“But you don’t get to tell me that I was ‘unlucky’. Being here with them… I was happy!”
Horikoshi Kohei has intricately woven a world of heroes and villains. It is not drenched in black and white colors. There’s ambiguity in it, on a spectrum that is very vivid and vague at the same time. Jin Bubaigawara aka Twice tried to redefine that ambiguity. He tried to be a sane one in a world of good and bad people.
He tried to be a good friend.
The following article contains spoilers from My Hero Academia manga. Read ahead at your own discretion!
A Terrible Beginning:
Jin’s story started on a tragic note, his parents died when he was in middle school and had no relatives by his side. He was now all alone; betrayed by society and its morals. In a world where people were meant to be kind, he witnessed their diabolical side. He walked on a harrowing path completely alone.
In modern society, where one can’t find their place, they gradually start to lose a sense of belongingness and life comes crashing down. The same happened with Jin. He had no one to guide him and to chide him on what’s right and wrong. No one praised him when he did some good work.
And no one trusted him. So, what would happen to a man like him?
He basks in sorrow. When a person’s life starts spiraling, they seek comfort. But he didn’t have anyone and that was the inception of an unfathomable mistake.
An Unfathomable Mistake:
Jin’s quirk granted him the ability to create an exact duplicate of anything, living or not. He created his own clones to compensate for lost comfort and friendship. The clones had their own autonomy which made the conversations more intriguing and humane too. But in actuality, it didn’t turn out as he had envisioned.
Everyone has an ideal which they believe in and so did Twice. He believed that understanding oneself is the most important aspect of life. But it got sided away during the 9-day conflict among himself and his clones.
The consequence of his action led to him being uncertain on whether he was the original or not. He got scarred with a stain of identity crisis and was driven towards the path of insanity.
To Lose Oneself:
The very thing that defines a person is their character. Jin lost it with that one incident that altered his life forever. So then, he started looking for people like him – twisted and broken. And that’s where the League of Villains came in.
They gave him a new home and people whom he could trust. Shigaraki and co. helped him to deal with his tragic past by giving him a place to belong.
Finally, Jin felt sanity among them and decided to support the league. It was during his time in league when he discovered his explosive and comedic demeanor too. His tragic past most probably resulted in Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Validation – a feeling of acceptance from others is what drives us, the social animals. Betrayed by people and their fake morals, Jin never felt validated. But the league didn’t. This is why he will never betray them as they are his friends, the only friends.
Whenever given an order, he tries his best and puts every ounce of effort into villainous activities. To him, it’s not being evil but helping his friends who need him. And this sole reason makes him the most loyal, a pretty dangerous villain and a good man. Someone who tries to help their companions can’t be a bad guy, right?
A Subtle Vulnerability:
Trust is another aspect that was imbued with Twice in a very elegant manner. Because he had issues with society and himself, he wasn’t able to believe in others. So, what happens when one gets exposed to several trustworthy friends?
They start to believe in every other person. The same happened with him and it led to Magne’s death which shattered him. Although he recovered after a while, the guilt was still there.
Then came Hawks.
The world keeps moving and it can be a very cruel place but we yearn for that stillness. We strive for the light to keep ourselves out of the gloomy past and ever-lurking guilt. Twice found his stillness, only to be crushed by Hawks in the next moment. And what happens to a person like him?
Twice values his friends over the greater good of the mission. He will justify his wrongful actions to save them. It’s the feeling of belongingness that drives him to such extents where he will gladly die in order to save his people. He cares about his small found family and will go to any lengths to protect them, even murdering innocents.
Scars of a Hero and a Villain:
The uncanny parallelism he has with Hawks is astounding too. They both see themselves as a tool and constantly tries to be as much of use as they can. Both of them justify their utilitarian acts through different perspectives. They have an astonishing dynamic that compliments their contrasting yet similar ideologies excellently.
From the entirety of Twice’s character, we can infer that he was an individualist. One can try their best to turn their miserable life around but can easily get excluded from society.
The worst part, it is never their fault. A villain nurtured out of him, something that he never had control over. He along with LoV is an individualist response to a collectivist and an oppressed hero society.
A Final Rhetoric Question:
This brings us to our final question:
Is it worth it to save many others for the cost of one good man?
‘Someone who tries to help their companions can’t be a bad guy’
The act of helping others is good, it doesn’t matter if it comes from a hero or a villain. The simple notion of ‘helping others’ opens up a path, that people are capable of both good and evil. It all depends upon the circumstances they got in. Because someone who is capable of killing is equally capable of protecting too. Hawks and Twice being the perfect representation for that respectively.
Horikoshi amazes me with his meticulous world-building and well-crafted characters. There is so much to empathize with so many of them, whether they be hero or villains.
It was very heartwarming when I witnessed Twice overcoming his trauma for the sake of his friends. Despite being aware of the consequences, he used his quirk for them, especially for Toga. He received one of the most beautiful deaths, to die in the arms of a comrade and a genuine friend.
A bittersweet end to a tragic journey and to his promise with Hawks of flying high.