Hello all! I have returned for a third OWLS tour! I will try to participate in all tours, though there are no promises.
For those of you new to OWLS posts, we are a non-discriminant group of anime loving people. We accept people of all race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. and we show our acceptance by writing a blog post or making a video on the month’s topic, focusing around anime or other pop culture. This month’s theme was on “Bloodlines,” or the family connections we have in our lives.
When given this topic of family and bloodlines, there were very few ideas I had, and this anime was the one that really stuck out. And I’m so glad I finally get tot talk about My Hero Academia! I had meant to write something but I was struggling with school around that time and never got around to it.
I will be talking about a few different characters separately rather than looking at it overall. Unfortunately, I can’t go without spoiling for this topic, so I will be going in order from oldest episodes to newest and I’ll put a rough estimate as to how far you have to be to read that section. Trust me, I wish I could go spoiler free, but man, season two hits family issues hard.
Izuku Midoriya (Anyone can read)
Can we all agree that Izuku’s mom is the sweetest woman ever? When they discovered that he had no quirk, and would probably never develop one either, she felt awful. She had been hoping that her son would be able to have at least a small bit of power, so he could eventually achieve his goal of becoming a great hero. When hearing the news, she was just as devastated as he was. She felt personally responsible for his lack of power. She apologized to him repeatedly for not being powerful enough to give her son a quirk. He began to cry when he found out, but he seemed more in shock than angry. His mother just loves him so much that she would take all of the blame.
This kindness carries on into his middle school and high school years. She never stops supporting everything he does. And even though he’s being told by everyone around him that his dream of being a hero is a lost cause, she roots him on. She’s worried about him as well, since having no power causes bullying and constant negative comments, she doesn’t want him to become overwhelmed. She cares so much about him, which really is rare in shonen anime. Most protagonists either have terrible parents or no parents at all. I’m so happy to see that in this show, you don’t have to be from a broken family to be a hero.
His mother is not his only believer. All Might is just impressed by this kid’s sheer will power and determination. When he takes Izuku under his wing to teach him all about being a pro hero, he takes a liking to him. Izuku, from what we know, had a father who is now out of the picture. In a sense, All Might becomes his father figure. He teaches Izuku important lessons and watches over him to make sure he doesn’t overdo things. And I think this is one of my favorite aspects of the show. Izuku’s lifelong idol and inspiration becomes his mentor and father stand in. The kid who would quake in his boots to even see All Might stand near him now goes to All Might for support.
Izuku and his mother prove that there is no reason for a parent to lose hope in their child because of a disability. Supporting them and being there for them through everything is the only thing a parent should do. And he and All Might prove that you don’t need to be related to consider each other family.
Ochaco Uraraka (Ep 14)
I really love Ochaco, and have since the beginning of the series. But in this new season, I’ve found more reasons to love her. And that’s simply because of the strong bond she has with her parents. Not many people her age would have the dedication she has to her parents.
In Episode 14, we get a little bit of insight on why Ochaco entered the hero course at UA. While other kids wanted to become a hero for fame, personal accomplishment, wealth, or proving their greatness, Ochaco had a much more selfless goal in mind. She decided that she would give back to her parents, thanking them for raising her the way they did, in providing their income. She explained to Izuku and Tenya that when she was growing up, her parents did everything they could with the money they had to provide for her and give her a fulfilling childhood. She doesn’t want them to live with barely enough anymore. She wants them to have a comfortable, easy rest of their lives.
I nearly teared up listening to her say this. While other students still do have positive, respectable goals, hers was one that really sticks out. I’ve never heard a protagonist have this sort of goal in mind.
She has decided that she will live her life with only her parents in mind. This is the ultimate repayment, and it really proves what a close bond she has with her parents.
This really has gotten me thinking. I don’t have a bad relationship with my parents by any means. I am seventeen as of writing this, and many people say that this is the age that kids fall away from their parents. I have not felt that. I know how much they do for me, and I don’t feel I really appreciate all they do. Like Ochaco, I’ve grown up with not a ton of money. I’m not poor, and for the most part we do alright, but there have been months where my parents had to scrape the barrel just to pay the mortgage, and I had to provide money for groceries from my leftover Christmas money. So I really understand where she’s coming from.
Would I do what she is doing if our world was flooded with villains and heroes? I don’t think I would have considered it. I’m not as selfless as her, though I wish I was. I have my moments of selfishness, as many people do. Ochaco doesn’t seem to really have these moments, though I don’t think this tarnishes her character.
Shoto Todoroki (Around Ep 23)
I was not a fan of Shoto at first, I felt he was a bit boring and far too powerful to fit in with the rest of the 1-A class. But after hearing the story about his parents, I began to feel sorry for him. His blank expression and avoidance of the other students began to make sense to me.
I am not certain of the exact episode the truth about his mother and father comes out, but it’s about midway through the first arc of season two. And I don’t feel I need to rewatch that episode, even though I watched it months ago. It stuck out prominently.
