Kohei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia crafts a beautiful society, but the series frequently presents dystopian ideals. Fans don’t have to look any further than its treatment of society’s Quirkless individuals to understand the disparity that’s on display, but Horikoshi’s world is hardly black-and-white. It’s only the foolish who decide to judge a villain – or a hero – by their looks alone.
My Hero Academia makes a big splash during the Provisionary Hero License Exam when the Pro Hero Gang Orca steps in to test the heroic students’ strength. Some students have their doubts about Gang Orca, but he’s a hero when it counts. Villainous labels can be placed on individuals like Gang Orca purely because of their Quirks or costumes, but My Hero Academia always emphasizes understanding and communication over rash judgments.
Updated December 28, 2022 by Daniel Kurland: Season six of My Hero Academia forces society, and the audience, to consider who are the real heroes in the world and the fine line that exists between good and evil. The heroes in My Hero Academia have some excellent resources at their disposal, yet it’s easy to confuse some of them for the bad guys because of their intense and frightening designs.
15/15 Shihai Kuroiro Lives In Darkness And Spooks His Adversaries
Shihai Kuroiro is a Class 1-B student at U.A. High who receives a satisfying showcase in both the school’s Sports Festival as well as the Joint Training Competition between Classes 1-A and 1-B. Kuroiro’s Black Quirk allows him to disappear into shadows or any dark surface and his haunting complexion makes him look like a monster from a horror film more than it evokes heroism.
Even Kuroiro’s professional title, Scheming Hero: Vantablack, has a sinister connotation to it that brings villainy to mind. Kuroiro has gotten used to these types of labels, but it hasn’t impacted his desire to help others.
14/15 Crimson Riot’s Demeanor Looks Harder Than His Quirk
Crimson Riot functions as the inspiration for one of U.A. High’s budding champions. Chivalrous Hero: Crimson Riot is a professional with a Hardening Quirk who motivates Eijiro Kirishima to get his act together, conquer his fears, and to try harder to become a hero. Kirishima’s Red Riot name is a direct reference to Crimson Riot, but outsiders still may confuse these two for villains.
Kirishima is prone to excitement and his Quirk can have aggressive results. Crimson Riot is an even sterner figure who looks like he’d be All For One’s second-in-command or at least hold high rank in the League of Villains.
13/15 Hitoshi Shinso Is A Cryptic Outsider Who Can Control Minds
My Hero Academia places a lot of attention on the promising students of U.A. High’s Class 1-A and 1-B, but Hitoshi Shinso is a hard worker from Class 1-C who helps shake up the power rankings. Shinso is far from evil and the fact that Shota Aizawa has taken him under his wing speaks to the potential in this powerful student.
However, Shinso carries a grim expression that’s hard to decipher and his Brainwash Quirk is exactly the type of ability that a villain would relish. Shinso’s mouth guard also isn’t very inviting and makes him look like he’s an ally of Tomura Shigaraki.
12/15 Shishido Roars Into Action With Ferocious Intensity
My Hero Academia has hundreds of diverse Quirks on display, including diverse powers that bear a resemblance to certain animals. Shishido is is sometimes at odds with Gang Orca, but it’s likely because there’s so much in common between these two animalistic professionals.
Lion Hero: Shishido has a deadly Quirk that empowers him with the speed and strength of a lion and he can also generate razor-sharp claws. Shishido resembles some violent big game hunter, not unlike Marvel’s Kraven, and his look and attitude aren’t for everyone. Nevertheless, Shishido is ranked 13 on the Hero Billboard Chart JP, so he’s clearly putting in his dues.
Izuku Midoriya is My Hero Academia’s perennial protagonist and his selflessness is evident in every little thing that he does. Deku’s journey from an enthusiastic boy without a Quirk into the multi-powered successor of One For All is nothing short of incredible. It’s inconceivable to picture Deku defecting to the dark side.
However, Volume 31 of My Hero Academia’s manga introduces a radically different look for Midoriya, known as Black Deku, that’s one of the series’ scariest designs. Black Deku makes constant use of the Black Whip Quirk as Midoriya resolves to wander on his own so that All For One’s obsession with him doesn’t get anyone else hurt.
10/15 Gang Orca’s Orcinus Turns Him Into A Terrifying Sight
Telling anyone they look villainous sounds pretty shallow, but it’s hard to deny that Gang Orca’s Orcinus does make him pretty scary. Orcinus gives the attributes and abilities of a killer whale, and it’s not something just anyone can handle. Currently the Number 12 Pro Hero, Gang Orca can put on a ruthless persona when needed, and his display at the Provisionary Hero License Exam is convincing.
Coupling that with his incredible mastery over his Quirk, he’s a challenge for all the hero hopefuls. As a person, he’s friendly and helpful, and his skill in combat makes it clear that he’s more than earned his place on the list of high-ranking Pro Heroes.
9/15 Hound Dog’s Work As A School Counselor Clashes Heavily With His Look
It’s hard to believe someone who seems to turn feral when angered would be able to qualify as an empathetic school counselor, but that’s exactly what makes Pro Hero Hound Dog so remarkable. Ryo Inui’s Quirk, Dog, makes it difficult for him to properly express more intense emotions, but when he does, he often combines human speech with animalistic growling.
Even so, Hound Dog’s role as U.A. High’s lifestyle guidance counselor has never been in danger because the staff knows the warm heart that beats under his gruff exterior. Hound Dog takes great satisfaction in helping troubled youth work out their issues, which might even be a direct result to the prejudices that society has heaped on him because of his Quirk and past.
