“The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.”
My hero academia is one of the most popular anime franchises in the modern mainstream animes. This recognition is due to the mix and blends of interesting characters created by Kohei Horikoshi. Each character has his backstory, which gets illustrated and explained in great depth and emotion.
One of the show’s most popular characters and certainly the fandom’s favorite supervillain is Dabi, Or perhaps shall I say ‘Toya Todoroki.’ This evil villain believes in an ideal world where no one should possess superhuman abilities.
Dabi first appeared in season 2 of Bones’ My Hero Academia series, Just after the appearance of the ‘Hello Killer’ Stain. Inspired by his actions, Dabi joins the league of Villian to fulfill the dream that Stain wasn’t able to.
Dabi is one of the main villains in the league. He first debuts as a stoic young man with burn marks all over his body. He appears as an incredibly mistrusting person. However, over time he learns to put his faith in Shigaraki and his mission. But he states that he couldn’t care less about Shigaraki. It’s all just a facade for him to make his dream come true.
However, Dabi’s transition to the evil side has its own tragic story. So in this article, I’ll be taking you on a journey across Dabi’s life, his ups and downs, his good and bad. Together, we’ll dig deep into the ideology carried by Dabi and uncover every aspect of his existence. Cause this; my friend is a guide to Dabi.
Bottom Line Up Front
Dabi belongs as a renowned member of The League Of Villians. He first debuted as a Villian inspired by Stain’s ideals, but it’s only as the story progresses that we find that he actually is the first son of Endeavor. As a child, he was put through hell by Endeavor; however, unlike Todoroki, Dabi, or Toya Todoroki chose the path of villainy.
Possessor of a flaming quirk similar to Endeavor and Todoroki, Dabi’s lack of control over his flames led to many burns over his body. In an accident that led his family to believe his death, Dabi somehow survived and returned. But seeing his family living in peace, Dabi chose to leave and, years later, joined the league of villains.
Now, let’s look a little into Dabi’s life, childhood, and step into the world of evil.
As a child, Dabi lived a very different life. A life in which he was the eldest son of the current number one pro hero, Endeavor. Throwback to season one of My hero academia, one can recall that Endeavor had an unhealthy obsession with surpassing All Might.
However, when he accepted the reality that he’ll never be able to surpass All Might, he transferred his dream to his successors. For doing so, Endeavour had a court marriage with Rei, a woman with a powerful ice-based quirk. So that the two can create the ultimate child together.
At 22, his first child came into the world, Toya Todoroki. Even though Toya’s quirk was not exactly what Endeavour had hoped for, It was still stronger than his own. So Endeavor welcomed the challenge to train him. Toya trained with discipline under his father and loved him a lot.
Due to Endeavor’s effort, a fire to surpass All Might had lit in Toya’s heart. However, one day after training, Enji noticed burn marks on him.
Concerned, both of Toya’s parents took him to a quirk specialist doctor. He said that due to inheriting resistance to cold temperatures from his mother, Toya is susceptible to high temperatures, and his quirk starts to burn his own body.
Upon this realization, Endeavor decides to have more offspring to create the perfect successor. All while considering Toya a “failed creation.” Rei, his wife, did call out Endeavour for this, telling him that some hero he was for running away from his problems. A year after Toya’s birth, Rei conceived her second child, Fuyumi, and then Natsou four years later. During all this time, Toya continues to train under his father.
However, when Shoto is born, Endeavor sees him as the best potential successor and decides to train him instead of Toya. Seeing his father give more attention and acknowledgment to Shoto instead of helping him accomplish their dream, Toya is devastated. This event leads Toya to attack an infant, Shoto. However, Endeavor intervenes at the last moment.
Endeavor explains to Toya how he should give up on his dream of becoming a hero, live a normal life, and spend some time with his family. Endeavor then isolates Shoto from the rest of the siblings to train him.
While Shoto is under training, Toya does get closer to his siblings. He often goes to Natsuo to let out emotional turmoil and tells him that he was wrong for attacking Shoto; he simply wanted to get back at his father. He often questions the purpose of his existence after feeling abandoned by his father. However, Natsuo doesn’t take Toya seriously and asks him to go to bed, leading Toya to feel abandoned by him too.
Toya gets infuriated, and trains alone till his flames turn blue. He realizes that his quirk power is related to his emotions too. Excited, Toya asks Endeavour to come to the training site so that he can show him his new awakened power. However, Endeavour suddenly raises his shirt and gets mad at Toya for training again. He lets out his anger on Rei by physically abusing her.
Later, as Toya awaits his father on Sekutu’s peak to show him his new awakened power, Endeavor never shows up, causing Toya to go into an existential crisis and mental disarray. Due to this disturbed emotional state, he loses control of his flames that reach up to a temperature of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, burning him completely. With only a part of his jaw showing.
