‘My Hero Academia’: Are Dabi and Endeavor connected? Dabi’s true identity, revealed

Dabi and Endeavor from My Hero Academia
Images via TOHO Animation and Crunchyroll

Warning: the following article contains major spoilers for My Hero Academia season six and the manga chapters 290 to 302.

My Hero Academia has finally returned for its sixth season, and it looks like it’ll be a big one. The war between Villains and Heroes has been brewing for the entirety of season five, and now we’re in it, watching as each side carefully makes its moves with no intention of backing down. Under the pretense of liberation, the villains commanded by Shigaraki are prepared for the utter destruction of society as we know it, while the Pro Heroes and students fight to preserve what they have.

Two opposing forces of this magnitude should have nothing in common, right? That would certainly be an interesting development, but definitely not far-fetched. In recent years, stories have slowly turned away from the type of villains who are simply there to be hated; poorly developed creatures who commit heinous acts for the sake of it. Instead, we’ve seen an uprise in villains we can sympathize with. They have become fleshed-out characters, usually with tragic backstories, and motivations we can understand, despite being morally wrong.

Similarly, heroes have evolved from the goody-two-shoes archetype, being given much-needed nuance. And My Hero Academia has proven capable of creating such gray characters, both on the villains’ and heroes’ sides, with Dabi and Endeavor, respectively. Be warned, though, the following content will contain spoilers for My Hero Academia‘s season six and manga, so this is your chance to go back.

Endeavor’s past and present

Endeavor from My Hero Academia
Screengrab via Crunchyroll

Despite being introduced from the start as the number two Hero, Endeavor’s actions haven’t always been so heroic. In his ambition to surpass All Might and reach the number one spot, this character went to extreme lengths at the expense of his own family. Realizing he could never catch up to All Might, Endeavor set his sights on creating a successor capable of fulfilling his wishes, and for that, he forcibly married a woman with an ice quirk, to match his fire one. This way, Endeavor hoped for a child to possess an even stronger version of their quirks, and he got it when his fourth child, Shoto, was born.

As soon as Shoto manifested his quirk, Half-Cold Half-Hot, around the age of five, his father immediately started training him, and thus began the nightmare in the Todoroki household. Endeavor was ruthless in his training, pushing Shoto past his limits while neglecting the rest of his children, prohibiting Shoto from playing with his siblings, and being cruel to his wife. During this awful time, the family ended up losing their eldest child, Toya, in a forest fire created by himself.

Currently, due to All Might’s retirement, Endeavor has at long last conquered his place as the number one Hero and has come a long way in trying to reconnect with his children and make amends for his past actions. It only took destroying his family and the bitter disappointment of having his goal handed to him undeservedly for Endeavor to see the error of his ways, but hey, better late than never.

Dabi’s backstory and true identity

Dabi from My Hero Academia
Screengrab via Crunchyroll

Introduced as a villain, Dabi has a fire-type quirk, much like Endeavor’s own but with blue flames. For a long while since the beginning of the series, not much was known about Dabi; where he came from, what his motivations are, or what his end goal is when joining the League of Villains. Despite this, viewers enjoyed the character for his unbothered and rude demeanor, as well as the air of mystery surrounding him, since he refused to give out his real name to Shigaraki upon their first meeting. The character design also helped speculations, as Dabi’s scared, purple skin stitched together by metallic piercings pretty much begs the question of what on earth happened to him.

In My Hero Academia’s season six outro, a moment caught viewers’ attention, as Dabi places his hand on a poster of Endeavor and promptly burns it, teasing some sort of sour connection between the two that only Dabi is privy to. For a long time, fans had speculated on this connection, basing most of their theories on the characters having similar quirks. As it turns out, fans weren’t wrong, and it looks like season six will finally unveil to viewers what manga readers already had the opportunity to discover.

During the Paranormal Liberation War arc, the manga sets the stage for a confrontation between Dabi, Endeavor, and Shoto, where the villain, at last, reveals his true identity as he washes off black dye from his hair. Dabi is none other than Toya Todoroki, Endeavor’s previously presumed dead son, and Shoto’s eldest brother. After the revelation, Dabi makes it a point to expose his father’s past to everyone by broadcasting a pre-recorded message where he recounts what Endeavor put his family through.

Dabi claims Endeavor is responsible for driving his own son to villainy with his selfishness and hunger for power, and recounts his villainous acts, like sending a Nomu and other villains after his father and planning to kill Shoto when he grew up. In a flashback, we learn about Toya’s childhood, when Endeavor imposed his ambitions on him, raising him to become a hero despite the child’s body being too weak to sustain the damage caused by his own quirk.

Even so, Toya wished to make his father proud and continued training while Endeavor shifted his attention to Shoto after the youngest’s birth. Tossed aside for a successor with higher potential to become the number one hero, Toya’s rage started pilling up, and with it, his quirk grew in power, to the point where the child lost control of it and set flame to an entire forest, and himself with it. That was the day Toya disappeared and sauntered down a path of destruction.

This revelation is one of the biggest in the My Hero Academia universe and leaves no fan of the series indifferent. Even so, it’s not the only surprise the anime’s sixth season has in store, so if you don’t wanna miss out on the fun, you can watch the new episodes weekly on Crunchyroll.