Art by @melo9ba on tumblr
“What about her is delicate?”Bakugo Katsuki
In the world of BNHA, one would assume with the use of Quirks and science-fiction like lore their reality has no significance or correlation to our world.
Yes, they might still be humans like us with concepts and beliefs, but this is a super-hero anime about mutant abilities that almost every person has, it’s totally far away from our reality right?
Well, I would consider this again.
Although yes of course, we’re talking about an anime where we can still look at Boku no Hero Academia and see what underlying messages sits between the dialogue and metaphors of the plot.
If we look closer, and take the problem the kids of U.A struggle with on a daily basis, we will have things comparable happening in our world as well. If we look at the idolized and media-coached heroes that are a huge boost for morale we can compare that to our influencers and media idols that distract us from the world’s problems and are supposed to help us get through the day.
Entertainment is now a huge industry and with the rise of social media and the internet, it has become a job to entertain people.
Same goes for heroes.
Hero killer Stain has brought up the ideology that heroes shouldn’t be paid and idolized but only work and save people out of their own free will, and with no added higher positions. So we can definitely take parts of the problems arising in BNHA and look at them from the lens of our own reality.
Yes, it is just an anime, but we must also look at what lore Horikshi is creating while keeping in mind that anime and manga often reciprocate our very real problems. A perfect example would be rom-com or slice of life anime as they are the easiest to detect ourselves in, but BNHA also hides small little messages we should learn from.
One of these messages arrives at the first main sports event we see in BNHA.
It’s the U.A sports festival, and we are engaging in a huge meet where students fight against each other in an epic battle royale to see who is the best.
It is all about strategy, who has the flashiest quirk and who can defeat the other with whatever means possible. We find ourselves enjoying the clash between students as we all know they will surely make the greatest heroes or supporters in the future.
Sometimes it’s not even about the individual quirk, and merely a fight confidence like in Yaoyorozu’s instance where she doesn’t quite believe in herself yet and therefore fails against Tokoyami and Dark Shadow immediately.
Still, with all this talk of flashy quirks and imposing personality we have characters like Todoroki Shoto and Bakugou Katsuki who deal with their fighting in their own way.
As one of the most notorious players in the fight, Bakugou knows how to play his card and definitely lives off of the privilege of the one who has one of the best quirks. One would assume that he takes no second thought to what he does, but Bakugou is actually a very observant person who makes note of what is around him.
Despite his feisty personality, he acknowledges skill because it is a fact that he can’t refute. In the manner of ‘fight yourself through’ Bakugou can’t really handle his emotions well so he uses fights to communicate. For that instance, he doesn’t care who is in front of him as long as he is the one winning in the end.
When he sees his fight partner is Ochako Uraraka, he is confused as he doesn’t remember her probably and takes no other note than that. He won’t bat his eye at her being a female, he only sees the opponent he needs to fight.
It’s even seen by the viewers of the fight that most people underestimate Uraraka for having to fight Bakugou.
They pity her, thinking she will be wrecked quickly and be thrown out of the festival quicker than one can think.
What people didn’t expect was her strategic techniques and her resolve to fight Bakugou with everything she has got. Bakugou on the other hand is just ready to fight and therefore gives her the respect she deserves as his equal opponent.
Next to Deku and Lida who support Uraraka no matter what, everyone around her doubts her abilities which they shouldn’t have. Even Bakugou breaks more than a sweat as he fights her, and even gets blindsided for a moment with the ‘meteor shower’ attack.
Yes, Bakugou still wins and brutally fights her until the end, but their exchange during the collision is extremely interesting and we can see him treating her like he would treat anyone else.
After the fight, Denki and Kirishima mention to Bakugou how he could fight such a frail and delicate girl, but the only thing the hotheaded Bakugou can reply is:
What about her is delicate?
Bakugou shows us that he went into the fight knowing nothing more than her name, but took her as an equal and did not care about her gender or assumptions he made about her.
He gave her a blank page and let her make her own mark.
Bakugou showed, despite his rather erratic behavior, what true equality is and that gender has nothing to do with how strong someone can be. A valuable lesson that we all should learn from him as we still face problems with inequality in all sorts of fields in our lives.