My Hero Academia is packed full of rivalries and character conflict. From friendly competition to burning hatred, there’s plenty of intense dynamics between UA Students, Pro Heroes, and Villains to keep you entertained throughout the storyline. We’ve rounded up a list consisting of some of the most enjoyable, intense, and hilarious rivalries throughout the show. So, without further ado, here’s 10 of the best rivalries in My Hero Academia, listed in no particular order.
Uraraka and Toga
Uraraka and Toga is an interesting rivalry built mostly on Toga’s burning jealousy towards Uraraka. At first, it may seem that their feud is built solely on their competition of interest in Deku, but there’s much more to them both as characters and rivals.
During the MVA Arc, Toga goes as far as to explain this, telling Uraraka that she envies her supposedly normal life, with supportive friends and opportunities like UA. On the other hand, Toga’s blood-devouring Quirk seemed to force her into an abnormal life right from the start, rejected from society and hiding her feelings, which led her down the path to becoming a villain.
Despite their different backgrounds, Uraraka is a character with a pure heart of gold, wanting to use her role as a Hero to one day make everyone smile together for a brighter future. When this goal is revealed in the Manga, Toga’s face is included in the panels, possibly indicating that Uraraka wants to save Toga from her villainous ways ad give her acceptance. This clash of ideals and thoughts towards one another is what makes this rivalry so intriguing. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see Toga and Rival’s dynamic develop further and possibly lead to finding some common ground despite being so different.
Shinso and Deku
Shinso and Deku first meet at the UA Sports Festival, where all classes combine to show off their skills and compete against one another. Deku and Shinso make it into the 1V1 Tournament matches, where they are matched up against one another to fight it all out.
For the first time, Shinso gets to show off the power of his Brainwashing Quirk, making one hell of a debut for a student from General Studies. Deku and Shinso’s rivalry kicks off during their fight, with Shinso’s intense envy for Deku’s acceptance into the Hero Course fueling his desire to beat him and take his place in class. On the other hand, Deku respects Shinso’s abilities and has to do everything he can to break the hold and fight back, only succeeding thanks to One For All.
Eventually, Deku defeats Shinso, leading to the latter’s disappointment but respect for Deku. However, not all is lost, as Shinso’s talents are recognized by UA staff, who later decide to train him alongside the Hero Studies students. This gives Shinso the drive to get stronger to beat Deku in a future rematch. At the same time, Deku also works further to improve his skills, establishing an unexpected but enjoyable friendly rivalry with Shinso.
Todoroki and Bakugo
Todoroki and Bakugo are two of the most powerful members of Class 1-A and some of UA’s most promising first-year students. Because of this, the two have gone head to head, competing to be the best from day one.
There have been many instances where Bakugo’s hot-headed temper and Todoroki’s icy-cold demeanor have clashed in My Hero Academia. A prime example of this is the Final 1V1 Tournament battle in the Sports Festival ark, where the budding feud became a full-fledged rivalry. Just look at Bakugo’s reaction after he won due to Todoroki holding back and throwing the match; he was furious.
This is because Bakugo wants to truthfully beat Todoroki as one of his biggest competitors and win fair and square without being cheated out of the fight. Because of this, Bakugo announced that he was not done with this rivalry and that he’d continue to take Todoroki on with every available opportunity. Though their rivalry is blatantly apparent, there is also a level of teamwork and respect between Todoroki and Bakugo that makes them such a great dynamic. These guys are incredibly focused and hard-working, driven to achieve their goals, and work together on the battlefield extremely efficiently when needed.
Mirio and Overhaul
Mirio and Overhaul’s rivalry isn’t the most strung-out conflict in the show, but it is the focal point of an entire story arc focusing on the rescue and recovery of Eri. From the moment Mirio stumbles across Eri, he becomes determined to save her, almost breaking the rules and wanting to jump straight into things without hatching a plan alongside the Pro Heroes.
The fight between Mirio and Overhaul is one of the most dramatic and action-packed moments within My Hero Academia, a true clash of hero and villain going up against one another in a fight over young Eri’s life. Despite being just a student, Mirio more than holds his own against Overhaul, a B-Rank villain, in the violent battle to rescue Eri.
