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My Hero Academia is taking the world of anime by storm, thanks to its diverse cast of lovable characters, badass fights, and unerring optimism. Of course, a killer anime show is nothing without a cast that’s both endearing, affecting, and downright cool. That’s why, ahead of the My Hero Academia movie, we’ve ranked all the major characters from worst to best.
The best My Hero Academia characters, ranked
Quirk: Sticky grape balls, sin
Screw you, Mineta. Although I guess we need to say more than that. At the series’ current state, the grape-haired dwarf with a penchant for perverted pastimes is bordering on, nay has surpassed, psychotic. The mysteries of what his dorm room looks like are as dark and shadowy as Attack on Titan’s “What’s in the basement?” Sure, he may be a cipher for all of us when we first saw Yaoyorozu’s cleavage-defying outfit, but you don’t need to shove our faces in it. Oh god, that sounds like something he’d say.
29) Denki Kaminari
One of My Hero Academia’s favorite lovable idiots, only occasionally by choice. Kaminari is like that one good buddy in high school who never gave up flirting above his payload, inspiring other idiots to embrace their true selves. That he can be an honestly good buddy to Mina and Kyoka is a point in his favor. He also has one of the more hilarious quirks, exploding with electrical power which immediately fries his brain into drool.
28) Koji Koda
Quirk: Animal Voice
Koda may look like a Dragon Ball reject, but the dude has charm. Between his ability to speak with animals, his deathly fear of bugs, or his shy demeanor, Koda seems like a big plushie of a guy. It’s OK, Koda, I hate bugs, too.
27) Rikido Sato
Quirk: Sugar Rush
I love Sato for a few reasons: One, his big lips remind me of Ultimate Muscle, the Saturday morning wrestling superhero cartoon. Two, his Sugar Rush quirk is basically every child’s fantasy. Who wouldn’t want to get super strong by eating HoneyBun cakes and pie? That’s the power of diabetes, friends.
26) Mezo Shoji
Whatever ninja clan this guy works for, I want in. You might be forgiven for thinking Shoji is yet another sideliner, but the guy has been there to guard others in some of the toughest pinches. If I’m being honest, there’s been far too many times I wish I had another hand, eyeball, or ear. Six thumbs up, Shoji.
25) Present Mic
Quirk: DJ Khaled Shouting
Teachers can be annoying, but what if they were also basically a DJ? Present Mic seems like a good dude, but one who couldn’t hold a conversation without asking people around him to “feel the rhythm.”
24) Tenya Iida
Quirk: Definitely not the Flash
The class president may have a stick up his butt about decorum, but he’s got a good heart, and has some genuine character growth after his brother is attacked by the villain Stain. How do you make a hero with super speed unique? Make him a nervous nelly.
23) Yuga Aoyama
Quirk: Navel Laser
Aoyama gives new meaning to the term “navel gazing.” And let’s be clear, he wants you to gaze at him. Aoyama is, on occasion, a little stereotypical. He can’t stop flirting with anything that walks on two legs and has a borderline fetish for sparkles, but he’s also been the source of some of MHA’s best jokes, as well as forcing Uraraka to confront her feelings about Izuku.
22) Eijiro Kirishima
Sure, Kirishima might look like one of anime’s most generic boys, and his quirk may sound like a Pokemon move, but he’s been one My Hero Academia’s warmest characters since the beginning. We saw this finally acknowledged as Izuku and company rescued Bakugo, where Izuku asked Kirishima to be the one to call out to Bakugo since the two had slowly developed a solid friendship over the course of the series. This doesn’t just mean bouncing off Bakugo’s fiery attitude, but also calling it out from time to time. Kirishima is more than just wallpaper, he’s a sweetheart.
21) Tomura Shigaraki
There’s a lot of bad dudes who would do bad stuff with their hands if given a chance, but Tomura will literally disintegrate your body if he gets all five fingers on you. He’s spent a lot of the series wallowing in the shadows, under All For One’s tutelage, but the man is responsible for making a mortal threat against Izuku that went dramatically against the spirit of the show up to that point. For the first time, a show about positivity and perseverance was overshadowed by the very real threat of death, and that’s villainous as hell.
