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Tenko Shimura — Tomura Shigaraki

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tomura_shigaraki_anime_action_3.png
The Symbol of Fear
Shigaraki's first outfit
Shigaraki's second outfit

Voiced by: Kōki Uchiyama, Arisa Sekine (young) (Japanese), Eric Vale, Emily Fajardo (young) (English), Rómulo Bernal (Latin American Spanish, TV series), Alfonso Obregón Inclán (Latin American Spanish, Heroes Rising)

Debut: Chapter 11 (Manga), Episode 8 (Anime)

Playable in: My Hero Academia: Battle for All, My Hero One's Justice, My Hero One's Justice 2, My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero, My Hero Academia: Ultra Impact, Fortnite

Quirk: Decay, All For One *

Rank: S

"I've got no need for One For All! Did you think you had everything under control!? Unlike those flip-flopping screwups, my heart ain't wavering. Everything I witness in this world of ours led to the existence of that house. As Tomura Shigaraki and Tenko Shimura, I've got just one hope. The destruction of everything stemming from that house. That's the only thing that's gonna save me, hero."

The series' main antagonist and leader of the League of Villains, a jaded and irritable young man who wants to destroy society itself. He was raised by All For One, the villain who crippled All Might, and groomed to be his successor. "Tomura Shigaraki" is an alias, and his true name is Tenko Shimura, the grandson of All Might's mentor Nana Shimura.

His Quirk, "Decay", allows him to destroy anything he touches provided all five of his fingers are in contact with the object, befitting his desire for destruction. He is later given the original All For One Quirk, letting him wield multiple other Quirks simultaneously.


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    A - B 
  • Abusive Parents: His father, Kotaro, would lock Tenko out of the house when he misbehaved, and would keep him out there until he apologized. He also physically beat Tenko once when his buttons were badly pushed. Much of this abusive, or all of it, is centered around Kotoro resenting heroes after Nana Shimura left the family for their own protection.
  • Accidental Murder: In his Traumatic Superpower Awakening, he does this to his entire family and his dog. Subverted with his father, who he killed fully intentionally for all abuse he got from him mentioned above.
  • Achilles' Heel: Whilst Shigaraki has numerous weak points in the beginning, owing to the power disparity between him and top heroes like All Might, these gradually begin to get phased out over the course of the story as he accumulates more power, to the point that by the Final Battle, he is physically unbeatable and capable of single-handily destroying all of Japan. However, the one consistent weakness Tomura has never been able to overcome is paradoxically the source of his unending hatred and strength: his innermost desire for a hero to save him. Whilst Tomura learns from his experiences how to refine and concentrate his omnidirectional hatred against the world by accepting he's an irredeemable villain, part of him always wants to be saved from his misery, no matter how much he's in self-denial about it. During their climatic clash, Izuku and the vestiges eventually figure out they can exploit the Psychic Link between them and the remaining mental damage done to Tomura's Mental World from his clash with Star and Stripe to "shoot" the Vestiges at his mental weakness, causing an interlink between Tomura and Izuku's minds and Tomura to fall into emotional and physical anguish from the backlash.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: In chapter 366 he lets out a snort of laughter when Mirio shows off his "Full Moon Risin' Tonight" move which actualy distracts him long enough for Izuku to come back into the fight and land a surprise attack. We know it's Tomura specifically who laughs because the All For One vestige can only utter a startled "Huh?" at the same time as he snorts.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: A downplayed example. In the color pages of the manga, Shigaraki is shown with grey hair, whereas his anime appearance gives it a blueish-grey tint. After his power fully unlocks in his fight with Re-Destro, the anime turns his hair white as a sign of his power level rising.
  • Ambiguously Human: After he undergoes Dr. Garaki's horrific All For One transplant procedures, his body becomes greatly enhanced beyond what should be humanly possible. He becomes able to morph his body into new shapes in response to the number of Quirks he has inside him, citing it as the next step in evolution. But Shigaraki's transformations all lean into Body Horror and look rather grotesque, calling into question whether or not he can actually still be considered human.
    Yoichi: Freed from the shackles of humanity, his power now swells. A transcendent one is coming...
  • And I Must Scream: Shigaraki is aware of when All For One is possessing him, but it's mainly his master forcefully driving his body instead of the other way around. He's able to regain control little by little, however, maintaining hope for himself as he remains fixated on his goal of destroying hero society. Yet once Izuku manages to breach his psychological defenses and dissipate the anger at the source of his turmoil, All For One rises with a vengeance and spitefully seizes control again, this time obliterating Shigaraki's consciousness when he informs him he orchestrated the misfortunes that drove him to villainy. The background screams in All For One's following text panels show that some form of Shigaraki still exists, crying in pain and shock, which All For One swiftly silences by generating another hand mask over his mouth using his body morphing ability.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Unusually for an evil character; butterflies. When characters are discussing how much potential Shigaraki has for evil, it's often accompanied by images of him with butterfly wings to display his metamorphosis into a pure villain. Receiving the original All For One Quick even requires he go into incubation, complete with an image of a terrifying-looking Shigaraki rising from a cocoon with butterfly wings on his back to drive home the point. Once he sheds his master's control over their body and regain his 'Tomura' personality, he does via literally "shedding" his upper half like it was an insect carapace. He does it once more in gorier fashion from within the vestige world, blowing up All For One's vestige from the inside. When Izuku causes immense mental damage to him through their Psychic Link, he defends himself by growing finger-masses that vaguely resemble butterfly wings to surround himself, as Izuku's tactic only works on his genuine body.
    • Even more unusually, lemurs according to the volume 30 character page. More specifically aye-ayes, noted for their elongated digits, which keeps with the hand symbolism frequently attributed to the character.
  • Antagonist Abilities: Shigaraki's Decay makes him inherently difficult to fight, for several reasons. Against Close Range Combatants, he has a decisive advantage, as his ability can begin disintegrating the target's body starting from a point of contact. The target then has to amputate the part that's rotting or their entire body will decay. While fighting the Meta Liberation Army, the range and scale of his power increase dramatically, becoming capable of demolishing an entire city block. And after undergoing an intense medical procedure, he also gains the original All For One Quirk.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: A grandchild example. He hates his grandmother and blames her for everything that has happened to him.
  • The Antichrist: Designated as such to contrast with Midoriya's status as The Chosen One, with plenty of biblical allusions to boot. His sheer hatred for humanity combined with his immense power and All For One grooming him to be the greatest villain of all time turn him into the single greatest threat the world has ever seen. Granted, All For One wants to share in the glory by merging their two individual personalities into one, but by all means he's succeeded in creating a Symbol of Fear to destroy everything that All Might, the Symbol of Peace, had built up over his career.
  • Apocalypse How: Chapter 410 establishes that his ultimate goal of destroying everything that built the Shimura Household is a Class 1 destruction of Japan itself by developing his Decay Wave attacks to devolve the entire country to just a hole in the ocean in order to make recovery literally impossible, while Izuku Midoriya is fervently brawling him to prevent this from happening. His first act in the following chapters is to split open Mt. Fuji in order to spread magma across the surrounding area and reduce the countryside to a solid wasteland.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Both he and Midoriya are destined to lead the battle between good and evil as the next number one villain and hero respectively. The both of them even inherit their mentors' Quirks. The relationship gains further significance when Midoriya senses Shigaraki still has a part of his old personality as Tenko somewhere inside him, crying out for help once All For One steals his body. Midoriya then expresses his wish to save Tenko while acknowledging there's likely no way to save the world without murdering Shigaraki. However, even though "Tenko" wants to be saved, "Shigaraki" establishes they still share the goal of destroying everything to exact revenge for being abandoned, and proclaims he is Midoriya's foremost nemesis when he regains control of his body from All For One.
      Shigaraki: After all, I am your villain.
    • Like his master, he can be considered one for the entire world as a whole. However, unlike All For One's goal of being Hated by All as a Demon Lord who rules humanity, Shigaraki wants to destroy it entirely due to society rejecting him over and over, forcing him into villainy. This is precisely what allows him to regain autonomy of his body from All For One at the story's climax, as he seeks revenge for being unfairly wronged, no matter how undeserving the targets of his wrath are. He sees all heroes and ordinary citizens as the same for contributing to the circumstances of his abusive upbringing, with each act of Bystander Syndrome building until his contempt for everything that exists boils over and turns him into an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Arc Villain: He served as this in the U.S.J. Invasion Arc initially as he was the leader of the villains that invaded the training facility with the goal of killing All Might. However, after All Might defeated the Nomu and the heroes arrived and defeated all the remaining villains, he managed to survive and escape along Kurogiri, becoming the series Big Bad as the story progressed.
  • Assimilation Backfire: A few times, Tomura's attempts to gain the overwhelming power he needs to destroy society as quickly as possible have backfired upon him, leaving him worse off overall.
    • He undergoes an intense and torturous biological remodelling under Garaki's hands in order to become strong enough to receive the original All For One Quirk and be capable of using its accumulated Quirks immediately. However, it turns out the real reason for this was so that the Vestige of All For One that came with the Quirk could start hijacking Tomura's consciousness and undergoing a Split-Personality Merge between them, resulting in Tomura starting to gradually lose his individuality against the mentor he thought he'd replace as the next Big Bad.
    • He manages to steal New Order... but Star and Stripe gives it one final command: New Order rebels against other Quirks. This effectively results in New Order rampaging through the vestige world, destroying some of his stockpiled Quirks and threatening to rip Shigaraki apart from the inside out. What's worse is All For One (the Quirk) can't destroy Quirks, meaning the only way to prevent it would be to transfer it to someone else.
    • One that actually works in his favour. The merging process between his psyche and All For One's vestige is based around Tomura's intense hatred, arguably the one emotion the sociopathic All For One can understand, and thus the driving force of Tomura's incredible willpower inexorably pushes their assimilation towards completion, with Tomura's resistance simply strengthening the process. However, the fact that All For One cannot understand the complexities of human emotions means he's unable to comprehend the true depth to Tomura's hatred, as he leaves an aspect of himself in the form of his child self "Tenko" that simultaneously represents his wish to be saved and his desire for revenge against society. This lets Tomura overpower his master and regain full control of his body.
    • Ultimately, this trope leads to Tomura's defeat. In his taunting of Deku, Tomura decides to toy with his prey by stealing Danger Sense from him, wanting to steal Izuku's quirks one by one in an attempt to demoralize him. Unfortunately for Tomura, this actually inspires Izuku and the Vestiges to come up with a plan to defeat Tomura, deciding to purposefully feed him the quirks of One for All and shatter Tomura's barrier that he keeps his Tenko self inside, with each vestige breaking down Tomura's defenses one by one as Tomura realizes what is happening, and all his attempts to defend himself from Izuku fail as he manages to break through and get to his Tenko self to actually manage to calm down Tomura's rage. And this, of course, leads to All For One's vestige to make a surprising reappearance ...
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership:
    • During his fight with Re-Destro, Shigaraki unleashes his power to such an extent that he turns half of Deika City into a crater in an instant. After witnessing this show of force, and seeing his rival's expression of true freedom, Re-Destro surrenders and offers Shigaraki the leadership of the Meta Liberation Army, which consists of over 100,000 soldiers, vast wealth, high-tech equipment, and assets of various tier 1 companies. Shigaraki accepts the offer and becomes the Grand Commander of the newly formed Paranormal Liberation Front.
    • He later on accepts Garaki's extensive biological remodelling process on the grounds that in his prior showing he couldn't utterly destroy everything that opposed him, pointing out that Decay started to affect his own arm and that Re-Destro saved himself by cutting off his feet. As he desires to become powerful enough to tear down society almost single-handedly, Tomura forcibly upgrades himself through Garaki's research to obtain the original All For One Quirk and its stockpile of abilities, with his awakening during the Paranormal Liberation War single-handedly turning the tide against the heroes. Even with Erasure being used on him, Tomura's base enhancements put him on a physical level comparable to All Might, and he either heals or powers through everything the heroes throw at him. He only falters when his body breaks down from a premature awakening, and even then he keeps fighting back. The only thing that stalls him is Izuku unleashing One For All at 100% again, and it's noted that Izuku would be permanently crippled before Tomura went down.
    • In the aftermath, despite the losses the Liberation Front suffered and only a handful of their numbers evading capture, Tomura's sheer strength is such that events become a Race Against the Clock for the heroes to track him down and stop him before he fully completes his 'incubation', gaining full control of his new powers and strengthened body. His battle with and defeat of the American Number One hero, an outright Reality Warper, cements Tomura as the World's Strongest Man, capable of devastating the remaining heroes alone if not for One For All's power, and even then, his 'evolution' puts him at being stronger than Izuku, even after the latter starts unlocking and combining his Combo Platter Powers together into an effective fighting style. By the time the Final Battle comes around, Tomura required an entire tailor-made battleground to be combated with any chance of victory, and even with his powers again sealed, his new ability to mutate his body to suit his immense powers puts the heroes in a losing fight.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: His 'fighting style', as one could call it, is this. He's so strong and powerful that Aizawa erasing his quirk does nothing to slow him down, and shows this by easily tanking Deku and Bakugou's attacks and fighting like a deranged madman. However, this ends up being Deconstructed in that, while he definitely has the strength and resilience to go toe-to-toe with the likes of One for All and Endeavor, his defence is abysmal, and his Nigh-Invulnerability isn't a permanent fixture. When Deku has him on the ropes and at a disadvantage, Shigaraki is powerless to stop Deku from beating down his already weakening regeneration, and leaving himself vulnerable for Endeavor to launch his ultimate attack.
  • At Least I Admit It: What he feels separates him from other villains like Stain, Overhaul, and Re-Destro. While those try to justify or excuse their actions and take a moral high ground towards Shigaraki, he himself doesn't hold any pretense. He's just a guy trying to get rid of people and things he doesn't like. And he sees nothing wrong with that.
  • Author Appeal: Averted in regards to Shigaraki. Kōhei Horikoshi likes drawing hands, as he finds them to be the most expressive part of the body, but he absolutely loathes drawing the "expressionless hands" that adorn Shigaraki's body. He even refers to Shigaraki as his nemesis in the Volume 23 omakes.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: During the League's first fight against Aizawa, Shigaraki stays in the background and watches the fight from afar. Once he actually begins fighting the hero, he can perfectly predict when his Quirk will stop working, and disables the veteran teacher with ease.
  • Ax-Crazy: From a young age Tomura had a very unstable lust for destruction and killing due to All For One's influence. This allows him to commit as many atrocities as he wants until he achieves his goal of the absolute devastation of everything he hates (which so happens to be nearly everything). Even as his character development takes place he only seems reign his unstable rage though he still retains his desire for violence, but uses colder and more ruthless methods of execution.
  • Bad Boss: Early in the story, he is very callous with his subordinates, even threatening the unfailingly loyal Kurogiri for letting Iida get away. His Character Development has moved him well away from this, however, and by the time he assumes leadership of the League of Villains, he seems to have become a full-fledged Benevolent Boss. This contrast becomes especially prominent when All For One mentally hijacks him, as he flees the battlefield and abandons several members of the League, including the insanely-loyal Gigantomachia, to be captured. Spinner even pointedly notes that there's someone completely different from the Tomura he'd come to know in control, despite being unaware of All For One's possession, simply from how differently the two treated their subordinates.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: Disintegration by touch? Definitely a villain. Ultimately deconstructed and becomes a question of Nature Versus Nurture, since his original Quirk was stolen and replaced with a subpar copy of Overhaul's Quirk which lacks the ability to reconstruct, solely to promote destructive tendencies. You'd wonder if Shigaraki would be less hateful if he still had his original Quirk.
  • Badass Boast: Delivers a brutal one to the team fighting him at U.A., having deduced that Midoriya was supposed to be there with them before he got side-tracked and says whoever came up with the idea to defeat him in close quarters had to be an absolute moron to think it'd ever work.
  • Badass Cape: By the time of the Paranormal Liberation War arc he starts to wear a blood red long cape that he stole from X-Less after killing him. He wears another tethered one for fight against Star and Stripes, and another one for the Final Battle.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Shigaraki's outfit as the leader of the Paranormal Liberation Front incorporates a black suit and tie, similar to the type Re-Destro wears, likely to demonstrate his dominion over the former MLA's resources. He also puts one on before his battle with Star and Stripe, presumably because All For One was in control of him, but the suit is destroyed anyway in the battle that takes place. By the time of the Final Battle, he does away with wearing any upper-body clothes, as his new ability to sprout fleshy masses from his arms tears apart anything he wears besides the cape draped around his neck.
  • Barbarian Long Hair: To contrast with his master All For One's tidy, dignified, Bald of Evil appearance and penchant for expensive clothing, Shigaraki is normally portrayed as something of an unkempt wild child with a thirst for violence. The longer his hair grows, the more he's shown able to properly indulge in hate-filled rampages against his enemies. In fact, his hair is literally shown to be visibly growing as a side-effect of his 'evolution' into the 'next stage of humanity' because of Garaki's enhancements, a process he compares to the 'growth' of nails and hair. His appearance in the Final Battle is the exact opposite of his master's, with free-flowing hair and tattered rags. Becomes somewhat subverted, as Shigaraki's hair grows back to its prior shoulder length after he's regained command of his mind and body.
