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The cast of My Hero Academia is insanely huge and a point that I’ve talked about before in past guides, like our full roster breakdown from the manga and anime series. Some standouts have impressed me throughout the manga and anime series, and one of the most interesting characters is the star of this Hitoshi Shinso MHA guide.
Shinso is one of the lesser-known My Hero Academia characters due to his short end of the stick regarding his role in the story. However, this has not stopped him from interesting me and I am a massive fan of his character.
As one of the most underrated people in the popular superhero-packed series, I will use this Hitoshi Shinso MHA guide to show you why I like him so much. From his history to quirk explanation, here’s everything you need to know.
Bottom Line Up Front
Hitoshi Shinso is a high school student and enrollee at U.A. High School. In this prestigious school, the main character Deku and most of the other members of the My Hero Academia cast attend. However, Shinso is far from in the spotlight like the other characters in the series.
This is due to the fact that he is not in Class 1-A that the series focuses on, nor is he even in Class 1-B, where the other aspiring Pro Heroes are found. Instead, he is in Class 1-C with the general students.
That said, he still wishes to become a hero someday using his powers of brainwashing, using his voice for good rather than harm. He is a calm, calculated, and brilliant person. He is also one of my favorite characters in the entire series to date.
Who is Hitoshi Shinso?
Hitoshi Shinso is one of the many supporting characters in the overwhelmingly popular My Hero Academia manga and anime series. As a significant shounen series, seemingly countless characters are introduced across its pages and episodes. Of course, this means that some of the best people in the series are going to fall through the cracks.
I certainly think that Hitoshi Shinso is one such character, being one of, if not the, most underrated characters to ever show up in My Hero Academia. He does not play a massive role in the series so far outside of one particular story arc, so his story is pretty minimal at best compared to most characters, including some of the other supporting members.
That said, Hitoshi Shinso is memorable and a fan favorite of mine for several reasons. For one, there is his excellent character design that feels like a callback to a particular teacher at U.A. High School while also giving him his interesting feel and style.
On the other hand, there is the fascinating quirk ability that he has. It is pretty overpowered and could even be devastating if it were to fall into a villain’s hands.
That is where Shinso is so cool in that he has such a powerful and terrifying quirk superpower, yet, he still wants to become a Pro Hero above all else. Without a doubt, he is one of those characters who you want to root for in the series.
There are a couple of main styles that Shinso wears across the My Hero Academia series. Note that one of these styles has not officially been shown in the anime adaptation just yet (though this should happen in the upcoming sixth season), so there are slight spoilers in this section, in particular.
First up, when it comes to the look of Hitoshi Shinso, there is his general school uniform. This is the outfit that he wears for most of the manga and anime series and what anime fans, in particular, will know him to look like since his debut in both the UA Sports Festival and later the Joint Training Arc.
Overall, there is nothing too special to the school uniform that Shinso wears since it is essentially the same as everyone else. He added some nice little touches to give his individuality when in battle and squared up against his fellow students.
Starting with the school uniform itself, he wears the typical blue, white, and red jumpsuit from top to bottom. There are blue pants with two white stripes on the bottom that he wears with white sneakers. On the top, he wears a matching blue and white jacket with a little bit of red.
Altogether, the white stripes spell UA from top to bottom. The attractive accent he has is the black voice changer that he wears around his neck and mouth. This is the one piece of equipment he uses to enhance his quirk abilities. In addition, he sometimes has the binding cloth around his neck, similar to the high school teacher, Eraser Head.
As for himself, he has a pretty blank face most of the time with some dark bags under his eyes. His hair is a pretty wild, mad scientist-like style to it where it is always standing up straight. He also has purple-colored hair, giving an almost ghostly feel to his overall look.
This is where the slight spoilers come into play since Shinso has not shown off his official hero outfit yet in the anime version. In the manga, we get to see Shinso in his formal Pro Hero costume during one particular arc. This outfit is relatively simple and quite similar to his appearance at school.
He wears a full suit of armor instead of the school jumpsuit, and it is a dark suit with some bit of accents here and there. There are some mesh parts near his chest and other areas, showing that it has some durability for long fights but also some flexibility for easy movement.
On the bottom, he has some large white boots. He wears gloves on his hands and continues to have the binding cloth wrapped around his neck like a fire hose almost.
He continues to wear the latest incarnation of his voice assistance device for his quirk and retains the same purple hairstyle and blank and serious expression. The detailed colorization of the suit is currently unknown since it has only appeared in the manga thus far.
Hitoshi Shinso has that alluring, mysterious, and handsome guy personality to him. He keeps his true feelings locked away and puts on a deadly serious persona all the time, which I personally find quite enjoyable. That said, it is sometimes hard to believe he is a high schooler with his insanely deep voice and mature qualities of his character.
Shinso’s personality is still largely up in the air at this time. Though he is heavily featured in the Joint Training Arc, we only get to see a little bit of him. With that said, we know that he takes everything 100% seriously and does not hold back in his dedication to whatever mission or objective that he has.
