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""I have to get stronger quickly", you say. It's true. Time is not on your side, nor your enemies'. And they won't wait for you to get stronger."

Gran Torino to Izuku Midoriya in "Struggling"

Gran Torino (グラントリノ Guran Torino?) is a retired pro hero, former homeroom teacher at U.A. High[1], and mentor to both Toshinori Yagi and Izuku Midoriya.

Appearance

Gran Torino is an extremely short, elderly man that has short spiky hair and a beard.

His hero costume consists of a full body monochrome[2] suit along with a yellow cape, a belt with the letter "G" on it, very thick yellow gloves and boots, and a dark domino mask which resembles two diamonds.[3]

In contrast with his now extremely short and rather shriveled appearance, he was quite tall and handsome in his younger days, having at least rivaled All Might's hero form in height.

Personality

Gran Torino fake

The senile old man persona

Initially Gran Torino appeared to be a senile old man who constantly forgot and asked Izuku's name, often calling him "Toshinori".[4][5] Even though he was the one who sent Izuku the internship offer, he would fail to recall Izuku's name for more than a moment. In reality, this proves to be a nothing more than a facade for messing with his newfound protege. 

Gran Torino is actually a very intelligent man with incredibly broad perception. He proved to be a far more capable teacher to Izuku in a mere week then All Might did in almost a year. He was able to read Izuku's progress and personality just by watching the U.A. Sports Festival and indirectly taught him the first step to mastering One For All with a simple parallel between Izuku and his favorite dessert.[5] His sharp mind is also evidenced when he was able to accurately predict All For One's strategy based solely on the media covering the aftermath of Hero Killer Stain.[6]

As a mentor, Gran Torino appears to be very hard on his students. Every time All Might speaks about or to Gran Torino, he starts freaking out and shakes profusely because of their brutal training.[7][6] Gran Torino also never hesitates to yell, berate and hit Izuku for his mistakes.[8][9][10]

History

Gran Torino trains All Might

Gran Torino trains All Might

At some point in the past, Gran Torino was part of the U.A. Staff, All Might's homeroom teacher, and a close friend of his predecessor Nana Shimura. During a practical training session with All Might, Gran Torino punched him so hard in his stomach that he vomited. Gran Torino admits having been rough on All Might, accidentally instilling an innate fear within him. 

Synopsis

U.A. Sports Festival Arc

Following the League of Villains' assault on the U.S.J, Gran Torino's old student: Toshinori Yagi, pens him a letter. In his letter Toshinori explains that he's found a successor and has passed One For All to a young man named Izuku Midoriya.[11]

Vs. Hero Killer Arc

Prior to the U.A. Sports Festival, Gran Torino sends out an internship offer to Toshinori's new disciple. When Izuku arrives at Gran Torino's apartment, he finds the old man laying in a pool of sausages and ketchup. He mistakes for blood and assumes he's walked into a murder scene, but Gran Torino reveals himself to be alive and scares the young man. He continues to mess with Izuku, putting on a fake senile persona and asks for the boys name repeatedly. He briefly shows his true nature to challenge his new protege to try and strike him with a smash to gauge his adaptation to One For All. Izuku doesn't take Gran Torino seriously and tries to leave because he believes the old man isn't in any shape to mentor.

Gran Torino defeats Izuku

Gran Torino gives Izuku his first lesson

Gran Torino stops Izuku by activating his Quirk and using it to jump around the room. He scolds Izuku for using his Quirk recklessly during the Sports Festival, and does the same to All Might, who Gran Torino calls a blunder when it comes to teaching.

Izuku makes the connection between All Might's split personality and Gran Torino's, and decides to take the challenge seriously. Their duel begins, but Izuku is worried about hurting Gran Torino or damaging his home. Losing patience, Gran Torino uses his Quirk to bounce around the room and hits Izuku in his back several times. He's impressed when Izuku analyzes his movements and tries to counter, but Gran Torino is able to easily evade and pins Izuku to the ground, defeating him.

Gran Torino tells Izuku that his movements are too rigid because there is discord in his mind and his loyalty to All Might has become a shackle. Then he leaves Izuku to ponder his advice while he goes to get food. When he returns from the store, he overhears Izuku realizing that he has to make One For All an extension of himself if he wishes to master it. Impressed, Gran Torino muses over Toshinori's choice for One For All's ninth holder.[12] That night, Gran Torino goes to sleep right after returning with food.

