My Hero Academia's main characters are trainee superheroes and high school students at the same time, meaning they have a lot of learning and growing up to do. Izuku Midoriya's life changed when he accepted the Quirk called One For All, but his classmates are also growing and improving in their own ways. Even Shoto Todoroki and Tenya Iida are making progress, but what about Katsuki Bakugo?
It's tempting to think Bakugo can just coast on his powerful Explosion Quirk and good instincts, but there is more to him than that. He is quickly realizing how much ground he has left to cover, and the competition is fiercer than he anticipated. These key scenes in My Hero Academia clearly show Bakugo's progress as a hero, a student, and a person.
When Bakugo Got Himself Captured By The League Of Villains
After the Sports Festival story arc, the students of Class 1-A and 1-B visited a remote training compound to learn from the Wild, Wild Pussycats -- but then the League of Villains struck, with the goal of capturing Bakugo. This immediately taught the U.A. students a sobering reminder that in the world of Pro Heroes, danger is always around the corner. Once captured, Bakugo learned to not take villains lightly.
No doubt he came out of this experience with far more mental fortitude, and he resolved to never let something like that happen again. He also blamed himself for All Might's decline, since the #1 Pro Hero had to spend the last of his power to rescue Bakugo.
When Bakugo Learned The Truth Of One For All
Not long after Bakugo was rescued from the League of Villains, he started to question himself and his progress as a hero, especially in light of Izuku's remarkable progress. Bakugo actually challenged him to a midnight duel on U.A.'s campus to work through his feelings and prove himself the best, something a villain might do.
The ensuing fight was brutal, but not long after Bakugo's narrow win, All Might himself arrived in his skinny form to call it off and explain his own declining power as well as the truth of One For All. Bakugo could hardly believe his ears, but he accepted it and reshaped his rivalry with Izuku into something a bit healthier than before. He's ready to prove himself superior to All Might's heir, and he'll do it as a hero.
When Bakugo Failed The Provisional Hero License Exam
Later on in My Hero Academia, the U.A. students took part in the massive Provisional Hero License Exam, with most of Class 1-A's students passing. The two powerhouses Shoto Todoroki and Katsuki Bakugo failed, however -- largely due to their own hubris and self-absorbed way of thinking -- so they were forced to take a good look at themselves as heroes and people. Fortunately, both Bakugo and Shoto were ready to learn and improve as humbled students, and Bakugo faced his greatest challenge yet: elementary students.
Bakugo was overwhelmed at first, until he cooperated with Shoto and Camie Utsushimi to entertain the kids and show his gentler side. They passed the test with flying colors, and Bakugo proved to himself and others that he is not just a brute. This side of him was overdue for an appearance.
When Bakugo Joined Kyoka Jiro's Rock Band
By this point in My Hero Academia, Bakugo was finally learning to become a team player and put others ahead of himself -- even if he still acted like everything was all about him. The school festival was coming up, and Class 1-A needed to put on a good show. So Kyoka Jiro put her musical talents to the fore and organized a rock band, which also served to help overcome her own insecurities about her hobby.
Bakugo joined as the drummer, and despite his typical attitude, he was a vital part of the band and rocked out with everyone else on stage when the festival arrived. This was another major step forward in Bakugo's quest to become a nobler hero whom everyone could trust and respect. It takes more than power to make it as a hero -- it also takes heart.
When Bakugo Demonstrated Leadership Abilities Against Class 1-B
This recent event in My Hero Academia Season 5 is another major step in Bakugo's progress toward becoming a team-oriented hero. He had long since been famed for his sheer firepower, but he was uncooperative, and Class 1-B's training team expected him to act all on his own and become vulnerable. But to Setsuna Tokage's shock, Bakugo was fighting as a team leader, not a solo hero, and he trusted his three teammates to support him and watch his back (and vice versa).
In fact, the combination of Bakugo's power and their tight teamwork led to Setsuna's team's defeat in a mere five minutes, an astonishing victory for Class 1-A. This will be a tough act to follow, but for the fifth and final match, Izuku will try and beat that high score.