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Can Shigaraki from My Hero Academia be redeemed?

Tomura Shigaraki in the living flesh (Image via Studio Bones)
Tomura Shigaraki in the living flesh (Image via Studio Bones)
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Danny Sahbegovic

The big question in the My Hero Academia community is whether or not Shigaraki can find redemption.

According to series creator Kohei Horikoshi, My Hero Academia will end within a year or so. Izuku Midoriya and Tomura Shigaraki are certainly destined to fight each other. The latter is an extremely dangerous threat who has already taken away thousands of lives. He needs to be taken care of by the hero society.

With that said, redemption is a recurring theme in My Hero Academia. From Gentle Criminal to Enji Todoroki, even the darkest characters can find light. Whether or not Shigaraki can seek forgiveness is another matter entirely.

Note: This article will contain major spoilers from the manga.


Tomura Shigaraki is a major villain in My Hero Academia, but can he be redeemed?

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Shigaraki has certainly been through a lot in his life. However, the villain also put his pain onto the rest of society. A potential redemption arc would have to be earned, yet only with the right circumstances.


The sad reality is he can be "saved" but not redeemed

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Right now, Shigaraki is fighting over control of his body. Ever since the Star and Stripe arc, All For One has taken over by fusing together with Shigaraki.

A common theory in the community is that Izuku Midoriya will somehow find a way to reach Tenko Shimura inside the body of Tomura Shigaraki. By doing so, they will find a way to get rid of All For One.

However, Shigaraki himself still needs to be dealt with. He cannot be forgiven for everything he did in My Hero Academia. Even before All For One took over, Shigaraki still made independent choices for himself. He was responsible for killing several innocent people throughout the series.


His backstory is an explanation, not an excuse

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Shigaraki never really had a chance to succeed in life. He grew up in a very abusive household, manifested a dangerous Quirk he couldn't control, and wiped out his entire family. All For One also manipulated him during his formative years. Shigaraki was doomed right from the start, which is unfair to him.

Regardless, My Hero Academia fans shouldn't absolve him from any blame. Shigaraki made the choice to destroy cities in both the Meta Liberation Army and Paranormal Liberation War arcs. Countless lives were completely lost, including a hospital full of sick patients.


Horikoshi had this to say about the subject matter

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Back in August 2018, the creator of My Hero Academia was interviewed by Toho Cinema Magazine. They ended up having a discussion about villains who cannot be saved. The interviewer then asked Horikoshi the following question:

"Would Shigaraki Tomura apply to this category?"

Horikoshi then acknowledged what Shigaraki did, but left open the possibility that he could be saved:

"Yes, I think so. I think that we have gotten to the point where Shigaraki can no longer turn back, though."

He then cuts his answer short and says that My Hero Academia fans should look forward to how it plays out.


What should happen to Shigaraki by the end of the series?

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At this point, the road to redemption should be closed off. Shigaraki can still be saved, but he needs to face the consequences for his actions. He will either die in his final battle with Midoriya or end up imprisoned in Tartarus.

Shigaraki doesn't need a redemption arc, but he does need to answer for his crimes. It would be a disservice to My Hero Academia if he gets away with it. He cannot repay the lives he lost, but he can still face justice. Either way, he needs to be taken out of commission somehow.


Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.



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Q. Should Tomura Shigaraki be redeemed?

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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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