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Midoriya’s Growth in My Hero Academia

Wow, I cannot believe that it has been four years and some change since the anime adaptation of Boku no Hero Academia, or My Hero Academia, was released! I remember the young boy at the beginning that moved me to tears with his head banging on his desk due to a lack of a Quirk, which basically defined everyone’s worth in that world. Izuku Midoriya is by far no longer the weenie everyone pegged him for (present company included). There are a lot of things to unpack about the metamorphosis of the decade. Without further ado, let’s get to it.


Season 1

The beginning of this season began with a Quirk-less Izuku. His aspiration was to follow after his favorite hero, All Might’s footsteps and become a great hero. After being attacked by a villain, a chance encounter with All Might was supposed to be all of Izuku’s wishes coming into fruition. The confident-less, passive Izuku is disheartened by All Might’s words about reality that try to dissuade him from pursuing heroism, due to the danger of not having a Quirk has. When Bakugo is attacked by a slime monster, Izuku’s body moves without hesitation into the line of fire, or in this case, goop. Anybody else would have continued to be paralyzed with fear or would have gooped their pants.


Fast forward, All Might was inspired by Izuku’s passion for saving others without worrying about the consequences to himself and One for All was distributed to All Might’s new successor via a seriously unhygienic method. Izuku finally had a Quirk! This was one of those climactic moments in his life, which I am sure I was not the only one in tears for our boy.


Ten months later of intense physical training enabled Izuku to get into his dream school: U. A. High School. Towards the end of the season, an attack by the League of Villains allows Izuku’s Quirk to develop more while continuing his streak of shattering multiple bones in his body. Recovery Girl was the MVP for using her Quirk to stimulate healing in Izuku every five seconds.

(Source: Bones Studio and Funimation)


Season 2

The timid, reserved, wallflower really got to show off his hard work in this next segment. While in class all these years, he had compiled a sort of index on as many Quirks of famous heroes and classmates as he had access to. As a result, Izuku’s knack for battle planning and strategizing is unmatched and is established as one of his shining qualities in the coming obstacles. The Sports Festival is also the perfect time for Izuku to show the world that hope will remain long after All Might’s inevitable retirement.


After some team exercises, Izuku is allowed to progress with his rivals Todoroki and Bakugo, among the rest of Class A to the battle portions. Izuku’s overwhelming will enabled him to triumph over Shinso’s brainwashing Quirk and secures a victory that then pits him against Todoroki. The two best boys dish it out later on; Todoroki had informed Izuku that he would use his fire powers from his father if he was serious and in their match, Izuku attempts to make Todoroki have to fight with all his might. While this was crazy for both fighters to go all out, Izuku helped Todoroki overcome his inner turmoil regarding his father’s powers. Even though he lost, he won the camaraderie and recognition from his classmates (and most importantly, audience) for being a true friend.


Izuku no longer destroyed full limbs by this point, by the way, because he learned to concentrate some power into single digits, thus preventing catastrophic damage everywhere. Color me impressed by his ingenuity and rapid handle on his newfound Quirk. The end of the festival did not conclude with the winner we were all hoping for but at the same time, it was humbling for everyone. Room for improvement never stops, which brings Izuku to his next challenge. For an old man, he is still pretty springy (also maybe he should change his hero name from Gran Torino to Soaring Hero because his name is Sorahiko!)


The whole time, Izuku has been able to get through to tough people with his wits and devised the best strategies to quickly solve issues. However, the one person he never reasoned with so far was Bakugo. In their mock battle with All Might, the boys had to work together but that proved to be one of Izuku’s greatest challenges. He should have gotten an award right there for his perseverance and patience to try to motivate Bakugo to adopt a different strategy against the greatest hero of all time.

(Source: Bones Studio and Funimation)


Season 3

One of the most exciting fights took place this season. At the training camp, Izuku and the gang meet Kota and The Pussycats. After some training has gone down, the students are ambushed. Muscular finds Kota at his secret hideout but Midoriya intervenes. Things were looking bleak for Izuku. It was especially gut-wrenching to see Muscular beat the pulp out of our young hero and barely looked scathed from Izuku’s puny attacks, which paled in comparison to Muscular’s swole power. However, Izuku persevered. He kept getting up! The gumption this young man had continued to amaze me. Even after launching a Delaware Detroit Smash with 1,000,000% of his power concentrated into his right fist, Izuku used his legs to launch him and Kota through the forest to find Bakugo.


