First of all, to you, as someone who presumably does not ship KatsuDeku, I’d like to thank you for coming to my ask box with a calm and respectful question rather than wagging fingers and yelling about how the pairing is disgusting and anyone that ships it is filth; or saying things that people who hate Katsuki and Izuku paired together usually use as an example as to why Katsuki is a pretty terrible person and why they should never be together. So, before I answer your question, i really need to say thank you.
Without any more delay, let’s delve into this!
And please, just bare with me, I have a point to all this.
Their relationship was indeed abusive growing up, and anyone that can’t see it is either blind, or chooses to be blissfully ignorant. It was a textbook case of bullying, and first I want to say, that by “shipping” the two of them, that I in no way condone treating another human being like absolute dirt.
With that being said, Katsuki is a strange character. Too many see him as nothing but blind rage, anger, and (in my opinion) his most dangerous personality trait, pride. Izuku was a very young boy when Katsuki began bullying him, and our small green son said himself that once Katsuki had gotten his quirk he began to change.
I’m not excusing his behaviour, but Katsuki, as an impressionable child (as most are), with his drive and determination to be the best, was encouraged by absolutely everyone, and denied by no one. They didn’t just whisper that he was meant for greatness, they loudly exclaimed it, shouted it, and ingrained it into his head. He was told that he would be simply amazing because of his quirk, and then izuku, who didn’t have one, matched his fiery spirit all the way, despite HIM being the best.
A childs psyche is easily fucked with. This kid sat there with heavy expectations, and hopes and dreams on his shoulders. He was told he was amazing by everyone, so it must be true right? He treated Izuku badly all because he was quirkless, but no one stopped him from behaving in such a way, despite it being quite obvious as to what he was doing (Katsuki isn’t known for being quiet), so he couldn’t have been doing anything too bad right?
All that pressure, self doubt, fear of failure, insecurity, and self loathing when he couldn’t reach the top comes with those societal expectations and borderline demands. It all builds up inside and it’s been showing in the recent chapters. His treatment of Izuku… I don’t think Katsuki is as apathetic to Izuku’s suffering as he lets on. Katsuki’s anxiety about his own abilities was never Izuku’s fault, but he saw him as a hurdle to climb over, simply because he unknowingly regarded him as someone who was on par with him, quirk or no. Izuku always met him every step of the way in exuberance, dedication, perseverance despite not being as “amazing” as he is, and infuriatingly enough, beat him when it came to bravery.
If Izuku really was no more than a pebble to him, Katsuki wouldn’t have cared so much about building himself up in comparison, and would have simply dismissed him as another side character, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Izuku endured years of bullying, both emotional and physical mistreatment from Katsuki, yet this blindingly upbeat, and downright Heroic boy has this amazing gift to see the good there is in a person. He can read a person, and see their pain, and tries to obliterate it with his words. As an example, for Shouto, Izuku saw that he was suffering, and used the only power he had from the start to try and save him; the power of speech and his belief in peoples inner strength (or something equally as MC protag-ish). I think that’s what he’s been trying to do with Katsuki from the start. I personally believe that Katsuki perhaps knows that, and sees Izuku pointing out these things to him, or admiring them, as him dragging out and mocking what he sees as weakness in himself. Not that ‘being amazing’ is a weakness, but the fact that Izuku sees him, like his front of fury is so transparent that he could stick his hand through his chest, is like he’s being made out to be a fool. Heros are supposed to be strong, show no fear, and unquestionably courageous. Izuku has beat him in every respect as Katsuki sees it now, yet Izuku’s still there, praising him, and ‘making fun of him’. Katsuki has never needed any real encouragement, as he’s always been at the top. It was just expected respects and due praise to him. He probably has no idea what it means to have someone really believe in him. He was supposed to be the one to make it big, yet there’s “Deku”, crushing not just his dreams, but making the voices of everyone around him, and the whispers of the adults of his past louder and louder, reiterating that he is meant to be something.
SO, ENOUGH ABOUT KATSUKI—
I just had to explain where I was coming from to make my point here, forgive me.
So Katsuki, as fucked up, and down right foul as he can be, isn’t completely to blame for becoming what he is. Again, I’m not excusing him, but I’m saying that Izuku can see that. Izuku isn’t blind to it, at least not completely, because if I was that kid I woulda’ changed schools a long time ago, but this strong green bean has thought about it- said it to himself- and even said it to atsuki’s face (kind of) that he’s a fucking asshole. Izuku has even gone so far as to think about how he hates the guy.
I completely understand where you’re coming from anon.
