One of My Hero Academia’s Strongest Heroes Has Returned, And It Changes Everything

The following contains spoilers for the My Hero Academia manga, available in English via Viz Media.


Summary

  • Bakugo’s goal to become a hero even greater than All Might remains unchanged, and his controversial personality has led him to develop his own unique brand of heroism.
  • After being killed by Tomura Shigaraki, Bakugo’s resilience and determination helped other Pro Heroes resuscitate him.
  • Bakugo’s revival and role in saving All Might boosts the heroes’ morale moving forward, and it potentially signals a shift in the tides in their war against All For One and Shigaraki.

Although My Hero Academia’s final arc has been ongoing for more than a year, author Horikoshi Kohei continues to prove that he has more than enough character arcs to conclude and story beats that need addressing to keep the superhero shonen saga as exciting as ever. Bakugo Katsuki has returned, quite literally from the dead, to steal the spotlight once more. His goal — to become a hero even greater than All Might — is unchanged, and his personality, while controversial, has ended up creating a unique brand of heroism for Bakugo. Luckily, it is just what the heroes need at this critical moment.

As favored among the fandom as the My Hero Academia popularity polls indicate he is, Bakugo’s in-universe public perception leans more negative. His involvement with the Sludge Villain attack, the Kamino Incident, and his show of anger at the UA Sports Festival have earned him an unsavory reputation. Bakugo has acknowledged his past toxicity and already apologized to Deku in private, but his current battle with All For One is an opportunity to reintroduce himself to the entire world. His moment has arrived, and Bakugo is using every lesson he’s learned so far to forge a new heroic identity for himself — one that honors All Might, while also being his own.

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How Bakugo Became My Hero Academia’s Symbol of Victory

Age

14 (Beginning of series)

First Appearance

Episode 1

Quirk

Explosion

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Bakugo has undergone one of My Hero Academia’s most dramatic character arcs. He is first introduced as a belligerent bully who, despite sincerely wanting to become a Pro Hero, doesn’t understand the spirit behind the idol that inspired him. An unfortunate side effect of Bakugo’s natural talent and powerful Quirk is that he becomes very arrogant from a young age. The most frequent target of his ire was Midoriya Izuku, who shares the same dream of becoming the greatest hero. The fact that Deku is Quirkless but seems oblivious to his major setback angers Bakugo all the more.

Following both aspiring heroes’ admission to UA, Bakugo is forced to confront several shortcomings that he wasn’t even aware he possessed. By comparison, Deku seems to effortlessly succeed. It isn’t until Bakugo learns to decenter himself in his own heroism that he truly begins to progress as a character and becomes a serious contender for the position of Number-One Hero. Bakugo used to believe his strength made everyone else inferior to him, and with that mindset, he could only view Deku’s earnest attempts at extending a helping hand as some form of mockery. Now, instead of merely fighting to prove he is as strong as he believed, Bakugo’s pugnacity is directed towards villains, influenced by the idea that winning every battle that presented itself would translate into more lives saved.

The real turning point for Bakugo happens when the he and Midoriya finally clash after the Kamino Incident and bare their feelings towards each other. After that incident, their relationship began to be repaired. Another result of that battle was that Bakugo finally began to build up his heroic identity.

Even after learning that Deku is in possession of One For All, the Quirk that had aided All Might to become the Symbol of Peace, Bakugo is still determined to surpass Deku. He prevails in that fight through sheer force of will and later reiterates that his goal remains unchanged. Even if Deku is All Might’s chosen successor, Bakugo is going to aim even higher than that ceiling.

How Bakugo Came Back To Life

Edgeshot explaining that Bakugo's own Quirk ressurected him in MHA 405

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Bakugo could borrow One For All’s powers from Deku, like in the Heroes Rising Movie. It would be a great boon in the final battle with All For One.

