「爆豪勝己:オリジン」 (Bakugou Katsuki: Orijin)
“Bakugou Katsuki: Origin”

What you believe in, and how deeply you believe in it, will reveal how you do when the chips are down.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it a hundred times more if the anime gods gift us with more HeroAca seasons, but Bakugou Katsuki isn’t a character many people could do well. His attitude towards others, especially Izuku, is reprehensible, and his goals are skewed, but he never trips over the line into becoming the full-on villain he seems so suited to be, and every time you think he’s lost himseful in his rage, he’s actually testing his opponents and searching for ways to win. He’s a fragile character, one whose rigid adherence to a “win or you’re scum” moral framework makes him a dangerous individual, but he neither does evil nor does he break. I keep expecting it! So much pressure is built up, and he’s ripe for a good defeat to beat some humility into his shitty ass. But he doesn’t.

The reason is not only his power, his mind, and his wicked-sharp wit, but because his whole self-conception is built upon the idea of winning. To him, hero = winning no matter what. That’s what makes him fragile, because he thinks winning = hero, and if you don’t win, you’re nothing—which means one defeat could shatter him, and because it entirely ignores the moral dimensions of why you’re fighting, or for what. But the pressure he puts himself under, to win or his entire self-conception comes crashing down around him (a death of self, of sorts), forces him into a perpetual corner, and he seems to thrive under this angry desperation. Katsuki, as he is now, can never be happy, and he is still a huge threat of turning into a villain. But he keeps winning, even if it means shattering his arms or fighting on far past his ability to affect the outcome. He’s twisted, and often reprehensible—but damn if he isn’t good at what he does.

Izuku, on the other hand, isn’t so concerned about winning. He wants to! He badly wants to be a hero and live up to the trust All Might placed in him, and not failing this test is part of that. But like we saw back in the tournament, winning is not #1 on his mind. When he was facing Shouto, he could have won had he done everything in his power to do so—which would have included holding his tongue and not helping Shouto come to terms with the power he got from his father. But to Izuku, it’s more important to help others. His conception of a hero is not winning. To him, hero = saving others.

That’s why the last moment of the battle was so beautiful, and why I watched it with a wide smile matched by only Izuku himself. Everything else in the episode was the Katsuki show, even him finally admitting that he needed Izuku’s help—or at least resigning himself to using the damn nerd. But the last moment, when Izuku turned back, socked All Might in the cheek, and ran for the exit with Katsuki in tow, shows what Izuku believes. When the chips are down, and when it truly matters, Izuku believes that heroes save people. That’s who he is.

Next week we get to see a villain more concerned with his popularity than whatever it is he’s supposed to be doing. Sad!

Random thoughts:

  • Katsuki’s worldview might be fragile, but a little counter-evidence: for the first half of the episode, Katsuki’s self-identity prevented him from seeing Izuku as anything but the lowest of scum, someone who, were Katsuki to even accept his help, would automatically be a kind of defeat. Yet he ends up using Izuku anyway. Katsuki doesn’t change gracefully, but he can change, and he can so it quickly.
  • I think All Might was having fun playing the villain. Him and the Principal were the only ones that really got into the role. The Principal was still the best, though.
  • Just how much money does UA spend fixing up all their training areas? Cementoss alone can’t do it all. Maybe they can get Momo to help with the windows and such.

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  1. Great insight into the characters there. You have a way of putting into words what I know but can’t put into words. hero = winning vs hero = saving ppl. I loved the little details in this show and this episode. The bit where Bakugo realizes how powerful All Might is by the damage he did with the first attack;The thinking that went into the attacks on All Might where they didn’t damaged new area but areas already damaged;The episode was epic and love the character development. I think this was the point where Bakugo was leaning more to becoming a villian if he didn’t work with Deku as it would have damaged him mentally to lose here as Deku surmised. So much going on. I just don’t want this show to end – its sooooooo good.