  • Bastard Understudy: Shigaraki was perfectly okay with staying the Dragon Ascendant, but All For One is such an egomaniacal narcissist with a Complexity Addiction he tries to enact a Split-Personality Merge between their two psyches instead. Yet due to outside factors and Shigaraki's own resistance and scheming this fails, and Shigaraki absorbs his vestige to regain control. His physical and mental defeat at the hands of Izuku allows All For One to regain control and delete Shigaraki entirely, reducing him to a lingering echo, forcing Izuku to charge in one last time to free Shigaraki's soul.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The only real glimpses at Shigaraki himself we get after All For One successfully pulls a Grand Theft Me on him are entirely metaphysical, with him resisting All For One's attempt at a Split-Personality Merge during Final Act. This culminates in All For One well and truly absorbing him, but neglecting to account for the actual root of all his rage, which takes the form of Tenko. While All For One understands why Shigaraki hates heroes, he doesn't understand what it's like to actually feel such strong emotions. This allows Shigaraki to put up more and more of a fight as their shared body sustains damage; by the end, he "molts" and sheds All For One like an old skin, ultimately winning, albeit temporarily. Once he is physically and mentally defeated by Izuku, the vestige seizes control once more, who promptly "deletes" Shigaraki. However, All For One is quickly driven into a corner once Izuku rouses Shigaraki and the vestiges to erase him instead through the same transference method that allowed him to make one last bid for power.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Shigaraki desired All For One's power and after months of painful surgery, he received it... along with the vestige of All For One, who can forcibly take control of his body.
  • Benevolent Boss: After assuming leadership of the League of Villains. This is highlighted by his utter rage at Magne's death and Overhaul destroying Mr. Compress' arm. This is shown again in Chapter 148, where he has an almost beatific appearance while expressing his faith in Toga and Twice. Spinner is even able to tell when All For One is controlling him because Tomura liked to do things like play video games with Spinner, and the sociopathic megalomaniac cares nothing for his 'pawns'.
  • Berserk Button:
    • He loses his cool when someone hits his father's hand. He drops this as he matures as a villain.
    • Stain. When Dabi mentions that the only reason he joined the League is to carry on Stain's will, Shigaraki almost murders him and Toga on the spot.
    • Adding onto the above, stepping on his authority as the aspiring big dog among villains makes him really angry. Stain was only the first of them, he grows similarly annoyed at the Shie Hassaikai trying to muscle in on their territory. Like the hand thing, he gradually grows out of this to the point that when the Meta Liberation Army decide to pick a fight with him he keeps his cool. It's eventually dropped entirely, but less because of character growth and more because Shigaraki manages to claw his way to the top of the pecking order.
    • A long-standing one he's carried from his childhood is simply being 'denied' or having his wish to freely destroy everything around him out of his overwhelming hatred rejected. This stems from his father repeatedly preventing him indulging in his childhood dream to be a hero, in escalating measures to prevent the young Tenko turning out like his Grandmother's example, and his family passively going along with it, leaving Tenko feeling alone and abandoned by those who should have been 'on his side', fuelling his anger at his unfair treatment. This translates into Tomura becoming more ferocious and dangerous whenever the heroes actually start inconveniencing him or starting to gain the advantage over him, viewing it as everybody ganging up on him again and fueling his primal anger in response, to the point of feral intensity the more determined he becomes to win.
      • It's also mixed in with Trauma Button, as people "not understanding him" and thus implicitly rejecting him reminds him of his abandonment and specifically the Bystander Syndrome he suffered after decaying his family home. Izuku outlining to him that people are more accepting of Hero Killer Stain than Tomura is because, like him, they just don't understand Tomura's ceaseless desire to destroy causes him to unleash a wave of Bloodlust and sort out his mental confusion, recognising that this was the root cause of his convictions all along.
    • After he successfully lands a fatal attack that blows a hole in Bakugo's heart, he becomes quietly irritated, then steadily more and more angry as the heroes proceed to ignore attacking him and prioritising reviving Bakugo from the brink of death, screaming at them that he's 'already destroyed that one', so they should cease trying to undo what he breaks. His scrambled inner thoughts make it clear that he's really angered by how they're devoting so much effort on saving a child in need when nobody bothered to give him the same treatment when he was in less lethal circumstances as Bakugo, feeling this 'favouritism' unfair. His inner childhood self of Tenko even morphs into his blood-soaked, traumatised appearance in response to his emotional state to drive it home.
  • The Berserker: An inherent part of his nature All For One actively seeks to nurture, though he's usually fairly more level-headed and rational in battle than most examples, able to deduce weaknesses in his opponent's abilities to target and avoiding acting rashly during the early half of the story. He only really starts to become this after gaining the power to directly confront opponents numbering in the hundreds solo, and being forced to rely on his base physical enhancements after Erasure is used on him. The more beaten down Tomura becomes, the more determined he becomes to win, even mangling his body to shreds and shrugging off injuries that would easily kill anybody else in his mad intensity to seize victory. It's later revealed that All For One's entire plan hinges on making Shigaraki such a spiteful and hateful young man so he can be angry enough to forcibly steal One For All.
  • Biblical Motifs: Ohhhhh boy. The All For One vestige first offers him the power of the Quirk with his arms outstretched as if he were on a crucifix. Combined with Shigaraki being described as a "transcendant one" by Yoichi upon his awakening and referred to by similar terms throughout the story, Shigaraki becomes a Dark Messiah in his own right. During the Final Battle, he manifests six heads on his grossly expanded hand/arm-shield in addition to his normal one for a grand total of seven, akin to the horrifying Beast from the Sea in the Book of Revelations. Lastly, he even rises from the dead through The Power of Hate after the heroes seemingly kill him during the Paranormal Liberation War, and undergoes another metaphorical resurrection upon usurping his master's attempts at suppressing him through Grand Theft Me.
  • Big Bad: He becomes the sole big bad after All For One's defeat and has been the main threat throughout the rest of the arcs, and it becomes an odd example where the two have to actively fight for the top spot. Things grow hazy by the Paranormal Liberation War Arc, where he gains his master's Quirk and All For One himself takes over Shigaraki's body and retakes the position as the big bad of the series. However, Shigaraki steals back his body, and even through All For One's psychological conditioning proves himself by far the most dangerous threat in the series. On the flip side, All For One's grooming is one of the main causes for Shigaraki's misfortunes and who he is... but Shigaraki also clarifies that he has his individual goals of destruction in order to be a hero to the villains outside of that conditioning. One cannot be separated from the other, in the end, and they are both the primary antagonists in their own respect.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With his master All For One. Shigaraki leads the League of Villains publicly, while his master, All For One, monitors him from the shadows. Their dynamic changes as the story advances.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: During the Paranormal Liberation War Arc, Shigaraki and his master All For One fight over control of their shared body after Shigaraki gained All For One's Quirk, each one taking control at some point. In Chapter 295, however, All For One takes full control of Shigaraki's body and Midoriya sees Shigaraki as someone to rescue despite being archenemies. When 'Tomura' regains control of the fighting after Izuku utterly thrashes All For One however, he makes it clear that despite Izuku's efforts, he's still determined to oppose and kill him regardless, as 'I (Tomura) am your villain.' Him and All For One continue sharing the role and going back and forth as they struggle to achieve their respective goals.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: This trope goes from Played Straight to averted to then subverted, surprisingly. He does step up to the plate as the Big Bad after his master is defeated and jailed, but All For One set him up to eventually inherit his power, all so he could use him as a vessel in which to free himself and continue his plan of being the ultimate evil. The vestiges of One For All later comment on this, seeing him as a mere stepping stool for All For One's goal of becoming more powerful. Despite this, Shigaraki being played is shown to be more due to inexperience rather than outright inferiority. Endeavor, Hawks, and Best Jeanist also discuss why All For One even needed to manipulate Shigaraki like this, coming to the conclusion that he doesn't have the emotions necessary to steal One For All, meaning both Quirks have evolved beyond him. This finally comes to fruition once Shigaraki tears All For One's vestige to shreds and gains true ownership of the Quirk, making All For One the real Big Bad Wannabe in the long run. Even once All For One seizes control of his body again, he puts up such a pathetic final fight that he practically guarantees he'll lose.
    • Interestingly, his final conversation with Izuku has Shigaraki ponder whether he was truly a great villain or not, or just some crying kid lashing out at the society that shunned him. Regardless, Izuku believes he already destroyed what he actually set out to eradicate, suggesting the idea of what a great villain is actually isn't too different from a great hero: somebody who does their best for others. It should also be noted that Shigaraki overcame All For One's control up until Izuku breached the hatred keeping his master under wraps; by all rights, if Izuku had defeated him through conventional means, All For One would never have had one last shot at revenge.
    Shigaraki: In the end, maybe I really am just a crying little kid, like you said. I couldn't even destroy your hands.
  • Bishōnen Line: During the series final arc Shigaraki undergoes a series of transformations as his body searches for its "ideal form" in order to handle the power of All For One. Initially he starts by growing an explosive mass of fingers from his recently regenerated hand which gives him a large reach to attack the heroes gathered to stop him in UA even with his Quirks erased. After he starts being affected by the heroes attacks the fingers around him wrap around his body to form a protective suit of armor that turns him into a borderline unstoppable short-range brawler, at least before Deku arrives. After he regains his Quirks he sheds his blotted forms skin like a chrysalis and gains his ideal form - which is just his normal body albeit with slightly more detailed musculature, Creepy Shadowed Undereyes and his skin from his last form around his waist. This form is by far the most powerful with the full range of Quirks at his disposal and is able to toss Deku around Japan like a ragdoll. It's rather telling that when Shigaraki's body instinctively begins recreating his defensive form to try and stop Deku from transferring One For All to him it's the point in the fight that Shigaraki begins losing.
  • Bloodbath Villain Origin: He Used to Be a Sweet Kid, but his childhood came to an abrupt end when his Quirk activates for the first time following a beating from Kotaro. He freaks out at this, accidentally killing most of his family in the process before deliberately murdering his father. His newly-awakened Decay at that point only disassembled the targets into large meaty chunks rather than the fine dust they become by the present, resulting in the young Tenko getting absolutely drenched in their viscera during this process. All For One finds him soon after this and decides to groom him as a successor, triggering his Start of Darkness in earnest.
  • Blood Knight: Tomura eventually comes to love the thrill of the fight as he's put into increasingly dangerous situations that test his physical and mental capabilities. After Doctor Ujiko promised to give him power if he can make Gigantomachia submit, Tomura proceeds to fight him for a month and a half with the rest of the League while barely taking any rest himself. Even when Gigantomachia proves to be too powerful even with the combined efforts of the entire League, Tomura simply smiles the whole time as he battled the behemoth. Even at the climax of the Final Battle, where it's his life or Izuku's that will decide the fate of the entire world, he's still grinning wide in the midst of the chaos he loves as he fights his Arch-Enemy to the death.
  • Blow You Away: One of his favorite Quirks inherited from All For One seems to be Air Cannon, as he uses it extensively against the heroes. Quite cleverly, he also combines Air Cannon with a Radio Waves Quirk to send out a blast that doubles as an EMP.
  • Body Horror: Dear god, is it ever so present to see this man deteriorate his own physical being the more he plunges into villainy.
    • After using his Quirk at its full potential to level a good chunk of a city, his arm is left ragged by the backlash. In the Paranormal Liberation War Arc, due to him prematurely awakening from his medical procedure and pushing his body past its limits, his body starts to break down, leaving him with a huge gash across his chest. Also, when Endeavor blasts him with a point-blank Prominence Burn, Shigaraki's body is badly burned. And when Midoriya leaves a huge crack in his skull, All For One's grinning face can be seen.
      • Putting it bluntly, ever since he gained Hyper Regeneration, Tomura's body has been mangled and devastated by multiple different Quirks and sheer physical trauma, to the point that it's half-implied that the only reason he doesn't die even with his super-healing is his sheer willpower to persist until he's destroyed everything, allowing the Quirk to pull him back together no matter how badly he's hurt. It's to the point that the heroes are horrified at the fact that he just won't die. After Star hits him with the Tiamat intercontinental cruise missiles, Tomura's body is basically a charred skeleton with stripes of flesh left on it, and he still immediately bounces back to continue the fight with a massive Slasher Smile on his face— what's left of it.
    • His body has become prone to cancerously grow into a disgusting blob of hands and flesh for brief moments of time before he pulls himself back together. All For One clarifies this is because he's slowly overcoming the Quirk Singularity, which happens when a body is overloaded with too much power from one or more Quirks. In Tomura's case, he has a body as strong as All Might's at max power to handle All For One and its multiple Quirks, but has to wait for it to be completed thanks to all the physical punishment he's suffered at the hands of the heroes. More horrifying still, he's capable of using this as a means of attack even with Erasure being used on him, implying that this ability doesn't count as a Quirk, and that Tomura has become something other than human as a result of his incomplete treatment and the sheer damage he's endured.
    • As a result of his anger over the heroes trying to revive Bakugo and how it reminds him of how nobody attempted to save Tenko Shimura as a young child in need makes him manifest fleshy growths in the shape of his family and the old lady who refused to aid him from his body — in essence, manifesting the figures he considers intrinsically linked to his childhood trauma through his transformative growth. They become part of a new defensive form he takes on, comrpised of hands closing around his torso and face to shield him from harm, with their heads at the tips of a giant hand where his left arm used to be.
    • During his Final Battle with Midoriya, Shigaraki's body instinctively tries to recreate his defensive form when Deku begins transferring One For All to him as it recognizes the threat such an attack would to do him. After failing to prevent two of the Quirk factors from damaging his inner world Shigaraki begins growing large masses of hands and fingers from his entire body to the point his main body is barely visible in an amorphous blob of flesh. This seems to be done to keep his main body safe, as One For All can't be transferred into one of the fingers, and to give him more options of attack.
    • All For One retaking Tomura's body after shattering Tomura's consciousness with a Breaking Speech completely emacipates the body, with the damage of Izuku's attacks on him and the inner damage One for All's quirks did making Tomura resemble a horribly thin zombie with a hand actually growing over his mouth to silence Tomura's screams under All For One's words.
  • Body Motifs: Hands. His Quirk involves destroying things provided that all five digits on his hands are touching them, and he has disembodied hands all over his body, including his face. This is deliberate as Horikoshi enjoys the expressiveness of hands, his own Author Avatar is a hand mutant, and takes it to its logical extreme with Shigaraki's design.
  • Break the Haughty: Ever since gaining All for One, Tomura's arrogance and air of invincibility has transformed him into a Smug Super, believing that he can shrug off any attack that comes his way. However, the truth of the matter is that he isn't as invincible as he wants to believe he is, and when the heroes gain the upper hand on him, he reacts in barely restrained panic and fury. The first time is when Izuku floated him up into the air and subjected him to a brutral No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, in which Shigaraki is powerless to counter and panics when Endeavor unleashes a Plus Ultra: Prominence Burn on him, being forced to concede control of his body to All For One's vestige to survive. The second time is during the Final Battle, in which Tomura believes himself invincible now that he has been freed of All For One's control, only for Izuku to exploit the Psychic Link between them by feeding him One for All's quirks to weaken Tomura's Mental World, and Tomura reacts to Izuku gaining an advantage over him with panic.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: A reoccurring motif of Shigaraki's character development is that while he possesses the raw power and intelligence to succeed All For One, he often has to be pushed by outside forces into honing his skills, usually in the form of a rival faction.
    • Ultimately, while Shigaraki does show some use of the quirks that he gained, he falls back on All For One's own flaw of using easier to use but still hard hitting quirks in contrast to using mixes of quirks to boost himself. This ends up being a Fatal Flaw in his fight against Deku, who has less quirks than Shigaraki but took the time to master them, and is able to outthink Tomura's rather straightforward strategies with more deceptive plans that leaves Tomura rattled and struggling to keep up.
  • The Bus Came Back: It's a bizarre thing to explain. While Shigaraki technically never goes anywhere, All For One becomes the dominant personality in their Fusion Dance and more or less keeps him on a tight leash and buries his persona deep within his subconscious to maintain his Grand Theft Me gambit. However, just as All For One grows stronger by feeding on his hate, Shigaraki's original aspect as "Tenko" emerges and begins fighting back against his abusive adoptive father just like he did to Kotaro, albeit in conjunction with the heroes dealing relentless punishment on their shared body to split the two of them. It results in him literally shedding his old merged personality as an old skin and becoming "reborn", returning to proclaim he is Midoriya's true Arch-Enemy.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Became a victim of this after he destroyed both his family and his house. He wandered the streets hoping for someone to help him, but no one wanted to because of how frightening he looked and assumed a hero would do it for them. This is a major part of the reason why he hates the society the world of heroes created, to the point of basically becoming his main motivation, as he persistently strives to becomes powerful enough to destroy everything, hero and civilian, connected to it, considering it a deserving fate for a society that denies and rejects his entire existence as a victim and a villain. His trauma concerning this is so intrinsically linked to his desire to destroy, when his Body Horror powers start growing facsimiles of his family into a massive hand-shaped amalgamation, the old lady who abandoned him is counted amongst his family as people he feels hurt and ignored him.

