Manga My Hero Academia

Why Did Deku Leave U.A.? Is He a Villain Now?

The manga took a drastic turning point after the War Arc ended. And the biggest change of them all is when Deku left U.A.!

Yes, you heard it right: Deku left U.A. for good. People are wondering the reasons for his departure. But the primary question lingering on everyone’s mind is his destination now that he dropped the hero program.

Today, allow me to clarify some of the things bothering My Hero Academia fans. In addition, we’re going to cover the topics, “Is Deku going to become a villain now that he’s out of school? Did he leave because he’s the U.A. traitor?” Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

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

1. Why did Deku leave U.A.?

Deku left U.A. to safeguard the future and well-being of his classmates, teachers, and family. With All for One and Tomura Shigaraki on the run, they’re bound to strike U.A. next to kidnap Deku and seize One for All from him.

Some fans are theorizing that Deku left U.A. cause he’s the traitor, that he feels guilty betraying his friends, and he’s off to do villain work. All these statements are false.

Why did Deku leave U.A.? Is he a villain now?
Deku | Source: Fandom

Deku is not the U.A. traitor. He did not leave because he was framed to betray his classmates and teachers. The current arc of the manga hasn’t confirmed the identity (identities) of the traitor(s) yet.

2. What are Deku’s plans after leaving U.A.?

Deku’s departure is essential because not only does he need to stop wanted criminals like All for One and Tomura from decaying another city to dust. Rather, he must also protect citizens whom he can reach with his own two hands. To do so, he must leave U.A.

He is concerned about how the hero society is quickly breaking from the inside: massive jailbreaks in 8 different cities; villains on a rampage; dangerous convicts unleashed and hungry for flesh and blood!

With all this madness, he needs to move swiftly with the aid of the Pro Heroes, All Might, and the seven One for All predecessors.

Everybody’s living in a time and age when neither heroes nor citizens feel safe. Aside from terrified citizens on the run and fearing for their lives, many heroes are retiring!

Fewer heroes are now available to protect citizens. And although some of the citizens we’ve seen in previous chapters handled heroes’ support items, they’re untrained to do so. Instead of helping, they only increased collateral damage and casualties!

3. Is Deku a villain now?

Deku has not turned into a villain in the series. Many might think that now he’s off U.A.’s leash, he can pursue villain works immediately. But that is not the case.

Despite possessing black sclerae in his cold eyes while wearing the mask of his tattered hero costume, Deku is still trying to save as many civilians and heroes as he can! Besides, why would he leave his beloved school just to join some off-shoot crime organizations?

Why did Deku leave U.A.? Is he a villain now?
Deku | Source: Fandom

On that note, the existence of “Villain Deku” in the My Hero Academia (MHA) fanbase is rampant. However, this alternate persona only exists in alternate universes (AUs) that MHA fans conjured.

Instead of showcasing a heroic and altruistic protagonist, “Villain Deku” is the primary anti-hero of the fanfictions, fan art, and anime music videos (AMVs), etc.

It’s fun to explore Izuku Midoriya’s alter egos! But no longer does “Villain Deku” portray the qualities of a main Shōnen protagonist! In many MHA AUs, Villain Deku steals the spotlight because he is a vile, manipulative, and merciless wielder of multiple dark Quirks! How intriguing! Don’t you think so, too?

What’s worst is that he’s married to Himiko Toga and that they have children! If you want to explore the other wicked sides of “Villain Deku”, I’ve written this Villain Deku blog that deep dives into this special character!

4. Will we see Villain Deku in the main series?

The cover art in Chapter 310 may have emphasized Deku’s mischievous and trickster aura. After all, he gives off this devious look that viewers normally see in fugitives or villains.

With such a villainous look on Shōnen Jump’s kind-hearted boy, it’s an ironic twist of events to see Izuku Midoriya painted in such a dark light!

Why did Deku leave U.A.? Is he a villain now?
Villain Deku | Source: Fandom

But we must remember that Horikoshi solidified Deku’s goal to become the No. 1 hero of the hero society since the start of the series. Henceforth, “Villain Deku” is not someone MHA fans can see in the main series.