    1. Yeah, but sometime these Kids here grow. So let us not hope that this anime here will not become an 2nd Bleach. For that they need to take preparations to avoid “holes” in the Story and timeline

      if you want for this anime not to end, remember at some time nearly all stories are told, and these Kids here can not stay forever 13-15. We need something like Naruto.. But in the end, this could turn out like an deadly sweet curse. Only forced to draw the same stuff over and over again

      1. Well, more like a bunch of stories that continue to new generations…but not like Naruto…anything but like Naruto…way better generational stories to base such a thing on… XD

    2. ” it would have damaged him mentally to lose here ”
      Yeah , I would be mentally damaged too if I was 14 and lost to the greatest hero of all time , how would I forgive my self if I let that happen ?

      1. The fact that All Might was his opponent is not as important to Bakugou as the idea of failing to live up to his own ideals for the umpteenth time.

        Guy was already mentally shook after that first Villain-Hero class after seeing how much better some of the other kids are than him, compared to how he was always considered the best in middle school. It’s just been going downhill from there, so not getting a win would’ve added to that.

        Thanks to Midoriya, he’s managed to pull his head out of his own ass and get a clearer perspective of the better way to win here than needing to actually take down All Might, so it’s all good.

  2. They have their own “Quirk” Builder Heroes. So this Areas are build from them, so in a way they are still paid like normal. So UA is the ones that fix these arenas on their own

  3. Bakugo is an interesting character, and one of the most subtle characters in MHA (Ironic considering his entire motif is explosion). You mentioned that Bakugo is a fragile character, and though I agree to some extent, if he was as fragile as you said he was, he would of completely crumbled back in season 1.
    Ultimately, Izuku and Bakugo are 2 sides of the same coin, kids who saw All Might and became in awe of him, though for very different reasons. Bakugo sees him as the hero who always wins and Izuku sees him as the hero who protects everyone. They are both trying to head for the ideal in their head. We saw how fragile Bakugo’s psyche was this episode, but it is not too difficult to imagine Izuku’s psyche being much different, if he fails to save someone he might crack the same way

    1. also, as Izuku was in fear about fighting All Mighty, an secret nearly slipped out of his mind. It was this scene when Bakugo slapped him on the face…

      I do not think that “live feed” of this Fights are an good solution. Sure for the others to learn something, but for the outside world? “See we have no secrets!”…

    2. Rigid would have been a better way to put it, though that doesn’t entirely hit it either. The point I was trying to make was more of this: Katsuki is rigid where someone like Izuku is flexible. He’s a wall, while Izuku (or Tsuyu-chan is an even better example) is a palm tree that bends in the wind. Normally both are fine, but when the winds come, the palm tree will bend while the wall will crumble.

      (Obviously that’s an oversimplification, but you get the idea.)

      The thing about Katsuki is that his wall is very, very strong. It’ll take strong winds to blow him over. But when those winds come, he will be done, whereas Izuku will go right on bending with that wind, or get the damn hell out of its way. Katsuki, as he is, can’t do that. Mostly.

  4. Of course a bunch of first-years will beat the best heroes in business , all might included , it just makes sense
    I’m actually more impressed by the 2 teams that have failed this test , how the hell did they manage that ? we should keep our eyes on them in the times to come considering how difficult it was not to pass
    Note : I’m disappointed because I love this show otherwise I wouldn’t give a damn

    1. Are they now full flagged Heroes? Or was this more an Test, in how they evolved? The last speach was the real reason of this all

      How they can handle these situations that goes not in their direction? How you handle your emotions? “You can not save everyone”,”Raw Power without Brain is useless!” and so on

      Well, in their really finale battle, they should now their own Limits and “how far they can use their force!” for not killing innocents while fighting?

    2. No student duo had actually managed to truly ‘beat’ a teacher. They passed their tests by either running away or slapping a pair of handcuffs on them, which wouldn’t end things if it were a real fight.

      And don’t forget that this is a test for the student’s benefit–i.e. it should be possible for the students to pass–and that the teachers were given a slight disadvantage with weights that would chip away at their stamina.

    3. To be fair, they were holding back quite a bit, All Might was the most relentless but he was obviously only trying to give the impression of a ruthless villain. Not to mention, all they did was escape. By the skin of their teeth. Although, admittedly, fights such as those of Hagakure vs. Snipe did irritate me quite a bit.

