My Hero Academia: Shihai Kuroiro’s ‘Black’ Quirk Is Totally Underrated

With Pro Heroes, students and villains alike, My Hero Academia clearly has a massive cast. And while the series does a fairly decent job of balancing so many characters in a massive world of heroes and Quirks, unfortunately, because of the plot, many of them are only touched on, which shadows their brilliance. This is mentioned in-series with Class 1-B who, despite being excellent students that rightfully earned their places in U.A.'s prestigious hero course, often come second to Class 1-A.

It's a shame because many characters, especially in 1-B, are ripe with story potential all on their own, with interesting personalities, Quirks and appearances. Just one of these characters is Class 1-B's Shihai Kuroiro, aka the Scheming Hero: Vantablack.

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Shihai's Quirk, "Black," allows him to merge with and move freely within anything dark in color -- not just black, but dark. This extends to anything that's covered in darkness due to external forces, like shadows. Black also gives Shihai enhanced speed while he's merged and allows him to possess entities that are normally capable of moving.

For much of the series, Shihai is merely a background character, but in the Joint Training Arc, fans get to see him and his Quirk in the spotlight for the first time. In a fight against Fumikage Tokoyami's "Dark Shadow," Shihai merged with Dark Shadow and forced it to attack Tokoyami, also using this method as a means to get close to him. During this battle, he moves through shadows swiftly, successfully dodging attacks by concealing himself in darkness and sneaking up on his opponents to launch attacks of his own.

While Black isn't flashy like Izuku Midoriya's "One for All" or Katsuki Bakugo's "Explosion," it holds a lot of potential for Shihai to become an extremely competent stealth operative. Merging with anything dark lets him navigate any structure by hiding in the walls, tail suspects by hiding in their shadows or clothes, and infiltrating a villain's base without them ever knowing that he was there. The obvious weakness of this ability is light, but every light casts a shadow. Beyond that, using it at night grants endless opportunities since most things are covered in darkness.

My Hero Academia Vantablack

Shihai can already hide from enemy attacks and execute near-flawless ambushes, appearing seemingly out of nowhere. In a closed combat situation, Black may not be much help, but with some real combat training, Shihai could become a versatile support fighter, literally helping from the shadows. His Quirk alone inherently makes him one of the stealthiest characters in My Hero Academia and, combined with the tactical skill Shihai's already shown in battle, he becomes a real threat. Specialized characters are nothing new in the MHA world and Shihai could very well be one of them with more training. As a nighttime Pro Hero, Shihai would be an absolutely terrifying opponent to face, especially since villains would never see him coming.

The series does not shy away from showing Hero Society's flaws, a major one being Quirk bias, in which flashier, destructive Quirks outshine even the highly practical ones, like Momo Yaoyorozu's "Creation," or Quirks with unmatched potential in a variety of situations like Hitoshi Shinso's "Brainwash." While Black is not an over-the-top, combative Quirk, it exhibits unmatched potential and is truly one to be feared, especially at night. With the series still ongoing, fans can only be hopeful to one day see the true extent of Shihai's power in action.

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