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Shota Aizawa

My Hero Academia
by yo go re

Finally, some David Lynch action figures!

A pro hero who works as a teacher at U.A. High School, he is a rational thinker who avoids wasting time. His Quirk, Erasure, allows him to turn off other the Quirks of people he stares at.

If All Might is My Hero's Superman, then Shota Aizawa is its Batman: dark clothes, brooding, his fighting prowess is based on training rather than powers, shuns public attention, and has a soft spot for cats. Also, while Superman is the one who has a reputation for being friendly and uplifting, Batman's the one who spends all his time mentoring kids. When he was a student, he was unconfident in his abilities; it was only at the urging of his friends that he became a pro hero, began working with the police, and became a teacher at UA. For a major character who's always popular with the fans, Eraser Head sure isn't very motivated, is he? He didn't even come up with his own supranym!

That indifference even extends to his costume. Since his power is best used as a surprise, he doesn't need a flashy, attention-grabbing suit: he just wears a baggy black shirt, a black utility belt, and black pants he tucks into his boots. The most colorful part of the suit is the plain grey scarf he wears bundled around his neck. That's actually a "capture weapon," a piece of technology designed specifically for Aizawa to help make up for his quirk's shortcomings - he can use it to restrain opponents or for mobility. Like he's wearing Spider-Man's webs wrapped around his shoulders.

Even Aizawa's appearance is subject to his "zero effort" proclivities. He's got long hair that's usually uncombed, bags under his eyes because he doesn't get enough sleep, and stubble on his chin. There's a scar under his right eye, indicating that this figure comes from after the USJ arc, when he fought off dozens of members of the League of Villains by himself.

To display his powers, Eraser Head comes with a few alternate parts: a second head, and a second scarf. When he's using his Erasure quirk, Aizawa's hair stands on end. But why? Like, out here in the real world, it's easy to understand that creator Horikoshi Kohei did that because otherwise Eraser Head's powers have no visual component, and he wanted readers to know when they were active, but why in-universe? Wouldn't cutting his hair short give him an advantage, since his enemies wouldn't know when his Quirk was in use? Or maybe get Uravity to just touch his hair and lift it, so people think it's active all the time?

Erasure does have a few limitations: firstly, he needs to be able to see at least part of his target's body for it to work; if they hide behind something, even under a blanket, he can't affect them; secondly, it only lasts until he blinks, and then takes a few seconds to recharge. The need to stare for as long as possible has given him chronic dry eyes, so he carries eyedrops with him. The goggles he wears not only protect his eyes from debris, they keep his opponents from knowing where he's looking. Whatever it is that causes his hair to float while the power is active also works on his scarf, so this alternate version is less wrapped up and has straps flowing all over the place.

The figure's articulation is the sort you expect from McFarlane Toys these days: hinged toes, swivel/​hinge/swivel ankles, swivel/hinge knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, a ratcheted balljointed waist of some sort(?), swivel/hinge/swivel wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders on balljoints, and a barbell head. Sure, some things could be better, but this is a decent amount. We really wish companies would stop with these rubber torso covers, though; they never work that well, and keep you from knowing what joints are actually under there and how they're meant to move.

Eraser Head isn't a super exciting character to get as an action figure, but McToys still did their best to make him something fun to play with.

-- 11/12/23

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