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Anime Manga My Hero Academia

What is Villain Deku? Is Villain Deku real?

So, I was scourging Imgur one day for My Hero Academia (MHA) alternate egos. And by joe, look what I have found! The most interesting alternate universe (AU) character that caught my eye is none other than Deku’s alter ego: “Villain Deku”!

You may or may not have heard of Villain Deku. But if you’re a die-hard fan of MHA’s alternate versions, you’ll stumble across many character’s alter egos — Katsuki Bakugō, Shōto Todoroki, Ochako Uraraka, etc.

Villain Deku is a very edgy character in the AU fandom of MHA. I read about him again and again in fanfictions. Then, saw him in full-color glory in fan arts. And finally, saw him another time in fan animation music videos (AMVs)!

He’s not real in the canonical MHA series. However, he steals the spotlight because of his moodiness and craziness in many AUs. It’s also because of his tragic backstories that made readers sympathize with such a twisted character like him!

Unlike the good-hearted main protagonist of Shōnen Jump, Villain Deku is a complete 180! He is a psychotic, merciless, and melancholic antagonist. Since he’s perceived as a magnetic AU character of the popular MHA series, let’s start diving into his persona!

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SPOILERS AHEAD! This page contains spoilers from My Hero Academia.

1. What is Villain Deku?

Villain Deku is an alternate reality character conjured by the My Hero Academia fanbase. He solely exists in fanfictions, fan arts, fan music videos, etc. — all of which are head-canon creations of die-hard MHA fans and Izuku Midoriya.

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He’s extremely popular because Villain Deku seems to be the more realistic version of Izuku Midoriya had he not been such a goody-two-shoes after the numerous hardships. It’s a very interesting concept if you ask me. Even I am lured to imagine a dark version of Izuku Midoriya had All Might rejected him as a successor.

One of the craziest things Villain Deku did upon joining The League of Villains is starting a family with Himiko Toga! Like I said, we’re seeing a complete 180 on Deku here. So, it’s not a surprise that he is kind towards his villainous comrades, is a charmer towards his wife, and sympathetic towards his children.

How did it all start? Well, Izuku cannot cope with the pent-up sorrows and rage bottling inside him. Not until he met Tomura Shigaraki that is. The leader of the criminal organization recruited Izuku sometime after being told by All Might that he can never be a hero.

After years of constant bullying from Katsuki Bakugō and ostracization from his middle school classmates, Izuku became emotionally and mentally exhausted. That’s why he was easily taken over by the evil people in his surroundings.

When he finally got rid of those ugly feelings he’d been bottling inside, it was too late as they gnawed Izuku’s mental health from the inside and out. As he deals with his poisonous emotions, his psychopathic persona gave birth to “Villain Deku”!

You could say that Villain Deku is the version of Izuku Midoriya that’s finally let loose. For one thing, he’s a tragic fallen anti-hero who has turned to the dark side. He scorns heroes, their sidekicks, and torments civilians. His pent-up rage towards heroes exploded because he’s unable to become one himself!

And if I may add, this side of Villain Deku reminds me of Gentle Criminal — a canonical villain in the MHA series who failed to become a hero. In the same way that Gentle Criminal is a mere shadow of a hero dropout, Villain Deku was born out of Izuku Midoriya’s despair to become a hero.

2. Is Villain Deku real?

Villain Deku isn’t real. He does not exist in the canonical series and is only a made-up character of many My Hero Academia fans. Even if he’s only a figment of MHA fans’ imaginations, he is a brilliant foil (or dark parallel) to the canonical antagonist of the MHA series — Tomura Shigaraki.

What is Villain Deku? Is Villain Deku real?
Villain Deku And Tomura | Source: Fandom

Despite Tomura’s team-up with Villain Deku, the latter is still treated as a sidekick! It may be unsettling even if this is only an AU. But with abuse coming left and right, and from a destructive villain of the main series no less, we gotta sympathize with Villain Deku here. We finally get to see Deku’s dark side, and it’s still tormenting to watch!

