My Hero Academia chapter 390: Is Dabi’s current fate more painful than death? Explored

My Hero Academia chapter 390’s spoilers, raw scans, and unofficial scanlations were released this week. In the chapter, fans saw a surprising focus on Shoto Todoroki rather than Dabi, especially since chapters 190 and 290 were Dabi-centric and suggested a pattern.

While this focus is somewhat excusable, what some fans find odd is the apparent state that Dabi is left in by the chapter’s end. Despite the likelihood of at least one follow up issue eventually expanding on the fate of the Todoroki family and Dabi specifically, fans are still questioning My Hero Academia chapter 390’s events.

It’s an interesting conundrum, with Dabi seemingly left in a state of quasi-death. Although he’s not quite dead come the end of My Hero Academia chapter 390, it’s hard to say he’s alive as well, considering taking quality of life into account. As a result, a fan discussion has begun as to whether or not Dabi’s current fate is one more painful than death.

My Hero Academia chapter 390 seemingly ruins Dabi’s story with lack of full death and/or full rebirth

Brief spoiler recap

My Hero Academia chapter 390 began with Tenya Iida’s Engine Quirk failing, evidenced by his mufflers tearing apart. This prompted Shoto to activate Phosphor and use it to fly ahead as Iida thanked Shoto for letting him become the person he wanted to be, saying it’s time for him to go and do the same.

The issue then recapped the letters Shoto once sent to his mother, which saw him say he was learning how to communicate, show emotions, and care for others. As he said this, he arrived at Dabi’s location, thinking about his and Dabi’s origins and how there’s so much he wanted to say to his brother. Shoto then used his Great Glacial Aegir move, which successfully cooled the heat sphere.

My Hero Academia chapter 390 then saw him say it’s good that everyone’s here since his ice alone may not have been enough. A burnt, disfigured, dismembered, and yet somehow alive Dabi then mumbled about how he wished everyone would die. Endeavor apologized to Dabi and everyone as Shoto passed out, with the chapter ending as Toga wondered if Toya smiled in the end.

Exploring Dabi’s current fate

As described in the spoiler recap, Dabi is in a stuporous state of quasi-death, certainly not dead but not quite fully alive either. His burnt, disfigured, and even dismembered state would suggest that death is imminently coming for him. Despite this, his hatred is allowing him to cling to life, as seen via his mumbling about how he and everyone else in his family should perish.

My Hero Academia chapter 390 thus creates an interesting and unique scenario for Dabi. Would it be better to have him continue in this purgatory-like state, or is death a better alternative for the character if his hatred is something he can’t move past? Both possibilities have their pros and cons, but for the former approach, this requires some eventual tidying up of the storyline.

For example, if mangaka Kohei Horikoshi decides to have Dabi survive to have him eventually brought back as Toya, this wouldn’t be the worst decision. This could be achieved either via Eri’s Rewind Quirk or another yet-introduced ability. While the choice will be contemporarily confusing, Horikoshi’s choices will likely make sense in the end.

On the other hand, having him continue in his current state only raises more questions about Horikoshi’s choices than it does to quell concerns. If the series ends with Dabi still alive, fueled by hatred and revenge, and not showing any atonement for his sins, it begs the question of why his character arc was continued. To not have Dabi die in My Hero Academia chapter 390 without any future payoff in mind is simply baffling.

All of that being said, Horikoshi likely has some sort of future plan and payoff for Dabi’s character arc in mind. While there are many questionable choices of the final arc, Horikoshi fully recognizes that the Dabi arc is something he can’t mess up. However, as it stands now, Dabi’s current fate is one that is almost worse than death.

Be sure to keep up with all My Hero Academia anime, manga, and live-action news, as well as general anime, manga, film, and live-action news as 2023 progresses.

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