    C - D 
  • Came Back Strong: After the heroes kill him, Shigaraki still manages to revive himself through sheer will and uses his empowered body bestowed with the All For One Quirk to decimate his enemies. This happens again later after he overcomes All For One's attempt at possessing him, gaining true command of the Quirk and with his body now perfected to exercise the full range of his abilities, engaging Izuku in a deadly Final Battle with the entire world watching.
  • Character Development: When initially introduced, Shigaraki was a psychotic brat who frequently had temper tantrums, and had to be held back from doing anything stupid by Kurogiri. However, once having realized his own convictions, he becomes a lot more cunning, manipulative, and patient. This can be seen in his ability to work with "Stain fanboys" in the expanded League, and keeping his temper under control after Bakugo damages his father's hand. Losing his mentor, and later the death of Magne drive his development further (exactly as planned in the former case) as he grows to value his team more. By the time he meets Gigantomachia and Dr. Garaki, he doesn't even lose his cool, and tries to talk to them rationally. His relationship with his team has also deepened to the point where he remains level-headed towards Spinner for questioning the League's lack of direction. By Chapter 237, he states he just wants the League to live as they see fit. It's later revealed that his development, and the fact that he was capable of doing so in the first place, was the entire reason behind All For One grooming him to become his 'Next Me', worthy of inheriting his Quirk. He requires a strong emotional willpower to overcome the combined wills of the vestiges stored within One For All and absorb it for good, something he is fundamentally incapable of doing himself, and to that end he orchestrated much of Tomura's experiences to encourage his hatred as a source of strength for him, which becomes the focal point upon which the vestige of All For One himself can start assimilating itself into Tomura's psyche, essentially hijacking Tomura's development as a weapon against One For All.
  • Characterization Marches On: He used a lot of video game lingo and metaphors during his debut, almost treating the USJ attack as if it was a video game level. From his next appearance onward, he no longer talks like that, implied to be because that was his first actual appearance as a villain before experienced heroes, and his defeat and experiencing the kind of adversity he was up against somewhat humbled him and forced him to treat his subsequent efforts with more seriousness.
  • Character Tics:
    • In a similar fashion to Uraraka, touching objects he doesn't want to decompose by using only a few fingers at a time.
    • His habit of scratching himself is a tic that he has had since childhood which started as an "itch" before his Quirk fully activated. According to All For One, his "itch" is a byproduct of his need to destroy physically manifesting itself and can only be alleviated by killing something with some proof of that being the fact he stopped itching after killing his family. As he got older, he settles for scratching his neck which gets increasingly violent when he's in the middle of a breakdown. Thanks to character development, he gets better though he still scratches himself on occasion. When he itches his neck during the Final Battle with Izuku, it's a sign that he's beginning to stress over the realization that his enemy has found a weakness to exploit.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: He was able to move faster than eye can see during the USJ Arc. Chapter 276 reveals that the procedure that transferred the All For One Quirk to him also modified his body to grant him immense strength even without a Quirk, allowing him to leap high into the air and move with intense speed. He frequently compares his base physical abilities to be comparable to All Might himself in his prime during the Final Battle, illustrating how hopeless it is to fight him even when he can't use his stockpiled Quirks.
  • The Chessmaster: He was a Psychopathic Manchild, but his character development is slowly turning him into this. This is best seen at the aftermath of the Internship Arc; after spending the arc basically subservient to Overhaul and keeping his ego down, and letting Overhaul and his gang take on the heroes, he backstabs Overhaul at the exact right moment to make it hurt the most, specifically by capitalising on the latter's inability to see his subordinates as anything except disposable pawns, whereas Tomura is actually capable of believing in his own allies as equals and letting them decide when to best betray Overhaul. To add insult to injury, he cripples Overhaul to the point that the latter is basically Brought Down to Normal, and runs off with his prized possessions.
  • Children Are Innocent: There is an aspect to him, however small, in the form of his childhood self "Tenko" stuck inside All For One's mental prison and crying out for help... only for it to be revealed this is an Averted Trope and that Tenko actually represents the root of his nihilism. Shigaraki left that aspect of him behind to slowly win back control of his body, and uses the hatred he holds for hero society to step back fully into the limelight and become the greatest villain to combat Izuku as the greatest hero.
  • The Chosen One: A Dark example. His grandmother trained All Might and is thus indirectly responsible for the current peace in society, but his past heroic lineage is implied to be the main reason why All For One focused on raising him to be a villain as a massive 'screw you' to Nana and All Might, deriding their efforts and inability to protect those closest to them from evil. This serves as a further contrast to Izuku, who has no prior connection to the chain of succession about One For All, but was naturally suited to bring forth its full potential as the last holder.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: His 'ideal' defensive form did manage to be effective against the heroes around him in a short burst, but the moment Deku shows up, it turns out to be completely ineffective. Not only is he slower due to his increased mass while Deku is faster, the main benefit of the form, a defensive armor, is completely worthless as Deku hits hard enough that it doesn't protect him at all. He winds up literally getting beaten out of the form without landing a single hit on Izuku and left with a massive gaping hole in his chest from the sheer damage.
  • Clothing Damage: Over the course of his battle with Re-Destro, Shigaraki's outfit gets progressively more torn and damaged, culminating in him being left wearing the remnants of his pants after he unleashes his ultimate attack. This happens again in the Paranormal Liberation War Arc where he starts off in a bodysuit similar to Nine from Heroes Rising, but as his battle with the heroes progresses, his suit becomes damaged until he's left shirtless. Ditto during his fight with Star and Stripe, though in that case, he was lucky his pants were left behind after she resorted to Nuke 'em against him. During the Final Battle, he does away with wearing any upper-body clothing altogether save his Badass Cape, especially since his new Body Horror abilities dramatically warps his flesh beyond the human template as befits his situation.
  • Coat Cape: Shigaraki's third outfit includes a coat with a fluffy collar, not unlike Overhaul's, that he wears in this fashion, due to his arm injuries sustained during the war making it impractical for him to pull the sleeves on. He remarks that it's actually pretty itchy to actually wear all the time.
  • Combat Tentacles:
    • In Chapter 285, All For One's lingering consciousness takes control of his body, causing him to manifest the Rivet Stab tentacles, which he uses to impale both Endeavor and Bakugo. Unlike All For One, Shigaraki can sprout the tendrils from his back as well, allowing him to move Doctor Octopus style.
    • When he's warped to the flying battleground specifically created to combat him and his Decay wave, he reveals that his body's 'evolution' as a result of adapting him to contain the immense power of All For One has granted him the ability to sprout massive tumourous growths of fingers by controlling his body's ability to 'grow', like hair and nails naturally do, using them in this fashion to fight the heroes. As a bonus, since the fleshy growths are all fingers, if not for the effect of Erasure being used on him at the time, he would be able to use Decay from every single one of them.
  • Combo Platter Powers: After gaining the original All For One Quirk, Shigaraki can combine different Quirks together to create devastating attacks. During his fight with Endeavor, he combines an Air Cannon Quirk with a Radio Waves Quirk, allowing him to blow the heroes away and disrupt their communications, and also awakening some of the High End Nomu for backup. His quick handling of the abilities in tandem was partially Invoked by All For One, who intentionally prepared as many simple-to-use, but powerful Quirks inside his original in preparation for passing it on to Tomura, but is also implied to be an early sign of the Vestige of his master starting to assimilate into his psyche the more he draws on his stockpiled abilities
  • Cosmic Plaything: Life hasn't been kind to Shigaraki, rampant psychopathy aside. He was born into a household where his father would physically and emotionally abuse him while his family stood by and watched, which invariably led to them all being ill-equipped for his Quirk to manifest, killing them all. He wandered the streets after and everybody he came across refused to help, until All For One of all people found him and took him in, where his psychological torment would only continue. All For One groomed him into the Misanthrope Supreme over the course of 15 years, awaiting the day he would transplant his consciousness inside him to use as a meat suit and employ his willpower in stealing the elusive One For All with the intent of burying whatever was left of Shigaraki deep within. It's no wonder he eventually turned into the most dangerous villain the world had ever seen.
  • Costume Evolution: Shigaraki has a few through the series whenever important milestones in his villain career happen:
    • When Shigaraki becomes the guiding force of the League of Villains, without the influence of All For One, he starts wearing a dark black Badass Longcoat, showing how he's come to embrace his authority and his evolution into a competent villain.
    • After taking over the leadership of the MLA and reforming it and the League into the Paranormal Liberation Front, Shigaraki decks himself out in a suit and spiffy coat to demonstrate his newfound strength and influence. He continues to wear his one surviving hand as a face mask replacing Father. However, unlike before, the hand no longer serves as a mental crutch and is now just there to fit with his former aesthetic.
    • During the Paranormal Liberation War, he's still in the process of Garaki's biological remodelling, and thus is decked out in a form-fitting medical bodysuit inside a People Jar, similar to Nine from Heroes Rising, as he 'incubates'. When he awakens, he feels cold from being exposed to air for the first time in months, so he kills the nearby X-Less and steals his cape as a partial blanket, but seems to take a liking to the look afterwards, incorporating it into his later appearances.
    • During his fight with Star and Stripe, as a result of the Split-Personality Merge with All For One's vestige going increasingly in his master's favour, Tomura's body wears a shirt and suit reminiscent of All For One's preferred look, in addition to his cape, though both are quickly destroyed during the battle thanks to a direct hit with a WMD.
    • For the Final Battle, Tomura shows up completely shirtless, save for his cape, though in this case it turns out to be partial pragmatism, as his new ability to explosively grow his flesh beyond the human template would destroy any clothing he wore anyway.
  • Counter-Attack: "Reflect", one of the Quirks he inherited from All For One works like this: immediately after being hit by an attack, he can generate a copy of said attack.
  • Crazy-Prepared: In Chapter 276, it's revealed that Shigaraki used his newfound control over his Decay Quirk to avoid hitting the capsules for the sleeping High-End Nomu so he could summon them to aid him later.
  • Creepy Monotone: Shigaraki's voice is very eerie and quavering, and in the manga, his speech bubbles are drawn as jittery with messy text, used to illustrate that he's unstable and could come unhinged at any moment. They smooth out at the climax of the fight with the Meta Liberal Army and Tomura coming to terms with his past, indicating his speech taking on a more serene tone to befit his self-enlightenment.
  • Creepy Souvenir: That hand Shigaraki wears on his face? It's heavily implied to be and later outright confirmed to be his father's actual hand and all that was left after using Decay on him. The hands Shigaraki wears around his neck, upper arms, elbows, and wrists are later revealed to belong to his other family members, killed the same way after his Quirk's accidental activation. The ones on his neck are his mother's, the ones on his upper arms are his maternal grandfather's, the ones on his forearms are his maternal grandmother's, and the one's on his wrists are his older sister's. The last five hands (on his shoulders, sides, and the back of his head) are perhaps the most disturbing of all: four of them belonged to two random punks who made the mistake of crossing a young Shigaraki. The last one? It's from his paternal grandmother Nana Shimura, who was murdered by All for One, given to Shigaraki to replace one of his father's hands.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Once he regains his memories of his childhood, his battle against Re-Destro is a total wash. He dispatches of the villain's attacks easily and the resulting Decay wave leaves the man crippled without legs. This single power-up is what allows him to turn the tide against the entire Meta Liberation Army without even needing to use Gigantomachia's immense strength, and Re-Destro swiftly hands over the reins to him so they can then form the Paranormal Liberation Front together.
    • Delivers one once again, this time to the heroes during the final arc when they try to contain him at U.A. to defeat him once and for all. With Izuku pulled off by Himiko to a different location by accident, he's free to stomp what are essentially level 50 enemies compared to his high stats being level 98 or 99, with him being at near full compatibility with the original All For One Quirk. For example, Bakugo's strongest attacks leave a noticeable burn but otherwise barely faze him, and other powerful attacks fail to even break his skin, and he coldly continues to lay the beatdown on the group as they try to hold on just long enough for Izuku to arrive and stop him. Subverted, however, as he learns too late their attacks were piling up due to his Healing Factor being disabled and is forced to change to a purely defensive form because he was actually in danger of losing if he didn't.
  • Dark Is Evil: His preferred attire color is black, which serves to emphasize his malice. After the Paranormal Liberation War, Nana's hand, the sole remaining Creepy Souvenir from his family, is scorched black by Endeavor's flames when he's trying to overtax Tomura's Healing Factor, and placing it on his face awakens Toura's instinctual Unstoppable Rage when the villains are backed into a corner... and facilitates All for One starting to possess him as the stronger Tomura's anger, the more All For One's grip on his mind and body grows, fulfilling the trope even more.
  • Deadpan Snarker: While not as pronounced as someone like Dabi, by the time of the Internship Arc, he has developed into one of these. In the Paranormal Liberation War Arc, at one point he dryly wonders if he is using the correct hand to reenact All Might's iconic pose at Kamino... while standing atop a downed Endeavor's chest. This starts to become slightly more spiteful and mocking as time goes on and his mental assimilation with All For One gets stronger, belittling the heroes' efforts and dryly noting their futility against him with his current state.
  • Death by Irony: Tomura spent most of his life as a hated-filled young man with a Quirk that turns anything he touches to dust. As his body disintegrates when he dies in the Final Battle, much like how he killed his victims, in his last moments he's finally at peace with himself.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: During the Final War Arc, his Healing Factor is negated. He doesn't think much of it due to his Super-Toughness... which backfires, as while individually their attacks aren't doing very much, the sheer number of attacks he takes did start piling up. This begins to effect him, and his body has to enter a purely defensive form with the narration flat out stating the heroes beat him in round one. Although keep in mind this is mostly All For One in control with some minor input from Shigaraki at best.
  • Death of Personality: All For One's ultimate plan for Shigaraki is to absorb only his hatred while burying what remains of his actual personality deep within himself forever. However, the story stresses that All For One is incredibly shortsighted when it comes to the strength of people's individual character, so he is unable to anticipate Shigaraki actually besting him in a battle of willpower even though his entire plan hinged on using said willpower to bolster his own and steal One For All at last. Unfortunately for Shigaraki, All For One's vestige returning with a vengeance hits Shigaraki with a breaking speech that utterly shatters Shigaraki's consciousness, reducing him to screaming behind All For One's voice that he swiftly shuts up by growing a hand over his mouth. Thanks to Izuku and Nana, however, it lasts very shortly, and Shigaraki is able to die with his soul intact despite his master's cruelty.
  • Despair Event Horizon: All For One gleefully revealing that practically all of Tomura's troubled childhood and the events that led up to his disillusion with hero society was All According to Plan utterly destroys Tomura's defiance and hatred, looking utterly despaired as he shatters in the vestige world and allowing AFO to take control of his body once again.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: Shigaraki's merger with All For One's vestige begins to alter All For One's endgoal more towards this, wanting to rule a world where everyone is oppressed and exploited by him, but in the process are all equal.
  • Destroy the Abusive Home: After killing his entire family, Shigaraki's Decay Quirk completely destroyed the house his father built. But that isn't even where it stops; in the middle of the Final Battle, he tells Midoriya that he sees the entire world as an extension of his home, tying into the Bystander Syndrome he was subjected to allowing his suffering to continue, whether from his family or from random passersby on the street who were too afraid of his disturbing appearance to help.
  • Determinator:
    • Easily rivals Midoriya in this category, if not surpasses him, as per All For One's ultimate plan. This is best demonstrated in Chapter 223, where Gigantomachia has been hunting and continuously fighting him for 48 hours straight with only three hours for Shigaraki to rest. And this has been going on for a month and a half.
    • After the machines meant to revive him from his power-up coma were destroyed by Mirko, he was able to bring himself back from clinical death with nothing but his own sheer determination.
    • After he obtains the original All For One Quirk, his own willpower and determination proves to be a more vital asset to him in battle with the heroes than any of his innumerable new abilities. Tomura gets put through horrific damage that would easily kill anybody else, faces numerous handicaps in battle that limit the power he can bring to bear, faces an outright Reality Warper in battle and get hit with a WMD head-on, and not only never gives up his desire to win, but keeps finding ways to fight back against the heroes, at times even seeming to hold his mangled mess of a body together through sheer willpower and refusal to lose, overpowering them with his sheer might and enduring everything they throw at him to come out victorious in the end. His unstoppable willpower is exactly what All For One was aiming to cultivate in him through his tutelage under his master, along with guiding Tomura to use his overpowering hate for everything as a source of strength, to create a consciousness that would be powerful enough to overcome One For All in a battle of willpower and finally absorb the Quirk for good, once All For One absorbed said psyche into himself first.
  • Discard and Draw: During the Final War Arc, the heroes actually manage to beat his 'mass of fingers' form, forcing his body to abandon it in exchange for a primarily defensive form.
  • Disease Bleach: Shigaraki didn't always have grey hair and red eyes. When he was five years old, he shared his family's dark hair and eyes. He only got those features after killing his family. Re-living the traumatic memories of their deaths when his family's hands are destroyed and his ensuring mental breakdown causes the hair colour to turn fully white and wispy, which in the manga helps make him look more ethereal and otherworldly after his revelation about himself and his purpose in the world.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Shigaraki's first intentional victim was his own father as payback for the abuse he suffered growing up.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Following All For One's defeat, he becomes the full leader of the League of Villains, just as his mentor wanted. Following the Paranormal Liberation War Arc, he's more or less Demoted to Dragon. But then All For One's plan is shown to be merging their personalities together into a singular Big Bad God-Emperor, leaving All For One's original body behind so they can become a new being. However, All For One is ill-equipped to deal with the fact that Shigaraki is spurned into becoming a Bastard Understudy instead, forcibly prying the role of Big Bad away from his mentor and confronts Izuku in a climactic showdown that decides the fate of the entire world.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: To All For One. He eventually becomes the full leader of the League of Villains after All For One's defeat. Shigaraki also claims he doesn't want to be like his master, but better than him. Complicating matters is the fact that All For One fully agrees with him, and in fact considers his original, permanently-disfigured and broken body to be incapable of ever achieving Tomura's full potential, and is thus fully willing to 'sacrifice' himself for Tomura's sake. However, this doesn't mean he actually intends for anybody else to become the 'Demon Lord' in his place, and so he instead plans to become Tomura and achieve his ambitions through him.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: All For One's goals and his don't entirely intersect. All For One wants to rule the world while Shigaraki wants to obliterate it entirely. He makes it clear to his master that whatever his plans to use him to steal One For All, he is not having it and actively resists his attempts to merge their vestiges together. It can be argued All For One keeping him on such a tight leash is something of a reprieve for everybody, as outside of his control he'd annihilate everything and everyone he doesn't call a friend. Once All For One does lose control, Shigaraki swiftly proves himself the more pressing threat and embarks on his mission of destroying everything, with Izuku at the top of his list.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap:
    • Downplayed, but once Shigaraki unlocks the full power of his Decay Quirk, he becomes able to use the disintegration effect with each finger individually, but he still seems to need all five fingers in order to unleash an AOE wave through the ground. Accordingly, having lost three fingers on his left hand, Shigaraki can only use this highly devastating move with his right hand, so keeping it occupied prevents him from obliterating all enemies in a single move. Since the injury occurred before he gained Hyper regeneration, not even it can fix the damage. This is downplayed in that he's still highly dangerous even with that limitation by that point, and single-handily overwhelms the majority of heroes who face him regardless.
    • Shigaraki later takes steps to side-step his handicap, dissatisfied with his inability to utterly destroy his opposition, by exploiting his new Adaptive Ability to "grow" and expand his flesh in Akira-esque manners, allowing him to sprout mountainous hills of fleshy fingers, each capable of unleashing Decay with a single graze. This same ability, when further refined, allows him to "regrow'' his upper body completely when he regains control of himself, allowing him to reform both his hands entirely. However, this also has a minor limitation in that the fingers need to be attached to Shigaraki's main body in order to spread the decay, meaning chopping them off at the "base" nullifies them.
  • The Dreaded: Takes a while for him to get there, seeing as society initially saw him as a psychotic brat, though one noted to have the potential to become an increasingly more dangerous threat. Once Izuku informs him he lacks any solid direction, Shigaraki slowly develops into a competent leader and grows more powerful, training Decay to the point it can destroy entire cities if he pushes himself hard enough. All it takes is a single glare from him to make people petrified. And as if that weren't enough, Garaki enhances his body to become strong like All Might even without any Quirks so he can handle the power of the original All For One Quirk, making him hands down the strongest character in the entire series except maybe Izuku operating at 100% with all his own extra powers active. In the aftermath of the Paranormal Liberation War, people openly speak about being terrified of his wrath and arguably fear him even more than All For One himself.
  • Dying as Yourself: Once Izuku reaches his inner aspect of Tenko and they eradicate All For One's vestige for good, Shigaraki passes on truly at peace with himself with no more All For One trying to erase his soul, if disappointed he couldn't destroy as much as he wanted to. Izuku reassures him that he already did what he set out to do by destroying the old hero society that oppressed him and the League.

