I couldn’t write a speech on this for class so I’m subjecting all of you to my vicious brain rot. Enjoy!
I’m sure unless you live under a rock you’ve at least heard of My Hero Academia, a very popular anime that first aired in 2016. It’s a quintessential underdog story about a boy who wants to be a hero but is born powerless in a superpowered world. These superpowers are called Quirks and are the topic of today’s blog. Boy, have I got a lot to say about them.
To start off, quirks are really just whatever absolute nonsense that the author can come up with. No, seriously, there’s one hero with a gun for a head. Like an entire glock .38 on the body of a human. It’s ridiculous, but also one of the main reasons so many fans love quirks and quirk theory. Personally, I think there’s a distinct lack of quirk development for side characters in MHA. That’s partly because the story is very focused on it’s main cast and partly because most casual watching fans wouldn’t care about the nitty gritty science of biological quirk theory, so it doesn’t have to be included in the storyline explicitly. However, I love nitty gritty stuff and my hyperfixation won’t allow me to leave unanswered questions. So, I’m gonna share my theories, hopes, and disappointments with two MHA characters and their quirks. I could do aloof them, but I don’t have all day.
The first is Todoroki Shoto. Now, he is main cast and therefore gets some pretty juicy development but there are some things that just frustrate me about him. Shoto’s quirk is Half Hot Half Cold (shoots fire from his left and ice from his right side), but he was abused by his dad as a kid so he didn’t like using his left side until later in the story. But my complaints don’t even come from that. They come from the fact that Shoto’s go to move when fighting is launching entire icebergs at people. That is waaaaaaay too much damage for an urban hero to inflict on the surroundings both from the ice and water damage after melting. He could just as easily create an ice pole and learn bo staff skills. Or start the world’s deadliest snowball fight by chucking balls of solid ice at people. I’d much prefer that to a building getting frozen solid just to catch one villain. Not to mention the ridiculous toll that takes on his body. His style of combat is just wildly inefficient and leaves him vulnerable to physical attacks. Throw all the glaciers you want but I could still knock him out with one punch. Also, there is a very genuine possibility that Shoto could create a thunderstorm with his quirk if given enough time. Think about it: create ice, melt ice, evaporate melted ice, condense evaporated ice into clouds, continue until a rainstorm forms. I spent like two hours researching how rain clouds are created just to be as accurate as possible for this.
Speaking of researching for hours, I definitely now know way more than I ever need to know about electricity trying to satisfy my disappointment in the underutilization of Kaminari Denki. Denki’s quirk is Electrification i.e. he can make electricity. You’d think that someone who controls electricity would make the most of equipment, but no. He doesn’t. He has one piece of equipment, a gun that shoots electric disks, and he didn’t get that until the third season. Before that he just discharged his electricity indiscriminately despite the friendly fire it caused. Not only was it a bad strategy, it was incredibly dangerous. He shot out millions of volts at a time, 1.3 to be exact. That amount is capable of killing 520 people. The story doesn’t say much about amps, which are much more dangerous than volts, but given that Denki has never killed anybody, I have to assume that he has very low amperage despite the high voltage. For reference, volts are like water pressure while amps are like the volume of water. High pressure, low volume currents are of course nothing to sneeze at, but low pressure high volumes are much worse. Anything over 10 amps is nearly always fatal, even with as little as 200 volts. And they just let a dummy high schooler with no apparent knowledge of that electrocute his friends. What he needs is one (or more, preferably) of these things: A whip made of capture fabric (that’s an in-universe thing), batons/tonfa sticks, brass knuckles, or a longer ranged bo staff all capable of regulating electricity. Basically, I want him to be a walking taser and I’m very sad that he gets written off as one of the not-as-powerful students despite his potential.