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Katsuki Bakugo

My Hero Academia
by yo go re

Just what every series needs: an unlikeable dickbag!

One of Deku's childhood friends. He has great confidence in his intelligence, physical strength, and great battle skills, and he believes he will become the number 1 hero. He has a great ambition. His Quirk is Explosion, where sweat from his palm becomes a nitro-like sweat and explodes.

Okay, just like last time, let's rewrite that so it's coherent. "When Katsuki Bakugo developed his Quirk, he became a huge bully to his former friend Izuku Midoriya, coining the cruel nickname 'Deku.' Arrogant, aggressive, and self-absorbed, he believes only he can surpass All Might to become Japan's number one hero; moreover, he believes only he deserves to! Bakugo's Quirk, Explosion, allows him to secrete a nitro-like sweat from his palm, and ignite it at will." Not as much of an improvement as Midoriya's rewrite was, but still better.

In any other shonen series, Bakugo would be the main protagonist: he's loud, he's brash, he has spiky hair, he wears orange... he's Naruto! Except a jerk. His costume is exactly what you'd expect Little Edgelord Fauntleroy to design: a black tanktop with a giant orange X across the chest, some kind of metal neck brace, gloves that extend all the way up to his biceps, a green belt with small grenades on it, baggy black pants, angled kneepads, and black combat boots with orange soles. And oh yeah, gigantic grenade-shaped gauntlets that allow him to reservoir his nitro-sweat and save it for even larger explosions! Plus, his black mask extends into a pair of big black flares with orange edges. Yeah, that's not just some graphic element drawn behind the character, that's a thing he actually wears.

If you look at Bakugo's face, he totally looks like a jerk and a half. Beneath that spiky hair, he's got angry eyes and a smile that would make a serial killer seem friendly. Looks like he'd be voted "Most Likely to Turn Evil" (although when a villain tried to give him the "we're not so different you and I" speech, he told them to go jump in a lake, because even as a jerk he can recognize right from wrong).

It's astounding to think that just two years ago, McFarlane Toys was still known for having garbage articulation, because Bakugo is right on par for what we expect from the company today. He has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, balljointed wrists, balljointed chest and waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel/hinge/swivel ankles, and hinged toes. The big grenade-sleeves he wears can swivel as well, turning for the best appearance in whatever pose you choose, but the left gauntlet on mine is stuck tight, and neither freezing it nor dunking it in boiling water have helped.

Bakugo (he doesn't have a supranym yet) comes with an alternate pair of "flexed" hands packaged above him in the tray. Why are those alternate? Because his standard hands have the fingers splayed out wide, and huge gouts of flame exploding from the palms!! The orange explosions are both translucent and metallic, which is a wonderful combo that makes them look darn impressive, and contrasts against his dark suit. The sculpted points of the explosions are surprisingly sharp for a mass-market toy. Even if it was a decision made based on economy of in-package real estate, the choice to put the exploding hands on the figure as his "standard" pair perfectly suit Bakugo's character.

When the students of UA High were instructed to come up with their hero names, Bakugo proudly stood up before the class and declared himself "King Explosion Murder." The teacher said that wasn't appropriate, so he sat down to think about it for a while... and came up with Lord Explosion Murder. That speaks to his outlook, though: he thinks being a hero is all about power, with no thought to perception. When he got an internship, his mentor tried to get him to think about how public perception would influence his heroic career, but Bakugo just wouldn't learn the lesson. So while most of the students need to learn the best ways to use their Quirks, Bakugo's already got that down - he just needs to learn how to be a person.

-- 04/23/20

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