My Hero Academia: A Retrospective of One of the Biggest UA Traitor Theories

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Chapter 335 "Zygotes" and Chapter 336, "Villain” by Kohei Horikoshi, Caleb Cook, and John Hunt, available now in English from Viz Media.

Kōhei Horikoshi, the creator of My Hero Academia, has managed to fool a decent portion of his fanbase. Chapter 335, “Zygotes,” seems to suggest that Hagakure Tōru is the infamous UA traitor that many have been itching to learn more about. This, however, is a misdirection. Chapter 336, "Villain," reveals that the real traitor is Aoyama Yūga. It's a good fake-out, though it doesn't change the fact that Horikoshi left poor Hagakure to burn at the stake for about a week.

During the wait, many fans who believed the false revelation responded as if it was real. They claimed they knew it all along, theorized about where the story would go from there, and dragged Hagakure's good name through the mud. It's kind of sad, but maybe there's something to be gained from all this. Looking back at all the theories and reactions regarding Hagakure's potential treachery leads down a long and fascinating rabbit hole.

Toru Hagakure is revealed as the traitor in My Hero Academia

It should be emphasized that assuming Hagakure is hiding something isn't inherently foolish. There are several potential clues throughout the series that could suggest that she has a secret agenda. She most notably has a number of suspicious absences, especially during the USJ Incident. She's one of only two students unaccounted for on the minimap in Chapter 16 (the other being Aoyama). It's presumed that she was in the Landslide Zone with Todoroki, but that alibi is shaky at best. Despite supposedly being in this Zone, she apparently knew how Ojiro was doing all the way in the Conflagration Zone well enough to compliment him on it. It's reasonable to assume that Hagakure slipped away during the chaos she knew would happen and watched the Incident play out from afar.

There's also the incident at the mall where Shigaraki meets with Deku. Hagakure is the one who initially suggests that everyone go to the mall in the first place. It's possible she does this to set up the encounter at Shigaraki's request. She mysteriously vanishes here, too.

Part of the reason her alibis can't be trusted is because of her Invisibility Quirk. She can go anywhere and do anything without being seen by her classmates or anyone else on the lookout for her. If used correctly, she could easily sneak off, meet with a League of Villains liaison, and spill whatever secrets she may have heard about UA High, including security blind spots and meetups. Having the invisible girl be the spy may seem a little too obvious, but the possibility cannot be ignored.

Shigaraki and Nomu

The real issue with readers falling for Horikoshi's trick is the spread of misinformation. Several fans came forth claiming that Chapter 335 had essentially confirmed the longstanding Hagakure-traitor theory. Several articles, videos, and posts across the internet were created as though the traitor's identity had already been revealed. More fans still continued to accept this presumption as fact for the next week and theorized where the story could go from this point on. Nobody should feel at fault for falling for the trap, but anyone presuming to have the answers and publishing them as truth should be held accountable.

All of this conjecture has been rendered irrelevant within the MHA narrative, but it still serves something of a purpose for the fandom. The different theories surrounding Hagakure's intentions and actions are interesting. These theories can now be looked back upon as interesting what-if scenarios.

Making Hagakure the traitor could have opened up so many storytelling avenues. She could have wanted All For One to take her Quirk and make her visible. She could have been far stronger than she lets on. She might not have even been a teenager. While none of these possibilities can be true anymore, they're still fun to speculate about. They may even make for good fanfiction material.

toru and aoyama traitor

It's almost a shame to see this major theory get debunked. Hagakure has been on the backburners among the main cast for much of MHA's run. As things stand, she has had very little influence on the overarching plot despite being a member of class 1-A. The fake-out may just be her biggest role in the series yet, though it's not the deception fans were hoping for. Aoyama might have been set up better, but his character arc may yet have functioned without the traitor twist. This twist is just the kind of thing that would have given an otherwise-minor character like Hagakure a chance to gain some relevance.

With his prank, Horikoshi may have knowingly gotten MHA fans around the world riled up in all sorts of ways. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, so nobody should feel bad about falling for the fake twist unless they posted about it as if it were an objective fact. Fans should feel free to speculate for fun about potentially-great story possibilities. But Hagakure still deserves an apology.

deku as a quirkless child
About The Author