Irredeemable? Endeavor’s arc from the perspective of an abuse survivor.

Well, I’m back with the anime topics.

I watched episode 2 of MHA Season 5 yesterday (I’m not a premium member, that stuff is expensive) and I assume anyone who cares about spoilers will have watched it already, if not, don’t read this post.

My Hero Academia Reveals the Public's Response to Endeavor and Dabi

So, the fandom has known for a while that Endeavor is getting a redemption arc, and it started last season anyway, but this season has finally caught up to the manga enough to really get into it, and the outrage was predictable.

I can’t believe how often I see this not just in for this fandom, but for Webtoon fandoms (Webtoon comics have to be the abuse capital of fictional venues, every freaking story has an abusive, parent, boyfriend, girlfriend, or ex, or in one case, sibling. I thought anime was bad, but it’s even worse.)

I am often surprised by how unforgiving people are, and how easily they let their emotions be manipulated, in fandoms.

Naruto icons »🍜 - ¡Itachi! ♡ | Personagens de anime, Personagens naruto  shippuden, Desenhos de anime

Exhibit A: Itachi from Naruto, kills entire clan save for his brother, including babies and elderly people and his own girlfriend, leaves village. Pins whole thing on Sasuke not being strong enough to stop him, later uses his hypnotic power to make Sasuke relieve his trauma until his mind actually shorts out, and then fights Sasuke 3 years later, saying he will steal his eyes, then dies because he exhausts himself. Later he is reanimated, and gaslights the crap out of Sasuke because other people as well as himself claim it was all done out of “love.”

Based on what I just described (which is the literal events of the show, and not an exaggerated fan rant) Itachi is an S-class abuser such as you rarely meet in real life, and it’s terrifying when you do.

You know what this jacked up fandom says about him? “Oh, I wish I could be a brother like Itachi.” “Itachi is such a good brother, protecting Sasuke.”

I wanted to throw up, and it’s not like these fans are being ironic, they put this on freaking inspirational GIFS.

Even if by some twisted stretch of the imagination, Itachi did love Sasuke in his own psychotic way, he’s a terrible person. He committed Genocide because he was too much of a sheep to stand up to Leaf, and he didn’t shed a single tear over it (until the retcon anyway).

I was amazed that out of all the villains to redeem, the writer chose easily one of the most evil people in anime, but even analysts who’s opinions I generally respect have bought into it. I’m confused by how the show has manipulated people so much into calling evil good.

The power of anime and its emotional flashbacks and reframing of villains into tragic anti-heores. We can never just call it evil.

Exhibit B: We have Endeavor, or Enji Todoroki. He’s a pretty bad guy, I won’t deny it. Smacked his wife around for disagreeing with him. Drove one son out of his home (it’s still unclear whether it was his choice or the son’s) and pushed Shoto way too hard in training. He’s also just unpleasant to pretty much everyone.

However… Endeavor was never shown to be cruel or unprincipled completely. He is never shown to be psychotic. His abuse comes form anger issues and not liking his worldview questioned. It’s notable that he doesn’t abuse Shoto for talking back to him however, in the future, which indicate to me that he already began to understand that it was going to far to do that.

Endeavor is not a good person, but is he straight up evil? No.

People are hating on his redemption arc to a concerning degree, and I wanted to address it, as someone who’s been abused, and has perhaps an inside perspective on it.

It wouldn’t be fair not to acknowledge that they are right about one thing, abuse is inexcusable.

When I explain the reasons why Endeavor did it, it’s not to say that gave him an excuse. That’s not the point. The point is that abusers are some of the hardest people to change, in life, even in Christianity, the most life changing religion, abusers lurk and cover their sins with false spiritualism, that it can take a very perceptive person to see through, and not all Christians have that gift (we are just humans with different weakness, after all)

Different types of abusers:

To properly understand how to judge Endeavor, you have to know that people are abusive for different reasons.

  • 1. There are some people who are abusive without meaning to be. They act off what they were taught, and no one ever told them it was wrong. These people can often learn very quickly if they make friends with others who actually confront the behavior. Provided they are not too bitter to listen. I don’t even call these people abusers properly because for them it’s not a power trip, it’s just a habit. And they’re whole identity isn’t tied to maintaining it.
  • 2. People who are abusive in order to stay in power. This may be the most common form of abuse. Someone will use brute force and violence to get their way because they don’t have the maturity or humility to talk it out and admit it if they are wrong. This person has massive insecurities and usually needs to deal with those before they can change their behavior.

3. The psychotic abuser: This is the worst kind. The person who is twisted enough to enjoy getting the reaction they do. Scarily, even playground bullying can run dangerously close to this, but when bullying has merged with an even bigger amount of control and sway over others, and close emotional bonds with them, it becomes abuse. This abuser is cruel, merciless, and will gaslight the victim so they can keep the cycle going.

