My Hero Academia’s Momo Yaoyorozu has one of the most enviable Quirks in the show. She can create anything she wants to, as long as she understands its chemical makeup. You’d think, with her power, that she’d have the most diverse arsenal of the cast but there’s a weapon she favors more than others: Momo loves creating cannons.
There’s no concrete explanation for her obsession with these powerful weapons but it could just be that they’re powerful tools that are easily accessible to her. She can’t create objects she doesn’t understand after all, and she’s had a lot of practice with cannons. While we don’t know why she makes them for sure yet, the cannons seem to have become her trademark. A link can also be drawn from the times she creates them to some significant progression for her character, as these four instances demonstrate.
The Sports Festival: Momo's First Cannon
Momo is first seen creating a cannon during the U.A Sports Festival arc. During the first stage of the obstacle course, the students were faced with giant robots. Most of Class 1-A dodged or went around them, but not Momo. The cannon she created easily blasted through the robots, ensuring all eyes were on her at that moment. She cleared the path for both her and the other students the robots had trapped.
Unfortunately, that was her only extraordinary moment during the Sports Festival. During the cavalry battle, she completely depended on Todoroki for their strategy, believing him to be the better hero aspirant. That belief was reinforced by her overwhelming defeat during the semi-finals at the hands of Tokoyami and Dark Shadow, whereas Todoroki made it to the finals. Her self-esteem suffered a huge blow after the tournament, but Momo's story was only just beginning.
Final Exams: Momo Regains Her Confidence
As luck would have it, Momo was paired with Todoroki once again for their practical Final Exam. Their objective? Take down their homeroom teacher, Eraser Head. Momo started to formulate a plan but immediately discarded it when Todoroki came up with a suggestion of his own. She was already intimidated by the thought of facing an actual Pro and since she'd lost confidence in herself since the Sports Festival, she once again left their strategy to Todoroki. Her plan to depend on Todoroki fell through as soon as Eraser Head captured him. Since she had decided she couldn't win without him, her next move was to get back her teammate.
As she freed Todoroki, he apologized for ignoring her suggestion earlier. He also mentioned that he'd always respected her judgment and thought she was better suited for leadership positions. Hearing those words from a classmate she admired spurred Momo on and she revealed the plan she'd been cooking up from the beginning: A special operation specifically designed to take down Eraser Head.
Her plan involved distracting their sensei with decoys so he couldn't erase their Quirks, then trapping him by firing a shape-memory cloth at him. Todoroki was to shoot his flames at the cloth when they were close enough to Eraser Head, making them harden instantly. To minimize damage to the surrounding area, she replaced her trademark cannon with another weapon that could fire projectiles almost as well: a catapult.
Eraser Head behaved exactly as Momo predicted and the plan succeeded with only a minor hitch. When she realized she had secured their victory, Momo was overcome with emotion. This was the first step she took towards regaining her confidence.
The Provisional License Exam: Momo's Quick-Thinking Shines
During the exam to gain her provisional hero license, Momo was once again faced with impossible odds. This time her opponent was Saiko, an upperclassman from a different hero academy whose Quirk boosted her IQ to astronomical levels... after drinking tea. Having watched the U.A Sports Festival, Saiko knew all about Momo and her classmates’ Quirks and so devised a plan that would secure an easy victory over the U.A students.
After systematically rendering Jiro and Shoji’s Quirks useless, Saiko began lowering the temperature of the room they were trapped in, which shocked Asui, knocking her out of the fight as well. She deduced Momo would use her Creation to seal off the vents in the room, leaving her just as defenseless. After that Saiko and her teammates would waltz in for an easy win. The plan seemed airtight, but it didn’t consider Momo’s foresight.
Momo noticed that her teammates’ Quirks had been dealt with and guessed that hers was being targeted next. Prioritizing her teammates’ wellbeing seemed like the smart move at the time but Momo realized that they wouldn’t be able to get their licenses that way and instead went on the offensive. This time, she created a variation on her signature weapon: a sound cannon, and had Jiro amplify its effects with her earphone jack. Its high frequency overwhelmed Saiko and her team leaving them as easy pickings for the 1-A team.
Momo’s quick thinking during this battle was what brought about her team's victory, demonstrating a huge improvement since the final exam. This battle also showed that her foresight is just as valuable to Momo as her Creation power.
Joint Training: Momo Perfects Misdirection
The next time Momo created a cannon was during her recent Joint Training match in My Hero Academia Season 5. Her team was up against one led by Kendo, her internship colleague and friendly rival. Class 1-B retained an upper hand throughout the battle due to their powerful Quirks. Momo’s strategizing forte only truly began to shine when she was separated from her teammates by an impossibly high wall. Once Kendo caught Momo alone, she tried to overwhelm her with powerful physical attacks the way Tokoyami did during the Sports Festival. She neglected to take Momo’s growth into account, though.
Momo hastily created shields that would bear the brunt of Kendo’s attacks and prepared to Create, all the while hiding what she was up to behind the shields. When her cannon was finished, Momo hastily tossed the shields away. Her bluff with it worked as Kendo backed away, fearing for a second that she was the cannon’s target. Instead, Momo shot a bag over the wall to her teammates. It had all the tools she judged necessary for them to win without her. As soon as her package was on its way, Momo used her Quirk to attach both herself and the cannon to Kendo, trapping the Class 1-B leader and preventing her from regrouping with her team easily.
Ultimately, Class 1-B did win that match but no one could deny that Yaoyorozu was the MVP. Despite heavy pressure from Kendo, she remained calm enough to accurately assess the situation and deliver what her classmates needed. The cannon and her “lucky bag” could also be her greatest Creation feat yet. She manifested the cannon and its ammunition -- of all the tools her teammates needed -- in one go, and everything she created was in perfect shape. All this while Kendo was raining blows on her relentlessly. Certainly a far cry from the girl that was entirely at Dark Shadow’s mercy during the Sports Festival.
Even Kendo acknowledged Momo’s superior strategy. She felt her victory was hollow as Momo had remained one step ahead. Her efforts were also praised by Midnight who said that Yaoyaorozu would make a fine leader someday. With or without her prized cannons, Momo is on a path to greatness in My Hero Academia.