Bakugo’s contribution to the heroes’ effort to keep Shigaraki contained at UA was so great that the villain judged him to be his greatest threat and immediately tries to neutralize him. He delivers a fatal blow to Bakugo’s chest that tears the young hero’s heart to shreds and instantly kills him. Had it not been for Edgeshot’s timely sacrifice, Bakugo’s death would have been permanent, but even with the ninja hero immediately attempting to replace the destroyed heart, Bakugo was absent from the My Hero Academia storyline for over a year.

Edgeshot knows that saving Bakugo means his own death, but before he passes, the hero manages to reveal the truth of Bakugo’s resurrection. Using his Foldabody Quirk, Edgeshot molded himself to replace Bakugo’s tattered heart and mend the other injuries he had sustained in the battle with Shigaraki. Edgeshot confirmed this when he emerged from the depths of Bakugo’s body, but unforutnately, he states that merely repairing the internal physical injuries won’t be enough to bring Bakugo back to life. The final catalyst had been one of his own beads of explosive sweat that had come into contact with Bakugo’s heart, igniting and giving it the jump start it needed to begin pumping after Edgeshot mended it. Essentially, it is Bakugo’s own determination that brought him back to life. Had he not trained his Quirk extensively in an effort to surpass Deku, it would not have developed to the point where his explosions could travel through his own body.

Bakugo Redeems Himself After The Kamino Incident

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Before the Kamino Incident even began, public opinion of the Pro-Heroes was in the midst of a drastic turn for the worse. For the first time, a villain group had successfully invaded a UA-sanctioned training camp and kidnapped a student. Of course, none of this was Bakugo’s fault, but his unhealthy conception of strength led him to believe that the League captured him because of his own weakness. To make matters worse, All Might’s final battle with All For One occurs as a direct result of Bakugo’s kidnapping. Even after All Might and Deku reassure him that this isn’t the case, Bakugo continues to harbor the belief that he is responsible for ending All Might’s career as a hero.

This erroneous notion only makes Bakugo’s dramatic return to the manga all the more significant. Before he intervenes, All For One is all set to complete what he couldn’t achieve at Kamino — killing All Might in front of a global audience. Had he succeeded, he would have dealt a deadly blow to the morale of the surviving heroes and the world at large. Bakugo arrives just in the nick of time to save All Might from his arch-nemesis, once again proving that even though he doesn’t possess One For All, neither All For One nor Shigaraki could afford to ignore him.

Bakugo’s rescue is a full circle moment not only for his perception of himself, but for the world’s view of him as well. He undoubtedly views this moment as one of redemption for his “weakness” during the Kamino Incident, but it also serves as his heroic reintroduction to the world.

While he was formerly known as the student that was involved with the Sludge Villain or the UA Sports Festival winner that had to be restrained to his podium, the globe now recognizes Bakugo as All Might’s savior. For good measure, his return seems to herald a shifting wind to the heroes’ side, which will only boost public opinion of Bakugo post-war.

How Bakugo’s Return Affects My Hero Academia’s Final War

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The most obvious effect of Bakugo’s revival and rescue of All Might is the boost in morale for the heroes. Previously, it seemed all they could do was delay All For One’s inevitable victory, but with Bakugo’s help, the Pro-Heroes chances of winning just rose astronomically. Not only can Bakugo fight on equal terms with titans like Shigaraki and All For One, but he’s also the only character that has shown some adeptness at reading Shigaraki’s moves with the villain currently on-par with All Might’s peak physical abilities.

Bakugo’s return finally allows the heroes to fight on equal footing with the twin-fold threat of All For One and Shigaraki. Previously, the heroes’ main objective had been to prevent these two characters from encountering each other at all, but All For One has proven too powerful to restrain. Having made it to UA, the only serious obstacle remaining in All For One’s way was Midoriya Izuku, who already had his hands full dealing with Shigaraki. By confronting All For One, Bakugo frees Midoriya up to focus solely on his opponents.

My Hero Academia Anime Poster

My Hero Academia

A superhero-admiring boy without any powers enrolls in a prestigious hero academy and learns what it really means to be a hero.

Cast
Daiki Yamashita , Justin Briner , Nobuhiko Okamoto , Ayane Sakura

Rating
TV-14

Seasons
6

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