Throughout the fight, Overhaul throws everything he has at Mirio with burning hatred and intent to kill. Overhaul uses every advantage he can come up with to wither Mirio down and even goes as far as to use a Quirk-destroying drug to destroy Mirio’s abilities permanently. This is a life-altering tragedy for the young student and one of the most brutal examples of how harsh the rivalry between Mirio and Overhaul is. Perhaps we’ll even see them stumble across one another and reignite that feud, especially with Overhaul’s return in the manga.
Endeavor and All Might
All Might and Endeavor have a heated rivalry throughout the history of My Hero Academia, with Endeavor determined to de-throne All Might as the Number One Pro Hero. All Might takes this bitter attitude from Endeavor and fights back as the polar opposite, being the best hero he can be and keeping his cheery, smiling persona going strong.
Endeavor goes to such extremes trying to achieve his goal of becoming number one, that he even has a Quirk Marriage in hopes of one of his children being powerful enough to surpass his rival, All Might. There aren’t many characters as dedicated to outranking the Symbol of Peace than Endeavor, and this is what makes their rivalry so intense and entertaining.
Things take an interesting turn when All Might is forced to step down from his work as a Pro Hero, leaving Endeavor to fall into the Number One spot by default. After years of chasing this goal, this is a lackluster way for Endeavor to receive this position, and he makes his feelings regarding this matter more than evident, still bitter and determined to prove his power over All Might beyond the latter’s retirement. Will this rivalry ever truly end? It’s hard to tell, but at least Endeavor has some personal growth along the way.
Kirishima and Tetsutetsu
Kirishima and Tetsutetsu have one of the most hilarious reoccurring rivalries in the entire My Hero Academia franchise, with both characters being as close to duplicates of one another as possible. Kirishima and Tetsutetsu might as well be twins, both harvesting a variation of a hardening Quirk, having the same determined, tough and manly persona, and even sharing the same birthday. When Tetsutetsu was introduced from Class 1-B, this rivalry kicked off immediately, butting heads with Kirishima due to their competitive spirits and personalities being complete duplicates.
In the UA Sports Festival ark, these two went head-to-head, which lasted a ridiculously long time due to how symmetrical and even in power they were with their combat mannerisms, power, and thinking. This went on for such an extended time that they knocked each other out in battle, forcing their match to be replaced with a tie-breaker round in which Kirishima eventually emerged victorious. After doing so, Kirishima shows a high level of sportsmanship and respect to Tetsutetsu, and the two establish a very bro-ish dynamic, with Tetsutetsu cheering Kirihsima on.
This isn’t the last of their rivalry, though, as they end up in the same Hero internship and are forced to train and work alongside each other. This is where their rivalry and respect for each other grow and develop, and their friendship sets itself in stone. From here onwards, Kirishima and Tetsutetsu have a fierce but harmless rivalry, amping each other up and boosting their hilarious antics further. There’s no way you won’t love this duo, especially when they synchronize their words and movements as if they’re sharing a single brain cell between them, bringing endless humor to their time shared on screen.
Deku and Todoroki
Deku and Todoroki have an exciting rivalry, naturally competing against each other as two of Class 1-A’s most promising upcoming Heroes-in-training. Their relationship is a little rocky, to begin with, considering Deku is the class underdog who scraped his way through the entrance exam, and Todoroki is the son of the Number Two Pro Hero, earning acceptance into UA via recommendation.
Despite Todoroki’s initial lack of interest in Deku, things take a turn during the UA Sports Festival ark, when Deku and Todoroki are set to battle it out in the Tournament. Until this point, Todoroki had been suppressing the fire half of his powers due to not wanting to resemble or follow his father. During their battle, Deku gives Todoroki the support and encouragement to reawaken his fireside, heating the match up with a new intensity, and claiming victory.
From here onwards, Todoroki has a changed point of view regarding Deku, and the two establish a friendly rivalry, encouraging one another and aiming to both grow strong as two of the most powerful Class 1-A candidates. Several times, the trust between the two has been crucial, proving that despite their rivalry, they know each other very well and have a strong bond. A prime example is when Deku sends an SOS to Todoroki during the battle against Hero Killer Stain, only sending his location, having complete faith Todoroki would know something is wrong.
Just as Deku knew Todoroki would be intelligent enough to understand what was going on, Todoroki knew Deku well enough to tell from his message that he was in imminent danger and needed backup. Immediately, he rushes away from his work alongside Endeavor to come to Deku’s rescue. As the story continues, the two have continued to grow strong alongside each other, know how to work well together, and carry a healthy balance of friendship and rivalry.
