A new article by CBR has questioned the partnership between the My Hero Academia villains La Brava and Gentle Criminal, asserting that the relationship between the two is based on codependency, rather than a familial bond.

Appearing in the U.A. School Festival Arc, La Brava and Gentle Criminal are introduced as partners in crime, with Gentle Criminal committing the actual crimes while La Brava films the acts and uploads them to the internet.

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Gentle Criminal, aka Danjuro Tobita, originally wished to be a hero, but after accidentally preventing a hero from rescuing a civilian due to an attempt at heroism, was shunned from the world and eventually turned to crime in order to fight against the fate he was dealt.

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La Brava, aka Manami Aiba, was a suicidal, depressed teenage shut-in who found inspiration in Gentle Criminal’s video and message of changing the world, seeking out the popular internet criminal and offering her assistance as his sidekick. Ever since, the two have been inseparable, with La Brava’s “Love” quirk even offering a power-up to Gentle Criminal due to her love for him.

In CBR’s article, titled “My Hero Academia: Is La Brava & Gentle Criminal’s Relationship Unhealthy?”, author Anthony Gramuglia asks, “is this love… healthy” and questions whether “the two of them too dependent on one another.”

After a quick summation of their respective histories in the series, Gramuglia  asserts that the “found family” type relationship between the two characters is “toxic and overly dependent” due to the fact that “we don’t know how the two of them function when apart from one another.” He also takes a swipe at La Brava’s design because she “looks about 10-years-old.”

“Gentle Criminal and La Brava’s love for one another is clearly not romantic or sexual, ruling out any creepy implications arising from an older man living with a much younger woman (… one who also looks about 10-years-old, to boot). They are strictly partners-in-crime, though Gentle Criminal doesn’t actually want La Brava to suffer the consequences of aligning herself with a criminal like himself. The best description for La Brava and Gentle Criminal’s relationship is that they are each other’s found family.

But do Gentle Criminal and La Brava have a close, familial relationship with one another, or is it toxic and overly dependent? Since they came into each other’s lives, we don’t know how the two of them function when apart from one another but now that Gentle has turned himself in, we’ll probably get an answer to this question sooner rather than later. And therein lies the problem: Given how, without one another, they both fell into profound depressions, we could see both of them regress back to these states when separated.”

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However, Gramuglia’s argument has a significant flaw: Gentle Criminal and La Brava were not depressed because they were without each other. Rather, the two were depressed because of their independent life situations and only found the strength to lift themselves up in each other. While the bond between the two is evidently very strong, and a separation would cause a large amount of grief and sadness, there is nothing to suggest that one of them would be thrown into a suicidal depression if this were to occur.

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Gramuglia concludes his thoughts by hoping that “the two will reform in some way” and become “better people.”

“What we hope to see is that the two of them will be able to find some semblance of stability without one another and grow to become stronger individuals. In a best-case scenario — and very likely scenario given how this series functions — the two will reform in some way, since neither Gentle or La Brava are even remotely evil characters. The series often reflects on taking characters who are broken or hurt and raising them up to be better people.”

What do you make of Gramuglia’s opinions on La Brava and Gentle Criminal’s relationship?