In chapter 349 of My Hero Academia, Dabi decides to oblige Shoto’s question about why he didn’t come back home after he survived burning alive.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for My Hero Academia chapter 349!
Dabi is about to reveal his villainous origin in the pages of My Hero Academia. The latest chapter of the manga sets Dabi up to tell his brother Shoto Todoroki what happened from the moment he ostensibly died in his own flames to when he eventually gave up on being Toya Todoroki and became a villain.
As of chapter 349, the truth is finally coming to light as the two brothers face off against each other in the series’ final battle. Mangaka Kohei Horikoshi spends most of the chapter focusing on other conflicts and incidents connected with the ongoing battle. The chapter cuts off right at the moment before Dabi is about to begin recalling his tragic past, building reader anticipation. This leaves fans wondering if the next chapter will focus entirely on Dabi’s backstory, only devote a few pages to it, or even skip over Dabi’s explanation altogether to focus on another battle unfolding.
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According to the unofficial fan translation, what prompts Dabi to share his origin story is Shoto asking why he didn’t come back home if he was alive all this time. His older brother decides to answer by saying he’ll also divulge why his flames never extinguish and how his quirk now surpasses Endeavor’s Hellflame. Although fans don’t know for sure what actually happened to the young Toya to make him embrace a life of villainy, it will assuredly prove why this battle is only the preamble to the true fight that will conclude this tragic Todoroki storyline: Dabi vs. Endeavor.
Dabi is driven to get back at his father for what he did to him. Dabi’s endgame doesn’t just involve killing him but tarnishing Endeavor’s good name. He makes this quite apparent when the former Todoroki family member broadcasts his tragic past for all of Japan to see, a story that revolves around Endeavor’s obsession with siring a child who possesses the power to quell the fury of Hellflame. There is no way of contorting what happened to make Endeavor look good, for this obsession leads to one of his sons feeling so neglected by their father’s refusal to acknowledge him that he literally bursts into flames trying to gain back the recognition he once had, an incident that should have killed him. Dabi wasn’t the only Todoroki family member who suffered from the patriarch’s obsession. Born with the coveted Half-Hot Half-Cold quirk, Shoto became the target of Endeavor’s desire and was isolated from his siblings growing up. This experience caused Shoto to rebel against Endeavor for most of his life by rejecting the hot portion of his quirk that came from his father, even if it had a detrimental effect on his fighting prowess and interfered with his progression to becoming a hero.
Even though Shoto suffered from his isolation, this experience in no way matches Dabi’s pain and trauma, which explains why Shoto didn’t go so far as changing his identity and becoming a villain like his older brother did. Shoto was also able to eventually overcome the animosity he held for his father, but only after numerous confrontations, all of which eventually culminate in Endeavor breaking down in tears. Dabi has yet to gain this closure, which only a final altercation with his tormenter can achieve. Even though Shoto’s fight against Dabi is just a steppingstone until the latter son’s main battle against Endeavor, it will allow Dabi to share the truth behind his past, which will only raise the stakes for that final altercation in future chapters of My Hero Academia.
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