Of all the things I expected going into My Hero Academia, writing a think piece on its main antagonists and how one of them might be Stockholm Syndrome’d into acting a certain way, was not one of them? I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly interesting to see such a mainstream Shonen go that route but it’s also so complicated to navigate. Between All-For-One’s contempt for his nemesis, and his plans for the future, fans are often left wondering what role will Tomura end up playing?
All-For-One shows a very strange form of affection for Tomura Shigereki, his protégé that he raised specifically to tackle All Might. In fact, you could say the relationship between All-For-One and Tomura is not unlike the one between All Might and Izuku Midoriya. It is simultaneously a mentor-mentee relationship while also taking place of a father figure that is missing from both of the youths lives. And really, I can see how easy it is to manipulate someone in that position.
Whereas All Might nurtured Midoriya in his drive to become the greatest Pro Hero that ever lived, All-For-One used Tomura’s hurt and warped him into something he never should have become. As a result, both characters end up sharing way more similarities than comfortable. Which is why you can see how, in his own warped and malevolent way, All-For-One might actually care about Tomura. He’s groomed him to be increasingly hateful of the world around him, but he did it using genuine love and affection.
So, this is where we are left. Tomura is the very volatile and self-absorbed leader of the League Of Villains who All-For-One pushes farther and farther every time. But is there more than just brainwashing going on here? Could there be an actual bond between the two characters, twisted as it is? Let’s find out in Lore Analysis – where we take a closer look at the mythos of popular shows across the Animesphere to see how the plot unfolds. Today, it’s toxic parenting with All-For-One!
All-For-One: Evil Dad Extraordinaire?
Despite all that has happened, we still don’t know the full identity of All-For-One. All we know is that he was the big brother of Yoichi Shigaraki, the first to have the One-For-All Quirk. Like, they were the ones who started it all.
At first, Yoichi was a lot like Izuku. He has a similar sense of justice and morals, which is why he never truly submitted to his brother’s will. And just like Midoriya, he was born Quirkless, until his brother tried artificially implanting him with one, which is where One-For-All fully emerged.
But it’s that alikeness to his little brother that made All-For-One so enraged at seeing Midoriya inherit One-For-All. Because he happens to be under the tutelage of his old nemesis, All Might, All-For-One has made it his singular mission to destroy Midoriya. And his major piece in this chess game he is playing?
It’s Tomura. He took Tomura under his wing to shape him into the perfect vessel for all his hate and finally rid the world of the only Quirk that can oppose his own.
Tomura And All-For-One: Grooming Trauma And Breeding Hate
So, how did that work out for him? Well, where you imagined All-For-One being an awful man who abuses his underlings, that’s not what he’s like with Tomura.
In fact, he seems to show genuine love for this kid he rescued off of the street. Tomura had a very traumatic experience with his Quirk, and that’s part of why he is the way he is. And the only one who gave him attention and guidance after it was All-For-One. So, it isn’t surprising to see that his ideals and personality are so shaped by the hateful and vengeful nature of his adoptive father.
All-For-One is surprisingly patient with Tomura. He encourages him to try again after a mistake, instead of punishing him for it. He even gave him his familial name to carry on the lineage. Maybe at some point he was just a host for All-For-one to use, but over time it feels like he grew close to him and started considering him real family.
After all, nothing corrupts better than love.