My Hero Academia features more than a few supporting characters who could easily be the star of their own shonen series, and that includes Ochaco Uraraka, the gravity girl. She is one of Izuku Midoriya's best friends, dazzled by his determination, audacity and courage early on in the series. Ochaco strives to be just like her personal hero, Izuku, and this may feel rather familiar to shonen fans for all the right reasons.
In Naruto, the side character Hinata Hyuga had a similar story arc, being a meek girl in Team 8 who looked up to Naruto Uzumaki. Hinata had been born into the noble Hyuga family, but she had little to show for it until Naruto lit a fire under her and she blossomed into a true hero. Ochaco knows what that feels like.
Ochaco & Hinata's Untapped Potential
Ochaco Uraraka was born into a humble household, contrasting with her classmate, Shoto Todoroki, having the mighty Endeavor for a father. While it's true that Hinata Hyuga was born into a noble family and Ochaco wasn't, both girls started their respective stories as total wallflowers, blending into the background as the main character took center stage. Ochaco and Hinata both admired their respective protagonists from a distance, and this admiration soon became emulation. From the very start, Ochaco intended to become a Pro Hero, but how could she pull it off? What does a true hero in the making look like? Ochaco wasn't terribly sure until she saw Izuku in action.
Izuku was born without a Quirk, and now he has One For All, along with the determination to master it. Izuku is new to the world of Quirks, and Ochaco can tell, but Izuku is determined to make up for lost time by pushing himself incredibly hard, despite the odds, to make progress. Ochaco watched all of this and realized that she, too, can push herself to the next level and face every challenge with confidence instead of fear and doubt. She broke out of her shell at once and begin the rocky road to stardom, taking the good with the bad with no loss of enthusiasm.
Hinata Hyuga did the same, and she shocked her jonin teacher, Kurenai Yuhi, with the sudden fire in her eyes (and heart). It all stemmed from Naruto's inspiring display of rugged determination and courage in the face of overwhelming odds.
Ochaco Takes Her First Big Steps Towards Pro Heroism
Many of the students at U.A. are struggling with "can I really do this?" issues, from Eijiro Kirishima and his "boring" Quirk to Momo Yaoyorozu and her minimal combat skills (she was shaken by her loss against Fumikage Tokoyami). Ochaco was part of that crowd, but fortunately for her, she had Izuku to light the way, and she proved this during the U.A. sports festival when she faced her class's top student: Katsuki Bakugo. Ochaco showed new levels of creativity, courage and strength despite the formidable odds that she faced, truly emulating her hero Izuku every step of the way.
Ochaco's fierce but ultimately futile battle against Katsuki mirrors Hinata's performance in the chunin exam arc, when she faced her own cousin, Neji Hyuga. Neji, a stern determinist, tried to break down Hinata's will with cruel words until Naruto snapped Hinata out of it with some encouragement. Fueled by Naruto's kindness and the example that Naruto had set, Hinata transformed into a true ninja at last.
She launched a fierce assault against her cousin, using every ounce of her inborn Hyuga talent to take Neji down and prove him wrong. Hinata ultimately lost the match in the same way Ochaco couldn't overcome Katsuki Bakugo's Explosion Quirk, but the outcome was similar. Both girls proved that they had the grit and courage to face any obstacle and aspire for greatness, and they would never back down again.
Like Hinata, Ochaco kept training and honing her skill after that early defeat, learning from Gun Head how to perform CQC and defend herself from knife-wielding opponents. Later still, Ochaco was part of a team with Tsuyu Asui and Nejire Hado, interning with the Pro Hero Ryukyu. Ochaco had built up some serious momentum by then, all in the name of emulating her personal hero Izuku and realizing her own potential. In fact, Ochaco may be in a position to rely only on that momentum and become independent of Izuku's shining example before long. Hinata did much the same in Naruto, building off her early, Naruto-inspired progress to realize her true potential. That's what a shonen story is all about.