This incident causes the Todoroki family to believe in Toya’s passing, leading them to put up a little altar in his bedroom to commemorate his memories. Endeavor does feel bad for the loss of his first child, and his family, to this day, sends prayers and blessings to him.
However, Toya doesn’t quite die. He goes into a state of comatose for three years. Upon awakening, as he returns to his home, hoping something would’ve changed, Toya sees that everyone has moved on from him. Upon witnessing this, he gets extremely hurt and declares vengeance on Endeavor, making it his goal to humiliate and kill him.
Final Exam Arc
Dabi’s first official appearance in the show is when Tomura meets up with Himiko and him. As the meeting continues, Dabi comments on Tomura’s appearance, calling him ugly. The two almost come to blows. However, before this escalates, Kurogiri uses his warping technique and stops the fight. So Dabi is not much on first impressions.
Forest Training Arc
Dabi becomes a part of the vanguard action squad, and the squad decides to attack a camp where the current UA students are staying. Immediately, Dabi asks the other members to isolate the UA students from the pros.
A clone of Dabi goes up against Aizawa and Mr. Vlad(blood hero), holding them back, while he goes after Katsuki Bakugo. After a long and difficult battle, Dabi finally captures Bakugo, wrapping his hand around his neck and saying, “checkmate.”
Shie Hassaikai Arc
As the league of villains and the Shie Hassaikai decide to work together, Dabi assists them. However, after Overhaul’s capture by the heroes association, as he is being escorted to a facility, the league shows up to kill him. The Sand Hero Snatch, who is in charge of escorting Overhaul, gets into a duel with Dabi but cannot hold back his flames and perishes in its wake.
Pro Hero Arc
Dabi agrees to assist Dr. Gyuraki in testing the new high-end Nomu that is said to have intelligence and makes it attack Hawks and Endeavor. After a thrilling battle between Endeavor and the High-end Nomu, Dabi reveals himself, telling Endeavor that he plans to kill him. Just as he lets out his flames, the pro hero Miriko emerges and intercedes his attack.
Seeing as the odds are not in his favor, Dabi decides to leave, calling Endeavor by his real name, Enji, and asking him not to die.
Meta Liberation Army Arc
The Meta liberation army challenges the league of villains for control. As the league battles the army, Dabi goes up against Geten, one of the strongest meta liberation army members. The two trade blows with their quirk, so it becomes a rather interesting fight. Dabi’s quirk is fire-based, while Geten’s is ice-based.
But as time progresses, Dabi’s body starts to get burned by his flames. Geten notices this and calls it out. However, the battle gets interrupted when Geten notes Gigantomachia going after Re-Destro, and he leaves to protect him. Dabi is annoyed at this, saying that he almost had him. Yeah, right.
Dabi’s Appearance, Personality, Abilities, And Much More
Regarding facial appearance, Dabi has several burn marks all over. However, the most evident ones are on his face and hands, as we can see gnarled, purple, burnt skin below his upper lips that goes down to his legs. All of these burn marks result from him losing control of his quirk after being emotionally traumatized by Endeavor’s actions. The gnarled falling pieces of skin are held together by crude surgical staples and piercings.
His eyes are turquoise colored, which also matches the color of his quirk. He always seems to have a dead expression on his face. Just below his eyes are two more patches of burnt skin, kept intact by surgical staples.
Physically, Dabi is quite tall, being 6ft 2. However, he seems to have pale skin with drooping shoulders rather than having a high amount of muscle mass, as most characters in this series have. He wears silver cartilage piercing in both ears and some more piercings above his right nostril.
When making his debut in the series Dabi wore a dark blue jacket with a tattered collar, matching pants with some dark dress shoes. Underneath the jacket was a grey shirt (which, by the way, looked dope). As the series progresses, certain tweaks are made to his outfit here and there, but the ones worth mentioning are: Him washing off his black dyed hair to show it was white all along.
After the second war, Dabi’s ripped overcoat, pants, and boots are all white. However, this time there is no shirt beneath the overcoat. Upon reuniting with his family and fighting against them, Dabi overuses his quirk to the point that his body burns even more.
This overuse results in parts of his face starting to crumble beyond the point of being held by staples. In his latest look, we can see Dabi’s jaw and teeth showing out, along with some muscles and tendons.
Dabi is a very selfish, arrogant, and borderline psychotic person who puts himself and his ideals above everyone. Even though he is inspired by Stain’s ideals, like many other villains, he is still unable to grasp its true meaning. Dabi uses it as an excuse for his evil actions and to get revenge on Endeavor.
