Shigaraki of 'My Hero Academia' Has a Chilling Backstory and Connection to Death

Kori Williams - Author

Sep. 21 2021, Published 11:56 a.m. ET

Tomura Shigaraki and Kurogiri
Source: Funimation

Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Season 5 of My Hero Academia.

The anime My Hero Academia gives fans plenty of heroes and villains to fall in love with, debate about, and love to hate. When it comes to the bad guys, someone definitely stands out from the crowd. He's the leader of his own group of criminals named Tomura Shigaraki.

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Shigaraki's name stands out, but it's hard to miss him if you've been watching My Hero. He's got shaggy white hair and ragged skin, and he wears disembodied hands all over his upper body, including his face. On top of that, he's always scratching at his skin. But why does Shigaraki itch? The answer might surprise you.

Why does Shigaraki itch?

In Season 5 of My Hero Academia, we learn a lot more about Shigaraki and how he became the man we see today. In episodes named "Tenko Shimura (his real name): Origin" and "Tomura Shigaraki: Origin," we learn that he has to resist the urge to kill people all the time, so he scratches. He's figuratively and literally fighting the need to murder people every day and that's why he itches and scratches himself so much.

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Tomura Shigaraki Scratching
Source: Funimation

In his origin episodes, we see that Shigaraki has been scratching himself since before he discovered his Quirk. And since Quirks are something you're born with, it's possible he's always had this urge to kill and didn't realize what it was until he was able to make it go away. And at the end of his first origin episode, Shigaraki even says that he stopped itching after he killed his dad.

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Why does Shigaraki have so many hands?

Fans of the anime know that Shigaraki's Quirk is called "Decay," meaning anything he touches crumbles away to dust when he chooses to use it. Unfortunately, he finds this out by accident and doesn't have control over his power when he uses it in the beginning. Because of this, he accidentally kills his entire family. All he has left of them is their hands.

Unfortunately, Shigaraki's father abuses him growing up, and one time, as a punishment, Shigaraki is made to stay outside while his family had dinner.

Sad and clinging to his dog, Shigaraki accidentally kills it. But he still doesn't realize what's going on. At this age, he's still really young and just wants someone to console him. His sister, mother, and grandparents all run outside to see what happened and he kills them all in his need for affection and an emotional outburst.

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Tomura Shigaraki and His Father's Hand
Source: Funimation

Lastly, Shigaraki's father comes outside to see his family dead and his son crying, having destroyed the backyard, too. But this time, Shigaraki knows what he is doing. He plants his palm on his father's face, screams at him to die, and levels the family home in the process. After Shigaraki is taken in by All For One, he is presented with a table full of hands.

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All For One tells Shigaraki to wear his family's hands close to him so that he doesn't forget the way he feels about killing. Shigaraki himself says wearing them makes him feel nauseous and calm at the same time. He specifically says that the calmness is from feeling like he'll be forgiven no matter what he does.

Why did Shigaraki change his name?

Changing his name isn't actually Shigaraki's idea. All For One gives him the new name. In "Tomura Shigaraki: Origin," he says he got the first name "Tomura" from the verb "tomurau" which means "mourn" in Japanese. "To express sorrow over death and farewell," according to My Hero's English subtitles.

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Tenko Shimura
Source: Funimation

"Tenko Shimura will be reborn as someone who brings mourning," All For One tells Shigaraki. As for his last name, All For One gives him his last name. This could be a way to exert power over the young boy, but he is basically the only parental figure Shigaraki has during his formative years and he accepts him when his Quirk seem to have left him with nothing.

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