You know, there’s an awakening that every baby weeb went through when they started watching anime more seriously back in the 2000s. This was the era of Shonen anime, with a plucky protagonist, their group of friends/reluctant teammates, and, of course, a rival to shake things up now and then. And, if you were anything like me, you instantly gravitated toward the rival, who is meant to be the antithesis of the main character. And recently, no one embodies that trope better than Bakugo.
Bakugo Katsuki seems to be in a perpetual state of anger, but it’s not because he constantly has to compete with Izuku Midoriya. There is actual logical reasoning behind it. His powers involve being able to secrete Nitroglycerin, which is how he uses his ‘Explosion’ Quirk. Nitroglycerin is also known as a vasodilator, which means it can slow your heart rate down considerably if you aren’t careful. So maybe, all the stress and anger Bakugo feels, it’s just his body making sure his heart doesn’t go into shutdown mode.
Which, well, I honestly didn’t expect legit and somewhat sound medical reasoning behind superpower biology in a manga like My Hero Academia, but it’s cool if true. The level of attention and detail that would require to introduce something like this into the lore is pretty commendable, especially for a high-paced Shonen like this. And it adds so much more to the plot itself, making you go back and see if there are more hidden mechanisms or easter eggs that you missed out on.
And, hey, who doesn’t love a good rivalry in anime? The fact that Bakugo’s reactions are more than just psychological, is a really interesting way of fleshing out his character and later dynamics with the rest of the crew in My Hero Academia. This is why today, we’ll be taking a closer look at him in Character Analysis – where we dissect your favorite characters and see what makes them tic. Today, it’s Kacchan himself!
Bakugo Katsuki: More Than Just Petty Competition!
You know, with a Hero name like ‘Great Explosion Murder God Dynamight’, you pretty much know what kind of character you’re getting yourself into. Bakugo is more than just passively angry most of the time. He’s aggressive 24/7 like gasoline just itching to be lit and burn everything in sight.
When we first meet him, he is little more than a bully to Quirkless Midoriya. After all, with how strong Bakugo’s Quirk is, he’s a shoo-in for a dream that Midoriya could never have a chance at; to become a Pro-Hero studying at UA Academy. So, when All Might appears and grants Midoriya a miracle by having him inherit his Quirk, One-For-All? Suddenly, the dynamic shifts. Midoriya, now Deku, is on equal ground with Bakugo.
Already, Bakugo is way too hot-headed. His body seems to be overcompensating so it doesn’t go into Bradycardia, thanks to all that Nitroglycerin. Now, Bakugo has competition with a person he thought so lowly of. He’s constantly coasted by on his sheer power alone, and now he has to prove himself whilst working together with a person he despises. When you add more stressors to a hypertensive person’s life, well, it doesn’t bode well for them. Hence, the surly attitude and constant butting heads we have to see in My Hero Academia.
How Bakugo’s Temperament Mellows Out As He Matures:
When you think of rivalries in anime, your mind immediately goes to the likes of Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto Shippuden. You have the always positive and kind hero, and then you have his ‘evil’ counterpart.
And that’s kind of the vibe with Bakugo and Deku as well. I know this makes Bakugo sound extremely one-note, but he is more complex than that. His arrogance was his most prevalent trait, but that comes with the territory of being constantly praised. His standards were set so high that when Midoriya defeated him during the Battle Trial arc, he had a major breakdown.
However, that allowed for some introspection. It helped him to realize that not only is he not the strongest, but that he never has been. In later chapters, we see him slowly grow out of his superiority complex. He is still pretty hostile, but he isn’t looking down at people anymore.