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My Hero Academia: Who Is Shota Aizawa and Why Does Everyone Love Him?

Eraserhead My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia may just be the biggest superhero comic in the world. It's read by millions globally every week in Weekly Shonen Jump and on the Shonen Jump and Manga PLUS apps and ranks constantly on the Bookscan charts with its manga volumes released by VIZ Media. Plus, it's the basis of a globally popular anime, with a new season starting this fall, and a feature film. All in all, Kohei Horikoshi's superhero high school story shows no signs of slowing down.

While the series has the many unique characters who fans have come to know and love, UA High School faculty member, Shota "Eraserhead" Aizawa is one of the most noteworthy. In addition to teaching the rowdy band of teen heroes in Class 1-A, his all-black outfit, winding scarf and perpetually exhausted/crazed look makes him an instant standout, but he's also a dedicated teacher, a great hero and a source of some of the series' biggest laughs.

Aizawa's Quirk and Weaknesses

Aizawa's hero name isn't Eraserhead because he's a big David Lynch fan. He got that name because his Quirk--MHA's term for superpowers--is named "Erasure." It allows him to temporarily nullify the Quirk of anyone around him (except people who've been physically mutated by their Quirks, like A-1 student Shoji "Tentacole" Mezo.) While that's a great power for a solo hero and a tactical advantage when as part of a team, it has some pretty huge drawbacks.

Mainly, the erasure only lasts as long as Aizawa is looking directly at whoever he's targeting. Since his powers rely on his constantly looking, without blinking, he tends to get horrible dry eye. That's why he always carries eyedrops with him.

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That means if he blinks--for any reason--or his line of sight gets obstructed, his erasure is nullified and the target gets their Quirk back. Because of this, Aizawa typically tries to maintain the high ground in a fight or be positioned somewhere where he can't easily be attacked.

But in the event he does have to face an opponent head-on, Eraserhead is no slouch. A lithe and quick hand-to-hand fighter, he's more than capable of holding his own in a brawl.

Aizawa's Personality

Shota Eraserhead on My Hero Academia

It's never been revealed or even hinted at in the series just why Aizawa chose to become a teacher, but it really doesn't matter because he's utterly dedicated to his students. This has been shown numerous times when Class 1-A clashes with the League of Villains, as Aizawa rushes to protect his students at any cost.

This was exemplified first during the "Unforeseen Joint Simulation" arc, when a UA battle training facility--like the X-Men's Danger Room--at UA was attacked by supervillains. Shota found himself up against League of Villains leader Tomura Shigaraki, just as his power was waning due to prolonged use.

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Taking advantage of this, Tomura taunted Shota by shouting out the decreasing number of seconds his erasures would last, destroyed his elbow, than battered Shota enough that he was ambushed by the League's henchman, the horrifying Nomu. The monstrous villain slashed Shota's face and broke his arm. Even after the heroes won and his other injuries healed, Shota was left with a noticeable scar under one eye.

Despite all that, his genuine concern and care for his students tends to be buried under layers of sarcasm and apathy. More than once, students have entered their classroom, only to find Aizawa suddenly awake and staring at them, having been in his trademark yellow sleeping bag the whole time.

Izuku Midoriya even thought Aizawa was genuinely scary when they first met, which wasn't helped by Aizawa's constant pressuring of him to control his unstable Quirk. But despite his laconic attitude and unaffected look, Aizawa really does care about training the next generation of heroes and preserving the peace. And that's why, even though he's not a main character, he's fun enough to keep fans cheering for him every time he appears on page or on screen.

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