Can Endeavor Truly Be Redeemed For What He’s Done?

My Hero Academia's Endeavor is one of the strongest Heroes in the entire story. Having been the Number 2 Hero for quite a long time. In the All Might era, Endeavor remained in his shadow for the longest of times. However, after the fall of All Might and the end of an era, Endeavor eventually took the spot of the Number One Hero. With more responsibility than ever on his shoulders, a lot of light has since been thrown on his character.

While there is no denying that Endeavor is quite a powerful Hero who rightfully deserves the Number One spot and is certainly someone the Hero Association needs to combat the likes of Shigaraki Tomura and the Paranormal Liberation Front, it goes without saying that Endeavor is a character who splits opinion. His past certainly put a lot of question marks on his character and even though he's undergone several changes as the story has gone on, the question of whether he can truly be redeemed or not remains.

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While Endeavor may be an incredibly skilled Hero, in the past, he has acted like anything but one. At the age of 20, Endeavor had already risen to the #2 spot on the Hero rankings, however, he didn't have what it took to supplant All Might and surpass him. No matter how hard he tried, Endeavor simply lacked the skill, power, and charisma of the #1 Hero in Japan. Realizing that he couldn't surpass him, he shifted his strategy and arranged a Quirk Marriage to gain access to Rei Himura's ice Quirk. According to the idea in his head, his flame Quirk and Rei's ice Quirk would be manifested in their child and that child would eventually go on to surpass All Might.

While this in itself is pretty low for someone who calls himself a Hero, things only got worse for him. Endeavor's firstborn son, Toya, received a flame Quirk even stronger than his own, making him a good Hero prospect despite not having an ice Quirk. However, due to his weak body, his Quirk often harmed him by leaving dangerous burns behind if overused. Endeavor's second child, Fuyumi, only inherited her mother's ice Quirk, making him more obsessed with the idea of conceiving the perfect child who held the powers of both his and Rei's Quirk.

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His obsession only made things worse and strained his relationship with his family. Toya, who Endeavor now believed couldn't become a Hero, continued to train harder and harm himself because he never received any acknowledgment from his father. Shoto, on the other hand, was put through rigorous training at just 5 years of age, which was too much for him. Enji isolated Shoto and avoided his other kids, making things worse for the family. If this wasn't bad enough, he went on to abuse his wife, Rei, by hitting her for not being able to stop Toya from harming himself. Not only did Rei begin to fear where the relationship was headed but she feared her own children due to them having the same blood as Endeavor, which led to her burning Shoto's face with boiling water.

Worse of all, Toya eventually burned his entire body in an attempt to master his Quirk and prove to his father that he wasn't a failure. While he was presumed to have died, he actually survived the encounter and took on the identity of Dabi. Expectedly, Endeavor was to blame for everything and his treatment of his family had negative effects on all of them. Natsuo and Shoto both blamed him for everything, while Rei, who was put in a mental hospital by Enji, saw her mental health worsen after hearing about Toya's death.

Years later, in the current timeline of My Hero Academia, things change drastically when Endeavor becomes the Number One Hero and realizes what being a Hero truly means but the question of whether he can truly ever be redeemed for what he did to his family still remains.

The start of Endeavor's redemption arc was when he tried to mend his relationship with Shoto in the Remedial Course Arc. Seeing Shoto acquire his Provisional Hero License, Endeavor praises his efforts for once and, at the same time, declares that he wants to become a better man and a Hero his son could be proud of one day. Taking the spot of the Number One Hero certainly has a profound effect on him as he finally learns from All Might what being the Symbol of Peace truly means. Endeavor realizes that he doesn't have to emulate All Might or compete with him, but do things how own way instead. From this point onwards, he's consistently tried to better himself and work to salvage the future of his family. Sadly, this realization hits him too late.

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By this time, his relationship with his entire family is strained too much for them to simply forget about it and move on. While Rei and Fuyumi try their best to look at the positives and forgive him, things aren't nearly as simple for Natsuo, Shoto, and of course, Toya. In the War arc, Toya reveals how Endeavor's treatment led to him becoming a villain, along with Endeavor's dark past to the whole world, turning everyone on him and questioning his position as the Number One Hero, to begin with.

It's beyond any doubt that Endeavor's past is never going to be simply forgotten. However, that certainly doesn't mean he can't do better. A good redemption arc sees the character in question pay the price for what they did and, at the same time, follow up by making amends. Even then, what they did can certainly not just be overlooked. In Endeavor's case, his wife and his daughter have already forgiven him for the most part and his sons Shoto and Natsuo are starting to open up to him again.

It's certainly never too late to turn back and for Endeavor, that time is now. Having done things that are unbefitting a Hero, he now has to live with his guilt and try to improve the relationship that he shares with his family before anything else. Endeavor definitely is the cause of everything wrong with the Todoroki family, but everyone has now decided to assume responsibility for getting the family back together and stopping Dabi once and for all. Whether Endeavor deserves to be redeemed or not is certainly a question that will forever continue to divide opinion. What can be said for sure is that he acknowledges his mistakes and while he can't go back and fix them, he can definitely help to make the future better for the Todoroki family and spend the rest of his life trying to protect them and shower them with the care he never gave them.

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Rei Penber (144 Articles Published)

Rei Penber is an avid fan of anime and manga. He is the author of some of the articles here that you liked, and others that you didn't. When he isn't writing, he is often reading all sorts of manga. His other hobbies include exploring the beauty of nature when he can.

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