The following contains spoilers from chapter 291 of My Hero Academia. You have been warned.
In the latest chapter, Dabi’s nationwide broadcast has gone from bad to worse. Up until now, Dabi’s broadcast was aimed at destroying Endeavor’s reputation. Now, Dabi has taken aim at Hawks as well. Earlier in the story, it was revealed that Hawks’s wings were bugged with small cameras that monitored his every move. Clearly, those cameras were still rolling during the superheroes’ invasion of the supervillain mansion. As a result, they recorded Hawks murdering Twice! Now, that footage is being used against Hawks in Dabi’s broadcast. Also, it was revealed that Hawks ‘s father was a criminal and that information is being shared to the public through Dabi’s broadcast. It looks like in one fell swoop, Dabi has destroyed the reputation of the top two superheroes. Hawks probably didn’t care if he was being recorded since he was so certain the battle would end the supervillains. Now, his murder of Twice is coming back to bite him hard in the butt. With the top two superheroes discredited, people across Japan will lose what little hope they have left in the superhero society.
For a while, I had been wondering about what kind of personality the female lead of my third fantasy book will have. At first, I thought of giving her a noble personality with the intent of unifying a divided empire. Another idea was to make her a shrewd schemer hoping to use the main character as a means to restore her family’s power. Now, I am thinking of giving her personality a more crazed nature. I am thinking of giving her a personality similar to a yandere character from anime and manga. A yandere character is someone who is madly in love with the main character yet also incurably insane at the same time. After experiencing an act of kindness from the main character, the female lead becomes obsessed with him and will stop at nothing to keep him for herself. Overall, my female lead will be both Beauty and the Beast simultaneously. It will be a dark and twisted love story, which is something I have not tackled before and will be interesting to tinker with.
The following post contains spoilers from chapter 290 of My Hero Academia. You have been warned.
The biggest character reveal in the series has finally arrived! Dabi is Toya Todoroki, the eldest child of Endeavor and the eldest brother of Shoto Todoroki. For years, fans speculated that Dabi was Toya because of his apparent obsession with Endeavor. Earlier in the story, it was revealed that Toya was abused by his father like Shoto and his other siblings were. Toya had stronger flames than Endeavor, but his body was too frail to handle them. Blue flames tend to be a lot hotter than normal flames and Dabi was always at risk of immolating himself when using his quirk. That further adds evidence to Dabi’s identity as Toya Todoroki.
When Toya was deemed a failure in the eyes of his father, he was discarded in favor of Shoto. Endeavor’s ultimate ambition was to produce a child who was stronger than All Might since Endeavor himself was not up to the task. This led to him abusing his child with brutal training and he would beat his wife when she tried to protect their children from him.
Eventually, Toya was presumed dead from a currently unidentified accident and Endeavor’s family blamed him for Toya’s death ever since. Endeavor also blamed himself for what happened to Toya and even erected a shrine for him in Toya’s old bedroom. Apparently, Toya did not die in that accident, but was physically and mentally scarred before turning into Dabi.
Now, we finally know what Dabi and Skeptic were planning. Dabi was using Skeptic to broadcast a video of him revealing his identity and backstory to the world. It was similar to how V highjacked all the televisions in London in V for Vendetta. Among the people watching Dabi’s video was his mother, Rei Todoroki, who was visibly shocked by what she saw. This is bad for Rei because she was already mentally delicate from being abused by her husband. If she finds out that her eldest son is not only alive but also a mass-murdering supervillain, that could push her over the edge. I would not be surprised if she mentally snaps and commits suicide out of grief. The rest of the Todoroki family will be just as devastated by this revelation and they may become pariahs just for being related to Dabi.
This is also bad for superhero society as a whole. Endeavor is the Number One Hero who people expect to protect them from harm. When the public finds out that their Number One Hero is a thug who not only abused his family but is the father of an infamous supervillain, the public will lose all faith and trust in him. Endeavor may have started making amends for his actions, but it is clearly too late. Dabi is the incarnation of Endeavor’s sins, the demon who will drag him into Hell.
While the public watches and listens to Dabi’s video, Dabi himself reveals his true identity to both Endeavor and Shoto. He washes out the dye in his hair and starts dancing like the Joaquin Phoenix version of the Joker. Endeavor was already blaming himself for Toya’s death and I think the revelation that his actions as a father turned Toya into Dabi will break him.