      1. Ectoplasm just sort of randomly summoned clones (except for the big one). You’d think that with his experience if he was really going all out, he’d have a slew of interesting ways to abuse them.

        The principal, given his high intelligence could’ve come up with a much better plan than “I’m gonna smash them from a place where they can’t see me!”

        All Might obviously was wearing those weights and seemed to be trying to teach them a lesson in teamwork.

        It was directly implied that Eraser was holding back on Yaomomo and Todoroki, at the end of the episode.

        The fight with the black-hole teacher (I don’t remember his name) was pretty silly, to be fair.

        The fight with Midnight seemed fine to me as all they did was escape, again.

        I forgot (or didn’t mention) some but these seemed to be the most major ones to me. (and the ones that were actually in the manga)

        So yes, all things considered, plenty of these teachers were holding back more than they promised to.

    4. Wot YK said. They passed the test, but they didn’t beat any of the teachers in a real world sense. If these were serious fights, the kids would have been flattened, no question. I do wish another team or two had lost personally, but it’s a mild irk. These were tests that were designed to be winnable, though a few of the teachers should polish their tactics before B-Gumi gets in there.

      1. My friend , they don’t need to beat the hell out of the teacher to beat them
        this is an objective fight which they will encounter out there in the world , they had a clear objective and the teachers had to prevent them from doing something specific ( think the bomb training from the first season ) which they all ( almost ) failed horribly at , not for the lack of trying though

      2. Never said they had to beat the hell out of them. But taking that, do you think All Might would have lost if his intent was to actually beat the hell out of them, holding nothing back? They would be DEAD, full stop. A battle like the one against Midnight, where Mineta exploited a ton of her unique blindspots (her sadistic side, etc) didn’t feel like she was holding back so much as she got beat. Against Eraserhead? All Might? They were holding back, because to do otherwise would be to destroy his students.

      3. Taking into consideration that the ultimate purpose of the tests is to highlight their weaknesses and for them to learn from it. In that sense they all learnt that lesson in the end even the ones that lost.

      4. @Stilts
        ” do you think All Might would have lost if his intent was to actually beat the hell out of them, holding nothing back? ”
        He did not have to , all he (and the other teachers ) had to do was to prevent them from getting through the gate
        I think I mentioned this earlier

    5. The teachers were obviously holding back. Do you honestly think that if All Might were a villain, he wouldn’t have simply crushed Bakugou’s skull with his hand when he grabbed the kid’s face? And at the end, he would’ve probably made one last push to stop the two boys instead of just standing there watching. Remember that he can still hold out a little longer after the steam that signals his approaching time limit first appears. With his speed and strength, he would have had no issues flattening them before then. Eraserhead chose to overlook Yaoyorozu’s slip-up with the catapult and let himself be captured, when he could’ve easily punished her for that mistake and then dodge whatever attack Todoroki threw at him next. The teachers can all easily kill the students in a matter of seconds even with the weights, they’re further restraining themselves to keep things fair, and if the students show sufficient growth in the right areas will let them win.

      1. Eraserhead chose to overlook Yaoyorozu’s slip-up with the catapult and let himself be captured, when he could’ve easily punished her for that mistake and then dodge whatever attack Todoroki threw at him next.

        While I agree that Eraserhead could have won against Todoroki and Yaoyorozu if he were being absolutely serious, it would have been by employing different tactics at the point he captured Todoroki. At the point where Yaoyorozu missed with the catapult lever, he had no clue how that catapult thing with the strips of cloth in it was supposed to work in capturing/hindering him. For all he knew Yaoyorozu’s “slip-up” was a feint (and the catapult a diversion) to invite Eraserhead to come closer, at which point Todoroki can attack him.

    6. Guys , keep in mind that it was absolutely necessary for Bakugo to lose this one , this could have honestly been the best lesson here ” sometimes you meet an enemy waaaaaay stronger than you , you need to accept that or your stubbornness will get you killed because a villain will not hold back or give a damn about your inner struggles ” , but no , let’s just enforce the bad mentality he has by letting them win , that will teach him more valuable lessons

      1. Hi, everyone. I’ve been away for some time due to some annoying career exams, but I’ve been reading everything here and first of all, great insight into the characters as always Stilts-san. Always love to read your blogs.

