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Tear Jerker / My Hero Academia

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"...do you think...I can be a hero, too...?"
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There's a good reason why My Hero Academia is known for causing us to get in touch with tear Quirks we never knew we had: it doesn't pull its punches with reality checks about how we envision the ideal hero if the genre applied to real life and transcended the world of comics.

From the very start, we are told "Not all men are created equal" - at least in this world of Quirk-based favoritism. Not everyone is cut out to be a hero, some "heroes" are imitators and posers, others are selfish-minded and heroes in name only, and heroism is not always a pretty road to take. And attempting superheroism, the pinnacle of heroism, is a double-edged sword, because striving to be the best can break someone... or deny and destroy those that get left behind and caught up in the chaos.

Spoilers Off applies to all "Moments" pages, so all spoilers are unmarked.

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    In-Series 
Entrance Exam Arc
  • When little Midoriya first learned about his 'Quirkless' existence, the child spent the night on watching videos of heroes on the web, crying, and he tried to say that maybe he could still be like them. His crying mother hugged him and kept saying "I'm sorry".
  • When Midoriya first met All Might and asked if he could be a hero despite being Quirkless, All Might, doing his level best to let the poor kid down gently, told him that with how dangerous the hero profession was, he couldn't become a hero. With how gravely All Might himself was wounded in the line of duty, you can't blame him for trying to dissuade Midoriya, but even still: imagine your personal hero, the person you looked up to your entire life, telling you that your dreams will forever be beyond your grasp. It's heart-wrenching.
  • Just how alone Midoriya was at the start of the story. It's clear that no one ever put any real stock in his chances of becoming a hero, not even his mother. When he wasn't being mocked and beaten up, he was invisible to his peers. The anime even makes a point of showing him walking in a black void just to underscore how lonely he was. It's heartrending how novel the idea of having friends is to him when he starts attending U.A.

Sports Festival Arc

  • Todoroki's backstory combines this with nightmare fuel. His father Endeavor forcefully married his mother in order to breed a child to be better than All Might. His mother used to be very loving and encouraging towards him, even going so far as to call Endeavor out on being brutal towards him when he was only five, before she snapped and threw boiling water at him because she hated Endeavor, and the left side of Todoroki's face reminded her too much of his father. His scar is from the boiling water his mother threw at him. After burning Todoroki, she was sent to a mental hospital. Endeavor doesn't even refer to Todoroki as a person, calling him "it".
  • You have to have some sympathy for Shinso. His Brainwashing Quirk made it so that his old classmates always assumed he would make a good villain before even thinking of him as a potential hero. And his Quirk proved useless to him during the U.A. Entrance Exams, and he expected this to happen as well, so he applied for general studies and thereafter sought to get himself noticed through achievement in the hope of getting inducted into the Hero Studies classes. The explanation that plenty of strong and useful Quirks can be overlooked by the entry exam makes you wonder how many kids have had their dreams crushed by the bad luck of not having something that can cause physical damage. A line from Aizawa, the super strict teacher prepared to expel any student he deemed too weak, even expresses sympathy in explaining how he's against the way the entry exam is structured for this very reason.
    • His participation in the Sports Festival: he enters planning to show off his Quirk and beat the Hero Course students to be able to transfer, gets to the third phase... And his first opponent is Izuku, the only one in the competition who could break through his Brainwashing. Up until he sees the admiration from his current classmates and a number of professional Heroes (one of which even expresses jealousy at how formidable it would be for a Hero), at least.
    • The whole time, Shinsou declares how jealous he is of Midoriya for having a Quirk worthy of a hero and that he'd never understand how he felt. Unbeknownst to him, Midoriya does understand and sees a reflection of himself when he sees Shinsou's resentment and envy.
  • Chapter 36: Uraraka tries her hardest to put up a fight against Bakugo, but ultimately she overdoes it and collapses. Her struggle to say she can still fight mixed with calling out to her dad is very heart wrenching.
  • Chapter 37: Uraraka plays off her loss as no big deal in front of Deku, but when she is alone she breaks down crying while on the phone with her dad telling him she's sorry she didn't do better, so she could get scouted and start earning money. Falls into Heartwarming when her dad says he's nothing but proud and how Uraraka has more chances to show the world her stuff.
  • Chapter 44: Iida sees his brother in the hospital and breaks down in tears as Tensei apologizes for having Iida see him defeated like that. Worse, Iida's mom goes from yelling at him in an authoritative tone to put on a surgical mask for sanitary purpose to outright fainting the moment she first sees how horribly injured her eldest son is. The anime makes it even sadder- Iida barges into the hospital in a full run and causes the orderlies to yell at him, then finds his mother in a state of disarray outside the post-op. When the two are allowed inside, Tensei can barely bring his voice above a quavering whisper, teetering on the edge of death, his mother falls to her knees and slumps against the door in horror, and his younger brother Tenya howls with tearful grief.
  • Once Midoriya wins ten million points, everyone, even his friends, give him glares indicating that now play time's over, they see him as a rival that needs to be defeated. It's pretty dour to think that they can turn on him within a second, even maybe never really get over their jealousies of his potential.
    • It's very much possible that the entire thing was in his head. He teamed up with at least two people who were glaring at him (Tokoyami and Uraraka), and while many people did want to go after his points, it was also a game and competition.

