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Woobie / My Hero Academia

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No. Maybe heroes also have times when they cry.

The world of My Hero Academia is quite an unforgiving one. Plenty of characters face this harsh world on a daily basis and some are even worse off than others.

Note: Spoilers for the anime will be unmarked.

Iron Woobie

  • Midoriya. Through all his life, nobody would ever believe that he had what it takes to be a hero, but even without a Quirk and being constantly harassed and bullied by his peers, he has never given up on his dream. He maintains a cheerful demeanor and a determined attitude even as he keeps facing his insecurities about whether he deserves to follow All Might and how One For All is a more troublesome quirk than first thought of.
  • All Might. The man dedicated his life to save as many people as he could, but after a big, almost fatal injury, he starts slowly losing his powers, to the point of accepting the inevitability of his oncoming death. He is also shown to be having trouble to adapt to his new civilian life and becoming, from someone who saves others, to someone that needs to be saved.
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  • The first user of One For All. He was a sickly kid with a strong sense of justice and a desire to help others when society was at its worst. Awful for him, his brother is a sociopath with a god complex who (at worst) tried to subdue him to his will by giving him a Quirk (At best, giving him the Quirk may have been in part to try and heal him). Said Quirk would evolve and subsequently be used in the fight against the evil brother, who would lock him away and let him rot. He still kept fighting, even when he hardly had a chance and started a Heroic Lineage that would keep fighting against his brother.
  • Nana Shimura, the 7th user of One For All and All Might's mentor. She inherited One For All while watching All For One murder her predecessor. Sometime later, she was widowed. In an attempt to save him from All For One, Nana gave up her only child Kotaro to foster care, which caused him to despise her for the rest of his life. Nana herself died fighting All For One while her best friend and her protege were forced to flee. After her death, All For One manipulated her grandson into murdering his entire family and groomed him to inherit his status. The only hopeful thing that happened to her was being united with the spirits of her predecessors within Izuku Midoriya.

Jerkass Woobie

  • Shigaraki. Chapter 69 implies that Shigaraki could be this, with a brief flashback showing that he possibly killed his parents when he discovered his Quirk and his hatred for All Might stems from him being unable to save them. Manga chapter 236 confirms this. He killed his maternal grandparents, parents, sister Hana and pet dog when his quirk manifested. His dog and sister were accidents. Though one remark makes it ambiguous, his grandparents and mother, coming out to see what the commotion was about, were mostly accidental as well. He was furious and confused at them for always siding with his dad and never protecting him,and he thought a villain was attacking, not his quirk. His father's murder was fully intentional. All for One gave him their hands to wear to keep him in a constant state of emotional and mental instability. His hatred of heroes comes from both AFO's terrible parenting and the fact that after his family died he wandered the streets looking for help and instead the civilians ignored him saying a hero would come. None did. This really isn't helped when All For One reveals that Shigaraki is actually the grandson of Nana Shimura, the previous bearer of One For All who trained All Might, and was a significant reason All For One took him on as his apprentice.
  • Twice. Chapter 115 reveals that he suffers from depression and a split personality. He is constantly on the verge of a mental breakdown and still lives with the scars about what happened when he overused his Quirk and severe doubts on whether he even is real. He also blames Magne's death on himself, as he was the one who introduced Overhaul (who killed her) to the League of Villains.
  • Bakugo. He may be a Grade-A dick at times, but when he learns humility, he often learns it the hard way. In the first chapter, he gets subjected to an Embarrassing Rescue after nearly being possessed by the Sludge Villain; an incident people will often bring up despite it looking very traumatic. At the end of the Forest Training Camp Arc, he gets kidnapped by the League of Villains. At the end of the Hideout Raid Arc, he gets rescued, but at the price of All Might losing his powers permanently. Chapter 118 later reveals that Bakugo blames himself for All Might's loss of power.
  • La Brava. Her backstory reveals that she was often rejected by boys because of her height and later was accused of being a stalker and ostracized by everyone she knows, which got to the point where she contemplated suicide.
  • Dabi. Born as Toya Todoroki, due his Quirk's immense power, he was forced by Endeavor to be his successor. However, the fact he inherited his mother's weak constitution ended up severely injuring him physically, and the anguish of the training made him feel suicidal. This broke his mind and led to him becoming a Villain with the goal to make his dad feel the same pain he felt. Granted, there's zero justification for sending two villains to assassinate your father and killing 30 people, or trying to immolate your younger brother in a suicide attack, but it's understandable why he had such a dramatic Face–Heel Turn.
  • Endeavor. Always the number two hero compared to All Might, his quirk's limitations meant he could never be the No. 1 Hero. As such, he married an ice-quirk user to hopefully get a child with a better quirk. This ended up being the case with his fourth-born, Shoto Todoroki (look lower to see how that turned out), and the training didn't do well for Shoto's perception of his dad. Why is he here? After All Might's battle against All for One left him functionally Quirkless, Endeavor makes it to the No. 1 hero spot out of technicality, meaning everything he did in the past was All for Nothing. He's attempting to become a better person (ironically enough, asking All Might for the first piece of advice), but nothing seems to be going right. The people's opinion on him is shifted (considering in-universe, All Might is a Tough Act to Follow) to say the least. His son Natsuo doesn't want to deal with him, while Shoto, while glad he's finally trying to set things straight, is still reluctant to forgive him. He's attacked by a Nomu and given a permanent scar, gets attacked by two more villains, and gets his ass handed to him by Shigaraki (though is currently holding on.) The coup de grace? The son who he thought he killed during his training, Toya, turns out to be Dabi, the Ax-Crazy villain who's killed 30 people and is allied with Shigaraki. When he reveals himself, he's broadcasting Endeavor's abusive history to Japan. Some may see it as karmic justice, but considering the man realized the error of his ways and actively tried to make amends, it hurts to see even his good actions being rendered in vain. Especially since Endeavor is absolutely gutted by what his son has become. Hard not to blame him for breaking down when he woke up in the hospital.
    • Worse still, later flashbacks show that he accidentally contributed to Toya's breakdown and rebirth as Dabi by trying to push him away and discourage him following in his footsteps as a hero when it became clear his body couldn't handle it, with his coldness towards his son being in part due to an inability to figure out how to talk Toya off the path he was on.