For all of the first season and majority of season two, Shoto only uses his right side — the side that controls his ice powers. It’s explained that the reason he has two sides of his quirk is that his father had the fire quirk, and his mother had an ice quirk. His father, the pro hero Endeavor, has been envying All Might for his #1 hero spot, while he was in the #2 spot. He determined that if he can’t claim the #1 spot, he should have a child to surpass All Might. To do this, he needed to have a child more powerful than he was. He chose Shoto’s mother, who has a ice quirk, and practically forced her to have children with him, until the perfect child came about. Shoto has three siblings, one sister and two brothers, though only his sister has been prominent.
His mother became ashamed of his left side, since every time she looked at her son, it reminded her who his father is. This, in turn, led to Shoto feeling ashamed of his left side. He refused to use it. It would make him feel as if he were listening to his father, and doing just as he wanted. If he were to become a hero, it would simply be because he wants to help others.
It must be awful to be in a situation like this. His parents don’t live together, and don’t seem to have any pure love for each other either. His father pushes him to beat all other students, not exactly encouraging him to have friends or to bond with others. He only cares about his son’s powers being better than all others. In our world, this could equate to a father pushing his son to always be at the top of his class. Not allowing him socializing time, an important part of growing up. This explains why Shoto was so anti-social throughout much of the series. Once he realized that the quirk he has is purely his, and his to use as he wishes, despite what his father says, he became much more open to Izuku, Ochaco, and Tenya.
Shoto has grown immensely throughout season two. He confronted his father, announcing that he would not be tied down by what his father has to say. And he has also talked with his mother, who has become more accepting of her son. She knows that being ashamed will bring no good, and only will make Shoto more self-conscious.
I felt that Shoto’s story was shocking. His father is possibly my least favorite character in the entire show. Heck, even some villains are easier to pity. This man is so selfish, and controlling, that he ruined a woman’s life, and has made his children ashamed of their own last name. No person should ever have to live with something like this, and that’s why I think Shoto is a strong character. He has been able to move past these things with the help of others.
Tenya Iida (Ep 24)
In these recent episodes, Tenya has been really been proving himself. And because of this, I’ve been feeling some strong emotions for him. It’s safe to say that he’s climbing up to be one of my favorites. But this isn’t what I really want to talk about.
Early in season two, Tenya mentions his older brother, Tensei, who is the pro hero Ingenium. When he’s going into the sports festival, he says something about wanting to win to make his brother proud. Throughout the arc, his sole purpose for winning is to show his brother how well he’s doing and how he strives to be just like him. He has a great relationship with his brother, and like many younger siblings, wants to be just like his older brother.
Near the end of the sports festival arc, around episode 24, Tensei gets into an accident of sorts (keeping it vague for people not caught up) and Tenya doesn’t find out immediately. He had been calling his brother to tell him how he’s doing in the festival, but Tensei wasn’t picking up. This worried Tenya, but he continued on with the festival. Then later his mother calls him to give the news.
He rushes to the hospital to find that Tensei had been horribly injured, to the point that he would not be able to tend to his hero duties. He apologized to Tenya for not being strong, and for not being the person he looks up to. Tenya didn’t think that Tensei had done anything deemed less than admirable. He decided that from now on, he’ll do everything he can to be the best hero he can, to show all that his brother has taught him.
If anything, this accident was a boost for Tenya, and he began to show what he truly can do. He fights to show Tensei that there was nothing to apologize about. He still sees his brother in the highest light, no matter what. And now is more determined than ever to prove himself to the world.
I admire Tenya for pushing himself, even in the face of danger. He knows what he wants to fight for. He wants to be just like Tensei, and bring pride to the Iida name. If his brother is injured, he’ll take the place for the time being. He’s so sure of himself, something I almost can never say about myself. I’m always second guessing. My passion is writing, both this blog and my own stories. And I always second guess myself. Will they like this post? Does it even make sense? Will people want to read this book? Is that scene too cliche? It’s something that goes through my head constantly. Tenya seems to know exactly what he wants and what he needs to do to get to that point. And his brother is there to encourage and help him.
UA Class 1-A
In a way, all of the 1-A class is like a giant family. Not all of them may get along, but overall, they need to watch each other’s back. At the end of season one, they were attacked by that group of villains. If they were to have tried to take them on alone, they all would have been doomed. Rather than being selfish and going solo, they all worked together. They knew that if each person used their quirk in a certain way, they could defeat the villains.
For how competitive this course is, they do work together quite often. They all want the same thing, and all of them have a long way to go before they are fully prepared to take on being a hero in the real world. They know that not all of them will make it. But yet there are many cases where they support each other. It’s something I truly admire about the show. They put the competition aside for a bit, and help their classmates when they most need it.
Thank you guys for reading my post! It’s a bit longer than I intended, but there was so much I wanted to cover, and could have continued for much longer.
Make sure you check out the other OWLS blog posts for this month. The one before me was Rai from Rai’s Anime Blog and the one after is Naja from Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. Or you can find the roundup at the end of the month and read them all in one go!
I’ve loved being a part of OWLS in these past months, and hopefully will be able to participate in all of the tours. So, you should see me again next month!
Follow me on Twitter: @letstalkanime1