Hero Killer Arc

  • Chapter 59: All Might tries to force himself to tell Deku that he won't be by Deku's side when he faces "All for One" but can't bring himself to do it. It's killing him to lie to his protege about his short lifespan.
  • Iida's breakdown once he comes face to face with the man who severely injured his brother.

School Trip Arc

  • Chapter 70: Deku asks All Might if there were ever people he couldn't save. All Might responds that of course there are always people he can't help just because they aren't nearby, and he has to force himself to smile in spite of there being so many people he can't help.
  • Kouta's entire situation is like this. He ended up losing both his parents, only to hear from other heroes how incredible they were for dying in the line of duty, and now lives with his aunt and her team of heroes who help train kids to be heroes. He's surrounded by people whose careers remind him of his painful loss.
  • Kouta's Trauma Button is hit when he encounters Muscular, the villain who killed his parents and plans to do the same to Kouta. Izuku manages to save him in time, but Muscular gives him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Probably the saddest moment of all was when Izuku apologised to his mother and All Might in Berserker Tears when he believes that Muscular is about to overpower him.
  • Chapter 82: The League of Villains manages to take Bakugo, much to Izuku's horror. Before he gets taken, Bakugo warns him to stop. Not with his usual arrogance and pride, but out of fear.
    • In the Forest Training Camp Arc, it can be especially upsetting to some viewers/readers to see Fumikage's Quirk, Dark Shadow, completely envelop him as he is screaming in anguish. Shoji and Izuku can only watch in horror as their friend is being tortured by his own Quirk. Jesus.
  • Chapter 83: The results of the fighting that took place; one of the Pussycats is in critical condition, and another is missing. Multiple students are in critical condition from injuries and poison, and the rest are not only divided on how they should handle what's just happened, but also completely defeated by it. Not helping is that Deku is torn between wanting to help rescue Bakugo, and knowing that it's something he should stay out of from experience.
  • The anime has Tokoyami crying and screaming in agony during Dark Shadow's rampage.

Hideout Raid Arc

  • Iida gives his reasons for why he doesn't want to go rushing off to save Bakugo. He's frustrated as the class president, but he's terrified of his classmates making the same mistake he did. He even specifically mentions that seeing Deku in the hospital reminded him of his brother.
  • Chapter 88: Shigaraki was alone before meeting his "Sensei", who shaped his hatred of heroes and only sees him as a tool.
    • It gets worse as the following chapters make it clear that "Sensei" was basically like a father to him, and All For One raised him purely because he knew that raising the grandson of All Might's mentor would hurt him. He also says that he knew All Might would defeat Shigaraki in the U.A. invasion and still sent him anyway.
    • Worst of all, the origin of the hand continuously perched on his face- the one of his father- is explained. There is a flashback to where Shigaraki was sitting before a puddle of blood with nothing but a hand remaining. He may very well have discovered his Disintegration Quirk that day. And it happened in an alleyway, with him just sitting there, with no shoes on and his face already disfigured. Helpless doesn't even begin to describe his mental state after that.
  • Chapter 92 has All For One revealing to All Might that Shigaraki, who All Might has been fighting and trying to capture, is the grandson of All Might's beloved mentor, Nana Shimura. The way All For One mockingly gestures a smile the way she used to is gutwrenching. Poor All Might ends up having a Heroic BSoD.
    • Even further than that, All Might ends up deflated on national broadcast in front of everyone. As the symbol of peace being seen not only reduced to a husk of his usual form, but also seen by millions having a breakdown, you can see the desperation in the faces of the crowds as they start chanting for him to win. And the person stuck in the rubble behind him is crying and begging him not to give up. Elsewhere, so is Izuku.
  • Chapter 94: All Might using up the last of his power to defeat All For One.
    All Might: This is farewell, One for All.
    • Midoriya realizing that the age of All Might, his and so many others' childhood hero, is now over.
    • After the battle is finished, All Might, tired and exhausted, points to the news camera and says "Now, it's your turn...!". To the public at large, it seems like a warning to other would-be villains that their time is coming, but Midoriya, his protégé, knows what this message really means. It's Midoriya's turn to fill in the shoes All Might has now ultimately left behind, and it brings the poor boy to tears, while Bakugo just stares at him in confusion.
  • Midoriya and All Might meeting up on the beach where he did his training to inherit One For All. Izuku starts to break down crying over recent events and then throws himself around All Might in a tight hug, bawling uncontrollably at the top of his lungs. All Might tries to remind Izuku that he told him to let go of being a crybaby... before breaking into tears along with him.
  • The revelation that not only did Nana Shimura lose her life fighting a powerful villain, her husband did, too. Worse, his death prefaced hers and was before he got to raise their child with her. This caused her to willingly give up her child for adoption to spare him from the tragedies associated with heroism, before her life was eventually taken as well. Even worse yet, if that child happens to be Shigaraki's father, our first glimpse of him was a bloody puddle with his hand being the only thing left of him.
  • After the School Trip arc, Ragdoll was captured by the Villain Alliance, and had her Quirk stolen by All For One. While she was rescued by Tiger and the other heroes, she was still left Quirkless. In the aftermath she's seen crying while her teammates try to comfort her. Heck, she's sobbing so badly all three of them are huddled around her in a Group Hug, and both Mandalay and Pixiebob are in tears as well, while Tiger is trying his best not to cry.
  • Deku's mom is still afraid of her son getting hurt, to the point where she admits that she's started having thoughts where she wishes her son never got a Quirk.
  • A subtle one, but in the chapters following the immediate aftermath of the Kamino battle, All Might starts wearing clothes that fit him rather than larger baggy ones to accommodate his hero form. It's a minor detail, but it shows that he's had to adjust to the fact that his time as a hero is over and adjust his day to day lifestyle to accommodate that. For a man who kept doing the job even as his body broke down, that must not have been an easy truth to accept.

Hero License Exam Arc

  • Chapter 98: Apart from Tsuyu (see below), Kirishima is the hardest hit by Aizawa's announcement that he would have not only expelled the people who went to rescue Bakugo, but also the ones who kept quiet about it. All he wanted to do was save his friend, so he's clearly guilty about how many people got into trouble because of him- not just those who went, but those who tried to talk him and the others out of going.
  • Chapter 99: Seeing Tsuyu cry because of what she said before about Deku, Kirishima, Todoroki, Iida, and Yaoyorozu going to rescue Bakugo. She had told the aforementioned three that their actions would mean breaking the rules and make them no different from villains. She realized that her words were too severe and to hear the others went through with it, she found herself feeling disappointed and she came to believe she couldn't have fun talking & joking around with her classmate anymore. Thankfully, they forgive her.
    • Even worse in the anime, where we her voice, typically as unchanging as the girl's countenance, crack as she audibly struggles to hold back tears.
    • Tsuyu also mentions in passing that until Aizawa's lecture that morning, she'd been under the impression that she'd successfully convinced Kirishima and the others not to go. One can only imagine how badly she'd have taken it if any of Bakugo's rescuers had come to harm, or if Aizawa had ended up expelling most of the class.
  • An understated but still sad part is the part in which one of the examinees pleads with Midoriya not to eliminate him, since it's his last chance to pass the test. Midoriya sadly says that he has to succeed, too, before doing what he has to and eliminating him. When you consider that only about one in fifteen people can make it through the first stage of the exam, you realize that while most of Class 1A passed, a lot of other people ended up going home empty-handed.
  • Episode 61 - Deku vs. Kacchan, Part 2 shows us how emotionally fragile Bakugo is and and how badly he took All Might's retirement, blaming himself for the hero losing his powers. What helps sell this though is Nobuhiko Okamoto's performance, during the fight against Deku his voice cracks and there are moments that truly sound like he is on the verge of tears. Through this we can hear just how troubled Katsuki is by everything as he really does sound like a child who can't understand things in any way but by lashing out.
  • Chapter 115 shows us that some of the villains can be just as sympathetic as many of the heroes, as Twice's backstory is shown. After a traumatic incident involving his clones killing each other he was left with severe mental problems that flare up if he's not in costume, and he thinks to himself the only reason he's in the League of Villains is because everyone needs a place where they belong, and that heroes would only be interested in saving people who are healthier than him.

