Brainwashing allows Hitoshi to put his target in a state where they are forced to obey all of his commands. In order to activate his power, he needs his target to verbally respond to something he says. Brainwashing needs to be willingly activated by Hitoshi, who can otherwise hold normal conversations with other people without brainwashing them.
It is shown that he can have more than one person under his control at once, but he can only activate his power on one person at a time, as brainwashing multiple targets simultaneously is beyond Hitoshi's capabilities. He also needs to concentrate on his desired target in order to activate his Quirk.
Victims feel dazed while under they effects, like their brain is full of fog, but will remain largely aware of their current state of being brainwashed, despite looking completely spaced out and their eyes turning milky white. The victims body will move on its own in accordance with Hitoshi's commands, essentially rendering them caged in their own bodies and feeling helpless all the time until the brainwashing effect is broken.
Hitoshi is unable to have his brainwashed targets perform orders that require complex brain activity, such as talking or thinking, meaning he cannot make them write down information from their memory. He must keep his commands simple for them to be followed.
The brainwashing effect requires the target to answer to take place, therefore, as long as the target remains silent, this Quirk will not have any effect on them. It is also possible to escape the mind control if the victim is hit by a sufficiently strong physical jolt or through a similar amount of pain. Mashirao Ojiro was able to regain his senses by receiving a bump to the shoulder during the Cavalry Battle.
Using electronic devices, such as a megaphone, to transmit or enhance Hitoshi's voice will make the Quirk lose its effect because it converts his voice into an electric signal.
Brainwashing is an incredibly powerful and extremely useful ability. In battle, while it lacks any kind of direct offensive or defensive capabilities, it can be used to win a fight quickly and easily. By brainwashing an opponent, Hitoshi can make them obey any order he gives them, meaning he can command them to do something that would cause them to lose the fight. For example, during the Sports Festival finals, Hitoshi brainwashed Izuku and ordered him to turn around and walk out of bounds. Furthermore, without receiving any orders from Hitoshi, the victim will remain completely motionless, giving him the opportunity to attack or restrain them.
Brainwashing is most effective when used as a first strike, preferably if the opponent doesn't know about the Quirk's activation conditions beforehand. As such, Hitoshi casually strikes up a conversation with an unsuspecting target, taking control of them the moment they reply to him. Even if the foe is somehow already aware of the brainwashing activation process, Hitoshi is still capable of taunting them or relying on some other form of trickery to get them to respond.
Brainwashing can also be used for support; by brainwashing people, Hitoshi can force them to help him. When Shoto Todoroki froze the trail during the Obstacle Race, he brainwashed a group of other students to carry him over the ice. He also took control of three Hero students so that they would be his team for the Cavalry Battle.
At some time before the Joint Training Arc, Hitoshi received a new piece of equipment: Artificial Vocal Cords, a mask-like device that allows Hitoshi to alter the tone of his voice through non-electronic mechanisms. Through this item, Hitoshi can easily trick opponents into submission, pretending to be someone else through vocal mimicry.
People that have been brainwashed by Hitoshi include:
- Unnamed students in Obstacle Race
- Mashirao Ojiro (cavalry battle)
- Yuga Aoyama (cavalry battle)
- Nirengeki Shoda (cavalry battle)
- Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu (cavalry battle)
- Izuku Midoriya (tournament, joint training)
- Jurota Shishida (joint training)
- Ibara Shiozaki (joint training)
Despite its tremendous potential, Hitoshi has always thought of his Quirk as troublesome. Due to its nature, it wasn't effective against the Villain Bots of the U.A. Entrance Exam, meaning that Hitoshi had little chance of passing the test. Its conditions and effects also made people wary of Hitoshi, as they believed Brainwashing suited someone with a villainous personality. Though, after seeing it in action at the Sports Festival, many Pro Heroes wishes they had a Quirk like Brainwashing, and they looked down on U.A. for letting such potential slip through the cracks.
Named Super Moves
- Brainwashing - Wikipedia article about the concept Hitoshi's Quirk revolves around.