My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia), a manga and anime series created by Kohei Horikoshi, offers a rich universe filled with superheroes, intrigue, and layers of character relationships.
One of the most complex and emotionally heavy relationships in the series is between the fiery pro-hero Endeavor and the enigmatic villain, Dabi.
Their dynamic is integral to the story, and it’s wrapped in themes of familial dysfunction, redemption, and revenge.
Endeavor’s Tumultuous Past
Officially known as Enji Todoroki, Endeavor held the position of the number two hero for a long time, living in the shadow of All Might, the undisputed number one.
Determined to surpass him, Endeavor’s ambitions manifested in an unhealthy obsession with creating the perfect offspring, someone with a powerful quirk that could outshine All Might’s.
Endeavour married Rei Todoroki, a woman with an ice quirk, aiming to combine her abilities with his flame quirk in their children. This resulted in the birth of Shoto Todoroki, who became a primary character in the series, possessing a dual quirk of ice and fire.
Unfortunately, Endeavor’s obsession didn’t stop at Quirk combination. He was an abusive father and husband, putting his family, especially Shoto, through rigorous and sometimes dangerous training regimes.
He isolated Shoto from his siblings, hoping to mold him into the perfect hero. In the process, Endeavor created a house filled with pain, resentment, and fear.
The Lost Son
Dabi, initially introduced as a member of the League of Villains, was a mysterious figure with a fiery quirk that caused blue flames.
As the story progressed, it was revealed that Dabi’s real name was Toya Todoroki, making him one of Endeavor’s children and Shoto’s older brother. Dabi’s hatred for Endeavor stems from a past filled with neglect and perceived abandonment.
Toya, unlike Shoto, inherited Endeavor’s fire quirk but not Rei’s ice quirk. This meant that while he had powerful flames, he could not regulate his body temperature, making his quirk harmful to himself.
As a child, he was initially trained by Endeavor to be the successor, but when Endeavor deemed Toya’s body unsuitable, he shifted his focus to Shoto, relegating Toya to the background.
This neglect, coupled with the pressure to meet his father’s expectations, led to a tragic incident where Toya was presumed dead. However, he survived, took on the name Dabi, and fostered a deep-seated hatred for his father, whom he blamed for his sufferings.
Regret and Revenge
Dabi’s primary motivation as a villain is to discredit and destroy Endeavor’s reputation. He believes that the world should see Endeavor for who he truly is: a man driven by ambition to the point of destroying his family.
The reveal of his identity was timed to inflict the maximum amount of damage, not just physically but also emotionally, to Endeavor’s newfound position as the number-one hero after All Might’s retirement.
Endeavor, on the other hand, is a character on a path to redemption. As the series progresses, he realizes the pain he inflicted upon his family and seeks forgiveness.
He tries to mend his broken relationships, especially with Shoto, but the scars of the past run deep. Dabi’s vendetta serves as a constant reminder of Endeavor’s sins.
The relationship between Dabi and Endeavor in My Hero Academia is not just a simple tale of hero vs. villain. It’s an exploration of the consequences of ambition, abuse, and redemption.
In the show, as Endeavor seeks redemption and Dabi seeks revenge, their dynamic serves as a testament to the series’ depth and complexity.