My Hero Academia: How Exactly Did Mineta Get Into UA’s Hero Course?

Minoru Mineta, who is also known by his alias Fresh-Picked Hero: Grape Juice, has often been a point of controversy among fans of My Hero Academia. Many have come to view the character as an annoyance within the series due to his perverted attitude, where he regularly ogles female heroes and is openly unashamed of his behavior.

While Mineta’s powers have at times proved to be useful, they are hardly as impressive as the rest of his classmates. Worse yet, Minoru repeatedly freaks out when placed in an unfavorable situation, causing him to use his quirk recklessly or cry uncontrollably. This has led many MHA fans to question how Mineta managed to pass the UA entrance exam and study at the best hero academy in Japan.

mha villian bot

In Episode 4, “Start Line,” Midoriya and other prospective students are tasked with completing a 10-minute mock battle within an urban setting to test their fighting capabilities. They are informed by Hizashi Yamada, Present Mic, that there are three types of faux-villains and each has a different level of difficulty. Those who manage to rack up the most points will pass the exam and become trainee heroes at UA. Many of the series’ main characters are exhibited within this episode and shown destroying plenty of villain bots throughout. However, Mineta would not be seen until Episode 5, “What I Can Do for Now,” and this has left fans perplexed as to how he managed to take on these gigantic enemies.

Mineta’s quirk, Pop Off, allows him to produce and pluck ball-shaped objects from his head. He often uses these as projectiles, which stick to any surface that he throws them onto, in an effort to incapacitate his opponents by blinding them or making them unable to move. Minoru is able to use his quirk repeatedly; however, using it too much will cause him to start bleeding from his scalp. While Mineta’s quirk can therefore be useful, it's often situational and something used in tandem with the powers of those around him. Rather than leading from the front like Midoriya, Todoroki or Bakugo, Mineta’s quirk works best when he acts in a supportive role.

ua villian bot defeated

This makes it even more confusing as to how Mineta was able to single-handedly defeat enough robots to complete UA’s entrance exam. However, MHA's creator Kohei Horikoshi would go on to address Mineta’s exam strategy and put to rest the questions that fans have been asking since the start of Season 1. Horikoshi commented that “his [Mineta’s] Quirk's actually quite strong. The goal in the entrance exam was to incapacitate the faux villain robots, so Mineta stuck his balls to the ground and walls, essentially setting traps that would render the robots immobile. He also plugged their cannons with balls.”

Ultimately, it was quick thinking and an understanding of his quirk's potential that enabled Mineta to succeed within UA’s entrance exam. While he might not be as fast as Izuku or as powerful as Todoroki, Mineta managed to create a winning strategy without panicking (at least for too long).

MHA fans will likely continue to scold Mineta’s misguided nature and become irked by his overreactions. However, maybe the little guy deserves a little more credit when it comes to the power of his quirk and ability to think on his feet. After all, he's studying at one of the most prestigious hero institutions and manages to remain at the top half of his class, all while getting out of a number of sticky situations.

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