My Hero Academia protagonist Izuku Mioriya can be compared in many ways to other shonen leaders. He believes in the power of friendship and hard work. His unwavering optimism allows him to defeat true evil. Midoriya shares many things with Demon Slayer star Tanjiro Kamado. However, the comparison is flawed.
Both heroes are kind-hearted and compassionate boys who worked hard over a short period to prepare for mortal combat. They also saved the lives of those they loved. Midoriya, like Tanjiro, sees the humanity of his enemies and seeks to redeem them. However, recent My Hero Academia episodes show that it doesn’t always work. Tanjiro may make Kyogai and other opponents cry at the end, but Midoriya must save his heroic compassion for, his true enemy — Tomura Shigaraki.
Why MHA’s Midoriya can’t personally redeem Villains like Tanjiro
Izuku Midoriya is like all Pro Heroes. His goal is to defeat the villains and capture them to protect society. In My Hero, Academia’s futuristic world, humans, villainy, Quirks, and heroes are all interconnected. Society’s emphasis on villains creating heroes is a byproduct. It is possible to be raised in a hero society the right way, but if you aren’t, then there will always be a wrong way to live. Muscular and other villains, however, are not victims of society.
Midoriya tried unsuccessfully to appeal to Muscular’s humanity in their latest battle. But the villain laughed it off. Midoriya won the fight and captured Muscular. However, he was unable to save the 12,000-pound Quirk-fueled Muscular. In MHA‘s anime, the protagonist has not rescued anyone, although Gentle Criminal might still have hope. Midoriya, All Might’s successor and symbol of peace is unable to spend his time-saving individuals. He’s more concerned about the whole society and the legion caped heroes who defend it.
Midoriya’s Tanjiro style compassion for Muscular Tanjiro is not what anyone expects of him and it is not part of his new symbol of peace. He must keep his eyes on the bigger picture. This includes inspiring students and fellow Pro Heroes and fighting for justice, ethics, and laws that are unique to hero society. Midoriya’s goal is to make a world without villainy or fear from devious Dabi.
Midoriya might redeem Tomura Shigaraki to end the evil army, which is the only exception. If he can reach out and rescue the terrified and helpless Tenko Shimura, then all the villains will follow his lead — and HHA‘s protagonist may prove to be a true symbol of peace for both heroes and villains.
Tanjiro’s Quest for Demon Slayer was More Personal from the Start
My Hero Academia’s Midoriya, and Demon Slayer’s Tanjiro are both young men who care about others’ happiness. However, they won’t be able to succeed if they try too hard to imitate each other. Despite their shared similarities, their themes as shonen heroes are vastly different, which is reflected in their arcs and dialogue. Midoriya’s dream of protecting the symbol of peace and a hero society was his main concern. As the anime’s opening episode, “Cruelty”, clearly demonstrated, Tanjiro is purely on a personal quest in Demon Slayer.
Tanjiro’s noble spirit and heroic exploits don’t intend to inspire demon slayers everywhere. He isn’t trying to change society or prove something. He just wants to defeat Muzan Kibutsuji and restore the humanity of his sister Nezuko. Although Tanjiro is noble, he doesn’t have lofty social goals. His compassion scenes with the slain demons reflect his focus on interpersonal skills like empathy, leadership, and forgiveness.
Tanjiro knows for certain that Nezuko, the now-demon, still contains a good human being within that many others cannot see. The same holds for Rui the hand demon, Kyogai, and others. Demon Slayer has been a star in shonen and is now one of the most empathetic characters. He does not fight for society or the universe as Midoriya in. But he fights for one person at a time — even though their spirit is hidden deep within a flesh-eating demonic’s body.