Todoroki: In Defense of Anime
As the days spent in quarantine stretch out to weeks some may find themselves running out of shows and movies to binge.
Luckily, streaming services offer a mass array of genres that individuals may have not previously explored.
This includes anime.
Anime is a genre that many people roll their eyes at just hearing about. It is generally seen as weird kid media.
In defense of all those “weird” kids, anime series tend to offer in depth looks at complicated characters.
“My Hero Academia” is an anime series that successfully delivers multiple characters that are complex in motivation and action.
The anime follows the lives of high school students who have “quirks” (i.e. special powers) who are being trained to become heroes.
One of those aspiring heroes is Shoto Todoroki.
Todoroki holds the capability to freeze anything with the right side of his body, a quirk inherited from his mother, and the power to release flames from the left side of his body, a quirk inherited from his father.
Todoroki is quickly shown to be at the top of his class in regards to his combative skills and instincts.
In contrast with his fighting abilities, Todoroki is also marked by his fragile sense of self.
Todoroki suffered emotional abuse at the hands of his father, Endeavor, as a child.
Endeavor is shown to treat Todoroki harshly in flashbacks in efforts to train him to be a top hero.
While Todoroki does grow up to hold the strength Endeavor had hoped for, he is also shown to be weighed down by his connection to his father.
In the beginning of the series Todoroki is closed off and wants to distance himself from his father as much as possible, this includes not using the quirk he inherited from Endeavor.
Due to his inability to create bonds with those around him, Todoroki is portrayed to care about his own success and not much more.
However, the series progression serves as a timeline for his own. Todoroki develops friendships despite his lack of social skills. He visits his mother, who was placed in a psychiatric ward by Endeavor, hoping he could rekindle his relationship with her. He risks his own life for his peers on multiple occasions. Possibly, the most pivotal moment to indicate Todoroki’s growth is in the final episode of season four when he fears for his father’s safety during a battle.
Making him all the more of a relatable character, Todoroki’s growth isn’t a seamless process, he faces multiple obstacles that he doesn’t always overcome.
It is through his failures and persistence that Todoroki became an unsuspected representation for people trying to move past their traumas.
Due to his character’s backstory and development, Todoroki has become a fan favorite, despite not being the main character of “My Hero Academia”.
With the series confirmed for a fifth season, Todoroki’s further character development is sure to be a point of interest for fans.
“My Hero Academia” is currently available for streaming in the U.S. on Hulu, Funimation, and Crunchyroll.