This seemingly one-note nature of his character is complemented by the fact that he has clear goals in his mind that are constantly driving him.
He is pretty passionate about his objectives and desires, even though he mostly keeps all of that to himself. He seems to be quite hard on himself, never excusing any mistakes or failures on his part and severely beating himself up over them.
Given that, tragically, Shinso has only had so many appearances in the My Hero Academia manga and anime series so far, his key relationships are relatively few. But the couple of them that he does have are pretty important to his character and have already greatly affected his path in life.
The first of these is with Eraser Head, one of the primary teachers at UA High. The intriguing part about this particular relationship is that Eraser Head, or Shota Aizawa, is not even the teacher for Shinso. He is the headteacher for Class 1-A, not Class 1-C, where the young student is from.
Their relationship comes down to Shinso’s desire to be part of the Hero Course. As such, he begins training under Eraser Head, and the UA teacher sees some of himself in the young guy. Because of this, he offers to allow him to use the same equipment that he uses, which is the binding cloth. They have a great teacher and student relationship with one another.
The other central relationship that Shinso has is with Izuku Midoriya. Deku, the main character of the My Hero Academia series, meets Shinso during the Sports Festival when they fight one another in the single-elimination tournament. They make an impression on one another due to their strange connection during that battle.
This deepens in the Joint Training Session when Shinso gets to show Deku what he has learned. Though he shuts himself off from relationships in general, it does appear that Deku is a rival of sorts for Shinso.
While it might not be the most friendly relationship in the series, it looks to be one that helps both of them to grow as aspiring heroes.
In the anime adaptation of My Hero Academia, Wataru Hatano is the Japanese voice actor for Hitoshi Shinso. You might be able to tell from his (excellent) performance, but he has quite a deep voice. This betrays the old age of Hatano, who is 40 years old at the time of writing this guide.
You may know Shinso’s Japanese voice actor, Wataru Hatano, from his past performances, including main characters like Gajeel in Fairy Tail, Rufus in the Street Fighter games, Edward in Shadow House, and Josuke in the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure games but not the anime.
For those who watch the English dub, I think that My Hero Academia has one of the best dubs around, even as an original Japanese voiceover fan myself.
If you watch the dub, you will find that Jarrod Greene does a solid job as Hitoshi Shinso in the series. You may know him as a few characters like Ryuji in Darwin’s Game, Cobra in Fairy Tail, Yang in Gangsta, and Tigre in 91 Days.
Shinso has two primary abilities that he uses in battle. The first of these has to do with the special fighting equipment he uses to make up for his lack of physical strength as a combatant. On the other hand, his quirk is his primary ability, which revolves around the strategic fighting style that he uses to outsmart the opponent.
As powerful as Shinso’s quirk is (more on that in a moment), the major drawback of this ability is that he is unable to fight well with it on its own. If he has to fight someone physically, he will have to rely solely on his physical capabilities, which are meager.
That is where his weapon comes into play. Shota Aizawa gifted him the binding cloth that Eraser Head uses to allow Shinso to have some form of defense in battle. How it works is that Shinso wears the binding cloth around his neck and can then deploy it in battle.
The binding cloth can go far and can incapacitate an enemy by tying around them and stopping them in their tracks. It is mainly used as a capture device rather than something to physically defeat them in battle. This allows him to tie up his foes and finish the fight off. It is mainly used as a supplemental tool in accordance with his quirk.
The quirk that Shinso has is one of the reasons that I like him as a character. Instead of the combat-focused abilities that most of the characters in My Hero Academia have, Shinso has a power based on mind games. His quirk is known as Brainwashing.
Shinso’s quirk is based on the words that he says to someone. Shinso can purposefully use his words to brainwash someone but the trade-off is that someone must respond to his words for the brainwashing to activate. When his brainwashing activates, he can mind control the person and force them to do whatever he wants, which is insanely overpowered. However, some notable drawbacks to this ability do somewhat keep it in check.
For one, there is the fact that the person must respond to his voice when he speaks to them. If someone knows that he is trying to brainwash them, they can stay quiet. However, he can counter this with his special move that allows him to mimic the voice of someone else and trick someone.
He can control more than one person at the same time, which is also excellent, but he is only able to brainwash a person using his words one at a time before he can control an entire group. That said, there are still some limitations to the tasks that he can brainwash someone into doing. Most recently, he learned how to make someone say something for him.
Hitoshi Shinso is only featured in a couple of different parts of the series. Keep in mind that there will be minor spoilers for these two story arcs, but nothing too crazy will be revealed here.
Joining Class 1-C
The debut of Shinso in My Hero Academia comes in the middle of the Sports Festival Arc. The UA High School first-year students compete against one another, leading to the top 16 tournament where players battle eachother.
