.
However, Dabi’s true identity is later revealed to be Todoroki Touya, Endeavor’s eldest son.
Endeavor and Dabi’s Twisted Past
The father-son relationship between Endeavor and Dabi is defined by a combination of admiration first, hatred second, and lastly, betrayal. We learn about the complexities of this duo through the characters’ flashbacks throughout the series.
- It is revealed that Dabi was once a promising hero, but he was deemed unsuitable to inherit Endeavor’s Quirk due to his inability to control it. It was understood that the combination of his mother’s and father’s genes led to him rejecting both their Quirks and getting harmed by them instead.
- Upon learning about his son’s condition, Endeavour is frustrated because he considers his plans ruined. He planned to make Dabi something he could never achieve himself, the greatest hero of all time, surpassing even All Might. Dabi started being neglected by his father, which ultimately caused him to become resentful and turn to a life of evil.
Manga: My Hero Academia [Ch.376] pic.twitter.com/P3AS6Hc2Kr
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What happens now? Will Dabi ever forgive his father?
Endeavor is forced to come to terms with his own sad reality that his neglect has contributed to his son’s transformation into a villain. In his pursuit of creating the greatest hero of all time, he created a villain that would stop at nothing to destroy the very people who should have been dear to him. When Endeavor takes on the role of the number-one hero after All Might’s retirement, his past comes back to haunt him, and all the things he did finally catch up to him.
- On the other hand, Dabi’s hatred toward his father is fueled by his own pain. He sees his father as the embodiment of everything that is wrong with the hero society and bringing Endeavour down becomes the final act of vindication for him.
- Dabi is no longer a kid, he is an adult who has the emotional range of a battered child and the ego of a man who feels wronged. Endeavour, too, is blinded by his own guilt. This makes it difficult for both of them to see eye-to-eye. At this point, their bloodline is the only thing they have in common
When we cannot rely on our body to signal safety or warning and instead we feel chronically overwhelmed by physical stirrings, we lose the capacity to feel at home in our own skin and, by extension, in the world. As long as their map of the world is based on trauma, abuse, and neglect, people are likely to seek shortcuts to oblivion.
This lack of experimentation traps people in a matrix of fear, isolation, and scarcity where it is impossible the very experiences that might change their basic worldview. You may have a general sense that you’re missing something that everybody else has, or that you’re on the outside looking in. Something just isn’t right, but it’s hard to name. It makes you feel somehow set apart, and disconnected.
It may be difficult to understand what would make Dabi how he is now truly, but the answer simply lies in emotional responses from parents during childhood. Dabi wasn’t born a villain, he was made into one.