MHA: Deku’s and Bakugo’s Friendship Explained

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In My Hero Academia, one of the most complex relationships is the one between Izuku Midoriya and Katsuki Bakugo as they started out as childhood friends but eventually became classmates that didn’t always agree with each other. Of course, this is largely due to Bakugo’s grumpy and stubborn personality. Then again, we know for a fact that Deku had always looked at Bakugo as a friend despite the things that happened when they were young.

So, in that regard, the friendship between the two is one that has seen plenty of years and ups and downs. Most of the ups and downs happened during the time when they were still in middle school. Nevertheless, this friendship became more complex when they got to UA High School and became classmates again. So, to simplify this complicated relationship between two of the main characters of My Hero Academia, we’ll try to explain Deku’s friendship with Bakugo.

How Did Deku And Bakugo Become Friends?

One of the things that we know about My Hero Academia is that there is a rather confusing and complex relationship going on between Izuku Midoriya and Bakugo. That’s because, during the start of the storyline, it was established that Bakugo was a bully that liked to pick on Midoriya when they were still in middle school and before they both went to UA High School. In fact, Bakugo was the one that coined the term “Deku” for Midoriya.

Nevertheless, before their middle school years, they were actually friends that hung out together, especially when they were still very young. While that wasn’t the case when they got to middle school, the fact is that they were still friends when they were children. So, how did Deku and Bakugo become friends?

Before entering UA High School, Deku and Bakugo lived in the same neighborhood and had houses nearby. That means that the places where the children hung out were the same. And because Midoriya and Bakugo were the same age, it was natural for them to be drawn to one another as childhood playmates.

In fact, when they were still children, Midoriya and Bakugo were part of the same group of kids that hung out together. They saw Bakugo as their leader due to his headstrong personality and natural leadership abilities. In that regard, Midoriya and the other kids in that group looked up to Bakugo as their leader and followed him around wherever he went.

As such, it was clear that their relationship had a good start because they got along well together as friends. And at that time, Bakugo didn’t have that hot-tempered attitude that he eventually carried throughout the entire events of My Hero Academia.

How Did Deku’s Friendship With Bakugo End?

While we did say that Midoriya and Bakugo started out as friends during childhood, things changed as they got older. In their middle school years, Bakugo constantly picked on Midoriya and led the kids that bullied him. That meant they no longer had the same kind of friendship they once had when they were still children. So, how did their friendship end?

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It all started when the kids started developing their Quirks. Bakugo had a powerful Quirk that made him the envy of the other children when he was still young. On the other hand, we know for a fact that Midoriya found out that he was Quirkless and that he would never have a Quirk in a natural way. That was when Bakugo and the other kids started picking on him.

At that time, Quirkless children were rare and were always seen as people that didn’t exactly fit in with modern society, as more and more people are now blessed with Quirks. Due to the fact that children naturally pick on those who aren’t similar to them, Bakugo and the other kids started picking on Midoriya, who they treated as an outcast due to the fact that he was Quirkless.

In fact, that was when Bakugo started calling him Deku. While Midoriya eventually used this nickname as his hero name, Bakugo started calling him that nickname because he thought that he was a useless and good-for-nothing person. In Japanese, a deku is a doll with no limbs, and that means that it is basically useless. That is why calling someone deku in Japanese is a way of saying that this person was useless.

As such, when Bakugo started calling Midoriya this nickname, that was when the bullying started. Their friendship ended, as Bakugo continued to bully him throughout their entire middle school lives. It was only when Midoriya inherited One For All that the bullying gradually stopped, as he was actually the one who tried to save Bakugo during the fateful day that he met All Might and became the inheritor of his Quirk.

Did Deku And Bakugo Become Friends Again?

While the relationship between Midoriya and Bakugo was at an all-time low during the time that they were in middle school, the thing is that Deku always treated him as a friend. In fact, he wouldn’t have tried to save him from the slime villain if he didn’t see Bakugo as a friend.

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But when they got to UA High School, that was when things changed. Bakugo hated Deku because he thought he had been holding back the entire time by hiding his Quirk from him. However, smart as he is, Bakugo was the first to figure out that All Might passed his Quirk on to Deku, and that was when he started respecting him more. 

Bakugo learned to see Deku as his equal and as a person he needed to surpass when he saw just how hard he worked to learn to use One For All. And when they started working on missions together, and Deku showcased how he genuinely cared about Bakugo, their relationship increased.

deku bakugo

Although he never showed it, Bakugo also began seeing Midoriya as an actual friend he was willing to help out whenever possible. He even put himself in harm’s way when Tomura Shigaraki attacked Deku during the Paranormal Liberation War arc, as Bakugo nearly died by getting himself impaled in that attack. And after the war, he even showcased genuine care for Deku when he tried to march into Midoriya’s hospital room, all battered and injured, just so he could wake him up and tell him not to die.

As such, it was the different things they went through while at UA High School that allowed Deku and Bakugo to become true friends once more, as they earned each other’s respect. And while Midoriya always saw him as a friend, it was only when Bakugo saw how hard Deku worked to become a true hero that he learned to respect him and see him as a friend.

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