The first round saw Shinso take on the main character, Deku. In this battle, Deku is unaware of Shinso’s brainwashing abilities and is taken over by it for a time. In the midst of this, Deku and Shinso see something that they do not quite understand, and it appears like they are connected in a way.
Though Shinso can control Deku for a time, his powers are not well-trained, and the protagonist is able to break free from his control in the end. Since Shinso is a mind-based fighter, he is unable to stand against the power of Deku’s physical-based quirk. Deku wins the fight and moves on to the next round.
Joint Training Arc
Shinso is not featured again until the Joint Training Arc, where he has his most significant role to date. The Joint Training Arc is meant to be a moment where Classes 1-A and 1-B can compete against one another for bragging rights and show which is the superior group of students.
Though Shinso is part of Class 1-C, which is not involved in the Hero Course at all, he wishes to switch departments and is allowed to participate in the event as a test for that purpose. How the event worked was that there were going to be five battles with several members from each class grouped up to fight against the opposite class.
Since Shinso is not a part of either class, he participated in two rounds, with one being for Class 1-A and the other for Class 1-B. In the first round of the Joint Training Session, he is part of 1-A and gets to help that team get to victory. Though he makes some mistakes along the way, his Brainwashing quirk can help him guide his team to the win.
He returned in the final round to participate on the Class 1-B side against Deku once more. The fight is a much more balanced this time around, and it appears to be back-and-forth until the crazy moment where Deku unleashes his new quirk ability against the competition.
In the end, Shinso is unable to get another victory in the Joint Training, but he is able to prove himself nonetheless. Later on in the Paranormal Liberation Army Arc, we see that Shinso finally has his hero suit that he is now wearing.
Hitoshi Shinso in Other Media
Hitoshi Shinso may not be the most popular or frequently featured hero in My Hero Academia, but this has not stopped him from garnering a decent enough fan base. There is a little bit of merch that I have seen for him in the past, including figures and plushies that you can get.
I have also seen some cosplay for him, but there are other characters that are more popular in this regard. Outside of merch and the normal series, Shinso also appears as one of the playable DLC characters in My Hero One’s Justice 2.
His rather unique quirk ability translates decently well to the console and PC fighting game where you can take the role of him yourself.
Fun Facts about Hitoshi Shinso
Here are some fun trivia facts about Hitoshi Shinso:
- For starters, there is a lot of deeper meaning to Shinso’s name in Japanese. His first name, Hitoshi, is especially notable as it has hito, or person in Japanese, and shi, which is the kanji for tsukau, or the verb that means “to use.” Together, this gives his name the meaning to use people, which is fitting for his Brainwashing quirk.
- There are a lot of exciting meanings when it comes to his family name, too. Not only is it quite similar in spelling and pronunciation to the word “heart” in Japanese, but there are themes of rigging the system as well. This is fitting for his quirk, but it is contrasted by the meanings of honesty, too. This shows that he is able to control people, but he has good intentions for it.
- Shinso might be one of the most underused characters in My Hero Academia, but this has not stopped him from being quite popular throughout the series. The lowest ranking for him in an official popularity poll was 23rd, but he has consistently been in the top 15 most of the time and is currently in the top 10 these days.
- His birthday is the same day as another character in the franchise: Natsuo Todoroki, the older brother of Shoto Todoroki.
- Speaking of sharing traits with other characters, Shinso also shares a love of cats with Aizawa.
Question: Who does Hitoshi Shinso have a Crush on?
Answer: There is no confirmed romance for Hitoshi Shinso at this time. I also do not think that there are any implied romances or crushes that he has. The closest person to him is Deku, but even that would be a very crazy stretch to imply any romance there, in my opinion.
Question: Is Shinso Mr. Aizawa’s Kid?
Answer: Not that we know of. Aizawa just sees himself in Shinso when he was a high school student and puts a lot of effort into building the kid up.
Question: What is Shinso’s Hero Name?
Answer: Despite the official debut of his hero outfit recently, Hitoshi Shinso does not have a Pro Hero name just yet. But this is more of a matter of when, not if, at this point.
Question: Why did Aizawa Give Shinso his Scarf?
Answer: Aizawa gave his scarf, which is his binding cloth equipment item, to Shinso for several reasons. For one, he is a mentor to the young student and is in the middle of training him.
Also, he understands since they both have quirks that are not necessarily great for fighting. He shares his item to ensure that Shinso is able to fight when the going gets tough.
Shinso MHA Guide: Conclusion
I think that Hitoshi Shinso is one of the most fascinating and underused characters in the My Hero Academia series. I hope that his role in the series will grow only more as the series draws toward its conclusion. His exciting personality and super intriguing quirk add to the already excellently emo character design that he has.
At the end of the day, though, I have to say that Hitoshi Shinso is just a single part of the My Hero Academia cast. As one of my favorite manga and anime series right now, I highly recommend that everyone check it out and the fantastic cast of characters that make it up.
There is basically a favorite for everyone out there, so you can find your next character to stan for in our complete My Hero Academia characters guide.