My Hero Academia creator Horikoshi makes a dreaded mistake in killing and reviving a major character

Horikoshi makes a glaring mistake in My Hero Academia (Image via Sportskeeda)
Horikoshi makes a glaring mistake in My Hero Academia (Image via Sportskeeda)

My Hero Academia does not feature many resurrections, and it has become a staple of the series that those who die, few and far between as they are, stay dead. However, the Final Act has destabilized a lot of what the fandom believed to be the core facts of the series, and while many of these changes mark an improvement in creator Kohei Horikoshi’s writing, his recent experimentation with character introductions and resurrections has raised some concerns.

My Hero Academia chapter 362 became infamous for featuring the apparent death of one of the central characters of the series. While it was a bold move that impressed many readers, the majority were skeptical about it being an unnecessary shock factor. When Horikoshi ended chapter 364 by setting up an apparent resurrection of the said character, most readers felt that it was a misstep. However, the chief issue with the mangaka's decision is not one most would think.

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from up to My Hero Academia chapter 365 and reflects the opinion of the writer.


Horikoshi’s decision to resurrect Bakugo may be one of the biggest missteps in the final arc of My Hero Academia

In My Hero Academia chapter 362, Katsuki Bakugo gets his heart destroyed by Shigaraki/AFO while fighting the villain. After a period of uncertainty, Edgeshot stepped up in chapters 364 and 365, planning to use his quirk to reform Bakugo’s heart and save the boy, even at the cost of his own life.

While everyone argued either for or against his death, no one truly believed that Horikoshi would kill Bakugo. Theories ran rampant regarding how the resurrection would proceed, with Eri and the Second User of OFA being the two primary options. The point of concern, then, became not if Horikoshi would bring Bakugo back, but how he would do it. Readers agreed that this resurrection could make or break the series from here on out.


The discontent with the apparent death

Bakugo apologizes to Deku (Image via Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha)
Bakugo apologizes to Deku (Image via Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha)

Moving on to the death itself, one section believed that Bakugo’s character arc had come full circle with his actions in the Paranormal Liberation War arc and his subsequent apology to Midoriya in the Villain Hunt/Tartarus Escapees arc. Thus, the death was a brilliant way to bring his character to an end as well as raise the stakes of the war, bringing out the brutal reality of the risks the Heroes must take.

The other half argued that Bakugo had much left to prove and that his character arc had just started to unfold properly. Considering that Horikoshi promised to give Bakugo a bigger role in the final arc, they argued that such an abrupt death did no justice to the deuteragonist’s potential.

Fans express discontent (Image via Sportskeeda)
Fans express discontent (Image via Sportskeeda)

Bakugo is the most popular and marketed character in My Hero Academia. A fraction of readers refused to believe that the editors and the publisher would let Horikoshi kill off Bakugo. They have been certain that the Hero would be brought back, often citing the example of Tite Kubo being forced to revive Byakuya Kuchiki in Bleach.

Another section accused Horikoshi of doing this for shock value without the whole matter being important to the plot. Still reeling from the disappointment of the U.A. traitor reveal, these readers believed Bakugo’s death to be a false alarm. Of course, there were his fans, who simply refused to accept his death due to emotional attachment.


Why fandom disliked the resurrection

Unfortunately, when it came about in My Hero Academia chapter 364, the majority of the fandom was disappointed at Horikoshi’s handling of the revival. Edgeshot has not had a great impact on the story or Bakugo’s life so far. His saving of Bakugo when he had been largely absent in the fight against Shigaraki, that too with a new application of Foldabody that was never alluded to before, seemed rash and counterproductive to most readers.

Bakugo is far more important than Edgeshot to the story and fans alike. To tease his death and then substitute it with the shortening of Edgeshot’s lifespan, greatly diminished the emotional impact and consequences of the Final War. It seemed to most that Horikoshi had taken the easy way out by raising the popularity of My Hero Academia with the threat of Bakugo’s death and then switching it out with Edgeshot.

The chief complaint was that it would have been more emotionally impactful to use Best Jeanist, who is both more present in the story after his role in the previous war and more important to Bakugo as his mentor. The explanation of Foldabody’s power also seemed unclear and insufficient to many.


Arguments to the contrary

Edgeshot does his duty as a Hero (Image via Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha)
Edgeshot does his duty as a Hero (Image via Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha)

Pro-Heroes are adults who have signed their lives away for the good of the people, while Hero-students, no matter how strong or willing they are, are still minors who ought to be kept safe from the war. That is the message Horikoshi had tried to present in My Hero Academia. Many felt that Bakugo’s demise on the battlefield would provide the perfect shock to hammer home this point, and Edgeshot saving him wastes that opportunity.

On the contrary, many would argue that the idea is both reasonable and supportive of Horikoshi’s game plan. Having Edgeshot, a Pro-Hero, save Bakugo, a boy who had been let down by Heroes several times before, in the same chapter where Agpar gives a speech about the responsibility and accountability of the adults, drives home Horikoshi’s point.

Edgeshot is a tertiary character who has no special connection to Bakugo and has not been set up for glory the same way Endeavor, Hawks, Jeanist, and Mirko have been. To have him sacrifice his life for the sake of his duty shows the remaining goodness in a rotten structure. It is both a beacon of hope and a justification for why Hero-students hold their idols in such high esteem. It also acts as a segue to highlighting Shigaraki’s own trauma regarding the failure of the Hero society in My Hero Academia chapter 365.


The key mistake

Horikoshi shifts focus too rapidly in chapter 363 (Image via Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha)
Horikoshi shifts focus too rapidly in chapter 363 (Image via Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha)

While each side has valid points, this article would argue that the chief reason why the progression of events concerning Bakugo’s death seems disjointed is the pacing and the foreboding sense of hastiness that comes from the events despite the fact that they make a contextual sense and have likely been thought out by Horikoshi for a long time.

Bakugo is the deuteragonist of My Hero Academia, but his death in chapter 362 is anticlimactic, sudden, and is never fully confirmed. Instead of giving readers time to absorb the information and come to terms with it, Horikoshi shifts focus to other battles in chapter 363, showing Dabi to be alive and AFO to have healed himself. This takes away the attention that such a drastic end to a main character deserves.

When people barely began to move forward with their theories, Edgeshot steps in as the savior in the very next chapter. This does not give the readers to feel the lack of Bakugo’s presence properly and lends less impact to the possibility of his return. To summarize, this could have been one of the biggest incidents of My Hero Academia, if it was done at a slower pace with a proper interval between the death and the resurrection.


Final thoughts

Edgeshot has not succeeded yet (Image via Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha)
Edgeshot has not succeeded yet (Image via Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha)

Ever since Horikoshi announced his willingness to wrap up My Hero Academia within the year in last year’s Jump Festa, readers have noticed an unnecessary rush in the Final Act. The arcs are shorter, the characters and events are not as fleshed out as they were in Act 2, and the mangaka no longer takes his time to elaborate upon his plot points. The fandom fears that this hastiness is unfair to the entire sequence of Bakugo’s death.

However, one must keep in mind that Edgeshot has not succeeded yet, and there is a fair chance that even if he succeeds, the result will be far less than ideal. This could pave the way for Deku’s entry, or provide the next character-defining point for Bakugo. Until My Hero Academia chapter 366 is released, readers must give Horikoshi the benefit of the doubt.