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My Hero Academia Season 6 Ending Explained

In a world saturated with superhero media, "My Hero Academia" still manages to stand out. The anime, based on the manga created by Kōhei Horikoshi, has been running since 2016 and has just concluded its sixth season. With the season finale officially in the rearview mirror, we can safely say that Season 7 has one heck of an act to follow.

Season 6 saw not only the culmination of various plot threads and teases but also some major reveals and payoffs. From shocking character deaths to several unforeseen twists, this season was filled to the brim with moments both cathartic and heartbreaking. For us to properly explain Season 6's ending, we'll need to run through some of the major highlights.

With all that said, prepare to go beyond plus ultra as we explain the ending to "My Hero Academia" Season 6. Be warned, there are massive spoilers ahead. 

Shigaraki's increased power

The opening phase of the season's big battle hinges on a ticking clock of sorts by the name of Tomura Shigaraki. Since Season 1, Shigaraki has served as one of the series' main antagonists, right alongside the mysterious big bad, All For One. At first, Shigaraki is presented as the standard comic book villain, sinister and brooding with mild hints of a dark backstory.

Season 5 saw the reveal of Shigaraki's emotionally damaging childhood, in which he accidentally wiped out his whole family with his then-newly developing decay powers. Shigaraki overcame his trauma and ascended to an entirely new power level, far deadlier and more confident than he was before. This, plus his newfound leadership over the Meta Liberation Army, later renamed the Paranormal Liberation Front, made him a force to be reckoned with.

As the battle commences, the heroes learn that Shigaraki is undertaking an intense experiment to further increase his powers. Despite the efforts of the Rabbit Hero: Mirko, the experiment is only slightly hindered and Shigaraki awakens with increased powers. With his decay ability far more destructive than it was before, Shiragaki easily lays waste to Jaku City and those within it. 

Deku and the Heroes vs Shigaraki

As the anarchy spreads and the battle intensifies, the UA students — including Midoriya AKA Deku and Bakugo — find themselves on the front lines. At the behest of the R-Rated Hero: Midnight, the UA students aid in taking down the Paranormal Liberation Front's big gun, a kaiju-sized meta known as Gigantomachia. While that's going on, the likes of Eraserhead, Todoroki, Deku, Bakugo, and Number One Hero: Endeavor take on Shigaraki in an attempt to halt his path of destruction.

However, things quickly spiral even more out of control when Eraserhead's quirk suppression is negated and Shigaraki mounts his offense. Bakugo ends up forcing Deku out of the way and is severely wounded by Shigaraki's attack. In the heat of battle, Shigaraki is able to grab Deku to steal One For All from him.

However, things take a turn for the trippy when both of them are warped into another realm, wherein they encounter All For One, as well as his brother. It's here that Shigaraki finally meets Nana Shimura, his paternal grandmother and the seventh wielder of One For All. During this family reunion/battle, Deku notices that Shigaraki seems to be struggling under All For One's parasitic control. It's here that Deku realizes that, much like the everyday citizens he's sworn to protect, Shigaraki needs to be saved as well.

Dabi's real name, revealed

Back in the real world, the battle rages on, with Shigaraki not heeding All For One's warning to retreat. However, after Shigaraki is finally knocked out, Gigantomachia makes the scene with Dabi, one of Shigaraki's teammates, riding on his back.

Ever since Dabi's introduction in Season 3, fans have speculated as to who he actually is and what his motivations even are. He makes his presence known to Endeavor and Shoto, washing out his black dye to reveal his natural white hair. Dabi then reveals that his actual name is Toya Todoroki and that he's Endeavor's eldest son and Shoto's older brother, long presumed by both to be dead. We receive more information about this later in the season, but for right now all that matters is that Toya's alive and extremely vengeful.

As Dabi mocks his father and brother, we then cut to a previously recorded message in which he reveals his identity to the world. Not only does he reveal what an abusive father Endeavor was but he also shows footage of Hawks murdering Twice earlier in the battle. It's here that Dabi begins to dance, relishing in just how effectively he's emotionally crippled Endeavor, who is frozen in shock. The scene is punctuated when Dabi tells his father that "the past never dies" before inviting Endeavor to dance with him in hell.

The world loses faith in heroes

When the dust finally settles after the battle, it's never been a worse time to be a hero. With some heroes dead, like Midnight, or heavily injured, like Gran Torino, the hero community is severely wounded. Public perception of heroes takes an immediate nose dive, especially after the truth regarding Dabi's identity goes viral. Additionally, out-of-context footage of Hawks stabbing the villain Twice sends people's belief in superheroes into the dirt.

