My Hero Academia has Izuku Midoriya as the protagonist, the newest wielder of One For All, making him the classic shonen underdog. However, part of the charm and allure of My Hero Academia is its diverse, expansive cast, with many of Izuku's friends having underdog story arcs of their own. Some of them are just as compelling and heartfelt, if not more so. While notable characters like Katsuki Bakugo and Shoto Todoroki are obvious candidates, others may fly more under the radar, including Kyoka Jiro.
For the most part, Kyoka Jiro seems like a background character, using her sound-based support Quirk on occasion to help turn the tide of battle and round out Class 1-A nicely. However, there is more to her than that, and Kyoka has grown because she has learned to stand up to her harshest critic: herself.
How Kyoka Jiro Overcame Her Personal Hang-Ups
On the outside, Kyoka Jiro is a tough, confident, no-nonsense trainee hero who wears punkish clothes, such as fingerless gloves and an artfully ripped shirt, as her hero costume. On the inside, though, Kyoka isn't quite so secure about her image or abilities. This is perfectly understandable since most adolescents -- real and fictional alike -- are still figuring themselves out and trying to determine their place in the world. This, combined with other factors, can lead to a myriad of self-image and self-confidence issues that anyone can face.
Kyoka Jiro was born into a musical family, with her father Kyotoku Jiro being a rock music writer and her mother Mika being a musician herself. Kyoka bonded with her loving parents over a shared passion for music but isn't too quick to share this with her classmates or friends. Kyoka is concerned that her "rock girl" persona will be seen as geeky, silly or ridiculous by others, and she became a closeted music fan.
It's later made clear that Kyoka has some insecurities about her appearance and compares herself unfavorably with Class 1-A's other girls, especially Momo Yaoyorozu. And like several of her classmates, such as the princely Yuga Aoyama or the hardening hero Eijiro Kirishima, Kyoka has some doubts about her capacity to become a powerful hero with her Quirk. How can she compare to Fumikage's Dark Shadow ability or Shoto Todoroki's ice and fire? She will have to find a way.
Kyoka Jiro's Personal Growth In My Hero Academia
Even the earliest episodes of My Hero Academia showed that while Kyoka Jiro had some insecurities and an interesting Quirk, she was not a quitter or a coward. When the League of Villains stormed the USJ complex, Kyoka leaped into action, forming a team with Momo and Denki Kaminari. She even kicked Denki toward a cluster of villains to defeat them with Denki's lightning powers and kept up the fight until All Might arrived.
Kyoka didn't stand out much during the U.A. Sports Festival or the forest training arc, though she did call a pragmatic truce with Minoru Mineta to form a team and take the fight to Izuku's team. Kyoka did have a glorious moment with Koji Koda during their practice fight against Present Mic, though, when she gave Koji a stern pep talk and inspired him to take action with his nature-based Quirk. Perhaps Kyoka saw a bit of herself in the timid Koji, who had a useful sound-based Quirk but wasn't using it to its full potential.
After the battle against Overhaul concluded, Kyoka stepped into the spotlight again, this time with her musical talents. Already, she had nervously shown her classmates the interior of her music-themed dorm room, and that experience may have acted as a dash of exposure therapy. However, she now felt brave enough to utilize her musical skills and knowledge to improvise a rock band, taking on the role of lead vocalist while Fumikage, Bakugo, Momo and a few others rounding out the group.
Kyoka tutored her bandmates as needed and even lent them detailed notes -- something that Izuku found remarkable and reminded him of his thorough note-taking skills. Despite the nerves, Kyoka kept her cool and launched the show, dazzling the crowd with Class 1-A's musical performance, complete with background dancers and Yuga acting as a living disco ball. Kyoka Jiro has finally put herself on the map and silenced her inner critic, allowing herself to blossom into the rocking hero Earphone Jack was always meant to be.