Why did Yuga Aoyama betray U.A. in My Hero Academia? Motivations explained

The fandom was left in shock after Yuga Aoyama’s unexpected reveal as the U.A. Traitor in episode 3 of My Hero Academia season 7. Despite his typically exuberant and cheerful demeanor, it was hard to believe that he could be working with All For One, especially considering he was the least likely suspect.

The events in season 7 episode 3 of My Hero Academia undeniably caused a major shift in the series, with the highly-anticipated U.A. Traitor reveal taking center stage. This shocking scene exposed Aoyama as the traitor who had been feeding information to All For One. After the truth was revealed, fans were left with one burning question: What drove Aoyama to betray his comrades at U.A. High?

Explaining the origins of Yuga Aoyama in My Hero Academia

Yuga Aoyama as seen in the anime (image via Bones)
Yuga Aoyama as seen in the anime (image via Bones)

From the start of the series, Yuga Aoyama showcased a flamboyant and prideful persona. His constant desire for attention and signature closed smile set him apart from his fellow classmates.

Despite this, episode 3 of My Hero Academia’s seventh season revealed that his behavior was simply a front. To gain insight into his actions and betrayal of U.A. High, we must first delve into his origins in the My Hero Academia series.

All For One manipulates Aoyama (image via Bones)
All For One manipulates Aoyama (image via Bones)

In the third episode of season 7 of My Hero Academia, viewers were finally given insight into Yuga Aoyama’s past. Along with the revelation of him being the traitor, fans were surprised to discover that Aoyama was born without a Quirk, just like Deku. This shared experience led Aoyama and his family to face similar challenges as Deku, with Aoyama struggling to find acceptance among his peers due to his inherent “otherness.”

As they feared for their child’s potential rejection and discrimination from the Hero society, Aoyama’s parents sought assistance from the rumored Quirk distributor, All For One. Unbeknownst to them, their efforts to protect their child only added to the tragedy of his life.

Why Aoyama betrayed U.A. for All For One

Despite his parents’ assistance, Yuga Aoyama still acquired his Navel Laser Quirk from All For One. Unfortunately, the situation only deteriorated for him afterwards, as All For One manipulated Aoyama’s family into indebtedness and coerced Yuga into becoming a reluctant double agent under threat of death.

Despite the fear for his safety and that of his family, Aoyama had no other option but to comply with All For One’s commands. By providing All For One with the crucial information, the League of Villains was able to successfully infiltrate U.A. High and their training camp on numerous occasions.

Despite caring for his friends at U.A. High, Aoyama was burdened by immense guilt for betraying them and putting their lives in danger. This caused him to believe that he was unworthy of having friends and that he was nothing more than a pathetic and despicable villain.

Aoyama’s redemption, explored

Despite being revealed as the U.A. Traitor, Aoyama could not bear the weight of his guilt and tearfully admitted to his crimes. He acknowledged that his actions were despicable and believed he deserved to be incarcerated as punishment for his sins.

Despite his disbelief, Shota Aizawa and the rest of Class 1-A acknowledged Aoyama as a victim of circumstance rather than an accomplice of All For One. They recognized that he had no malicious intentions and was coerced into his actions. They understood that he never truly intended to betray them.

Aoyama’s friends believed that he needed to earn their forgiveness by aiding them in their fight against All For One. Despite the despair that the villain had instilled in him, Aoyama eventually overcame it and with the support of his friends, he was able to deceive All For One and face him in the ultimate battle. Together, they worked towards ending the villain’s reign of terror once and for all.

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