Revenge of the Power of Friendship: I’ve connected two dots...or actually a whole lot more than two, because it turns out that’s the whole fucking point
We need to talk.
Still freaking out over chapter 362 even though the official hasn’t dropped yet?
Good. That’s good.
I’m obviously enjoying this immensely.
What? Do you find that weird? Giant Katsuki Bakugou stan relishing in the current manga events? How could this possibly be?
This ain’t my first rodeo, kids. I’m well-versed in the tropes of shounen anime. I knew shit was going down the moment Toga yanked Izuku to Octo Island.
I’m just surprised we got to this point in the story so quickly, if I’m being honest.
Anyways, I have a meta for you. It’s a good one. Probably correct, too.
We’ll be touching on many things today, including but not limited to:
The heroes’ battle strategy
The Second OFA User’s quirk
All Might’s OFA vestige
Saving Tenko Shimura
How the fuck a certain beloved character could still survive
Consider yourself warned.
Anyways, who wants to know what the fuck is going on in this arc?
I don’t have a lot of time, so I’m not gonna do my normal meta weave for you. Some of you are probably wondering if Switch Theory or Possession Theory will come into play, so let me just say up front: this theory is separate but NOT mutually exclusive from them. I noticed a big thing which could ultimately play out many different ways, and the ways it can play out could still include either of those theories. What I’m about to explain is meant to be taken as a general observation. It likely has holes that will need to be melded into whatever new information we get in the future.
It’s just...this is too glaringly obvious now. SOMETHING along these lines is definitely happening right now in the MHA story.
Instead of laying this out for you dramatically, I’m just gonna get to it. Here are my observations.
The heroes are in on saving Tenko
There are two important people who were involved in drafting the heroes’ battle strategy: All Might and Ragdoll.
I know there were plenty of people out there who expected Shouto to kill Dabi or whatever. Plenty more still think that the heroes are trying to kill TomurAFO.
What happened with Dabi should prove that they’re not.
Heroes save. Heroes are explicitly forbidden from killing. But you don’t need to have faith in them for that either, because we’re talking about All Might.
All Might knows who Tenko Shimura is, and it was foreshadowed a long time ago that he would do something to try to save him.
We know Izuku wants to rescue that little boy crying inside TomurAFO, and there’s no reason for him to have kept that a secret from anybody when the heroes were planning their attack. Everyone he’s working with are heroes. You can say what you will about each individual character, but it’s not even necessary that everyone wants to save Tenko. Given how strong TomurAFO is, anyone would be able to see that it could be much easier to save Tenko than kill the monster he has become. The goal is to stop Tenko from wanting to destroy everything, and there are ways other than killing him to achieve that.
The evidence is there on the stage of their battle.
The goal is to separate AFO and Tomura. They don’t mention killing Tomura in planning.
Additionally, OFA is part of the plan to fight Tomura, but no one ever says anything about how OFA would be used.
If they just needed firepower, they wouldn’t have needed to include other people in the team fighting Tomura. And they included a LOT of firepower otherwise in that team. So...it must be something else OFA is supposed to do.
Probably the Second User’s quirk.
And above all, Katsuki doesn’t smile at all during the fight, which is kind of a tell. Katsuki distinctly always fails to smile when he’s in the mindset to perform a rescue.
The Second User’s quirk creates connections
Like I said, Switch Theory is not required for this meta, but it does contain some important elements I need to mention now.
I’ve never been more certain it relates to: touching a person (holding hands?) and saying their name.
Note that I didn’t say that was an activation requirement. I mean, it probably is, but it’s really more about something else.
"This is the story of how we all became the greatest hero.” I’m making this singular on purpose.
The full potential of One For All must rely on the connections Izuku has made with other people. The more connections he makes, the stronger he becomes.
I didn’t mention the significance of Ragdoll yet. Why is she important?
Because her quirk exists inside AFO.
She could be a window into AFO. Her quirk could actually end up being his weakness. She just has to be connected to another person on the outside.
Each fight has shown a person “thinking” of their friends as “one”
What have we seen in this war so far?
We’ve seen Shouto think of his friends just before hitting Dabi with his ultimate move.
We’ve seen Jirou attack AFO out of love for her friends.
And what’s interesting about both of those moments is that...they were extremely effective.
In Jirou’s case, she even reached and empowered the stolen quirks inside AFO.
What if all of these events are actually the result of OFA? What if they’re all connected?
What if everyone is affected by the Second User’s quirk already?