    E - F 
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: It's subtle, but he's actually changed art styles as his character has developed, from a highly detailed style that played up his creepiness to a less detailed style that still leaves him creepy, but also gives him a soft, almost beatific feel.
  • Emotional Powers: It is greatly implied that his Decay abilities are tied to his emotional state, specifically his hatred, seeking out and destroying whatever angers Tomura, with its omni-directional effect by the present day being because he hates everything around him all the time. His flashback to his Quirk awakening in chapter 235 has panels of a white-grey mass appearing in a dark background whenever Tenko is denied or rejected with his desire to be a hero by his family with it visibly growing larger and larger throughout the chapter has Tomura recalls all the times his individual family members let him down and 'abandoned' him when he needed support from Kotaro's abuse. This same mass is shown to reside inside Tenko's chest when All For One converses with him afterwards about his family's fate, implying it symbolises how his hatred has consumed his heart. Despite its uncontrollable nature when directly touching others, Tenko's newly-awakened decay's ability to 'spread' through the ground shows a targeted focus, in contrast to how Tomura uses it by the present, spreading outwards to decay his grandparents through the ground they were standing on and no further when he sees them, and going into overdrive when Kotaro appears, violently crumbling the house entirely to dust. Tomura's increased control over the Quirk comes with him achieving self-enlightenment over his nature and his desire to destroy society, in essence, focusing his hatred towards a goal rather than using it blindly, becoming able to control what decays around him rather than just destroying everything haphazardly.
  • Empty Eyes: Used to show when All For One is in control/fully merged with him. His pupils will revert back to at least some degree whenever his Tenko persona emerges, or his different personalities are vying for control of their shared body.
  • Enemy Mine: Ultimately, his final act is working with the Vestiges of One for All and Izuku to land the final blow on All For One, putting aside his enmity with the hero to put his former master down for good. Afterwards, Shigaraki parts with Izuku on far more amicable terms.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: In Chapter 270, Shigaraki sees his long dead mother in his dream. It clearly shows that he still cares about her to some degree, enough that he turns back into a child in front of her. Unfortunately, it's not enough to stop him from embracing the path of villainy.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He still holds on to some lingering affections for his family, particularly his sister and mother. This is played straight with All For One; Shigaraki truly respects his foster father, stating it directly when he feels AFO's lingering presence inside his mind after receiving his Quirk, admitting he's truly grateful for everything he'd done for him. This is also played straight with the League Of Villains. Over time, he develops into a Benevolent Boss and grows to genuinely care for his comrades. He is horrified when Magne is killed by Overhaul and enraged when Mr. Compress loses his arm to the villain. He shows trust in Toga and Twice on numerous occasions and states that while he wants to destroy everything he dislikes, his allies are exempt from his goals. At one point, he even admits he has no need for a future of his own and just wants to see the League live how they want. It turns out this is the one thing that All For One didn't count on, as being told he never had friends causes a wedge to be driven between Tomura's personality and All For One.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • During the Forest Training Camp Arc, he tells Kurogiri that he wouldn't send the new recruits into danger, claiming he wasn't that heartless.
    • He is openly appalled by Overhaul's lack of regard for his underlings, and killing Magne didn't exactly do his view on him any favors.
    • During the Meta Liberation Army Arc, he says that he won't forgive the army for toying with Twice since Twice is tearing himself apart to save the kidnapped Giren.
    • While Shigaraki has no qualms committing atrocities, he doesn't enjoy manipulating people, especially his comrades. He even denounces his own mentor for having such proclivities. This turns out to be a pivotal difference between them, as enough of Tomura's higher moral standards and good memories remain behind in his childhood self of 'Tenko Shimura', once All For One manages to completely assimilate the 'Tomura' aspect of his mind, that 'Tenko' can retain his individuality, as All For One can't understand all the good qualities he possesses. This means that part of Tomura is still capable of fighting back against his master's possession of him during the Final Battle, a realisation that notably unsettles the Smug Super 'TomurAFO' personality.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • The reason why his plan to convert Bakugo to the League of Villains quite literally blows up in his face. He thought that Bakugo's violent tendencies meant that he'd be better suited as a villain, not realizing that Bakugo genuinely wants to be like All Might in spite of himself. Aizawa, All Might, and Bakugo himself pretty much spell this out for him.
    • Shigaraki is confused and mocking toward Izuku for his attempts to reach out to the crying aspect of Tenko within himself. He says outright that Izuku should give up; that he's cast off his humanity and pretending otherwise is foolish to the point of insanity. In response, Izuku can only insist that there is merit to his mission to save his worst enemy, right as he prepares to counterattack with the full force of One For All, still resolving to fight and protect the entire world from Shigaraki's wrath.
    Shigaraki: You can't pretend you didn't see me crying? Was that it!? Are you seriously still treating me like a human being!? You're still hung up on all that, Midoriya!? Take a good look at me!! I've moved so far beyond that!!
    Izuku: No, it's all somehow connected. And somewhere inside you... is a person.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • A pretty blatant one to Midoriya, as All For One's protégé compared to One For All's inheritor, especially given his Awesomeness by Analysis abilities. They both wear red sneakers, even. Their full contrast to one another is cemented once Shigaraki receives All For One, the two having inherited their respective mentor's Quirks and dealing with the difficulties and setbacks that come with both of them, culminating in a battle for the fate of the world as the two become each other's greatest enemy.
    • All For One deliberately engineered Shigaraki to become one for All Might, hoping to turn him into a "Symbol of Fear" to counteract the "Symbol of Peace."
  • Evil Feels Good: His narration during his flashback says that he felt the most pleasant of sensations once he murdered his father and that the incident stopped his constant itching. It's greatly implied that he feels happy and satisfied whenever he's in the process of destroying things that anger him —which by the present day is basically everything — regardless of the aftereffects on him personally. He has an ecstatic and delighted look on his face when he unleashes the full power of his Decay wave in Deika city, keeping it going even as the strain of pushing his Quirk so far starts decaying his right arm afterwards. His comments later imply he stopped decaying not because he wanted to, but because his body was on the verge of tearing itself apart satisfying his desire to destroy everything, and he undergoes Garaki's biological upgrades mainly so no physical limits will hold him back from indulging in his crazed happiness from annihilating everything again.
  • Evil Is Petty: In the Paranormal Liberation War Arc, the first thing he does after waking up from his medical procedure? Kill X-Less and take his cape as a blanket of sorts because he's cold.
  • Evil Laugh: He laughed sadistically a couple of times; one when he was about to kill Deku and the second when he released 3 Nomus to attack Hosu in order to cause chaos and get more attention than Stain. During his Quirk Awakening he began to laugh even more maniacally as he became more unhinged while destroying many buildings and people, symbolizing his rise to high villainy.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Eric Vale gives Shigaraki a very coarse voice that doesn't break even when he is in the middle of a Villainous Breakdown. During his fight with Re Destro, after fully unlocking the power of his Decay Quirk and reconciling his past traumatic memories associated with it, accepting them as part of who he is, his voice loses its raspiness and becomes deeper, which is represented in the manga by his previously-shaky and unstable speech bubbles smoothing out and becoming clearer.
  • Evil Versus Evil: It might come as a surprise from a series called My Hero Academia, but many of Shigaraki's conflicts are actually against other villains as much as they are against the heroes in his rise to the top of the villain world. He even has to overcome his master from within his very soul, tearing All For One's vestige apart as he springs from him like a cocoon, metamorphosing at last into the ultimate villain to challenge Midoriya's ultimate hero.
  • Eviler than Thou: Shigaraki wasn't kidding when he said he was running the show now: All For One's attempt at hijacking his body goes terribly awry and ends with his vestige being torn apart and cementing Shigaraki as the true Big Bad of My Hero Academia. It's revealed in flashback that the heroes would actually prefer to fight All For One rather than Shigaraki, because his desire to Take Over the World ironically means he has some lines he won't cross out of Pragmatic Villainy. Tomura has more power than his original body and no such limitations: whilst All For One wanted to reduce Japan to a wasteland To Create a Playground for Evil to rule over, Tomura wants to decay all 378,000 kilometres of the country itself, leaving nothing but sea and sky.
  • Evolution Power-Up: With the amount of Quirks inside All For One, Shigaraki explains his body undergoes spontaneous growth to handle it. Erasure has no effect on this ability because it's a side effect of possessing so many Quirks, he's not using any to trigger it. He truly believes his body exploding into a sporadic tangle of hands is a step in evolution heroes will never be ready for, showing he will do anything to attain the power to destroy everything he hates.
  • Exact Words: He never explicitly told Toga and Twice to betray the Shie Hassaikai. But he didn't tell them not to. This allowed them to get past Nemoto's Quirk because there was technically no planned betrayal in the works, it was just something they chose to do later on, which Shigaraki was banking on, exploiting Overhaul's perception of subordinates as unthinking pawns to have his allies outwit him instead of himself.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: Upon "liberating" himself and coming to terms with his past, Shigaraki's eyes are drawn in solid circles progressively less frequently, but in an almost hatching type of style to reflect the new power he's unlocked with Decay. After acquiring the original All For One Quirk, his eyes oscillate between his own and having no pupils as All For One merges with him into a new being. Near the end of the process, Shigaraki's eyes have lost all solid lines and are done strictly in the hatching style to signify he and his master are becoming one and the same.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: As the series goes on Shigaraki's hairstyle gets longer with each arc corresponding with his increased competence and threat level as a villain, giving a visual indicator that Shigaraki grows from being a fairly ineffectual, childish brat to a genuinely powerful and dangerous super villain. As his merging with All For One's vestige continues and his body starts adapting more to the enhancements Garaki made to his body to be able to handle the immense contained might within All For One's Quirk immediately, it starts becoming indicative of his increased power level, with Star confusedly noting his hair visibly lengthening mid-fight with her. Tomura/All For One goes on to reveal that this is a result of his body changing and adapting to find the best form to suit his immense power, even if it deviates from the standard human mold. He uses the example of hair and nails naturally growing to explain how he's able to form massive fleshy tentacles to attack everybody even with his Quirks sealed, his hair lengthening as a side-effect of him controlling his body's 'growth' as a weapon.
  • Expy: Horikoshi states that Shigaraki was based on the protagonist of his first one-shot, Tenko. They both share the ability to disintegrate anything they touch, they both accidentally killed their loved ones with their abilities, they both share an intense hatred for the world and wish to rid it of something,note  and they both share the same name.
  • Extra Digits: And boy, how. He gains the ability to grow an innumerable amount of extra digits and limbs by the time of the final battle, his body naturally evolving in response to the Quirk Singularity occurring within the All For One Quirk by generating extra body parts to compensate for it.
  • Eye Scream: Shigaraki has a scar over his right eye, revealed to be a result of clawing at his own eye after accidentally murdering his sister. Later he ends up in several fights where he's exposed to fire or explosives that rupture his eyeballs before Hyper-Regeneration makes him heal back to himself.
  • Face Death with Dignity: He meets his own end an unrepentant villain, calmly telling Deku to inform Spinner that Tomura Shigaraki fought to destroy until "the bitter end," before his body breaks down and disintegrates.
  • The Faceless: Initially, his face is always covered by one of his severed hands, even when he's not wearing the rest of his costume. He eventually reveals his real face to Midoriya in a shopping mall, and begins to show his face much more often as he grows in power and confidence. After the fight with the MLA, Tomura more or less does away with wearing the hands after their destruction at Re-Destro's hands ends up unlocking his suppressed traumatic memories and the full potential of his Decay with them, even pointedly destroying his 'father' hand as a sign he no longer needs to rely on them or be chained down by his past. During all his subsequent appearances, he goes without wearing any such facial coverings anymore, though he retains the sole surviving hand as part of his 'brand recognition' and his shaggy and unkept hair also helps hide his facial expressions afterwards. When he's beaten to the point of near-catatonia by the heroes' efforts during the Paranormal Liberation War arc, Spinner remembers how he stated that the hands on his body awaken his instinctual hatred towards everything and help focus him, putting the remaining hand back on his face as a means of rousing him...which unfortunately triggers All For One to assume complete control over Tomura's body through monopolising Tomura's hatred to empower his mental control over his 'protege'.
  • Fan Disservice: Downplayed, at first. Fighting against Machia for months led to Tomura developing an impressive physique, on par with Midoriya, but when he gets his shirt destroyed during his fight against Re-Destro is a bit diffucult to appreciate given his poor skincare. Played Straight during and after the PLF War arc. The strain from all the for All for One quirks on his body, combined with the damaged inflicted by the heroes during the fight on Jaku causes Shigaraki's body to rip itself apart from below his collarbone, with his left arm barely attaching itself to him. It gets worse by the time of the Final War, with his body evolving into grotesque and bizarre mutations. At one point, his back manifests a mouth to spit out the poison that Suneater infected him with.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He can be even-tempered and articulate when he so chooses, as evident in his ambush of Midoriya in the shopping mall, where he made due on his promise not to hurt him so long as they talked. He also shows shades of this in his battle in the Paranormal Liberation War, at times appearing more politely amused than truly angry. This is only whilst he's in control and can use his powers to beat the heroes down with ease however. His faux politeness goes away once Izuku starts seriously inconveniencing him with repeated blows at 100% power. Afterwards, as the merger between his and All For One's minds gets further completed, this trait manifests itself more frequently in battle, but usually in a manner befitting his master's spiteful mockery of his opponents, with occasional shades of Tomura's attitude showing in his dialogue.
  • Fatal Flaw: At the start of the series, Tomura was shown to suffer from a lack of forethought and immaturity. While he was strong, a force to be reckoned with and extremely dangerous, Tomura's plans were very short-sighted and half-baked, focusing on the immediate goal with no regard for long-term consequences. During the USJ Attack, Tomura underestimated the Class 1-A students, believing that they would be no match for common criminals and thugs. When the plan fell apart, Tomura was forced to flee. During the Hosu City Incident, Tomura recklessly threw away the three Nomu All For One provided him, all of which were easily killed and making the League of Villains appear incompetent. After kidnapping Bakugo, Tomura believed he'd join the League of Villains because of his arrogant, violent behavior, causing him to sorely underestimate Bakugo's moral character and lead the heroes to their hideout (courtesy of Dabi). After All For One is captured, Tomura learns to start planning long-term and think things through rather than charging in head-first. He grows wiser and more mature, allowing him to become a leader that wins control of the Paranormal Liberation Front.
  • Fearless Fool: A zigzagged example - because of the Doctor's modifications and being transferred All for One, Shigaraki enjoys the power that he has and throws himself into battle with the likes of Endeavor and Deku with reckless abandon. However, he isn't as invincible as he likes to think he is, and he's ridiculously stubborn. Because of this, he refuses to retreat from the battle when it's clear that he's going to be defeated, and All For One's vestige has to resort to taking full control of his body in order to flee the war and recover.
  • Feel No Pain:
    • Part of Garaki's modifications to his body involved almost completely nullifying his sense of pain. After he emerges from his pod, Shigaraki ignores almost all the injuries he suffers, relentlessly attacking his opponents and relying on his Healing Factor to fix the damage. Once the damage his incomplete body endures starts becoming too much for it, resulting in a large, bloody gash appearing in his torso and his right arm almost falling off, Shigaraki's only reaction is a confused "huh?", and to calmly analyze why his body is suddenly falling apart instead of freak out.
    • Later, his diminished pain receptors leave him wholly unprepared to feel even the slightest "sting" from the heroes stacking damage on his body with his Quirks once again turned off. He and All For One undergo a simultaneous Villainous Breakdown in response, further bolstered by his Tenko aspect's indignation over being ignored when he needed saving.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Shigaraki might end up under All For One's control, but Tenko doesn't. Tenko comes into being after All For One starts absorbing Tomura, with the scared young boy pleading for Izuku to come save him from becoming bound to the supervillain. While at first his attempts at resistance amount to little, the heroes attacking their shared body combined with Tenko's righteous fury over nobody ever bothering to help him when he needed it result in him fighting off All For One in tandem with Izuku beating the snot out of him.
  • Fingore: Re-Destro cripples Shigaraki's left hand, destroying his thumb, index and middle fingers. This winds up becoming a Power Limiter on him going forward, as whilst Shigaraki unlocks the full ability of his Decay quirk shortly afterwards and can unleash it in an AOE wave around him to crumble entire cities to dust in seconds, his quirk activating through his fingers and the strain involved means he can only perform this with his unmaimed hand. Izuku utilizes this weakness against him when his body starts breaking apart during their fight and his arm nearly falls off entirely, using the brief window made by Shigaraki trying to position his arm in place to yank him skyward with his Combo Platter Powers. Having apparently learned from the experience, Shigaraki later starts overclocking his Healing Factor to regrow his missing digits to overcome this disadvantage, succeeding in creating tiny nubs of his missing fingers after some unpleasant side effects.
  • For the Evulz: At first, he comes across as a Manchild who just wants to destroy what he dislikes. Many villains even criticize him for this. Gradually, Shigaraki realizes his conviction: that too many heroes have spoiled society, and therefore the entire society must perish.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Literally. After killing his family with his Quirk, he suppressed the memories and subconsciously held himself back. Upon gaining said memories back through his resulting mental breakdown after his family's hands are destroyed in battle, and finally coming to terms with what he'd done thanks to his increased maturity, he becomes capable of spreading decay through contact like a virus, increasing his danger level exponentially, to the point the heroes need Erasure used on him afterwards to stop him killing anything around him in a second.
  • Four Is Death: In My Hero One's Justice, hitting an opponent with his special move four times kills them instantly. The pop-up that appears upon connecting displays a number that increases with each hit, until the fourth one, which says "DEAD!". Also, his birthday is April 4th, or 4/4.
  • Freak Out: When Re-Destro starts damaging the hands of his family, Shigaraki starts having a mental breakdown as this triggers his repressed memories of his family.
  • Freudian Excuse: We get glimpses of his childhood, and it's really sad. By all accounts, he had a loving family before his Quirk awoke except for his father who despised heroes due to his mother abandoning him. He got into trouble with his father whenever he expressed a desire to become a hero and was locked outside until he apologised. While his family loved him, they didn't want to go against his father's wishes, and tried to convince him to give up on his dream, which left him constantly depressed. His sister Hana was the only one to encourage Tenko and showed him a picture of his grandma Nana to give him hope. However, his father found out about the photo and Hana, in a Moment of Weakness, blamed Tenko, which led to his father beating him. Seeing that his family wouldn't stand up for him was the final straw and it led to Tenko's Quirk awakening. He was left lost, destitute and crying in a street alley. Why did no one help him? Because he looked so freaking scary. But then All For One came to his rescue...
  • Friendless Background: Mirio calls him out on having no real attachments to anybody, which drives his petty need to destroy the world. Uncharacteristically, this fazes Shigaraki long enough to let Mirio land an attack. While he did form real friendships with the League of Villains, he seems to gradually forget about them as All For One takes deeper root in his mind. However, 'Tenko Shimura', the remaining aspect of Tomura's better personality traits and childhood innocence locked away in his psyche, is roused to the forefront in Chapter 361 by said accusation, childishly claiming he did have friends when he was still Tenko, making All For One aware that he's not fully in control of Tomura's mind and body yet.
    Tomura/Tenko: I do have friends… Cuz, like, Mikkun and Tomo said, "You're really nice, Ten." And Mon likes to go on walks with me! Didja know that? Huh? So yeah, I've got friends!!
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The mass murderer who would become known across the globe as Tomura Shigaraki was originally just some kid named Tenko Shimura. While having ties to One For All through his grandmother Nana, under different circumstances he likely wouldn't have become a criminal at all even if his Quirk still manifested the same way. Had somebody actually possessed the courage to help him, he'd never have been taken under All For One's wing and molded into a supervillain. This is visually demonstrated through the only remaining part of Tomura left after All For One assimilates his psyche — the crying childhood self of Tenko Shimura, still waiting for somebody to save him, wheres the rest of his mind and body has been thoroughly warped into an almost inhuman abomination by All For One's machinations.
  • Full-Name Basis: Kurogiri always addresses him by his full name.

