Anime, My Hero Academia, The Mind of a Character

Kai ‘Overhaul’ Chisaki: Looking at the Grand Picture

So his first name is Kai… Thank god for Wikis!

My Hero Academia has had a lot of villains up to this point. The mindless and powerful Nomus. The twisted but sympathetic Stain. The chilling and seemingly unstoppable All For One. Even the still developing, unprepared man-child Shigurake Tomura. Deku and our other heroes have had no shortage of powerful and dangerous opponents so far.

But few have been even half as dangerous as Kai Chisaki. AKA: Overhaul.

For a long while, Chisaki was a villain wreathed in mystery. We knew he was cunning, powerful, and a bit of a germaphobe. But aside from that, he was an enigma. What did he want? Where did he come from? Why is he a villain?

Luckily, with the end of the Rescue Eri/Overhaul arc in the anime, we have those answers. Now, let’s take a deep look into one of My Hero Academia’s biggest villains! Let’s see what makes Overhaul tick!

The Wound: You Took Me In

Chisaki’s wound is an incredibly simple one. For reasons unknown, perhaps relating to his Quirk, he was abandoned by his family as a child. At a very young age, he was left alone. Simple, right?

Well, here’s where it gets interesting. Chisaki is not particularly haunted by the wound itself. Rather, his character is dictated by what came after that trauma: being adopted by the leader of the Hassaikai.

Chisaki grew to admire the old man a great deal. He was the closest thing he’d ever had to a father. From the few interactions between them that we see, it’s clear that Chisaki both loved and respected him a great deal. He wanted nothing more than to make his ambitions a reality. Chisaki lived his life for the old man.

So imagine his pain when the yakuza started to die off thanks to the rising of superheroes.

This is Chisaki’s true wound. His first trauma was only a stepping stone to get him here. Chisaki is driven mad by the fall of the Hassaikai and the toll it’s taken on the old man. Thus, his path towards true villainy began.

The Want: Repaying an Unpayable Debt

When he first met the old man and joined the Hassaikai, they ruled Japan through the shadows. They were at the top of the world. But soon enough, they were left behind by the new superhuman society. The yakuza was a relic of the past.

This drove Chisaki mad. All of the old man’s efforts were going to waste. He couldn’t let that happen. Someway, somehow, he had to put the Hassaikai back on top. Luckily for him, a solution presented itself. A certain girl with a preposterously powerful Quirk. One that, if used properly, could turn the tide.

Unfortunately, one obstacle stood in his way: the very man Chisaki wanted to please.

The Lie: Tear the Foundation Down

Chisaki’s every action is for one purpose: to reclaim the Hasaikai’s place at the top of Japan. He’ll do anything to achieve that aim, whether it be murder or the prolonged torture of a little girl. He believes that, in order to make the old man’s dream come true, he needs to tear down the very foundation of a hero-based society. The process would undoubtedly result in the piling on of many bodies, but that doesn’t matter. So long as the old man’s dream comes true, the consequences will be worthwhile.

What Chisaki doesn’t understand is that the old man has morals. He looks down on violence, drug trades, so on and so forth. He has a strict code and respect for life. It’s those very qualities that made him so respectable in the first place. His ethics are what put him in his position of power in the first place.

It’s also those very principles that put him in direct opposition with Chisaki.

He doesn’t understand the old man’s insistence on keeping the moral high ground. As far as Chisaki is concerned, that very insistence is the only flaw holding him back! No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t understand the old man’s point of view. Why would the old man work so hard to protect the foundation of a society that ended his dreams?

But if the old man refused to change, that was fine. He’d just need to be put on the sidelines for a while. Surely he’d be pleased when he awoke to see the Hasaikai back on top. Right?

The Need: Stop Straying From My Path

The leader of the Hassaikai takes a very fatherly role to Chisaki. He mentors him, teaching him to stay on the moral path. Unfortunately, unlike Deku and even Shigurake, Chisaki never made for a good student. Rather than following the old man’s guidance, Chisaki chose to follow a much darker path.

This is where Chisaki’s negative character arc is completed. He has a great love for his mentor, but he disagrees with his way of operating. If he had chosen to follow his path, they could have led the Hassaikai to any number of futures! But by ignoring his teachings and going down a darker path, Chisaki dooms the Hassaikai to total destruction.

Evil often serves as the source of its own destruction. No other villain in My Hero Academia embodies that philosophy quite like Chisaki.

Conclusion

I hesitate to call Chisaki my favorite villain in the series. He lacks the sympathetic nature of Stain’s motivations. He doesn’t have the same blood-curdling aura that Shigurake has. Nor does he have the deadly menace of All For One.

However, I can say with confidence that Chisaki is a great character! He’s an excellent villain that was a ton of fun to watch! His story may have been short, but it was certainly sweet.

Except for all the animation dips. And the lackluster pacing. But that’s all for a different article.

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