Why I love Tenya Iida (and you should too!)
Alright so I know that all I’ve been actually posting on this account are just Kacchako related stuff but let’s be real, my username is iidas-trashcan and well, Tumblr isn’t doing a good job of representing him. If you look up most character tags, there are many, many solo pictures of the other characters but with Iida, most images or edits include him in group environments but he doesn’t have much solo images and that honestly upsets me. Iida is a character that is shown to have a lot of thought really put into him and he is the embodiment of what you look for in a friend or even a leader so it really does really make me sad when no one has as much love for him like people have for the other characters.
I mean to start off, this guy is the biggest dork in the entire series and I mean this with a fiery passion. I mean look at the way he talks to Bakugou on the first day of class:
To how he is trying to figure out how to embody the villain role during the class training
To at the sports festival when fighting with Mei
To even this adorable panel that he is notorious for
Of course I’m missing tons of moments since I’ve only done a read through of the manga once, but most definitely throughout the manga, there are little panels here and there that really amplify the fun and funny part of his character that comes with his serious personality. I even made a post about how cute Iida was being during Chapter 101 that also gives a pretty good idea on how cute he can be.
But, of course, being dorky isn’t the only thing to look at when looking at a character because, let’s face it, other characters like Denki and Kirishima have their characters based on that so Iida has to have that extra element added to him to make him different from the others. And what better way to achieve that than to make him not only a wonderful leader for the class but one of the most selfless and humble characters in the entire manga.
I mean one of the first scenes we get from him is when he chastises Deku for almost messing up Ochako’s groove during the entrance exam
Then we have him telling Deku as to why he voted for him for Class President when he could have easily voted for himself since he wanted the position so bad and leads him to finally reveal his family that he slightly wanted to keep under wraps
And then, shortly after that, even though he isn’t class president or doesn’t have any type of leadership position, he takes it upon himself to find a way to calm the frantic students at UA
During the rescue training, we then see him slightly arguing with his classmates in regards to leaving them alone to deal with villains while going to get help
And even when he knew he was going to get a medal at the
Sports Festival (which there could have been higher benefits for him if he
decided to stay), he left immediately so he could be there for his family and
his severely injured brother
WHICH leads me to internal struggles Iida went through afterwards after discovering that the Hero Killer pretty much wrecked his brother, or the arc that changed Iida as a character for most readers.
See, for me personally, this arc really showed a lot about Iida’s character that was masked before. True, we knew he cared about his brother immensely and we already established that he’s a humble and selfless man but did we know that he’s someone capable of pursuing revenge for his loved ones or someone that would keep his own feelings under wrap and handle the situation all of it himself? Probably not, especially since he is seen as a virtuous and noble character yet I loved this arc because it completely dismantled that image of Iida and pushed him to grow that you can see later on (which I’ll talk about that in a little bit).
I mean, for starters, because he feels this is an issue that doesn’t involve others and something only he can do, he keeps his feelings super hidden from individuals he considers to be his closest friends, which is unusual for his character to begin with since he’s pretty open with talking about his feelings and concerns he has.
He then uses and actually manipulates a pro hero to be able to get close to the Hero Killer, again completely opposite of his virtuous self that he has been portraying all throughout the manga
And when Deku and Todoroki comes in, you can actually see the anguish in his face as people are getting involved and hurt because of his actions
And of course, with the power of teamwork and all that hoo-hah, he grows from this experience and learns that the behaviors he was inhibiting prevented him from acting like a leader and now has a firsthand experience of going down the wrong path and hurting individuals around by keeping secrets away.
Now, of course, if this was it, well then I might as well change my url to ochakos-trashcan because most Shounen heroes go through that change at some point. It’s not a bad thing usually but it’s too common to really commemorate a character based solely on that.
Of course, I think Horikoshi caught the “good writing” bug early on because he certainly doesn’t let this growth that Iida got back then go to waste.
To be truthful, I’m absolutely positive there were moments during the actual end of term exam and the training grounds that will prove this point as well but again, I’ve only done one read through of the manga so far so certain details will go past me. I apologize for that.
The scene that I’m going to bring up is the famous “Iida screams and slaps Deku” moment because OH BOY, not only does that show his growth but really builds the picture and insight of Iida’s character that may not have been there before.
I mean, look at the way he confronts Deku over here,
This is just SO FREAKIN POWERFUL, especially in the context of Iida. I can see how some people might see it him taking it too far, especially with his reaction in the end, but, honestly he is seeing Deku going to through the exact same anguish and guilt and pressure that he went through with his brother and knows how it feels to go through that alone. True Deku had the others with him but it doesn’t change any personal inner feelings Deku has towards the situation and Iida knows that. Iida knows how it feels to have people around you supporting you but internally not accepting that. He’s screaming at Deku because he cares and loves Deku and doesn’t want him to go down the same dark path he was going down with his anguish. It’s so tragic and beautiful and he even proves more on how he’s a leader and how he cares about everyone when he goes on the mission with them, knowing full well of all the consequences that occur from that but it’s the drive and passion to not leave anyone behind and feel the same as he did that truly proves he’s meant to be a hero and a leader when he’s willing to himself in that position for another classmate.
Alright so I know I got redundant here and kind of said the same things like multiple times but I honestly can’t help it. Even though the manga has just reached a little over 100 chapters, characters like Iida have already gone through so much development and he has shown time and time again how he is more than the virtuous stereotype that embodies his character and I absolutely adore that in a character. However, it upsets me significantly to see people not appreciating Iida as much as the other characters because he deserves as much love as other characters. I don’t know if it’s because he’s not as attractive as other characters (which yooo he a bishie in his own rectangle way mmmhhmhmm) or maybe because his strict behavior gets on people’s nerves, I’m not sure but after Iida has shown us and gone through, it’s really hard not to make him my favorite male character in the series and not admire the writing Horikoshi put into his character. I truly hope one day people will see him in a better light and appreciate his amazingness as much as other characters.