The next morning, Gran Torino finds Izuku slightly injured from training on his own the previous night. He encourages Izuku to keep training and tells him about All Might during his youth. In contrast to Izuku, Toshinori was able to use One For All right away and only required combat training. The training was difficult, but Gran Torino needed to do it because Toshinori was entrusted to him by his late friend. He's surprised to learn that Izuku knows virtually nothing about the seventh holder of One For All.

Izuku vs Gran Torino rematch

Gran Torino teaches Izuku to master One For All

Izuku receives Gran Torino's new microwave in the mail and they prepare some frozen taiyaki pastries. However, Izuku prepares them incorrectly and angers the old man. Gran Torino berates Izuku, telling him to put the pastries on a smaller plate so they can rotate in the microwave and cook evenly. Izuku eventually realizes Gran Torino's hint and the parallel between himself and the taiyaki. He spreads One For All's power evenly throughout his body to fully integrate its power. Gran Torino is impressed with how little time it took Izuku to realize this and decides to challenge him once again to hit him with a smash. [13][5]

Gran Torino sets the time limit to three minutes for their rematch and kicks the energy out of Izuku right from the start. When Izuku tries to get the power flowing again, Gran Torino doesn't give him an opening to. The old man uses his Quirk to fly around the room and strike Izuku from different angles. Izuku eventually makes his way underneath a couch and sends it flying at Gran Torino to buy time.

Izuku's distraction keeps Gran Torino off him long enough to activate his new technique: One For All Full Cowl, and he leaps at Gran Torino and nearly strikes him. After evading, Gran Torino moves to strike Izuku from behind, but the young man jumps above his sensei and goes to strike him with a smash. Once again Gran Torino narrowly dodges and counterattacks, sending Izuku flying into a nearby wall. Time runs out, and although Izuku fails, Gran Torino commends him for his effort. He's surmises that Izuku spends a lot of his time strategizing and tells the young man he's improved since their previous bout the day before. Unbeknownst to Izuku, he managed to graze Gran Torino's cheek, prompting the old man to think over his student's monstrous potential. [14]

Gran Torino vs Nomu

Gran Torino tackles Nomu off the bullet train

Afterwards, Gran Torino suggests they eat breakfast, but all the taiyaki have spilled onto the floor. This infuriates him, enough so to scare Izuku into running to the store to buy more. Sometime later, they continue training until Gran Torino decides to move on to the next phase.. to avoid Izuku developing strange habits from their sparring matches, he wants to take Izuku to fight real villains in Shibuya Tokyo. They take the bullet train to Shinjuku station and Gran Torino comments that they're going late to have more fun with more skirmishes. They pass through Hosu City when suddenly a strange monster breaks into the train with a pro-hero in it's grip. Gran Torino leaps into action and tackles the beast out of the train, through the air and into a building within the city limits.[15]

The Nomu breaks out of the building and attacks a few civilians at indiscriminately. Gran Torino does his best to stop it, but nearly allows the beast to attack two nearby bystanders when Endeavor arrives and stops it. [16][17]

Gran Torino and Endeavor defeat Nomu

Gran Torino and Endeavor defeat Nomu

Despite its burns, the Nomu responds by activating a few of it's Quirks. Before Nomu can attack, Gran Torino propels himself through the air and smashes into it with enough force to break the road. With the creature defeated, Gran Torino calls for he and Endeavor to restrain and turn it over to police before moving to support other heroes in their efforts against the remaining monsters. Endeavor claims that his sidekicks will handle turning the Nomu over to the police while he supports the pros alone, and instead asks Gran Torino to head to a certain address.

Once there, Gran Torino finds Izuku and his classmates prior to defeating Hero Killer Stain. He's angry with Izuku for leaving the bullet train and kicks him in the face, berating him for not staying put like he asked. In spite of his angry, Gran Torino is relieved to find Izuku alive and ponders over the similar personalities of Izuku and his predecessor. Pro Heroes sent by Endeavor arrive at the scene, followed closely by a flying Nomu. Gran Torino warns everyone to get down, but the beast swoops down and grabs Izuku. Gran Torino worries that it will elevate too high for him to pursue, but Stain recovers in time to save the boy by killing the beast.

