Katsuki Bakugo (Japanese: 爆豪 勝己, Hepburn: Bakugō Katsuki), also known by his nickname Kacchan (かっちゃん, Katchan) and his hero name Dynamight (大・爆・殺・神ダイナマイト, Daibaku Kisshin Dainamaito), is a superhero and one of the main protagonists of the manga series My Hero Academia, created by Kōhei Horikoshi. His Quirk is Explosion (爆破), which allows him to make explosions from his hands by detonating the nitroglycerin-like substance he sweats; throughout the series, he learns various different ways to apply this. Overuse of the Quirk can potentially break his forearms.

Katsuki Bakugo
My Hero Academia character
Katsuki as pictured from the cover of My Hero Academia, Volume 13
First appearanceMy Hero Academia #1, "Izuku Midoriya: Origin", July 7, 2014
Created byKōhei Horikoshi
Portrayed byRyōta Kobayashi
Voiced by
In-universe information
Alias
  • Kacchan
  • Dynamight
SpeciesHuman
OccupationStudent at U.A. High School
Family
  • Mitsuki Bakugo (mother)
  • Masaru Bakugo (father)
NationalityJapanese
QuirkExplosion

As a child, Katsuki bullied his childhood best friend, the Quirkless Izuku Midoriya. However, after they both entered U.A. High School and Katsuki lost to Izuku in training, he began to see him differently. After Katsuki is kidnapped by the League of Villains, All Might loses his Quirk in the process of saving him, which made him blame himself for All Might's retirement, though All Might later reassures him it was not his fault. Katsuki later becomes one of the only people who knows the true nature of Izuku's Quirk as Izuku trust him with this secret and so did All Might.

Katsuki has received positive reviews from critics, with many praising his character development throughout the series and his relationship with Izuku. The voice performances in both Japanese and English dub also received praise. The character has also consistently ranked in the series' popularity polls, most commonly he placed first.

Creation and conception

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In the first draft of the series, Katsuki was a genius with a nice personality, though Horikoshi scrapped this idea because it was too boring. Instead, he decided to make the character ruthless and ambitious.[1] Horikoshi originally intended to keep Katsuki with the unempathetic personality, though later decided to give him development into a kinder person as the story went on.[2] After the series' anime adaptation premiered, Horikoshi began writing the character with Nobuhiko Okamoto's voice in mind.[2] Horikoshi had not expected Katsuki to become a popular character, so he was surprised to see the character rank well in the popularity polls.[2][3]

Katsuki's English voice actor, Clifford Chapin, has commented that he often has to end recording sessions early due to his voice getting worn out from all the screaming the character does.[4] Chapin prefers voice acting the more calmer and emotional scenes with the character, even making the character accidentally sound too vulnerable at times.[5]

Appearances

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In My Hero Academia

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Katsuki begins the series as an intelligent student with aspirations of being the world's greatest hero, but had an arrogant, violent and crude personality. He often bullied Izuku Midoriya with reasons being currently unknown, during their childhood. However, after Izuku was given the generations-old Quirk, One For All, he and Katsuki enter the prestigious U.A. High School and are both enrolled in Class 1-A. Katsuki receives character development on par with Izuku, learning the importance of teamwork and co-operation, becoming a leader, accepting help, and how to save others in order to win. He also begins developing a friendship with classmates Eijiro Kirishima and Denki Kaminari. However, Katsuki still holds onto his habit of yelling.

After being kidnapped by the League of Villains, and refusing their offer to join them, Katsuki is rescued by All Might, his childhood hero. However, All Might's hero career comes to an end as he uses the last of his powers in the fight against the mastermind and his arch-enemy, All For One, which fills Katsuki with guilt for belief in that he was the one who put an end to the great heroes career. After failing the Provisional Hero Licensing Exam due to his guilt and aggressive attitude, Katsuki takes Izuku out to Testing Ground Gamma, and reveals he has finally put the pieces together on how Izuku received his Quirk, One For All, from All Might. After that, Katsuki challenges Izuku to a battle to deal with his guilt and ask why it was Izuku who was chosen to receive One For All, when they both grew up admiring All Might just as much as each other. After defeating Izuku, All Might arrives to stop the fight, reassures him that what happened was not his fault, and tells him the Origins of All For One, the injury that limited his hero work, his need for a successor, and All For One. After agreeing to keep this information secret, Katsuki becomes one of the few people to know the truth about One for All. As they return to the U.A. dorms, Katsuki promises Izuku that he will surpass him one day, to which Izuku responds that he will simply have to go even higher still than Katsuki, forming a proper rivalry between the two.

