You: I want to protect Deku from all the harm in the world!! / Also you: *ships him with the very person who caused him suffering for 10 years*... huh, okay
I actually kind of want to thank you for being cordial about this instead of just… insulting me anonymously like others.
Granted, I just ignore them/delete them, but still. It’s appreciated.
Since you honestly seem a little bit curious and confused, I want to answer this with a more specific response! So thank you for being reasonable about it.
There are some things I want to clear up first.
You’re completely entitled to your opinion on a ship, my anonymous friend, and I also respect and understand why people hate the ship and even Bakugou as a character.
Do I share the same feelings? No, not at all, but I definitely understand it.
It would be dreadfully boring if every human who experienced the same artistic medium had the same exact opinions and points of views on a character/ship, no?
At least, I would think so. I love the variety in opinion and watching different people fall in love with anime/books/movies, whatever, in totally different ways and coming out of them with multiple conclusions is wonderful to witness.
It… almost feels similar to getting angry with someone for picking green as their favorite color, and because it’s not your favorite color you argue about how the different shades don’t make sense and shouldn’t be acknowledged as a favorite.
(Not you, specifically, Anon, but more of a general “you,” if that makes sense.)
What draws me to the the Bakugou Katsuki / Izuku Midoriya ship, and the two characters individually (as well as their canon dynamic) is based on the concept of healing, forgiveness, growth, redemption, understanding, mutual respect, and genuine deep-rooted pain and realistic acknowledgement of the gratuitous and toxic elements of their relationship.
And this only scratches the surface, believe it or not.
Yes, Bakugou Katsuki treated Izuku horribly while growing up (hell, he’s still an egotistical asshole). The infamous line in the manga/anime with Katsuki suggesting Izuku “find a Quirk in the next life” is inexcusable, and he should be held accountable for this.
We’ve been allowed glimpses of their dismantled friendship at Katsuki’s doing, and Izuku’s equally flawed and dangerous perspective in placing Katsuki on a pedestal for his admiration.
Before I go further with this, I want to touch on things about how I view Izuku as a character, since something in your anonymous message struck me, with the quote you had written:
“You: I want to protect Deku from all the harm in the world!!”
The thing is, when it comes to characters, and Izuku in particular… I don’t think I’ve ever adopted the mindset of “must protect the precious baby,” because I personally view Izuku as a very relatable and human character.
I know that this doesn’t cancel one idea out from the other, since many wonderful authors/readers/viewers/consumers, whatever, who like BNHA have this same viewpoint. Clearing this up so that nothing is miscommunicated.
This may seem strange, and a bit… actually yeah this is a little weird, but as a viewer, I see him as someone who strives for an incredible goal, is very determined, much stronger than he appears (and believes) both emotionally and physically, and it’s slowly becoming a surprise to both himself and everyone around him.
But I see him as not just a character, per say, but a definite reflection of the other side to his dynamic to Bakugou Katsuki.
(Will touch more on this later.)
He’s been acknowledged as a beloved presence, and I actually don’t like viewing Izuku as a “precious cinnamon roll,” because he’s so much more than that.
QUICK NOTE HERE: I do not think it’s wrong to think of him this way. This is how I personally think, and how I want to hopefully portray the character in fics I write, or just in a general acknowledgement of him.
He’s a character that thrives on a complex personality and series of motivations that make sense for a character his age, with his history, and with his flaws and strengths as a protagonist.
Izuku being “adorable” falls to the very bottom of my list of reasons why I love and relate to him as a character, and when he engages in horrible situations that challenge him, I live for those moments.
(I know I’m not alone in this. Bear with me.)
I love seeing characters like this suffer and get thrashed and struggle in the face of their darkest times. It shows depth, and a sense of darkness that defies the overly comfortable image that comes across in an anime that is, quite objectively, a bit less of a risk-taker in the earlier arcs in comparison to others.
So, with that in mind… it makes sense why people can’t stand Bakugou Katsuki as a character for treating Izuku like he does, and it also makes sense why Izuku is shipped with just about anyone who can grant him that feeling of “must protect.”
Again, there is nothing wrong with this.
In fact, I want to point out, for the sake of people who can’t stand BakuDeku and enjoy other ships, that I see, respect, and completely understand why you feel the way you feel.
There’s even a strong sense of admiration for it, because you wonderful people are coming from a place that wants Izuku Midoriya to have a stable dynamic.
This is an incredible, awesome, respectful thing, and shows so much love for Izuku as a character.
So at this point, it may seem that I’m arguing against myself. That I’m shoving my own argument into the ground for why BakuDeku is my Number Two OTP, and how I’m arguing for its validity.