    G - I 
  • Gave Up Too Soon: His first raid on USJ is quickly called off when their trump card against All Might lost. Midoriya calls him out on this, pointing to it as one of the major differences between him and Stain, along with their conviction. This aspect is completely averted after further character development, to the point that the heroes regularly panic over Tomura weathering things that would have killed or broken anybody else.
  • Generation Xerox: During his month and a half long battle with Gigantomachia, he kept his smile up through the whole ordeal, unwittingly following in his grandmother's footsteps.
  • Genius Bruiser: Shigaraki's intuitive fighting skills continue developing across the series and it turns him into a deceptively cunning and powerful foe, especially after he gains All For One. From figuring out how to counter Re-Destro's attacks to using Radio Waves to activate the dormant Near-High End Nomu, Shigaraki's enemies underestimate him at their own peril. This is perhaps best demonstrated by his decision to whittle away at One For All by taking one Quirk at a time instead of attacking the whole thing, which was a solution his master never came up with since he was so focused on stealing his brother's Quirk that formed the base of it specifically. Too bad that Izuku ends up using this strategy against him...
  • A God Am I: Relishes becoming as strong as All Might even with his Quirks turned off by Erasure, and thoroughly enjoys the new powers All For One grants him as he embarks on his quest for destruction. Becomes an instance of Didn't Think This Through as he does attain god-like power, but at the cost of All For One slowly subsuming his consciousness into a superior copy of himself. He manages to turn things around for himself, however, and says flat-out to Izuku that he has since moved so far beyond being human... only for Izuku finding a way to break through his powers through the Mind Link they shared causing his delusions of godhood to complete shatter.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars:
    • Has a big scratch over his right eyelid and a nasty looking disfigurement around the corner of his mouth. These were partially self-inflicted— In his horror over seeing his sister suddenly break apart into bloody chunks right in front of him when his Quirk manifested, he ended up clawing at his own face and ripped out a significant chunk of his eyelid, just barely missing giving himself an Eye Scream. When Kotaro tumbled across the massacre and Tenko's decay went berserk, breaking the ground underneath them into unstable rubble, in desperation, he grabbed a nearby weed clipper and smacked Tenko across the face with it in a blind panic to keep his son away from him, giving him his mouth scar.
    • Following the fight with The Meta Liberation Army, he loses his thumb, index and middle fingers on his left hand, which remains afterwards along with his facial scars even after he gains Hyper Regeneration and regularly sustains and recovers from much worser injuries when fighting entire armies of heroes solo.
  • Graceful Loser: After All For One's forceful repossession of him and Izuku's quirks overwhelming his body, it begins disintegrating from the strain so he has no chance to fight anymore once Izuku reawakens his soul. In the aftermath of killing All For One permanently, he accepts he may have just been "a crying child" after all and calmly requests Izuku to tell Spinner that he fought to destroy until the end before he disintegrates for good.
  • Grand Theft Me: Unfortunately for him, All For One did not want to give up his Quirk in a traditional sense and is instead trying to hijack Shigaraki's body by absorbing all of his hate and animosity in a maniacal bid to steal One For All. The plan is only being interrupted because the heroes attacked Dr. Garaki before he could complete the process and meld the two seamlessly, and Shigaraki's own justified fury at this plan allowing him to fight his adoptive father off. Itself somewhat subverted as that hatred is what allows All For One to make him his slave. The more Tomura rages against him, the stronger their mental overlap becomes, resulting in a being that is both All For One and Tomura at the same time. On the flip side, Tomura becomes so rageful that All For One is simply incapable of permanently containing him, and has his vestige obliterated for trying to use him as a tool.
  • Hates Their Parent:
    • He is shown to hate his father, Kotaro, in flashbacks of his childhood. In fact, Kotaro's treatment of Shigaraki was so bad that he outright murders his father with gleeful joy when given the opportunity.
    • Says to Nana Shimura when he meets her in One For All, his own grandmother, that he hates her for everything that's happened to him too.
    • Lastly, he's even come to hate All For One for stealing his body, which is very understandable. Note that All For One relishes this unlike the previous examples as this was all part of his plan to stoke enough anger in him to steal One For All. Meaning all of Shigaraki's torment ultimately comes from the authority figures in his life failing him time and time again.
  • He's Back!: After roughly two years of manga chapters showing him sparring with All For One over control of his body, the real Shigaraki comes back just as the tide turns in favor of the villains' side in the Final Battle.
  • Healing Factor:
    • After gaining the original All For One Quirk, he also gains the Nomus' signature Super Regeneration. He relies on it more than all of his other Quirks combined, surviving Endeavor's many fire attacks and even a 100% beatdown from Midoriya, although he's left severely overburdened since his body hadn't reached full compatibility with All For One yet. Later against Star and Stripe, he performs an even more miraculous feat by recovering from having ten missiles detonated on him at once.
    • This, along with his accumulated powers, is immediately cut off by the heroes the first chance they get by the Final Battle, but by then they run into a different set of problems, as his nearly-perfected body is now almost-impossible to meaningfully damage at all. His new ability to cancerously grow his flesh to attack with also plays into this, as he simply regrows any damaged parts the heroes manage to tear off his appendages.
  • The Heavy: For all intents and purposes, he is the one stirring up trouble in the series, with the rarely-appearing "Sensei" supporting him by providing intel and manpower. This changes following his mentor's imprisonment.
  • Helping Hands: Has hands covering his entire body, including his face. It's later revealed these hands are all that remains of his family after his Quirk awakened. Following the Paranormal Liberation War, only Nana's hand, now burned black by Endevour's firepower, remains.
  • Hero Killer: The massive Decay wave Shigaraki unleashes upon awakening in Jakku hospital kills a good number of the heroes there, among them X-Less and Crust. He also manages to kill Star and Stripe, the number one ranked pro hero from America, capital of superheroes.
  • Heroic Build: Inverted. After months fighting against Gigantomachia, Shigaraki grew from his skinny looks to very muscly physique, constantly when his clothes get torned apart during fights.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Psychic Link between the All For One Quirk and One For All In Izuku comes back to bite Tomura in the Final Battle, as it not only allows the Vestiges to see the mental damage lingering in Tomura's Mental World from Star and Stripe's battle with him, thus giving them a target to weaken him from within, it allows Tomura to see the "ghosts" of the vitiates advising Izuku during the fight. This makes them viable for Search to track them as well in a low-visibility environment, allowing Izuku to feint Tomura with Kudo's Vestige and leaving hime wide-open for a painful counter.
    • Not only that, but Shigaraki fully intended to steal One for All from Izuku one at a time, gleefully taking Danger Sense from him and taunting Izuku about it. He isn't as delighted, however, when Izuku decides to purposefully feed him the One for All quirks, which damage the inner core inside him keeping his 'Tenko' self inside
  • Holding Out for a Hero: Shigaraki shows contempt for this attitude during his conversation with Midoriya. In his eyes, everyday people are oblivious to the fact that anyone with a dangerous Quirk could easily kill them. He also thinks this is because the masses believe that heroes like All Might will always jump in and save them. It's implied that the latter attitude also created the Bystander Syndrome that made people so unwilling to help Shigaraki when he was a child. Ironically, it's later revealed that inside his mindscape, part of him is still actually doing this, symbolised by a vision of his crying childhood self hugging Mon outside his abusive family home, which Izuku catches a glimpse of during their mental tug-of-war over One For All. It is implied to be tied to the root cause of his endless hatred for everything—that nobody even attempts to save him from his own pain, even as his present-day self has committed so much death that practically nobody is interested in doing anything less than killing him to end his immense threat for good. This childhood self later becomes the focal point of Tomura's psyche that retains its individuality after All For One starts assimilating their minds together, because while being at the root of his hatred, it is still tied to his positive desire for a hero to appear and save him, meaning All For One is completely blind to its existence.
  • Hope Bringer: In a rather dark example which serves as another way he parallels Midoriya, by the series' final battle it's revealed that Shigaraki has become one for the villain's side with himself noting that even villains need their own hero. It's shown in chapter 418 that there are people around the world hoping for him to kill Midoriya and destroy the world that's abandoned them.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He badly underestimates Bakugo's moral character when he targets him as a potential Rival Turned Evil.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The procedure he underwent has granted him inhuman amounts of power under a normal appearance. Even with his Quirk nullified, his strength is comparable to All Might. Becomes more pronounced once he employs his new Body Horror abilities that make him more like a man-made Thing, sprouting and retracting thick masses of hands and fingers that can even form mouths for extra attack options. It's incredibly disturbing, to say the least.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Toga and Dabi attempt to join the organization, he calls Toga a "brat" and gets annoyed at Dabi for not revealing his real name. Mentally speaking, Shigaraki is more of a "brat" than Toga is, and is also not going by his real name.
  • I Control My Minions Through...: Pure authority initially, and not even his own. However, after All For One's defeat and his subsequent Character Development, he shifts more toward loyalty based on acceptance and benevolence. This proves a contrast to his master's ruthless treatment of his own 'allies' as benefits himself at their expense, to the point that Spinner can easily tell Tomura's absent when All For One possesses his body because of how differently he treats his allies.
  • Identical Grandson: As Chapter 235 shows, when Tenko was five years old and hadn't yet developed his Quirk, he much more closely resembled his grandmother, Nana, with the same black hair, eyes, and beauty mark.
  • Identical Stranger: He looked very much like Izuku of all people when they were both small children, with the same round eyes and messy hair.
  • I Die Free: In the end with Izuku's help, he finally destroys the remains of All For One after being manipulated by the monster for his entire life including being tricked into murdering his own family and retakes his body at the last moment before he crumbles to nothing, but makes one final request to Izuku to inform Spinner that in the end, Shigaraki fought to the bitter end trying to create the destroyed world they envisioned.
  • Implacable Man: Following his upgrade by Dr. Garaki, he's become this thanks to his utterly ridiculous Healing Factor, and best shown in his fight against Star and Stripes. He takes physical blows from a gigantic Fighting Spirit, gets stabbed by a laser blade on the level of Surtr on Hela, and gets multiple tactical ICBM dropped on him. None of these manage to stop him for prolonged period, and he just keeps on ticking. By the time of the Final Battle, his main body has become so tough, in addition to his healing, that it's almost impossible to break his skin, and only Bakugo's focused explosions manage to damage him enough to leave a lasting mark- and even that doesn't slow him down in the slightest. Ultimately, the only way Deku can stop Shigaraki is to exploit the one weakness Tomura never realized he had - the Mind Link shared between them.
  • Important Haircut: After abandoning his past, his normally droopy and wet-looking hair becomes free-flowing and silky instead, accentuating his new, intimidating appearance and status. It later turn out to be capable of growing to visibly longer lengths mid-battle, as Star confusedly notes during their fight as he summons more power from his accumulated Quirks against her, acting almost as a visual indicator of his growing power. This is later revealed during the Final Battle to be a side-effect of his body being forced to adapt to contain the immense power of All For One, driving Tomura to become capable of mutating himself through 'growth', akin to how hair and nails naturally grow longer, to have his 'vessel' adapt to suit his now near-godlike abilities.
  • In a Single Bound: Once awakened from an intense medical procedure designed to improve his body dramatically and implant the original All For One Quirk, Shigaraki gains the ability to leap long distances from his sheer Super-Strength, making him highly mobile and dangerous even without the ability to use decay on command.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Initially prone to this, making speeches about how heroes are just as bad as villains and the like. This makes him a charismatic leader to the two-bit thugs following him during the USJ Arc, given that he's basically telling them what they already want to hear.
  • Instant Expert: Right after awakening from stasis, Shigaraki knows what Quirks he has, and can wield them without any blowback or initial struggle. The only thing he needs to do is decide what Quirks would work best. This was intentional on All For One's part, as he chose Quirks that would be rather straightforward and easy-to-use when first obtained, something he himself shows a preference for in his original body. That said, Tomura's instant acclimation to more complex Quirks like Ragdoll's 'Search'' to find Izuku instantly is implied to be an early sign of All For One's vestige beginning to merge into Tomura's psyche, along with the knowledge of how to use all the stockpiled Quirks.
  • Invincible Villain:
    • All For One intended to use Tomura's body as a vessel to achieve this status for himself, having his "successor" undergo excruciating enhancements under Garaki to withstand the full immense accumulated powers of his stockpiled Quirks without any drawbacks or weaknesses. Even at only 75% completed, Tomura is capable of steamrolling any hero who stands before him, with only One For All's Combo Platter Powers providing a significant challenge, and is only forced to retreat because his incomplete state is backfiring on his body's integrity — and only through his master's will overriding his own, as Tomura doesn't care about that if it means defeating his enemies. After he's had some time to recuperate, Tomura's body is easily capable of withstanding the attacks of the strongest hero in the world, a Reality Warper, and kills her in an instant once he gets close enough, requiring her to weaken him from within for the Japanese heroes to stand a chance against him.
    • By the time of the Final Battle, the simple fact that there isn't any guaranteed counter to his sheer power is the biggest threat facing the heroes.Tomura requires a specialised custom-made flying battleground to specifically counter his many powers, and the heroes outright state they'd prefer that All For One remained in control of him, as unlike his goal to Take Over the World, Tomura possesses no such limitations. Throughout the fighting, a combination of him being Made of Iron and his new Adaptive Ability means he endures or overcomes every tactic the heroes try against him, even with his Healing Factor shut down. When he's finally able to dispel his master's mental control for good, and gains full control of his powers, not even Izuku can actually land a meaningful blow on him, at best playing an intense stalemate of keep-away whilst Tomura steadily destroys the landscape around them from the collateral of his attacks, whilst desperately trying to figure out some means of damaging Tomura that he can't recover from.
  • Irony:
    • Following the fight with the MLA in Deika City, Shigaraki loses his thumb, index, and middle fingers on his left hand to Re-Destro. This leaves him with exactly seven fingers— the same number that his grandmother Nana took in the OFA chain of succession, though he's completely unaware of this.
    • He views the patricide of his father to be one of the defining moments of his life, talking about how freeing it felt and how good it was to kill his father while imagining Kotaro desperately reaching out to him in order to try stopping him after hitting Tenko with the garden tool. During the Final Battle, when Izuku has the advantage on him, Tomura desperately throws his own hands out to stop him while screaming at him to get away, mirroring his father's pose and everything. It shows that everything has come full circle, but this time, Tomura is in Kotaro's shoes, having bitten off more than he could chew against an opponent he thought was lesser than him.
    • Shigaraki is able to outmaneuver All For One's possession of his body and reject his influence, letting him command mastery of his various Quirks to pursue his own goal of global annihilation. However, he instead opens himself up to a different type of merger between himself and Izuku thanks to an earlier mental scar inflicted by Star and Stripe, which becomes the only thing that can actually catch him off guard or even scare him. In contrast to All For One's forceful possession, Izuku's connection with him instead sees the two's most important memories be shown to each other while keeping their personalities distinct, breaching the psychological defenses Shigaraki had erected as a coping mechanism for his trauma.
    • He sneered at All For One's vestige while retaking control of his body back about the hatred that All For One thought would keep him down ends up being his own, and he uses it to tear the vestige apart. When Izuku later has Shigaraki calmed down, with the hatred within him diminishing, guess who comes roaring back to retake Shigaraki's body the moment he lets his guard down?
  • It's All About Me: Initially, his reasons for going against hero society are purely solipsistic, because he sees taking out his hatred of it for "kicking him to the curb" as a form of validation of his own power. He gets called out for his childish motivations by Stain in the Hero Killer Arc, and later averts it after Character Development. He still wants to tear society down mainly for his personal inherent hatred of it, but he now modifies his motivations to be for the sake of allowing his allies in the league to build something better from the rubble after he's finished, even implying that he doesn't personally expect to live long enough to see the outcome of his efforts and is satisfied as long as they live freely because of his actions. This divergence in motivation is one of the reasons part of Tomura can retain its individuality after All For One begins merging their minds together, as the more self-centred All For One cannot fathom any positive qualities or emotions in others, meaning Tomura's selfless desire to aid his allies at his own expense cannot overlap with his master's thoughts.

