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My Hero Academia: 5 Reasons Why Bakugo is a Tsundere (5 Reasons Why He's Not)

My Hero Academia remains one of the top anime and manga series in the world. One of the biggest draws is its vast cast of characters, each with a passionate and dedicated community behind them. Vying for the top spot of favorite character is Katsuki Bakugo. This literally explosive hero has been on a big journey throughout My Hero Academia from bully to discovering his own potential.

RELATED: 5 Times My Hero Academia's Bakugo Was The Best Hero (& 5 Times It Was Midoriya)

For those who watch My Hero Academia, some of Bakugo's character traits may read a bit tsundere to them. A tsundere is a character (usually a girl), who starts the story off as either cold, harsh, temperamental, and/or hotheaded before slowly softening to others (usually the main love interest) over time. So is Bakugo a tsundere? There are some reasons why that may be the case and some reasons why the label doesn't entirely fit.

10 Not A Tsundere: No Personality Switch

One of the key traits of a tsundere, at least to those familiar with anime, is that the tsundere eventually switches to their softer and more caring side. In My Hero Academia, Bakugo doesn't have that sort of persona switch. At his core, he remains a loud, hotheaded, temperamental, and emotional character.

As he evolves over the course of My Hero Academia, Bakugo doesn't become softer toward others even as he lets them in. He still has very much the same personality, just with his inner fire more directed than when he started.

9 Is A Tsundere: Acts As If He Doesn't Care (Actually Cares)

A tsundere tends to act as if they don't care about other people, especially the object of said character's affections. In terms of a classic example for this character type, this tends to be how the stereotypical female tsundere acts toward their love interest, except they do secretly care deep down. Bakugo, if he is a tsundere, is more of a friendship version of a tsundere than anything else.

Despite this, there are instances where he shows caring toward the "Bakusquad:" visiting Kirishima in the hospital or helping them study. It's clear he does care about his team, even while acting like he doesn't.

8 Not A Tsundere: Accepts Help

But wait, isn't Bakugo famously stubborn and insists on being the best? This is true and in line with the tsundere archetype. Bakugo, however, is largely able to accept help from most people. The My Hero Academia Sports Festival arc provides some clarity. Kirishima offers to partner with Bakugo for the second round of the festival, which he accepts. Given the nature of the competition, he was going to need to accept help anyway.

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Instead of saying he can do it himself or outright rejecting Kirishima, Bakugo allows help without a fuss, which is the opposite reaction a normal tsundere character would have.

7 Is A Tsundere: One Person Sets Him Off

The real and true test of the tsundere character is very simple: one particular person can set them off. That person for Katsuki Bakugo in My Hero Academia is Izuku Midoriya. Ever since childhood, no one can set Bakugo off like Midoriya apparently can. While this led to Bakugo bullying Midoriya pretty badly over the years, their relationship eventually settles down into a rivalry.

Despite this, however, the fastest way someone can upset Bakugo is Midoriya doing something that implies he is "better" than Bakugo in some way, even if that isn't how he intends it to come across. That is the hallmark of a tsundere.

6 Not A Tsundere: Confident In Speaking

Around people, especially the objects of their affection, tsundere type characters tend to not be very confident in speaking. They can stumble over their words or struggle to properly get their feelings across. In the canon of My Hero Academia, Bakugo is very much a says what he means sort of character. For example, when Kirishima is developing his ultimate move, Bakugo very clearly tells him, "If you refuse to go down, it means you're stupidly strong."

Bakugo does not back down from this compliment, showing he genuinely means it and he doesn't care if Kirishima takes it in a positive way.

5 Is A Tsundere: Encouragement At Key Moments

The tsundere character can, often, provide encouragement toward the main character at important key moments in a story. In My Hero Academia, Bakugo is usually present in specific moments to encourage Midoriya in some way. Now, this doesn't have to mean verbally. For example, Bakugo getting hurt protecting Midoriya during the War arc in the manga leads to the hero tapping into a new level of power in One For All. It's also Bakugo who convinces Midoriya to come back to UA after his stint as a lone vigilante.

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These key moments of encouragement, whether verbally or through action, allow the main character to push themselves to become better as a result.

4 Not A Tsundere: The Cruelty

This is the dark side of Bakugo's personality. Before UA, Bakugo was Midoriya's bully above all else. He didn't secretly pine for the other's friendship in those first chapters of My Hero Academia. He just kept on hurting him to the point where Bakugo told Midoriya, prior to him getting One For All, that he should "go take a swan dive off the roof of the building." Tsunderes do a lot of things, but they don't often tell the main character to go jump off a roof.

While the cruelty is something Bakugo grows out of with time, it still is part of his history, when it usually isn't for characters who fall under the tsundere type.

3 Is A Tsundere: Secretly Wants To Be Friends

While Bakugo remains pretty cruel to Midoriya, especially after his Quirkless diagnosis, it comes out during a flashback in the My Hero Academia War arc that he was trying to toughen Midoriya up in his own special way. While Bakugo regrets his actions, he does seem ready now to rekindle the friendship they had in childhood. The issue, however, is that there is so much history between the two characters that he doesn't know how to go about it.

2 Not A Tsundere: The Endgame

For a tsundere character, the endgame usually involves them either confessing their romantic feelings or ending up in a relationship with the main character. My Hero Academia is not really that sort of franchise. In fact, romance is probably the furthest thing from the characters' minds. The endgame for Bakugo is not to end up in a relationship with someone but to become a better hero as a result of the lessons he's learned along the way.

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Due to this, the story does not do much to change his personality. Instead, My Hero Academia flips the audience's understanding of the character over time, allowing for a greater appreciation for his perspective.

1 Is A Tsundere: The Emotions

Tsunderes, especially the hotheaded type, tend to turn their emotions on in an instant. In My Hero Academia, the one who goes zero to one hundred is Bakugo. He can be totally calm in one moment, with a certain comment or even a look causing his temper to flare in a big way. For many people who know tsundere characters, this is the red flag that shows Bakugo is one.

NEXT: My Hero Academia's Best Friendships (& How Long They Lasted)

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