You know, of all the villains in anime history I’ve come across, a lot of them share parental trauma, for some reason. Because deadbeat fathers just make for the best angst. Look, we’ve all seen them. Your faves like Eren Yaegar have them too. And yet somehow, I didn’t expect to see them in a franchise like My Hero Academia, which was presumptuous of me considering how that show is a lot darker than you’d think. And speaking of it, Dabi might have his daddy issues.
I mean, we have known for a while that the villain we know as Dabi, is Touya Todoroki. Yes, as in Shoto Todoroki’s older brother, and the son of the notoriously terrible father, Endeavor. Now, this was confirmed by the My Hero Academia manga, back in chapter 290 but it had always been rumored because, let’s be honest, Endeavor isn’t exactly the best family man out there. So, learning that his neglectful nature and abusive tendencies are what pushed one son over the edge? Not that much of a surprise.
Endeavor being how he is makes for a great conversation on how the world of My Hero Academia isn’t divided between the good guys VS the bad guys. Even if it’s coded like that with the existence of Pro-Heroes going up against the League Of Villains. There is a lot more to the morality of a character and how they got there than the affiliations they have. No one is completely good, and sometimes evil tendencies stem from horrific traumas.
It’s why Shoto despises his father so much, because of how his actions have led to their family suffering. And clearly, there are a lot of terrible things that happened, if Dabi’s current conditioning is anything to go by. So, let’s get into Character Analysis – where we take an in-depth look at popular characters from various anime. Today, it’s the tragic origins of Touya Todoroki aka Dabi.
Dabi: The Sins Of the Father.
I understand that Dabi is technically a huge antagonistic force to the core UA Academy gang. But in a way, his suffering has brought to light that just because a character is a Hero, doesn’t mean they are a good person.
Touya was the oldest child of Rei Todoroki and Enji Todoroki, who had a pretty rocky marriage from the start. Enji was obsessed with surpassing his fellow Pro-Hero, All Might, at all costs and so went extremely hard with his training. However, it was when he started doing the same with his kids when they started showcasing Quirks that it tipped off the deep end. He would put Touya through ridiculous training regimes, too harsh for a child his age. In turn, Touya made his father’s obsession his own goal in life.
This impacted him worse than you’d think, where he’d crave his father’s attention, which he would only get after completing the insane tasks he’d put in front of him. And so, he powered through, not caring what damage it did to his body. It was worse because his Quirk, Blueflame, was much like his father’s, except his fires ran way hotter. And so, he’d continue burning himself, while becoming more mentally unstable in the process.
So, when his father started to ignore him in favor of his younger brother Shoto, well, he didn’t take things well.
How Dabi’s Broken Past Impacts The Todoroki Siblings:
Endeavor’s abusive nature impacted everyone in the family, but the way it hurt Touya to the point of burning himself to the point of no return? That destroyed their family.
It’s also why he currently views his brother as his arch-nemesis. Before his accident, Touya was pretty close to his other siblings, Fuyumi and Natsuo, but Shoto always watched from the sidelines because his dad pitted them as rivals. This was unhealthy, to say the least.
After Enji turned his full attention to Shoto, the envy and jealousy festered in Touya, leading him to become extremely cold towards him. And after he left them, it seemed like those feelings only grew. So, when it was revealed that a nefarious villain like Dabi was actually Touya, it further broke Shoto.
It’s not hard to see how we went from Touya, a sweet but stubborn kid, to Dabi, a murderous villain. Safe to say, no one got out of Endeavor’s narcissism unscathed.