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Remember When We All Thought Shoto Todoroki Would Be a Dark and Brooding Character but It Turns Out He’s a Sassy Troll?

Get your soba noodles ready.

 

Shoto and his soba

Spoilers for My Hero Academia anime so far

When my friends told me to get into My Hero Academia back in 2018, I was told that I would probably end up liking Shoto Todoroki, a character they’d dubbed as a fan favorite. It didn’t take long to see why Todoroki was (and still is) a fave, what with his cool, Icy Hot hair and his obvious “tragic back story scar.” While Bakugo got a lot of attention for being a literal ticking time bomb, Todoroki was cold and aloof, freezing his way through the series until we got to the sports festival in season 2.

via GIPHY

Season 2 is where we got to learn Todoroki’s backstory which is, as I predicted, tragic (though heavier than I expected). Our Princess Weekes already broke down his story in regards to the abuse he faced, his resentment toward his father, and the steps he’s taking to become a better person and hero.

via GIPHY

After his monumental fight against Deku during the Sports Festival (the moment when he finally took hold of the fire he’d been denying), I kinda expected Todoroki to still be a bit frigid around the edges, but genuinely a good person who tried his best. While I wasn’t completely off on my guesstimate, nothing prepared me for Todoroki becoming one of the sassiest characters in the entire series.

So let’s talk about the absolute mood that is Shoto Todoroki on his birthday.

Todoroki’s odd sense of humor and inability to read the room (in some cases, by choice)

Todoroki has comical moments by not actually trying to be funny, which means that his delivery is genius. From asking Deku if he’s All Might’s secret love child (yes really) to thinking that he’s cursed because everyone’s hands get crushed when they’re around him (lol, what???). Todoroki will just nonchalantly say whatever’s on his mind, then proceed to fail to read the room when others are flabbergasted by his words.

One of my all-time favorite examples of this is him constantly insisting that he and Bakugo are friends, especially since it keeps coming up in the series (and the latest movie). Todoroki assumes that since the two of them spent so much time together taking supplementary classes that they’re friends now. Of course, Bakugo denies this, and Todoroki just, well, he knows that his bestie doesn’t really mean it.

It’s at the point where I just assume that Todoroki’s being a troll, purposely saying things that he knows will irritate Bakugo because that’s the kind of friend Todoroki is. Bakugo screams at Todoroki to not mention how they’re falling behind compared to the rest of the class? Todoroki… mentions it again.

And again.

AND AGAIN!

Bless this boy.

Yes, that’s Shoto Todoroki, ready to fight the chief of police

I know that Bakugo makes an extremely loud argument for being the most unhinged “I don’t give a PLUS ULTRA” student in class, but I kinda have to give that distinction to Todoroki. When he and Deku helped Iida fight Stain, for example (which, btw, he was supposed to be working with Endeavor and just noped out of there to help Deku), he bluntly tells the chief of police how wrong he thinks he is when the chief scolds the boys for fighting without a hero license.

Not only does he call him a mutt (because the chief is a dog), he actually steps up to him, ready to start a fight.

Todoroki has no issue with telling authority figures off if they make him mad. It’s not always as hostile as the incident with the police, but Todoroki will speak his peace toward classmates, teachers, and his own father if he feels he’s doing something out of pocket.

The soba noodle slurp heard throughout the fandom

We’re at a point in My Hero Academia where Endeavor is trying to atone for the harm he’s caused in regards to the treatment of his family. While I definitely expected this to lead to some serious tension (and it does), Todoroki has kind of been in the middle of the argument as his sister wants to forgive Endeavor but his brother doesn’t. It’s an interesting dynamic that shows multiple points of view on how people process the pain they’ve gone through.

Currently, Todoroki is trying to learn how to use the fire quirk he’s been denying and even takes the initiative in learning from his father since he’s the number one hero. However, Shoto Torodoki is, on occasion, a delightfully petty bee-word about his relationship with Endeavor.

Endeavor getting a scar over his eye in a similar fashion of the son he abused is symbolic for sure, but Todoroki’s casual, “That’s a bad scar, looks painful,” is the chef kiss to end all chef kisses, topped with him slurping LOUDLY on his soba noodles. Sure, Todoroki was rooting for his dad to win in that life-threatening battle he was in, but when he saw Endeavor it was back to being his “you’re not earning my forgiveness that quickly” self.

As he says, he might respect Endeavor as a hero, but as a father? Endeavor’s still got a lot of work to do.

It’s just that, sometimes, we’ll be reminded of that via blank stares, noodle slurping, and Todoroki not texting his dad back.

I adore Todoroki as a character and really like seeing how his story develops, not just because of the serious moments and how he absolutely brings it in battle, but because he’s a hilariously blunt, “not here for your nonsense” teenager who will make sure you saw that he read your message, but not answer.

Happy Birthday you perfectly petty troll.

(Image: © K. Horikoshi/Shueisha, My Hero Academia Project)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)