Deku and Shigaraki
Deku and Shigaraki are one of the earliest established rivalries in the series and the most prominent long-lasting case of a villainous opponent for Deku. Right from the start, Shigaraki is working as All For One’s apprentice, tying him to Deku through the clash between All For One and One For All / All Might. These two also have a brilliant upcoming Hero vs. Villain dynamic, with Deku being the apprentice of the ex-Number One Hero and Shigaraki being the apprentice of the most lethal villain in Japan (and potentially the world).
Ever since Deku began his journey at UA with hopes of becoming a Pro Hero, Shigaraki has been there to throw a wrench into his plans, operating alongside Kurogiri and under the influence of All For One. Their rivalry is entirely built on the clash between One For All and All For One, but this makes them no less striking as competitors, as a lot of what makes this rivalry so significant is found under the surface. Right from the start, Shigaraki is hell-bent on getting rid of Deku and obtaining One For All as his boss plans, while Deku has had to adapt to an unpredictable school life and journey, working twice as hard to get strong.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but expect a huge final Deku vs. Shigaraki Clash to happen before My Hero Academia ends. Especially now that just as Deku obtained One For All from his idol, All Might, Shigaraki has fused with All For One to receive his quirk, becoming a new being entirely. Shigaraki has operated from the shadows a lot, but now it may finally be time for him to make a move and show how intense and significant this rivalry is, developing him from a villainous apprentice to the big bad of the series.
All Might and One For All
Besting the Deku and Shigaraki rivalry is the clash of their predecessors, All Might / One For All and All For One. This rivalry has lasted over multiple generations of One For All users, indicating just how much of a threat All For One is. All Might set out to be the one to stop All For One for good, and he appeared to be perfect for the job, having trained in the USA and returned to Japan, climbing to the Number One Pro Hero spot and earning the title Symbol Of Peace.
While initially, it did seem All Might would be able to complete this mission, his ongoing injuries seriously declined the state of his physical well-being and power, leaving him at a significant disadvantage. Despite this, All Might managed to sacrifice what was left of his powers to defeat All For One in an intense battle, locking him away for good; or so they thought. With All For One has made a return and having fused with Shigaraki to create an even higher force of power, it’s up to Deku to carry on All Might’s legacy and use One For All to defeat the new Shigaraki / All For One hybrid being.
Despite this, I can’t help but presume that All Might will soon return and help Deku defeat this force of evil for the final time, perhaps giving his life fighting to do so. This is based on Sir Nighteye’s prophecy before his passing, who stated All Might would come to face a villain and die an unspeakable death. Regardless, All Might / One For All and All For One is a brilliant rivalry in My Hero Academia, and the countless generations it has carried on to live throughout give it a unique sense of history and importance, unlike any other rivalry in the show.
Deku and Bakugo
Of course, the list concludes with the heated rivalry between childhood acquaintances Deku and Bakugo. These two have known each other since they were children, and despite Deku’s constant efforts to befriend Bakugo, the latter spent his time ridiculing and insulting him for his lack of Quirk. Of course, this all changed when Deku received One For All and scraped his way through the UA Entrance Exams, igniting a seriously explosive rivalry from the power-hungry, competitively-driven Bakugo.
Though their rivalry is intense and causes many unnecessary conflicts and dramas throughout the show, it is also the source of important character development for both Deku and Bakugo. From Bakugo’s rivalry, Deku learns to face his fears, accept his weaknesses, and embrace the name that once bought him down, turning it into his proud Hero name. Bakugo, on the other hand, begins to understand the struggles of others and look at things from a different perspective, learning from his past to trust his peers and make himself stronger.
Don’t let their development fool you, though; their rivalry is unwavering. Even when these two tend to develop a more civil relationship and work together to combine their powers in battle, they’re competitors over friends. After all, they are always up for the challenge of besting the other and improving their abilities. I can imagine that right until the end, Deku and Bakugo will have a hint of the All Might and Endeavor dynamic between them, operating as some of the best next-generation Pro Heroes and fighting over the number one spot.
That’s everything you need to know about the 10 best rivalries in My Hero Academia. For more anime guides, lists, quizzes, and news, check out the rest of our content here at Twinfinite. We have a wide range of topics to answer and questions and keep you up-to-date, such as our My Hero Academia trivia quiz, all Devils in Chainsaw Man, and 30 best anime fights of all-time.
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