You know, for a Shonen as colorful and dynamic as My Hero Academia, it certainly does take a lot of dark turns. Like, not just with the somewhat adult characters, because not even someone as young as Eri is exempt from a grim past. But I guess that’s also why this franchise is one of the reigning anime right now, with multiple seasons already under its belt. And when Eri was finally introduced in the 4th season, fans couldn’t help but wonder what her character was going to entail.
Turns out, behind that adorable smile, Eri hides some truly tragic origins. As of the Final War arc in the manga, we know she is safe and sound, albeit worried about Izuku Midoriya. We can see her alongside civilians and refugees alike, knowing that the next War with the Villains won’t be kind. But it’s easy to forget that Eri has seen so much trauma in her own life, starting from being held captive by Overhaul and being brainwashed into thinking her Quirk only bought pain and suffering.
And it’s been interesting to see how we’ve gone about the idea of superpowers and how they manifest in the world of My Hero Academia. I’m not saying I thought the show would be childish or anything, but the direction it has taken has been surprising. We went from a premise of ‘kid who didn’t have superpowers miraculously gets them from his idol’ to tackling issues like ‘troubled family dynamics behind your saviors’. Or how being ‘gifted’ means nothing in the real world and you can’t coast by on it. Like, say what you will, but Eri’s character arc isn’t that much of a reach.
But it is something worth discussing. Eri is probably one of the youngest characters when it comes to the supporting cast and where she started VS where she is now is a journey. As someone with one of the most bizarre and unsettling Quirks out there, her Character Analysis is one I am dying to dive into. So, let’s get right into it!
Eri: Cursed For Something She Can’t Control
The thing with Eri is that the very family she was born into, was problematic, to say the least. She is the granddaughter of the patriarch of Shie Hassaikai, a known Yakuza group that is known for taking in the likes of Kai Chisaki, also known as Overhaul.
But at a young age, those around her realized what a threat she was. Eri’s Quirk manifested early on, and it is what caused her father to vanish. Her mother blamed Eri and left her in her grandfather’s care. Her grandfather, on the other hand, brought in Kai to take care of her. Kai empathized with Eri, and it was here we saw her Quirk being assessed, learning that she just doesn’t make people vanish out of anywhere. No, her Quirk is called Rewind and she can basically revert any biological entity to a younger state. And there is no limit to how young they can get because it ranges from anywhere from a couple of years to so far back, they don’t even exist.
She can even bring lost Quirks back if done right. But Kai’s empathy ran dry at the potential of having such a valuable tool. So, he experimented on her, using her blood to make bullets that inhibited other’s Quirk. She is basically his prisoner.
How Did Eri Get Out Of Her Bleak Circumstances?
The constant exploitation of her, when she wasn’t even a toddler, meant that she learned to keep silent sooner. When subjected to cruel testing and having her blood drained, she wouldn’t even cry, thinking she had to accept the pain with no choice.
So when Midoriya first encountered her and Kai, seeing how fidgety she acted, he knew something was up. So Sir Nighteye, who was already looking into Shie Hassaiki, realized what was happening and immediately signaled a raid. After a horrific battle, Eri was rescued but she had to be quarantined because her Quirk was dangerously unreliable. So, she was left in the care of Shōta Aizawa, or Eraserhead.
Under the close eye of the Pro-Hero, Eri stayed at UA Academy. However, she was still scarred by how Kai had treated her and would constantly self-isolate. But during the UA Festival, we finally got to see Eri come out of her shell and take a more positive look at life.