Nana Shimura

Nana Shimura

you have to save someone, they’re usually in a scary situation. A true hero saves not only their lives, but also their hearts… That’s what I believe. So no matter how scary things get, give ’em a smile, as if to say, “I’m a-ok”. The people in this world who can smile are always the strongest.

Nana is described as a beautiful woman with a tough demeanor. She was a tall woman with a curvaceous figure, and at the same time, she was well-built, as befitting a One For All user. She was fair-skinned and had a small mole below her bottom lip, centered to the right, and sharp, intelligent eyes with long eyelashes. Her hair was dark and straight, kept shoulder-length, with the exception of a clump of short bangs hanging above her forehead, and was usually styled in a half-up-half-down bun.

Her hero costume consisted of a dark, sleeveless bodysuit with a high collar, yellow elbow-length gloves, and white knee-high boots. Around her waist was a belt with an angular golden buckle, a small cape attached around the back which hung down to her knees, and over her shoulders was a longer cape, buttoned to the shoulders of her bodysuit.[4]

Nana was a kind woman with a strong sense of justice. She believed that a true hero should smile, no matter how grim the situation, since people who needed to be saved needed not only to have their lives protected but also their hearts; she showed great empathy and emotional resilience.[4] Her overall value for bravery and happiness was where All Might would adopt his iconic smile to put other people at ease.

Furthermore, Nana was a loving mother to her son before she died at the hands of All For One, and was shown to be compassionate, nurturing, and supportive of him. However, from her own son Kotaro’s perspective, she was rather sinful. In a flashback of Tenko’s childhood, his sister Hana showed him a picture of Nana and Kotaro as a child, with both of them being together and happy. When Kotaro found out about the discovery of the picture however, it is revealed that Nana left him in foster care at a young age due to her incapability as a mother and the dangers of her hero life. While this was a well-intentioned act on Nana’s part, wanting her son to be safe and happy, it unfortunately had the opposite effect: Kotaro grew up to despise her and heroes entirely, believing that Nana selfishly abandoned him for the sake of helping others. Nana did not forget about Kotaro either, as she fell into tears after forcing herself to cut all ties with him.

Although she initially regarded Toshinori Yagi’s desire to be a symbol of peace as somewhat crazy due to him being Quirkless, she nonetheless brought him up with her trusted friend, Gran Torino. She subsequently took Toshinori as her student and successor, which is a testament to her openness and belief in the potential of others.

For My Hero Academia fans, there was no greater mystery than the previous users of One for All prior to their reveals. For a long time, the only previous user (besides All Might) that fans knew of for sure was Nana Shimura, a character who has quite a lot of significant ties to the plot despite having been dead for decades.

Nana Shimura is introduced not only as All Might’s predecessor, but also as his mentor and a close friend of Gran Torino. Like All Might, she took a Quirkless boy (All Might himself) in as her apprentice and ultimately passed the One for All power down to him. From what is known now, it can be said definitively that she was the only woman to have held One for All. She also seems to have been the only wielder to try to have a family, although that ultimately didn’t work out due to the actions of All for One. Her Quirk is known as Float, and allowed her to fly throughout the skies by launching herself with her tremendous, One for All-enhanced strength and then using her Quirk to slow her fall.

In addition to being All Might’s mentor, Nana Shimura is also the grandmother of Tenko Shimura–the child who would grow up to be Tomura Shigaraki. It’s said that the hand that Shigaraki wears on his face was once hers. Nana at one point married and had a child named Kotaro, but in order to protect him from My Hero Academia’s All for One, she had to remove herself from his life at a young age, something which ultimately scarred him for life. Kotaro grew up to be an abusive man who hated heroes as a result of his mother’s unintentional neglect. Kotaro’s abuse of Tenko and the rest of his family is what ultimately led to their tragic deaths, as Tenko’s Decay quirk manifesting caused him to react in anger, intending to beat the boy into submission. Instead, Kotaro, too, was destroyed at Tenko’s hands, although that was far more deliberate than what happened to the rest of the family.

As a character who’s been dead for a long time before the start of the story, Nana Shimura’s personality and history have only been revealed through flashbacks by other characters. Like other former wielders, some aspect of her consciousness continues to exist inside One for All. It’s shown that she was heartbroken over having to leave her family, but Kotaro was simply too young to understand the threat they were under. The exact circumstances of her death aren’t known, but in order for All for One to have obtained her hand, it must’ve been fairly gruesome. Killing her wasn’t enough revenge for All for One, though, and that’s when his plan for Tenko Shimura kicked in. All for One’s ultimate vengeance was to be to turn Nana’s own blood into the greatest villain of all time, specifically out of spite. So far, the plan has worked a little too well, but there are indications that a sad, scared Tenko Shimura is still in there, waiting for a hero to save him.

The importance of Nana Shimura’s role in My Hero Academia is only growing as more of her backstory is revealed in the anime. There’s still one big question fans are waiting to see answered: will the suffering of the Shimura family finally come to an end in the series’ final chapters?

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