Create

Deku’s 10 most impactful fights in My Hero Academia, ranked

Deku has too many impactful fights in My Hero Academia (Image via Sportskeeda)
Deku has too many impactful fights in My Hero Academia (Image via Sportskeeda)

As the protagonist of My Hero Academia, Midoriya “Deku” Izuku is involved in the most number of fights across the series. Some of them were spectacular but with little impact, while others were underwhelming to look at but with long reaching effects.

The most spectacular or difficult fights of Deku are not always the ones with the most impact. His battle with Gentle Criminal has managed to impact Deku’s psyche and outlook more deeply than his jaw-dropping one-on-one with Muscular (the first time).

Here are 10 such meaningful fights in My Hero Academia.

[This Article contains spoilers from My Hero Academia anime and manga, and reflects the writer’s personal opinion.]


Countdown of 10 fights in My Hero Academia that have impacted Deku the most

Deku vs Shigaraki is one of the most important fights in My Hero Academia (Image via Shueisha)
Deku vs Shigaraki is one of the most important fights in My Hero Academia (Image via Shueisha)

This list considers the impact of the fight on Deku specifically, and not the way Deku has impacted others through it. Many of Deku’s well-known fights were visually impressive, but failed to leave a long-lasting effect. Others, such as the Fight with Stain, were more important for other characters, in this case Iida and Stain, instead of Deku himself.

The list is ranked based on how much a fight affected Deku and what influence it has on Deku’s future actions. It also considers how much the fight acted as a character exposition for Deku.


10) Deku vs Shinsou (U.A. Sports Festival arc)

youtube-cover

While many would consider this an odd choice to put on this list, the fight between Deku and Shinsou Hitoshi was important for three reasons: Deku saw the vestiges of OFA for the first time, he understood how to use OFA to counter his current predicament, and he finally found someone to relate to regarding his envy of those with better quirks.

Aizawa noted that Deku learned to use OFA and everything else at his disposal to their maximum capacity. Breaking Shinsou’s mind control was both a confidence boost to himself, as well as ground-breaking due to the visit from the Vestiges. This first visit will become more important as Deku continues to master more and more of OFA as My Hero Academia progresses.

Deku with all the vestiges of OFA (Image via Shueisha)
Deku with all the vestiges of OFA (Image via Shueisha)

Deku secretly envied those who had heroic quirks, or any quirk at all in his case, which is something he shares with Shinsou. Deku has never explicitly mentioned this envy before this fight, which is likely due to him viewing this feeling in a negative light. But relating to Shinsou not only helped him understand his future friend better, but it made a part of himself easier to accept.


9) The U.S.J. fight against Shigaraki and Nomu (U.S.J. Arc)

youtube-cover

Technically, there were two separate fights against Shigaraki in the U.S.J. facility, against Aizawa and All Might. However, the impact was a combined effect of the two. The U.S.J. fight was the first time Tomura Shigaraki and Midoriya Izuku came face-to-face in My Hero Academia. From then onwards, they started to orbit each other in their strive towards their respective goals.

Deku was brought to the chilling realization that the League of Villains aim to take down All Might, and would later succeed in this endeavor. It was also here that he truly understood the gravity of passing down OFA and how vulnerable that made All Might. We see his obsessive need to justify his succession triple from here on out, mixed with his growing notion that he does not deserve OFA.


8) Deku vs. Gentle Criminal (U.A. School Festival Arc)

youtube-cover

While this fight was underwhelming at best, its effects were subtle but far-reaching. Gentle Criminal is perhaps the first villain in My Hero Academia whom Deku sympathizes with. He admits to himself that he related to Gentle Criminal's motives and his past. The bond between Gentle and La Brava reminded him of the bond between himself and Eri.

While this is not the start of a shift in Deku’s opinion on villains, it is surely the first major event. The fight ignited a drive in him to better understand the motives of the villains, and this would later come full circle when he resolved to save Tenko Shimura. Additionally, this fight also highlights how important Eri has become to Deku.


7) Deku vs. Overhaul (Shie Hassaikai arc)

youtube-cover

The fight between Deku and Chisaki is considered to be one of the most spectacular battles in My Hero Academia. It is also one of Deku’s most impactful fights. Not only did this fight elaborate on how far Deku is willing to go in order to save someone, but it also highlights the genuine care he puts into comforting those he saves.

Eri is one of the most important connections in Deku’s life, and this fight bound them together. This is also when Deku first loses someone, and Sir Nighteye’s death makes the boy aware of the consequences of being a hero.

Izuku does, at one point, try to give away his quirk to Mirio. This highlights how he still feels unworthy of OFA. It was not until his first visit to the vestiges that he started to accept OFA as his own.


6) Bakugo Escort Squad vs. Vanguard Action Squad (Forest Training Arc)

youtube-cover

While Deku physically did not participate much during the fight, he was definitely the brains behind his friends’ attempt at getting Bakugou and Tokoyami back from Dabi and Mr. Compress. This fight is important to a lot of people in My Hero Academia, especially Dabi and Shoto Todoroki, but it is even more important to Deku.

Deku leaves U.A. to protect his friends in My Hero Academia 306 (Image via Shueisha)
Deku leaves U.A. to protect his friends in My Hero Academia 306 (Image via Shueisha)

This battle and the consequent failure leaves Deku in a state of despair, which Bakugou’s rescue could not alleviate. Apart from his worries for Bakugou specifically, Deku begins to become obsessed with protecting people and neglecting himself in the process, something that truly boils over in the Tartarus Escapees arc.