My dad is a number 3 mixed with a number 2. He wasn’t very violent, as most of you know, but when nothing else would serve, he’d become aggressive. Then he would play the victim and say you left him no choice. I detest number 3.

I detest number 2 also, but I’ll tell you, it scares me way less.

I might have to worry about being punched by a 2, but, I don’t need to worry that they’ll keep kicking me once I’m beaten and humiliate me just for the fun of it, once I stop bothering them, they have no interest in hurting me more. They’re a bully, but they aren’t a psycho.

I shouldn’t have to put up with either, but if I had to pick who’s more likely to realize the error of theirs ways; I’d pick a 2.

A 3 likes being the way they are too much to change most of the time, the only way is if they lose all ability to get what they want by being that way, then they have to reevaluate. But thanks to the toxic circle of people they surround themselves with, it’s rare for them to be left that way.

When it comes to deciding if Endeavor’s redemption make sense, we have to decide which group he is in. So let’s look at the facts:

We know from the show (what most of us have to go on) and from what I hear from manga readers that Endeavor

  1. Hit his wife when she crossed him.
  2. Pushed his sons too far in training
  3. Refused to listen to reason
  4. Put wife in mental hospital after she snapped completely and burnt his son’s face
  5. Refers to Shoto as his “masterpiece” or “creation” at least in the 2nd season.

All this is pretty bad. But what no one ever talks about is the more interesting things Endeavor actually does, which one wouldn’t normally expect.

  1. Though he hit Rei for crossing him, we are not shown him hitting her at any other time. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but he also does not keep beating her once she’s down, which a more textbook abuser would have done.
  2. He pushed Shoto in training, but we are never shown or told that he beat him at any time. Pushing him so hard is a form of abuse, but it’s one that has nuances, exactly at what point it became too far would be hard for someone like Endeavor to say. No doubt he pushes himself just as hard and feels it’s not wrong.
  3. When Shoto tells him bluntly that he will not do as he says, Endeavor doesn’t react like an abuser. He tells Shoto it will not work, but leaves him alone after that. Basically waiting for him to try and fail first. An level 3 abuser would have used manipulation to try to get his compliance.
  4. When Shoto blames Endeavor for what his mom did, Endeavor makes no attempt to squash his rebellion, instead, he seems to take it seriously. Also not textbook abuser behavior.
  5. Endeavor does isolate Shoto from his siblings, but does not isolate him from his friends. When Shoto pushes him, he doesn’t double down on his controlling, he actually allows Shoto to do pretty much as he wishes.
  6. Finally, Endeavor is never shown guilting Shoto for failing later in the show, if he did it before, it seems he may have realized his mistake. He only ever shows concern for him. True he embarrasses him at the remedial course, but it’s not done in the spirit of guilt.

Does this make him a good parent? No. But you have to understand, I’ve lived it, and it would have been nice to see my Dad do any of these things. That never happened for me. If I saw even this much of a chance of redemption for my dad’s behavior, I would not have blocked his number and cut off contact with him. Because you can reason with someone who can do all that, but not with someone who only uses you for their own benefit and then discards you.

Granted, Endeavor did do that with his other children, but he doesn’t abuse them in other ways, so it makes him more negligent than abusive. Negligent is more understandable.

What I think makes the show writing brilliant is that Endeavor’s redeeming qualities, such as they are, were not all introduced in season 4 and 5, as early as season 2 he demonstrated better characteristics than just his past self would have led us to believe. To me that indicated he’d already begun to question his past.

In a strange way, I got the impression Endeavor actually respects Shoto because he is tough and still stands up to him, though it annoys him, he kind of likes the little punk. Evidenced in season 2’s Stain Arc, before the redemption arc officially began for Endeavor, Shoto still asks his Dad for help, and to my amazement, Endeavor complies without even giving Shoto any crap for it later. And he doesn’t downplay what Shoto tells him, as soon as his son says it’s important, he sends back up after him. We never see him scold Shoto later for acting rashly.

This is season 2, the same season we even learned what an ass Endeavor was to begin with, and yet we already are shown some actually decent aspects of his personality. he’s doesn’t screw around with saving people, even if he’s very stiff about it. And he takes Shoto seriously, even if he doesn’t understand him.

I don’t say any of this because I like Endeavor, I actually don’t really like him. I don’t think I need to like him to judge him fairly, I just need to be… well, fair.

Let’s talk for a minute about Rei.

Pin on Todoroki Family

Really, Rei is the only reason that I even consider Endeavor abusive at all, as I wouldn’t say what he did to Shoto was abuse, at least in his own eyes, and would be hard to pinpoint like I said. But it’s not okay to beat your wife.

I can’t excuse it either.

But, there is no going back, I always say, there is only going forward.

Ignoring what Endeavor did in the past, what did he do later? Does he act sorry? And is his regret believable? Let’s look at it.