Internship Arc

  • Chapter 118 reveals that Bakugo blames himself for All-Might losing his powers. And the very subject reduces him to a tearful breakdown. At that moment, Izuku realizes he has bottled this suffering up in private and the only way Bakugo can come to terms with this pain is if he vents it in a fight, so Izuku stops trying to defend Bakugo's attacks and starts attacking him in earnest.
  • Chapter 125 reveals that Magne of all people has a friend who accepts her even though she's a villain. The reason this is sad is because not two pages after we learn about her, everything from Magne's waist up is reduced to chunks by Overhaul's Quirk.
  • Chapter 131 shows that after All Might explains to Deku about Nighteye warning him back then to stop continuing his hero duties after his fight with All For One because he would die in 6-7 years and that he gave his powers to Deku before Togata, who was the intended candidate as his successor, Deku was more concerned and saddened that All Might would die either this or next year even though he avoided death and only lost his powers in his final battle with All For One.
  • Chapter 135 reveals more of Eri's situation. Izuku and Mirio's reactions are a gut-punch, especially when another hero, the ill-mannered and dismissive Rock Lock, rather unfairly criticizes them (Nighteye's organization as a whole) for not doing more to help her.
  • Chapter 138 reveals Chisaki has a father who is desperately on life support and may be the mentor who taught him to be his heir in the Yakuza, so he has something of real personal value to lose if the raid on his compound goes awry. It also gives justification to why Chisaki is so afraid of getting sick and hates disease.
    • And then Chapter 142 implies that Chisaki caused his illness in the first place because he didn't like how he was leading the Yakuza.
  • Chapter 152: Mirio is hit by a Quirk-nullifying bullet and gets a Really Depowered Montage to emphasize it. Despite this, though, he keeps fighting Overhaul to protect Eri.
  • Chapter 152-153: Shin Nemuto is shown crying through the broken goggle of his plague mask because he failed his friend Overhaul, before passing out. Then Overhaul deliberately cannibalizes Nemuto's body to make himself strong just because he knows Nemuto would gladly sacrifice himself for his friend's sake... it's just callous and brutal.
  • Chapter 161: The death of Nighteye. The whole chapter really hammers in the tragedy of the arc; Mirio loses his mentor and his future as a hero with a Quirk, Toshinori loses his former sidekick and ally, and the possibility of death for the remaining cast becomes very real.
  • Eri's entire story in this arc! Even after she was rescued, the ramifications of her isolation and abuse become present.