5) Deku vs Lady Nagant (Tartarus Escapees Arc)

Tell when someone is acting in good faith vs acting in bad faith, look at how he treats lady Nagant and gentle vs people like overhaul or muscular. My point with all of this is that we as readers can see Shigaraki and deku’s origins in the show, watch their actions and dialogue,- https://t.co/l6ORb1Ksms

This fight stood out because this was the first time in My Hero Academia that readers saw Deku use multiple OFA quirks with marvelous precision. It was also during this fight that every OFA vestige appeared with him, and readers see his first interaction with the Second User.

In terms of its effect on Deku, he sinks deeper into his vigilante persona and it is after this battle that he has his argument with All Might. On the positive side, Lady Nagant’s words affect him deeply, and they circle back to him when he deals with Aoyama’s betrayal later on.


4) Team Midoriya & Bakugo vs. All Might (Final Exam Arc)

youtube-cover

By this point in My Hero Academia, Deku and Bakugo had come to an understanding. However, their fight against All Might during the Final Exams acted as a gateway to their future team-ups. They put their objective over their differences and simultaneously also fought against the hero they both idolize. The effect of this team-up was shown in their later collaborations, with a growing understanding between the two.

Bakugo apologizes to Deku (Image via Shueisha)
Bakugo apologizes to Deku (Image via Shueisha)

This allowed Deku to inch closer to the impossible standards he has set for himself. However, this also showcases Deku’s self-sacrificial tendencies. More specifically, as Bakugo would later point out to Endeavor, readers get to know that Deku does not consider himself as a factor or collateral when planning something.


3) Deku and Uraraka vs Bakugo and Iida (Battle Trial arc)

youtube-cover

This was the first time in My Hero Academia that Deku stood up against Bakugou in any capacity, meeting him head-to-head. This fight starts a domino effect of unsettling everything in Midoriya and Bakugou’s rivalry. In fact, it is here that Deku starts to consider it as a rivalry and not an antagonistic acquaintanceship.

Deku and Uraraka later become good teammates in My Hero Academia (Image via Shueisha)
Deku and Uraraka later become good teammates in My Hero Academia (Image via Shueisha)

Additionally, this fight compels Deku to tell Bakugou about OFA, and subsequently confide in him more and more as My Hero Academia progresses. It also lays the foundation for his teamwork with Uraraka and does wonders for his confidence. It also shows the audience that Deku can be as reckless and destructive as Katsuki, perhaps even more so.


2) Deku vs class 1A (Tartarus Escapees arc)

Class A vs. Deku 🎨I did a fun coloring collaboration with @stankobeni ! (Stefan colored Deku and i did 1A)#MHA #BNHA https://t.co/cGwSI0KHyl

While it can hardly be classified as a fight, Deku’s battle against Class 1-A was one of the most poignant and poetic in My Hero Academia. The combined effort from his class, Iida and Bakugou in particular, counters the self-destructive mode he has put himself into. Interestingly, it does not make Deku any less obsessive about saving people, nor does it bring him out of his solitary nature.

Iida encouraging Deku (Image via Shueisha)
Iida encouraging Deku (Image via Shueisha)

However, Bakugou’s apology to Deku during this fight serves as a wake-up call. He re-learns to rely on his friends, and to trust in other people’s judgment. Uraraka’s heart-breaking speech about letting Deku into U.A. was a direct aftermath of this fight, and it affected not only the students, but the civilians as well.


1) Midoriya Izuku vs Shigaraki Tomura (Paranormal Liberation War Arc)

Deku vs Shigaraki is just two protagonists of their own stories going head to head https://t.co/tcsxxXyBgC

Undoubtedly the biggest and most impactful fight in My Hero Academia yet, Deku going head-to-head with the semi-developed Shigaraki Tomura in the Paranormal War arc changed both participants completely. Not only did the fight change the topography of the Hero Society as we know it, but it brought the manga to new heights as well.

The main developments, if listed, would go such: Shigaraki’s semi-developed form uses multiple quirks besides Decay, Midoriya manifests and uses Float, Midoriya crumbles under the weight of losses of loved ones and attacks Shigaraki, he gets a glimpse of AFO subduing Tenko Shimura inside Shigaraki, meets Nana Shimura’s and Yoichi Shigaraki’s Vestiges, and that is just barely scratching the surface.

Deku's resolve to save Shigaraki in My Hero Academia (Image via Shueisha)
Deku's resolve to save Shigaraki in My Hero Academia (Image via Shueisha)

This fight changed Deku’s outlook of hero society and it encouraged him to save Tenko. He further regressed into his martyr complex and left U.A. in order to protect his classmates.


Special Mention

youtube-cover

The two fights that most My Hero Academia readers would expect to be on this list are “Deku Vs Kacchan 2” and “Izuku Midoriya vs Shoto Todoroki.” However, in the latter case, the fight is far more significant to Todoroki than it is to Midoriya.

While they do form their friendship here, which later comes handy in the Stain fight, Deku doesn’t particularly take anything away from this fight other than the lesson of not meddling in other people’s business, something he promptly ignores.

youtube-cover

In the case of Deku’s fight with Bakugou in Ground Beta, the same logic applies. The fight between them was designed to act as a character exposition for Bakugou, with Deku mostly there as a catalyst.

Deku has always considered Bakugou to be someone to admire, and has respected and cared for him openly. Although All Might proclaims them to be proper rivals at the end of the fight, that process had begun some time ago, while them standing on equal footing would only come after Bakugou’s apology.


Final thoughts

#BNHASpoilersOh my god the PARALLELS with Deku vs. Shigaraki and All Might vs. AFO AHHHH. https://t.co/jDpHlcrx5q

As My Hero Academia progresses, Deku continues to engage in more and more fights. However, it can be safely said that he learns from each one and applies those lessons to his next battle, growing better and stronger.

Quick Links

Edited by Saman
1 comment