My Hero Academia: Class 1-A Students Who Still Need Development

Kōhei Horikoshi's My Hero Academia mainly focuses on the adventures of Izuku "Deku" Midoriya and his classmates in 1-A. These students have all received varying amounts of attention. Some of them have become breakout characters and are adored by the fans. Others seem like they get plenty of screen time and will probably become more connected to the story in the future. Some of them, however, have been neglected, thus they contribute little to the overarching plot and are in desperate need of an overhaul. Ideally, by the end of MHA, all of Class 1-A will have gotten a good amount of screen time, relevant roles, and character growth.

To assess the students of Class 1-A, they will be divided up into six tiers. Their placement will be based on time spent with Deku, contributions to the plot, and, naturally, character development. Popularity and merchandising are noteworthy, but won't be used to classify anyone lest Bakugō takes the top spot; the main goal is to discern the significance of these characters narratively speaking. This rating reflects the students' merits as of Chapter 335 of the manga, "Zygotes." Things may change for some of these characters in the future, preferably for the better, but, for now, this is who ranks where.

Deku Bakugou Todoroki Uraraka Iida Asui Mineta Kirishima

The S tier houses Deku, Katsuki Bakugō and Shōto Todoroki. These three are the biggest characters not only in Class 1-A but in all of MHA. Their personalities, choices, actions, and individual arcs are all integral parts of the overarching plot. Without any of them, the story falls apart. It's no wonder they're consistently ranked as the three most popular characters in the manga's popularity polls. Additionally, they sell a lot of merchandise.

All three boys have their own reasons for their worth. As the main character, Deku has the most screen time, the most in-depth personality, and the story revolves around him. Bakugō is one of the most nuanced rivals in Shōnen Jump history. Among the three, he has ranked #1 in every manga character popularity poll since the second. Nobody could have guessed how important Todoroki would become from the first season, but his family drama from the "U.A. Sports Festival Arc" onward cements his importance in the story and his place in this tier. As far as characterization is concerned, these three have all received plentiful amounts of it and are set to get even more.

Listed below the three boys are Deku's closest friends. They receive abundant development and screen time thanks to their proximity to the protagonist. Since they're featured so often, they, too, sell a lot of merchandise. This A-tier belongs to characters like Ochako Uraraka, Tenya Īda, Tsuyu Asui, and Minoru Mineta. Uraraka especially has been built up as a love interest for Deku for a long time now, so she's receiving ample characterization. There's also a sort of demented love triangle between her, Deku, and Himiko Toga. This will definitely have to be properly addressed at some point.

The other characters of A-tier have varying levels of relevance. Īda has had diminishing reasons to stay in the tier since the conclusion of the "Vs. Hero Killer Arc," but he still gets a decent amount of attention. Asui hasn't been especially influential in the narrative, but her wit and friendship are greatly appreciated. In all fairness, she does get a pretty emotional scene in the aftermath of the "Hideout Raid Arc." Mineta hasn't been especially important, either, but he does pop up often as the series' obligatory shameless lech. He's more notorious than popular. Kirishima arguably ranks here by virtue of his friendship with Bakugō. These characters consistently take center stage in MHA. They're all well-written and have a significant presence throughout the series.

In the B-tier are characters who have gotten a surprising amount of relevance. They have been central figures in at least one arc of the series. In the arc, they receive satisfyingly emotional moments and iconic scenes. This is where Īda might have been placed if it weren't for his time spent around Deku. Eijirō Kirishima ranks here thanks to his manly actions and scenes in the "Shie Hassaikai Arc." Kyōka Jirō is here thanks to the "Hero Too" performance from the "U.A. School Festival Arc." That performance also happens to be the second-most viewed My Hero Academia video on YouTube. These characters are safe in terms of development, but if they get more to do in the overarching story, that would also be nice. In an ideal world, all of Class 1-A would make it to at least this tier before MHA ends.

The C-tier contains the largest assortment of 1-A students. These characters display varying degrees of influence and change. Despite all they have going for them, they're all narratively minor characters who could stand to be more productive. C-tier is a passing grade, but everyone should be aiming higher. Momo Yaoyorozu is on the upper end of the C-tier. She's had plenty of neat scenes and emotional moments, but not many memorable contributions to the overarching plot. She seems to have a steadily-progressing character arc, so maybe she'll be more important later.

Kaminari and Ashido

Denki Kaminari is a mid-C-tier character. He's shown hanging out with many of the cast members, including Mineta, Kirishima, Bakugō, and Jirō. He even gets some cool scenes and a running gag courtesy of his Electrification Quirk. However, he hasn't had any emotionally powerful scenes or pivotal moments in the narrative. That might change if he ends up with Jirō like Horikoshi seems to be teasing at, but, for now, he's just okay.

Lower C-tier characters include Mina Ashido, Yūga Aoyama, and Fumikage Tokoyami. Ashido is a general ray of sunshine in 1-A and also likes to tease Ochako about her apparent crush on Deku. Aoyama would insist he's in A-tier for his friendship with Deku, but that remains to really be seen. Tokoyami has a connection to Hawks, so he might become more important later down the line along with Yaoyorozu. Besides minor events, these characters' biggest contributions to the story usually involve being used for their Quirks, which isn't especially interesting. This is where improvements really start becoming necessary.

Down in the D-tier are characters who barely make it out of the bottom for minimal reasons. Sero Hanta isn't an especially memorable character, but his Tape Quirk has a great deal of utility. Mashirao Ojiro is often mocked for his simpleness, even in-universe. However, he is partially responsible for the events of Deku's fight with Shinsō for whatever that's worth. Even with these characters' contributions to the plot, they definitely have room for growth.

Kōda, Satō and Hagakure

At the absolute bottom of Class 1-A's characters is the E-tier. These characters are the least engaging of the main cast and are severely outclassed in terms of popularity. Whatever they do in the story can often be followed by "along with the rest of the class." Koji Kōda almost has a powerful moment in Season 2, but nobody cares enough about him for it to matter. Mezo Shōji gets a lot of use for his Quirk, but nobody knows anything about him. Tōru Hagakure is due for major development as of Chapter 335, but, until then, she's E-tier.  Rikidō Satō is best remembered as the most forgettable character in MHA. His biggest contributions to the plot are helping make a candied apple, winning the best-room competition, and looking like Kinnikuman. Unless a major change happens, these characters will remain weak links in an otherwise-decent lineup of characters.

Overall, Class 1-A is a fairly balanced main cast. Some of them could definitely use some work, but there's still time. Horikoshi's proven he can tell a story well. He should be able to round out the cast and deliver satisfying conclusions to everybody's character arcs by the end of My Hero Academia.

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