Why Does Deku Call Bakugo ‘Kacchan’? Explained

At this point of the series, it is already clear that the top two characters in My Hero Academia are Izuku Midoriya (known as Deku) and Katsuki Bakugo. They are the most important characters in the storyline as a good part of My Hero Academia revolves around them. Of course, they also have a relationship that goes way back to the time before they even joined UA High School, as Deku seems to call Bakugo with the nickname Kacchan. Why does Deku call Bakugo Kacchan?

The Kacchan nickname that Deku has for Bakugo was something that was coined when they were still children. Midoriya and Bakugo are childhood friends, and the Kacchan nickname was developed from Bakugo’s Katsuki first name and the chan honorific that is often used between close friends and small children.

In a way, the Kacchan nickname that Midoriya uses when referring to Bakugo may be somewhat weird if you don’t know the history behind these two characters. But once you get to understand that they were very close friends when they were children, it becomes easier to understand why Deku calls him that. Now, let’s look at the history behind these two and why Deku calls Bakugo Kacchan.

Midoriya And Bakugo Relationship Explained

Ever since the first few episodes of My Hero Academia, it was already clear that the storyline would closely follow Izuku Midoriya as the primary protagonist and Katsuki Bakugo as one of the main protagonists. That’s because the series starts off during their middle school years, as they were basically in the same class and were able to undergo the same kind of experience that eventually led to Midoriya being chosen by All Might to inherit his quirk.

Of course, as the series progressed, Midoriya and Bakugo both decided to go to UA High School for different reasons and were able to get into the same class, which is 1-A. And as the storyline continued, it became clear that they were both going to become rivals and were the two most important characters of the series.

Then again, it is important to really look at the relationship that Midoriya and Bakugo have with one another because of the fact that they seem to be very determined to become strong enough to eventually become the top hero in the entire world.

As early as the first few episodes, it was already made clear that Midoriya and Bakugo basically grew up together as kids. They were just around four years old when they started playing and hanging out with one another. And Bakugo was seen as the leader of their small band of kids because he was able to manifest his quirk quite early, all while Midoriya was waiting for his to appear.

However, when Midoriya found out that he was never going to develop his own quirk, he became the butt of the jokes of the group of kids he used to hang out with. Bakugo and the other kids started picking on him because he was quirkless. And this relationship continued until they got to middle school, as Bakugo started calling Midoriya the nickname “Deku,” which is an alternate way to read Izuku (出久).

In Japanese, Deku is a wooden figure or puppet that is often used to refer to people who are unable to accomplish anything. Considering that Midoriya was not only quirkless but was also physically weak, Bakugo took the opportunity to call him Deku since they were still children, and it sort of got stuck with him until he got to UA High School.

Even though Midoriya rescued Bakugo from the slime villain that attacked them early in the series, the relationship between the two never went back to the way it was when they were still children. Bakugo still picked on Midoriya with his usual hotheaded way of approaching things. But Midoriya only used this as a way to pick himself up and work harder than before so that he could prove that he was not incapable of accomplishing anything.

Why Does Deku Call Bakugo Kacchan?

While we did say that Bakugo eventually started calling Midoriya Deku because he thought that he wasn’t capable of accomplishing anything, it appeared that the hotheaded teenager also had a nickname of his own. Due to the fact that they were still young kids when they started hanging out, Midoriya actually called Bakugo the nickname “Kacchan.”

The nickname simply got stuck with Bakugo until they got to UA High School because Midoriya still referred to him by that name. Due to the cutesy nature of this nickname, Bakugo would have easily snapped at Midoriya for continuing to call him that. Nevertheless, he got stuck with the nickname Midoriya and never stopped calling him Kacchan. But why does Midoriya even call Bakugo Kacchan?

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As mentioned, Bakugo’s first name is Katsuki. Meanwhile, “chan” in Japanese is often used as an honorific that children lump together with first names. While this is more common with children, girls and close friends also use the “chan” honorific. As such, the Katsuki first name and the “chan” honorific combine to form Kacchan, which was the nickname that Deku has been using for Bakugo ever since they were children.

Of course, it is easy to understand why Deku would call Bakugo Kacchan when they were still children because of the very fact that they were still children that were close to one another. Nevertheless, he never got rid of the nickname because he still called Bakugo Kacchan during their middle school years and their time together at UA High School.

It is also worth noting that the “chan” honorific may also seem insulting when used on a teenager because it somehow makes it seem like you are calling that person a child. Nevertheless, as we all know that Midoriya isn’t someone who would ever insult any of his friends or peers, he would never try to demean Bakugo in any way. We can’t say the same for Bakugo, however, because he does call Midoriya one of the worst nicknames.

The good thing for Midoriya was that he was able to turn the Deku nickname around by using it as his superhero name. This idea came from Uraraka Ochako, who told Midoriya that Deku kind of sounds like dekiru, which means “to be able to do.” As such, it is basically the opposite of the meaning of the Deku nickname that Bakugo coined for Midoriya.

Meanwhile, Bakugo couldn’t find a way to make the name Kacchan sound manlier or better, but he never really did show that he disliked the nickname, although it probably does bother him. Whatever the case may be, it is already too late for him to try to stop Midoriya from calling him Kacchan because he never even made him stop calling him that nickname when they were in middle school.

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We don’t know the reason why Bakugo allows Midoriya to call him Kacchan, which isn’t the coolest nickname to have, but it probably is something related to the fact that he now sees Deku as his equal or even his superior. In that regard, he has been working so hard to top Midoriya as the best and strongest in their class because he wants to be the one to claim the title of top hero in the world ahead of Deku.

As such, he is probably allowing Midoriya to use Kacchan because, again, the “chan” honorific can be somewhat degrading, especially when used by someone who is trying to imply that they are talking to another person who is younger or is beneath them. In that regard, Bakugo probably feels like Deku is now above him because he was the one chosen to inherit One For All from All Might. And this only adds fuel to the fire of determination within Bakugo, who is working hard to become as great as All Might one day.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.