WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 10, "That Which Is Inherited," now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation and Hulu.
Every hero and student in My Hero Academia has their reasons for enduring the grueling physical and mental training required to call themselves a Pro one day. Ochaco Uraraka is no different, with her motivations of aiming to be financially well-off to help out her family being established early on in the series.
Despite how it initially seemed when Ochaco mentioned her goal of making money from being a hero, her true motivations were noble. While already an admirable goal, My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 10 made it clear that her motives have expanded beyond just money. Let's go over why Ochaco wants to be a hero.
Uraraka's Family Monetary Struggles Fueled Her - At First
Ochaco's initial goal stems from a determination to help her parents. Her family struggles financially, and much of her day-to-day habits are influenced by the prospect of using less to save money. For example, in bonus comics written by Horikoshi, it was revealed that she skips meals to save food and sleeps a lot to preserve oxygen. These behaviors are so ingrained into her lifestyle that she becomes overwhelmed when she is faced with luxury -- like the extravagant U.A. dorm building.
Ochaco's parents own a construction company; however, the business has been slow for quite some time, causing them immense stress as they work extensive hours to make ends meet. Being a pro hero comes with many benefits, including financial gain, and Ochaco wants to earn enough money to allow her parents an easier life. Additionally, as a licensed pro, she could use her Quirk, Zero Gravity, to carry raw materials, which would effectively lower the cost of operating heavy machinery.
Uraraka Wants to Make People Smile
During a flashback in My Hero Academia in Episode 10, a young Ochaco witnessed the incredible sight of a pro hero in action. Yet her attention wasn't drawn to the hero claiming victory but instead to the bystanders. More specifically, to the smiles and cheers of the crowd. This is likely the first instance where Ochaco could understand the direct influence heroes have on others, taking in the happiness this event brought to her parents and the others around her.
From this point on, Ochaco thought it natural for a hero to help those in trouble, recognizing that a small gesture can bring much joy to someone else. This character trait has been present since Ochaco's introduction into the series when she used her Quirk to catch Izuku Midoriya before U.A.'s entrance exams, preventing him from falling flat on his face. While a key trait to being a hero, her tenacity to assist anyone in distress, no matter how big or small the problem, is certainly commendable.
Heroes Save People, But Who Saves The Heroes?
Heroes in My Hero Academia are expected to take on the role of a protector as they risk everything, fighting desperately to save others, often by disregarding their own well-being. The question of who protects heroes when they need saving comes to Ochaco after watching Izuku throw himself into battle after battle. After all, he's constantly reaching the limitations of his Quirk and sometimes even barely clinging to life to save someone else even when the odds are stacked against him.
Despite Ochaco's romantic feelings for Izuku, the two have a deep and meaningful friendship. As such, Ochaco has seen firsthand the physical pain he's endured over the decimation of his bones after his fight with Shoto Todoroki during the sports festival. She also witnessed how frightened he was when Shigaraki found him at the mall and how heartbroken he was after failing to rescue Eri from Overhaul. And while Izuku has saved many people, inspiring several in the process, including Ochaco herself, she wonders who will save him when he's the one hurting?
Ochaco has strived to widen her skill set to reach her goals with these added motives for becoming a hero. Being aware of her initial lack of combative talent, she sought to learn Gunhead martial arts despite preferring the rescue aspects associated with heroism. Now, during her joint training match against Class 1-B, Ochaco used her abilities and battle sense to save Izuku from the destruction and lack of control brought on by his new Quirk, Blackwhip.
There is more to Ochaco than meets the eye. And without her, the situation with Izuku could have gone much worse. Helping heroes when they need saving is a strong motivator and one that Ochaco will continue to stay true to.