Hi ya’ll! It’s Luna !
Welcome to Weeb Wednesday. and happy Otakutober! Today we’re gonna be talking about something that triggered me hard. See, I was minding my own business, watching a video by Mother’s Basement about the Redemption of Bakugo (go watch it now) when I happened upon a comment that was in response to something said in the video (this question here about what the vision of a hero should be). The comment (which has since been deleted as I was going to link it), acknowledged that Bakugo’s image of a hero was wrong, but asked what was wrong with Deku’s?
WELL. No worries my fellow weebs. If you’re unsure, then YOU’RE GOING TO LEARN TODAY.
See, I love Deku and Bakugo separately, but Horikoshi has done a stellar job writing into My Hero Academia examples of why Deku’s vision of heroics is both admirable, and also wrong. Deku believes that a hero should be self-sacrificing—aiming to save someone else before saving himself (and also at his own self injury). This is seen time and time again, when Deku willfully places himself in harms way just to be what he believes a hero is. This quality of his is shown as a positive as first, because let’s be real, it is a positive and heroic quality. It’s a quality that I think a lot of people associate with true heroes. But Deku takes it to the extreme. We’re all familiar with the fact that he breaks his body often, and y’know? That could again be seen as the epitome of being a hero. Except it’s not. Why? Because you can’t help anyone if you can’t help yourself. Not sure what I mean? Well, let me give you an example from My Hero Academia itself.
In the summer training camp arc, Deku fights against Muscular in order to save Kota. This moment is truly epic, and in this battle Deku gives it his all–breaking his arms, getting injured, and nearly dying just to save this kid. In this fight, he becomes a hero to young Kota, and it’s such a winning moment for him in his journey. But it later leads to a problem: when Bakugo gets kidnapped, Deku fails to save him because he can’t move. He had broken his body so much trying and succeeding to save Kota, that he couldn’t save someone who needed help right in front of him. And THAT is precisely why Deku’s vision of a hero is wrong. A hero should be able to do more than just stop one villain and save one life. A hero should be able to self-preserve enough that they can continue to save people. Or else they end up like Deku, unable to do their job when someone in front of them is in need of saving. Obviously some circumstance are just too great to come out unscathed, and that’s fine, but Deku’s recklessness of destroying his body to save people? It’s just not what a hero should be. Because there’s always another villain, another person who needs to be saved, and people need to see that you won and would keep winning. It’s like why All Might never loses his smile, or why he takes his victory stance. To prove he is alright (ha! All Might–alright? Funny, Am I right? Okay I’ll one punch myself out of this existence now).
So to put it simply, whereas Deku’s motivation is on point, his actual vision of how to achieve being a great hero is not. But that’s alright, that’s what he’s got Kaachan for. I mean, #kiddingnotkidding, Bakugo’s image of a hero is also wrong, just like Deku’s, is almost right (okay but less right than Deku’s).
Bakugo sees a hero as being someone who always wins (says the guy obsessed with victory). Which, isn’t exactly what being a hero is about. He’s missing a lot of the actual heroics there, but I think he’s not wrong when he believes that winning is an important part of being a hero. When he was a child, that’s what he always saw All Might doing–winning. And he thought that made All Might pretty cool. No matter what, no matter the odds, he always came out on top. Lil Bakugo was just missing the important question of why he always came out on top. And that? Well, that was because as I stated before, in order to keep saving people, you need to win fights in a non-self destructive way.
So if Bakugo is wrong, and Deku is wrong, what’s that thing they about two wrongs and a right? Oh right, two wrongs don’t make a right. YIKES. But I think they’ll get close. Like All Might said, if Bakugo and Deku can learn from each other, they can become great heroes who win the day and save people. Which is certainly closer to the ideal of a hero in the My Hero Academia world. Then the only question to ask is: Is All Might the ideal image of a hero? Or is even he missing something? That’s something I feel vastly unprepared to get into, but my instinct says no. He isn’t the ideal hero. He is an ideal of a hero. But I’m also not sure what an ideal hero would be. Someone who rescues, who saves, who…inspires? I don’t know, All Might has inspired our heroes, but maybe the missing key is the kind of inspiration that we see Deku giving others, and what he gave to All Might that first moment he rushed in. Not just to be a hero, but to do your best, and to do what you can. Because let’s be real. For a superhuman society, the people of My Hero Academia rely on All Might a lot. Maybe what the ideal hero in this world would do, would remind everyone that if a quirkless boy could do something, maybe they could too.
Or maybe I’m just rambling now. I’ll stop now in case that’s it. Thanks for reading for so long if you have. I’m curious if anyone else has any thoughts on whether or not All Might is the ideal hero or if you think there’s a quality an ideal hero should have. If you have anything to chime in, please do so in the comments!
Til next week! Luna signing off!