Endeavor catches up and desires to fight with Stain, but Gran Torino pleads for him to stand down. The villain turns to face Endeavor and his allies, instilling fear into each one of them with his ferocious willpower and bloodlust. The malefic aura only dissipates when Stain falls unconscious, relieving Gran Torino and the others. [18][9]

The next day at the Hosu General Hospital, Gran Torino and Manual visit Izuku, Shoto and Tenya. He wants to yell at Izuku, but introduces the boys to the Chief of Hosu Police instead. Chief Kenji Tsuragamae informs the boys that their mentors, Gran Torino included, and themselves must recieve strict punishment for using their Quirks on Stain without permission. Shoto becomes angry with the police official, but Gran Torino asks him to hear Chief Tsuragamae out. The Chief lets the boys off the hook, but Gran Torino's pay is docked and his teaching license is revoked for the next six months.

Later on, Gran Torino calls Toshinori to complain about Izuku and discuss the Hero Killer. He explains that although he only met Stain briefly, the villain managed to instill great fear deep into his soul. He goes on to say that Stain's fanatic ideology and charisma will likely rally villains behind the League of Villains. Gran Torino surmises that the leader of the League of Villains predicted this would happen, then he is a brilliant strategist. All Might and Gran Torino agree that it's likely All For One has returned. To conclude their conversation, Gran Torino urges his former student to tell Izuku the whole truth about One For All.[19][6]

Gran Torino nag

Gran Torino gets in a few final words of advice as Izuku departs

The internship concludes at the end of the week and Gran Torino bids farewell to his young student outside his apartment. Izuku thanks Gran Torino for teaching him to use One For All better, but Gran Torino reminds him to maintain control and stay within the five percent limitation.

Izuku asks Gran Torino why he never became a famous Pro despite his strength. The latter admits to never wanting to work as a Pro Hero and claims he only got his license to work towards a certain goal. He tells Izuku to ask All Might to fill him in and then returns to his senile state. He asks Izuku his name, and finally Izuku realizes the answer his mentor is looking for. Izuku replies that his name is Deku, garnering a nod of approval from Gran Torino. The old man returns to his home and muses about the one day when the name Deku will be celebrated as the new symbol of peace.[20][6]

Hideout Raid Arc

Two days after the vanguard Action Squad capture Katsuki Bakugou, Gran Torino joins the Police Force and a number of Pro Heroes in the rescue operation to retrieve Katsuki. Before the infiltration begins. Gran Torino speaks with All Might, speculating that All For One has made his move. The Police Force and the Pro Heroes move out.[21]

All Might breaks into the League of Villains' hideout and Kamui Woods uses his Lacquered Chains Prison to restrain the villains. Dabi attempts to break free of Kamui's wood with his flames, but Gran Torino's kick stops Dabi from using his flames.[22]

Gran Torino asks Tomura the location of his teacher, All For One. However, Tomura does not answer and instead screams out his hatred for All Might. Suddenly, mysterious black liquid appears out of thin air with Noumus appearing out of the phenomenon which surprises the League of Villains and the Pro Heroes; Edgeshot notices that the black liquid is not Kurogiri’s doing since he is unconscious. More Noumus begin appearing from the masses of the mysterious black liquid. All Might grabs Katsuki. However, Katsuki begins dissolving into the black liquid and disappears, much to All Might’s fury. Gran Torino realizes that this is All For One's doing.[23]

After All Might leaves to find Katsuki, Gran Torino also follows him. Gran Torino eventually reaches the battlefield and uses his Jet Quirk to blitz Spinner, Kenji and Mr. Compress, knocking them out. The elderly Hero is annoyed that Izuku has taken on All Might’s characteristics, while All Might himself is still surprised that Izuku and some of his fellow students came to rescue Katsuki. However, All Might is pleased with their intervention as he can now fight All For One without holding back. Izuku along with Eijirou, Tenya and Katsuki begin escaping from the battlefield. Gran Torino prepares to attack Tomura and Himiko.