    K - P 
  • Kick Them While They Are Down:
    • After Midoriya defeated Overhaul with the help of Eri, Shigaraki stages an attack on the escort the villain is in, to punish him for the dishonor and bloodshed he inflicted on the League of Villains.
      Shigaraki: Just like that, you're helpless! A weak, Quirkless loser! And the fruits of your labors belong to me! Now, you don't even have a thumb to suck on! You're doomed to watch from the sidelines as your dream falls apart! Let's do our best!
    • He has a more ruthless repeat performance in the movie Heroes: Rising where after Nine is beaten and severely injured in a fight against Midoriya and Bakugo, Shigaraki appears before Nine when he's at his weakest and kills him with his Decay Quirk.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The tone of the series uniformly darkens whenever he is in focus. Tellingly, his character development causes this effect to increase as well. By the time of the Final Battle, he is presented as the biggest threat period on the villains' side and the main reason why the heroes' efforts to finish things on a united front could fail, outstripping even his master's original body, with his only real opposition from anything coming from Izuku and One For All. If anything, he becomes even more dangerous once he fully stops All For One's attempt at claiming his body, as All For One had opened significant blind spots for himself in trying to keep Izuku alive long enough in order to steal One For All like he wants. Meanwhile, Shigaraki's only real interest is pure destruction and sees no problems killing Izuku and erasing One For All permanently, who is the only person strong enough to defeat him.
  • Lack of Empathy: Mired in his hatred of society at large, Shigaraki is largely devoid of genuine compassion, though he grows genuine fondness for the League of Villains as time wears on. This lack of care for those around him was deliberately fostered in him by All For One to distort Nana's biological legacy into a twisted mirror of her own heroic achievements on the side of villainy, as well as turn Tomura into a Living Weapon that All For One could possess and control as an energy source of limitless hatred that could overpower One For All and allow him to finally steal it. Tellingly, it seems that Tomura's positive development with the league was outside All For One's calculations, and proves to be a dividing point between their minds that enables part of Tomura' to retain his individuality agaisnt his Master's.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Shigaraki/All For One doesn't bother dodging or blocking most of the heroes attacks during the final showdown, believing them incapable of harming him. This is Deconstructed when he realizes too late that while the attacks were individually doing much damage, his Healing Factor being disabled means they were piling up. He doesn't notice until the effects actually start effecting him and is left in disbelief it's possible.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Ironically, despite having hated his father, Tenko grew up to be very much like him: both hate hero society, both escalate to violence when things don't go their way and both grew up resenting their parents. The difference is that Shigaraki at least cares for his comrades, promising them freedom to fulfill their dreams. On the other hand, Kotaro was overbearing towards his family.
  • Logical Weakness:
    • His Decay Quirk is exceptionally dangerous, but the object he grabs has to be solid. That's why Snatch, whose ability to turn into sand gives him a fluid form Shigaraki can't properly grip, is able to fight him hand-to-hand without issue.
    • His Decay can spread through things... but only if they're touching something. During the finale, the heroes tailor-made a battlefield for him involves plenty of floating platforms that are constantly being replaced so he can't spread Decay Wave through anything.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He's still rather crusty-looking with several nasty scars, but as his hair grows he takes on a far more appealing and ethereal appearance, which is helped by his hair turning a silky, pure white after his awakening. His hair actually gets longer and longer as he draws on more power from his 'evolution', eventually growing long enough to hang down his entire back.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Shigaraki is actually the grandson of Nana Shimura, All Might's mentor and the previous wielder of One For All.
  • Made of Iron: Although his Quirk has nothing to do with his physical durability, he has repeatedly been shown to quickly recover from injuries that would be hard for a normal human to survive. He gets hit point blank by one of Bakugo's explosions and walks it off. He's also able to heal perfectly fine after being pelted with bullets in the USJ attack. Also, despite getting pummeled by Gigantomachia for a month, he's able to walk, talk, and move with fluidity. He later gets caught by a glancing strike from Re-Destro's 80% Stress form, which is strong enough to demolish buildings from air force alone, but has enough strength to get up immediately (note that this is shortly after being thrashed by Gigantomachia). In the Paranormal Liberation War Arc, Shigaraki's body is modified to grant him immense superhuman strength, speed, and durability, which combined with "Super Regeneration" allow him to survive hits that would kill most living beings. He takes large explosions from Bakugo, direct hits from Endeavor's super moves, 100% One For All blows and still manages to keep fighting. By the time the Final Battle rolls around, Tomura's toughness has upgraded to Nigh Invulerable, as Mirio's direct attacks with Nejire's spirals barely scuff his skin, let alone break it, and it's made clear only One For All's immense power has a chance of penetrating his defences anymore. However, this is Subverted, as it turns out the damage actually was piling up without Hyper Regeneration to heal it and Shigaraki simply thought it wasn't.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Shigaraki seems to have a ridiculously high pain threshold, and barely reacts to potentially crippling injuries. He gets stabbed in the shoulder by Stain, but only reacts violently when the latter's sword touches his father's hand, and merely complains afterwards that he had only just finished healing from his prior injuries. During the battle with the Meta Liberation Army, Re-Destro destroys three of the fingers on his left hand, but Shigaraki barely notices, having a much bigger reaction to seeing his sister's hand being destroyed. After he gets modified, it's unclear if he can even feel pain anymore, or if his nonchalant reaction to the horrific damage his body endures is due to Shigaraki now having a body that can endure his self-destructive mindset. This actually backfires on him in the final fight, as his lack of reaction to injuries and belief in his own durability results in the damage he's taking starting to pile up thanks to Hyper Regeneration being negated without him realizing it until it actually starts effecting him.
  • Make Them Rot: His Quirk. He can effectively destroy anything he touches.
  • The Man in Front of the Man: All For One employs him as The Dragon and later intends for him to remain a Soul Jar for his vestige to continue his reign as a "Demon Lord" through Grand Theft Me. However, Shigaraki has none of it and reveals to his master he was planning for the long term and waiting for an opportunity to seize back control, becoming the series' overall Big Bad and booting All For One into the status of Big Bad Wannabe.
  • Meaningful Rename:
    • "Tomura Shigaraki" isn't his birth name. That would be Tenko Shimura, which gains significance when it's revealed he's the grandson of All Might's mentor, Nana Shimura. This rename was All For One's idea, and he explains its meaning: Tomura is short for Tomurau, which means "to mourn" and invokes the sadness that comes with death and parting; Shigaraki is All For One's true last name. Thus "Tomura Shigaraki" is born as someone who inspires acts of mourning around the world as All For One's successor and surrogate son.
    • It also become more meaningful as his Split-Personality Merge with All for One starts achieving completion. Within Tomura's fractured psyche, his mental self becomes divided into his present-day look of 'Tomura' and his past look pre-Quirk awakening as 'Tenko'. 'Tomura' is easily assimilated, but since All For One has "something missing in his soul" as Endeavor puts it, he is entirely blindsided by Tenko remaining since he only understood that Tenko was angry enough for him to be used to steal One For All and not the reason why he was so filled with rage. As of chapter 379, Tenko is shown maturing and growing back into Tomura, and he accepts both parts of himself as wanting to destroy everything stemming from that house.
  • Mind Hive:
    • After All For One passes on his Quirk to Shigaraki, it's revealed that the All For One Quirk also passes on its wielder's "will", with a ghostly apparition of All For One now existing inside of Shigaraki. This isn't a good thing for Shigaraki: because All For One can suppress his will and hijack his body. In contrast, the users of One For All and Midoriya support each other unconditionally.
    • It goes even further than that, as Tomura's own mind has been further fractured as a result of his traumatic circumstances and ongoing mental battle with his master into two distinct individuals, one representing his present-day self of 'Tomura', the other his past childhood as 'Tenko'. This leads to All For One being genuinely taken aback that a piece of Tomura's psyche yet remains separate from him and can resist his command of the body. This gets worse when the Final Battle gradually causes the mental fusion to fall apart and cause Tomura and the vestige to split, with Shigaraki explaining that he let the division occur so as to hold onto the "grain of hate" that built and built upon itself, letting 'Tenko Shimura' evolve into 'Tomura Shigaraki', and he clarifies his two selves equally desire the destruction of the entire world. It turns out Shigaraki is wrong, as Tenko is still down there, buried, and Deku's plan becomes freeing Tenko.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: In stark opposition to Izuku's All-Loving Hero, Shigaraki believes the world is beyond all redemption and that the heroes are all glory hounds and carelessly violent enforcers who care nothing for the weak if they don't stand to benefit from it. While his convictions are hazy at first and his methods unforgivably evil, it's eventually proven he's not entirely wrong.
  • Momma's Boy: Flashbacks shows that he was close to his mother, Nao, before her death.
  • Moral Myopia: While he isn't entirely wrong about the myriad of social issues that fester within hero society, his use of mass wholesale destruction as a solution has had the effect of replicating the root cause behind those issues on a larger scale. All For One basically invoked this mentality into him mainly for the purposes of using his hatred to facilitate their mental fusion, so he could then assume control of Tomura's younger body and stronger willpower and control him to enact his ambitions to Take Over the World, meaning he groomed Tomura for the sole purposes of being an utterly destructive Living Weapon for his plans without intending he gain greater ambitions than that, because All For One's ambitions would become his.
  • More Powered Protégé: Thanks to Garaki's various enhancements to his physical prowess, Shigaraki attains strength similar to that of All Might even with his multiple Quirks courtesy of All For One deactivated by Aizawa. Additionally, All For One tries to enact a Fusion Dance since he empowered Shigaraki explicitly to possess him, but Shigaraki's desire to destroy ends up too strong as well, making him a fundamentally Superior Successor to his master both physically and mentally.
  • Mouth of Sauron: As of the Paranormal Liberation War Arc, he effectively becomes this for his master and mentor All For One, and he's not too happy about it either. Although by the midpoint of the Final Battle he's able to manipulate his master into throwing off the possession.
  • Mr. Fanservice: In the Paranormal Liberation War, he ditches his top and while his face is disheveled, his physique is comparable to Deku's.
  • Murder in the Family: The Meta Liberation Army arc reveals that when Tomura first awakened Decay, his lack of control over its 'spreading' effect accidentally lead to the deaths of his entire family, save for his father, whom he used it to deliberately kill in a fit of anger.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: As it turns out, Dr. Garaki didn't only transfer All For One to Shigaraki during his enhancement process, but also physically strengthened his body as well. After awakening from his long slumber, the formerly slim Shigaraki is now absolutely jacked and it shows in his performance; his raw power is now such that, even while having his Quirks cancelled out by Aizawa, he can easily jump several stories in the air and casually overpower Endeavor with one arm. This is somewhat ironic though, as he was previously a case of Muscles Are Meaningless and was already quite a bit stronger than his slim build suggested.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: After acquiring the All For One Quirk, Shigaraki also inherits his master's intense urge to obtain One For All. This is the first sign that his consciousness is no longer all his. Later on, during his and Izuku's clash on Mt Fuji's slopes, he instinctively tries to dodge or defend against some of Izuku's attacks, even beginning to form the same bulky hand-armour form on instinct when he's outmanoeuvred in a desperate attempt to block the hit, because he can sense that Izuku's aim to forcibly damage him with the Vestiges of One For All would be bad.
    Tomura: My body rejects what's coming. It can't afford to take this hit!
  • Mystical White Hair: The color of Tomura's awakened hair is rather signifigant. It isn't just white like Dabi's, it's glowing. Shigaraki's hair is a visual indicator of his power because it's constantly shining and shimmering after his power-up during the My Villain Academia arc. This is intentional too, compare his white/light colored hair from before the arc with it during.
  • Nervous Tics: He often scratches his neck whenever he's stressed or pissed off. However, he does it much less now after his character development.
  • Never My Fault: For his understandably tragic backstory and chilling monologue in the Paranormal Liberation War, Shigaraki is ultimately a man who refuses to address his weaknesses, blames the rest of the world for his failings and uses the aforementioned tragic backstory as a justification for his malice. Because of his mentor All For One's influence, he is unable to entertain the possibility that he's wrong about anything.
  • Next Tier Power-Up:
    • He gets this during the fight against the MLA when he unlocks his long-suppressed memories and regains the full use of his Quirk, allowing his Decay to propagate between objects and people rather than being limited to what he directly touches.
    • He invokes this deliberately when he orders Dr. Garaki to upgrade him using research originally meant for All For One, which results in Shigaraki gaining not only more control over Decay, but a greatly improved body and the All For One Quirk along with the stolen Quirks that came with it. Even when he's prevented from using his Quirks, the base enhancements to his body mean he's still a Lighting Bruiser comparable to All Might in his prime, paired with his intense determination, and refusal to stay down for long to make him into a nigh-unbeatable force. The only thing that can give him pause at that point is Izuku, and even then, he has to resort to using the full 100% force attacks of One For All in rapid succession to do any meaningful damage to him.
    • He again invokes this before the Final Battle, partially under All For One's direction, as he's forced to spend the in-between time completing his biological remodelling though sheer force of willpower to finish 'evolving' into the next stage of humanity and become 'the Perfect Demon Lord' All For One envisions. This means in addition to be being even tougher and stronger in a fight, he has the ability to control his body's growth, sprouting cancerous amalgamations of fingers from his maimed hand as Combat Tentacles against the heroes, and his body adapting to any attempts they make to weaken him, like poison. All For One, speaking through him, explains that this is because the body is naturally adapting to find the most suitable form for all the immense power continued with All For One's Quirk, as it's simply too much power for the human template to fully withstand.
  • Nightmare Face: There are entire pages dedicated to how creepy this guy looks, just to hammer in the point. The first time we see his actual face, which should be comparatively normal, it's drawn with frightening detail. In fact, it's for this reason that people didn't want to save him or even look at him for that matter when he was a child.
  • No Brows: A subtler example, likely for the uncanniness. While Shigaraki's bangs and/or hands generally cover his forehead, certain panels (usually action shots) show that the wrinkled skin texture around his eyes continues all the way up to his hairline, including the area where his eyebrows should be. He had them as a little boy, so the implication may be that he's somehow scratched them off.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When he searched for All For One's legacy and that legacy found him first, wanting Shigaraki to prove himself worthy of his devotion.
    • He's unsettled by instinctively sensing Izuku's plan to attack him from within his Mental World with the Vestiges of One For All, even severing his own arm from a Black Whip attack rather than take the hit. When Izuku baits him into leaving himself wide-open, his body instinctively starts to cover himself in the same bulky hand-armour form that made him a punching bag against Izuku before, knowing that a loss of manoeuvrability is better than taking his Arch-Enemy's blow right now.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: His overall goal appears to be the destruction of society. He sees no benefit in conquering the world and he sees no loss in destroying the world. It is later revealed that this is due to the immense trauma he had suffered during his childhood when his Quirk had first manifested. Shigaraki can only recollect fragments that excruciatingly torment his psyche. As a result, he loathes the world and every living thing in it:
    Shigaraki: Even if this society comes crashing down... Even if I rise to rule the underworld... That weight in my heart is never gonna go away. It's why I hate everything. Every living, breathing thing just rubs me the wrong way. So why not destroy it all? Why not destroy everything?
  • One-Man Army: Tomura Shigaraki has the potential to kill many people, but he finally comes into his own as this in the battle against the Meta Liberation Army, capable of sweeping away entire crowds of people with a single blow, his Decay spreading between people. When his Quirks are stockpiled, it allows him to challenge countless Heroes, and even without that his biological remodelling makes him a Lightning Bruiser comparable to All might in his prime, meaning all shutting off his Quirks does is force him to deal with heroes one-by-one, rather than taking out hundreds of them in a single move.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: When his 'Tomura' persona finally resurfaces after all the damage dealt to the TomurAFO fusion mental and physically, he emphasises this is the case between himself and Izuku. He claims that he is 'Izuku's villain' showcasing a desire to fight and kill him himself rather than allow his master to interfere in their showdown. This noticeably contrasts against All For One's perception of Izuku as a mere vessel for One For All's power, demonstrating respect towards Izuku as a person, even if he's diametrically opposed to him.
  • Overly Long Scream: Played for Drama when Tomura gruesomely kills Kotaro.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil:
    • His destruction of Overhaul's arms before taking the completed Anti-Quirk drug, meaning everything Overhaul did was ultimately for nothing. Considering all the abuse and torture Overhaul inflicted on Eri, it's hard to not feel some sense of gratification.
    • He killed his father for all the abuse he inflicted on Tomura due to his anger towards his own mother and heroes in general.
    • As the Final Battle goes along his 'Tenko' persona resisting All For One's Split-Personality Merge of their psyche starts to become more and more of a problem for the Diabolical Mastermind, compounded by the fact that the physical damage dealt to him to further fracturing their fused mentality. This furthers All For One's Humiliation Conga as he steadily loses a battle fought on two fronts despite the immense power he wields through Tomura's body, culminating in the 'Tomura' personality violently resurfacing and seizing control. The visuals and the Second user's observation of the mental battle imply it was an extremely painful process for All For One, further emphasised by the fact he desires to control the outcome of the fight to the last detail, and now he's been pushed into the background of his own climatic battle with One For All. Tomura meanwhile, essentially dismisses his master's will as irrelevant, claiming that he is Izuku's villain, and the fight is between the pair of them alone. It's immensely cathartic to see him regain control after his master tried to dominate his very being for his own gain.
  • Person of Mass Destruction:
    • While the audience only gets to see bits and pieces of how powerful Shigaraki's Decay Quirk really is, the League's war with the Meta Liberation Army showcases some truly jaw-dropping levels of power, which includes disintegrating dozens of members of the army with the sweep of a hand and destroying an entire tower just by touching it, and later on disintegrating an entire city leaving only cratered ruins. It is later revealed that the destruction was even greater than what occurred at Kamino.
    • After awakening from stasis with the All For One Quirk transplanted into him, Shigaraki is universally acknowledged as this. The first thing he does after waking up is decay a third of Kyoto city, killing numerous civilians and heroes. The heroes have no option but to use Erasure to limit his threat level, and even handicapped like that, he's still strong and powerful enough to give the heroes an extensive beatdown by himself, with the fighting turning into a Race Against the Clock for them to defeat him for good before he outlasts everything they throw at him. The one battle he has fully access to all his abilities with is against a Reality Warper, who hits him with attacks powerful enough to alter the landscape if they weren't fighting over the ocean, and he's still presented as an overpowering threat that ends the fighting with her the second he gets his hands on her.
  • Personality Powers:
    • Actually discussed between him and Re-Destro. Shigaraki is an extreme nihilist that cares for nothing but the destruction of the world. Re-Destro is aware of this, which is why, as a Visionary Villain, he initially opposes the League.
    • This is invoked by All For One while he steals Quirks to "pre-load" for Shigaraki before passing on the original All For One Quirk. Knowing that Shigaraki desires absolute destructive power and also wouldn't be patient enough to train any Weak, but Skilled type of powers, he steals simple but powerful Quirks for his protégé to use, such as Super-Strength multipliers and air cannons.
    • During the Final Battle the Quirk Singularity causes his modified body to begin seeking its "ideal form" in order to combat the heroes. The narration in chapter 366 notes that originally his ideal form seemed to be a giant, bloated mass of fingers, seeking destruction, a form that overwhelmed the world and kept everyone at arm's reach. But after he is pushed into a corner by the heroes, his body morphs so that the various fingers he generated wrap around himself, forming a protective shell, whilst the faces of people that influenced him in his life (his family he killed and the old woman who didn't help him) wraps around his left arm to gigantify it. This gives him a defense focused body that enhances his already formidable strength which Best Jeanist theorises represents his desire to reject everything.
  • Physical God: Garaki's extensive physical enhancements already made him a being with power on par with All Might in his prime, but adding All For One and its vast stockpile of Quirks turns him into a "transcendent one" as Yoichi puts it. It takes Aizawa using Erasure to null those extra Quirks just to give the heroes a fighting chance. Once his freaky body morphing abilities get introduced, all bets are off: Shigaraki begins taking a new step in evolution as All For One intends in order to overcome Quirk Singularity and reign over humanity as its absolute ruler.
  • Playing Both Sides: While anything but at the series' start thanks to his frequent temper tantrums, Shigaraki eventually grows into The Chessmaster with his number one tactic involving his enemies wearing each other out while he waits for the right moments to make his move.
    • During the Shie Hassaikai arc, Overhaul's group trumps Shigaraki's both in strength and sheer numbers, and the two clash over their shared desire to succeed All For One as the next greatest villain. This leads to Magne getting killed, giving Shigaraki a harsh wake-up call about his lackluster leadership thus far. Seeking revenge, he feigns cooperation and lets Overhaul borrow Toga and Twice for his forces. He also lets the heroes' raid on the yakuza commence uninterrupted, trusting his borrowed allies would want to get revenge for Magne as well. Once Overhaul is carted off to prison after a Curb-Stomp Battle from Izuku, he ambushes the convoy, steals his Quirk-erasing bullets for himself, and cuts off both his arms for good measure.
    • His plan for the Meta Liberation Army. Gigantomachia will sleep for about one hour more than they will be in the city trying to rescue Giran. Shigaraki's plan is for them to hold on, get Giran to safety and attract Gigantomachia to the city. Giganto will destroy the army to the same degree that they'll hopefully tire or harm him enough for Shigaraki to be able to take him down himself, killing two bird with one stone. Dr. Garaki points out the army may be lying about their numbers but in that case, Shigaraki is satisfied with the idea that Gigantomachia will obliterate the little numbers the army does have. And as it turns out, this isn't even necessary, as Shigaraki regaining his memories of childhood lets him use Decay to its fullest potential
    • Employs this tactic again during the Final Battle. He gives up trying to fight All For One for control of their shared body to instead wait and take root inside his master until such a time as the balance between their Fusion Dance is interrupted by the heroes fighting him. He holds All For One up gradually, but just enough that his master's plan starts derailing with the right prodding. This "fissure" grows and grows as their shared body sustains damage, with Midoriya giving him such a brutal Curb-Stomp Battle it allows Shigaraki to wrest back control and rebuild his body to null all the damage done thanks to Kurogiri interrupting Monoma negating his Quirks. A successive attack from Lady Nagant infuriates All For One further and prompts Shigaraki to finally destroy his vestige and reclaim his rightful place as the story's true Big Bad.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: His hair grows longer and longer throughout the story as he gains more experience and undergoes his Character Development. By the time he acquires the All For One Quirk, he has some splendidly silky white locks of hair indeed. And as noted during his battle against Star and Stripe, his hair grows longer with each jump in power he achieves. His hair by the final arc is the length of his entire body.
  • The Power of Hate: His desire for destruction stems from loathing towards society as a whole, channeled into rage that drives his Quirk's abilities: he wants to wipe out what he hates. Hatred specifically motivates him against All Might and Midoriya, the former as a symbol of the society he hates (and for hurting his mentor), and the latter for aspiring to All Might's example. Hawks speculates that All For One more or less invoked this mindset in Shigaraki's upbringing to ensure his success at stealing One For All.
  • Power Palms: After obtaining "All For One," he gains holes in the palms of his hands like his master.
  • Power Parasite: He obtains All For One's original Quirk thanks to Dr. Garaki. However, ironically, it turns out the ultimate goal of him doing so was so the Quirk could parasitise him, and the vestige of his master attached to it could forcibly integrate itself into Tomura's Psyche and undergo a Split-Personality Merge into a new, younger being that was both and neither of them at once, enabling him to both be 'reborn' as a 'perfected Demon Lord' as per his long-held ambition, as well as finally have the means for monopolising Tomura's sheer all-encompassing hatred both to secure their mental fusion and successfully overpower One For All in a battle of wills, enabling him to finally steal the one Quirk that could rest All For One's signature power.
  • Psychopathic Manchild:
    • Initially starts out as one of these, seeing the whole USJ invasion as nothing more than a game. All Might later specifically describes him as this. Stain and Overhaul even call him out on this, finding the reasons for his actions and his ambitions childish and without cause. He eventually grows out of this by the end of the Internship Arc; the only trait he does still have from this is his inability/refusal to process his actions being wrong and how they affect people around him.
    • Taken to a literal extreme by the time of the Final Battle. His hate-filled, 'Tomura' half of his psyche is supposedly completely absorbed into All For One's by the time he appears to steal One For All for good from Izuku, preventing the heroes from being able to exploit any mental weakness he might have had. However, the good part of him, represented by his childhood self of 'Tenko Shimura', was able to resist the absorption and retain its individuality because All For One is completely blind to such concepts. This means that the only aspect of Tomura that is still him is a literal child, trapped inside his mind with the psychotic TomurAFO amalgamation, which results in 'Tomura' giving a extremely childish retort to Mirio's accusation that he never had friends which upsets 'Tenko', taking them both off guard with his strange mannerisms.
    • Ironically Shigaraki's childishness is noted in universe as being one of the reasons why he's so dangerous since, like a child, he's constantly growing and learning meaning that he doesn't become stagnant and can adapt as he receives setbacks to his goals. He's also willing to take risks that no sane adult would be willing to make.

