My Hero Academia: Shigaraki's True Enemy is a Forgotten Fan-Favorite Hero
Warning! Contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Chapter 360!
Although My Hero Academia’s central rivalry has always appeared to be between Deku and Shigaraki there’s actually another fan-favorite hero who is a better foil for that villain. Superhero comics in general often feature heroes and villains who complement each other in some way, whether this be in personality or philosophy. From the early arcs of the series, Deku and Shigaraki have seemed to have this relationship, even if it isn’t a perfect match.
Deku and Shigaraki each have starkly opposing ideals. Deku idealizes My Hero Academia’s Hero society and desires to become a superhero despite not having powers. Shigaraki blames Hero society for his terrible childhood and wants to tear it all down. Both characters are also taken under the wing of the possessor of either One For All or All For One and inherit their powers. In addition, the two also have similar arcs of growth, starting as relatively weak characters and ending up as the incredibly powerful figures they are in the current War arc. While it seems clear that mangaka Kohei Horikoshi intends for these two to be archenemies, in My Hero Academia’s latest chapter, an oft-ignored character proved that he would actually work better as Shigaraki’s main rival.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: My Hero Academia's Shigaraki Doesn't Actually Deserve Redemption
In chapter 360, UA’s “Big Three” join the fight against Shigaraki after being largely absent from the series for some time. Although initially, it seems that even their efforts will be useless against Shigaraki’s rapidly mutating body, Lemillion is eventually able to use his phasing abilities to escort Nejire’s energy blasts close enough to unleash an incredibly powerful punch against the villain. In doing so, he asks Shigaraki why he wants to destroy things, and determines that it is because the villain has no friends, a statement that clearly shocks Shigaraki to his core. Despite their many fights, Deku has never been able to affect Shigaraki in the same way that Lemillion has with just one simple declaration.
This is likely due to the differences in Deku and Lemillion’s dispositions. Deku, while being a hopeful person, does have some dark thoughts, to the point of once abandoning his friends entirely and setting off on his own as the frightening vigilante Dark Deku. So he can’t really pierce through Shigaraki’s gloomy disposition as well as Lemillion can. Lemillion is easily the most optimistic and bright character in the series, never losing hope even after he temporarily lost his powers. And beyond just personalities, Lemillion’s powers can perfectly counter Shigaraki’s Decay quirk, as Shigaraki needs to either be touching or have some connection to what he wants to disintegrate. Since Lemillion can phase his body, he can thus avoid this, making him perfectly suited to fighting him. Especially when combined with other members of the Big Three like Nejire who can supercharge his punches.
Given that it seems Deku may be fighting All For One before he makes it to the Shigaraki fight, Lemillion and Shigaraki could continue fighting for some time. Horikoshi may even decide to have Deku beat All For One while the Big Three and an injured Bakugo take down Shigaraki. If this does happen, it would give Lemillion a chance to prove that of all of My Hero Academia’s characters he is Shigaraki’s true enemy.