Did My Hero Academia make a big misstep with the story of Tomura Shigaraki and his master All For One? Some fans are certainly stressing that very opinion in chat threads for the manga/anime series. As My Hero Academia's manga enters its Final War Arc, fans are raising some arguably valid points about how series creator Kohei Horikoshi has changed the character of Shigaraki. Fans argue that in choosing to have All For One essentially possess Shigaraki's mind and body during the First War Arc, Horikoshi has essentially "killed" one of the biggest fan-favorite characters in the series.
If you don't follow the manga, My Hero Academia's first big "war" between the League of Villains and pro heroes (with Class 1-A thrown in the middle) was centered around the mission to stop All For One's secret disciple Dr. Garaki from transforming Tomura Shigaraki into "Plus Ultra Shigaraki," an unstoppable villain powerhouse. The mission was only partially successful, as Shigaraki's body did prove incapable of containing both his own full-powered decay quirk and the original AFO quirk that Garaki had secretly installed inside of Shigaraki – with all the stolen quirks that came with it. However, Shigaraki's new powers also came with a major twist: the AFO power turned out to be a Trojan Horse that has allowed All For One to seep his consciousness into Shigaraki's body, and essentially possess it in some strange form of hybrid consciousness.
With All For One's possession of Shigaraki, the archvillain's personality has dominated his young protege; essentially, the Shigaraki that My Hero Academia spent a whole series building up has been erased – and quite a few fans have a problem with it!
You'll now find more and more threads on platforms like Reddit dedicated to the subject of how My Hero Academia's "'Main Villain' No Longer Feels Like Himself". Fans have done some detailed breakdowns of the moments of eccentricity and idiosyncratic behavior in Shigaraki that made him a wonderfully-weird antagonist who felt layered and complex – and best of all, fun. A lot of fans were looking forward to seeing that character fully unleashed in an ultimate final battle with Izuku Midoriya's One For All powers – and now it feels like a long stretch (literally and figuratively) that it'll even happen that way.
On the other hand, other My Hero Academia fans are arguing that the writing was on the wall (and teh character's name) the entire time spelling out that Shigaraki was nothing more than a puppet for the story's true "main villain," All For One. After all "Shigaraki" is just an extension of the main villain (his last name), so how else would the final battle take shape?
In the end, there could be a resolution that helps appease both sides of this issue: Deku's has stated his final mission is "save" Tenko Shimura from the "Shigaraki" puppet that All For One groomed and brainwashed. If Izuku succeeds in separating the two, Shigaraki's restored "Tenko" persona coudl have all his quirky charm, and be a powerful ally that finally helps kill All For One.
Are you enjoying the final run of My Hero Academia?