I want to know more about Katsuki Bakugo (Nobuhiko Okamoto). Throughout the series, we’ve been given glimpses at something deeper smoldering under his superficially raging surface, though his peers are comfortable taking him at face value. Back during the indoor bomb-extraction exam, when Bakugo and Iida (Kaito Ishikawa) were bested by Izuku (Daiki Yamashita) and Uraraka (Ayane Sakura), we got a brief glimpse through the cracks in Katsuki’s masculine facade. The cracks had shown earlier — in flashbacks to his childhood interactions with Izuku, and when he was almost subsumed by the sludge villain — but this was our first look at what might lie beneath.
Our clearest look under Bakugo’s shell.
What appeared to be boundless, almost sociopathic self confidence looks more and more like a mask for deep insecurities. From the moment his Quirk manifested, Bakugo has been certain of his own self sufficience and of the grandness of his destiny. Izuku’s continued efforts to help him and compete with him cast some doubt on those inalienable truths, but it was Shoto Todoroki’s (Yuki Kaji) effortless, overwhelming power that shook Bakugo’s certitude. Once he left the small pond of middle school, he was shocked at the size of the other fish.
When faced with such insurmountable obstacles, the bullheaded will decide that the only way out is through, and no one is more bullheaded than Bakugo (until a character with a literal bull head is inevitably introduced). And yet, leading up to his ultimate battle, Katsuki has shown a remarkable level of thoughtfulness and introspection. Whenever attention shifts his way, the mask of manly fury slips on to meet it. When the gaze lifts and he can murmur to himself, he offers thoughtful analysis of the nature and limitations of Quirks.
If Katsuki Bakugo has his way, his final fight with Shoto Todoroki will be won or lost based on those physical limitations. Having already witnessed Izuku, his lifelong rival, pushing Todoroki to use the full breadth of his ability, Bakugo will settle for nothing less. Whatever billows are stoking the flames of Katsuki’s passion will remain a mystery, for now. His drive for validation — to push himself and his opponent to their limits — cannot be satisfied by Todoroki. For Todoroki, going all out against Izuku felt like a moment of liberation.
Finally, he was able to use the Quirk inherited from his father without the weight of that man’s desires and expectations. That respite proved to be brief. After the emotional high of the fight, Todoroki was left to reconcile with the nature of his victory, his relationship with his father, and his desires for the future. Even if he claims his father’s Quirk as his own, Endeavor (Tetsu Inada) will still feel satisfaction for having created him. Todoroki may also fear that his mother’s fears had some merit, and further reliance on his flames may indeed warp him into a man similar to Endeavor.
Basically, he’s too lost in his inner turmoil to invest …read more