He has no respect whatsoever for anyone but his abilities. Even when he meets Shigaraki for the first time, he talks with no respect and refuses to give out his name. This refusal is also since he is an extremely mistrusting person.
To say that Dabi has a few screws loose in his head wouldn’t be very far off the target. It is consistently shown throughout the series that he has fun torturing others and sentencing them to death. At this point in the series, he has killed up to 30 people and is considered a mass murderer.
He is also uncaring since he doesn’t seem to get attached to anything or anyone. Not even his allies. However, in certain occurrences, Dabi is shown to feel sad. For example, when twice dies, he feels sad. In another instance, when the memories of his family come to him, blood starts pouring out of his eyes. Signifying that under this hurt, tragic character, there is still something his heart longs for. That being the memories of the good old day.
Apart from wanting to destroy the superhuman society, Dabi also seeks revenge on his father, Endeavour. So it is fair to say that Dabi has been engulfed in the fire of hate for far too long.
As mentioned before, the unofficial name of Dabi’s quirk is cremation, which allows him to let out blue flames from his body. Dabi’s flames are hotter than Endeavour’s and can reach temperatures of 3000 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a young’un, his flames were red, similar to his father. However, upon strenuous training and emotional trauma, the flames changed color. Similar to Endeavour, Dabi can also propel himself in the air.
Being trained by Endeavour, all of the moves in Dabi’s arsenal are the same as Endeavour’s. However, his are certainly more dangerous because he produces much stronger flames than his father.
The move allows Dabi to raise the temperature of his flames as much as he can or maximize his speed.
By concentrating his firepower on all his fingertips, Dabi can shoot streams of his blue flames, similar to a spider’s web. However, unlike Endeavor, Dabi doesn’t care who gets in the way of it, so he shoots it with far less precision.
The move allows Dabi to shoot a powerful fire blast from a long distance. This is an incredibly powerful move, as the first time Dabi used it against Shoto in the Paranormal liberation front arc, Shoto got critically wounded and knocked unconscious. However, in the second war, upon reuniting with his younger brother, Dabi uses it by punching Shoto. Similar to how Endeavour usually uses it.
This move allows the user to focus all of his firepower into one concentrated spot and then shoot it out in the form of a beam. The flames released are burning with such intensity that they can completely incinerate one’s opponent. Dabi uses this move against Endeavour; however, Best Jeanisy intervenes and deflects the attack.
Due to burning his skin at an early age, Dabi caused severe damage to his nervous system. This damage allowed him the capability to totally ignore any sort of physical pain and use his quirk freely. We can see this when Aizawa breaks the arm of one of Dabi’s clones, yet it hardly feels any pain.
Due to being born to a mother with an ice-based quirk, Dabi can withstand extremely cold temperatures or cold attacks.
Due to his lanky build and a quirk that favors him better at long-range attacks, Dabi mostly prefers long-range battles and even excels at it.
However, there’s a lot more mental warfare involved in Dabi’s fighting style rather than just physical, as he possesses a keen intellect that allows him to see through his opponents in a very short amount of time. We see that when Dabi deduces Shigaraki’s unstable condition. He also identified Hawks as the traitor from the moment he met him.
Another example of his intellect would be his quick assessment of Snatch’s quirk and its limitations. During an encounter with Tsukuyomi, Dabi throws questions at him left, right and center, making him question his reason for being a hero. However, these conversations have ulterior motives as Dabi’s body isn’t welcoming to his flames. Dabi needs to rest his body a little every once in a while. During his battles, Dabi starts to question his opponents, only to give himself some time to heal.
- This will just be a signal fire. We’ll fill those heroes full of holes… and put them in their place—all for a brighter future.
- The first thing we have to do is take away their sense of piece.
- The kids at school all say they want to be heroes! I can’t understand that because I’ve got you as a father. You lit this fire in me, Dad… and it’s not going out! I can’t just pretend it’s not there! Look at me! ENDEAVOR!! LOOK… AT ME!!.
- Shoto… I did come home. Even though I was weaker than ever, there was no way that what I was hoping for was there. But I was sure something must’ve changed… It’s all I wanted to see. Instead, I was shown once more… After three years away… I witnessed that old familiar scene—the reason I was born. The fact is, as a failed creation, my life had been pointless. This family… had left me behind in their past.
- Hahaha! Way to state the obvious!! But still — you gotta pity me, right? That agent of justice did some vile stuff, and I’m the result. Evil is thriving! Justice is losing this war! All I’m doing is showing you sentimental dopes who’s to blame for that! The future coming down the pipeline… is one where all that schmaltz and lip service is gonna get blown away by the chaos!
