My Hero Academia: What if Midoriya Had Been Kidnapped Instead of Bakugo?

   My Hero Academia’s class 1-A has experienced a relentless stream of outlandish, brutal, and dangerous events, but one of the most formative happened relatively close to the anime’s start. In the “Hideout Raid” arc, Bakugo Katsuki was kidnapped by the League of Villains’ Vanguard Action Squad. Bakugo’s capture was traumatic to many, but it also sparked an essential chain of events.

   Bakugo’s character progression began here, Inko started to doubt the safety of UA and All Might reflected on his capabilities as a mentor. Without his kidnapping, Bakugo may have never had the redemption arc that he attained, and All Might could have continued being a lackluster teacher to Izuku and the other students of UA. Considering how important this was to several characters within the series, what may have happened if Izuku Midoriya was the victim of Shigaraki’s capture?

   UA Students May Have Reacted Differently to Deku Being Taken

Shigaraki taunts Midoriya in My Hero Academia

   The heroes’ response to a student being taken captive would likely have remained the same. Heroes prioritize victims equally in an emergency, so like when Bakugo was held against his will by the L.O.V., they would get there as soon as possible with a rock-solid plan. The same couldn’t be said for Izuku’s classmates. While Kirishima, Todoroki and Yaoyorozu would still be devising their own plan to save Midoriya, Iida and Bakugo may have responded differently.

   Iida was against the plan when it was Bakugo in danger, insisting they leave the rescue to the heroes, but Midoriya’s bravery and courage inspired him. Despite being the goody-two-shoes of 1-A, Iida went against his nature and joined the attack. However, without Midoriya there to push him, he would have held back. Moreover, Bakugo would be expected to take Deku’s place but is far less likely to put his future at UA at risk. To avoid harming his chances, he would probably side with Iida and stay put for the reputation of the school.

   If Bakugo did decide to join the attack and rescue his classmate, he would be hard to stop. Despite only being there out of obligation, he would put all his effort into the rescue, to the extent that he’d put the Pro Heroes’ mission at risk. While the original rescuers stayed put when instructed to, allow the heroes to help Bakugo, if the tables were turned, the hot-headed student would enter the battlefield all guns blazing.

   One For All Would Help Midoriya Escape

Izuku Midoriya powering up with Eri on his back in My Hero Academia.

   If he had been the one captured, Izuku would have had a better chance of escape due to the nature of his Quirk. Bakugo has a strong Quirk, but if used in the small bar he was kept in, it could have been fatal. On the other hand, even at 5%, Deku could have run circles around the League of Villains, who were then considerably weaker than they are now. He can also apply Full Cowling to his legs, making him far more agile and able to run away or dodge at incredible speed. None of the Vanguard Action Squad were particularly fast, and their range attackers wouldn’t be much good; Dabi was unconscious, and Magne’s magnetism can only reach so far.

   After Izuku’s escape, things would continue almost as they did in canon, with Inko’s response being the exception. When Bakugo — who she’s known since he was a child through her son — was kidnapped, she began to question the safety of UA and whether Midoriya should continue to attend. If this was enough to make her not want her son at the school, his being personally taken, threatened and beaten by the League of Villains would set it in stone. In this case, Inko may have barred Midoriya from attending UA altogether.

   Shigaraki and All Might Would Be Impaired

Shigaraki Tomura giving a creepy stare


   Had Midoriya been rescued or escaped his clutches, Shigaraki would have been absolutely enraged. He devoted time and energy to craft the perfect plan to capture Izuku, the current holder of One For All, only for it to be all undone at the hands of All Might. He had one of the people he hated most in his hands and they slipped away, while another on his hit list soiled the whole stunt. Shigaraki already famously despises All Might after being groomed by his biggest enemy, All For One. Thus, this would add fuel to fire, making the villain even more bloodthirsty.

   All Might also wouldn’t be in the best of shape. Between his near-death experience and almost losing Izuku, the Pro Hero would get a similar wake-up call about mentorship, but with a much grimmer tone. He would be faced with his newfound inability to fulfill his duty as a hero while also dealing with his failure as a protector and teacher to Deku. He would feel this more if Midoriya, his successor — someone who All Might promised to protect at all costs — was captured instead of Bakugo, as it would have been very clear that All Might had failed his protégé.

   Bakugo and Midoriya’s Progression Would Have Changed

Deku vs. Kacchan

   Had their places been swapped, the course of Izuku and Bakugo’s progression would have taken a hit. Midoriya would go through the mental and emotional stress of being kidnapped, something that he wouldn’t be well-suited to cope with while having similar feelings about All Might losing as he did in canon. Without All Might as his mentor — and being the type to internalize feelings rather than seeking help from his friends — this could be catastrophic for Deku.

   Most importantly, Bakugo’s kidnapping was the trigger for much of his personal growth. It caused him to re-evaluate his approach to class 1-A and gave him a newfound respect for Midoriya. Without this occurrence, Bakugo could have continued to be Izuku’s hot-headed bully, a disrespectful student and a worrisome hero. Being caught by the League of Villains triggered a better arc for Bakugo, so the absence of this could change his character entirely.

   Without Bakugo being kidnapped, All Might and Izuku’s fates would be entirely questionable, and Shigaraki’s villainous tendencies would have increased tenfold. Altogether, the event was essential to My Hero Academia’s overall progression, and had it changed in any way, the series would be all but unrecognizable today.

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