My Hero Academia chapter 391 delves into an interesting angle of the hero-villain dichotomy, offering a hint into the possible redemption of a fan-favorite character. The idea of villains becoming evil as a consequence of their circumstance have become a recurrent theme of the story throughout, and the prospect of saving them has become an increasingly relevant idea.
In the recent chapter, that idea came back full-force as Uraraka seemingly got through to Toga. After teasing a possible redemption arc in Dabi before showing us that he is a villain through and through, Horikoshi jumps straight to the next character in the League of Villains.
Note: This article contains spoilers from the My Hero Academia manga.
My Hero Academia chapter 391 talks about a possible redemption arc for Toga
Recap of My Hero Academia chapter 391
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Rejected by the world, chapter 391 of My Hero Academia opens with an army of Twice/Toga clones attempting to overpower the heroes. Pixie-bob’s powerful earth wave effectively disperses the Twices, but additional Twices materialize behind her and start to assault. Tiger calls her name, but he is also being attacked by the clones as they pursue him relentlessly.
The story then goes on to explain how Toga’s oddity works and claims that even though the heroes are unable to determine how much blood she has already saved, it would not really matter if they did. After the Sad Man’s Death Parade starts in My Hero Academia chapter 391, it is seen that there are too many Twice for the heroes to manage. During this time, heroes like Camie, Shishido, and numerous others are being attacked by the Twice.
Toga continues to battle valiantly. Ochako is shown in the panel, floating in the air to get away from the Twice clones who were surrounding her, but one of the Twice clones accidentally hits her in the face with a measuring tape. As she muses about what transpired with Toya and questions if he is indeed dead, Toga wonders whether or not she just lost another friend. Ochako grabs her arm with her wire. Soon, a brand-new special move called Zero Gravity Space Walk is unveiled by our favourite anti-gravity girl.
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She claims that although she has just very recently had the chance to get to know Toga—since the summer of last year—her opinion of the latter has greatly changed, as of chapter 391 of My Hero Academia. Ochako apologizes for taking so much time to find her, but Toga soon insists that it’s too late to deal with anything at this point and that she has finally been found amid the chaos.
After watching Toga’s tears, she assumes that she knows why she can’t capitalize on Twice’s peculiarity. This may be because Toga’s “love” for different other individuals is being weakened by her lethal intent, which is also somehow mixing with it, according to My Hero Academia chapter 391. Tsuyu’s hypothesis that she might not have loved All For One’s chosen one, Shigaraki, and the various other villains as much as she ought to was rejected by Ochako. Toga’s mental state had become like that because she has let her loneliness and anguish tenfold since her friend Dabi lays defeated in another area.
After hearing Twice reiterate that heroes must perish and after watching Toga’s weeping, she came to that conclusion. Frustrated, Toga screams at Ochako. Her face appears again in place of Twice’s. This shows that Uraraka might have a point when she tries to get through to Toga because the latter has always been showcased as an empathetic individual. During the war, in one panel, readers had even heard her wondering about the status of people who do not fit the norm and become villains. However, will they be saved too?
Will Uraraka help Toga find her redemption arc?
Toga having a redemption arc will not be too surprising, as a similar thing happened to Lady Nagant and Gentle Criminal. While Lady Nagant had shown her heart of gold from the very beginning of her introduction, Gentle Criminal had always been a misguided hero who had been drawn into villainy. Toga, on the other hand, had been more similar to Shigaraki and Dabi. However, it is unlikely that Dabi will have an arc anymore since he seems to have been defeated.
Despite Dabi’s trauma, he had been a villain throughout, having killed people and even letting his jealousy get in the way of his life. In one shocking scene, even at the end of his life, he wishes that his family join him in passing away – despite a momentary foreshadowing earlier with Touya Todoroki reminiscing about an alternate life with his family intact. As such, the end dispelled any possibility of a happy ending.
Himiko Toga has been similarly responsible for a lot of deaths. Uraraka’s empathy might break Toga’s sadistic shell, but perhaps that will not be enough to save her from her own dark desires. Of course, Horikoshi might always pull a fast one on the readers, but as of this moment, Toga’s fate seems to be similar to Dabi’s if we go by similarities in their narratives.
Who else might get redemption arcs in My Hero Academia?
Hori talking about shigaraki having redemption he says shigaraki has reached a point where he isn't redeemable but says 'tenko may have been saveable, but tomura is not' very interesting considering tenko the crying child is still inside shigaraki deep down pic.twitter.com/Qk83syaYM2
— Addict (@Addict_ET) August 24, 2021
The idea of Shigaraki being a victim and a villain has been a recurrent theme of the story. From the very moment, he accidentally killed a family member to his current state – walking around with hands all over his body – his fate had been left in the hands of All for One. However, his intentions do not really align with that of All for One. Whereas the previous users of One for All leave the destiny of the heroes’ in the hands of Deku, Shigaraki’s mentor has not been able to do the same.
As such, that has caused a fraction between mentor and student. It is still to early to say whether Shigaraki might get a redemption arc because one of Deku’s goals used to be wanting to save him from his own villainy and the circumstances that had made him so. However, like Dabi and Toga, he did make his own choice, so it is unknown how the narrative will culminate.
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— Izuku Midoriya (@Call_me_Deku) June 14, 2023
Hero Killer Stain
This is not really a redemption arc per se, as during both of his appearances, Stain had showcased his adherence to neither heroes nor villains but his own philosophy – the idea of a world where heroes act out of idealistic altruism instead of material gains. While this philosophy does hold gravity, considering the number of heroes that quit the service after the war (when the world needed them most), it is also flawed.
The fact that Uraraka chose to be a hero to help her struggling family but manages to risk her life for others, it showcases how Stain’s black-and-white ideology does not contain the necessary nuance. He might not be redeemed, not in the traditional sense, but it is not too much to expect him to join the fight after being motivated by Midoriya, All Might, or even Uraraka’s actions.