My Hero Academia: Deku or Koichi? Who is a better protagonist?

Pop Step, Crawler, and Knuckleduster (Image via Shueisha)
Pop Step, Crawler, and Knuckleduster (Image via Shueisha)

My Hero Academia has been a hit with fans since it aired. Although the manga was already very popular, the anime helped it achieve new levels of recognition. That, unfortunately, is not the case for the spinoff prequel My Hero Academia: Vigilantes.

Both series have an incredible cast and epic moments that define them and make them unique. Their protagonists are great in their way, but who is considered the better hero between them?

In this article, we will analyze both Deku and Crawler, right now Skycrawler, and see if we can answer that question.

Note: This article will be based on the author’s opinion and contain spoilers from My Hero Academia and My Hero Academia Vigilantes.

Who will be My Hero Academia’s ultimate protagonist?

To begin with, we will talk about the series’ premise to understand what we will be working with. Both series are happening in the same world, an Earth where people gained superpowers, also known as Quirks. In this world, most kids aspire to be a hero.

That is the case for both protagonists, but besides their admiration for the number one Hero, All Might, they start to drift apart more.

Deku means you can do it

Izuku Midoriya was a quirkless boy in his last year of middle school. His dream was always to be a hero one day, despite knowing that he was born without power. He is not very popular at school, facing bullies and ignorant teachers all day.

His luck turns around when he meets his idol, All might. He offers his quirk, the only quirk that can be passed on from person to person at that point in the series, and helps him train for the entrance exam of UA.


From that moment onwards, Izuku Midoriya, alias Deku, is on his way to becoming the greatest hero ever. Deku is a true hero at heart. Even when his mother and his peers tried to prevent him from achieving his dream, he kept on going, proving to them that he was more than able to become a hero.

Deku grew from a weak middle school student to a robust hero-in-training. Going from being unable to control One for All at all to having unlocked 6 out of 7 quirks this ability offers him - he is truly excelling.

Deku’s personality

Midoriya has been selfless since he was a kid. Trying to protect a kid from his bullies even when he was quirkless or running in to save his primary abuser when he is attacked, he is known to break every bone in his body to protect the people around him.

Deku’s heroic nature makes him the best possible candidate for My Hero Academia’s main series. He is a young student who is full of hope and helps everyone around him while still giving it his all to achieve his dream of becoming a hero.

His child-like image of what being a hero gets slowly ripped apart by the realities of the world. Spectators can watch how Deku loses increasingly and becomes a completely different person.

Deku right now is in a wrong place. After having lost everything in the war against the League of Villains, and the threat of All for One coming back again, Deku is desperately trying to keep everyone safe. This has taken its toll on his psyche.

Deku’s Power


Deku inherited his quirk from All Might, One for All, a power accumulation quirk created in the dawn of quirks by All for One himself. The quirk has 8 previous users, 7 of which possessed a quirk One for All inherited.

Deku’s power is super-strength, speed, and durability. A whip of energy comes from his arm to grab things and move. The abilities to fly, feel threats around him, use his kinetic energy for power attacks, and to create smoke are among some of his stunning capabilities.

As he is the ninth user of the quirk, Deku is as strong as they come, with a promise to surpass All Might one day. He even told us that at the beginning of My Hero Academia.

Deku’s role as the protagonist

As discussed earlier, Deku is a perfect candidate for the protagonist role. My Hero Academia is a show that tries to keep its content on the bright side. Even when tackling serious issues, you can be sure there will be a happy conclusion.

But as the series progresses and Deku grows, he realizes there is not always a rainbow at the end of the road. He has suffered death, significant losses, betrayal, and is in the middle of a war he did not start.

His ideals about the world are slowly pulled back to reveal the true and cruel nature of the society he lives in. If not for his friends, Deku would have walked a dark road long ago, sending My Hero Academia on a much different route.

Crawler is here!


Koichi started his series as a college student who illegally fights crime at night. His one chance at a Hero career slipped from his hands when he decided to save someone instead of arriving in time for his exam.