If I may be so bold to add, too, Villain Deku became popular within the MHA fanbase because Shōnen Jump’s protagonist is too unrelatable. Good-hearted Izuku Midoriya once said, “Saving your enemies even after they slaughtered millions is the right thing to do.” That’s what the noble Deku in the main series would say.

Nowadays, you wouldn’t hear that phrase from victims of mass murder and genocide. Those perpetrators usually end up in jail crevices of our society. That’s why Villain Deku’s reactions and responses to these kinds of cruelties became popular to fans — his responses are relatable and realistic.

Even if kind-hearted Izuku Midoriya is the face of Shōnen Jump right now, his character is unattainable to imitate even as we speak. Even if he has his flaws in the MHA universe, he still pushes on to acquire a goal similar to the Holy Grail — to redeem or save Tomura’s soul!

So, fans found a solution: they madly twisted Izuku’s heroic and altruistic personality. Instead of possessing the most admirable qualities you’d like to see in a 15-or-16-year-old boy, Villain Deku possesses unlikeable qualities of a supervillain: spiteful, hateful, revengeful — attitudes men today would show after years and years of constant ostracization, bullying, and mental torture.

3. What are Villain Deku’s powers?

Villain Deku possesses multiple dark-related Quirks from one Alternate Universe (AU) to the next:

I. Fire Breath

Villain Deku is akin to a dragon: sulfur and ashes keep coming out of his mouth even after he stops using this Quirk!

You may wonder at first, “Where did Fire Breath even come from?” Well, if you re-read Chapter 1, you’ll realize it’s an inherited trait from Hisashi Midoriya, his father!

Inko Midoriya (Deku’s mom) mentions that her husband’s Quirk is “Fire Breath”! That’s why fans allowed Villain Deku to become a flame user. However, Horikoshi-sensei didn’t do this cause Deku would be sharing a flame Quirk with the hellish Todoroki family.

To ensure the diversity of its cast, Horikoshi ensured his 3 musketeers (Izuku Midoriya, Katsuki Bakugō, and Shōto Todoroki) possess unique Quirks that each of them would proudly call their own.

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II. Nightmare

Villain Deku gives traumatizing nightmares to his enemies after putting them into a deep slumber.

What is Villain Deku? Is Villain Deku real?
Villain Deku-Nightmare | Source: Fandom

You may think that this attack is weak because it uses hypnosis and hallucinations to defeat one’s opponent. On the contrary, it’s a very efficient attack because Villain Deku takes down his enemies in the blink of an eye!

III. Rage

This Quirk is nothing like the hell-bent rage we saw from Deku in the main series. Villain Deku’s “Rage” uses lava explosions to burn his enemies.

At first, it’s kind of his “Fire Breath” Quirk cause it’s another fire-type attack. However, what’s unique about “Rage” is that it isn’t triggered by the glycerin sweat of his palms unlike Bakugō’s.

Think of Villain Deku’s exploding lava “Rage” coming out from his head like how volcanoes erupted. That’s the type of rage his opponents are dealing with when they anger him.

IV. Evil Sun

This is another fire-type based Quirk where Villain Deku spurts out sulfur from his body. This attack is good for long-ranged combats because he can burn and drain the powers of his opponents from a distance.

For its namesake, it’s called “Evil Sun” because those flames are projected like the rays of the sun. They are blinding from a distance, but they can also burn you once you get closer!

V. Void

You may imagine a black hole emitting from Villain Deku as soon as he activates his Void Quirk. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but this isn’t like No. 13’s black hole.

Villain Deku’s Void opens purple-mist teleportation portals. It’s similar to the portals of Kurogiri (or Blackmist) because it re-emerges from one coordinate to another.

VI. Binding Sphere

The “Binding” word in this attack makes me think of Shōta Aizawa’s “Binding Cloth” attack. But make no mistake as Villain Deku’s “Binding Sphere” utilizes acid-green energy spheres to enclose his opponents!