Fans seem to ingore two things when they accuse this Redemption of being too rushed.

  1. Endeavor has had 8-10 years of watching Shoto be miserable in order to rethink his actions.
  2. Rei is not compeltely innoncent here.

It’s not the 1900s okay. If your hsuband is beating you, you can leave.

Now hear me out before you say “No! She couldn’t leave! He’d never have let her.”

If Endeavor really cared about it, he would have put more effort into keeping the family together. I honestly think he wouldn’t have chased Rei down had she just down as she said to her mom and “run away from this life.” He could have hushed up the whole thing, and let her live on her own. I think he would have, she was just an annoyance to him anyway, after all.

Even if not, she could have tried it first.

Yes, she was terrified. But, the guy was not manipulative, we never saw him threaten her, nor does he threaten Shoto, so I assume, he doesn’t threaten people that often.

That tells me a lot of what Rei feared from him was in her own head.

I’m not saying that makes it not his fault. I feared stuff form my dad that he never did, because once you feel unsafe around someone, you imagine they could do anything to you. They’ll turn everyone against you.

It’s terrible to be trapped in your own mind like that.

But, to be honest, not all of that can be pinned on Endeavor.

I can’t victim blame here, but being unstable isn’t just something you can blame solely on one person. Even if you are mistreated, you can control your response, you can seek help. You can do something to save your sanity before it gets to a snapping point. That was what I did. I escaped before I went crazy because I knew what would happen if I didn’t.

Rei is not to blame for Endeavor betting her, but what she did to Shoto was her fault. I’m sorry if that bothers someone to hear, but it is.

You cannot excuse psychotic behavior on “She was driven crazy by Endeavor.”

It’s a lot of pressure to be with someone you’re afraid of. But, when you start projecting that on others, like your own children, you’ve crossed a line. If you now you’re doing that, then, you need to get out. Run away. Turn yourself in. Do something. Don’t wait to snap and hurt someone.

Am I the only one who got the uncomfortable impression Rei hurt Shoto partly so Endeavor would get rid of her? Does she really seem unhappy with the results?

As terrible as it is, her level of remorse just does not match the situation. She seems relieved to be out of there, and hesitant to talk to him. I mean, if she wanted to apologize to Shoto, she could have sent him a note via his siblings, she could have told him it wasn’t his fault, and not to hate himself…something. Not that it would have made a difference, but the effort could have been there.

Shoto believed he would only cause her pain by visiting her, and that in some way, he needed forgiveness for never doing that.

I’m sorry, but the 6-8 year old needs forgiveness for being terrified to go see the mom who burned half his face?

It’s interesting, that Shoto is actually way more traumatized by his mother than his father. It always hurts more to be betrayed by the person you trust. He blames Endeavor of that…but who does he feel safe acting out on? Who does he actually go to for help?

He may not like it, but he knows in a strange way, he can count on his Dad, and he can’t on his mom. And before someone says that’s because she’s locked up, do you really think it would be any different if she was free and just lived somewhere else? No. It wouldn’t.

She will always be the fragile one, in his mind.

And, hey, that’s the way it is sometimes. It’s not her fault really, but it’s not Endeavor’s fault either.

Rei was clearly unstable before she married him. We can assume her family life wasn’t too great if they were willing to sell her to Endeavor to be his baby mama. Heck, for all we know, Endeavor initially might have treated her better, until she was no longer of use. It seems like they didn’t have as many problems in the past.

I love Shoto, but he is a bit naive if he thinks his dad started all of this. You can bet Rei brought plenty of trust issues into this partnership that didn’t get helped by Endeavor, but didn’t start with him either.

Rei went off the deep end because she lacked the mental strength to get herself out of the situation, and to not project Endeavor onto her children, and that is just not fair to them.

My issue is that people ignore this. Endeavor gets crap for abusing his wife, but Rei gets not lame at all for literally scarring her son, and giving him the guilt of thinking he was like his dad for years.

Give the woman credit, she also taught Shoto to be true to himself. He should be grateful to her for that. And she’s trying her best.

But, one can’t get away from it. She gave up. She didn’t carry it to the end. She let herself lose her grip until she hurt him.

When she burned Shoto, it wasn’t because she thought he was Endeavor. It was because in a crazy moment, she thought it was the only way to protect herself.

And I’m sorry, but Endeavor was completely right to put her in that hospital. I notice no one ever says anything about that, but…what else would you do? A wild animal has to be confined too if they lash out at innocent people, and if a person become like that, what else can we do? She’s not safe for anyone to be around who’s not a professional.

Endeavor says he put her there because she hurt Shoto, but she could easily have hurt his siblings too, and even Enji himself, if he was caught off guard. What if she threw water at whoever walked through that door?

Why it’s personal

The reason this matters to me so much is because I’ve been Shoto before.

