Warning: The following discussion contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Chapter 388, "Toya," written by Kohei Horikoshi, translated by Caleb Cook and John Hunt, and available in English from MangaMonster.
Shoto and Toya Todoroki from the anime My Hero Academia
Toya Todoroki's final confrontation takes an unexpected turn in Chapter 388 of My Hero Academia. Instead of a tragic demise in the skies alongside his estranged father Endeavor, Toya finds himself joined by Natsuo, Fuyumi, and Rei Todoroki. Their presence appears to have a soothing effect on Toya, bringing back traces of sanity to the tormented individual known as Dabi. While the chapter's cliffhanger hints at a potential redemption for Dabi and the Todoroki family, the question remains—does he truly deserve it?
Contrary to the actions of other civilians who fled the blast zone to ensure their safety, the Todorokis choose to approach the epicenter where Dabi poses a grave threat. Rei, Natsuo, and Fuyumi cannot ignore the tragedy, partly a consequence of their own family's history, and they command their ferry robots to transport them directly to Dabi's location. Utilizing their Ice Quirks as shields against Dabi's scorching heat, the three Todorokis converge with Endeavor and Toya amidst the blazing inferno, desperately pleading with Toya to abandon his destructive plans.
My Hero Academia Chapter 388: Is Dabi's Redemption Possible?
Toya Todoroki, with only one arm remaining, surrounded by Rei, Fuyumi, Natsuo, and Endeavor in My Hero Academia
Though Chapter 388 concludes ambiguously, all signs indicate that Toya's imminent bombing threat has been averted. Even before his family's arrival, the villain was already in a delirious state, yearning for Endeavor's recognition and calling out for a brother who is absent from the scene. While Toya's sanity was compromised long before his family's arrival, their presence seems to have a subtle impact. There is a glimpse of awareness in Toya as evidenced by his diminished resistance when embraced by Endeavor.
However, it is crucial to recognize that a true redemption arc may not be within reach for Toya. Chapter 387 of My Hero Academia confirmed that his temporary acquisition of the Himura Ice Quirk was a result of his proximity to death and cannot be replicated. Even if he were to miraculously survive, Toya must still confront the weight of his crimes committed under the guise of Dabi. A blissful conclusion is highly unlikely for him. Instead, a narrative exit entailing his demise amidst the presence of his family, who now acknowledge him in a meaningful manner, could be the fitting resolution for his character.
Shoto Todoroki Will No Longer Bear the Burden of His Family's Responsibility
Shoto Todoroki from My Hero Academia
With the revelation that Dabi is actually Toya Todoroki, Shoto has taken it upon himself to confront his older brother and bring him to justice. Despite having played a minimal role in pushing his brother towards villainy, Shoto feels a profound connection with Dabi due to their shared history of resentment towards their father, Endeavor. Following their previous encounter at Kamino, Shoto is now racing alongside Tenya Iida to the location where Dabi and the rest of their family are embroiled in a harrowing situation.
Having the other Todoroki family members play a significant role in potentially "healing" Dabi not only aligns better with the narrative, but it also relieves Shoto from carrying a burden that was never meant to be his in the first place. The inconclusive ending of Chapter 388 leaves room for Shoto to still be involved in this tumultuous family reunion. At the very least, he will have the opportunity to witness his family united for the first time, regardless of the outcome. In the worst-case scenario, he may need to step in and rescue them from the impending explosion that Dabi can no longer control.
As the story continues to unfold, the prospect of redemption for Dabi remains uncertain. While his family's presence seems to have a stabilizing effect on him, the magnitude of his past actions and the crimes committed under the identity of Dabi cannot be easily overlooked. Regardless of the final outcome, Chapter 388 of My Hero Academia has sparked a thought-provoking exploration of redemption, challenging readers to contemplate whether even the most nefarious villains can find redemption in the face of their past transgressions.
As the manga progresses, fans eagerly await the resolution of the Todoroki family's saga and the impact it will have on the characters' growth and future endeavors. The complexity of their relationships, the weight of their past, and the potential for redemption continue to drive the narrative forward, keeping readers engaged and invested in the outcome.
My Hero Academia continues to captivate audiences with its rich character development and intricate storytelling, pushing the boundaries of heroism and villainy. Chapter 388 has undoubtedly left fans on the edge of their seats, eagerly anticipating the next installment to unravel the fate of Dabi, Shoto, and the rest of the Todoroki family.