My Hero Academia: Comparing Izuku and Katsuki’s Fight During the Battle Trial with the Manga

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'First Published on Manga. Tokyo'

Hello, this is momijimori, and I love My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia). Of course I am watching the anime, but as a fan of Weekly Shonen Jump, I am reading the manga too. In my last article, I talked about the fight between Midoriya and Todoroki and the differences between the anime and the manga. This time I want to jump back to the first season and look at the fight between the main character Izuku Midoriya and his childhood friend, Katsuki Bakugo. I will look at the differences between the fight in the manga and Episode 7 of the first season of the My Hero Academia anime.

Spoiler Alert
This article will contain spoilers up to Episode 25 and Chapter 44 of My Hero Academia.
There are no spoilers of the manga chapters that are ahead of the anime.

Deku vs Kacchan

In the recently-aired U.A. Sports Festival Arc, the winner of the First Year Stage was Midoriya’s childhood friend and current rival, Katsuki Bakugo. In the tournament, he fought against Ochako Uraraka, Eijiro Kirishima, Fumikage Tokoyami, and Shoto Todoroki. Bakugo showed no weakness against his opponents and he calmly analyzed their Quirks in order to defeat them. Although he did not seem satisfied at the end, he was able to use his Quirk and fighting abilities in a more efficient way than anyone else, so it is no surprise that he came out on top.

Bakugo is a major character in My Hero Academia. He made his first appearance all the way back in Episode 1. However, it is noticeable that his attitude and fighting methods in the recent episodes are quite different compared to the beginning. So, where was his turning point? We can easily assume that it was when he fought against Midoriya in the Indoor Battle Trial. Up until that point, Bakugo had always thought that Midoriya was much weaker than he is. Nevertheless, Bakugo lost against him in this battle. From that moment on, Bakugo’s way of thinking completely changed.

Today, I would like to look back on the anime’s Episode 7, ‘Deku vs Kacchan’, and point out some interesting things. This episode is based on chapters 8-10 of the manga. Because Bakugo is a character with an extreme personality, I’m sure there are many people who are not huge fans. Nevertheless, I happen to like him very much.

Removal of Some Lines in the Manga

When you watch Episode 7 and compare it to the manga, you may realize that some of the lines, compositions, and the order of scenes are different. Of course it is a matter of taste, but I personally believe that some changes were effective, but some of them were a little awkward.

Let’s start out with the changed that didn’t work that well.

In the original manga, when Midoriya and Bakugo are about to punch each other at the end of their battle, Midoriya says, ‘I want to win, and surpass you, you idiot!’ and Bakugo responds, ‘Don’t look at me like that, you damn nerd!’ Right after this, there is a scene in which the other students who are watching them appear, and Kirishima comments with, ‘Man, Bakugo really won’t let it go, huh?’ However, this line was removed in the anime.

In the manga, this line came a few pages after Kirishima’s comment, ‘Although it’s not very manly, he doesn’t have a choice. But something’s strange. Why…?’ which he said when he saw Midoriya running away from Bakugo. Although Midoriya was the one who was damaged more, Bakugo seemed afraid of losing, and Kirishima was pointing out how strange this was. Therefore, we can tell that Kirishima’s comment was towards Bakugo’s attitude.

However, in the anime, there is the line ‘But something’s strange. Why…?’ but the later line which points out Bakugo’s strange attitude was not included. Because of this change, it seems like Kirishima was asking why Midoriya ran away from Bakugo. It sounded like a comment towards Midoriya’s action, rather than Bakugo’s attitude. For the manga readers who already knew about this scene, it may not have seemed so unnatural, but I’m sure the scene caused a misunderstanding to the anime viewers.

Bakugo’s Facial Expressions and Transition of Feelings

In the anime, after Midoriya and Bakugo made their last punch, Midoriya says, ‘I want going to use it… Because I can’t use it… Because my body can’t handle the impact… This is all … I could think of.’ During this line, Bakugo’s face appears in the scene twice. In the manga, Bakugo’s face is not illustrated in this scene. Personally, I think this was one of the best changes that were made for the anime episode.

As the clouds of dust begin to disappear, Bakugo looks at Midoriya, who had perfectly read and dodged Bakugo’s moves. Although he had been very angry, Bakugo gradually calms down. As he listens to Midoriya’s words, he starts to understand that Midoriya chose to win as a team rather than to win the battle against Bakugo as an individual. It was at this moment that Bakugo truly realized he had lost against Midoriya. I strongly believe that Bakugo’s facial expressions in the anime clearly showed the transition in his feelings. It was a fabulous scene.

For all this time, Bakugo had looked down on Midoriya. On the other hand, Midoriya had always believed that he would never be able to defeat Bakugo. However, for the first time, Midoriya stops thinking that Bakugo is undefeatable, and he tries his best to win in the battle. I truly believe that the difference in the strength of their beliefs was the key element in the match result. The relationship between these two characters after their battle is one of the most interesting factors in the story.

Observations about Katsuki Bakugo

During the U.A. Sports Festival Arc in the anime’s second season, Bakugo continues to claim that he will be No.1 from beginning to end. From when he was little, Bakugo was so proud of himself that he could say his thoughts and ideals to other people without feeling hesitation. However, I believe that the word ‘Number 1′ has a different meaning to him after he lost the battle against Midoriya.

Because Bakugo is so talented and has a very strong Quirk, he can do everything better than others. Therefore, it was normal for him to be No.1. However, after he was defeated by Midoriya, the boy who he had always made fun of, Bakugo realized that to be No.1 he must work hard, be serious, and finally understand what being a hero is all about.

During the final match in the U.A. Sports Festival, Bakugo gets angry at Todoroki for not using his fire power. This anger is proof of his sincerity towards the battle. Because Bakugo was very serious about the match more than anyone, he wanted his opponent to show the same attitude as he did. That is why he was very annoyed by Todoroki’s actions. Although Bakugo shows a bad attitude on many occasions, his desire to become a superhero is as strong as Midoriya and the other students’.

When reading manga or watching anime, you can interpret the story from a whole new perspective if you become a fan of a certain character. This is because you can understand their feelings and empathize with them. Once you start to interpret the story from various perspectives and enjoy this process in your own unique way, you are a ‘huge fan’ of that manga!