My Hero Academia has promised a big reveal on Dabi's behalf for ages, and that promise was made good this past weekend with a new chapter. Fans watched as the villain made his true identity known to the world, and it took our heroes by surprise. The moment has been anticipated for years at this point, and while the hype was real for Dabi, we cannot help but wonder how the revelation could have been made better. After all, the reveal didn't work the way it could have. The haphazard moment could have been something truly special, but Dabi's big reintroduction fell flat for a number of reasons. Warning! Massive spoilers for My Hero Academia below!
Chapter 290 of My Hero Academia took the war between the heroes and villains to a new level as the fight reached its climax. With Gigantomachia carrying them on his back, the League of Villains have reunited with Shigaraki and thus have come face to face with the heroes fighting him at the time. Seeing both Shoto Todoroki and his father Endeavor, Dabi takes the moment to break it to them that he's actually the long lost Toya Todoroki.
But this is immediately where it all starts to break down. Not only does the reveal not make as much impact as it should because there have been enough clues for fans to figure it out on their own, but it's kind of snuck into the middle of a larger confrontation. A moment like this reveal, especially with the way Chapter 290 treats it, should feel like a bigger moment. In fact, it should have been the climax of a focused conflict between Dabi and the Todoroki family.
That makes all of the teasing the series has done all the more disappointing. Not only does Dabi reveal that he held off on telling Endeavor because he wanted to make a bigger deal out of ruining the number one hero, but series creator Kohei Horikoshi openly trolled fans about Dabi's identity. It's sort of a twisting of the knife that feels written to explain why Dabi didn't use his reunion with Endeavor during the Pro Hero arc to unveil his identity. It feels like a contrivance rather than part of the grand scheme Dabi claims it is.
For instance, look at the way his grand plan came into action. He decides to go through with it once the raid on the Paranormal Liberation Front base begins, and has Skeptic sending his video through the airwaves. Imagine if he waited longer to do this. Imagine if after this war, Endeavor ends up looking like the number one hero and then Dabi pulls the trigger.
Wouldn't that have hit harder than just revealing it during all of this chaos? Dabi's grandstanding during the reveal just does not have that impact it could have. He's kicking Endeavor while he's down rather than being the one to do him in. Because it's so haphazard and in the moment, it just does not feel like the long in the works plan to crush the hero society Dabi claims it is.
So it's not Dabi's true identity that does not work, it's the reveal itself. If the series has waited this long to finally reveal he's Toya Todoroki, why doesn't it feel like a huge shift in the status quo? What do you think? Does Dabi's reveal work in My Hero Academia's newest chapter? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!