I really, really do.
I was also bullied really bad by a few people, but two of them, who were incidentally two of the worst by a long shot, are now some very good friends to me. The only thing I can say about that is… people change. They just… grew up.
I’m not saying that everyone needs to go out there and confront their bullies, or people who harassed them, because not all people can make peace with who they were in the past, or perhaps never learned to function a different way, but it happens. You don’t need to gain any closure with a past tormentor, and you are allowed to live your life without sparing them another thought. That is 100000% a-okay. But so is forgiving people, and helping them down a better road to becoming a significantly kinder person. People are allowed to forgive as well as cast away, and this is something I have become very intimate with given my “family” situation. I completely understand that some just can not be forgiven, not ever… but in light of those who are undeserving, I’ve learned and become aware of who is forgivable. Katsuki wasn’t so bad as to not be forgiven and perhaps be given a chance.
We always forget that children can be so cruel. They can be kind, but they don’t even know who they are yet. They can’t make executive decisions concerning some basic life choices. We can’t expect them to understand what they’re doing wrong all the time. Hell, even as adults, humans are constantly learning and shaping themselves to their environment and the people around them.
One of my bullies, they were especially crude and mean to me because they “liked me”. Now they’ve admitted that it was not the way to approach things, and they’re deeply sorry for the ways they acted in high school. They made my life hell for the few months of grade eight all those years ago. I was on the rugby team with him as well, and he and his friends, who i had to play with, would be especially rough with me. It was fine, I thought. I was capable of handling it. We’ve talked about how the stigma and influence of his father and “friends” drove him to act in those ways. How the “boys will be boys” and “Boys pick on girls if they like them” thing was ingrained in his head. It was so influential and potent in his thought process that he thought that me fighting back only meant I liked him too- and drove him to do it even more.
The second of one of my worst bullies was a girl who also went along with the crowd, but now knows that she was a tyrannical queen bee. She had a lot of insecurities, as most bullies often do, and her mother was always on her about being a perfect woman, which now we’ve bonded over due to our similar circumstances. She knows what she did was wrong, and despises what she was in the past. We found eachother again when we volunteered as sort of ‘big sisters’ to teen girls, and did occasional groups with them as well. She knows she did a lot of bad, but hopes to make up for it now that she’s realized her grave mistakes. She’s since broken up with a lot of the “friends” who were just as toxic in high school, and surrounds herself with body-positive, loving people, and i couldn’t be happier to talk to her, and be friends with who she is today, and accept all her past faults and misconducts.
Now, i’m not trying to project my own circumstances here, because I definitely don’t want to see a few bullies I had in school, but I also broke one of their noses, and drop kicked another, so I feel like i got a bit of payback.
What I’m trying to say here,bottom line, with out all the gabbing, is that people can change. I’m not telling you, or talking down to you like I don’t think you know that, but I’m saying it as a generalization for my conclusion here (and for those who are very adamant that a bad person is permanently a douche canoe).
I don’t believe people are inherently bad. Although a person’s experiences and environment can shape the way they see the world, and how they put themselves forth in it, they can improve themselves. As adults, young adults, and perhaps growing teens who are beyond their years, we can look back and take into consideration that everyone’s issues are at play, and acknowledge that it isn’t always a black and white situation. No one is perfect, but we can strive for it as best as we can.
The majority of KatsuDeku shippers focus on Katsuki making amends, and growing past whatever beastly guise he buried “who he really is” under. I think I speak for most of the KatsuDeku shippers when I say we only want Izuku to get through to him, and for Katsuki to recognize himself, his wrongdoings, and fucking apologize. Most fics are all about redemption, or placed in a setting where it’s already happened. I mean, yes, there’s darker fics, every pairing has those, and it may just seem a little more intense given their past with each other, but really, with KatsuDeku…. I get the feeling a lot of us just really want that witty romcom pairing where they kind of piss each other off, but come together to save the world in the end kinda deal. If it was 2005 or something, we could be having this conversation about Naruto and Sasuke or something, who beat the ever loving shit out of each other, yet still had this deep rooted connected between them (that usually translated to each other through fists and screams, like jesus christ LOL).