Culture Festival Arc

  • Chapter 167: Nighteye's funeral. Centipeder takes over his organization and Bubble Girl is in very modest and forlorn clothing, and Mirio is welcome back anytime despite losing access to his Quirk.
  • Chapter 170: Even though Eri has been freed from Overhaul's clutches, she still sustained a lot of psychological damage. This is cemented by the fact that she is physically unable to smile.
  • Chapter 178: La Brava's backstory is that after she gave a love letter to someone she had admired from afar in middle school, she was derided and ridiculed as a Stalker with a Crush. This drove her into NEET-dom, hiding away with nothing but her computer and even considering suicide until she came across Gentle's early videos.
  • Chapter 179: Just like his partner, Gentle had a very sad life that ultimately drove him to a life of crime. He started out as an idealistic young man who dreamed of becoming a famous hero, but couldn't make the grade and kept failing the provisional licence exams no matter how hard he tried. During this time, he came across someone falling from a tall building and tried to use his Quirk to save them, only to collide with a hero who was already on the scene. As a result, both the person who was falling and the hero ended up being injured very badly. As a result, both he and his parents ended up deep in debt paying reparations to the victim and fines for hindering a hero and unlicensed use of a Quirk. During this time he was finally expelled from school, which caused his parents to disown him and violently throw him out of the house. The final straw came years later when he was barely making a living off part-time jobs and ran into a former classmate who had made it as a pro hero, but when he tried to say hello he found that his classmate didn't even remember his name. The despair he felt upon realizing someone he knew had already accomplished his dream while he himself was living a completely forgettable life drove him to the decision that if he could never be remembered as a hero, he would make a name for himself outside of the law.
  • Chapter 180: La Brava's reaction as she, after running back to warn Gentle of the heroes' approach, discovers him being defeated for real by Izuku. The poor woman almost shatters mentally as she cries and begs Izuku to let Gentle go, screaming about how much the latter means to her, and how she will die if he gets taken away from her life.
    • Gentle, as he listens to her, comes to the realization of how heavily his existence has been braided into La Brava's life, remorsefully blaming himself for reluctantly permitting her to follow him and his endeavors. However, this epiphany allows him to make one final push of resolve to settle matters as a genuine hero would, for once in his life of failures, before he surrenders, which turns it into a heartwarming moment instead.
  • Chapter 181: Gentle willingly surrenders to the U.A teachers. He believes that his greatest crime was to brainwash La Brava in the first place, even though she chose to help Gentle willingly. Gentle realizes his mistakes and is grateful to Izuku for this. Gentle wishes Izuku well as he is apprehended by Hound Dog.

Joint Training Arc

Meta Liberation Army Arc

  • We get details about Shigaraki's past before he meet All For One. His Quirk awakened one day and he accidentally disintegrated his entire family! Those hands he wears are all that remain of them. Because of the trauma he doesn't really remember much before then. And during Chapter 227, he gets a brief flashback to when what looks like his older sister showing him a picture of his grandmother.
  • Toga's backstory is sad due to being a case of Truth in Television. She was originally a happy little girl until her Quirk manifested, and she gained her fixation with blood. After showing her parents a bird she killed, they were disgusted and told her to stop it as it wasn't normal, and brought her to a Quirk councilor which amounted to telling her to suppress her impulses for the sake of looking normal. While her classmates all thought of her as a bright and happy young woman, she was really only wearing a mask until the day she snapped, unable to hold back the impulses any longer. This caused her to stab the boy she had a crush on, then drink his blood with a straw as she cried Tears of Joy. The resemblance to a child with depression or with an Ambiguous Disorder is easy to make, especially with her snapping leading to the stabbing and possible death of a classmate drawing comparisons to infamous school killings like Columbine. Made worse is how the entire time the flashback occurs, Curious of the Meta Liberation Army is hounding Toga with the fact she could have been normal were it not for the current societal stigma hampering, and that she and Re-Destro planned to make a martyr out of her for being a Tragic Villain.
    • The type of quirk counseling she went through sounds horribly like those real-life cases of "cures for homosexuality" and the like.
  • Twice finds Toga heavily wounded, possibly in critical condition, and after arguing with the darker side of his personality which treats her dismissively, he bursts in tears. Soon after he's faced by a group of people all with his own face, in truth puppets created by the quirk of MLA's Tomoyasu "Skeptic" Chikazoku. Knowing the trauma Twice underwent because of misuse of his own quirk (as shown in chapter 115), such tactic against him is nothing short of cruel.
  • Why do superpowers in this world called such a cute name as "Quirks?" Chapter 232 tells us how: An ordinary woman gave birth to a superpowered child during the time those with powers were persecuted. She begged the world to show compassion for her child. The power didn't make the kid a monster, "This is just my child's quirk!" She begged people to change, to make a world where her child and others with powers could live as freely as the rest of them. And she was murdered for it. Simply for asking that her child be given the same rights and considerations as everyone else.
    • The worst part of that story? Said child grows up to be the terrorist Destro, a Villain said to have been on par with All For One, and basically the My Hero verse's answer to Magneto. All in his mother's name.
  • During Tomura's battle with Re-Destro, his long-buried memories of his family start resurfacing... and they're so unbelievably sweet that it would probably be heartwarming if we didn't know what happened to them later on. He remembers all the times his sister, his mother, and his grandparents all comforted him while he was crying (something he apparently did a lot of), and how his big sister Hana would always take his hand... And what triggers these memories you might ask? Re-Destro destroying their severed hands, the only things he has left of them.
    Shigaraki: That was Hana's hand...
    • Worse still, we see why he wears those hands the way he does: shock of all shock, it was All For One's idea, a way to make sure the pain and anguish of losing them like that would never heal, so Tomura could always use it to motivate himself.
  • In the flashback, we see why Tomura came to be what he is. His father hated the idea of heroes because his mother (Nana Shimura, the one who inherited One For All before All Might) was constantly away on hero duty and eventually put him up for adoption in order to protect him. And when she died, he came to believe that heroes have to abandon their families in order to continue their duties. Just the mere mention of heroes caused him to beat Tomura. Tomura's sister tried to support his dream, and even wanted to follow his dream herself, but she's still just a child. When her angry father demanded to know who had broken into his office and peeped at the picture of his hero mother, she broke down in tears and said it was all Tenko's idea, clearly terrified of the punishment she'd face. And when Tomura's powers activated, the first victim is implied to be the family dog.
    • What makes this even worse is that it wasn't just his father's beating that caused Tomura to snap; its the fact that nobody in his family was willing to intervene and stop him. Poor Tenko's desperate pleas for help going unanswered is a truly heartbreaking sight. For dramatic irony after the fact Tenko's mother and grandparents confront his father and even Kotaro admits he went too far… however its all too little, too late and Tenko, as he sobs and hugs his beloved dog, admits that he hates everything.
  • After the dog Tenko accidentally kills his sister Hana, who had come to apologize for how she acted previously. Soon after, due to his partial resentment towards his grandparents and mother, he accidentally kills them as well - but his mother, even while she's falling to pieces, tries to reach out to him for a hug. Finally a shocked Kotaro, realizing Tenko has already killed the rest of his family just by touching, hits the boy in terror with a garden tool to keep him at a distance. Tenko then kills him in a blind rage and gives in to his evil, having lost what little sanity he had left.
    • It's especially tragic because his sister tries to apologize to him, and his mother goes out of her way to give him a hug. Tenko knows that he desperately wants their affection and their help and tries to reach out, but the stress building up in his mind was too much for him, which leads to his hatred-fuelled Quirk to take over and kill them anyway. He even tries to apologize to his dad, but what is the last thing he sees of Kotaro? From his POV, his own father and last living family member blames him, recoils in terror, and tries to hit him with a pair of garden pruners. No wonder he snapped.
      • And from Kotaro's POV, he would have considered reconciling with Tenko had he not recoiled with terror and rage at seeing his entire family dead with his own son being the cause of it.