And instead of cloths or ribbons, Villain Deku emits green lasers from his fingertips to activate “Binding Sphere”. This attack may be a derivative of Aizawa’s, but it’s that very reason why Deku is so adept in using it!

He has seen Eraser Head’s moves firsthand and up-close. And just like that, Villain Deku can imitate his teacher’s attacks flawlessly when applying Binding Sphere on close-quarter ranges.

All in all, these Quirks are a treat to AU MHA fans! There’s more where they came from, but this blog would be cumbersome if I add Villain Deku’s 30+ Quirks.

4. What are Villain Deku’s motives?

Seeking his purpose is just the first motive Villain Deku had since joining the LoV. Secondary motives are something similar to getting back at Bakugō for years of torment and bullying. Tertiary motives are acts where Villain Deku can mock and scorn heroes because they gave him false hope to become one since he was a 4-year-old kid.

You may ask, how did this all come about? Well, MHA AU fans added another villain character named “Shiki” to transfer the Quirks I mentioned above to Villain Deku.

Shiki (whose name can mean “Zombies”) is the master or teacher of Villain Deku. It’s thanks to Shiki’s influence that Villain Deku still exists to this very day.

What is Villain Deku? Is Villain Deku real?
Shiki Nomura | Source: Fandom

Regardless of the circumstances, one thing remains clear: Izuku Midoriya was rerouted to a villainous destiny; hence, the evil gravity of his motives is burdensome to carry due to the heavyweights of past regrets.

For instance, at the start of one AU, Izuku was rejected by All Might. This was the last push before a helpless boy like him completely turned to the dark side.

We already knew he was already broken inside from Katsuki Bakugō’s constant bullying and being a Quirkless loser. But when All Might said to Izuku’s face that he can never be a hero despite saving Bakugō in one AU, it adds salt to injury!

When Tomura Shigaraki recruited Izuku to join the League of Villains (LoV), Izuku finds happiness in being able to fulfill a purpose. That purpose doesn’t have to be good or helpful towards citizens or heroes or villains.

But according to Izuku, if he has a role in this evil-trodden world, one of his emotional and spiritual needs will be satisfied. By finding his purpose (like the reasons for his birth, him being Quirkless yet remaining a hero fanatic for 14 years, etc.), all will be clarified because his LoV comrades will finally quench his hungry soul!

And what lovely comrades indeed! Villain Deku may still be a weakling and a loser as soon as he joined the LoV. But at the very least, he found people who can understand him and make him feel like he belongs in this odd bunch!

Villain Deku is blaming heroes because he admired them from a distance since he was a kid. It’s pitiful and illogical given his childish mindset. All these feelings didn’t go away; they only grew and grew the more time “Villain Deku” spends with the LoV!

What is Villain Deku? Is Villain Deku real?
Villain Deku | Source: Fandom

It’s a tragic story, but we can’t help but appreciate this kind of narrative from MHA fans’ efforts to conjure such a dark and twisted parallel to the kind-hearted Izuku Midoriya we all know and love!

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5. About My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia (MHA) or Boku no Hero Academia (BnHA) is a Japanese superhero manga series written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi.

The manga has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 2014. Its chapters are collected in 30 tankōbon volumes as of April 2021. It follows a 15-year-old Izuku Midoriya and his adventures with the No. 1 Pro Hero of the hero society: All Might.

Despite being a fanboy since 4-years old, Izuku was born without a “Quirk”. On one fateful day, he meets All Might — his idol and the greatest hero of all time. With his diligent attitude and unwavering spirit to become a hero, Izuku manages to impress All Might; and thus, his adventures to become a great hero begin.

Originally Written By Epic Dope

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Marianne Quintinio

Marianne Quintinio

Marianne has been a huge fan of the fictional genre since she was a child. She has loved Disney movies, Harry Potter books, but loves anime and manga the most! Over 20 anime and manga series have positively influenced her life. When she's not busy writing manga reviews in Goodreads, you can catch her chatting with people on Discord, Reddit, and Twitter.

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