My Hero Academia: Dabi’s true identity, explained

dabi my hero academiaCrunchyroll

Dabi’s past has always been a source of discussion for My Hero Academia fans, and now the franchise is seemingly confirming a popular theory.

My Hero Academia, the anime based on the manga by Kohei Horikoshi, now has its sixth season in full swing, which means that we are getting the highly anticipated liberation war arc adapted to the screen.

The arc features multiple heroes and villains battling it out in a raid on the villain’s headquarters, including a battle between number two hero, Hawks, and the villainous Stain supporter, Dabi.

During the battle, Dabi states who he is to Hawks, which Hawks seems visibly shocked by, but the audience doesn’t hear what Dabi says. However, the manga provides an answer to this mystery, so let us explain. But first, WARNING: My Hero Academia spoilers ahead…

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My Hero Academia anime hints at Dabi’s past – but hasn’t shown it

Now, judging from Dabi’s scarred appearance and fire powers in the show, many fans have assumed that he had something to do with the Todoroki family, since the father of the family, Endeavour, wanted his children to have his flames quirk. And considering that Endeavor was also a terrible father, it’s not hard to assume that a child of his may have gone rogue as a villain, since Endeavor is considered one of the biggest superheroes in the world.

Season 5 hinted even more to this, as a mysterious missing son, Toya, was mentioned during an episode set in the Todoroki home, leading many fans to assume that this would be Dabi.

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And now, the manga has seemingly confirmed… that this is correct.

Dabi is Toya Todoroki

Turns out that Dabi is Endeavor’s first born child, who went through a lot during his transformation into the villain. Even after it was revealed that he was a Todoroki, he never went into massive detail about his past.

But in the manga, during a battle with Shoto – his younger brother, who had been chosen as Endeavor’s successor – Dabi finally told the story of his past, which involved a massive fire on the mountainous range of Sekoto Peak.

This fire was of Toya/Dabi’s own making, though it was an accident. This peak was often where the Todorkis went to train their fire quirks, and it was here where he manifested his blue flames for the first time. However, during one training session, Toya was unable to control his power, and the flames quickly engulfed him and the whole mountain, reaching temperatures of above 2000°C. This fire seemingly left behind no trace of Toya, except a fragment of his lower jaw bone, so he was pronounced dead.

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However, he wasn’t dead, since his body had been picked up by the criminal mastermind, All for One, who was either planning to make him a successor, or turn him into a Nomu. All for One and Dr. Garaki helped Toya recover, including replacing many of his body parts with regenerative tissue, which explains his scarred appearance and different voice. This new body meant that he was unable to feel pain, but he also wasn’t expected to live longer than a month, and this was after he had already been in a coma for three years.

All for One attempted to control Dabi, stating that he would never have his old life back, but Toya wouldn’t let himself be assisted by anyone other than his father, so he burned down the entire institution he was being held in, and made his way back home to the Todoroki residence.

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However, while Toya expected Endeavor to have reformed after the Sekoto Peak fire, all he saw was a shrine in his honor, and Endeavor training Shoto in a brutal way. Realising that the abuse in his family was still present, and that he had seemingly been forgotten, Toya vowed revenge.

Toya therefore shred his old self, becoming the villainous Dabi. His powers were able to grow since he no longer felt the burning from his flames, and through sheer hatred for his father, Dabi was able to live far longer than Dr. Garaki had told him he would.

Dabi ultimately made it his life’s mission to destroy his father, along with other “fake heroes,” not caring who he hurt in the process,

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What does Dabi’s past mean for the future?

Now, with this tragic story giving Dabi some semblance of humanity, and also with how the story has been working to redeem Endeavor, things could very much change for Dabi’s character arc. Especially since Shoto’s arc involved learning to live his life of his own accord, rather than living simply to reject his father, so it could be that Dabi could follow a similar path.

However, the heroes will have to survive Dabi’s flames if they ever hope to get through to the villain.