My Hero Academia chapter 337 (leaked scans): Can Aoyama be blamed for the consequences of his actions?

Izuku and aoyama (Image via Shonen Jump, color: bokunocolor)
Izuku and aoyama (Image via Shonen Jump, color: bokunocolor)

My Hero Academia chapter 337 is perhaps the least shocking of the recent My Hero Academia manga chapters despite depicting the aftermath of Aoyama Yuga's reveal (not counting Hagakure Toru’s face reveal). Based on the raw scans, My Hero Academia chapter 337 seems to progress exactly how readers expected, with a few more additional details.

Yet My Hero Academia chapter 337 seems most pivotal not only because it reminds us of Izuku’s inherent kind nature, but also because it asks a fundamental question, If and how far can Aoyama Yuga be blamed for the consequences of his actions.

Note: Spoilers ahead.


My Hero Academia chapter 337 (leaked scans): Can Aoyama be held accountable for everything he had to do?

Summary of My Hero Academia chapter 337

In My Hero Academia chapter 337, it is revealed that Aoyama was brought up with care, and his parents only wanted his happiness when they asked AFO to give him a quirk. However, AFO starts to threaten them soon after and asks Aoyama to do his bidding. As Midoriya apprehends Aoyama and his parents and hands them over to U.A. authorities, the students of class 1-A seem conflicted.

Through Hagakure’s reaction in My Hero Academia chapter 337 it seems clear that they can’t forget the consequences of Aoyama’s action despite understanding his circumstances. As Aoyama calls himself a rotten villain, Midoriya counters him saying that no one deserves to be called a villain for a single crime. He extends a hand to Aoyama, telling him,

“You can still be a Hero.”

Aoyama’s actions as AFO's spy

Under AFO’s orders, Aoyama, by his own admission in My Hero Academia chapter 337, had joined U.A. because All Might was going to be a teacher there. He later informed AFO when Class 1-A goes to USJ, and then the Mall, essentially every time the class was isolated from the rest of the school.

He led them to the forest during the training camp. It is unclear from My Hero Academia chapter 337 raw scans if he reported the emergence of Izuku’s Blackwhip to AFO, but it can be inferred that upon being asked, he would surely have reported what he saw, even if he did not understand it.


Aoyama’s circumstances

However, Aoyama’s situation must be taken into account. He was born Quirk-less, and presumably bullied for it as we have seen from Midoriya’s case. His parents, out of love for their son, followed rumors until they came across AFO and begged him to give Aoyama a Quirk. They probably did not foresee the outcome of that deal, as AFO forced Aoyama to become a spy.

AFO's hold on Aoyama (Image via Shonen Jump)
AFO's hold on Aoyama (Image via Shonen Jump)

AFO threatened the lives of Aoyama and his parents, showing them the corpses of those that disobeyed him, and as seen in My Hero Academia chapter 336, Aoyama wanted to protect his parents at all costs. From My Hero Academia chapter 337, he also seems to be largely unaware of what AFO is planning, and how the information he collects can be used.


The consequences of Aoyama’s actions

Irrespective of whether Aoyama was aware or not, his actions led to dire consequences. As Hagakure so tearfully says in My Hero Academia chapter 337, any of them could have died. The USJ incident left Aizawa severely wounded and permanently shortened the time of application of his Quirk.

The forest attack not only led to Bakugou’s kidnapping, but indirectly led to the end of All Might’s career. All of these incidents have left the students of Class 1-A with severe trauma and a lingering fear for their lives.


Can Aoyama be blamed?

Then, should Aoyama take responsibility for what he has done? Indeed, after My Hero Academia chapter 337 raw scans were leaked, some fans seem eager to see Aoyama face the punishment they believe is due. But Aoyama is a 16-year-old child in a game between powerful forces. His parents are civilians who just wanted their son to have a normal, happy life. Under the circumstances, their actions are not only understandable, but natural.

One can argue that they could have gone to the authorities, but fans have seen in My Hero Academia how far reaching AFO’s power is, and there is no doubt he would have shown them examples of what happens if they go to the authorities. However, that does not negate the fact that Aoyama and his parents must understand the consequences of their choices, and while they cannot be blamed, they can be held partially accountable.


What it means for Aoyama

It is clear from My Hero Academia chapter 337 that the one who condemns Aoyama Yuga most severely is Aoyama Yuga himself. This self-loathing is what sets Aoyama apart from the villains. As Midoriya points out, Aoyama cries because he has failed his friends, not because he has failed to do AFO’s bidding. The message he left for Midoriya was his call for help, which Midoriya failed to recognize at the time. During the attack in the forest, Aoyama instinctively reached out to save Bakugou and Tokoyami.

Whatever Aoyama Yuga has done, he has done unwillingly. It does not absolve him of accountability, but it does not make him a villain either. At his core, Aoyama is a boy who wanted to be a hero and be like everyone else, and no one understands that better than Midoriya Izuku.

In My Hero Academia chapter 337, with a hand extended to Aoyama, Midoriya not only offers him a new chance, but also the assurance that Aoyama is indeed one of them. What remains to be seen in future My Hero Academia chapters is if Aoyama takes Midoriya’s hand, and moves towards forgiving himself.