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How My Hero Academia treats it's villains

My Hero Academia is one of the most popular anime and manga series today. While the primary characters are heroes, many important characters are villains. The series creator, Kohei Horikoshi is known to subvert common troupes in the shonen genre. However, it’s how he treats his villains that is most interesting. It has been noted that characters like Bakugo and Endeavor aren’t quite as heroic as expect. They can be considered to be anti-heroes. The true villains of the series have been given arcs of their own.

Currently, the Meta Liberation Army arc is focusing on the development of the League of Villains as they come into conflict with the Liberation Army. The main antagonist, Tomura Shigaraki is given a backstory, as he and his comrades train to become stronger. Why does Horikoshi focus on villains at all? Shigaraki story mirrors Midoriya’s, how’s that different from typical shonen series? Will focusing on villains in this manner result in readers caring about them more?

  • I am literally *so* excited to read this. I really like how Horikoshi makes readers question how heroic the "heroes" really are, since they're doing it as a profession in a capitalist society (which therefore devalues people who have no quirk, like Deku, or "unheroic" quirks, like Shinsou). All Might explicitly tells Deku he can't be a hero if he doesn't have a quirk. I really hope you touch on this false dichotomy of heroic vs. villainous, good vs. bad, good quirk vs. bad quirk, etc. and how the League of Villains is essentially a band of misfits whose quirks or upbringing alienated them from a pro-hero society. A buddy of mine runs a villains-centric blog that might have some useful discussion for you: codenamesazanka on Tumblr :) – Eden 1 year ago
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