Naruto: How Gaara of the Sand Set the Standard for MHA’s Shoto Todoroki
Shoto was practically overwhelmed by the fact that he had been raised to be a living weapon for his cunning father. Gaara the Kazekage is familiar with it.
The Quirk-based fighting system in My Hero Academia demonstrates that having a strong natural skill or a powerful supernatural ability is not necessarily a benefit. In fact, some characters see quirks as a curse, which may lead them to join the League of Villains or at the very least cause them to go through an identity crisis, like Shoto Todoroki did.
Shoto wasn’t going to become evil, but the fact that he was a product of a Quirk marriage severely altered the way he saw himself and his family, almost ruining the rest of his life. Shoto Todoroki is not alone, however; he has a spiritual twin in Naruto’s villain-turned-hero Gaara of the Sand, who is familiar with Shoto’s childhood struggles.
How Gaara Became the Ninja Shoto Todoroki
Shoto Todoroki should recall fans of shonen series Gaara of the Sand even though he clearly shares characteristics with Prince Zuko from Avatar, such as a burn scar over his left eye and an oppressive fire-based father. Gaara’s father, the Kazekage Rasa, just wanted his son to be a strong tool and nothing more; similar to Shoto, Gaara was born with incredible strength that he never asked for. Gaara was brought up in accordance with this, being a notoriously feared and shunned junchuriki who lived only to use the power of the one-tailed shukaku for the sake of the Hidden Sand Village. Even his brother and sister were distant from Gaara, and his mother passed very shortly after Gaara was born. Gaara felt entrapped by his father’s ambitions for him and his tremendous power, all alone and helpless.
Similar to Shoto, Gaara swallowed everything and fell into a pit of misery. He constantly used his strength to destroy any resistance while simultaneously hating it. Gaara destroyed all of his adversaries with his sand-based jutsu and even awoke the shukaku during the Konoha Crush operation, much as Shoto arrogantly destroys his opponents with ice. Gaara and Shoto may have fallen into this inner darkness and lost themselves, but a shonen hero reached out in friendship and compassion and pulled them out. In the UA sports festival, Izuku’s advice reached Shoto, and after they fought to a standstill, Naruto identified with Gaara as a fellow jinchuriki and felt sorry for her. After that, Shoto and Gaara achieved true hero status, yet not because of their extraordinary skill. Their true strength is more individualised.
How Gaara & Shoto Found Strength in Redemption
Gaara and Shoto were both unhappy young men who served as terrible weapons for their cunning fathers, but the fact that they are shonen characters made all the difference in their development as individuals. Despite having difficult upbringings and being born with a power curse, Shoto and Gaara didn’t fully understand their upbringing. They were both wonderful people at heart; this aspect of them was only hidden by their inherent skill and the intense pressure to achieve. Simply put, Shoto and Gaara needed someone to acknowledge them as victims and decent people before reaching out to save them from the shadows.
Characters like Gaara and Shoto have an opportunity to change for the better in the forgiving and upbeat genre of shonen. This is something that even seinen tales are capable of, by showing the bright qualities of cynical antiheroes like Thorfinn Karlsenfni. Best of all, Gaara and Shoto’s atonement made them stronger as well as happier and more stable. For such lads to flourish, they required character strength as well as natural talent or tails of animals, which came from outside sources like the strength of camaraderie and constructive competition. This was what unlocked the fire component of Shoto’s quirk and propelled Gaara to raise the bar for his sand-based jutsu.
Shoto learnt to never take anything for granted as a result of his competition triangle with Izuku and Bakugo. Shoto remade himself as a redeemed powerhouse, concentrating his mind and quirk like never before. Even Shoto, who seemed to be at the pinnacle of his generation, had opportunity to develop and reach Plus Ultra; he wouldn’t have done so just via the influence of his father. Gaara had a similar empowerment when he became friends with Naruto and was appointed as the new, adored Kazekage. Gaara survived being freed by the Akatsuki from the one-tailed beast, and he went on to achieve new heights as a redeemed hero propelled by his friends, family, and newly discovered passion to make the world a better place, much like Naruto.
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