All Might and Nana Shimura’s relationship in My Hero Academia explained

My Hero Academia, created by Kohei Horikoshi, is a universe where people can be born with super abilities known as “Quirks”. Central to the story is a powerful and unique Quirk, “One For All“. 

Two major figures connected by this Quirk are All Might, the symbol of peace and the greatest hero of his generation, and Nana Shimura, his predecessor. 

Their relationship is pivotal for the narrative, setting foundational ideals and emotions that ripple throughout the series.

Origins

At the core, All Might (Toshinori Yagi) was a Quirkless young man, much like the series’ protagonist, Izuku Midoriya. Nana Shimura, the seventh bearer of One For All, chose Toshinori as her successor. 

Recognizing his strong sense of justice and potential, she passed on the Quirk to him, entrusting him with its power and legacy.

Beyond the mere transfer of power, Nana became a mentor to Toshinori. She imparted crucial combat techniques, tactics, and, most importantly, the philosophical and moral implications of wielding One For All. 

She taught him that a hero’s primary job is to save people and that a bright, reassuring smile can be a powerful tool to comfort and inspire hope.

Philosophical Foundations

Nana Shimura believed that the world needed a symbol, an unyielding pillar of hope that people could look up to and villains would fear. 

This idea deeply influenced All Might, driving him to become that very hero. As the “Symbol of Peace”, All Might’s larger-than-life presence and relentless pursuit of justice can be traced back to Nana’s teachings.

She emphasized that for the greater good, personal sacrifices, including distancing oneself from loved ones, might be necessary to ensure their safety from villains. 

This ideology deeply affected All Might’s personal life and choices, reflecting the weight and loneliness of their shared responsibility.

Nana Shimura
Image Source: Bones Inc.

Emotional Bond

Tragically, Nana Shimura lost her life in a battle against “All For One”, the series’ main antagonist and the counterpart to “One For All”. 

Her death became a driving force for Toshinori, instilling in him a mix of guilt for not being able to save her, a thirst for revenge, and a duty to uphold the legacy and ideals she championed.

All Might’s relationship with Izuku Midoriya, the series’ protagonist, is heavily influenced by his bond with Nana. Just as Nana saw potential in a Quirkless Toshinori, All Might saw it in Midoriya. 

The mentor-protégé dynamic is repeated, but it’s also layered with All Might’s personal experiences, fears, and hopes, making it a multi-layered relationship.

Legacy and Impact

Nana Shimura’s decision to choose Toshinori as her successor was pivotal. All Might not only became the strongest hero but also successfully passed on “One For All” to Midoriya, ensuring the Quirk’s lineage.

Nana’s teachings serve as All Might’s moral compass. Even in challenging situations, All Might often reflects on her words, ensuring he stays true to the path of righteousness and hope.

The relationship between All Might and Nana Shimura in “My Hero Academia” is a mix of mentorship, legacy, sacrifice, and emotion. Nana’s influence on All Might goes beyond the power of One For All; it’s deeply rooted in his beliefs, actions, and his very identity as a hero.


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