- I couldn’t let that stand! These twisted people with skeletons in their closets… they cover it all up with masks of justice! But they don’t stop there! They keep calling themselves “heroes” and keep fooling everyone! I just want everyone to stop and think! The only ones these “heroes” protect are themselves! With all that ugliness inside, they use you, people, to give them protection! Approval! Admiration!
Fun Facts And Not So Much Fun Facts
- Dabi’s quirk allows him to produce blue flames from his body. His quirk is quite similar to Endeavours and Shoto’s. However, his flames can reach a temperature 3000-degree Fahrenheit, allowing him to burn through almost anything.
Dabi is hella strong. To put this fact in perspective, Dabi’s clone, which obviously was much weaker than him, was able to golf back both Eraserhead and Sekijiro Kan.
- Even though Dabi might not strike as the leader sort of character, after the league of villains decided to pair up with Re-Destro, Dabi got assigned the role of Lieutenant on the Liberation front. Along with Geten, a former member of the Meta liberation army.
- Dabi hates eating fish. We can see this in the anime when Spinner asks him if he is going to eat his food or not. And that if he doesn’t eat it, he’ll end up eating it. Dabi replies that he can have it since he hates eating fish anyways.
- Dabi can easily get car sick. During one scene, when Spinner is roughly driving the car, Dabi tells him to drive properly.
- Dabi uses many aliases. Even the name Dabi in itself is also an alias. His real name is Toya Todoroki. Another one of Dabi’s alias is based on the appearance of his quirk. He is also called the ‘Blue flame.’
Not So Fun Facts
- Something rather interesting but also very tragic is that Dabi is unable to cry. This is not because of emotional incapability but rather a physical one since his tear ducts got burned from his flames.
When Twice dies, Dabi feels bad for not being able to express his emotions adequately. However, the only thing that does flow from Dabi’s eyes in an emotional state is blood. Only in two instances does this happen. Both when Twice dies and when memories of his family come flowing back to him.
- Dabi is the evil version of Shoto. If we put our minds to it, we can see that the two are connected. Not just by relation but by past experiences also. As both Dabi and Shoto were subjected to abuse by their father. However, the difference in the paths they were able to walk is because Shoto can forgive his father or at least try to. In contrast, Dabi sought revenge on him.
- Since his birth, Dabi had crimson-colored hair. However, his hair color changed to white due to severe emotional trauma.
- Another not-so-fun fact is that Dabi’s gnarled purple burnt skin is because of his sensitivity to his quirk. While losing control of it, Dabi ends up burning himself.
Question: Does Dabi Have A Love Interest?
Answer: No, Dabi doesn’t have a love interest. Far from it, Dabi doesn’t even have any emotional attachments.
As always, this didn’t stop fans from shipping him with Toga and Shigaraki. His ship with Togo seems more justified as both have a similar quench for blood and the thrill of battle.
Question: Is Dabi A Sociopath?
Answer: Why yes, he is. Dabi is a sociopath, as shown by his severe thirst for blood and the thrill he feels when torturing his victims. He kills anyone he wants to. The only one he cares for is himself.
Question: Did Toya Ever Meet Shoto?
Answer: During his time in the Todoroki family, Toya can only see Shoto from afar, feeling hatred toward him for getting all the attention. However, the two never come in direct contact. But Shoto knows he had an older brother who died due to his flames.
Question: Does Azula From Avatar inspire Dabi’s Character?
Answer: While some may agree that there are many similarities between the two characters. The author has never mentioned it. So that question is open to your interpretation of the two characters.
Question: Why Is Dabi So Popular Despite His Actions?
Answer: Mainly due to his tragic past and somewhat because of his personality. Dabi’s life has been anything but pleasant. Ever since birth, his race to please his father began, and even after all his efforts to prove himself to Endeavor, he so easily got replaced by someone born with more talent. How easy was for Endeavor to neglect his one child, only to prove something to All Might. This tragedy is what resonates with people; this is what makes Dabi so human.
Dabi MHA Guide: Final Thoughts
In short, just like all the other major villains MHA, Dabi too is a character with a tragic past. A past in which there is very little to blame on him and more so on his father. Anger and sadness were all that Dabi received in his childhood.
Sadness that had bottled up for years finally turned to pure rage when Dabi returned to his family, only to find that they had moved on. That anger looked for someone to blame, and that blame went on to Endeavor’s actions, and rightfully so.
An African proverb states: “The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.” This couldn’t be more true than in Dabi’s case. However, no matter how hurt you are, no one should pay the price of the hurt someone else inflicted on you. So Dabi’s actions of turning into a villain and hurting others aren’t justifiable.
That was all for Dabi’s character guide. I hope this article has helped you better understand Dabi and his ideology. I’ve been Emad, and I’ll see you at the next one.