20) Himiko Toga
Himiko might just come across as another “crazy ex-girlfriend” stereotype, but there’s an underlying sense of malice and bloodlust there that’s just as threatening as a villain like Shigaraki. Her true quirk will make that a lot more apparent for fans of the anime once it catches up to the manga, and it’s going to unsettle plenty of folks who already had personal space issues.
Quirk: Auditioning for the Bride of Frankenstein
This Dabi is no pansy house elf. He’s a literal patchwork of cool bad guy tropes. Slick, yet casual outfit? Check. Eerily blase’ disposition? Check. A visual motif that’s one part torture victim and another part stitching accident? Check. Dabi has proven himself a capable righthand man, even if that hand is liable to fall off due to leprosy.
18) All For One
Quirk: Basically everything
All For One sure did spend a lot of time sulking in the shadows, much like his protege, but after dusting off the ol’ business suit, he’s proven himself the perfect antithesis to All Might’s mission. Rather than inspiring others to act as heroes for the sake of being heroes, All For One is just here to take what he wants, damn the consequences for those involved. You can’t ask for a better thematic counterpart to our heroes.
Quirk: Warp Gate, Rad Bartending
Kurogiri is basically the evil version of Ted Dansen from Cheers. He’s there to listen to your problems, serve you a stiff drink, and maybe pull you away from your troubles via a dimensional black hole. Now that’s service.
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16) Mina Ashido
Quirk: Acid, Valley Girl Accent
Mina is basically the best possible kind of party girl you could ever hope to have in school. I don’t know what she’d do with that acid at a rave, but you can bet it’ll be something that ends up on YouTube later.
15) Kyoka Jiro
Quirk: Never getting her headphones tangled
For anyone who’s ever been in an awful rock band during high school, Jiro is the number one girl in the entire My Hero Academia universe. With headphone jacks extending from her ears, she never has to worry about losing her earbuds because she is the earbud. She’s an ear buddy. I’ll show myself out.
14) Momo Yaoyorozu
Quirk: Creation, an inexplicable lack of clothing
Momo is a most delicate flower. Despite being one of the most modest and bashful characters in class 1-A, her outfit basically relies on her exposing her chest to everyone whenever she needs to create something from the materials stored inside her.
Quirk: Being a principal
We’re not sure if Principal Nezu is a dog, a rat, or a weasel, but he’s definitely a good boy. You can tell Nezu honestly cares about his students, even if he sometimes takes more glee in chasing them down with a giant crane.
Quirk: Stomp on me
This is a kids show, for god’s sake. There’s no doubt Midnight has no problem, ahem, whipping students into shape. We’re just hoping she doesn’t use it on us. OK, maybe a little.
11) Recovery Girl
Quirk: Deus Ex-Medical Machina
Sure, Recovery Girl’s ability to heal almost any wound isn’t as flashy as super strength, but without her, My Hero Academia would be about five episodes long before Midoriya and company became pink goo thrown against the side of a building. Plus, she heals by giving granny smooches, which as we all know is scientifically accurate.
10) Fumikage Tokoyami
It’s a bird, it’s a Batman, it’s a bird/bat boy. Despite having the head of a crow and the body of a normal teenage boy (seriously, what are they feeding these kids?), Tokoyomi is a pitch-perfect homage to grim, sullen anti-heroes everywhere. That’s not to say he isn’t lovable, such as when he becomes deathly embarrassed at having the girls check out his incredibly goth dorm room. It’s OK, Tokoyomi. You’re not the only one who can sing a Hawthorne Heights song from memory.
9) Shoto Todoroki
Quirk: A song of ice and fire
Todoroki’s redemption arc showed that you can, in fact, make a tournament in an anime entertaining. While he hasn’t really moved too far beyond the stoic type, Todoroki has been just as much a pillar of the show’s core strengths as Midoriya.