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes

    In General 
  • Midoriya's relationship with Bakugo. They started as friends, but as Bakugo's Quirk grew stronger, he became more arrogant and started bullying Midoriya. The moment Midoriya's showed genuine concern for him after he fell off a log into a shallow river, Bakugo's superiority complex made him interpret it as pity, causing their strained friendship to collapse into full-blown animosity.
  • Apparently Shoji has a creepy, very toothy smile under his mask and wears the mask because his former classmates said he looked too scary to be a hero.
  • Tsuyu used to have a Friendless Background because people also thought the limited emotional range of her face was creepy, until she met someone else without any friends who has the appearance of a snake, who teared up when Tsuyu asked if they could become friends. The fact that snakes are natural predators of frogs makes this all the more endearing, but proves that even in post-Quirk society, discrimination reigns; there are a lot of people still out there who refuse to accept weird-looking people as normal, and mock the Quirkless.
  • One might wonder why people are so nonchalant about people who have bizarre physical features in the world of My Hero Academia. It's because several generations have gone by since the discovery of Quirks among humans, and much like the Civil Rights Movement in our world, it had to go through a movement of acceptance and goodwill. When All Might explains the origins of the Quirk-proliferated society, we learn there was indeed a time when it was not accepted as normal because the number of people with Quirks was minuscule compared to now after they integrated themselves and had offspring and dramatically raised the amount, and people who had appearances that we might consider freakish were treated with discrimination and as inhumans. Horikoshi almost certainly pulled that inspiration from X-Men, where discrimination against mutants is a major theme.
  • There is a newscaster with a Quirk called Big Horn who gained the ire of some of the public because he cut off one of his horns to make it easier to shoot camera angles of him. He seems like Horikoshi's closest attempt to a political diatribe of the media. Time will tell if Horikoshi decides to insert his backstory into the manga for real.

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