At first, when my dad moved out, I thought I could blame the entire situation on him. That would be simple.

But I soon realized my mom had plenty of problems of her own. Not all of which I could pin on him. She had them for decades before she knew him. My dad was drawn to her because like attracts like.

My mom could also be cruel to me, and inconsiderate. Some things I still cannot believe she said to me. I think she treated my badly because she couldn’t take it out on my dad, so she projected onto me.

Like Shoto, I got the idea that I was a monster from my mom, almost more than my dad. From both, really. What do you do when one parent accuses you and the other just tells you where you could do better?

I am not being hard on Rei because I am angry at my mom, though no doubt, some frustration is part of it. But because, I know the importance of being honest. both parents are at fault.

An abuser can’t abuse without an enabler, usually.

Endeavor was a crap husband, but putting Rei in the hospital was the right thing for her, and for the kids, sadly. Even if it feels cheap that he was the one who did it.

But, moving on from that time, it seems he began to see Shoto’s point.

I don’t agree that Endeavor made Rei hurt Shoto. I might excuse her hurting Endeavor himself on the grounds of self defense because she snapped, but not Shoto. Nor do I think she can get off just because she went crazy. Clearly she had some idea of why she did it and could have acted differently prior to that.

The worst of it would be if she ever admits that one day… because, I’ve had people tell me to my face that they knew what they did to be was wrong… and they still did it in that moment because they were too scared to do anything else. But that fear was their problem, not mine. I just paid for it.

Look, people, either we take responsibility for our own actions, or we don’t. If we say a victim has no responsibility, then everyone who makes themselves a victim will get away with literal murder. And, why do you think that mentality is so popular now? People love getting away with their crap.

I confront people and expect them to take ownership of their actions, and they usually blame me for them. Like I made them do what they did, sheesh. I did’t force your to do or say anything, I didn’t even tell you to do it, you just did it. How’s it my fault?

It’s not Shoto’s fault either. And, it’s not Endeavor’s. He didn’t threaten Rei to do what she did, if anything, hurting Shoto should have been something she was afraid to do because it would anger him.

That proves to me that she knew, somehow, what would happen. And she chose it.

It’s ugly, but it’s human nature… I wish it wasn’t. I wish we all could be noble enough not to hurt each other just to save ourselves.

Enji and Rei are both jacked up, that’s for sure.

But, Enji has had time to reflect on his actions, and he’s realizing that he got nothing he wanted the right way. I actually buy it. I think getting the No#1 spot in a away that he didn’t want would make him question whether he got anything in a way he should have. One epiphany can lead to another, you know. That’s how it is for me.

And realizing now that he is number one, he can’t maintain All Might’s rapport, it’s exactly what would show him his character deficiencies. Plus, Shoto is a constant visible reminder to him of his failures.

I think it’s to Endeavor’s credit that he doesn’t resent Shoto for this at all. Instead, he’s admitting it was his fault. That he doesn’t deserve what he has, and he needs to change.

He’s as clumsy at it as most people are when they try to change and it seems people are not willing to give him any leeway at all.

I know Natsuo is hurt and all, and I can understand him, but, the fans? Not so much.

I mean, it’s like you expect 20 years of dysfunction to just go away in 2 months. Endeavor’s heart may be changing, but he has no idea how to act, how to be, no one showed him how. And Shoto and Fuyumi are the only ones even willing to acknowledge he’s trying at all; and Rei herself, perhaps.

I actually feel bad for Endeavor now. I had to change once (and still do) I used to be mean too. I remember how little encouragement got from anyone. Instead, I got constant criticism from my parents.

I know it’s hard to change, and when people refuse to let your past mistakes go, it’s even harder. It takes character to decide to change even when people think you ca’t.

But when you truly have repented, you know you have to change, or case to be.

When God got a hold of my heart, there was no going back for me, I was going to become a godly person if it was the last thing I did. So I studied, and worked at it, and swallowed my pride.

8 years later, I live in the fruit of that. I’m not perfect, but I can control my temper, act with maturity, and forgive people much more quickly than I used to. I love not being ashamed of myself anymore.

And, if Endeavor were a real person, I’d root for him all the way. Believe me when I say this people. I am not kidding. Real or imaginary, I don’t care. I judge them the same way. If he’s legit about this, I’m all for it.

And I hope to goodness, that there are people like Endeavor out there, realizing that abuse is wrong, and changing. We don’t her enough about ti.

The abuse cases make the news, the cases where someone changed never do. They don’t make the surveys either. But, it happens.

And you see, no matter how rare it is, if it happens at all, then I owe it to people to believe it can happen for them, until they prove otherwise. I owe everyone the benefit of the doubt. Some might have said I would never change, (actually, I think , my dad did say that), but I did.