The monster Endeavor’s cruelty created has come to kill him and burn down everything he built. Endeavor’s power is at its limit and he has been grievously wounded by Shigaraki after being impaled through the chest. If Endeavor was fit and healthy, Dabi wouldn’t stand a chance. Now that Endeavor is wounded and weakened, killing Endeavor would be a relatively easy task for Dabi. All Dabi would need to do is use his blue flames on Endeavor to the point in which Endeavor’s overheating weakness kills him. Since blue flames are a lot hotter than normal flames, I think Dabi can do this very quickly.
The question is how Shoto would react now that he knows his long lost big brother is alive and a supervillain. Would he be emotionally compromised and be slow to fight his own brother? Would his hatred for Endeavor return after seeing what his father’s cruelty has done to Toya? This is clearly a Darth Vader scenario: “I am your father.”
Overall, this has been a long-awaited character reveal and it has exceeded all expectations. In my opinion, Toya Todoroki IS dead and Dabi is all that’s left. This is similar to how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. Like Darth Vader, being burned alive apparently played a large part in Dabi’s transformation as a villain.
I remember another one of James May’s funny antics during his visit to Japan. While he was in Osaka, James got to dress up as Ultraman and drive around in a go-cart. Apparently, this is a common activity in Japan’s metropolitan areas like Osaka and Tokyo. People would dress up as their favorite anime character and drive around in go-carts as though they were in a Nintendo game. At the end of this scene, James made an interesting point. Japan’s obsession with anime characters, superheroes, and monsters is not just something they imagined. It has become a deeply ingrained part of their culture. Due to this, you can find anime characters everywhere in Japan from sign posts, to appliance manuals, bedrooms, stores, you name it. With this in mind, James wondered if this concept can be seen as a modern interpretation of Shintoism, which talks about many gods and everything being inhabited by a spirit. These anime characters, superheroes, and monsters could be representations of these entities.
I have started the first volume of my new fantasy monster series. I was struck so hard with inspiration that I could not ignore it any longer. You may have noticed that some of my latest books start with a timeline that establishes the story’s setting and world building. When I worked on the timeline, I had a super fun time brainstorming on what historical events would shape the world my new story will portray. I also started the first chapter and I have decided to make an interesting innovation with naming my characters. They will have an English first name and a Japanese last name. This will enable me to add some anime-like vibes to the story while also taking the character names in a different direction. I also skipped ahead to one of the first battles in the series where the main character’s monster partner battles an enemy monster during a raid on the city. I have just started and it already has me hooked into the writing process. I look forward to seeing which direction the plot will take as I continue to write.
During James May’s trip to Japan, he made a number of interesting discoveries and encounters. While looking through the stores of Tokyo, he discovered a number of gadgets that were designed to solve problems that no one else thought of. Among those gadgets were self-cleaning toilets. I always knew Japan was a technological superpower, but I never thought their usage of technology would be this diverse.
Then James’s day in Tokyo got even better when he met a couple of otaku or “super geeks”. The interesting thing about otaku is that while geeks would be shunned by Western society, geeks in Japan are welcomed as an essential part of the social fabric. Otaku interests can range from anything from manga to video games. The otaku James met were a special breed of otaku known as train spotters and they knew everything about trains. They could imitate the sounds of trains, they would take photographs of trains in stations, they enjoyed listening to train station music, and they could imitate train station announcements.
As a super geek myself, I could easily relate to these two otaku. The moment I saw their quirky mannerisms and the passion of their interests, I knew they were like me. Since geeks are embraced as part of the social fabric in Japan, I think I would feel right at home there.
