Heroes and villains are two sides of the same coin, the constant fight between good and evil taking the stage in many popular series, but not everything in the world is black and white. In the shonen anime My Hero Academia, heroes are shown to have a dark side just as preeminent as that of the villains.
The tragic story of Shoto Todoroki reveals a background of spousal and child abuse from Pro Hero Endeavor, who becomes Number One after All Might‘s fall. The situation is so bad that Shoto tries to become a hero without using the fire side of his quirk, which he inherited from his father. Still, even being a Todoroki comes with advantages, even if they are occasionally twisted and unexpected.
10 HARSH REALITY: The Todoroki Children Are The Product Of A Quirk Marriage
As a Pro Hero, Enji Todoroki struggles with his inability to surpass All Might. Where all other heroes simply accept this as a fact, he perseveres, doing his utmost to reach the levels of the Symbol of Peace. But when his efforts fail, his determination turns into a poisonous obsession.
Unable to achieve his goal himself, Enji marries Rei for her ice Quirk, a marriage meant to overcome the weaknesses of his own Hellflame. The Quirk Marriage is hard on everyone, as most of the Todoroki children are deemed failures to Endeavor’s grand plan and Rei herself suffers the consequences.
9 PERK: Many Todorokis Have Very Powerful Quirks
Despite the horrible nature of the Quirk Marriage between Enji and Rei, it is, in its own way, successful. Fuyumi and Natsuo Todoroki are unremarkable, but Touya has a very powerful Quirk. Cremation burns even hotter than Hellflame, but it is unsuited to his ice-resistant body.
Shoto Todoroki doesn’t have that issue, and his Quirk is the perfect blend between those of his parents. In the big picture, it may not have been worth it, but in a society that places so much emphasis on powerful Quirks, it is a huge advantage regardless.
8 HARSH REALITY: Rei Todoroki Loses Her Mind And Attacks Her Son
As Endeavor’s wife, Rei Todoroki has to suffer through constant physical and emotional abuse. She may have also been an unwilling participant in the sexual relationship that led to the conception of Touya, Fuyumi, Natsuo, and Shoto. Rei has to watch as her husband twists their children to suit his own version of heroism.
She finally snaps and pours boiling water on Shoto’s face, as his two-toned hair reminds her of Endeavor. It’s a very traumatic incident for everyone involved. Rei is institutionalized and Shoto is left with permanent scars, both physical and emotional.
7 PERK: They Slowly Begin To Rebuild Their Family
It takes time, but with the help of his friend Izuku Midoriya, Shoto begins to overcome his past. He reaches out to his mother and starts visiting her in the hospital. Fuyumi and Natsuo also go to see her. After the fall of All Might, Endeavor makes an attempt to fix things with his family.
Fuyumi tries to help and Rei seems to accept that he regrets his past, but Natsuo and Shoto aren’t ready. Regardless of Endeavor’s situation, the remaining Todorokis are beginning to bond and rebuild, which is a step up from what they had before.
6 HARSH REALITY: They Live Under The Pressure Of Surpassing All Might
Before Endeavor has a change of heart, everything in his life rotated around surpassing All Might. As such, his children constantly lived under that pressure. His eldest son Touya is told from a very early age that he must achieve this goal. Burdened with his father’s burning ambitions and a Quirk that harms him, Touya becomes even more twisted than Endeavor.
The cultivated desire to achieve his father’s goal leads to Touya having a horrible Quirk accident and being thought dead. His younger brother Shoto is slightly better off – if only because he doesn’t suffer from the same Quirk incompatibility – but the pressure is still there, and Endeavor often pushes Shoto so hard it physically hurts him. Endeavor’s obsession suffocates Shoto and turns him into an antisocial, angry child with a vendetta against his father.
5 PERK: The Todoroki Children Are Never Denied Access To Education
If there’s one thing that the Todoroki children have never lacked, it’s education. Endeavor’s obsessive perfectionism leads to Touya and Shoto suffering a great deal throughout their training, but his other two children are somewhat luckier.
Fuyumi becomes a teacher, whereas Natsuo is a student, working to earn a degree in healthcare. In that respect, they are fortunate, since Endeavor’s failed expectations don’t leave them with no avenues of escape. It’s paltry comfort, but it does provide them with hope for the future.
4 HARSH REALITY: Touya Todoroki Becomes A Dangerous Villain
Touya’s Quirk accident doesn’t actually kill him, but it marks the beginning of his new villainous identity. Furious and traumatized, he hides his survival. Years later, he returns having taken on the name Dabi and working for the League of Villains.
Highly dangerous and volatile, he kills heroes and criminals alike, though his end goal is always the same – to get revenge on Endeavor. Touya becomes one of the most preeminent members of the Paranormal Liberation Front and uses his position to achieve his ultimate goal, to show society that there are no real heroes.
3 PERK: Dabi’s Background As A Todoroki Is His Most Valuable Weapon Against Endeavor
Dabi’s background as Endeavor’s son is more than his motivation. It is also a weapon. Endeavor’s harsh training comes in handy during Dabi’s difficult life as a villain. Beyond that, the simple knowledge of Dabi and Endeavor’s blood connection drives a wedge between the new Number One hero and the people he is supposed to protect. It’s something Dabi uses to great effect during the Paranormal Liberation War Arc, eroding the fabric of hero society itself.
2 HARSH REALITY: They Are Targeted By Endeavor’s Enemies And Turn On Each Other
The saddest thing about being a Todoroki is that even the Todoroki children turn on each other. Dabi’s hatred for his father spills over to include the rest of his family, particularly his brother Shoto. Other villains target Endeavor for both his past and his new position, with Ending even kidnapping Natsuo Todoroki. It is later revealed that Dabi was actually involved in Ending’s scheme, much to the shock and grief of the rest of their family.
1 PERK: Endeavor Has Allies Who Support Him
Despite his many faults, Endeavor isn’t alone. His work as a hero has earned him the respect of his peers, and if pushed into a corner, he has people to turn to. When unable to act to save his son from Ending, his interns are there to step in and save the day.
Pro Hero Hawks places great faith in him and while Hawks’ position is also volatile after the Paranormal Liberation War, the hero remains a worthy ally to have in one’s corner. Although Endeavor himself may lose much of society’s support due to his horrible behavior, his family may receive the support they deserve.
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