Endeavor’s redemption arc is actually really good. The events leading up to it make perfect sense to me. I consider the Todoroki family to be the best written aspect of the show, along with Bakugo’s character development. The author shines in interpersonal drama, much more than he does on plot. That’s what drew me in, for crying out loud. Shoto Todoroki’s story is why I got hooked on this show to being with.

This post ran really long, so I think I should end it here.

What about you? I don’t know if you were at all interested in this debate or just clicked out of curiosity, but did it make you see a little differently? Just curious.

Thanks for reading, until next time–Stay honest, Natasha.


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10 thoughts on “Irredeemable? Endeavor’s arc from the perspective of an abuse survivor.

  1. I don’t disagree with anything I think; however, you left out a lot of relevant information in your Itachi argument. Should he have pushed back more on the 3rd Hokage; yes, especially since the 3rd Hokage was the head of the village, knew it was wrong, but caved into the demands of the other elders. Point being, there was more at play there and plenty more people who deserve your hate before Itachi. Here’s just one example of something you neglected to point out – Itachi was 13yrs old. Thirteen year-olds aren’t known for having amazing judgment (though they should know genocide is wrong) but this is also a thirteen year-old who was trained to kill since birth and raised in a ninja world where their life-expectancy is pretty short to begin with. Again, that’s just one example of info you neglected. Now technically you are right in that Itachi did abuse Saskue which by definition makes him an abuser, but Itachi is a rather poor comparison to Endeavor. Endeavor’s abusive behaviors are more in-line with something you may see in the real world; but, in Itachi’s case, he essentially abused Saskue so that he would eventually kill Itachi. Itachi has a rather unique motivation behind his abusive behaviors that you typically don’t see in the real world and simply aren’t comparable to Endeavors. So that was a odd choice to of comparison to make.


    • Okay, so I was tired when I made the above post (still am tired) but now it’s clicking why you made this comparison; sorry. Your comparison has to do with the backlash of Endeavor getting a redemption arc over a lack of backlash for a Itachi redemption arc. In which case I think I answered my own question – because Itachi’s situation was unrealistic while Endeavor’s (and family) situation is realistic. Which makes sense. It’s so much easier to separate fantasy from reality when the fantasy is so far from realistic situations.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you’re right, actually. People identify more with Endeavor’s treatment, most of us have not been part of a genocide…and even if we were, wouldn’t be comparing it to an anime.
        But I think there’s a danger in accepting something just because it’s hard to imagine.
        Genocide is real, Itachi’s character is a rare find in real life, but does exist. And much of the ideology in Naruto is only a slightly exaggerated version of what was taught in Japan in the past, some of it is actually lighter.
        It used to be legal to kill someone just for making a mistake, if you wanted to.
        That said, Naruto as s how uses ninja power as a metaphor for how people with power are worshiped and able to do whatever they want, even Orochirmaru is never really punished for his crimes.
        Because of that, it’s like fans don’t really register that it was still horrifying, or that in real life, people who do this are not cool, they are sick and twisted individuals.
        I think it’s too hard for us to think about…but I’m not convinced that it’s not harmful to just swallow it in anime. People often aren’t that different towards real people than they are to fictional characters.
        So I do take things more literally when I analyze anime for that reason.
        I understand why some people prefer to keep it fantasy-like, and ignore the implications, because it spoils the show for them, but I just can’t.
        One thing about your point though:
        If Itachi is so unrealistic, why do people like him at all? Why praise him for a situation that would never happen in real life, probably.
        You see, it seems to me like it’s okay for fans to pity and love a character who’s been put through unrealistic trauma, but if one of us decides to apply that same rule to their evil actions, we’re being haters. Or we’re missing the point.
        Not attacking you here, just what I’ve seen in the fandom as a whole, and other fandoms.
        And why? It’s easier to feel empathy for them than to judge their actions? I don’t know.
        But it’s a double standard. I think if some people can pity Itachi as if it really happened, then I can say he was wrong for the same reason. If it truly is unrealistic than his character is boring, because there’s no real stakes if the whole situation is implausible.
        I hope I’m making sense here, this is kind of a long response.
        I think I also said in my post that I have been on the receiving end of behavior like Endeavor’s before, so I try hard not to let my experience blind me. I’m aware that I’m not as hard on him as others, which wasn’t what you were objecting to anyway, but perhaps that’s why I think the backlash on him is not deserved while Itachi, who is rarely ever attacked by fans, I think should be scrutinized much more harshly considering what he did was much worse, objectively. Anime is weird, I guess.
        But thank you for trying to understand my point and not just having a knee jerk reaction, I appreciate that, sometimes we authors aren’t so lucky.