    R - S 
  • Rage Breaking Point: In the past when his Quirk first emerged and killed his family. He had been trying to get help from his father after accidentally killing the rest of the family when his father hit him in the face with a weed whacker. This act, reminding him of all the abuse he had taken under his father's household, awakened a desire to kill his father in murderous rage, making him his first actual victim in the process.
  • Razor-Sharp Hand: In Chapter 281, he incapacitates Gran Torino by running his fist straight through him, though that was more due to his Super-Strength than anything, and the messy hole he gores in his abdomen bears little resemblance to the usual wounds inflicted by the trope.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Doubles as Calling the Old Man Out. He tears All For One apart with words alone during his Eviler than Thou moment, calling him out for being so arrogant as to think he could manipulate and toy with people without suffering dire retribution, and aptly describes it as no different from how he tried to groom him into his perfect vessel. Then Shigaraki proceeds to tear his metaphysical vestige apart by exploding out of him like a coccoon, calling back to the butterly imagery often associated with him.
    Shigaraki: Ha ha! Manipulating [Lady Nagant's] emotions and history didn't work, huh? Yeesh, look at you now! That's what you get for sticking your hands where they don't belong! The same goes for the way you groomed me. Using Shimura and All Might to push my buttons like that. All to move ahead with your plot to hijack my body and soul to make use of my burning rage to take One For All for yourself.
  • Recruited from the Gutter: Tenko was left to fend for himself out on the street, recently homeless thanks to his traumatic Quirk awakening. Once All For One found him, he really had no choice but to go along with the villain adopting and molding him into his successor as Tomura Shigaraki. Eventually, Shigaraki came to understand that All For One had been grooming him to be his meat puppet ever since he was a child and correspondingly hates him for it, but he also displays genuine gratitude toward his master for giving him the tools he needed to carry out his own dreams (even if they were for the man's own ends).
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: His default color scheme. First he wears black shirt, pants and a longcoat with a pair of red sneakers. Later on, he dones a long red cape with a black jumpsuit and shoes.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Made more visible when he has no hand on his face.
  • Red Right Hand: After his battle with Re-Destro, Shigaraki loses all but the ring and pinkie fingers of his left hand and now wears a prosthetic that resembles a half glove over his fingers.
  • Redemption Rejection:
    • The little boy inside Tomura that Izuku sensed happens to be just as evil as the rest of him, and Tomura establishes he and "Tenko" share the same goal of ultimate destruction. Accomplishing that dream is the one thing he truly desires. Yet even saying that and knowing he'll almost certainly have to put him down, Izuku proclaims he can't ignore he was crying.
    Shigaraki: As Tomura Shigaraki and Tenko Shimura I've got just one hope. The destruction of everything stemming from that house. That's the only thing that's gonna save me, hero.
    Shigaraki: Nah. Cuz I'm a villain. I fight in the name of evil. To destroy. Doesn't matter...if you stamp out my hatred. Even if I wind up hollow... The villains... need a hero of their own.
    • Once All For One is finally destroyed, Shigaraki remains committed to his ideals, lamenting that he was not able to truly destroy anything, but he still parts with Izuku on amicable terms, requesting that Izuku tell Spinner that he went down trying to destroy everything.
  • Reduced to Dust: The strain of Izuku's transference attacks along with All For One's shortsighted and impulsive repossession of his body overtaxes it to the point it cannot handle having so many powerful quirks inside him. Shigaraki has no option but to destroy his master along with Izuku and the vestiges, and his body crumbles away like his victims did. Before he disintegrates completely, however, he has a final talk with Izuku showing their mutual understanding, and he manages to die unencumbered by his master for the first time in his life.
  • Repressed Memories: Shigaraki subconsciously suppressed his memories of him killing his family as a self-preservation measure. Once those become unlocked, Shigaraki is capable of showing what he can really do —reduce an entire city to a dust-filled crater in minutes.
  • Replacement Goldfish: It's implied he's one for his foster father since Shigaraki has an eerily similar resemblance to All For One's younger brother. All For One actually intended for Tomura to 'replace' himself entirely, considering his old body and original self expendable over Tomura's own, which, given All For One's utter obsession with Yoichi's Quirk, raises disturbing implications over All For One's intent to 'become' Tomura and gain his brother's Quirk through him, effectively becoming an image of Yoichi if he'd joined All For One.
  • The Resenter: To Stain for upstaging him as a villain without even trying. He doesn't react well when the new recruits admit that they only joined the League of Villains because they are fans of Stain. Kurogiri's intervention is the only reason he and the new recruits didn't kill each other on the spot.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His M.O. across the story boils down to this. Even before he focuses on any discernible goal, Shigaraki's primary motivation is to cause chaos and suffering no matter what so everybody feels the same misery he experiences constantly. This is him getting back at the society that created him, first by giving him hope he could be a hero only to cruelly rip it away once his Quirk manifested. Then leaving him to fend for himself until All For One was the only one to offer him any sense of security, no matter how toxic. Shigaraki cares only for his friends and allies in the League of Villains who are safe from his wrath, and he won't rest until the world understands his pain through total annihilation.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The narration itself notes that his Body Horror forms are reacting to his emotional state and intentions, effectively manifesting his desires in a twisted physical form.
    • The first is simply 'a bloated mass of fingers, forever seeking destruction', pushing the world around him away at arms length and being capable of infecting a magnified version of his 'Decay spread' through every single finger he grows, if Erasure wasn't already being used on him by the time he unleashed it. This represents Tomura's pure desire to destroy the world around him that utterly rejected him as a child, rejecting it and everyone in it in turn.
    • The second is a more concentrated, humanoid defensive form, with the fingers instead growing into facsimiles of armour and a mouthpiece, and his left arm growing into a massive bloated hand similar to All For One's mass quirk combination, with each 'finger' on the arm being a fleshy recreation of a member of his family or the old lady who walked away from the traumatised Tenko, capable of unleashing powerful blows on the level of All Might's, with similar paneling effects to drive the comparison home. This form was triggered in response to his anger over the heroes sparing no effort to revive Bakugo after he broke him, whereas Tenko received no such support, and symbolises Tomura both retreating into himself so as to no longer be hurt by others, whilst also using the source of his trauma as a weapon to strike back at others.
  • Sadist: Shigaraki visibly enjoys using his powers and is capable of some pretty disturbing acts of violence, just ask Overhaul. His grins doesn't help matters. After he upgrades himself with Garaki's biological remodelling, he clearly revels in the change to physically dominate the heroes and prove his strength by enduring everything he throw at him and returning it tenfold. Notably though, his attitude throughout is one of self-satisfaction in his abilities, and whilst he considers the heroes' efforts useless, he nonetheless appreciates the challenge they give him. This changes as his mental assimilation with All For One continues, as his master's spiteful attitude begins to influence him into becoming more cruel, mocking, and derisive of the heroes even trying to fight him, going out of his way to mock and break their bodies and wills just because he can.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: Initially, he is clearly dangerous to be around, with a childish personality, a tendency to get easily upset and throw tantrums when things don't fall his way, and his proud, petty nature meant that he wouldn't work with anyone who annoyed or disrespected him somehow. He mellows out considerably after All For One is incarcerated and he's forced to forge a new path for the League on his own, earning genuine loyalty from his underlings and being more adaptable on the fly.
  • Say My Name: In true hot-blooded shonen style, Shigaraki shouts out "MIDORIYAAAAAA" during their final fight in response to Izuku shouting out his own surname.
  • Scars Are Forever: While it might not be as easily noticeable, or at the very least something the audience can write of as being caused by his dry skin, Shigaraki has noticeable scars on his right eyelid and the left side of his lip. Chapter 236 reveals that the eye scar was a result of young Tenko clawing at his own eye after he accidentally killed his older sister while the lip scar came from his father smacking him with a weed whacker after witnessing his rampage.
  • Self-Harm: Shigaraki often scratches his neck and, as shown in Episode 11, if he starts having a psychotic episode, he'll scratch himself so hard that he starts drawing blood.
  • Self-Made Orphan: He accidentally killed his entire family when his Quirk first activated, leaving him in the miserable state in which All For One found him. As of Chapter 222 of the manga, it's revealed that he only remembers fragments of the event, but they're enough to make him sick to his stomach. As he fights Re-Destro, the memories start coming back full force when his family's hands get damaged.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • To Izuku Midoriya see Foil and Evil Counterpart above.
    • He is also this to Eri. Both of them manifested Quirks which none of their family members possessed. Upon manifesting the Quirks, they accidentally killed a family member and they have dissolved their fathers, albeit with a few differences. Afterwards, both of them were abandoned and were at the mercy of villains. However, Eri was discovered and saved by heroes while Tomura was rescued by All For One.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A multitude to Tetsuo Shima, the main antagonist of the acclaimed manga series AKIRA. Shigaraki sports a trademark, tattered red cape similar to Tetsuo's after emerging from his pod, fights off American soldiers in fighter jets in a sequence nearly ripped straight out of the series, has to wear a prosthesis on his left hand similar to Tetsuo's full one for his right arm, and can transform into a giant Blob Monster when his powers grow too much for him to handle. Lastly, both of their hair grow increasingly white as they become stronger.
    • To Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. He is an apprentice to a master he wishes to eventually usurp who deliberately fosters his anger and rage through physical and psychological abuse. Furthermore, like Vader, he has a shred of goodness remaining inside him in the form of the remnants of his Tenko persona crying out for help. Once Midoriya senses this, his new mission becomes somehow saving Tenko, mirroring Luke Skywalker's quest to save Anakin. This likely won't mean redemption, but there is a chance the part of his soul that's still Tenko can be spared to some degree. He even acquires a new "mask" of sorts when the one remaining hand he owns is charred black by Endeavor's flames, another similarity to Vader. Bonus points for being Nana's hand.
  • Slasher Smile: He sports one the first time we see his face. And that's not even going into the incredibly unsettling one he gives poor Midoriya later on in their conversation. Chapter 223 makes note that Shigaraki has been smiling like this for over a month despite (or maybe because of) being in terrible danger. As a child, his smile was part of the reason why no one came to help him, he was that scary.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Amusingly averted. Shigaraki has no idea how to play chess. He's really bothered when Overhaul forces him to play a few rounds of shogi during their meeting. When the time comes to use chess metaphors, all Shigaraki has figured out is "you win by taking the other guy's king".
  • Smarter Than You Look: Thanks in no small part to his initial childishness and psychotic episodes, it can be difficult to remember at times that Shigaraki is actually an incredibly smart villain. This can be seen during his fight with Aizawa when he was able to determine that the duration of time the latter could erase Quirks was getting shorter and when he came up with the plan to successfully capture Bakugo. In fact, according to his stats in the Official Character Book, he ranks 5/5 or A in intelligence, which for the record makes him smarter than Midoriya and Kurogiri, who both scored a 4/5 or B.
  • Smash the Symbol: After recovering his memories during his fight with Re-Destro Shigaraki destroys his father's hand declaring it unnecessary. His family's hands were meant to keep his old memories as Tenko Shimura locked away while aggravating his aggressive tendencies to help him embrace his need for destruction. By deliberately destroying his hands, Shigaraki has truly left his past behind him and now fully embraced his role as a vehicle of destruction.
  • Smug Super: Delighted and bloodthirsty about the new strength Dr. Garaki's experiments and transplanting the original All For One Quirk grant him. Taken down a peg when All For One performs Grand Theft Me on him, but there's enough of his cockiness left throughout the last few arcs for him to still be very happy with the new powers he wields even if he's forced to share. And of course, he becomes fully happy once again once he stops All For One's Fusion Dance with him and gets full, complete ownership of the Quirk... only to get taken down a peg again when Izuku begins to land a few but very meaningful hits, throwing Tomura straight into a Villainous Breakdown.
  • Soul Jar: All For One's ultimate plan for him, in a sense, as he tries to merge their Quirk vestiges into one supreme being. It's a work-in-progress.
  • Split Personality: Once the All For One/Tomura fusion begins to break down, the Tenko part of Tomura resisting All For One is revealed to have caused Tomura to develop a split personality: Tomura still wants to be Deku's villain and continue his plans while Tenko wants to be saved. After Tomura destroys the All For One vestige, it turns out the Tenko personality still exists, just sealed behind a barrier in his subconscious, and Deku and the Torch Bearers begin planning to free him.
  • Split-Personality Merge: A very rare non-consensual example. The nature of All For One's plan involves merging himself and Shigaraki into a singular, supreme being at the cost of their own individuality, and Shigaraki himself undergoes an identity crisis where he doesn't understand whether he's still Shigaraki, becoming All For One, or even his old personality as Tenko Shimura. Becomes an instance of Fridge Brilliance when you realize the word for Quirks in Japanese literally means individuality, making Shigaraki grapple with who he truly is as he seeks greater power. The events of the final battle cause the two to begin to break apart and go back and forth between who has control of the body, with Shigaraki managing to break free of All For One temporarily, but Izuku's breaking through the barrier that hides the Tenko part of his personality causes All For One to retake the body with a vengeance, all but destroying Tomura's consciousness and completely taking him over in time for the final battle.
  • Spoiled Brat: Before his character development, Shigaraki would complain and lash out when things didn't go his way; even Dr. Garaki mentions that Kurogiri had coddled and spoiled Shigaraki too much.
  • The Starscream: During the Paranormal Liberation War Arc, he becomes one to All For One after he finds out All For One is trying to take control over his body. They proceed to fight over their shared body all the way to the series' final battle. He ultimately succeeds, destroying the All For One vestige and outliving the original All For One.
  • Start of Darkness: The murder of his father serves as this. While the rest of the Shimura family's deaths were a complete accident, Kotaro continuing to push Tenko away in his panic at Decay awakening makes Tenko snap, killing his father for his years of abuse. It's this "origin" that Tenko holds onto well into adulthood as Tomura, and serves as the key to wresting control of his body and the All For One Quirk from his master for good to ascend as the world's greatest and most terrifying villain.
  • Straw Nihilist: He has nothing but absolute contempt for the society that heroes have created, seeing it as nothing but a big lie that people have deluded themselves into believing for a false sense of security, and fostering a culture of Bystander Syndrome and Holding Out for a Hero mentality. So, he resolves to tear it all down, forcing everyone to confront the grim reality they have so blithely rejected.
  • Stupid Evil: Very much so early on. Shigaraki's temper caused him to make incredibly short-shorted decisions that backfired horribly and would have ended his villain career if not for Kurogiri and All For One. After his talk with Midoriya, he begins to grow out of this.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Imagine if your greatest enemy became a nigh Physical God and made it their mission to hunt you down. This is what happens between Shigaraki and Midoriya during the Paranormal Liberation War, and he only grows more determined to steal One For All from there with All For One's consciousness merging with his own. Even when he breaks off the hunt after verifying that Tomura's body and mind-state aren't yet at the proper level to subsume One For All for good, and being forced to complete his 'evolution' in the meantime, All For One's original body spends this time using his resources, connections, pawns and vast experience manipulating people to relentlessly press Izuku and steadily grind him down whilst Tomura prepares for the rematch, exploiting Izuku's desperation to finish their fight whilst his Arch-Enemy is weakened to fruitlessly tire himself out and making Izuku very aware that he's right to be so desperate and scared of what's coming for him. He only has Tomura's body step forward to deal with Star and Stripe trying to aid the heroes, and even then it's made clear a major part of his motive is denying Izuku the aid of someone powerful enough to actually protect him from Tomura's hunt for him.
  • Superpower Lottery:
    • His Decay Quirk, put simply, gives him the power to destroy things, with no real limit to what he can break. The only two limitations are that he needs to touch a solid surface (As demonstrated in his fight with the Sand Hero Snatch) and that he needs all five fingers to make contact with the victim. The Meta Liberation Army Arc reveals that, due to Shigaraki subconsciously repressing the memories of killing his family, his Quirk is being suppressed. Once he "liberates" those memories, he shows off some truly destructive feats such as disintegrating an entire group of people by spreading the decay like a virus, bringing down a skyscraper with a single touch, and later obliterating an entire city.
    • In the Paranormal Liberation War Arc, after awakening from an intense medical procedure, Shigaraki not only gains full control of his Decay Quirk, but also gains the original All For One Quirk and all of the numerous Quirks All For One stole with it. Also, the procedure modified his body to grant him immense strength even without a Quirk.
    • During the commencement of the Final Battle, Tomura reveals a new ability of his, by forcibly 'evolving' himself into 'the next stage of humanity', his body becomes capable of adapting itself to suit the situation, seeking a form that is best capable of holding the immense powers contained within One For All's Quirk to avoid his vessel breaking from the strain. This manifests as him being able to grow massive mounds of cancerous-looking flesh as big as a building with no apparent limitation for how much he can 'grow'. This ability is also not a Quirk, despite how it looks, so Erasure cannot prevent him creating massive Combat Tentacles to fight the heroes with, meaning even after they prepared a custom-made battleground to contain and defeat him, Tomura still holds the advantage against the heroes.
  • Super-Speed: While it has yet to be commented on In-Universe, Shigaraki is very fast. This is best demonstrated in the USJ Arc, wherein once he notices Midoriya, Tsuyu, and Mineta, he suddenly goes from being in the middle of the training grounds, to right in front of Midoriya and company, in the blink of an eye. Shigaraki has 5/5 or A in speed. He is officially recognized by Midoriya to be incredibly fast after Dr. Garaki further enhances his physical abilities, now able to Flash Step faster than both an improved Bakugo and Midoriya at 30% could react to, forcing Midoriya to use more of One For All to keep up with him. He also appears to have developed Super-Reflexes to compliment his new speed as well.
  • Super-Strength: Chapter 276 reveals that the procedure that transferred the All For One Quirk to him also modified his body to grant him immense strength even without a Quirk, allowing him to leap high into the air and move with intense speed. He was also strong enough to send both Endeavor and Ryuku crashing to the ground with a single punch. This is taken a step further in chapter 366 when the stress and panic of having his Quirk's erased and being pushed back by the heroes causes his body to create a new ideal form for defense, causing the multitude of arms and fingers he created to wrap around his body to form a protective shell and buff up his left arm. His new form is able to deliver attacks with the same power as All Might as demonstrated with the sound effects using the same Smash! word blooks as when All Might used his attacks.
  • Superior Successor: An invoked and somewhat subverted example until ultimately being played straight. All For One never had any intention of bequeathing his power simply to retire or die off. He's groomed Shigaraki, a fact Shigaraki himself calls him out on, with the express purpose of merging their Quirk vestiges so they become the same person. This means he's been cultivating a superior version of himself rather than raising a proper heir to his legacy. But the real kicker is that he does such a good job stoking Shigaraki's rage that his adopted son becomes more suited to using the All For One Quirk and derails All For One's plan to use him to steal One For All, declaring he has no need for it. Shigaraki proceeds to blow up All For One's vestige and asserts true control of the Quirk, proving himself better than his master in every way.

