My Hero Academia: Bakugo is Midoriya’s Hidden Protector Now

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Chapter #284, by Kohei Horikoshi, Caleb Cook and John Hunt, available now from Viz Media.

Shigaraki is the new host of All For One, and his primary goal is to steal One For All from Midoriya. The heroes Gran Torino, Eraser Head, Ryukyu and Endeavor have been trying their absolute best to stop Shigaraki from achieving his goal, but the effort is futile given the fact that Midoriya is going to run in to save everyone, regardless of what happens to him. As the heroes desperately struggle to keep up, Midoriya manifests a new Quirk, Float, and begins to make his final assault against Shigaraki. As the fight goes on, Bakugo seems envious of Midoriya’s improvement in combat, but the truth behind his face of despair is revealed in a flashback.

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Bakugo is Midoriya’s rival in the race to become the number one hero, but he's taking on a new role. As the battle continues, Midoriya uses both of his Quirks, Blackwhip and Float, to incapacitate Shigaraki form causing more destruction on the ground. As Midoriya rushes in without thinking twice, Bakugo yells at him to hold on, which is strange because Bakugo has never been to type of person to show concern for anyone else. Midoriya understands the desperation of the situation, and yells back at him, “But who else can keep Shigaraki off the ground?”, as if telling them, I’m the only one who can do this task.

It almost feels like Midoriya is calling Bakugo out, but he isn’t that type of person. Midoriya actually has some control over the situation, and is able to utilize his Quirks because of all the training he’s done. That is when Bakugo has his flashback, showing a glimpse of the Blackwhip training Midoriya has been involved in. Asui, Sero and surprisingly Bakugo are there to help Midoriya practice his Blackwhip techniques, and Uraraka is there to help him learn to control his body in midair. The reason for midair control is because All Might anticipates the manifestation of the Float Quirk from the previous user of One For All and wants to make sure Midoriya is able to control it without making a scene.

The young heroes were called, by Midoriya's request, for training purposes, but Bakugo volunteered on his own to train with him. The two don’t share much history training together, and All Might’s the one to call Bakugo out on his involvement with Midoriya’s current development. Up to this point, All Might’s still unaware of the mysteries of One For All, and the lack of information on the power worries Bakugo.

Bakugo always resented Midoriya because he didn’t want to acknowledge his own weaknesses. Midoriya was a constant reminder of what Bakugo perceived as weak, but now that he's harnessed the power of One For All and made it his own, Bakugo can’t help but acknowledge Midoriya as a worthy rival. Bakugo is atoning for bullying Midoriya in the past by helping him train and further develop One For All. Midoriya will always put himself in danger for the safety of another person. Now Bakugo feels the need to always keep him close to be able to protect him -- not because Midoriya’s weak, but because the only person he isn’t protecting is himself.

Bakugo is one of the few people who know the secret about One For All, and he understands how its reveal can cause a bigger problem at a much larger scale. Bakugo is aware that if One For All is exposed, Midoriya would be in danger. Bakugo is now acting like protector, making sure his classmate develops to become stronger, while also being there to clean up any messes left behind that could reveal Midoriya’s true identity. More importantly, he’s planning on being the voice of wisdom that tells Midoriya when to turn it back a notch to avoid further damage on his own body.

Bakugo’s development, and involvement, are foreshadowing what’s to come for the two young heroes. Midoriya is growing at a rate in which Bakugo is trying to keep up with, but now, it seems like Bakugo is ready to accept his new role as Midoriya’s protector. The two are going to continue to grow and get stronger, but it almost seems like Bakugo is starting to allow Midoriya to take the wheel on becoming number one. Until Bakugo starts addressing his own weaknesses. Bakugo is going to help protect Midoriya, and is not bothered by the fact Midoriya is unaware of his ulterior motives. Bakugo’s new role as a protector is needed, given that so many heroes have either lost their lives or have been incapacitated by Shigaraki. Dark times are ahead for the young heroes, but don’t be surprised if you catch them smiling along the way.

All the young heroes are discovering their inner callings, and now Bakugo has a greater purpose. His involvement in Midoriya's life will start to develop more depth, and his interest in One For All might lead to hidden mysteries that could possibly involve him. It's great to see a fan favorite develop a new role in the story, but die hard Bakugo fans might not enjoy his sudden shift in character development. Bakugo's ill-tempered characteristics are still evident, but now he's concerned for Midoriya like a true friend.

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