    • Hey, I appreciate that you had enough interest in my post to reply in depth to it, first of all.
      I can elaborate a bit, I think I have considered all you’re saying, actually, I just didn’t lay it out in this post, but I do have some counterarguments:
      The facts are, Itachi killed an entire clan, men, women, children, babies, old people…
      And he has no redemption arc where he is sorry for this, he only expresses that he knows it was wrong, but he never says he would change it now.
      I don’t consider letting Sasuke kill him a redemption, it just puts the burden on Sasuke.
      I think you’re right in one way, it’s so far removed from what most of us will experience that it’s easy to forget how horrific it is.
      I actually think anime hurts itself with these scenarios because they are harder to believe than Endeavor.
      But sadly, genocide does happen, and has even in recent history. And whatever age you are, murdering innocent people is not justified.
      Itachi may or may not be a victim of his culture, but he knew it was wrong, and he knew it was horrible.
      To top it off, he makes Sasuke undergo it again. Whatever his reason, it was an inhuman thing to do.
      Contrasting that to Endeavor, who at worst only hurt a few people around him, and for reasons that are awful but more true to real life, and is able to realize his mistakes.
      Also, Itachi was 13 according to you (he looked older) when he killed them, but when he abuses Sasuke, he’s in his 20s and has been out of Leaf Village and the elder’s control for years, yet he still is cruel to Sasuke and the other ninja he meets. So we have no signs that he can learn from his mistake, or that he’s any better on his own than when the village is controlling him.
      I do go over Itachi more thoroughly in my Naruto posts if you think I did not explain myself here enough, and why I don’t like his character.
      But hey, you know, I can’t tell you what to like. I’m open to discuss things, but I don’t want to start a fight over this, I hope you can understand where i’m coming from, and I can understand where you’re coming from, but since this post was not about Itachi really, I prefer not to turn the comment section into a discussion about Itachi. Maybe under my posts about Sasuke…
      I assure you that I think out all my opinions very thoroughly, but I don’t always explain them in a post because there’s just no time. But I wouldn’t have criticized Itachi without considering all the angles.
      But I didn’t sense any real hostility in your comment, so I’m not upset about it or anything, I just respectfully have to disagree.


      • Yeah I meant no hostility in those comments, and I still don’t disagree with your points. I wasn’t trying to convince you that Itachi was a character you should like. Moreover, (in my tired mind) I was attempting to articulate that there were more people beyond Itachi who held responsibility to the killing of the Uchiha. Though I can understand having a greater dislike towards Itachi due to his character being a favorite among the fandom and his horrifying actions are more revered than despised. It’s also true that he chose to take this action, but I do have an inclination to believe that someone so young that has done something awful could be capable of change (Itachi was 13 in the manga, but yes he’s drawn like he was older than that). Though to be fair, if this was a real life scenario I’d surely feel less inclined to believe that person could change even when so young (I mean, child soldiers who’ve committed acts of genocide who then went on to be an undercover agent in a criminal organization are not case examples explored in any psychology class I’ve been in; I would not envy that therapist).
        I also didn’t mean to imply that Itachi manipulating his brother into killing him was an act of redemption; I believe my point on that had to do with the unrealistic vs. realistic bit (I was pretty tired at the time but I’m pretty sure that was my reasoning for that point). Which I agree it wasn’t an act of redemption. If anything it was more like a method of suicide – Itachi manipulating his brother into killing him. Honestly, Itachi’s whole plan of murder the Uchiha and set his brother up to be the Avenger of the clan is….well….for someone who was praised for their intelligence, Itachi’s plan was quite the opposite.

        I just remembered, one of the reasons the village wanted the Uchiha clan dead was because they suspected that they were somehow behind the nine-tails attack. Not sure how that may shift my rhetoric (been a long time since I’ve thought about Naruto stuff). Ultimately, there are just a lot of characters guilty of horrifying acts who have been given a pass by much of the fandom (like you mentioned Orochimaru and I would say Obito should be up there too – not only is he guilty of the same genocide but he is the reason (Nine-tails) there was greater distrust of the Uchiha.

        Anyways, thanks for responding. First time on here so I haven’t read any of your naruto posts; came here for the the Endeavor bit originally (which I enjoyed reading your perspective). I found your points for disliking Itachi to be strong, and your point about real world genocide – I personally am so far removed from that firsthand experience that I think it would be ignorant of me to assume any perspective that a solider order to commit such acts may have (I can only assume what most of their perspectives may be). It makes me wonder (I’ve never looked) surely there are accounts from real-life people (like a Major Armstrong type from Fullmetal Alchemist). This has gotten me curious; I’ll have to look into that when I can.


