My Hero Academia: Eri Has More Than Her Missing Quirk to Worry About

Recent episodes of My Hero Academia have explored some of the anime's darkest themes yet, including what happens when a child with a powerful Quirk is traumatized and made into a weapon for mobsters. The cruel villain Overhaul had used the young Eri to make Quirk-suppressing darts, but even with her newfound freedom, she isn't entirely sure what to do.

Fortunately, Eri has a handful of trusted supporters and parental figures to watch after her, namely her rescuers Izuku Midoriya and Mirio Togata. There's also professor Shota Aizawa, who is more or less Eri's foster father. Eri is happy and making good progress, but a few key factors still leave her with a long way to go.

Eri's Tentative Forays Into A Normal Childhood

eri talking to izuku my hero academia

Eri didn't have much of a childhood during her traumatizing time with Overhaul and his cronies. She was little more than a tool, with no peers to keep her company. Surrounded by adults who did not care about her beyond using her Quirk, she was only somewhat comforted with generic, typical toys and accessories for a girl her age. Overhaul most likely did not provide Eri with a proper education of any sort, nor did he teach her much about the outside world aside from the existence of Quirks.

Thus, even for her age, Eri has serious gaps in her knowledge, being largely ignorant of the world and its ways. By the time she was rescued and cared for at the U.A. campus, Eri was exposed to a lot of new things that ordinary children take for granted. In some ways, Eri is almost like a young reverse-isekai heroine with a darker edge.

For the most part, Eri's time in My Hero Academia is spent on her Quirk, learning to restrain it and master her emotions so it doesn't go out of control. She has been largely confined to U.A.'s campus for her own safety and well-being, which is a good call, but it's not well-equipped to be a childcare center. Very little around U.A. is designed to teach young children about the world, so Aizawa and the others have to improvise, and it's clear that Eri has a long way to go.

For example, she was only recently introduced to the concept of Christmas (a largely secular holiday in Japan), and she mixed it up with other notable holidays such as Easter and even Halloween. Overhaul must have felt no need to explain these events to her, so now, Eri is celebrating an all-in-one holiday. It's amusing on the surface, but also grimly speaks to how far behind she is for her age.

Eri Still Has A Lot Of Catching Up To Do

eri with mirio my hero academia

Eri is also behind on academics, and her handwriting is simple and rough -- even for her age. She made some heartfelt statements in a letter to Izuku, but relied entirely on the hiragana writing system with no kanji at all. She simply needs practice and lessons on these matters, and fortunately, she's still young enough to absorb such lessons easily. Eri is behind but not hopelessly so, and with Aizawa around, her chances of getting a proper education look good. No doubt she will learn much about history, math, science, art, language and more. All of this could be highly therapeutic for Eri, taking her mind off her burdensome Quirk and her horrible memories of being in Ovehaul's care.

There's another issue though: Eri has no experience interacting with other children her own age, and no one at U.A. is an elementary school student. While she can make friends with students such as Izuku and the charming Ochaco, Eri has likely never even seen another child her age. Learning to socialize with one's peers is vital for child development, and Eri is in no shape to be transferred to an ordinary elementary school at the moment. Aizawa will surely factor this into his care, but Eri has still has much to learn and explore in My Hero Academia.

Spring 2021 Anime
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