Why did Nana Shimura abandon her son in My Hero Academia?

My Hero Academia, the popular manga and anime series created by Kohei Horikoshi, is a complex narrative about heroes, villains, and the shades of morality between them.

Amidst the action-packed sequences and character developments, one subplot stands out for its emotional depth and complexity: the story of Nana Shimura and her decision to abandon her son. Let’s explore why she decided to take this step.

Background

Nana Shimura is an essential figure in the My Hero Academia universe, even though her presence is largely felt through flashbacks and recounts. 

A former bearer of the “One For All” Quirk — a power passed down through generations to combat the villainous “All For One” — Nana was the mentor to Toshinori Yagi, who would later be known as All Might, the Symbol of Peace.

The Weight of Power

The “One For All” Quirk isn’t just a power but a legacy. Its wielders are tasked with the monumental responsibility of combating “All For One” and his malevolent influence. 

The nature of this Quirk means that its users are always in danger, not just from regular threats that heroes face, but specifically from the relentless pursuit of “All For One,” who aims to destroy “One For All” and its wielders.

Abandonment

Nana Shimura knew that her role as the bearer of “One For All” painted a target on her back. 

She understood that “All For One” wouldn’t hesitate to harm her loved ones to get to her. To protect her son Kotaro from becoming a potential target or casualty in this age-old battle, she decided to distance herself from him.

Furthermore, the constant battles, the responsibility of training the next successor, and the perpetual threat of “All For One” was overwhelming.

Nana believed that distancing herself from her son was a way to shield him from the traumas and burdens of her life.

Tomura Shigaraki
Image Source: Bones Inc.

The Aftermath 

Nana’s decision to leave Kotaro behind had profound repercussions, ones she might not have fully anticipated. While her intentions were rooted in protection, the abandonment left deep emotional scars on him. 

Feeling rejected and unloved, he grew up resenting heroes, a sentiment that he passed on to his child, Tenko Shimura, who would later become the villain Tomura Shigaraki.

Nana’s choice, albeit made for noble reasons, inadvertently set the stage for the emergence of one of the most potent villains in the My Hero Academia universe. 

Shigaraki Tomura’s disdain for heroes is rooted in his family’s history and the tales of abandonment and neglect. Although Nana aimed to shield her son from the dangers of her life, the resulting emotional fallout gave rise to a new generation of hatred towards heroes. 


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