The main antagonist of My Hero Academia, All For One, is one of the most interesting characters in the series.
For the longest time, people felt like something was missing about his character, and we’ve finally got it!
My Hero Academia’s chapter 407 finally brings us AFO’s backstory, providing much insight.
All For One’s Backstory Explained:
AFO and Yoichi were born from a prostitute mother, she had contracted a disease” that resulted in her developing a spike-like tumor on her left arm.
This “disease” was one of the several beginnings of quirks.
But, she didn’t realize the tumor for 8 months, as her two babies had been draining all of her strength.
Their mom would die in childbirth at a riverside. Surprisingly, the tumor disappeared after childbirth.
The chapter focuses on AFO’s hole in his hand, leading us to believe that the tumor was stolen by the actual quirk “All For One”.
Now something really funny to think about is…this entire story could have ended right here, as a group of rats were about to eat both the babies and the mom’s corpse.
However, the river’s current carried them away before they could be eaten.
It was only a year later that the glowing baby was born in China, resulting in the mainstream birth of quirks.
These powers, identified in addition to the human genetic factor, didn’t just appear in newborns, but in people who also hadn’t reached puberty!
However, public reception to quirks was completely different back when they first surfaced.
It created the idea that those with power were inhuman.
They see him as an “orphan of the paranormal” and don’t want anything to do with him. Fearing they’ll become infected later if they go near him.
Remember that spike he stole from his mom? Well, it turns out it’s a spike quirk, which he uses to kill all of them!!
This man as a baby literally bit his dead mother’s breast just to get her power!
AFO stealing his mom’s quirk as a kid goes directly in line with his philosophy.
He views the entire world and everything in it as his benefactor.
If you don’t give him anything; power, loyalty, manpower, or anything of the sort you have no purpose, nothing more than a nuisance.
This is why throughout the entire series we’ve seen AFOs just throw things away, because they’ve lost their purpose.
Even Shigaraki’s consciousness had been deemed unnecessary for AFO, as all he wants is Tomura’s body.
The soul has no worth to him, so he wants to eradicate him. There was one exception to this, however, his brother Yoichi.
Despite not giving him any worth, despite being useless AFO kept him around.
This is because the love AFO had for his brother was simply one of possession. He viewed the first user as his “things”, and so he kept him.
Furthermore, it’s not like Yoichi could do much about it at the time.
As it’s revealed in this chapter that AFO stole all their mother’s nutrients, resulting in his brother being small and frail.
Yoichi even tried to stop his brother from committing evil actions, as AFO was hurting more people but Yoichi tried to stop him, and this man just kicked him and walked away.
Physically, Yoichi was weak, and mentally he was essentially trapped as AFO’s thing for years.
The two brothers listen to the radio while Yoichi reads comic books, which reveals the glowing baby is now fighting on the front lines and defending peace for his country.
This shows a direct juxtaposition between the brothers and the glowing baby, as one stands to fight for justice while the others…are just chilling.
AFO asks Yoichi why he’s reading comics, to which the younger brother tells him it’s because he can’t fully read normal books yet, so he’s studying using comics.
Youchi commends how awesome comics are, and how incredible it is that the author conveys his messages just through drawing and one day wants to be like Captain Hero in the book.
While right now just a childish remark, this notion by the first user was the seed that began to implant the ideals of heroism into society.
This also literally shows the younger brother’s good nature, as he still believed that his brother could do good, because he held his hand when they were little.
3 years later, the glowing baby had gained more than 10 million followers. AFO saw that his views were plummeting and so, naturally got rid of him.
AFO explains that 50 people in India were both with quirks before the baby, And so he has no right to command so many people if he wasn’t the quirk progenitor, as we now know AFO views himself as this person.
When Yoichi Asks him why he killed him AFO says he did it like in the comics, as he was enthralled by them too in a very different way.
In the comics, the two brothers read it and in the comics, they said “One For All and All For One”, and AFO fell in love with the phrase.
While a hero fights alone with a secret identity, the villain reigns through fear.
It’s here where AFO came to his conclusion, that just like Yoichi has a dream of being a hero, he has the dream of creating a world where everything exists for his sake.
This further solidifies AFO’s mentality, and for the most part, everything fell into place just as he willed it.
Anything he could ever want: fame, power, wealth, soldiers it all fell into the palm of his hands. However, one thing was eventually “taken” from him, Yoichi.
And it’s all thanks to Kudou!
The chapter ends with Kudou taking Yoichi’s hand as they begin to run away.
While not the same, this heavily parallels Deku and Bakugo holding hands several times throughout the series.
This further proves that holding hands has become a significant motif in the series, showcasing a strong bond!
AFO wasn’t happy with the two forming a bond, and demanded Yoichi back.
He then proceeds to cut off his younger brother’s hand, the one he was holding with Kudou.
This action was most likely the moment when Yoichi completely severed his bond with AFO.
It not only went against what he wanted, but is also some crazy symbolism!
Earlier in the chapter, Yoichi wanted to believe in the good of AFO because he held his hand as a baby, AFO severing Yoichi’s hand is basically him saying he can do no good and is only a villain.
This was when the moral dichotomy between One For All and All For One was truly realized, starting the conflict that has persisted for over 100 years!