The following contains minor spoilers for My Hero Academia Season 6, Episode 1, "A Quiet Beginning," now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation and Hulu.
With the release of My Hero Academia Season 6, fan-favorite characters are back for the long-awaited Paranormal Liberation War. This includes the top two professional heroes, Endeavor and Hawks, as they become some of the main players in this widespread mission. In Season 6's premiere, a brief scene shows Endeavor deducing that Hawks acquired the intel for one of the series’ most important missions and even displays concern for his location and wellbeing.
Endeavor and Hawks Both Had Rough Pasts - in Different Ways
Endeavor and Hawks form an onscreen team-up after the retirement of the former #1 hero, All Might. As their professional standing elevates, so does the pressure to relieve society of any fears and hopelessness left behind by the absence of their previous symbol of peace. On this front, Hawks, who has won public (and fangirl) support, takes the initiative to get closer to the infamously and ironically-cold Flame Hero to prepare him for his new spotlight.
Enji Todoroki’s introduction as the new #1 Pro Hero comes at a time when he is also re-evaluating his various roles in life. My Hero Academia carefully adapts how the Todoroki family displays a spectrum of processing trauma from parental abuse and neglect. As a patriarch, Endeavor's failure as a father gradually haunts him as his children’s varying resentment starts to affect their own lives -- especially Shoto’s own aspiring career.
As a mentor, Endeavor's initial desire to train Shoto into a hero who can surpass All Might is shattered by Endeavor automatically inheriting that mantle by default. At the same time, Shoto has since broken away from his father’s expectations and only accepts training under Endeavor for himself, slowly accepting him as a hero while waiting to see how he steps up as a father.
Likewise, Enji realizes he must gain the respect of the public in order to quell unrest, all while following in the footsteps of a universally-loved figure whose personality opposes every aspect of Endeavor’s. In order to become an effective hero who is feared by a looming and fast-approaching threat, he must gain the favor of his family, his fellow heroes and the people of Japan. The pressure of satisfying others' needs and his own desires for reform is a huge demand and shift for Endeavor to undergo all at once. This is when Hawks’ involvement in his life becomes not only lucky, but necessary for his character development.
Like many of MHA's main characters, Hawks, aka Keigo Takami, is no exception to having a traumatic past. Born with a unique and powerful Quirk, Hawks was alienated, abused and trained harshly from a young age, bearing a striking similarity to the youngest Todoroki’s upbringing. He lost his childhood and most of his young adult years to his father and the Hero Public Safety Commission.
In times of fear and uncertainty, many children such as Midoriya, Bakugo and even Shoto looked up to All Might to be their drive and motivation. As a child and young adult, Hawks idolized Endeavor for his resilience despite being overshadowed by All Might all those years. When Hawks is put in a new league of expectations alongside Endeavor, he takes the opportunity to extend his insight -- an antithesis to All Might and Deku’s relationship. Although it starts as mostly one-sided interactions, Endeavor and Hawks eventually grow into a mutual understanding and trust.