Why did Yuga Aoyama betray U.A. in My Hero Academia? Motivations explained

Yuga Aoyama as seen in the anime (image via Bones)
Yuga Aoyama as seen in the anime (image via Bones)

Yuga Aoyama's revelation as the U.A. Traitor in episode 3 of My Hero Academia season 7 shocked the entire fandom to its core. His usual cheerful and flamboyant personality made the revelation even more unbelievable, especially since he is the last person anyone would have thought to be in cahoots with All For One.

The events of My Hero Academia season 7 episode 3 certainly shook up the series for good, as it featured the infamous U.A. Traitor revelation scene, where Aoyama was outed as the traitor who had been leaking information to All For One. Following the reveal, fans only had one glaring question in their minds: What exactly were Aoyama's motivations, and why did he betray his friends at U.A. High?

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for the My Hero Academia manga. Reader's discretion is advised.

Yuga Aoyama's origins in My Hero Academia, explained

Yuga Aoyama as seen in the anime (image via Bones)
Yuga Aoyama as seen in the anime (image via Bones)

Yuga Aoyama is a character who displayed a flamboyant and prideful personality from the beginning of the series. His need for attention and an expression that rarely ever changed from a closed smile further made him stand out from the rest of his classmates.

However, My Hero Academia season 7 episode 3 proved that all of his mannerisms were actually nothing more than a facade. As such, in order to fully understand his motivations and why Aoyama betrayed U.A. High, let us first look at his origins in the My Hero Academia series.

All For One manipulates Aoyama (image via Bones)
All For One manipulates Aoyama (image via Bones)

Episode 3 of My Hero Academia season 7 provided a much-needed backstory for Yuga Aoyama. Apart from him being revealed as the traitor, fans were also shocked upon learning that Aoyama was born Quirkless, similar to Deku. As such, Aoyama and his parents suffered similar hardships as Deku, where the former struggled to fit in with others due to being fundamentally "different" from them.

Not wanting their child to get rejected by the Hero society and suffer from extreme discrimination at their hands, Aoyama's parents turned to the person who was rumored to be handing out Quirks to others—All For One. What his parents didn't realize at the time was that their helplessness and concerns for their child would only make his life even more tragic.

Why Aoyama betrayed U.A. for All For One

With his parents' help, Yuga Aoyama received his Navel Laser Quirk from All For One. However, things only got worse for him following this incident, as All For One forced Aoyama's family into his debt and turned Yuga into an unwilling double agent in fear of death.

Fearing for his own as well as his family's lives, Aoyama had no choice but to follow All For One's orders. With the information that he relayed to All For One, the League of Villains were thus able to infiltrate U.A. High as well as their training camp on multiple occasions.

Although he cared for his friends at U.A. High, the guilt of betraying them and putting all of their lives in danger deeply weighed Aoyama down. As such, he deemed himself unworthy of having friends and thought that he was nothing more than a pathetic and despicable villain as well.

Aoyama's redemption, explored

After he was exposed as the U.A. Traitor, Aoyama broke down and confessed to his crimes, saying that he should be locked away for his pathetic and heinous actions in order to atone for his sins.

To his disbelief, however, Shota Aizawa and the rest of Class 1-A recognized him as a victim of circumstance rather than an accomplice of All For One, seeing as to how he never carried any villainous intentions. They understood that Aoyama never really meant to betray them and was forced into doing it.

As such, Aoyama's friends wanted him to earn their forgiveness by helping them fight against All For One. After he eventually overcame the despair that All For One had planted within him, Aoyama was able to deceive the despicable villain with the help of his friends and stood against him in the final battle as he strived to bring down the latter's reign of terror once and for all.

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