8/15 Godzillo Looks Like The Classical Destructive Kaiju Monster
Gang Orca And Hound Dog have intimidating looks that might frighten children and inexperienced heroes, but they’ve got nothing on Godzillo. Appearing in the feature film, My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, Godzillo is a Pro Hero who lives on I-Island.
Godzillo is a hero who is originally from Japan who decided to move to the United States later in life. Godzillo’s Quirk, which is amusingly called Toho after the company that owns the right to Godzilla, makes him look like the classic kaiju. Godzillo’s heart is in the right place, but it’s understandable to panic when he’s first seen.
7/15 Centipeder Is A Brilliant Strategist Who Prioritizes Knowledge, Not Anger
Juzo Moashi, more publicly known as Centipeder, is burdened with a cumbersome mutation as a byproduct of his powerful Quirk. Moashi’s Quirk grants him the head and limbs of a centipede, which should be no surprise considering his obvious Pro Hero Name.
Centipeder looks like an evil mutant, but he fulfills the role of Sir Nighteye’s sidekick, who is one of the more critical and selective characters in the series. Nighteye vouches for Centipeder and the hero’s immense knowledge becomes invaluable at Nighteye’s detective-like Hero Agency.
6/15 Ectoplasm’s Toothy Smile Looks Like The Face Of Pure Evil
Ectoplasm has an aggressive image that makes him look like one of Dr. Garaki’s wicked High-End Nomu, but he’s actually U.A. High’s unconventional mathematics teacher. Ectoplasm is a highly respected and skilled Pro Hero. He loses his legs in the line of duty, but that doesn’t keep him from continuing his work. Ectoplasm’s prosthetics have also become an efficient combat tool.
Ectoplasm’s Clones Quirk allows him to produce up to thirty clones of himself at a time, or, alternatively, one giant clone. Despite all these honorable qualities, Ectoplasm is still likely to be confused for a villain by a stranger. His grim grin isn’t the most reassuring thing to see and his costume choice doesn’t exactly dispel this notion.
5/15 Vlad King’s Morbid Quirk Seems More Appropriate For The League Of Villains
The homeroom teacher for Class 1-B, Vlad King is one of the more underutilized characters in My Hero Academia. Sekijiro Kan’s Pro Hero name is a reference to Vlad the Impaler, more commonly known as Dracula. This is a foreboding label, but it’s one that at least makes sense considering his blood-based Quirk, Blood Control.
Vlad King’s Quirk allows him to freely manipulate his own blood and he is proficient at using it as a tool in attacking and immobilizing enemies, as well as the assistance of allies. It’s unclear if he can also use the blood of his opponents, but his Quirk is better suited for a villain than it is to a hero.
4/15 Ryukyu Transforms Into A Deadly, Destructive Creature Out Of Dark Fantasy
My Hero Academia‘s Dragoon Hero: Ryukyu is one of the most reassuring presences in the Top Ten Pro Heroes. Ryukyu’s calm demeanor and composure in battle are as helpful for her fellow heroes as they are for the civilians she is working to rescue. Ryukyu is crucial in a crisis and her large transformed size allows her to rescue many civilians at once.
Ryukyu has a lot going on in her favor, but that doesn’t change the fact that a huge dragon swooping in to rescue someone is going to evoke fear. Ryukyu doesn’t just become a dragon, she acquires grotesque wings, claws, and fangs, which even put Godzillo’s rough look to shame.
3/15 Endeavor May Be Number One, But His Past Gets In The Way Of His Heroic Future
There are many Quirks in My Hero Academia that cleverly conceal themselves, but there are also figures like Endeavor whose Quirks actively mutate and force their users to take on a permanently altered appearance. Endeavor becomes a controversial replacement for All Might as Japan’s Number One Pro Hero, with both his attitude and appearance giving the public pause.
Endeavor is constantly consumed by flames, unlike his son Shoto Todoroki, which isn’t a very inviting look. Endeavor is highly qualified as a Pro Hero and he’s slowly able to redeem his image in the eyes of the public. However, Endeavor’s toxic past is anything but heroic and Dabi makes sure that he properly pays for his sins. He still has his Number One status, but society has never been more skeptical of him.
2/15 Katsuki Bakugo Has An Explosive Attitude And A Heavy Hero Name
There’s a reason Katsuki Bakugo is basically the antagonist during My Hero Academia‘s introductory arc. Bakugo’s temper is as explosive as his Quirk and during his pre-U.A. High days he’s quick to lash out at the then-Quirkless Izuku Midoriya. Bakugo’s rampant bullying reaches terrible depths and thankfully his time at U.A. High smooths down his rougher edges. He’s an inspiration to many, but he still has anger issues.
Bakugo has grown a lot as a character, but his image remains connected to the idea of ‘villain’, or at the very least, of someone unheroic. Even the Pro Hero Name that Bakugo chooses for himself, Great Explosion Murder God Dynamite, sounds like the moniker of an antagonist.
1/15 Minoru Mineta Is U.A. High’s Biggest Creep Who Can’t Control Himself
Minoru Mineta may not tower over society with an intimidating behemoth body like Godzillo or Ryukyu, nor does he carry an explosive temperament like Endeavor or Bakugo. It’s Mineta’s obsession with women that turns him into an unlikable character who’s borderline villainous. Mineta isn’t very popular with My Hero Academia‘s fandom and the series hasn’t done much to rehabilitate its character like it has with others.
In a way, Mineta is more of a broad caricature than he is a character who stands for something. Despite being on the side of good, Mineta looks like a villain because he acts like one. He won’t be appearing on Gang Orca’s select list anytime soon and it’s unlikely that he’ll reach the ranks of a top Pro Hero either.
NEXT: 10 MHA Characters We’d Want To Spend The Holidays With