My Hero Academia chapter 376 leaks bring with them news about the 8th popularity poll, and the accompanying artwork has the fandom in the throes of speculation. As is the norm at this point, Katsuki Bakugo claims first place in the poll with 13731 votes, followed by Izuku Midoriya and Shoto Todoroki in second and third places, respectively.
However, in the accompanying artwork, Horikoshi has drawn the characters in what seems to be a continuation of a previous fantasy world from the 4th character popularity poll. In this artwork, Bakugo is shown with a scar on his chest, and his left eye resembling Edgeshot’s.
Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from the My Hero Academia manga upto chapter 376.
My Hero Academia’s latest popularity poll hints at Bakugo’s revival
After Shigaraki destroyed Bakugo’s heart in My Hero Academia chapter 362, Edgeshot came forward in chapter 364 in an attempt to mend the boy’s heart. Using his quirk, he stretched himself into strings thin enough to be surgical sutures and started to repair Bakugo’s body from within. It was stated that this technique shortens Edgeshot’s lifespan, and no clarification was given as to whether the pro hero could later be removed from Bakugo’s body or not.
The leaked images of the 8th My Hero Academia popularity poll artwork answer some of these questions. Bakugo's scar on his chest indicates that he will most likely survive and carry the scar with him. His left eye resembling Edgeshot’s is a clear indication that the latter will sacrifice his life to save Bakugo’s. It’s possible that a part of him will always remain within the boy.
Bakugo’s death and subsequent attempt at revival were met with severe criticism. Horikoshi has faked Bakugo’s death in a previous chapter before, and the quick revival this time was not received kindly. Not only did most fans feel that this was an attempt to capitalize on Bakugo’s popularity and the related shock factor, but his revival devalued the high stakes of such a devastating war.
However, Bakugo is undoubtedly the most popular character in My Hero Academia, having won the Popularity Polls for seven years in a row. His death would have been a reason for many fans to simply boycott the manga. It is understandable why Horikoshi and the editors at Shueisha would hesitate to part with him.
That being said, there had been no concrete confirmation that Bakugo was indeed alive and that Edgeshot succeeded in reviving him. This artwork comes as a ray of hope for Bakugo fans. Horikoshi is known to give hints of upcoming twists in previous popularity polls. He hinted at Bakugo’s Strafe Panzer in the Fifth Popularity Poll Artwork.
It can be safely said that Horikoshi plans to have Bakugo return to My Hero Academia in the near future. The mangaka had to take a break last week due to health issues, and fans have been worried about him ever since. Shueisha will be going on a publication break next week due to Christmas. Hopefully, the short hiatus will help Horikoshi return to a better state of health.