In the world of the popular shonen series My Hero Academia, most people possess superhuman abilities known as quirks. These eccentricities may be weak or incredibly potent. While some people use their peculiarities to benefit society, others use them to commit crimes. As a result, heroes and villains have emerged in society. Every child dreams of becoming a hero, even though it's not simple. Those with strong quirks get ready to apply to the top Japanese universities and take the hero course. Two of these young people who want to be professional heroes are Deku and Shoto.
Shoto Todoroki serves as the series' primary supporting character, while Izuku Midoriya serves as its primary protagonist. It's common for protagonists in shonen series to share a lot of traits, and Shoto seems to be more of a protagonist than Deku, whether it's because of his backstory, his development as a character, or just his popularity. Even though Midoriya doesn't fit the stereotypical definition of a protagonist, it makes sense that fans have expressed disappointment.
Shoto's Backstory Gives His Character Depth
The backstory of a character helps viewers comprehend them better. A distinctive backstory makes a character stand out from the crowd in any medium, not just anime. Their past significantly influences how they behave and makes it easier for fans to empathize with them. Shonen heroines are no different. Consider Naruto. If it weren't for his lonely past, he might not have wanted to become the Hokage and would not have been able to assist so many people along the way.
In the television series My Hero Academia, Deku aspires to be the greatest hero ever. He looks up to All Might, who smiles while saving people. The fact that Midoriya was born without a quirk is the only tragedy in his life. However, after he met All Might, that changed. Although this backstory is fantastic, Shoto's, who aspires to be a real hero who can make people feel at ease, has a better one. This is a result of his desire to stand apart from his father, Endeavor, who was so driven to elevate Shoto above All Might that he accidentally injured his entire family.
If having a violent father wasn't reason enough for fans to feel sorry for Shoto, his mother also had problems. Shoto had the closest relationship with his mother of his entire family, but she detested the way her son looked because he looked so much like his father. Shoto's mother burned the entire left side of his face in agony, leaving Shoto with a massive scar not only on his face but also in his heart. Shoto struggled to communicate with anyone for a long time.
The Best Character Development is in Shoto
If fans were to compare the Izuku Midoriya from Season 1 to that of Season 6, it would be obvious that his character development is negligible. Deku is still the same person as before in terms of everything except for the fact he can use his quirk on the same level as a pro hero. On the other hand, Shoto's growth as a person has been incredible. Different from the mysterious aura he possessed in the first season, the Shoto that fans see now is much more cheerful and seems like a kid around his age.
It could be said the major turning point in his life was the U.A. sports festival, allowing Shoto to break the chains of his hatred. His hatred for his father made him reject his fire quirk. Shoto swore to become the number one hero using only his mother's side of his power. However, after Izuku helped him break out of his shell, Shoto gradually becomes a more outgoing person. He visits his mother at the hospital and applies to intern at his father's hero agency. He opens up to his friends, and although he's never exactly excitable, he does display more emotion than at the beginning of the anime. Shoto hasn't yet forgiven Endeavor for his actions, but he's starting to accept him in his own way.
Shoto's Flashy Quirk Increases His Appeal
Being a hero doesn't simply mean that one must defeat a villain and gain mass attention. However, in a superhuman society where crimes are a daily occurrence, a hero possessing a flashy quirk can be a major plus point. Not only does it help one stand out among the crowd, but it also helps people feel safe in times of danger. It is often the case that students or heroes with especially flashy quirks get scouted to apply to top agencies.
Deku has a legendary quirk and is extremely powerful, but it pales in comparison to Shoto in terms of attractiveness. His half-cold-half-hot is easily the flashiest quirk in the series. His heaven-piercing ice wall covers a massive area with ice, demonstrating his monstrous power. Moreover, after the U.A. Sports Festival, he begins to use his fire ability as well, making his powers all the more visually appealing.
Why Shoto Would Make a More Likeable Protagonist, in Summary
The most popular character of My Hero Academia isn't the main protagonist but rather, his friend, Shoto Todoroki. Though Izuku is a good protagonist, he pales in comparison to Shoto, who has both good looks and charisma to make fans like him. Moreover, his kindness, stoicism and unintentional humor play major roles in his popularity. His stoic facade creates a mysterious, alluring persona and even some unexpected comic relief at times.
His unpredictable tendency to deliver strange remarks with a straight face makes viewers wonder if he genuinely believes what he's saying or if he's joking. Moreover, Shoto's friendship with Bakugo, though unexpected, is hilarious. In comparison, the only comedic relief fans get from Izuku is his non-stop muttering, which has become so frequent that it's not worth listening to anymore. Therefore, in comparing all the aspects of a protagonist, Shoto would fit the role better, especially in a shonen series like My Hero Academia.