Before Gran Torino can attack, Tomura and the Vanguard Action Squad are sucked into Kurogiri's Warp Gate and teleported away. All Might charges at All For One, but he uses his Transmission Quirk to teleport Gran Torino in front of him, using the elderly Hero as a human shield which causes Gran Torino to take All Might’s attack instead. All For One expresses his hatred for All Might as he is the one who brought down his comrades in the past and while he descended into darkness, All Might rose to the top as the Symbol of Peace. All For One prepares to fire his blast wave move, intending to blow away Gran Torino and All Might at the same time. However, All Might pulls Gran Torino away and uses Detroit Smash to cancel out All For One’s blast wave move.

All Might throws Gran Torino away for his own safety and punches All For One in the face, shattering his mask but it is not enough to defeat All For One, causing All Might's face to revert to its true form; Gran Torino calls out to All Might.[24]

After All For One blasts All Might into the air, Gran Torino catches All Might and lands him to safety on the ground. Gran Torino advises All Might to not listen to All For One’s provocations and that due to All For One’s different Quirk usage and strategies; he should only attack when All For One lets his guard down.[25]

As All Might activates One For All throughout the right side of his body, Gran Torino is surprised that All Might can still move. However, Gran Torino fears for the worst as All Might’s appearance indicates that he has reached his limit. Endeavor along with Edge Shot and Kamui Woods arrive and help out, with Endeavor and Edge Shot attacking All For One while Kamui Woods rescues Mount Lady, Best Jeanist and Gang Orca. Tiger rescues the trapped civilian and encourages All Might.

Tiger’s encouragement causes Gran Torino remember the past where he chatted with his old friend, Nana Shimura, who explained to him that Toshinori believed the crime did not fall because the people did not have any pillar or “Symbol” to put their faith in.[26]

After All Might defeats All For One, Gran Torino goes to a hospital to have his wounds bandaged. At the hospital, All Might who is bandaged and recovering states that he can no longer use One For All and that although he can no longer be the Symbol of Peace, he still has things to do. Naomasa is in disbelief that Tomura Shigaraki is Nana Shimura’s grandson. On that topic, Gran Torino comments that Nana Shimura and her husband had a child. However, after her husband died due to heroics, Nana sent her son to a foster family so that he can stay away from the world of heroics. Nana then informed Gran Torino and Toshinori to not get involved with her son. All Might wishes to find Tomura, however, Gran Torino tells All Might that he is in no position to help Tomura since he has would not be able to see Tomura as a villain. Gran Torino and Naomasa decide that they will handle the search for Tomura. Gran Torino suggests to All Might that he must remain at U.A and carry out what he must still do; helping his successor, Izuku Midoriya.[27]

Internship Arc

He is seen at Sir Nighteye's meeting regarding the Yakuza, surprising Midoriya.

Quirk and Abilities

Jet (ジェット Jetto): Gran Torino can shoot air from the propulsion boosters at the bottom of his feet, giving himself an incredible jumping ability and great speed. However, he can only use the air that he breathes to propel himself. Furthermore, Gran Torino cannot propel himself far into the sky.

Overall Abilities: While nothing is known about the full extent of his strength, All Might, a world famous and number 1 Hero, was intimidated by him. Though this may be due to a number of other reasons, as Gran Torino was All Might's teacher. During All Might's younger days, Gran Torino made All Might throw up. Gran Torino was able to defeat an Artificial Human by himself, whereas it took many Pro Heroes to defeat one. He defeated and knocked out Twice, Spinner and Kenji in a matter of seconds.

Enhanced Strength: Gran Torino is able to augment the strength of his punches and kicks thanks to his Quirk.

Immense Speed: Gran Torino has immense speed due to his Quirk.

Enhanced Durability: Gran Torino was able to propel himself with enough force to knock out a Noumu and destroy the ground under it without suffering any damage himself. He also remained conscious after taking a punch to the face from All Might.

Power
 
2/5 D
Speed
 
6/5 S
Technique
 
5/5 A
Intelligence
 
4/5 B
Cooperativeness
 
3/5 C
Gran Torino's stats, according to the Official Character Book


Battles

Vs. Hero Killer Arc

Relationships

Nana Shimura

Gran Torino and Nana Shimura were close friends. He became a teacher in U.A. in order to train Toshinori solely because of a promise he had made to her. Even years after her death he still mourns her death and after learning that Tomura Shigaraki is her grandchild, he vowed to find him and save him.