But Koichi still tries to make the world a better place by helping those he can every time it is possible for him. This brings him into a world of vigilantism and rule-breaking with his new family.

Koichi’s powers only grow as his mentor, friends, allies, and even those after him for his vigilantism push him forward. And through his eyes, we are presented with a more realistic depiction of the world.

Like Deku, Koichi started the series as a weak individual, but unlike Midoriya, he was born with a quirk. Even though others considered his quirk useless, Koichi still had a simpler time during his childhood.

His hardships come when he is already an adult, beginning to understand the secrets of the world around him. That's what My Hero Academia: Vigilantes is all about.

Koichi’s personality


Koichi is a charismatic and heroic person, going as far as putting his dream on the line to save a stranger. He has to deal with bullies with powerful quirks who could not enter a hero school, but he has his quirk to help him, even when the help at the beginning is minimal.

Koichi’s love for Heroes is significantly lesser than Deku’s, but that does not mean he is not as decided to help people. Like Deku, he is always willing to lend a hand to whoever needs it, and his friends are like family to him.

Koichi started the series as an adult, as someone who already knows some of the ugly truths about the world but keeps going regardless. He is endearing and sometimes simpler to relate to than Deku since he is just another guy.

Koichi’s powers


At first, Koichi thought his only power was to slide without any friction against any solid object, but he must have three limbs always making contact. But as he progresses from seeing his quirk as useless, we begin to learn the realities of his quirk.

His real quirk is the creation of repulsive force fields that can be used in many different situations. He can use them to fly by constantly repulsing the air, using them for defense by repealing hits, and even creating them around his knuckles for explosive attacks.

His powers grow as he learns more about himself. Unlike Deku, his powers are not constantly evolving or adding to his arsenal. He is just figuring out how to use them more appropriately and creatively.

Koichi’s role as the protagonist


Koichi is in a similar position to Deku's. He is the perfect embodiment of what this series is all about. Koichi does not start his journey as an idealistic teen, he is already an adult who knows the world and is aware that the Hero society has problems.

My Hero Academia: Vigilantes is a series that talks about the My Hero Academia world before the main series and talks about a lot of the problems the main show does not talk about in-depth. Vigilantes fully develop on topics the original manga and anime-only brush on.

Koichi is not destined for greatness like Deku is, but he is also not someone who has suffered all his life. He is just another person with a good heart. His powers have always been with him, and he has been able to develop them at his pace with the help of his friends.

My Hero Academia: Vigilantes is not a series that focuses on epic battles and massive destruction. The setting is calmer and tries to make the viewer empathize with society's problems. But that in no way means it is a boring series. It's just different from its counterparts.

So, who is better?

This is not an easy question to answer. Both characters embody what My Hero Academia is all about. They are heroic at heart, want to make a better world, and are ready to sacrifice themselves for those they swore to protect. But that is it, there is not much of a comparison between them.

Deku is a kid learning about the dark aspects of a world he wanted to change, even when he was treated like dirt all his life. Koichi is an adult that knows the world is not always fair and wants to do his part to make it better.

But both series’ focus is too far apart to try and compare them. While they are both based in the same world, My Hero Academia is an action-focused tale about a kid who grows up and learns to change the world. Vigilantes is a series about an adult who knows more about himself and the dark parts of the world.

Izuku and Koichi work perfectly in their settings, and while Koichi can sometimes be more relatable, that does not mean he is a better protagonist. They are both the best protagonists their series could have asked for.

As the spinoff series ends and the prominent manga closes, we can only be glad to have met such great characters. Let us enjoy both series for as long as we can and appreciate both characters' strengths and weaknesses that make them unique and special.

This was our analysis of the protagonists of My Hero Academia and My Hero Academia Vigilantes. Do you agree with it? Do you have a preference between them? Let us know in the comments section below. Follow us here at Sportskeeda Anime for all the latest news and content about My Hero Academia’s world.

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Edited by Sayati Das
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