okay legit question: what do you think is the difference between aizawa's disdain for heroes that choose the spotlight as opposed to stain's ideals? what differentiates them?
I have a short answer for you, and a Very Long answer.
Short Answer is the obvious one: Aizawa
doesn’t kill. He may dislike certain people, but he will not let it
cloud his judgement, and he’s never gone out of the bounds of the
law. If you check the Vigilantes spin-off, he even shows up in there
as the stern and strict hero who is very much against that whole
Stain, however, does kill. Rather a lot. It’s his whole thing. It’s how he makes his point.
This makes him a villain, and Aizawa a hero. But that’s probably too obvious of an answer. So let’s get into it.
The Long Answer.
I think, and I’m sorry for putting it
like that, that you aren’t asking the right question when you say
that Aizawa has a disdain for heroes that take the
Aizawa’s best friend is Present Mic. You've… seen Present Mic. His superpower is that he’s loud and flashy. Aizawa is also on friendly terms with the likes Midnight and cooperates gladly with Lemillion and that dragon lady.
All big, flashy heroes.
So I don’t think it’s fair to say that Aizawa hates or feels scorn for heroes that like to be in the spotlight. No, what he hates, is the spotlight itself. Specifically, he doesn’t want that spotlight to be on him.
He’s an underground hero for a reason. His fighting style, his quirk, they require villains to either not see him coming, or to not know what he’s planning. The shadows are his best friend.
Going on late night tv to talk about his love life and his favourite food would legitimately put him and his work, his strategies, at risk.
Canonically, what he hates is not so much the heroes, but the Media.
The media’s job is, in part, to show things that don’t want to be seen, and you can assume that this is one of the reasons he has such a hard time with them. He’s an introvert being pushed in the middle of the dance floor. No one is gonna have a good time until he’s back in a corner next to the punch bowl.
But I digress.
Because it is true that he is shown to have issues with that most flashy hero of all: All Might.
The two do work together, but their relationship is strained. Why? That’s actually not too clear. Maybe their personalities clash. They are pretty opposing, even if they both have the same goals in mind (save the children,mostly).So that could be it. Maybe All Might took one too many arrests from Aizawa. Maybe Aizawa is just tired of every single kid in his class deciding on the dangerous path of a hero, because they look up to All Might.
Now let’s look at Stain.
Stain’s backstory is that he went to a
‘pay for your diploma’ type of hero school, and decided there that
all heroes are fakes. He has a very… teenager type of background,
but one he seems to have stuck with.
And because this is BnHA, where nothing is black and white, he has a legitimate point, even if he goes way beyond the correct way of bringing it across.
Heroes in this universe are public servants, but they’re also celebrities. Several of them make a Lot of Money doing things like commercials. And that situation is less than ideal. Because why do people decide they want to be a hero? For the fame and fortune? Or to help people?
The motivation thing is kind of a theme that runs through a lot of BnHA. That whole ‘all true heroes have found themselves running in to save someone before they could think about it’. It’s what got Midoriya chosen.
On the flip side, you could see Endeavour’s quest to be number one as a result of this celebrity culture. I personally believe that Endeavour is (or was at the start) truly in it to help people, but that the large, cocky, arrogant part of him just also wants to be the very best, like no one ever was. And if not him, then at least his offspring. This sort of thing legitimately causes suffering.
The same culture also poses questions reminiscent of things Hollywood, politics and the music industry struggle with. Are heroes chosen for their talents, or for their pretty face? That is literally the issue Momo has in her intern arc.
So Stain has a
point, but because he’s basically insane, he takes it too far.
His main victim in the story is the older Iida Tensei, and that guy (again, based on Vigilantes) is a cool dude, who puts a lot of emphasis on teamwork, and who is by all accounts a diligent, conscientious man. The guy is well known, but I don’t have the impression that he’s like… modeling or anything.
The original Ingenium is, in short, one of the Good Guys.
But he’s not Good Enough for Stain.
Because Stain is not just fighting corruption or vain heroes that take up too much of the spotlight, or that spend too much time making money on the side.
He basically wants every hero to be All Might. Utterly selfless, workaholic, no home life, dying for the cause.
Few heroes are like that, because that is a very unhealthy situation. That’s the kind of stuff that leads to burn-out, and those alcoholic divorced cops in tropey crime dramas.
You know who’s like that? Midoriya. All Might. Mirio. Also, incidentally: Aizawa, the guy who does so much overtime that he sleeps in class and who comes to work still covered head to toe in bandages.
But I digress (again).
What Stain wants, is for Heroes to not only be incorruptible, but to be inhuman. He has an almost childish need for the idolized heroes of comics and tales. Not real people with a partner and kids and daily meals and human feelings and doubt and a sleep schedule.
He is, himself, spinning an unrealistic tale. One that catches on, by the way, because in his own blundering way, he has learned the power of imagery. His PR is amazing, even if part of it is just that one clip of him ranting going viral.
Let’s talk about All Might and images
(yes, I know that wasn’t the question, but bear with me)
Now, the crux of all this, and really of pretty much everything in BnHA, is All Might.
Because he’s the one that started it. The ultimate hero, the one that kicked off Celebrity Hero Culture.
He did so knowingly, too. He set out to be the Symbol of Peace.
That’s the tale he spun. The PR campaign he started.
He needed the media for this. He embraced them and by doing so, probably kickstarted the idea that heroes need an Image.
All Might definitely knows the power of imagery: the smile, the catchphrase, that one youtube clip that keeps surfacing of him carrying like ten people at once.
It is real, he is actually like that, but it’s also a story. It is there to scare villains and reassure the populace.
It is, in a way, what made PR important for heroes. This, too, could be one of the reasons Aizawa is less of a fan of All Might: that guy just made the job of hero harder by adding all the media attention, and Aizawa would be happier if it wasn’t part of his daily life.
So where am I going with this?
disdain of heroes in the spotlight is pronounced, but in a way it’s a
cover for his very clear and very unsustainable want for ‘true
heroes’. He uses it as an easily understandable (because with a grain of truth) argument for his philosophy that deems almost every hero unworthy.
On the other hand, Aizawa mostly hates the spotlight itself. His reasons for being kinda grumpy around All Might are mostly personal, and we haven’t really been given a full explanation of them.
Both of them, in part, rail against a wider culture of celebrity heroes, but because irony is the sweetest of all Horikoshi’s themes, the one that goes along with it the most, the one that uses imagery to his advantage, is Stain. He’s the one going viral with his philosophies.
The one that is closest to the ‘true hero’ that Stain is raving about, is then Aizawa, who just wants to be left alone with his sleeping bag and his cats.