After seeing Aizawa Sensei, Midoriya immediately relinquishes his save to him and gets in contact with one of The Pussycats to telepathically relay the information regarding Bakugo being the target to everyone. Tokoyami’s shadow loses control and Midoriya quickly devises a plan that enables the shadow to be driven towards Bakugo and an elaborate combination of Asui and Uraraka’s Quirks propel him, Todoroki and Shoji to Mr. Compress in the air, in an attempt to save the captured Tokoyami and Bakugo. It does not quite work out as planned but Midoriya cannot rest until Bakugo is brought back home safely.

(Source: Bones Studio and Funimation)


Season 4

Now we get to the recent development of our young hero. At this point, Hero-Work Studies are underway and with Mirio’s tutelage, Midoriya applies to work at Sir Nighteye’s agency. Sir Nighteye doubts Midoriya’s ability to handle One for All and challenges him to a sparring match. Nighteye’s Quick Foresight enables him to easily outmaneuver Midoriya’s moves and reveals the prophecy he had of All Might’s doom.


Mirio and Midoriya patrol for Overhaul and encounter him with Eri. The two tried to reason with Overhaul as to why Eri yearned to get away from him but unknowingly jeopardize their lives. Eri realizes the heroes were about to be slaughtered and convinces Overhaul to leave them be. Izuku then wracks up the nerve to confront All Might and asked him to unload everything that was being kept from him, including the fact that Mirio was a top contender for All Might’s powers.

(Source: Bones Studio and Funimation)


After a collective meeting with some of the other agencies, Sir Nighteye confirms the hideout Overhaul was said to be and the heroes immediately raid the headquarters swarming with seemingly weak thugs. One of the henchmen’s Quirk is particularly hard to navigate, as it cordons the headquarters into different sanctions that kept changing. After Mirio saves Eri, he was shot with the Quirk-Destroying bullet that he protected Eri from. Luckily, Midoriya arrived on the scene.


The brawl quickly becomes one-sided, favoring Overhaul. Sir Nighteye instructs Midoriya to escape with Mirio and Eri but predicts his and Izuku’s death. Instead of panicking or freezing up, Izuku remains cool. He continues to push on and once the others are safe, he rejoins Sir Nighteye.

The real battle begins. Eri steels herself to fight for her own freedom and when she holds onto Izuku, he capitalizes on her Rewind Quirk. He unleashes a fury of One For All at the full 100%, breaking all his bones each time, only to be rewound by the clinging Eri to the point prior to momentous damage.


Sir Nighteye is as stunned as the rest of us viewers when he defies fate and not only pushes through what can only be excruciating pain but overcomes Overhaul’s immense powers. It took going full Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure style but after several flurries of One for All unleashed, Overhaul is finally defeated!


Sir Nighteye’s demise put a damper on all the celebratory fireworks. However, before he passed, he not only affirmed his pride for Mirio, patched up his relationship with All Might, but most importantly accepts Deku as the future Symbol of Peace.


(Source: Bones Studio and Funimation)


In addition to the visible developments in Izuku’s physical abilities, the subtle change in name as our young hero discovered his identity should be mentioned. First, his original, full name was introduced as Izuku Midoriya, which I thought was lazy from the creator for calling him naming him after the color green in correspondence with his iconic hair.


Then, it was revealed that Bakugo called him Deku when they were kids and even now; the brash, volatile tone he used to call Midoriya connoted an insult. Deku means “puppet” or “useless person,” which probably was due to our young hero’s lack of a Quirk at the beginning. However, there is another meaning that Deku has, which is “can do”. This oxymoron of identity was confusing to grasp but now that Midoriya has adapted this to be his Hero name, I believe that his maturity has signified the coming to terms of his identity. Another reason to like Deku for not letting anyone dictate who he should be.

For more information regarding the name “Deku”, be sure to check out:

https://linguaholic.com/linguablog/meaning-deku-japanese/


I am sure many members in the anime community may doubt Izuku’s genuine hunger for knowledge and eagerness to protect others in the face of danger. Only in SHounen anime is this possible- getting up after being knocked down so severely in at least 75% of the show. Izuku is well received for tons of reasons. His determination to protect the ones he knows or may not even know too well is one of his best traits. Not only that but his tendency to dive into danger helps positively drive others to action. He may be weaker than lots of villains and characters but the lack of experience he has with his recoil-dealing Quirk has pushed him to work harder than anyone else in mastering their Quirk. Don’t sleep on Izuku because he continuously surprises us all.


The movie, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising is definitely worth the anticipation. Even though it is not canon with the animated series, fans are sure to be beyond satisfied. An imminent collaboration with Bakugo is hinted in the trailer and there are so many possibilities for the future to come from this.

Are you as excited about the movie as we are? Let us know in the comments your thoughts about Midoriya’s journey of becoming Deku.


Plus Ultra!

(Source: My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising)