Panels 119 and 322 share many themes, such as rectifying their lack of communication over the years through visualization, embarking on a journey toward unity and completion, and shifting away from growing apart to growing together. Furthermore, these panels depict Bakugou’s character growth as he works to understand both Midoriya’s past and present selves; 322 marks its conclusion with their apology being accepted upon their reunion.
1. Bakugou and Midoriya’s Fight
My Hero Academia’s third season has delivered many epic battles, but few were as brilliantly choreographed and executed as this fight between Midoriya and Bakugou. Not only was this battle showcased with fantastic choreography and surprising strategy, but it also offered significant character growth for both fighters.
One thing that stands out in this episode is the massive difference in power between Midoriya and Bakugou. Although Midoriya’s quirk may be powerful, it does not compare with Bakugou’s, and therefore, when these two characters battle, there is a significant chance they could both die from fighting each other if something goes awry.
However, what makes the fight even more intriguing is its demonstration of the different approaches these two fighters take towards heroism. Midoriya wears his emotions on his sleeve and uses them as weapons; Bakugou prefers keeping his feelings concealed until necessary; Midoriya’s approach allows him to think strategically and maintain control over his emotions, while Bakugou often makes reckless decisions that could potentially cost his life.
Midoriya and Bakugou’s interactions during their fight reveal much about both of them as people. Bakugou is an arrogant firebrand who thinks of himself as an underdog hero, while Midoriya treats Bakugou like competition while using trash talk to offend his peers. Yet Bakugou does experience moments where doubt creeps in.
Bakugou often feels pitied by Midoriya and thinks he is inferior, even when trying to help. This makes their rematch all the more engaging; Bakugou must confront his inferiority complexes while trying to understand why Midoriya struggles to accept him as an equal; although he does not succeed ultimately, Bakugou gains valuable lessons about himself in this journey.
2. Bakugou’s Apology
At the end of a long day of fighting and running, you found yourself back at your house twiddling your thumbs anxiously while trying to relax. Bakugou arrived, carrying plastic bags filled with snacks and movies for you – to cheer you up like always. He stopped at your house while waiting for two obnoxious second years (who still displayed bully-esque behavior). Sure enough, when they finally arrived, they came in small groups!
Bakugo stared at them and then slowly backed away, not wanting to confront them but unwilling to allow you to be taken advantage of any more by these shitheads who were threatening him and threatened his calm; that was when he decided to make amends by offering an apology and moving along his journey.
The apology was less than convincing, as evidenced by his actions post-apology, but still, it shows some measure of change; he is no longer the self-centered kid who only thinks about himself, now considering what impact their actions had on others – a significant change indeed!
Many in the fandom were disappointed with his apology because they expected something meaningful from him as part of his character arc. They expected a sincere, genuine expression of regret that Izuku could accept, something which never materialized. Thank goodness he apologized; otherwise, it would have made him even more of an aggravating presence to Izuku. As difficult as it may be to accept, he must learn to let go and move on slowly – although not perfect, making an effort is more than most can hope for!
3. Bakugou’s Change
At first, Bakugou’s actions were dismissed without much discussion or response from anyone involved. Though he showed brief moments of vulnerability or growth, those moments rarely stuck – an all too familiar pattern seen among bullies wherein changes appear only to fade back away quickly, and their old ways return with force.
However, the revelation that Bakugou is Izuku’s bully finally prompts his classmates to reconsider him and evaluate his character more critically. They recognize his cold demeanor and “life isn’t fair” philosophy have rendered any hopes he had of becoming a compelling hero futile and no longer afford him the benefit of the doubt when dealing with Izuku.
At this point, Edgeshot realizes he must step in and act. Bakugou cannot continue terrorizing Izuku if doing so could cost his hero career in the process; heroes need to make moral choices like this themselves rather than leaving it up to someone else to handle.
Bakugou’s realization may not be as dramatic as Edgeshot’s, but he does realize he was wrong in treating Izuku like this. He cannot understand how she could think he is her friend when they treat each other so harshly. Although he tries to make up for it by offering an apology, that doesn’t seem to do any good either.
Unfortunately, his classmates still don’t trust Bakugou as a hero, so they can’t expel him without endangering UA’s reputation by trying to save him now. Furthermore, it is hard to see how Bakugou can turn things around when he has terrorized Izuku for so long; help must come quickly, or else his actions could prove fatal; time travel would likely be necessary; unfortunately, this solution is no longer practical at this point.
4. Bakugou’s Final Words
Bakugou still struggles with his self-image. Though not as arrogant, he still treats people poorly and insults them. His language may not always be appropriate – often cursing and shouting at classmates as well as having a strong dislike towards Uraraka; yet at the same time being caring and concerned for Kirishima as well.
Bakugou now realizes he must reorganize how he perceives himself and the world around him to change how he views both. He understands not everything revolves around himself and can learn from those around him. He also realizes Deku is indeed a fantastic hero despite appearing unlikeable at first glance.
Bakugou first met Izuku as an arrogant bully with one goal in mind – dethroning All Might as pro hero number one. He treated everyone he encountered as mere steps on his path toward his hero journey, even going as far as bullying Izuku by insisting he would never become one himself.
Witnessing Izuku succeed despite his lack of quirks made him realize he had been wrong all along, and apologized to Izuku for his actions, realizing that becoming a hero doesn’t require being unique or having powers. After coming to this realization, he decided to join Class 1-A to help save the world together.
Apology to him for taking so long to recognize this reality; his pride and ego have had to suffer some setbacks before finally dismantling their outdated way of thinking.
As he gains more understanding of his classmates, he becomes increasingly respectful towards each individual and treats everyone equally – an essential step in developing his character and taking on more challenges like fighting Deku.