Danjuro Tobita, aka Gentle Criminal, is an antagonist introduced during one of the more recent arcs on the hit anime My Hero Academia. Though manga readers have known about him for quite some time now, they (along with anime-only viewers) were still blown away by Gentle’s sympathetic depiction. After all, he’s not a typical villain, and perhaps that is the reason why he is still holding fans’ collective attention.
The truth of the matter is, while Gentle never posed the same threat as Shigaraki or Overhaul, he did, in his own way, pose a threat to Deku‘s goals. There is also a reason why this character was included in the series, after all. Here are 10 important things you never knew about Gentle Criminal.
10 Gentle Criminal Loves The Idea Of Loving Tea
Let’s start with the most obvious bit of information about this unique criminal. Gentle has many habits, all of which make him a villain that is easy to track. One such obvious giveaway of his is his apparent love of tea.
Gentle loves tea. More accurately, he loves black tea. His expressions and appearances with the tea are iconic, as he’s frequently portrayed pouring the tea over his head – and spilling it. Perhaps it’s better to say that he loves the idea of loving tea? After all, what tea lover would ever spill so much of it?
9 Gentle Criminal’s Real Name Has Deeper Meanings
Gentle’s real name is Danjuro Tobita. Admittedly, it isn’t as dramatic as his stage name – no wonder he ran away with something that suited him better! However, is that all there is to his birth name? Like many characters in MHA, Gentle’s real name ties directly to key character components.
“Danjuro” means “bouncing” and “soft” (when put together), and “Tobita” means “to fly” and “paddy field”. Altogether, these indicate strongly towards his Quirk, a theme that eagle-eyed fans have seen multiple times in the series thus far.
8 Gentle Criminal Was Always Tragically Unlucky
Gentle did not have the best time growing up. That is not to say that he had a bad life; it’s more like he struggled to become what he desired most in the world. All Gentle wanted was to become a hero; to be somebody of note.
He failed at hero training courses several times, which eventually convinced him to give being a villain a go. Sadly, things still turned out poorly for him.
7 Gentle Criminal Prefers Scheming & Plotting Over Winning
It might seem odd that Gentle turned so quickly from aiming to be a hero to working as a villain but it’s actually a common theme in the anime, is it not? That being said, Gentle doesn’t exactly fit into that mold either clean-cut good or bad guy. After all, he’s more intent on making a name for himself rather than getting revenge or achieving some grand societal goal.
To that end, he spends hours coming up with the perfect scheme or plan, anything to draw attention to what he is doing. This is why he doesn’t mind failing, so as long as it is a visually stunning failure.
6 Gentle Criminal Was Most Likely Inspired By Bronze & Silver Age Villains
Most fans of MHA already know this, but many a character in this fantastic world are actually based on well-known superheroes and villains. Gentle is yet another character who can hold that title, though technically it hasn’t been officially confirmed.
Gentle has many characteristics and design points in common with The Trickster, The Mad Hatter, and The Signalman. Whether all of these references were intentional or not is harder to say; it could be that he was merely based on the general aesthetics and styles of Bronze and Silver Age villains. Simply put, these were eccentric yet relatively harmless criminals who were more of a nuisance than a world-ending threat.
5 Gentle Criminal Was The Most Emotionally Taxing Enemy Deku Faced
Deku and Gentle have more in common than it would appear (more on that later). Perhaps that is why their battle was so shockingly and emotionally intense. It was a mirror match, in away.
Midoriya has fought powerful villains such as Overhaul, Muscular, and more and yet, he felt compelled to tell Gentle how difficult their fight was. Perhaps this is because of the way Gentle forced Deku to think outside of the box? Most likely it was a combination of many things, including the clear emotional connection the two saw in each other.
4 Gentle Criminal Just Wants To Be Remembered
Gentle’s goal is not all that different from many a hero or villain; he just happens to be more open and honest with himself about it. All Gentle wants is to make a name for himself; to be remembered as someone big and important. It’s actually a little bit heartbreaking.
Ideally, he wanted to become a hero so that he could leave a positive mark on the world. Unfortunately, that didn’t pan out well, leading to his current path of (petty) villainy. Determined to be remembered no matter what, he was willing to take what he could get and so he adjusted his aims accordingly.
3 Gentle Criminal Is A Highly Skilled Quirk User
Gentle is actually quite intelligent, despite the way he behaves and looks. This is best shown in how he has figured out the best way to use his unassuming Quirk to his advantage. As such, he has created several special moves over the course of his run.
Gently Rebound, Gently Trampoline, and Gently Sandwich are the iconic three we’ve seen so far but it’s hard not to see that if he made another appearance, he’d have added a few more moves to the roster. Also, it’s worth noting that all his moves have the same design in name, and make clever use of his Quirk Elasticity.
2 Gentle Criminal Is One Of The Quirkiest Villains Around
Gentle is arguably one of the quirkiest (pun intended) characters seen in the series so far. His story and arc fit nicely into the larger U.A. Festival plot, all the while allowing viewers to see a different side of Deku. This allowed for a bit of freedom with his characterization, which is why he’s so unique among his villainous peers.
Gentle is brilliant and yet completely lacks any sense of insight. He knows what he wants to become, but he can’t seem to find an introspective bone in his body. A bit ironic, especially for someone who obviously gave his look and gimmick a lot of thought.
1 Gentle Criminal Is A Darker Reflection Of Deku
As mentioned earlier, Deku and Gentle have a whole lot in common. Long story short, Gentle is what Midoriya could have become if All Might hadn’t walked into his life and given him a chance.
Midoriya, as much as fans love him, would have tried and unfortunately probably failed in the hero courses before being handed One For All. Would he have turned into a criminal if All Might never acknowledged him? Who knows. But it certainly would have given Deku a lot of anguish, not unlike what Gentle suffered.
Gentle Criminal is one of the most unique villains on My Hero Academia, and it's time to learn more about this quirky gentleman