This rivalry becomes a quick rekindling of their childhood friendship and the pair talk more since the fight, although sometimes playfully antagonistic. As one of the only people who know Izuku's secret, Katsuki is often found training with Izuku to help him master his awakening Quirks and even sits in on his meetings with All Might about One For All. While gaining valuable lessons attending his internship with Izuku and Shoto, Katsuki's heart begins to open up more to people. However, the turning point for Katsuki's character happens during the war with the Paranormal Liberation Army. Katsuki watches on as Izuku, who has been giving his all to keep Tomura Shigaraki in the air, is about to die to Tomura's piercing attack. In a moment of pure urgency, Katsuki awakens a new explosive technique that propels him fast enough to push Izuku out of the way and tank the hits himself.

After Izuku left U.A. High School during the Dark Hero Arc, Katsuki and the rest of Class 1-A track down Izuku to bring him back to U.A. To convince Izuku to come back, Katsuki gives a big apology speech to him. He admits the reason he had to bully and reject Izuku was because of his jealousy in feeling the Quirkless boy's mindset was more passionate & closer to being a hero than he was (this would suggest he knew becoming a hero has nothing to do with being special or having powers). He also admits that he'd been taking his inferiority complex out on Izuku the entire time. In the end, he finishes by saying the words he had been wanting to say since they had both almost died: he's so sorry for everything. Along with informing Izuku (which he says for the first time) that the latter's path wasn't ever misguided the moment he gained One for All, which he rightfully deserved.

Katsuki's Quirk is Explosion; it works by Katsuki sweating a nitroglycerin-like substance from his palms, which he can detonate at will. Throughout the series, Katsuki learns to apply this in different ways, such as to move through the air, create blinding flashes of light, catapult allies towards enemies, or create shockwaves to serve as defense. However, overuse makes his forearms ache.

In the series' anime adaptation, Katsuki is voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto in Japanese and Clifford Chapin in English.[6][7] In the stage play, he is portrayed by Ryōta Kobayashi.[8]

Other media

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Katsuki was added to the Jump Force video game as a DLC character in August 2019.[9] In a crossover promotion with Avengers: Infinity War, Katsuki shared a brief conversation with Iron Man.[10]

Katsuki also appears in Fortnite Battle Royale as one of the crossover characters along with Izuku Midoriya, Ochaco Uraraka and All Might.[11]

Reception

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Popularity

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Katsuki has consistently ranked first in the series' popularity polls, beating out other popular characters such as Izuku Midoriya and Shoto Todoroki.[12][13] In Tumblr's top anime and manga characters, Katsuki ranked second behind Izuku in 2019 and 2020;[14][15] he was third in 2021.[16] Anime! Anime! did a poll where the readers voted for the most popular hero characters. Katsuki ranked as the fifth-most popular hero character in 2021;[17] eighth in 2022;[18] and seventh in 2023.[19] At the Crunchyroll's inaugural Anime Awards, his fight against Deku received a nomination for "Best Fight Scene".[20]

Critical response

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Nobuhiko Okamoto (left) and Clifford Chapin (right) both received praise for their voice performances as Katsuki.

Alex Osborn from IGN praised the character and his development throughout the series.[21] Daniel Kurland from Den of Geek also praised the character; he also praised Chapin's English performance of the character.[22] Sam Leach from Anime News Network praised the character as amazing; he also praised Okamoto's voice performance as the character.[23] The reviewer for Anime UK News also offered praise for the character.[24] The columnists for Manga News had similar feelings, praising the character and his development.[25] Steven Blackburn from Screen Rant praised Katsuki's development throughout the series, though questioned some of the decisions made by the character in the later parts of the series.[26] Chelsey Adams from Comic Book Resources felt that Katsuki became more likeable as the series progressed.[27] Briana Lawrence from The Mary Sue praised Katsuki's character development and personality, calling the character relatable.[28]

Actor Ryo Yoshizawa praised the character.[29]

