My Hero Academia — Was Dabi Doomed from the Start?

Was Dabi’s tragic life inevitable?

by Areeba Khan
Image: Shueisha

The first child born out of a Quirk marriage with the sole goal of creating an heir wielding both fire and ice, it may sometimes seem like Toya Todoroki was destined to become the villain Dabi from the start. So was Toya really doomed from the beginning? That’s the question we’re going to try and answer below.

Beware major spoilers for My Hero Academia manga. 

Could Dabi’s Fall Have Been Prevented? 

My Hero Academia manga Chapter 349 saw a confrontation between Shoto and Dabi where he asks his older brother why he didn’t come home after surviving. The next chapter covers that part of Dabi’s story in detail, with a teenage Toya waking up three years after the forest fire at Sekoto peak and instantly demanding to go home. He concludes that his father must simply have been too busy to come see him, and even expresses a desire to apologize to his mom and siblings for the awful things he said and did. 

Despite saving him to serve as a substitute vessel for All For One, Dr. Kyudai Garaki lets him go, believing he won’t survive more than a month in his state. Toya then makes his way home, only to witness how everything’s the same as it had always been. Believing his family had left him behind in the past, Toya finally becomes Dabi.

Now the question is, could this have been prevented? Would Dabi have remained Toya Todoroki if one of his family members saw him that day? While pure speculation, chances are Toya would have fallen anyway unless Endeavor acknowledged him and agreed to train him, something impossible in his condition. The two desperately needed a father and son heart-to-heart, but given Endeavor’s anger issues and lack of communication skills, it’s completely possible he would have said something hurtful instead that would have driven Toya even further away.

Related: My Hero Academia Chapter 403 Spoilers, Release Timeline, and Recap

Is There Any Hope For Redemption? 

Image: Shueisha

Chapter 387 shows Dabi minutes before exploding, asking his father to look at him. The two are joined by the rest of the family in the later chapters. Even in his almost completely burned state, Toya calls out for his Mom and siblings Natsuo and Fuyumi. Seeing recognition, Fuyumi calls out to Toya, begging him to not take everyone with him, as she can’t bear any more loss. Natsuo joins in, asking Toya to cut it out already. Despite their words, an explosion seems inevitable.

Finally, Shoto joins the fray, using his ice to combat the heat of Toya’s explosion with help from the rest of the family. In the aftermath, a heavily burnt and disfigured Toya lies on the ground, wishing for all of them and himself to die. An equally injured Endeavor crawls his way to him, apologizing for his treatment of Toya and the rest of the family and asking Dabi to hurl as many insults at him as he wants. Although it’s unclear if he actually survives, this concludes Toya’s arc. A fitting end, really, for one burning as hot as him.

- This article was updated on October 19th, 2023

About The Author

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Areeba Khan has been writing in the entertainment niche since 2020. Her favorite anime include Death Note, Monster, Code Geass, and Naruto. When she’s not watching or writing about anime, she likes to read, cosplay, and watch Christopher Nolan movies.