Stoic Woobie

  • Aizawa. Though he doesn't look like a typical Woobie at all, Aizawa has been faced with many grievances, which includes getting his face smashed in at the USJ, his Quirk weakening due to it, nearly getting blown up by Dabi and having to admit that Bakugo's kidnapping was due to his incompetence. Despite all this, he remains mostly stoic and doesn't refer to any of the incidents, despite the fact that the USJ incident alone is enough to cause some trauma.
  • Shoto Todoroki. Even though he doesn't let it on very much, he's been suffering a lot. He doesn't have the best home life. His father only trained him so that he could one-up All Might, and his mother poured boiling water on his face during her mental breakdown. And then later on, when Endeavor is starting to change for the better, his long-lost sibling Toya is revealed to have survived... as the mass-murdering villain Dabi, who destroys Endeavor's reputation (and the man himself, emotionally) and tries to immolate Shoto in a suicide attack as part of his revenge.

The Woobie

  • Seriously, can you say that you don't feel sorry for Midoriya when he was told that he would never have a Quirk? The kid's crying face is basically a huge "hug me!" button. Even after obtaining One For All, his path to become a Hero is anything but easy, and he gets put through the wringer in ways no teenager should, like being forced to repeatedly shatter the bones in his arm to use his new superpower.
  • Inko. First, she has to deal with the fact that her kid won't be able to realistically pursue his dream due to being Quirkless. And then, almost like a miracle (as far as she knows), it turns out that he does have a Quirk and can attend his dream school. And then she finds out that each time he uses it, he destroys his own body. It hasn't even been a full year and yet her son has been in the hospital at least six times, with three of those being the result of villains targeting her son and his class. Imagine being a parent and watching your child go to such lengths for their dream that they wind up risking permanent paralysis in their arms. Is it any wonder that she doesn't want him going back to U.A.?
  • Uraraka. She's got quite a bit of baggage for such a cheerful character. An omake reveals that her financial situation is so bad, that she has to skip meals and go to sleep often just to save money.
  • Rei. While she clearly loved Shoto, Endeavor's abusive behavior slowly drove her insane leading to her disfiguring her own son. What's worse is that it's obvious she's in the middle of a breakdown when she does it as she is sobbing on the phone with her mother talking about how she can't take it anymore. Her actions land her in the hospital, which removes the sole good influence in Shoto's life.
  • Eri. The things she has suffered at the hands of her adoptive uncle, Overhaul, border on the revolting. Chapter 135, that detailed exactly what those things are, has the whole fandom up in arms to adopt her and get her away from him. Later chapters show that she's such a Broken Bird that she's physically forgotten how to smile.
  • Gang Orca. His character profile revealed that he actually makes children afraid of him and implies he has a hard time meeting new people because of his looks and the notes outright state he is not happy with this:
    Character Notes: He is suffering.
  • Kirishima. After his backstory was revealed, and he has shown to have serious doubts about himself, Kirishima started taking this role. He has very deep doubts about his self-worth, whether he truly has what is needed to be a hero and whether he has the power for it.
  • Amajiki. His self-deprecation and inability to see himself as a hero has given him this status.
  • Mirio was told as a child that his dangerous and hard-to-control power made him unsuited to being a hero, but he optimistically persevered and worked hard until he became one of U.A.'s top students, declaring that he would save a million people. And then he loses his Quirk protecting a single little girl, but still stays optimistic until later that very same afternoon, when he finally breaks down after being forced to watch his mentor die.

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