Boku no Hero Academia’s Hero Killer Stain

Stain is one of the most compelling villains I can think of. He has ideals and he has conviction. More importantly, his ideals are righteous. He wants to rid society of it’s fake facade and hypocrisy. Their society is decadent, as Nietzsche would say – it promotes the decay of morals. Heroes don’t fight purely out of altruism, but for fame and money. This is evidenced when the two girls go to their internship and the professional hero is only concerned with her commercial. Stain tried to preach to the people about this, but no one listened – so he turned to violence. When two people are in an argument and get mad at each other, the next step is violence. It’s the logical progression of things. He had no other way to make himself heard.

Stain also states that he wants to rid the world of villains that abuse their power. He wants to create a just society. These are philosophical ideas: power, justice, decadence. Stain is calling forth a revolution. When Iida tries to get vengeance, Stain says he’s a fake. Iida uses his power for himself and to fulfill his own desires. Stain is not wrong. Whereas Deku jumps into the fight and puts himself at risk, in order to save Iida. Stain respects that.

Stain is a very realistic character. We understand why he has sunk to terrorism; it’s because of his feelings of anomie and lack of of conventional roads to reconcile it. In accordance with Strain Theory, he become the Hero Killer. Another reason Stain is a respectable character is because he works hard. He fighting ability is not entirely due to his quirk. He taught himself how to fight and has great physical abilities.

The last interesting thing about Stain is that he wants All Might to kill him. He says All Might is the only true hero that fights for virtuous reasons. So why does he want All Might to kill him? Heroes don’t kill people; this is evident when All Might doesn’t even kill All For One. In a sense, it seems like Stain wants to corrupt the last true hero. Perhaps he wants to show his ideals to the world through his death. Even the Symbol of Peace can be corrupted and if that can happen to even him, then it’s time to take a good, hard look into the society of heroes and reform. He wants to be a martyr.

Although stain does not die a martyr, people do take up his cause. In the end, Stain’s message takes root and his efforts were not for nothing. Whether or not his use of violence can be philosophically justified, Stain remains one of the most interesting and complex characters in the anime.

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