Is Dabi Dead In My Hero Academia? Deconstructing His Character Arc Conclusion In The Series!

Dabi is confirmed to have survived the final war arc but the doctors say he doesn’t have much time left!

BOKU NO HERO ACADEMIA © 2014 by Kohei Horikoshi/SHUEISHA Inc.

The last time we’ve seen Dabi is when he was going up in flames while fighting against Endeavor, Shoto Todoroki and the others. Since then, fans have been wondering for a long time to find out the status of Dabi after the end of the final war in My Hero Academia and chapter 426 has finally given us the answer we’ve been waiting for.

Is Dabi Dead in My Hero Academia?

Dabi is CONFIRMED to have SURVIVED the final war between the heroes and the villains and was taken to the hospital along with the rest of the Todoroki family. However, the doctor mentions he doesn’t have much time left.

Due to the severe self-inflicted injuries Dabi sustained in his attempt to kill his father, he has been taken to Central Hospital. He is currently undergoing a lengthy and complex surgery to save his life, remaining in a life-supporting pod under the watchful eye of his father, Endeavor.

During their fight, Dabi was burned, frozen, and got his entire body battered and ended up lying next to his father, almost lifeless. It’s funny how he ended up being with Endeavor even in the hospital. Even in that state, he wished his family were dead, especially his father.

(MHA Chapter 390)

However, he was able to reconcile with his family with a little bit. He was crying hard and hugged Shoto Todoroki after he asked him, “What kinda food do you like to eat?”

It seems like a simple question but that struck hard in Dabi’s heart as he finally found someone who truly cared for him. Not even AFO or Shigaraki asked such a personal question to him.

Dabi was not being able to cry because his tear ducts got burned is almost the perfect metaphor, not only does he not want to cry, but he physically can’t due to the lasting damage that’s been done to his body. So he crying in front of Shoto is actually HUGE!

Dabi always wanted to stay distant from his fellow mates, ever since his father ignored him and ruined his life.

From a cold-hearted killer to a smiling family member

Dabi’s character arc in My Hero Academia explores the theme of healing from suffering. While everyone faces hardships, people react differently: some grow stronger, while others, like Dabi, let their pain define them and end up harming others. Dabi believes all his crimes are Endeavor’s fault, showcasing a hard determinist view. Instead of overcoming his suffering, he allowed it to consume him, making his story a cautionary tale.

Dabi and other League of Villains members highlight flaws in quirk society. Shigaraki represents the consequences of a lack of empathy, Toga shows the dangers of forcing conformity, and Dabi illustrates the effects of treating people as tools. Dabi’s inability to feel emotional, mental, or physical pain due to his impaired nervous system underlines his detachment and sociopathic tendencies. Unlike his fellow villains, who form a pseudo-family, Dabi remains isolated and driven solely by his desire to torment Endeavor.

Dabi’s detachment extends to every aspect of his life. He shows no interest in friendships, love, career, or even his own survival, focusing entirely on his vendetta. His mysterious nature and refusal to share anything about himself emphasize how his past has left him numb and filled with anger.

In fact, distance is a key word to use when analyzing Dabi. Even knowing absolutely nothing about his backstory, just reading his actions, you can see there are several distancing behaviors in the way that he interacts with others. What Dabi says to Hawks that he has his own agenda outside of the league isn’t even that much of a twist, Dabi has always been up front about it. Dabi tells Shigaraki he’s going to move on his own.

Despite this, Dabi can still “cry” blood due to his burnt tear ducts, symbolizing that he still feels pain deep down. This reflects a common theme in the series: beneath the monstrous exterior of many villains lies a hurt individual. Dabi’s jealousy and anger toward Shoto stem from a deep-seated need for love and recognition, revealing the tragic core of his character.

In the way Dabi refers to his comrades, calling Spinner “Lizard” and Toga “Crazy Girl,” and being uncomfortable with Twice’s touchiness, it’s clear he keeps his distance. He only really talks to Mr. Compress, who is equally detached. This isn’t just Dabi being a jerk; it underscores his status as an outsider in a group seeking belonging and trust.

This ties back to Dabi’s backstory of emotional invalidation from abuse, leaving him unable to process his feelings. Like his brother Natsuo, who is deeply affected by their father’s dismissal, Dabi’s experience was even more intense. He was deemed a failure, nearly perfect but ultimately rejected, and then literally died. His “murderer” went unpunished, leaving Dabi feeling dead inside.

Dabi’s goal is to kill his own emotions, shaped by an upbringing where his feelings didn’t matter. Endeavor, his father, ignored his children’s desires, prioritizing his own. Touya’s or Dabi’s needs were neglected to the point of death, rendering him worthless as an individual.

Though he despises Endeavor, Dabi fights like him, pushing his flames to the limit without concern for his body’s capacity. He’s been conditioned to believe his worth is tied to this extreme exertion.

Despite insisting he doesn’t care about his feelings, Dabi clearly does, harboring a grudge against Endeavor so intense he’d burn the world for it. His inability to process emotions turns them into something harmful, like his flames. This is evident in the pro-hero arc’s climax, where Dabi’s blood-streaked tears symbolize profound sorrow.

Dabi’s disregard for others’ feelings stems from his own unprocessed grief. He admits he’d go crazy if he allowed himself to feel. Dabi, Shigaraki, and Toga share this inability to express sadness—they’d stop functioning if they did. They smile when others cry because it’s their only way to cope.

Dabi’s emotional distance is a maladaptive coping mechanism to avoid being overwhelmed by grief. His arc revolves around this unacknowledged sorrow—for his family, himself, and the grief he causes. Physically scarred, he suppresses his emotions to continue his mission.

Even while fighting Endeavor and Shoto in the last arc, he was constantly suppressing his emotions and focused only on killing them. However, the fact that Shoto showed him a path of redemption despite what he had done moved him so much.

That is why Horikoshi made Shoto ask that question rather than Endeavor. It was that bond of “Yeah, I can relate to you because of our dad”. Shoto could have very well followed the same path as Dabi pretty easily. But he made a conscious effort to NOT be like his father and use his powers to good use. And thanks to Deku’s push in the Sports Festival arc, he was able to put his fire powers to good use as well.

Dabi’s story teaches us that clinging to anger and rage from a painful past can be self-destructive. Many people endure terrible experiences but still manage to build fulfilling lives. They haven’t forgotten their pain, but they don’t let it define them. Dabi, however, chose vengeance and ended up losing everything.

Now, he has found happiness but at the wrong time. Anyway, it’s better late than never, I guess…