References

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  1. ^ Horikoshi, Kōhei (August 4, 2015). Izuku Midoriya: Origin. My Hero Academia. Vol. 1. Translated by Cook, Caleb. San Francisco: Viz Media. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-42-158269-6.
  2. ^ a b c "『ヒロアカ』原作・総監修の堀越先生に聞く!キャラ設定のヒミツ". Cinema Today (in Japanese). December 12, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  3. ^ Aoki, Deb (August 24, 2018). "Interview: My Hero Academia Creator Kohei Horikoshi". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  4. ^ Blackburn, Steven (October 25, 2021). "Justin Briner & Clifford Chapin Interview: My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission". Screen Rant. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  5. ^ Trumata, Mae (October 27, 2020). "Interview: Justin Briner and Clifford Chapin on 'My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising'". The Indiependent. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  6. ^ Loo, Egan (November 26, 2015). "My Hero Academia Casts Nobuhiko Okamoto as Katsuki Bakugō". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  7. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (April 9, 2017). "Funimation Reveals English Dub Cast For My Hero Academia Season 2 Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  8. ^ Pineda, Rafael (December 21, 2018). "My Hero Academia Stage Play's Cast, Visual, Debut Dates Revealed". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  9. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (July 5, 2019). "Jump Force Game Previews Katsuki Bakugo in Video". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  10. ^ April (April 12, 2018). "My Hero Academia Characters Show Off Their Avengers Fandom in Crossover Videos". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  11. ^ Luster, Joseph (December 16, 2022). "Fortnite x My Hero Academia Launches with Four Dynamic Heroes". Crunchyroll. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  12. ^ Loveridge, Lynzee (December 12, 2017). "Deku Still Chasing #1 in My Hero Academia Popularity Poll". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  13. ^ Loveridge, Lynzee (November 26, 2018). "Deku's Popularity Falters in My Hero Academia Popularity Poll". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  14. ^ Dennison, Kara (December 2, 2019). "My Hero Academia Rules Tumblr's Anime Fandoms Again in 2019". Crunchyroll. Archived from the original on February 29, 2024. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  15. ^ Lee, Choo Sum (December 8, 2020). "My Hero Academia Dominates Tumblr's 2020 Top Anime & Manga List". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  16. ^ Peters, Megan (December 2, 2021). "My Hero Academia Is Dominating Tumblr's Anime Year in Review". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2023. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  17. ^ "一番好きな"ヒーロー"キャラは? 3位「ヒロアカ」オールマイト、2位「ヒロアカ」緑谷出久、1位は…【#ヒーローの日】". Anime! Anime! (in Japanese). January 16, 2021. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  18. ^ ""ヒーロー"キャラといえば? 3位アンパンマン、2位「ヒロアカ」緑谷出久、1位は…【#ヒーローの日】<22年版>". Anime! Anime! (in Japanese). January 16, 2022. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  19. ^ ""ヒーロー"キャラといえば? 3位「ワンパンマン」サイタマ 2位「ヒロアカ」緑谷出久 1位は…<23年版>". Anime! Anime! (in Japanese). January 16, 2023. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  20. ^ "FEATURE: Crunchyroll Anime Awards - The Results are In! See Who Won!". Crunchyroll. January 10, 2017. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  21. ^ Osborn, Alex (September 24, 2017). "My Hero Academia Episode 37: "Katsuki Bakugo: Origin" Review". IGN. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  22. ^ Kurland, Daniel (May 6, 2018). "My Hero Academia Episode 1 Review: Izuku Midoriya: Origin". Den of Geek. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  23. ^ Leach, Sam (September 16, 2018). "My Hero Academia Episode 61". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  24. ^ "My Hero Academia – Season 2 Part 1 Review". Anime UK News. March 30, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  25. ^ Alphonse; Erkael; Takato (April 24, 2017). "My Hero Academia Vol.7: Katsuki Bakugo: les origines". Manga News (in French). Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  26. ^ Blackburn, Steven (December 24, 2021). "Bakugo Destroyed All The Progress He's Made in My Hero Academia". Screen Rant. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  27. ^ Adams, Chelsey (October 16, 2021). "My Hero Academia: 10 Ways Bakugo Has Become A Better Character Since The Start Of The Series". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  28. ^ Lawrence, Briana (April 30, 2021). "Why Katsuki Bakugo Is One of My Favorite Shonen Anime Rivals". The Mary Sue. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  29. ^ "岡本信彦、吉沢亮の「爆豪はめちゃくちゃ好き」に笑顔". Dwango News (in Japanese). Dwango. July 20, 2021. Retrieved February 13, 2022.