My Hero Academia: Why does Shigaraki have so many hands?

Kohei Horikoshi really likes drawing hands on Tomura Shigaraki (Image via Studio Bones)
Kohei Horikoshi really likes drawing hands on Tomura Shigaraki (Image via Studio Bones)

In the early days of My Hero Academia, Tomura Shigaraki was most notable for having disembodied hands all over his body.

These hands immediately stand out in terms of character design. Shigaraki's original costume was practically covered with them.

When he was first introduced in the series, fans wondered if there was any meaning behind the hands. It turns out that Kohei Horikoshi knew what he was doing.

Hands are a fundamental aspect of Shigaraki's costume design. They are the remnants of his past life, along with a reminder of his dangerous Quirk.


There's a reason why Tomura Shigaraki has so many hands in My Hero Academia

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Shigaraki has a very dark backstory in My Hero Academia. A series of tragic events made sure that he would walk a very dark path. All it took was the manifestation of his destructive Quirk.


The hands belong to Shigaraki's first-ever victims

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Shigaraki's real name is Tenko Shimura, which makes him the grandson of former OFA user Nana Shimura. Sadly, his abusive father didn't want him to become a hero and beat him regularly for mentioning the word.

At some point, Tenko finally developed his Decay Quirk. He murdered his father in cold blood, but not before accidentally killing most of his family members. Tenko would be taken in by All For One, who renamed him Shigaraki.

The disembodied hands belonged to his family members, along with a few punks that he murdered shortly afterward. All For One wanted to incorporate that into Shigaraki's new costume. He would then raise the boy to become the main antagonist of My Hero Academia.


Which hand belongs to which family member?

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This is a rather morbid question for My Hero Academia fans. However, it's still a relevant topic, given the symbolism of their placements:

  • Kotaro Shimura (father): This one covered his face
  • Nao Shimura (mother): They surround his neck
  • Hana Shimura (sister): These can be found on his wrists
  • Mako Shimura (grandfather): These surround his elbows
  • Chizuo Shimura (grandmother): These are located on his upper arms

It should be noted that Shigaraki destroyed his father's other hand a long time ago. The hand on the back of his head is a mere replacement. Meanwhile, the hands on his sides and shoulders belong to the punks who beat him up.

All For One made sure that Shigaraki would get his revenge by transforming him into a major villain in My Hero Academia.


Ultimately, Shigaraki left the past behind

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During his conflict with the Meta Liberation Army, Shigaraki decided to break away from his tragic past. It all started and ended with his abusive father.

At the climax of his fight with Re-Destro, Shigaraki ended up destroying his father's remaining hand. In doing so, he was finally freed from his past traumatic experiences.

Shigaraki proceeded to wipe out Deika City with relative ease. From this point forward in My Hero Academia, he would unleash the full power of his Decay Quirk.

Shigaraki wanted to destroy everything in the world. He knew what his main purpose in life was going to be. When all was said and done, he would embrace his newfound destiny.

Note: This article reflects the personal views of the writer.

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