Katsuki is also filled with passion and drive, and I think he’s more than a little above average on the attractive meter, so there are those fics where it’s purely them, realizing they can rock each other’s world…
I think we all see Katsuki’s insecurity, and want Izuku to continue to try and ease it- but we also don’t want him to be walked all over. We know Katsuki is a nugget of dickcheese. But this kid has also been publicly humiliated in the sports festival, beaten at every aspect of who he is- or what he was suppose to be, taunted and berated by his teachers and peers (which has never been happened before), captured and made to feel helpless, denied of even getting a hero’s training license (so failing at the bare minimum of what he should be doing), and Izuku can understand those feelings more than anyone else i’m sure. Izuku is a fucking VIP in those departments, or at least he was in the past. Katsuki is experiencing what Izuku has gone through, though in different aspects and situations, and Izuku could probably relate on eleven personal levels.
Katsuki and Izuku have history, and share a lot more in common than either of them would like to admit. They arguably have one of the deepest and most complex relationships in the series, and there’s so much more to them than “the bully and the victim.” They share pain and experiences, and though Izuku’s was majorly inflicted by Katsuki, he’s a big enough person to work past that, and be there if Katsuki so happens to work past his own issues. Izuku’s a strong willed motherfucker, and he’s the only thing that Katsuki Bakugou has never truly broken. If Katsuki could see that, and how despite himself, he’s used Izuku as his strength and drive to keep going, they could be unstoppable side by side.
I’d like to see what they could possibly be if Katsuki can manage grow as a person, which he is slowly, but steadily accomplishing. We just want Katsuki to say he’s fucking sorry, and listen to Izuku instead of getting his programmed prejudices, persistent, and intrusive, selfish desires, his need to excel, and pride in the way.
Izuku is strong, and more than capable of taking care of himself now. He’s made it clear he’s done being bullied, and is more than happy to go head to head with Katsuki to be his equal, though it’s kind of clear Katsuki may have seen him as such from the beginning. Still, he’s always reaching out to Katsuki, trying to raise him up despite his aversion to receiving support, and his determination to be on his own- and be number one. That’s the kind of strength one can only muster if they really care about someone I think.
With all that being said, you also asked me why i saw this relationship as healthy. Their current relationship… is not exactly healthy, but more dysfunctional than anything. There isn’t anything “healthy” about their past relationship at all, but now, I think Izuku is capable of pulling his weight. Some good rivalry never hurt anyone in these sorts of animes. This is also fiction. What I see as alright in fictional relationships does not reflect what I think is alright for a real relationship. There needs to be a firm line between fictional relationships and real relationships. Some are easier to establish than others, and it varies in difficulty from person to person.
If I saw two people interacting as Izuku and Katsuki do now, while knowing about their strength and how they butt heads on fairly equal grounds, I probably wouldn’t interfere. People are allowed to fight. People are allowed to argue, but hey, they’re pretty much on equal fighting terms.
If I saw them interacting like they did in middle school, I would be on that so fast, their heads would spin.
Perhaps I’m a bit desensitized or jaded when it comes to subjects like these simply because I’ve experienced some pretty extreme forms of abuse… but when I think of KatsuDeku, I can only hope for the best. KatsuDeku is easy for me to establish as fictional, and even if it wasn’t, where both the boys are now, I think they can handle each other. Their relationship isn’t so abusive currently that red flags start to fly.
Ever heard of Killing Stalking? Red flags there for me personally. Now, that shit straight up (and I don’t use this word lightly because some people just over use it to the point of giving it no meaning and now it’s just a joke to me) triggered me, because before I knew it, I was crying all over myself and having a panic attack, and flash backs, and all that lovely stuff. But it’s fiction. I recognized it as such, and acknowledged that people are allowed to like it, and read it it, draw it, ship it, w/e they want, because chances are they’re aware that this isn’t how a regular couple should function. This isn’t me saying “It’s not bad enough abuse for me to dislike it, because look what it COULD BE” when it comes to our aspiring heros, it’s just…. Izuku isn’t some helpless little kid, and I very much want him to prove that. He’s not a victim anymore.
KatsuDeku isn’t the best of relationships right now, but it’s certainly not the worst, and has a lot of potential to grow and shape into something. Canonly; more than likely they’ll just become friends, because everything is very hetero-normative in japan, though there’s room for a lot more than friendship. They’ve exposed themselves on so many levels that I think they would be even closer because of their past. Concerning fan works; a shit ton of material to play off of here. A pretty interesting date or two lies in store there, lol.
I’m sorry if I didn’t correctly answer your question, or if I made no sense, or rambled, or left things out that were in my thoughts and didn’t quite make it into my… lengthy response here. If I ever came off rude up there, that was not my intention, and was just trying to explain!
Thank you for your question! My sympathies to your past bullying experience, and i’m glad you no longer have to deal with that ;A;
If i wasn’t clear on anything, or should clarify, don’t hesitate to ask!
Have a lovely day!