        Second, I want to share my 2 cents about this need-to-have-more-loss thing. No, I don’t think it was absolutely necessary for Katsuki to lose this fight. What was necessary, and was achieved in this episode, is his acknowledgement that his power alone is not enough to overcome some obstacles, no matter how powerful he (obsessively) needs to believe he is. Horikoshi-sensei seems to be someone who loves to do things his way, as if he writes his story for himself first, his readers/viewers second. Part of that is doing what benefits his characters more at the moment, rather than make it a process of a long run. As some others said, the teachers aimed to benefit the students more by giving them a hard enough challenge to win in a way that wouldn’t be out of their usual style. In other wards, get them out of their comfort zone. The ones who lost are the ones who either didn’t want, or didn’t have the time to think of this hidden dimension. That doesn’t make all the wins quite believable (Uraraka’s win was cute but otherwise kind of a comedic relief, and Mineta as well), but it makes sense as part of the students growth. If we were worried about how teachers are going way too easy on the students, by that kind of mentality, Izuku shouldn’t have won the obstacle race back in the UA tournament (even though the way he won way very spectacular). But he did… and look what that brought upon him right after. This is the kind of mentality Horikoshi-sensei has.

        TL;DR: Katsuki is an onion. Peeled once at a time. If this peel didn’t appeal to some people, then surely there is a plan for that next.

      2. Ok I understand what you are saying, and you are right that Bakugo’s attitude is unhealthy in some aspects. Bakugo’s character is one where he doesn’t ever want to settle. He feels that he deserves/has the ability to be number 1 and does everything in his power to achieve that. More than losing, though he needs to look past himself and his narrow view.
        And he did, and it was so painful and bitter that he was practically at the verge of tears by the end of it. Bakugo wanted to win against All Might so that he could prove he could stand with the strongest and yet he needed Deku’s the weaklings help. The 2 of them together couldn’t beat him and they were forced to flee. Both of these things are paramount to losing for him, go against everythimg he believes in, yet for the sake of passing he was forced to do so.
        It makes his last line in the episode all the more heartbreaking in retrospect. “I’ve broken myself and twisted myself into knots, i cannot accept not winning after this.” For the sake of this one small victory, Bakugo gad to lose every other “fight”. If he still lost after this, instead of improving, he probably would have cracked and gave up completely, because everything we did and gave up would be useless and he would need to accept that

      3. @TFL
        ” He feels that he deserves/has the ability to be number 1 and does everything in his power to achieve that ” that is how you go rogue

        “More than losing, though he needs to look past himself and his narrow view.” that happens through losing , nothing tells you that it is not about you , it’s about other people more than being utterly powerless , stripped from everything you take pride in . this is prime character development, you can see this in the case of ( Jaime Lannister and Tony Stark ) two characters that went from being completely vile to better than the other good guys through incidents like these
        If this guy keeps winning , no matter what he gives up to get there , he will never be a true hero
        and no , getting help from his fellows in order to win is not the wake up call that will change this type of a person

      4. Yes, TFL said exactly what I wanted to add next. When you really think about it, Katsuki kind of “lost” every fight he’s been in since episode 1. It’s as if Horikoshi-sensei created him for the sole reason of bringing the bane on his pride, and it works for him because, like with other up and coming heroes in MHA, it makes him realize that there is more to the whole thing than he can contribute with what he has and who he is, which doesn’t necessarily happen through losing. I mean look at Monoma, that quirk copycat from class 1-B with a grudge against class 1-A. Has he ever grown over his grudge ever since he spectacularly lost against Katsuki and realized what he was lacking?

      5. @yoloalchemist
        analogy doesn’t hold , Monoma wanted to win at a sports tournament , he is mean spirited a bit ( most kids are ) but otherwise he is a totally fine kid with no delusions of being the next all might
        Bakugo is an egotistical maniac with a twisted personality who thinks he MUST be better than everyone else and has never lost a straight fight up until now

      6. @Urahara
        “Straight” is just the word. That’s his problem. No fight he’s ever had so far that he really cared about was straight. You’re right. He is an egotistical maniac with a twisted personality who thinks he must be better than everyone else, but it’s exactly because of that that each “loss” he’s had so far added more to his character. The fire was started by Izuku in that hero-villain training battle, given fuel by the grand power of Shoto, and now got even bigger by realizing what an insurmountable wall All Might is for him to beat on his own. Sooner or later, he’ll come to realize just how much trivial his “straight up number one” mindset is when it comes to being a real hero.