But, this is where I want to put some light onto the perspective that I have for this ship, and I don’t think I’ve ever gone this deep before on Tumblr.
I mentioned a little bit earlier that part of what makes Izuku shine as a character is how he affects other people. He brings out elements of characters that they won’t even realize themselves. (Todoroki Shouto, Shinsou Hitoshi, and All Might are both huge, and popular, examples of this, even though they’re not the only ones).
His drive and his motivations are directed towards an incredible goal that is founded in the roots of his passion. And this aspect of Izuku? This passion, this drive, this embodiment of equal strengths and flaws balancing and cancelling each other out as he grows and learns?
They are reflected in none other than Bakugou Katsuki.
I’m in love with the depth to this dynamic, with the potential that’s built on what they could accomplish together.
Izuku cares deeply for Katsuki, and admires him and respects him, but even with that in mind he knows that Katsuki is an asshole. It’s important to acknowledge this, that Izuku will not let Katsuki take advantage of him in any way.
And Katsuki, quite evidently, hasn’t attempted to take advantage of Izuku at all; in fact, he’s been only focused on what he wants to accomplish, and is overly obsessed with Izuku potentially surpassing him and “looking down on him” (as confirmed in the story.)
Katsuki is dreadfully immature in a lot of ways, but the fact that they contain so many similar ambitions, balanced on top of a quite impressive tower of flaws that parallel each other perfectly… this, is what draws me to them.
Izuku and Katsuki are both incredibly ambitious and determined. They both work exceptionally hard.
I wrote a list awhile back that needs to be updated again anyway, so…
Here are some general contrasts/parallels to them:
- Izuku is humble, while Katsuki is egotistical.
- Katsuki is prodigiously talented, while Izuku had to go the extra mile, despite them both being hard workers.
- Izuku lacks self-preservation, and Katsuki looks out for himself, first and foremost, and how he will accomplish his goal.
- Katsuki exhibits elements of both an intense superiority/inferiority complex, while Izuku… doesn’t.
- Katsuki is more instinctive with his actions, while Izuku is analytical and a definite planner.
- Izuku’s Quirk is more focused on the all-embodying element, like a supercharged mechanism that can both protect and damage in spurts. Katsuki’s Quirk is designed as more of a shield for himself only, and can release constant bursts of power. The more they develop, the more similar their Quirks can become in terms of balance.
- Katsuki is exaggeratedly egotistical and lacking humility, pushing others away and immediately accepting himself as the greatest priority. Izuku is the exact opposite, but with a quality just as exaggerated and vast: his anxious hesitation and lack of confidence in himself and only believing that he can succeed with others.
- Izuku’s struggles in confidence is mostly internal and how he thinks of himself. Katsuki’s confidence is both too bloated for him to handle and in the exact same plane as Izuku’s.
- Izuku admires All-Might for being the ultimate protector and savior of lives with a smile on his face. Katsuki is focused on the idea of winning, and how heroes always prevail in the end.
I could go on and on with this… but yeah.
Something I noticed, as well, while writing this, is that Katsuki and Izuku’s contrasts, while very prevalent, are often rooted in similar, if not the same, bedrock of emotions that affect them differently because of their personalities.
Sometimes their points of views and emotions are so balanced and imbalanced at the same time that it takes awhile to look back and think through all of those individual moments.
And so, before this gets too unbearably wrong, I’m going to bring this home with emphasizing the main point of why I love writing this ship: it’s a challenge.
A huge. Fucking. Challenge.
It begs the question: how can you make this ship work? How can you make their potential dynamic come together and brush through those layers of misunderstandings and reckless emotions?
How can Bakugou Katsuki pull his head out of his ass and realistically come into his own while learning to appreciate the person who’s respected and admired him for so long?
How can Izuku Midoriya learn to stick up for himself when it comes to Katsuki and allow them both to be on equal ground, rather than Izuku always chasing the other?
How can they get over their differences, and develop something beautiful and, dare I say it, healthy, after a possible length of years and years of mending?
For me, this ship demonstrates the gray areas of relationships, and the possibility of redemption for even the vilest people.
For me, this ship revels in the depths of Izuku’s character as well as Katsuki’s, and how their dynamic can develop into something founded on equal respect, grounding, and healing.
For me, this ship focuses on the damaged elements to both characters and embraces the toxicity to their current circumstance, as well as the awful and wonderful elements of their relationship down the line.
For me, BakuDeku | KatsuDeku focuses on drama, realism, emotion, and the ultimate idea behind rebuilding, protecting, forgiving, and learning to pick up the pieces from one person to another.
There are no excuses for the damage done between these two.
But there is something really beautiful, and tragic, about the potential in the horizon.
So those are my thoughts.
Thank you for inboxing, Anon.