As we pick up shortly after the battle, we can see people taking to the streets to decry heroes, blaming them for recent tragedies. Later on, we are shown citizens harassing mutants, people with quirks that alter their physical appearance, just for walking the street at night.

Even All Might's statue, erected after his retirement in Season 3, is defaced with a sign that reads "I am not here," a play on his catchphrase. These scenes are honestly hard to watch at times, especially when compared to the proceeding five seasons. Regardless of how much the status quo had been rocked, one thing that never changed was the love and respect people had for superheroes. To see them now be viewed as negligent menaces and be subjected to public outcry is more than a little upsetting.

All For One escapes from prison

Aside from Shigaraki, All For One has been the main antagonist looming over all of "My Hero Academia." At first, All For One is presented as the typical mastermind villain puppeteering things from the shadows. We're not given much information about him at first aside from mentions of his past dealings with All Might. In later seasons, we get to see just how powerful and diabolical he actually is.

Following the destruction of Jaku City and the public outcry against heroes, things get even worse when Shigaraki, fully possessed by All For One, stages a prison break. The prison in question is Tartarus, a special facility used for powerful supervillains, very similar to The Raft from the Marvel Comics universe. With several supercharged Nomu — powerful creatures created from human bodies — Shigaraki is easily able to lay waste to the facility. Within moments, Tartarus is in flames, allowing every super-powered meta contained within to escape, including All For One.

It's here that several villains from past seasons return, including Goto Imasuji AKA Muscular from Season 3 and Kai Chisaki AKA Overhaul from Season 4. The escape of several hundred villains only adds to the stress plaguing heroes, as well as the diminishing public support for them.

Hawks' messed-up childhood

Since his first appearance, Hawks has been a fan favorite hero for many fans of "My Hero Academia" and it's not hard to see why. From his cool-as-ice attitude to his rad aviary aesthetic, Hawks has been a great addition to the series' ever-expanding superhero roster.

Despite his reserved demeanor, Hawks is still very passionate about being a hero, going much further than many others would for the greater good. This includes going undercover within the League of Villains and the Meta Liberation Army after faking the murder of Best Jeanist, a fellow hero.

It's not until Season 6 that we get to see Hawks' origin story, which is definitely darker than any of us could've imagined. Hawks' was born out of a toxic relationship between his father, a wanted murderer, and his emotionally distant mother. His only comfort while living isolated from the world is watching the exploits of Endeavor and other heroes on television. Following his father's arrest at the hands of Endeavor, Hawks and his mother are forced to live on the street. After saving some people in a car accident, Hawks is scouted and recruited by the Hero Public Safety Commission. Hawks' reasons for becoming a hero are an intriguing mix of both necessity due to his upbringing and a genuine desire to go good.

The Todoroki family reunites

Following the battle, several heroes are in critical condition, including Number One Hero: Endeavor, who is just as emotionally wounded as he is physically. After Dabi's video goes viral, the public turns on Endeavor in droves, seeing him as a failed hero and father.

We're then treated to a truly heartbreaking scene where Endeavor, thinking he's alone, reflects on recent events. With people outside the hospital cursing his name and his own son now a sadistic villain, who could blame the man for crying? This isn't the first time we've seen Endeavor show emotion, but it's still quite affecting to see the usually stoic hero break down in tears.

Endeavor's pity party is then interrupted by Shoto and his siblings, Natsuo and Fuyumi, who have come to talk to him. This leads to a legitimately funny moment where Shoto, gobsmacked upon seeing his father in tears, slams the door. With tears in his eyes, Endeavor begins apologizing to his kids for basically being the world's worst father. However, as he laments over his broken heart, Rei, his wife, emerges from behind her kids, marking the first time she's seen Endeavor in some time. The two then discuss Toya, lamenting how they both could've done better.

Midoriya meets the past One For All users

After pushing himself to the limit during the battle, Midoriya remains unconscious for quite some time afterward. As All-Might waits by his bedside in the hospital, we take a trip inside Midoriya's mind, currently amid a bizarre meet-and-greet.

A disoriented Midoriya awakens in a dark void wherein all the previous One For All users are present, assembled in a semicircle of chairs. This includes All Might's remaining consciousness, his mentor Hana Shimura, the fifth user Daigoro Banjo AKA Lariat, and the original user, Yoichi Shigaraki, All For One's brother. We're also introduced to a few other users who have previously been unknown to Midoriya, as well as the audience. This includes Hikage Shinomori and En, the respective fourth and sixth users of the power, as well as two other users who have yet to be named.