      • Genocide is the most horrifying action a person can take to be sure and the author’s attempt to justify Itachi’s actions was too impossible of a task.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I do not think the two situations or characters are comparable. It is like apples and oranges. Itachi was a child who was told basically by the president of the country that the military would swoop in and slaughter his entire family in the middle of the night, but that if he did it himself instead, and set himself up as a scapegoat, they would allow one person (his little brother) to live “in exchange”. Taking it down to a smaller scale for a second — if someone held a gun up to your family and said “Either you strangle your parents and I’ll let your brother live, or I’ll kill all four of you right now” that’s not exactly a choice. It’s easy to paint it black and white and say “murdering your parents (in front of your little sibling) is inexcusable”, but there are situations that exist (such as the hostage one presented above) where it’s inappropriate to place the blame on a captive. The blame belongs on the captor.

    Then he was told that if his little brother ever found out the truth and tried to take revenge, they would kill him too. From the moment he killed the clan, he was locked into the role of a scapegoat from that point forward. Someone had to be responsible, and it might not have been the best decision ever, but he made sure that Sasuke didn’t witness the slaughter directly (to try to prevent him from blaming himself for not being able to save them later) and only saw it in an illusion, after it was already over. Even still, Sasuke kept insisting he didn’t believe he had done it. Because his whole life up until that point, Itachi had not only been a truly, consistently loving brother, but also the ONLY person who stood up to their abusive father for Sasuke. Their mother only looked on and made excuses for him behind his back (like a classic enabler).

    So Sasuke had a really hard time believing that Itachi had done what he’s said. Of course he did. But Itachi was pushed to an extreme situation by a government plot, and took the fall to save his life. He cast the illusion on Sasuke and pushed him to become stronger using revenge because (again, extremely different circumstances from both bnha and the real world) they were living in an environment where children were soldiers who fought each other to the death, and worked as professional assassins, before they reached puberty. They were regarded as adults as soon as they were sent out onto the battlefield (by their parents, their extended families, and their government). Sasuke was left all alone in an extremely hostile world as the consequence of monstrously huge state machinations that Itachi had no control over; it was either that, or death. So sitting the goal of “grow strong enough to avenge the clan by defeating me” in Sasuke’s lap (while threatening to leak security intel in the Akatsuki, to keep him safe in the interim) was a desperate effort by Itachi to try to at least get him to the point where he could defend himself one day.

    When he returned to the village it was to remind Danzo of his threat to leak security intel right after Hiruzen had died. He didn’t seek Sasuke out at all. Sasuke came running after him and tried to kill him. Showing their family dying a second time was over the top, but the illusion accomplished something very important — it deescalated the situation by making Sasuke unconscious, when, before, he’d been continuing to attack Itachi no matter how much damage his body took.

    Even Kotoamatsukami was a last-resort measure that he put safeguards on, intended to only activate under extreme conditions in order to prevent Sasuke from being killed by people like Sakura, Kakashi, Sai, Shikamaru, Naruto, etc., as was seen in the Five Kage Summit arc.

    In short, the situation was so sudden, extreme, and wide-reaching that Itachi cannot accurately be labeled “an abuser”, in my opinion. That’s too black and white for me, it all but erases the threats against Sasuke’s life that were hanging over his head, and the context of both of them essentially being captives in a hostage situation.

    Endeavor did what he did to his wife and children without any external pressure. He paid a family to “give him” their daughter. He impregnated her multiple times, not with the intent to start a true family of his own, but with the intent to create the perfect tool for his “project”. The terms “forcing marriage”, “took possession”, and “made” were used to describe the marriage by Shouto, who also has a flashback to him hitting her. It’s strongly implied it wasn’t an isolated incident, especially with how she reacts. “In my memories, my mom is always crying.” So . . . he purchased a woman as a slave and raped her. Then when she had a break down, he had her sent away and essentially imprisoned indefinitely. He saw his children as objects to be used, not people. He isolated and physically, mentally, and emotionally tormented Shouto throughout his childhood. What extenuating circumstances are there? Are there any? “All he wanted was to slake his own thirst a raise a hero to rise above All Might.”
    So he did this purely out of envy and spite.

    I cannot figure out for the life of me why Endeavor would be more deserving of redemption than Itachi. And I definitely do not agree with the mentality of blaming Rei for “being unstable before the marriage” and “not trying hard enough to run away”. Of course she should be held accountable for her actions against her children, but to say she was worse than Endeavor? What?! Endeavor was their captor (to go back to the analogy from before). You even say in your post that her family SOLD her to him. Of course she would be “unstable” after so many years of that!! It’s a horrible situation, he terrorized them constantly, for no reason other than some petty personal grievance he had against a coworker. Some chip on his shoulder about not being regaled enough. It was incredibly selfish and frankly, disgusting of him. I don’t think he “made” her hurt her son, but she didn’t make him do anything that he did, either, including everything he did TO her and their children throughout the years.