Toshinori Yagi

Gran Torino taught Toshinori (better known as All Might) as a teacher in U.A. and knows Toshinori's secrets. He seems to have left Toshinori nervous from his past training with his mentor to the point he shook when telling him to Izuku. Also, he has a habit of calling All Might by his given name when they converse. He's shown to be very cautious of his pupil, going as far as to warn him of the possibility of All For One returning and telling him to tell Izuku everything about him and One For All to prepare him. He also expressed his pride in his pupil for defeating All For One a second time while being the Symbol of Peace one last time.

Izuku Midoriya

Gran Torino requested Izuku to be his sidekick so that he can teach Izuku about the One for All Quirk. Gran Torino and Izuku were off to a bad start when they first met, with Gran Torino putting up a facade of being senile and Izuku being disappointed with having to train with someone who was no longer functional. But right after Gran Torino dropped his facade and showing Izuku what he was capable of, Izuku started to gain respect for Gran Torino, politely calling the elderly Hero Mr. Torino. Gran Torino has shown to be impressed with Izuku, stating that All Might chose a fine successor.

All For One

Gran Torino holds a grudge against the user of All For One for murdering Nana Shimura, his close friend. He became part of the Hideout Raid Team in order to find more about All For One's whereabouts, joining Toshinori when he started fighting the villain.

Sir Nighteye

Since he knew about One For All and was All Might's sidekick, Nighteye is acquainted with All Might's mentor. Nighteye appears to be familiar with Gran Torino enough to perceive his signature erratic jumping that Izuku copied.

Gran Torino was present during All Might and Nighteye's falling out. He decided to use Izuku as a means of mediating the relationship between the two, showing he cares about Nighteye.

Trivia

  • Gran Torino's name could be a reference to the Ford Torino motor vehicle, although it is more likely to the Clint Eastwood film named after it. In the film, Eastwood portrays the role of an elderly mentor for a teenage boy, teaching him how to be a man.
  • Gran Torino's favorite food is taiyaki, and he enjoys oversleeping.
  • Kohei commented that Gran Torino emits a "Dagobah" feeling, a reference to Yoda from Star Wars. Yoda teaches Luke Skywalker and taught Obi-wan Kenobi, Luke's initial teacher. Similarly Gran Torino teaches Izuku and taught Toshinori, Izuku's initial teacher. Both characters also hide their true strength and pretend to be senile.

Quotes

  • (To Izuku Midoriya) "I have to get stronger quickly", you say. It's true. Time is not on your side, nor your enemies'. And they won't wait for you to get stronger."[28]

References

  1. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 46, Pages 7-8
  2. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Volume 6 Omake
  3. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 46, Page 16
  4. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 46, Pages 15-17
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 My Hero Academia Anime: Episode 27
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 My Hero Academia Anime: Episode 31
  7. My Hero Academia Anime: Episode 27
  8. My Hero Academia Anime: Episode 31
  9. 9.0 9.1 My Hero Academia Anime: Episode 30
  10. My Hero Academia Anime: Episode 31
  11. My Hero Academia Anime: Episode 14
  12. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 47
  13. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 48
  14. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 49
  15. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 50
  16. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 51
  17. My Hero Academia Anime: Episode 29
  18. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 55
  19. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 57
  20. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 58
  21. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 86
  22. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 87
  23. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 88
  24. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 91
  25. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 92
  26. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 93
  27. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 95
  28. Boku no Hero Academia Manga: Chapter 47, Page 10

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U.A. High School
Class 1-A Students Denki KaminariEijiro KirishimaFumikage TokoyamiHanta SeroIzuku MidoriyaKatsuki BakugoKoji KodaKyoka JiroMashirao OjiroMezo ShojiMina AshidoMinoru MinetaMomo YaoyorozuOchaco UrarakaRikido SatoShoto TodorokiTenya IidaToru HagakureTsuyu AsuiYuga Aoyama
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General Department Hitoshi Shinso
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Locations Class 1-AClass 1-BDevelopment StudioGround BetaGround GammaGym GammaHeights AllianceLunch Rush CafeteriaRecovery Girl's Nurse's OfficeSports Festival StadiumUnforeseen Simulation Joint

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