It's here Midoriya learns just how much is riding on him, as it's revealed All For One can only be transferred to quirkless (powerless) people. This means that he could very well be the final user of the power and the only one capable of stopping Shigaraki and All For One's evil. Hana Shimura, Shigaraki's grandmother, warns Midoroya that her grandson might be beyond saving and that he might need to kill him. Despite this, Midoroya sticks to his guns and refuses, passing Hana's test and earning the trust of the other past users.

Dark Deku begins

Throughout "My Hero Academia," All-Might has frequently told Midoriya how important it is to keep the truth of his inherited power a secret. This has been part of the show's status quo since Season 1 and, aside from Bakugo being made aware, has remained under wraps.

That is, until this most recent season, when the genie is finally let out of the bottle and the whole world is made aware of One For All. Now that the public knows, it doesn't take too long for people to put together what All For One is after. This means that Midoriya is firmly in All For One's crosshairs, meaning anyone near him would be in immense danger. In a shocking move, Midoriya packs his things and quits UA, leaving his classmates a series of notes to explain his departure.

When we catch up with Midoriya, he's embraced the role of a dark and gritty vigilante. Night after night, under his alias of Deku, he patrols the streets, helping those in need and catching escaped villains. However, before too long, it becomes clear to All Might just how much Midoriya is unraveling after days on end without sleeping or bathing. It seems Midoriya is set on his new isolated path, even flying off and leaving his mentor crying in the rain.

Midoriya's friends convince him to return to UA

It helps to have friends in your corner, especially if your friends are over a dozen superheroes with your best interests in mind. Following his shocking departure from UA, Midoriya cuts off all contact with his friends, mainly to protect them from All For One. This, understandably, doesn't sit well with Class 1-A, who will do whatever it takes to bring their friend home. During a confrontation with another Tartarus escapee, Midoriya is overwhelmed until Bakugo and the rest of the class arrive to help.

This leads to a moment that very few fans would have expected: Midoriya having to take on all of his friends. It's not only a beautiful showcase of everyone's abilities but also gives everyone a chance to tell Midoriya just how much he means to them. Midoriya's prowess with One For All vastly exceeds his friends' expectations, making it easy for him to escape their capture attempts. It isn't until the class bands together for a joint capture maneuver that they subdue the erratic Midoriya.

This epic confrontation is capped off with yet another moment that fans didn't see coming: Bakugo apologizing to Midoriya. Bakugo finally explains his behavior towards his former childhood friend, admitting he was always insecure about falling behind someone he deemed weaker than him. In a season full of exceptionally emotional moments, this is a truly standout moment worthy of a few fanboy tears.

Stain confronts All Might

Following the prison break at Tartarus, key villains from past seasons make their escape, including Stain: The Hero Killer. Simply put, Stain is a few candles short of a menorah, seeking to cleanse modern society of those he deems to be false heroes. Back in Season 2, Stain went as far as heavily wounding Ida's brother Tensei AKA the Turbo Hero: Ingenium, forcing him into early retirement. As revealed in his chilling monologue before his capture, the one hero he does deem to be worthy is All Might. After his arrest, aside from a few scant mentions, Stain disappears until Season 6.

Among the other villains freed from Tartarus is Stain, visibly confused over just what's led to his newfound freedom. However, in his escape, Stain acquires some type of drive from a dying guard and promises to deliver it to someone deserving of it. That someone turns out to be All Might, who confronts Stain near All Might's desecrated statue. Given his emaciated form, All Might struggles to convince Stain that he's actually the former No. 1 hero. This coincides with a woman, the last person All Might ever saved, arriving to remove the "I am not here" sign from the statue. Following this, Stain bizarrely helps reinvigorate All Might, telling him that what made him great was never his strength or popularity, but his ability to keep going regardless.

The end game begins

With Midoriya now safely within the walls of UA, the stage for the final battle to come is officially set. At first, the citizens hiding within the walls of the school want Midoriya as far away from there as possible, given that he's All For One's target. However, following a rousing speech from Uraraka, the citizens realize just what terrible shape Midoriya is in. After being comforted by a few others he's saved in the past, a tearful Midoriya is let back in and is treated to a much-needed bath.

All Might returns and smooths things over with Midoriya following their previous interaction. It's also explained that Shigaraki's body, All For One's new vessel, will be complete in only three days. With his friends by his side and the tide seemingly turning, Class 1-A rallies to help put the world back together.

We then cut to a meeting of various hidden representatives for world governments, from whom All Might is requesting backup in the form of other heroes. It's then revealed that one hero from the United States has already left and is en route to Japan. The hero in question is Star and Stripes, America's No. 1 hero, a buxom blonde riding atop a bunch of military bomber planes. The end game, much like Star and Stripes, is fast approaching and it looks as if Season 7 will be the wildest yet.