My Hero Academia‘s future world is generally divided between caped superheroes and criminals and villains who break the law or hurt others to get ahead. At a glance, these sides are impossible to reconcile. Heroes and villains sometimes fight to the death, and each side is convinced that the other’s ideology is absolutely wrong.
Protagonist Izuku Midoriya, for example, is determined to become the next Symbol of Peace and put an end to villainy once and for all. He has sworn to take down All For One and Tomura Shigaraki, but despite this bitter conflict, Izuku can actually relate to his villainous foes on many levels. Izuku might not admit it, but he can see a lot of himself in characters like Tomura Shigaraki, Himiko Toga, and even Spinner and Gentle Criminal, making it all the more tragic that he must fight these people and can’t just talk things out with them.
10 Izuku Has Personal Baggage From His Backstory
It’s common for anime villains to have rough childhoods, and their experiences with abuse, violence, neglect, and more may lead them to become selfish or violent adults. Such is the case for many MHA villains like Tomura Shigaraki, who accidentally killed his family, or Himiko Toga, who was scorned for her Transform Quirk at school and at home.
Izuku Midoriya’s actions, beliefs, and personality also stem from bad childhood memories, mostly concerning his Quirkless status. In another life, Izuku could have grown up to become a strong Quirkless villain who commits crimes to retaliate against the society that rejected him for being born Quirkless.
9 Izuku Needs A Symbolic Mentor To Guide Him
The invincible All Might is the Symbol of Peace whom everyone admires, while All For One is the terrifying Symbol of Evil many villains and outlaws can rally around. The two of them are also mentors, with All Might being Izuku’s first mentor and supporter in the series.
Similarly, Tomura Shigaraki has All For One to look after him as a more twisted mentor, and Tomura owes All Might for everything he has, with many strings attached. Izuku and Tomura both know what it’s like to cling to a symbolic father figure until they’re ready to change the world on their own.
8 Izuku Has A Special Someone To Fight For
Some heroes and villains fight for personal friendship and love, creating some of the most intimate stakes in the entire anime. In fact, Izuku Midoriya, Ochaco Uraraka, and the villain Himiko Toga are caught up in a love triangle, which sometimes dictates how they fight.
Izuku and Ochaco both fight hard for each other’s sake, with Ochaco being Izuku’s first and best friend at U.A. aside from Katsuki Bakugo. Himiko Toga, meanwhile, had a strong yandere love for Stain until she shifted her attention to Izuku and Ochaco, desperate to emulate them however she can.
7 Izuku Struggles With Figuring Out His Quirk
My Hero Academia soon made it clear that many Quirks are a real burden, and some Quirks can ruin a person’s entire life until they get a handle on their supernatural gifts. Izuku has often struggled with One For All’s great power, and he has even broken his bones and gotten scars from its use.
Some villains also struggle with their Quirks, like a young Tomura Shigaraki with his powerful Decay Quirk. Even Himiko Toga struggled with her Quirk, trying in vain to hide her thirst for blood and pretend to be someone she was not.
6 Izuku Sympathizes With Underdogs
As someone born Quirkless, Izuku knows what it’s like to have the odds stacked against him and feel miserable as an unwanted outcast. That made him sympathetic to characters like Mirio Togata, who nearly flunked out of U.A. until he finally mastered his tricky Permeation Quirk.
Some of the more empathetic villains are like that, too, such as Gentle Criminal. Gentle was a student hero washout who gladly accepted the lonely, lovestruck La Brava as his sidekick, giving her a chance to shine when no one else would.
5 Izuku Wants A Place Where He Belongs
Characters like Izuku Midoriya often have someone special to fight for, and they value their friendships. On a larger scale, people like Izuku also want an entire community or group to belong to, and Izuku found that in Class 1-A at U.A.
Similarly, many of MHA‘s villains crave a sense of belonging, so they join organizations such as the League of Villains and, later, the Paranormal Liberation Front as well. These groups don’t just provide a sense of belonging, though — they also provide mutual protection for all members.
4 Izuku Wants To Improve Society
A wide variety of My Hero Academia characters fight not just for survival or for a friend’s sake but to change the society in which they live. Heroes and villains are constantly playing tug-of-war over society’s laws and norms, and each side has a clear vision of what society’s future should be like.
Izuku dreams of creating and defending a peaceful society where everyone looks up to him as the Symbol of Peace and puts an end to war forever. Meanwhile, the villainous Re-Destro became a prominent leader because he, too, wishes to change society for the better, but in the same way as Izuku.
3 Izuku May Go Berserk If Someone Precious Gets Hurt
Izuku and his villains all value their friends and will fight for their sake, but not always in a wholesome way. Heroes and villains alike may be driven to extreme anger or reckless rage if someone precious to them is hurt or threatened, which has happened to Izuku more than once.
Izuku will go berserk if someone like Eri is hurt or threatened and Twice knows that feeling, too. He was very close to Himiko Toga, and when she nearly died in battle, a desperate Twice awakened his Quirk to fight back and protect Himiko no matter what.
2 Izuku Will Unlock New Powers To Get Ahead
Most My Hero Academia characters have one Quirk that only works in one way, but special characters like Izuku and his nemesis, Tomura Shigaraki, aren’t content with just one superpower. Both of them have unlocked extra Quirks to broaden their fighting styles, so now, the only characters who can match them are each other.
Izuku’s extra Quirks were built into One For All, being the natural Quirk factors from OFA’s previous users, such as Float and Blackwhip. For his part, Tomura Shigaraki embraced the power of dark science to get extra Quirks, with Dr. Garaki grafting many new Quirks into him to become truly unstoppable.
1 Izuku Has Strong Convictions About Ethics & Society
Pro Heroes and villains aren’t just fighting for survival — they also have strong convictions about why their own side is righteous and the other is wrong, and that includes Izuku Midoriya himself. Izuku’s hero ideology is fairly similar to All Might’s own, which is one reason why Izuku is All Might’s successor.
Izuku is absolutely convinced that his version of ethics, justice, and societal norms is the right path for humanity, and villains like Re-Destro and Tomura Shigaraki feel just as strongly about their own convictions. However, these convictions contradict in many ways, so the two sides must fight to see whose justice is the real deal.
NEXT: 10 Best Ships In My Hero Academia
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