Quirk: Every ’90s comic stereotype imaginable
Stain is more than just a cool villain. He’s a deliberate homage to everything weird (and sometimes just wrong) with 90’s comics: The excessive amount of knives, the flat face defined by to eye slits, and enough flowing scarf fabric to shame a Hobby Lobby. More than that, though, he defined the central conflict of the entire series to date, namely the fact that society had rot itself to the core by allowing heroes to cash in on their “heroism,” rather than doing good just for the sake of it. It’s not hyperbole to say that Stain is the true catalyst for a majority of My Hero Academia’s conflicts.
Bakugo is like an All Caps key come to life. No slight is too small for a hearty “GO TO HELL!” or “DAMN YOU!” What makes Bakugo such a lovable psychopath is that he’s not some emo punk who will inevitably turn evil, like Naruto’s Sasuke. When presented with the option to turn to the dark side by MHA’s League of Villains, Bakugo laughs in their faces before blowing them up, announcing he’s always admired All Might’s triumphs. When you get down to it, Bakugo is no different than Midoriya, he just chooses a very different road to heroism.
6) Izuku Midoriya
Quirk: Best Boy
One half of the heart and soul of My Hero Academia, Midoriya is basically the perfect shonen hero. He’s not fighting to be the ninja president, he’s not really looking to prove anyone wrong, he’s just looking to constantly do the right thing for everybody. Even well before he earns his powers, he’s selflessly throwing himself into danger to save people, routinely shattering his body in the process. Midoriya isn’t just an anime character, he’s someone to aspire to be.
5) All Might
Quirk: Shiny Superman Teeth
The other half of My Hero Academia’s heart and soul, All Might is a beacon of spirit and strength that anyone, even villains, can look up to. It says something that 99 percent of MHA’s villains still love All Might, they just hate the hero society that’s been built up around him. All Might’s true, gauntly form reminds us that there can be a hero inside us all, even if we doubt our own strength.
4) Ochaco Uraraka
Quirk: Best Girl
Uraraka is what would happen if you captured pure joy in a bottle and periodically just released it into the wild. Uraraka is also a stark reminder that it’s not necessarily a character fault if a hero is motivated by money, as seen in her more vulnerable moments when she reveals her parents’ financial misery. Whatever her mind is focused on, Uraraka can be relied upon to bring a sense of cheer to what could easily have been a darker world.
3) Eraser Head
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but something tells me that even Snape would quiver before Eraser Head’s icy, dry-eyed gaze. Eraser isn’t above threatening his students with immediate expulsion, but it’s this cold demeanor that makes the moments he does take pride all the more sweet, and takes the enemy schools by surprise. He may be a walking Visine commercial, but this dad definitely sheds a tear for his greatest kids.
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2) Toru Hagakure
Quirk: You can’t prove she wasn’t there
Count me in as one of the true believers that Toru Hagakure is secretly the hero behind all of My Hero Academia’s triumphs. Being invisible, it’s not like any of us can’t prove that she wasn’t the one landing the final punch on All For One or knocking a Nomu into the sky. Sure, that opens her up to theories of her being the traitor within UA High. But such a bubbly personality would never resort to evil, right?
1) Tsuyu Asui
Quirk: Bester Girl
The anime girl to end all anime girls. It says something that our dear old Froppy skyrocketed to popularity so quickly that she was the first character in My Hero Academia to get her own side episode, not to mention a fair bit of cosplay and merchandise. Tsuyu is the kind of girl you’re not quite sure about at the beginning of the school year, but who eventually grows to be your best friend. She’s incredibly tough but vulnerable enough to apologize to her friends. That’s special in a show that has to move at a breakneck speed.
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
Joseph Knoop is a gaming writer for Daily Dot, a native Chicagoan, and a slave to all things Overwatch. He co-founded the college geek culture outlet ByteBSU, then interned at Game Informer, and now writes for a bunch websites his parents have never heard of.