While putting the finishing touches to a story on Tokyo for a travel site, I came across this photograph from the Meiji Shrine. It didn’t really fit the story but there’s something about it that I like.
mentioned this briefly in Aizawa’s profile,
but BnHA is just chock full of father figures. There’s a big emphasis
on mentors and fatherhood, more so than in a lot of other manga and
anime I follow. Now, the idea of the ’sensei’ is fairly classic, the old
master who teaches the young hero their secret technique and all that. But the
young heroes in BnHA, with their high stakes environment, do have a lot
is especially true for Midoriya.
I’m not the only one who thinks it’s super interesting that we have
not seen Midoriya’s biological father? Like… he wasn’t even on the
couch watching the Sports Festival.
his mother appears to be a house wife in a fairly nice apartment, I
think it’s safe to assume that he at least exists. Maybe he’s a
salaryman with a lot of overtime, more likely he’s working overseas.
Whatever the case, he’s very much an absent dad. Now,
absentee parents aren’t that much of a deal in anime. The ‘16-year old
living alone in Tokyo’ is a bit of a trope, after all, but here, with the emphasis on several characters parents, it feels like
a statement. This is the manga in which we know the entire family
set-up of Tsuyu, and the names and appearance of Jirou’s parents. Much
as I love Jirou, she’s a side character. For the main character
to have a blank space like that, is a Thing. It means that growing
up, Izuku had one parental figure, and that parental figure was his
And give the woman credit: she did amazing. It is not easy to raise a child practically by yourself. Certainly not a child that is considered an outcast by society. The amount of love Midoriya receives from his mother is heart-warming,
their relationship is one of the better ones portrayed in shounen and as a result, Midoriya is a kid with an incredible amount of mental fortitude,
capable of handling some pretty devastating circumstances. His mother has been a supporting pillar in his early childhood, which, remember, was pretty rough on account of all the bullying. As such she has shaped a lot of his personality. She’s equipped him with confidence, with an unshakable belief in himself. However, she is very much not a hero.
love is one of katsudon and hugs and kind words and worried tears.
She wants him safe, above all else. She’s never going to teach him
hand-to-hand and going by her advice alone will not make him into the
hero he desperately wants to be. Him quite literally leaving the
warm nest she made for him to learn how to fight evil people is a big
part of him growing up.
that’s why Izuku puts so much of his hopes and dreams on All Might.
Here’s his ultimate hero taking an interest in little old him.
It’s a fairy tale. A manga trope. And I really believe that he sees
an alternate father figure in All Might once he gets closer to him.
They have their wax on, wax off moment on the beach, with All Might encouraging him to get stronger. This is the trope. The sensei, mister Miyagi thing where the kid gets prepped to receive the ultimate technique (in the form of a lock of… hair, whatever). But unlike traditional masters, and unlike his biological
father, All Might sticks around. He is a presence in his life. He
cares for Midoriya and his continued success in a way that, at this
point, no other male figure does.
Might gives Midoriya a whole bunch of very important advice, but it’s
good to note that this isn’t a rough or distant sort of male
mentorship. All Might quite literally opens himself up to
Midoriya. He shows him his weaker side. The skeletal side. The broken side. Because All Might, let’s not forget, is a friggin mess.
mean, I know he’s going through a lot, but this man is Such a Dork. It’s definitely endearing and it is also one of his best traits as a character. However: as a
person, he’s really not very well equipped to be raising a teenager.
He lacks, in a way, the stability and level-headedness that comes
with the position of a teacher. He cares too much. About
everything. All the time. And he nurtures that side of Midoriya, when Midoriya already has plenty of that.
can’t help but admire Midoriya’s selflessness. Can’t help but praise
the very foundation upon which his own heroics are based: helping people. When he saves Todoroki. When he saves Bakugou, All Might is
there to tell Midoriya that what he did is all right.
And this is certainly important for Midoriya to hear, but at this point it’s also not the only thing he needs to hear.
Midoriya also gets a more traditional teacher figure. It’s
interesting to note that, despite being the younger of the two, and
despite the fact that he sometimes teaches from an honest to god sleeping
bag, Aizawa is a much more stable mentor and general Adulting Adult.
He still cares about his students, but he’s also much more likely
to Act as a Teacher.
Because Aizawa immediately picks up on
Izuku’s self-mutilation. He watched the entrance exam, he knows
that Izuku’s quirk is, at this point, extremely flawed. That Izuku
doesn’t have control over it. He explains it in a pretty
standoffish way, and certainly this early in the show it comes across
as cruel, but he’s not wrong. Izuku is breaking
bones every single time he uses his quirk at this point in time. If
he does anything with his quirk, he’ll be a casualty. Him using only a single
finger is framed as a feat of intelligence, but it is also INSANE.
'Oh you only broke one finger, you have nine attacks left’. That
is NOT a good plan. Don’t do that. For fuck’s sake. I hope we all
realize that what Midoriya is doing is Not Healthy. He is eating
away at himself, destroying his own body over and over again.
Aizawa tells Midoriya to get a grip on his powers he’s not just being an
ass. He’s being a responsible adult, a teacher that cares about the
general well-being of the students assigned to him.