Dabi Theory Series: The Mention of Family
New Chapter, Small Detail, Super Important (Part 2)
Man, I regret not putting this in my last Chapter 160 Dabi Theory. That one got more attention than any of my original theory posts ever have before, and I think the things I’m going to talk about here do have some unique ideas that I really wanted to share. On the bright side, splitting them up let me get way longer than if they were together.
Anyway! In this theory I will be discussing Snatch’s comment to Dabi about family, Dabi’s reaction to it, and some possible connections it has to a very important boy with red and white hair.
Dabi at First
During his fight with Snatch, Dabi is decently responsive at first. He seems pretty pleased that he is in fact making the news (and if you want my theory on that one, self-promoting it here), smiling and answering Snatch as he speaks. At first glance, I thought this would be one of those conversation-battles you always see in Shonen. One that most likely ended with Dabi winning and some sort of snide remark… But then, family was involved.
As soon as Snatch mentions family, the fight takes to a different tune. Dabi has dropped his light-hearted demeanor completely. He seems much more serious, and his mood is a lot darker- he doesn’t answer like he was doing previously.
On top of that, he uses a seemingly copious amount of fire to kill Snatch. Rather than lasting a few panels and being a real battle.. It abruptly finishes in a sea of flames. To me, and to probably a lot of people, this was a anger-filled reaction to the mention of family.
If Dabi is indeed a Todoroki, then we know that his current motives would be family-filled. I’ve made a few posts on it already, but to quickly recap… Dabi was deemed a failure from the start, Dabi grew up knowing that the “top” heroes aren’t necessarily actual heroes, and Dabi has Stain’s anti-hero ideals. Perhaps Dabi did think about how their families felt, but frankly, I’m not sure if he cares. He never had a real family.
Horikoshi slipping the term “family” ever so casually into this battle, and Dabi’s reaction being one of giant flame… Does it remind you of anyone?
After a very negative encounter with this father, one in which Endeavor says he is being “childish” and “fucking around”, that he’s his “greatest masterpiece” and that his ice-only fighting style would fail once he’s a pro-hero, Shōto is very, very angry. In response, he completely annihilates Sero with a ice wall nearly as big as the stadium. (Note: This is Chapter 34)
Afterwards, Shōto admits that he was angry, showing that his intense actions were done out of anger, not that he simply wanted to beat Sero that badly and that quickly. He knows it was overboard, he knows he shouldn’t have done it- but he was upset and wanted to prove the strength he could manage using his mother’s power to his father.
I’ve used this image three times now
1. They were both angry. Shōto for the things his father said to him above, Dabi for the mention of family. Both things would have made the boys think of their pasts, their upbringings, their lack of healthy family relations, etc. This is something that would have been very upsetting for anyone raised in the Todoroki household.
2. Their response to this anger? An incredible amount of quirk-related force. Force that for sure for Shōto and possibly for Dabi was intended to spite their father.
3. Their anger not only resulted in lots of force, but a very quick end to the battle. One that showed the opponent no mercy (well, Shōto didn’t murder Sero- we know that Shōto is inherently good, whereas Dabi’s reaction to his upbringing has darkened his character, but it for sure embarrassed him and probably hurt Sero’s chances of being picked up by a decent hero agency for internships).
Perhaps I’m just reading into things as usual… But I think these points could potentially be very valid. Horikoshi is usually pretty careful with the details he puts into his work, and the parallels between Shōto and Dabi just got a lot more extreme. Let me know what you guys think, and thanks so much for reading!