Image source: 僕のヒーローアカデミア_アニメ公式 on Twitter

Now that we’re well into the nitty-gritty of My Hero Academia Season 2, one question keeps gnawing at the back of my head, “Will Katsuki “Kacchan” Bakugō (the main rival of the protagonists, Izuku “Deku” Midoriya) make a character reversal?” After all, Bakugō’s actions and dialog give the impression he less suited to be a hero and more suited to be a villain. But, when examining Bakugō closely, the conclusion I keep coming to is a definitive no.

The world of My Hero Academia is filled with super-powered humans. This has resulted in a hero industry being born to combat those who would use their powers for villainy. And, like in all industries, trade schools exist to help up-and-coming heroes train for their career. The most famous school and the setting for My Hero Academia Season 2 is U.A. High School.

While Bakugō is a student at U.A. High School, how he is depicted leads us to believe will become a villain. To start, he is more self-serving than anything else. Consider, whenever Bakugō is on screen, he becomes the center of attention—not just in the physical sense, but also in a narrative sense. In the first few episodes of My Hero Academia Season 2, Bakugō can be seen telling other characters to get out of his way and more recently, that he’s going to “Kill all of them first.” Listening to this kind of dialog doesn’t induce feelings of sympathy towards Bakugō, but instead makes us question his motivations to become a hero.

Bakugō’s motivations are quite simple too: become the best hero ever. But, that mission is fueled by a superiority complex more than anything else. So, when other characters begin to block his path, it pushes Bakugō to express anger and lash out at those around him with his word.

Image source: 僕のヒーローアカデミア_アニメ公式 on Twitter

However, dialog is only one aspect of Bakugō’s character that makes us question his motivations. While it’s difficult to pinpoint one exact instant, Bakugō consistently acts in his own best interests first before thinking about those around him. Neither his dialog nor actions give me the impression Bakugō is really hero material, and this forces me to think about the ramifications of his actions and words throughout the series.

Yet, even though Bakugō appears to learn toward villainy, he probably won’t fall. As much as Bakugō comes across as a self-centered villainous character, from a writing perspective, this is actually a method of making his character stand out. In fact, there is a term for this in Japanese, kyara wo tateru (literally “make your character stand”). With Bakugō, if he didn’t have those negative qualities about him—his braggadocios nature and massive ego—his character would just be a boring and kind of annoying prodigy.

Couple that with the struggle of the Midoriya, this would have made for an uninteresting dynamic between the two characters. Thus, by making Bakugō almost villainous, to the point we, as viewers, wonder if he will make a character reversal, keeps us rooting for Deku throughout the series.

Bakugō from My Hero Academia Season 2 is certainly a “bad guy” character, but this aspect of his personality was carefully crafted during the pre-production of the series, as stated by the author of the manga series, Kohei Horikoshi. And it was done remarkably well because it keeps us wondering if he will make a character reversal somewhere in the series.

But, as I stated above, the appearance of making a character reversal and actually going through with it are two wholly different subjects. So, as it stands now, while Bakugō’s personality lends to him becoming a villain, in actuality it’s actually part of a method to make him stand out as one of the prominent characters of My Hero Academia Season 2.

My Hero Academia is currently streaming on FUNimation, Crunchyroll, and Hulu.

Comments (1)
  1. We know that he has that ego, anger issue attitude all the time but thats his charm. I don’t hate him at all except maybe in the beginning when he was childhood friends with Deku and he was a bully..but he changed a little bit when he got beaten from the battle exam. He doesn’t turn into a villain. He won’t be a “Sasuke” clone and leave the school. Just read the manga and you will find out.

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