    T - X 
  • That Man Is Dead: Combined with his multiple aliases throughout the story, Tomura's fracturing mental state towards the end resulting from his Split-Personality Merge results in him losing sight of his own identity and true name as both halves of his Mind Hive merge together into a new existence, something that is neither truly Tomura, not All For One. This winds up protecting him from Star and Stripe's Quirk effect, exactly as All For one was counting on, and afterwards, the resulting personality seems to have become mostly All For One's with traits of Tomura's cocky attitude and sarcasm sprinkled throughout his mannerisms. However, All For One is too eager to claim victory, as Tomura sneaks the "Tenko" aspect of himself into their Fusion Dance as a way of holding onto his "origin", allowing Tomura to finally revive himself fully and thwart his master's attempt at possession.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: His father abused him as a child for wanting to be a hero like everybody else. So he kills him (purposefully) and the rest of his family (accidentally) who were bystanders. Furthermore, absolutely nobody bothered to help him in the aftermath and left him to starve. All For One then steps in to foster his hatred and things only grow worse from there.
  • To the Pain: In one of his most sadistic and vengeful moments, Shigaraki inflicted this punishment on Overhaul. He decides to avoid killing the man outright, in favor of something worse. He has Mr. Compress destroy Overhaul's left arm as payback for taking his, and personally decays and severs Overhaul's right arm with a knife. This leaves Overhaul crippled and incapable of activating his Quirk ever again. He then steals the materials to make Quirk neutralizer bullets. Finally, Shigaraki laughs in Overhaul's face and tells him that now he's powerless, he'll be forced to watch in envy as the League of Villains becomes the dominant power.
  • Too Many Mouths: Can sprout extra mouths on his grotesque assemblage of evolved extra limbs and fingers as a natural response to an attack like Tamaki's Scorpius Toxin.
  • Too Much for Man to Handle: The Vestiage of All For One, merged into his psyche, outlines this to the heroes when they successfully shut down his Quirks during the final battle, but he then proceeds to starting growing and mutating his body to attack them with regardless. Quirks have become stronger and more powerful down the generations, and by the present day, they've reached the point that the "human template" can no longer fully contain them, shown by certain characters like Tokoyami and Yoda having non-human appearances despite it not directly relating to their powers. In order to contain the sheer power of all of All For One's Quirks at once, it was necessary for Tomura's body to be undergo Garaki's treatments to avoid a Superpower Meltdown instantly, and that same power is now allowing Tomura's body to "evolve" into the ideal form to contain his sheer might. Once Tomura regains full control of himself, despite his body maintaining a humanoid shape against Izuku, he revels in the fact that he's moved beyond being human, further emphasising it as another reason to Izuku that there's no saving him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After All For One is captured, Shigaraki improves considerably as a schemer and fighter, playing the heroes to his advantage to take down the Shie Hassaikai when they start posing a problem. He was already quite strong to begin with, but was limited by the need to touch his foe. The full power of his Quirk is shown during the Meta Liberation Army Arc, where he learns how to project and spread his Decay at a distance, giving him a tool to defend himself from attacks by decaying them before they touch him, and enough destructive power to level a city. During the Paranormal Liberation War Arc, after awakening from a procedure designed to transfer the original All For One Quirk to him, Shigaraki gains full control over his Decay Quirk, allowing him to choose what he wants to destroy as he was able to kill X-Less while keeping his cape intact, stop his Quirk from destroying the facility he was housed in, and hold his phone with all five of his fingers without destroying it. He also now has access to all of the Quirks his master had stored for him giving him a vast stockpile of powers. And if all that wasn't enough, Tomura's 'evolution' grants him the Adaptive Ability to control his body's 'growth' to sprout building-sized masses of cancerous flesh to attack the heroes with, something that apparently counts as a natural biological state and cannot be shut off with Erasure. By present, it's made clear that Tomura will do whatever he has to to become an unstoppable force in battle to sweep away all opposition to his dream of destorying society. All For One's aim is to enable him to put in the hard work towards achieving this, then become Tomura in order to become his desired 'Perfect Demon Lord'.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: With the arrest of All For One and his subsequent Character Development, Shigaraki gradually shifts into this; developing a better rapport with his compatriots over time, to the point that he declares in the Meta Liberation Army Arc that he has no need for a future of his own and just wants his League to live how they see fit. This proves to be outside All For One's calculations, as whilst he always intended Tomura to undergo Character Development to improve himself as a villain, he believed that Tomura would only improve his vindictive and hateful nature, and was completely blind to the possibility of his protege developing more positive qualities from interacting with the league, even if he still turned those qualities towards evil. As a result, when All For One enacts a Split-Personality Merge between them, he's unable to absorb all of Tomura, as part of his better nature remains separate from his more negative traits, enabling Tomura to still resist.
  • Touch of Death: He can disintegrate anything his hand connects to, but only when all five fingers are touching it. The Quirk does not spread if an appendage being decayed is severed, something which Shigaraki is aware of and may use for his particularly evil punishments. He later gains the ability to spread his decaying power like a virus so that it's able to affect other people and objects that he hasn't touched, as long as they come in contact with something or someone that has already started decaying. As if that wasn't enough, he later forces his body's 'evolution' into 'the next stage of humanity' to withstand the sheer overwhelming power he's gained from All For One's Quirk, becoming capable of mutating his body to sprout massive fleshy growths of hands and fingers as large as a Kaiju. The heroes are horrified to realise that if Aizawa's Erasure is turned off and Tomura becomes capable of using Decay through all his hands, they'll all die in seconds, along with everything in the surrounding area.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: He explains to Izuku at the climax of the series that, even if he gave up his personal hatred, he would still step up to be the Big Bad because the villains, particularly the League, need a hero of their own to carry out their wish of destroying the world. It's a revelation that's implied to be something he's only just realized himself.
  • Tragic Villain: Tenko Shimura was an innocent child who dreamed of becoming a hero. His father, however, hated heroes and kept abusing Tenko for claiming he wanted to be one while his family did nothing to stop it. When his Quirk suddenly manifested he ended up killing his entire family, scarring his mind permanently as he sought help out in the city. But his pleas were ignored by the people around him, too scared by his ghoulish appearance, who thought that some hero would help instead. Being well and truly abandoned, Tenko would then be found by the supervillain All For One, who began to groom him into his weapon to capture One For All over the next 15 years. The source of his trauma remains in the form of the scared, 5-year-old Tenko, while the "Shigaraki" persona he projects channels the hatred and rage he feels, wanting to get back at the society that wronged him.
  • Transplant: He's heavily based on the eponymous protagonist of Horikoshi's debut manga Tenko. Not only do they share the same name, but both share the same power, both are orphans, both have accidentally used their power on a loved one, and both are also driven by a deep hate for the world and a very intense goal to destroy something in it.note  During his battle with Star and Stripe Shigaraki's hair grows down to his waist making him look like an older version of Tenko. Tenko is effectively Shigaraki's prototype.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Whatever happened to Shigaraki in the past was apparently so traumatic that he can't remember anything more than brief flashes from before he met All For One. It's only after one of the hands that belonged to his sister gets destroyed by Re-Destro that his memories start coming back in force.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: His Quirk became active while he was hugging his dog for comfort after a massive chewing out (for something comparatively minor) from his father. He then proceeded to accidentally kill his mother, sister, and maternal grandparents, before intentionally using the power to kill his abusive father. The experience was traumatic enough that when All For One and Dr. Garaki explained what happened that day, the shock and stress caused the poor boy to Go Mad from the Revelation and vomit.
  • Two-Faced: During the Final Battle, Bakugo's Howitzer Impact: Cluster attack successfully tears straight through the Kaiju-sized fleshy growths he's using to protect his main body and devastate the surroundings with, leaving a sizeable burn on the upper right side of his face and eye, possibly blinding him in it. Thanks to the effects of Erasure blocking his Healing Factor, he's stuck with the injury afterwards for several chapters. This is notable, as by that point Tomura's enhancements had advanced to the point that his skin could barely be scratched by the heroes' best efforts, showing how powerful the attack was to leave such a visible injury. It's also used to symbolize the warring sides in his psyche between his identity as "Tomura" and the scarred visage representing All For One.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Downplayed. Upon regaining his body, Tomura eagerly throws himself into battle with Deku, eagerly proclaiming himself as his villain and boosting smugly about his superiority to him, throwing Deku around Japan and eagerly taunting him about his misguided attempts to reach the Tenko within him. It's clear that Tomura does understand that Deku is a danger to him, he still happily throws himself into battle with the mindset of being completely indestructable, and his killing Deku an inevitablitiy. So when Izuku begins to use the Mind Link between them to land a few meaningful blows to his inner world, Tomura is left surprised and quickly attempting to find a way to counter this, with Deku's continuing to blow through his feeble attempts at defense sending Tomura further and further into a Villainous Breakdown.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: After gaining All For One, he's able to use the raw power of it, combined with the regeneration powers and extra strength of his augmentations to handle it, in order to fight off several strong heroes at once. However, similar to Midoriya's experience with One For All, he's still a novice with using all the nifty powers it gives him, and his augmentation process was only 75% complete when his capsule was broken open. As a result, when he's pushed too far from accumulated damage, his body suddenly tears open when his regeneration is taxed out, and while he heals over it takes several precious seconds. In fact, this was intentionally enforced by All For One himself, as he picked and chose Quirks that would be incredibly easy to use and strong in power, so that even though Shigaraki would start out as an amateur with the Quirk, he wouldn't need to think or experiment too much in order to use it properly.
  • Unstoppable Rage: He murders his father in a rage when his Quirk manifested. Even more unsettling, All For One keeps him in a constant state of agitation to slowly groom him into an avatar of indiscriminate carnage. It's established many times that Shigaraki is filled with endless rage, all for the sake of accruing the grit required to steal One For All. Too bad for All For One that Shigaraki ends up so unstoppable he eradicates his vestige instead and takes over the position of Big Bad for good, uninterested in stealing One For All and instead choosing to destroy it and hero society outright.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • Justified example for All For One. Owing to their relationship and the fact All For One sold his actions as being for Shigaraki's sake, Shigaraki overestimates the agency he has as All For One's successor, and is caught off guard when the latter hijacks and takes control of his body in the Paranormal Liberation War Arc. This is later discussed at the Tartarus jailbreak: when Shigaraki calls AFO out for treating him as a "chess piece," All For One does not deny doing so, but claims that Shigaraki is his "future king" and not a pawn. Since All For One's aim to become the 'Perfect Demon lord' he dreamed about as a child, he was quite serious about putting every resource and effort he had at Tomura's disposal to enable him to be a better and stronger villain than him, and was willing to 'sacrifice' his old and broken body for his sake, but deliberately mislead his protege about his intended aim for them both.
    • Despite being somewhat aware of these manipulations, he also dramatically underestimates the degree to which his controller has puppeteered his life. Decay actually isn't his natural Quirk, and isn't even a natural Quirk at all. All For One disguised himself as a kind older man early in Shigaraki's life and stole the Quirk factor he was born with. The Quirk All For One replaced it with had been tampered with by he and his accomplice Garaki, removing its original ability to reconstitute the things it dissolved to make it (and by extension, poor Shigaraki) that much more destructive and unstable, as part of his engineering of Shigaraki's life to ultimately steal One For All. Learning just how deeply his twisted father figure was ultimately responsible for so many of the bad things in his life while he's already in the late stages of a serious Villainous Breakdown utterly shatters Shigaraki's will and allows the last remnants of All For One to body-jack him yet again.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Tenko came from a (mostly) loving family growing up and genuinely aspired to be a hero, not unlike Midoriya. In fact, he was willing to include other boys who had no one to play with in his friend/ playmate group. But the repeated abuse from his father, the rest of his family's refusal to stop it, and his Quirk awaking at the worst possible time and in the most tragically violent way possible utterly broke him.
  • Vague Age: Shigaraki's age was initially speculated to be anywhere between Midoriya's age and his mid 20s due to his appearance, Nightmare Face, personality, and height. His age is not revealed until 200 chapters after his debut, finally confirming that he is 20 years old.
  • Victory Pose On Person: After defeating Endeavor and Ryukyu in a fight, Shigaraki poses on Endeavor's lower body mockingly imitating Endeavor's previous Victory Pose following Endeavor's defeat of a High-End Nomu.
  • Villain Has a Point: Shigaraki begins as little more than a Psychopathic Manchild who's simply been handed resources he should never have been given access to. But as he matures and his Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds background is shown, it's made evident he does have clear reasoning behind his agenda. He's undoubtedly a monster for all the atrocities he puts into motion, but society's systemic issues played just as much of a role in his rise to power as his own agency did.
    • In chapter 363, after Bakugo's tragic death as a result of his Heroic Sacrifice to try and stop Shigaraki from destroying and killing all of the heroes of Japan, the heroes lament in anguish about failing to protect the young hero. Shigaraki then points out, despite he himself holding no qualms about harming children, that the heroes have placed the heavy burden on saving hero society on the shoulders of the young heroes-in-training, that they were the ones who forced them to participate on the front lines of the war. So this they should expect that they run the risk of some of them losing their lives. The heroes silently concede to this point and attempt to revive Bakugo.
  • Villain Protagonist: In the Meta Liberation Army Arc, Shigaraki serves as the main protagonist being front and center of the arcs major conflicts, with his past and struggles to truly succeed All For One being the highlight. This highlights his role as Midoriya's Arch-Enemy, capable of undergoing his own journey in parallel to his destined enemy's. From this point on he has such consistent character development and focus in the story there's an argument to be made that he emerges as the series' true Deuteragonist.
  • Villain Respect:
    • Unusually for him, Shigaraki doesn't get angry when a bruised and battered Aizawa stops him from using his powers on Tsuyu, and instead compliments the hero. The sentiment remains even when Shigaraki shoots him with a deleter round but Aizawa cuts his affected limb off and manages to stare the villain down:
    Shigaraki: You really are so cool, Eraser Head.
    • He retracts his respect during the battle at U.A., saying Aizawa "turned out to be quite the letdown..." Perhaps as an indication his hatred for society has begun eroding what sympathetic qualities he had with All For One slowly consuming his consciousness.
    • It's easy to miss, but he eventually comes to view Izuku as a Worthy Opponent in contrast to All For One's flippant disregard for his capabilities as a hero. When he finally wins the mental tug of war with his master over control of his body, he makes his desire to defeat his Arch-Enemy personally very clear. While he leaves no ambiguity about their respective roles as "hero" and "villain", he comes to recognize he and Izuku have come to share a very special connection he wants to see through to the end before he destroys the world of heroes for good.
  • Villain World: While stating many times over he wants to destroy everything, Shigaraki also comes to clarify that he'll leave the things his allies value alone so they may all rule over the remains of the society that labeled and radicalized them in peace. So it might be more accurate to say that creating this type of world through destroying the old one of heroes is his long-term goal.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • He had a habit of flipping his shit when things didn't go his way early in the story, though he largely grows out of this as the story goes on. It still happens on occasion, like when Re-Destro first starts destroying Shigaraki's hands, he has a mental breakdown as the memories of his past come crashing down on him, but he begins to calm down when only his father's hand is left. When his flashback is over, he decays the final hand with a smile on his face, seemingly fully recovered from the breakdown.
    • Seeing the heroes work so hard to revive Bakugo after he already killed him sends Shigaraki into a childish, murderous rage, furious that they would try so hard to fix what he'd already "destroyed" when he was offered no help as a kid. His rapidly evolving body changes into a new defensive form when combined with the hits he'd taken during the battle, showing he's come to reject everything and retreat into himself to avoid being hurt anymore, physically and emotionally.
    • Shortly after regaining his body from All for One's vestige, Tomura flips back into his haughty A God Am I persona, eagerly taking on Izuku and playing with his prey by stealing Danger Sense from him and smugly taking blow after blow from him. However, Tomura's smugness comes crashing down when he realizes that Deku has found a way to defeat him, his evil grin disappearing and being replaced by confusion and desperation when he discovers that Izuku is beginning to outthink him by feeding him the vestiges of One for All, so much so that he abandons his Attack! Attack! Attack! fighting and goes purely on the defensive. When Izuku goes to land another devastating blow, Tomura's composure shatters so completely that he outright screams at the hero to stay away from him, paralleling his own father.
    Tomura: STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!
  • Villainous Friendship: As the story progresses, he starts developing a closer relationship with the rest of his core team, as a sign that he's growing into the role of a leader after All For One is arrested. In particular, he develops a close bond with Spinner. It's these bonds that in turn help Shigaraki stop All For One's Grand Theft Me ploy on him by holding the hate he has for the world deep within his heart. Spinner freeing Kurogiri starts a chain reaction that lets Shigaraki reject his master to pursue his own brand of villainy as he prepares to wipe everything hero-related off the face of the Earth by killing everybody he despises and transforming what's left into an ideal Villain World for him and his friends.
  • Villainous Underdog: Following All For One's imprisonment at the end of the Hideout Raid arc, Tomura is almost completely stripped of his resources. He's left with nothing but the clothes on his back, his few remaining allies, and minimal financial backing from Dr. Garaki. To further compound this, other villains like Overhaul and Re-Destro start making moves to plant themselves as the new Big Bad, forcing Tomura into Evil Versus Evil scenarios, where he actually has to work to become a Dragon Ascendant. Once he's toppled his competitors and come into his own as a leader, Tomura quite literally takes his seat as the leader of the Paranormal Liberation Front, and new Big Bad.
  • Visual Development:
    • After his character development, he starts wearing a long coat and his face is no longer drawn in a nightmarish style. By the time he meets Gigantomachia and Dr. Garaki, his hair has also gotten longer and more unruly.
    • Another example of his character development is the presence of the hand covering his face. When first introduced, Shigaraki wore it at all times and the audience never got a chance to see his face aside from brief glances. He also showed a lot of panic whenever it was damaged or separated from him. His ambush of Midoriya in the mall, where he starts to form his own convictions, is the first time the audience is treated to his unobscured face, and from then his independence from the hand begins to grow, as he controls his panic when it is forcibly removed, and even willingly takes it off to earnestly speak with Toga and Twice. By the time of the Meta Liberation Army Arc, Shigaraki spends most of the battle without "father" on showing how confident he is as a leader, culminating in him finally destroying the hand, since he no longer needs it.
  • Voice of the Legion: After having received the All For One Quirk and when All For One's vestige takes control of him, he speaks in a menacing blend of the two voices in the anime.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Downplayed; he's less Bishōnen than the standard, and his hair is a pale gray-blue rather than pure white, at least until his power up in Volume 25 where it actually does turn white. Otherwise, he plays this straight, especially given his red eyes. It goes further after his Split-Personality Merge with All For One's vestige, as his master's cruel sadism gets expressed very frequently in the way he fights and belittles his opponent's efforts, even down to mocking Bakugo with the reality that he will never be capable of becoming the number one hero in a world where he has to compete against the ridiculous powers of One For All and All For One, just because he could. While there was some ambiguity over how much of his evil could be attributed to All For One's vestige, it is eventually revealed his weeping, childhood self is thoroughly evil and corrupted as well, allowing Shigaraki to retain his individuality through The Power Off Hate.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Prior to his Character Development regarding his own motives, he manages to infiltrate a mall and get his hands on Midoriya's throat. While he could seize the opportunity to kill the current holder of One For All and snuff out the biggest threat to his master forever, he instead converses with Midoriya regarding his frustrations with Stain. It's later revealed that he was completely ignorant about One For All or his master's obsession with it, and thus had no idea he technically had an opportunity to kill the biggest obstacle to his dream of destroying society, seeing Midoriya as just another All Might fanboy amongst thousands. However, when he's later made aware of the importance of One For All, by that time the vestige of All For One has started taking mental control over him, and adamantly refuses to allow him to do anything that will destroy the Quirk before it can be absorbed. When the heroes assemble against the villains in a massive ambush, Tomura can be seen struggling to put his hand on the ground and unleash his Decay wave against them to wipe them out in a single move, only for it to refuse to move because Izuku is also in the line of fire. Once he actually gets control over his body back, Tomura could very much easily kill Izuku as he knows that the hero is holding back, but still insists on playing with his food and stealing a quirk from Izuku. This ultimately leads to his defeat, as Deku decides to purposefully feed him the One for All quirks and weaken the mental barrier Tomura has inside, and Tomura can do nothing but try feebily to defend himself.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He was regularly abused by his father, Kotaro Shimura, for wanting to be a hero while the rest of his family stood by and watched. Until one day he developed his Quirk and lost control of it, accidentally killing most of his family in what was implied to have been a subconscious rage before finally snapping and killing his father. Afterwards, he wandered the streets while everyone around him was too creeped out by his appearance to help until All For One found him. From there, he was groomed into becoming an unhinged mass murderer. It's such a tragic upbringing that Izuku, his own Arch-Enemy, realizes he never deserved it and begins searching for some way to save him.
  • World's Strongest Man: Even in his incomplete state, Shigaraki, who possesses the original All For One Quirk and a bioengineered body with abnormal physical prowess, counts as this. He can easily destroy entire cities with a mere touch and even Endeavor proves no match for him. Ultimately, Shigaraki is so strong that it took America's own No. 1 hero, armed with a Quirk that alters the very rules of reality in her favor, pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to damage his Quirk factor from the inside out. This permanently destroys an untold number of his accumulated abilities, giving the heroes a viable chance of beating him. The only one who could possibly take the title from him even after all that is Izuku, who's starting to master the full variety of powers One For All grants him. Not to mention they are destined to fight for it.
  • Would Harm a Senior: To him, it doesn't matter how old someone is if they rub him the wrong way. This is displayed most gruesomely when he maims Gran Torino.
  • Would Hurt a Child: When he runs into Midoriya at a shopping mall, he admits he could kill at least twenty people before he'd be stopped, and the visuals accompanying it make it clear this means everyone is free game, including children.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Takes after his master by doing this and actually executes it even better. Realizing All For One would never willingly give him control of his body back, Shigaraki allowed himself to be suppressed while keeping a portion of his psyche behind to progressively regain control of his body. By holding onto his "origin", Shigaraki mustered the willpower to override All For One's hijacking and destroys his vestige, rejecting All For One's goal of stealing back One For All and doubling down on his own dream of destroying hero society.

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