Chapter 290 of My Hero Academia is definitely my favourite chapter of the manga so far, which made me pretty excited to read the next one, 291, “Thanks for Going Strong.”
Dabi’s reveal as Touya Todoroki was heavily anticipated and it more than paid off in “Dabi’s Dance” and continued to pay off in “Thanks for Going Strong” where Dabi dropped even more bombshells on both the unassuming public and the readers.
Probably the biggest of these bombshells was that Dabi had filmed Hawks killing Twice and had Skeptic edit it in a way to make it look like murder.
Not only this but Dabi also exposes Hawks’ true identity, revealing that he is the son of a serial killer thief, which is why his identity was kept secret for so long.
The fact that Dabi managed to twist all of this to suit his own narrative in such a short amount of time shows how smart he can be.
This also raises the question of if he wanted Hawks to kill Twice so he could use this to paint him in a negative light, or if he just took advantage of Twice’s death.
Either way, Toga’s probably going to hate him for this and I see a lot of bad blood between them in the future.
Although, Dabi using Twice’s death like this pretty much confirms that he is a full on psychopath with not a care for anyone but himself and his own plans.
As for said plans, they unfolded almost perfectly, with even “Can’tcha See” Kid losing faith by the end of the chapter.
However, note that I said almost perfectly because there are a few glaring flaws that quickly became apparent in Dabi’s plan.
Definitely the least noticeable of these is Hawks’ recorder, which was seen when he tried to arrest Twice, before being forced to kill him.
This recorder could completely exonerate Hawks of wrongdoing if it came out.
However, by far the biggest flaw in Davi’s reveal plan is him saying that Hawks killed Best Jeanist, who is revealed to be alive at the end of the chapter.
Him jumping in to crash Dabi’s murderous family reunion was an epic moment that throws Dabi’s entire plan into questionable territory about where it could go.
Personally, while I am happy to see Best Jeanist alive and well, I do hope this and Hawks’ recorder do not completely destroy Dabi’s credibility in the public eye.
Dabi revealing himself to be Endeavor’s son and detailing his abuse of his family, along with framing Hawks for murder, throws all of hero society into chaos but if the majority of people doubt his story then it could all go back to just being the status quo.
There needs to be fallout from Dabi’s reveal and it would be disappointing if the public at large dismissed his story entirely.
I understand that Best Jeanist being alive will bring some hope to hero society but I’d like there to be some tension because of what Dabi has done.
All of that said, I do have faith in Kohei Horikoshi and believe he can make this satisfying, it’s just a slight concern that I have.
As for the rest of the chapter, it is great, beginning with more information about Touya’s “death.”
For starters, it turns out that Endeavor wasn’t an abusive father right from the get-go.
Sure, he wasn’t exactly a good father, pushing his own dreams on his children, especially Touya and Shouto, but it looks like he was actually encouraging of Touya at first, and probably only became abusive after Touya, Fuyumi and Natsuo all turned out to be failures in his eyes.
I wonder if we’ll see exactly what caused this change in Endeavor’s attitude?
We’ll probably get that information when we get Touya’s full backstory, although I don’t expect that to come for a number of chapters.
I will say though, that this more supportive side to Endeavor seen during the initial years of Touya’s childhood, plus Endeavor thinking about how he looked for Touya at the end, not believing him to be dead, does show him to be a more caring father than we first thought.
Maybe so caring that he’ll actually admit his abuse to the public, hopefully?
Another interesting thing to note is that Touya’s hair turned white most likely not from abuse but from Rei’s side of his quirk slowly becoming more prominent, making him less resistant to his own fire.
This would have led to his “death” on Sekoto Peak where, after a fire that reached over 2,000 degrees celsius, only a part of Touya’s lower jaw bone was found, which raises a whole bulk load of questions.
Is Dabi missing a part of his jaw and wearing a prosthetic?
If so, how did Dabi survive part of his jaw falling off?
Or, if the jawbone isn’t Dabi’s, then whose is it?
So many questions but not enough time in the chapter to answer them so we’ll have to wait.
At least we’ll most likely see more Todoroki interactions next chapter because Natsuo and Fuyumi have now head the news that their supposedly dead brother is not only alive but a mass murderer.
Shouto is already taking the news badly, which is expected, as he is shown crying as he urges Endeavor to protect Deku and Bakugo, right before Best Jeanist shows up.
Speaking of Bakugo and Best Jeanist though, now that the two are in the same place, and with Bakugo telling Iida they need to achieve victory in the last chapter, it looks exceedingly likely that Baukugo is going to have another moment to shine where he reveals his hero name to Best Jeanist.
As for his hero name, Kachan and Ground Zero are both possibilities that have been thrown around by the fandom.
Either way, this war arc is almost at its conclusion and I cannot wait to see the fallout from Dabi’s reveal, the potentially thousands of casualties, and Best Jeanist’s heroic return to duty.
As for how the war arc itself will end, my money’s on the drug Class 1-A gave Gigantomachia kicking in soon, giving Best Jeanist and the other heroes a chance to take him down.
I can also see Dabi being captured and taken to Tartarus where he will probably meet his inspiration, Stain.
No matter what happens though, I am excicted to see how my favourite arc so far in My Hero Academia will end.