*This article contains spoilers for Chapter 290 of My Hero Academia*
During election week, Twitter surprised everybody with a trending “dabi” hashtag in the midst of a nationwide freak out over election results. The hashtag is tied to the new My Hero Academia manga release, Chapter 290, where Horikoshi, the creator of My Hero, revealed that the villain Dabi was indeed Touya Todoroki. Ever since the manga was first published in 2014, many fans had a theory that the two characters were the same because of their similar appearances and superpowers. Although many fans had already considered the theory fact, the news still came as a shock for many fans. This was most likely because Horikoshi had previously dismissed the theory as false.
Twitter user @vesperiabraves tweeted, “The Touya/Dabi thing was never exciting for the mystery surrounding it (cause it was pretty f*cking obvious lol). It was always exciting for the amount of character drama that would ensue between some of the best characters in MHA and Hori absolutely nailed things in that regard.”
Many fans noticed the trending hashtag among many other political hashtags, which caused two different reactions. Some were proud they were able to stir up so much attention for their fandom in a short amount of time. Others were laughing over a reveal during a time of great uncertainty and unrest regarding the nation’s future. Many fans used this as a positive intervention to relieve some of the stress they had built up due to the election, making jokes and memes on social media platforms like Twitter and Tiktok.
The manga panels used during the reveal included Dabi dancing around while his brother and father looked on in shock, which sparked fans to create lots of social media-worthy material. One of the trendiest MHA-related videos on TikTok contained the combination of Horikoshi’s panels with Wendy Williams’ performance on The Masked Singer as “Lips.”
Twitter user @aitakimochi tweeted, “”Dabi’s Dance,” huh. That must be a Joker reference, right?” and included the two pictures of Dabi next to two pictures of the Joker dancing in front of the stairs in the Joker movie.
Although one of the many criticisms of Gen Z is their inability to take anything seriously, it proves to be one of their strengths during trying times. This series of events on Twitter and other social media is an example of that. Hopefully in the coming months, we can rely on Gen Z to lift our spirits while we enter another period of uncertainty in the country.