    If I’m honest, the mentality in this post worries me. It definitely does sound a lot like victim blaming. I don’t think Endeavor deserves sympathy for what he did. He did it voluntarily, with nothing but personal gain in mind. He brutalized his wife and children for years on end. He treated them like objects without consideration for their humanity. He did manipulate them (his “consideration” for Touya came from the desire to cast him aside and look for a replacement). He purchased a woman as chattel, he was essentially a slave owner. And he never “realized” he was doing something wrong until after he got exactly what he wanted — his number one spot. That’s not a realization about how wrong his behavior has been. It’s a realization that he no longer has an excuse to continue it. His family had reached its breaking point and had all rejected him by that point in time, including Shouto. They were no longer tolerating him, and that was the final nail in the coffin. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe Endeavor has truly changed. I believe he’s panicked at the idea that his “project” to vicariously beat his rival has ended on a technicality, that the promise of fame and glory for overcoming him has disappeared, and now he’ll be cut off from living vicariously through, or being associated with, Shouto in the future.

    I think he is just hoovering. It’s a classic part of the cycle of abuse. The crying, rhe flower for Rei, the (guilt-tripping) talk about Fuymi wanting to be a big happy family again, telling Natsuo that it “wasn’t his intention”, telling Shouto “your father is the number one hero, the greatest man”.

    It’s all manipulation. He can’t even help but talk himself up during it, either.


    • It’s just not fair to compare a child who was forced by the entire military industrial complex of his country to kill his family in order to save his sibling’s life, to a power-hungry man who purchased a woman to use as breeding stock so that he could prove he was “better” in the public spotlight.


      • One more thing:
        I notice in your tone you speak very dramatically about Endeavor and you assume a lot of things about him that we aren’t shown.
        I stuck to the facts about both Itachi and him.
        Using those, I made my case for what I think. And it is just what I think, but I have personal experience with abuse, have gone to therapy for it, have read books on these subjects, and have seen multiple anime that are guilty of justifying abuse, while MHA so refreshingly has taken a different approach. Itachi is not the only villain they tried to whitewash on Naruto to make seem less horrible by the end, they did it with all of them.
        You can disagree with me, but to accuse me of victim blaming, when I’ve made my stance and journey with this quite clear, seems very insensitive to me. You do not know me or my life.
        Lucky for you I believe in letting people share their opinion, or I could have deleted your comment for being triggering to me, but I didn’t, and I won’t, as long as you do not say something that is too vulgar to subject my readers to (like bad language or sexual slurs)
        I’m only warning you because once people begin slinging insults around, I notice they usually get worse, and I want to prevent that.
        That said, you brought up some good points about why Itachi may be easier to sympathize with Endeavor, but his actions are not less evil just because he is a sad person.
        There’s this popular belief nowadays that because you know someone has suffered, their actions become less evil.
        But the actions are evil regardless, and doing evil does make someone harder to redeem.
        My entire point in the post was that Endeavor has fallen less far, and so could come back up easier than Itachi. I never said Endeavor was right to do what he did. I merely pointed out that he is not all bad. Few people are.
        And if you can hate Endeavor for what he did to his family, I see no reason I cannot hate Itachi for what he did to his, if it all comes down to taste.
        So that’s what my response. If you want to keep discussing it, please leave personal remarks out of it, I don’t want it to get out of hand. Other people read these posts and it will make them uncomfortable if this turns toxic.


    • Okay, I appreciate your passion in replying, I’m always hoping people will think about what I wrote.
      But think about this: Itachi singlehandedly wiped out his whole clan.
      Why not wipe out the people who ordered him to do it instead? Clearly he could have.
      Which would still be a horrible act of violence, but at least would not require him to murder his family.
      You’re making it seem like he had no choice, like he had no time.
      He could have warned the Uchiha clan, and had them fight back. Or flee the village and take Sasuke with them.
      There are so many other options other than genocide.
      So, I’m victim blaming by blaming the most powerful ninja in the village for taking the bloodiest option available?
      Are you listening to what you are justifying in your comment? Really listening?
      Believe me, I’ve heard it before. Even if Itachi had reasons that were not pure evil (which are only added later by the show to try to build dramatic tension) he always picks the most damaging option he can. He’s deeply disturbed.
      Some of your justifications are weak anyway, you even admit he went too far with Sasuke. He’s a master of Genjustu, he could have made him see anything, reliving his parents death for a whole day had to be the option he picked to stop him? Come on.
      I don’t appreciate you attacking my character just because you disagree with my analysis, you can have your own opinion, I won’t call you a jerk over it.
      (You notice I have not called you one so far)
      Also I never blame true victims, who were truly powerless to stop what happened. I did not blame Shoto, or his siblings.
      I blame people who could have taken another route instead of giving to their situation, because it is a choice.
      I got out of an abusive situation myself, which you’d know if you read my posts on the subject. I took responsibility for my life and did what I could to get out of the situation. It wasn’t perfect, it was risky, but I preferred to make that choice than to live in fear for the rest of my life.
      So I can most certainly say, it is a choice for some people who have options, not to take them.


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