      7. I do think that Katsuki wouldn’t respond well to outright losing at this point, but by having to bend his ridiculous ideals in order to win, he’s changing bit by bit till he (hopefully) reaches a point where he can accept a lost without it destroying his sense of self.

      8. It’s still a great show and we love it
        but would it kill us to admit this arc could have been way better ? the arguments here are very unrealistic , why go to such great lengths to defend something that not only happened with bakugo but with almost every other student ?

  5. I know that Japan doesn’t care about spoilers as the majority of watchers down there are manga readers as well, but I have no idea who thought that revealing the meeting in the preview would remotely be a good idea.
    I wish you had never seen that, seeing them meet was seriously a transcendent, unexpected, legendary moment in the manga and it was the chapter cliffhanger, still ranks as one of the best moments in the series and knowing that’s what occurs kind of takes something out of it in my opinion (as well as in the opinions of most manga readers comments I’ve read who are flabbergasted at what was shown).

    Luckily the writing/scenes beyond what was shown and what was shown are incredible still so everyone will enjoy it.

    1. I do like the shows that either refuse to do previews, or leave out the previews when it would ruin things. Ditto to the shows that don’t have spoiler OPs. Previews (like trailers) can be nice, but when they actually detract from the enjoyment of the story, don’t. Especially previews, since you’ve already got us this late in the game.

  6. That last sentence sounds like a presidential tweet. O_O

    I had hoped they would cover the last episode of the season with the vacation that the students were hyping up before these exams began, but I suppose not.

  7. It cannot be emphasis enough that All Might, despite how great of a hero he is, is a terrible teacher. Yes, he’s pulling his punch, but as Recovery Girl said, the way he was going about, he could very well kill those two students. It’s only with her power that Bakugo and Midoriya can go back to class in reasonable amount of time.

    1. To be fair, All Might’s most risky attack was when he air punched himself into Izuku’s back. Most of the fight was brutal, but within their capability to handle.

      At the end of the day, the students have to be pushed into a corner in order to provide them a chance to grow as Heroes, and for unusually powerful students such as Izuku and Katsuki a large amount of force would be required to truly push them out of their comfort zone.

      If anything, I felt the other teachers held back too much despite trying to prepare their students for the League of Villains.

      1. Eraser Head will agree with you but remember the Academy is still suffering from the backslash of the Villain attack on Yuei, normally they wouldn´t even consider this risky training that could injure the students badly and they are still minors so this much is all they can without putting the school and the students in danger.

  8. To be honest I hate Bakugo, bullies gave me a hard time in my highschool tears, nothing worth a trauma but still awful, so when an asshole like him I can´t really feel sympathy at all. My guess is that this poor idiot is going to crash and burn sooner than later, at best he´ll end a monster like Endeavor, people can indeed change but Bakugo worldview is way too twisted and his pride too high, worse of all he doesn´t even have an excuse for being an asshole to every living being in the planet.

    1. Bakugou is an interesting character, but he’s not good, really. He might be on the side of good, like Endeavor is, and maybe in the final accounting he’ll do more good than ill, but his horrible behavior will make it harder for him to make it through the eye of that needle.

      That has no bearing on him being a good character, though. Good characters are interesting. Yagami Raito is a good character. Walter White is a good character. That doesn’t mean they’re good people.

      1. Well you got that right, he is really interesting as a character, after all All Might and Bakugo are the fuel for Deku´s dreams but I think he´ll kill us all if we tell him he´s just a stepíng stone for Deku!.

        P.S.: Walter White! At the end of the day I don´t who is worst person, good old Walter for destroying everything he ever loved or me for enjying watching him do it!. That´s the kind of question you do in a series like Re:Creators.


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