In some of my earlier posts, I spoke of a new fantasy series I plan to write that will be different from the Magnus Dynasty Saga. It will involve inter-dimensional monsters partnering with humans as part of a peace treaty between both races. The setting will be Victorian-style and steampunk with steam-powered technology and large walled cities. I got the idea for this series from stories such as Pokemon, Digimon, Monster Rancher, Beyblade, and so forth. Some of these stories involved monsters battling in tournaments while others depicted monsters fighting a great evil. In my series’s case, it will be a bit of both. This genre of storytelling about monsters bonding with humans has become quite popular in the anime/manga community over the years. Due to this, I think this is the perfect time to begin developing this new series. Sadly, even though I am a fan of anime and manga, I cannot write it in its style so I cannot contribute to the genre in the traditional sense. Instead, I will contribute to this genre my own way and in my own style. Like His Dark Materials, which depicts each person being spiritually bonded to an animal, my series will depict each person being spiritually bonded to a monster. Since it is Halloween night, I think this is the ideal time for me to start thinking about monsters.
When I was in elementary and middle school, I was an avid fan of the anime known as Digimon. As such, I often imagined what it would have been like to have my own Digimon and what the creature would look like. The series has seen its fair share of Digimon that looked like either dinosaurs or dragons. In season one, we were introduced to Agumon, who was the Digimon who was partner of protagonist Taichi Kamiya. In the second season, we were introduced to Veemon, who was the Digimon partner of Davis Motomiya. In the third season, we were introduced to Guilmon, who was the creation and partner of Takato Matsuki. Each of these three Digimon possessed features that belonged to either dragons and dinosaurs. I am definitely a fan of both dragons and dinosaurs, which was why when I daydreamed about having my own Digimon, I wanted it to be like a combination between these three Digimon. I even brainstormed on what kind of attacks it would have and what its Digivolved forms would look like.
After watching the war arc progress in My Hero Academia, I am starting to reach a certain conclusion. Before the war with the Paranormal Liberation Front commenced, the public’s trust in the superhero society was deteriorating in the aftermath of All Might’s retirement. For decades, All Might was the linchpin to the superhero society’s success. Now, that linchpin is gone and the other superheroes have been struggling to fill his shoes ever since. In addition, crimes and disasters have been on the rise ranging from Overhaul’s Yakuza and Endeavor’s fight with the High-End Nomu. Each of these incidents have steadily chipped away the public’s trust in the status quo. When the superheroes launched their attack on the Paranormal Liberation Front, they hoped to take the supervillains by surprise before any collateral damage could be done. However, things did not go the superheroes’ way by any stretch of the imagination. Even if the superheroes defeat Tomura Shigaraki and take him into custody, the damage is done and Shigaraki has already won. The superheroes have sustained heavy casualties in the war. Gigantomachia has plowed through over twenty cities across Japan, slaughtering countless civilians in the process. Shigaraki disintegrated a third of Jaku City and displayed his new power for the world to see. Now, Dabi is conspiring with Skeptic to unleash something on the Internet and news broadcasts that could cause more damage to the status quo’s image. Due to these factors, the public will completely lose what little faith and trust they have in the superhero society. Even if the superheroes defeat Shigaraki in this battle, he has already achieved his goal and won the war. The main characters are going to have to adapt to a new status quo that has not been seen since the height of All For One’s reign. It is likely the remaining superheroes and students may be forced into hiding or made to flee the country until they regain enough strength to fight back.
Out of all the supervillains in My Hero Academia, the most mysterious would be Dabi. Dabi seems to possess a darkness that his fellow villains lack. During his interactions with superheroes such as Endeavor, Hawks, and Shoto Todoroki, Dabi seemed to know the superheroes’ darkest secrets. He is like a demon who knows a person’s sins. His usage of blue flames further cements his status as a demon. You know someone is pure evil if they can summon hellfire so easily. Dabi seems to have a greater desire to tear down superhero society than his comrades, even Shigaraki. In the latest chapter, it was revealed that Dabi was collaborating with Skeptic to bring down superhero society. Skeptic is a master of controlling both the Internet and the narrative of a news broadcast. Due to these factors, it is possible that Dabi is using Skeptic to release the superhero society’s darkest secrets to the public. Since Dabi has a tendency to know people’s sins, I think what he and Skeptic have planned is going to cause even more damage to the image of superhero society. The public will lose faith in superheroes due to Gigantomachia’s rampage across Japan and Shigaraki’s destruction of Jaku City, but I think what Dabi and Skeptic have planned is going to be the final nail in the coffin to the status quo. While Shigaraki wants to tear down superhero society through simple destruction, Dabi seems to want to tear down superhero society by twisting and manipulating the narrative. I look forward to finding out more in future chapters.