For all its hype as a mainstream Shonen, My Hero Academia continues to surprise me with some of the twists it takes with it characters. The manga series especially spends a lot of time building up the narrative it sets, letting individuals go on a long break to actually create anticipation, or raising the stakes when it comes to character deaths. Even with supporting characters, such as Kurogiri, it manages to use them well instead of just discarding them into the unknown.
Because Kurogiri is such a major driving force in the plot, fans were concerned. After his fight with All-Might, it looked as if things were pretty dire for the right-hand man of Tomura Shigaraki himself. But, as we’ve learned now, Kurogiri managed to survive his ordeal, despite being defeated by Gran Turino. And so, he was taken captive and has remained inactive since. At first, he was imprisoned in Tartarus, but now he’s currently under care at Central Hospital, who is also looking into his origins more thoroughly.
Why is this research being done? Because turns out, Kurogiri isn’t who he appears to be. Just like many of the other Villains in this show, he has a past of his own. But, again, that could be said for a lot of characters in My Hero Academia. Each of them has a backstory, that may or may not justify their actions, but you definitely see that they aren’t flat or one dimensional. I mean, considering how the series shows that being a superhero doesn’t automatically make you a good person, it’s pretty on brand.
And that’s where Kurogiri lies as well. We now know that he didn’t start out as a Villain. In fact, Kurogiri isn’t even his real identity. And what happened to him isn’t exactly uplifting. He clearly lost a lot of himself, considering where his loyalties lie now. But can his fate be changed? Let’s discuss that and more in another segment of Character Analysis – where we take a closer look at characters from popular series to see where their arc might be leading us.
Tragic Origins: Who Is Kurogiri?
To fans, Kurogiri was the villainous deputy of Tomura Shigaraki, tasked with protecting him at all costs. He is known for being ruthless in his one mission, which is to keep Tomura out of harms way. He’s like his personal bodyguard, bought back from the dead to serve as his shield and assistant.
But he wasn’t always this way. During the Shie Hissaiki arc, we learned that Kurogiri was a Nomu – an augmented humanoid that is modified with multiple different Quirks through an experimental surgery technique by Dr. Kyudai Garaki. This is basically done using dead bodies, who would go on to have no higher brain function to discern what is right or wrong, thus making them the perfect subservient super soldiers. And Kurogiri happens to be no different.
It turns out, his real identity is Oboro Shirakumo, a UA Academy student that died after an internship mission gone wrong. He was a part of a trio made up of Shoto Aizawa and Hizashi Yamada, who later went on to become the Pro Heroes Eraser Head and Present Mic. They dubbed themselves the Three Musketeers, near inseparable. However, he lost his life during a routine mission and his body was discovered by All-For-One.
What Happens To Kurogiri Now?
After All-For-One’s defeat against All-Might, the League Of Villains is left fractured. To aid the now remaining Tomura, Kurogiri recalls that his guardian hid away a power that could possibly be their salvation. And so, he goes to retrieve Gigantomachia, a Villain who once served as bodyguard to All-For-One.
It is here that he is cornered by Gran Turino, and their battle starts. Of course, Kurogiri gets caught while Gigantomachia escapes. When taken to Tartarus, that where his real identity comes to light, thanks to his Cloud Quirk. Shoto and Hizashi are promptly informed, who come to confirm this and learn that their former friend has been practically brainwashed to protect Tomura at all costs.
After the Paranormal Liberation War, Shoto actually tries breaking through to Oboro, seeing if there is anything past Kurogiri. But it’s a work in progress. And with the Final War looming in, it’s now or never!