However, I’m not ruling this possibility completely. We won’t know what’s going on in Horikoshi’ s mind. In one chapter, he’s subverting our expectations; in another, he does a complete 180 on us!

For now, U.A. dropout Izuku Midoriya is not threatening anyone with his new intimidating look. Nor is Deku forcing civilians to accept him as a hero. Therefore, I’m not expecting “Villain Deku” to appear in the canonical MHA series — not anytime soon, anyway.

5. Is Deku a vigilante in the main series?

Right now, Deku has no choice but to become a vigilante (a person performing hero duties without a government license). So, yes, he is a vigilante for now, but we don’t know how long he’ll be one in the main series.

If Deku continues treading down the vigilante path, he continues breaking the law. Then again, the Hero Public Safety Commission is not operating anymore.

So, who’s to say that Deku’s provisional license is still effective? For all we know, it’s expired! Hence, Deku shouldn’t be chasing criminals even if it’s his arch nemeses!

Why did Deku leave U.A.? Is he a villain now?
Izuku Midoria aka Deku | Source: Fandom

A vigilante, after all, is someone stuck between hero duties and villain status. The Pro Heroes don’t acknowledge vigilantes doing heroic deeds. Similarly, villains don’t honor vigilantes because they’re not crazy enough to commit heinous acts.

At this point in the manga, Deku must become a vigilante if he wants to continue hunting Tomura Shigaraki and All for One down under the shadows. The sooner he finds them under his vigilante status, the sooner will Deku stop them from decaying everything.

6. What does this transition mean for the future No. 1 Hero?

Ever since he woke up from his comatose, Deku has been walking a fine thread line where his moralities are tested!

His heart-to-heart talk with Gran Torino echoes on his mind especially when the old man mentioned, “Don’t be too stubborn about redeeming Tomura Shigaraki. Sometimes, death can be a form of salvation, too…”

Why did Deku leave U.A.? Is he a villain now?
Izuku Midoriya | Source: Fandom

These heartwarming words will linger around Deku’s head as he fights crimes as a vigilante. He’s not 100% hero anymore, but he’s also not 100% villain (hence, the birth of “Villain Deku” is unforeseeable at this point).

Izuku Midoriya is in the middle ground and this is an intentional turning point that is coming from the author. Deku must hold onto whatever moral fibers he has left on his body and push past these challenges if he wants to save the world and save Tomura Shigaraki.

In a dark age such as this one, being a vigilante is a good excuse to save people around. But that doesn’t exempt Deku from running into dangerous scenarios.

He might be starving right now as we speak since he barely has enough money to purchase necessities. In Chapter 310, we even see All Might handing Deku’s favorite food (pork katsu) on a lunchbox just so the boy can eat properly and survive!

With his vigilante status though, he’s free to save anybody including criminals! No government authorities will be there to restrain his next move after all. Still, one downside is that Deku is performing hero duties without pay and recognition.

And for another thing, he has limited informational resources (e.g., inability to access the Hero Network, losing communication with his close friends and allies in U.A., etc.). If he’s unable to gather intel, Deku doesn’t have a choice but to move at a snail’s pace to hunt his enemies!

Why did Deku leave U.A.? Is he a villain now?
Villain Deku & Midoriya | Source: Fandom

Hiding under the shadows as a vigilante may not seem a bad idea in the beginning. For one thing, his disguises are helping because he’s maintaining a low profile and is not recognized by the public.

This gives him motivation to continue his undercover mission because he can constantly hide his face from civilians!

7. Conclusion

Deku left U.A. to guarantee the lives of his mom, friends, and teachers. He is neither a villain nor an anti-hero in the series after dropping out of school.

If he does become one, not only does this character shift too late at this point in the manga, but it’s not also within Deku’s “Shōnen character template”. Regardless, no matter what Horikoshi-sensei has in store for us MHA fans, I’m sure it will take us by surprise!

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8. 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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