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Horikoshi’s Attention to Detail Makes Dabi’s Story Even More Tragic

The following contains major spoilers for Kohei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia Chapter 290, available now in English on Viz Media.

Dabi is best known for his role in the League of Villains, now the Paranormal Liberation Front, an organization of heroes led by Tomura Shigaraki. my hero academiaThe main antagonist of. Since the beginning of the anime, he has been up in arms with the organization’s villains, wreaking havoc on the pro heroes and students of UA with his powerful Blue Flames Quirk. However, manga readers know that there is more to Dabi than meets the eye.

Chapter 290 “Dabi’s Dance” revealed the flame villain’s past and confirmed many fan theories. Dabi’s name is actually an alias; His real name is Toya Todoroki, the eldest son of Enji Todoroki, Endeavour’s #1 Pro Hero. It was previously assumed that Toya was dead, so when he revealed his identity, his presence in the battle surprised his father and his younger brother, Shoto. Toya Todoroki’s beliefs and outlook on the world have changed drastically, but it was his physical appearance that made the boy truly unrecognizable.

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Dabi’s appearance in My Hero Academia

Dabi has a very recognizable look. His skin was burned when he was a child, as he lost control of his Blue Flame, and ever since, his overuse of his Quirk has continued to plague Dabi. Rotten purple-hued skin is attached to the healthier sections with an assortment of piercing staples and rings, adding to Dabi’s overall alternate look. Unlike the other Todoroki, Dabi’s hair is neither white nor red, but jet black, further alienating him from his previous family.

However, the most interesting disparity between Toya Todoroki and Dabi is in their eyes. After Twice’s death, Dabi nonchalantly stated that he hasn’t been able to cry since his tear ducts burned, offended by the suggestion of her emotions. Interestingly, the symptoms of burned tear ducts include sore eyes, blurred vision, dryness, and of course, the inability to cry. This aligns with Dabi’s current character design, as the villain’s eyes often appear smaller than they are, as if he is squinting. Dabi may have to squint in order to see due to blurry vision or to minimize the discomfort of any pain or dryness. This changes his appearance drastically from how he looked when he was a child.

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What did Toya Todoroki look like during his childhood?

A portrait of Toya Todoroki, Todoroki's missing brother in My Hero Academia

As a child, Toya looked a lot like his brothers. His skin was healthy and not burned, and his hair was completely white, similar to his younger brother Natsuo’s. Due to being born prematurely, Toya was smaller than his brothers Fuyumi and Natsuo, but after a growth spurt, he quickly reached the same height as them. However, the most striking difference is that Toya had eyes noticeably larger than him when seen as Dabi.

In flashbacks, Toya’s eyes are those of a typical anime boy: large, bright, and emotional. This is completely different from Dabi’s hopelessly narrowed eyes. In addition to this, when he woke up around the age of 16 from his comatose state after accidentally losing control of his Quirk, the young Todoroki was still able to cry. Kohei Horikoshi’s details about Toya’s burned tear ducts truly turned the boy into Dabi, an unrecognizable member of the Todoroki family with more trauma than ever.

Not having working tear ducts has forced Dabi to have dry eyes and blurry vision, so she has to squint her large, natural eyes to get through the day. Dabi has become incredibly disconnected from Toya Todoroki and her former family, and Horikoshi’s attention to detail shows how his appearance makes Dabi seem like a completely different person.

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