All they would need to do is “think of everyone together as one.” One For All, if you will.
And this accomplishes...what?
Katsuki’s gonna live
What was Katsuki doing right before he went all-out against TomurAFO?
Mumbling like Izuku, taking note of TomurAFO’s battle habits, fighting through the pain...
He was thinking of Izuku.
...maybe even talking to Izuku.
TomurAFO freaks out about losing his cool against a non-OFA user. He thinks of the Second...which implies the Second gave him a lot of trouble before he ever had OFA either.
(That’s a yin-yang image if I ever saw one.)
Perhaps the Second’s quirk gives a compounding power boost of some kind depending on how many connections have been forged, or maybe it’s based on how “united” the connections are in heart and mind. I say power boost, but I don’t know if it’s actually something so straightforward as a strength increase. I’m just saying whatever it is, it seems to...empower people.
At this point, I’m inclined to name his quirk “Rally.”
It gave Shouto the strength to reach Touya’s heart, as represented by their childhood selves.
It allowed Jirou to reach out to the vestiges trapped inside AFO.
It allowed Katsuki to...see All Might’s vestige?
I’ll come back to this.
I just want to round this point out first by pointing out...this bit?
Maybe this is OFA, actually.
Or maybe it’s not, but...
...maybe it’ll allow a connection between Shouto and someone else despite a large distance between them. Maybe Shouto is healing Touya’s chest (whether he realizes it or not). And maybe OFA will allow Shouto to use it on someone else who needs it.
Just look at that X over Shouto’s chest in the above panel, and...
...look at Katsuki’s uniform design. Look where his heart wound is.
All For One versus All Might
Okay, let’s get back to All Might’s vestige.
As I pointed out in my literal translation of chapter 358, AFO’s stated goal here is to define the world by “things that are me” versus “things that are not me.” He’s placed a piece of himself in Tomura and taken him over. He’s kidnapped and raised kids as potential vessels for him. He’s created noumu of the dead to obediently follow his orders, and he communicates to them via radio waves like they’re all some kind of hive mind.
So what if the ���not AFO” pieces of the world could do something similar?
What if they could unite via the power of OFA? What if the Second’s quirk IS Switch, or else something else that allows him to create vestiges in everyone?
What would they place in everyone that they could resonate with?
There is a lot of weirdness happening in this scene. A) They must be in the vestige plane, but whose vestige plane? It certainly doesn’t look like Tomura’s or Izuku’s. It’s a blank white space. B) Katsuki is wearing his school uniform...with a tie??? He’s only done that once before...
I genuinely cannot tell if Katsuki’s meeting with All Might’s vestige is actually happening in the moment or a flashback. Izuku as OFA’s holder doesn’t appear wearing clothes in the vestige world, so...is this not Katsuki’s vestige world either? Is this a piece of his soul as manifested by the Second’s quirk, and it takes on the form of what he looked like when it was forged--say when he united Class 1-A together to go save Izuku? a.k.a when he was able to “think of everyone as united, as one”?
Is this actually happening in the moment, and All Might’s vestige is doing something to save Katsuki? Perhaps Switching with him? Was his vestige already there and empowering him? Was it part of the plan? Is Katsuki trying to somehow inject All Might’s vestige into TomurAFO so it can save Tenko?
Remember: All Might’s vestige is not a quirk. It’s a piece of his consciousness. It’s basically a fragment of his soul.
Things that are AFO versus Things that are All Might
Talk about a brand-new Possession Theory! And a new Fusion Theory!
How can Tenko Shimura be a hero?
Thanks @class1akids for helping me realize Tomura’s growing an extra face.
I suppose if Katsuki’s heart or body craps out on him, we can always grow him a new one to put his soul back in.
Maybe we can grow bodies for all the other stolen quirks’ vestiges, too.
katsuki x gn! reader
You wake up early that morning to Katsuki sleeping beside you, his face soft and exhausted as his chest rises and falls slowly under the sunlight streaming in through the curtains.
It’s early — earlier than when you usually wake up — early enough that Katsuki is still passed out and lightly snoring under his breath. Though that may also have to do with the fact that he’d gotten home after midnight.
You take a second to stretch as you push yourself towards the edge of the bed, curling and uncurling your toes before they make contact with the cold floor below. You find yourself pausing to stare back at Katsuki before you head off to the kitchen, a small grateful breath leaving you — knowing that he came home safe the night before, that he was still with you.
The kitchen floor is cold when you walk in, a robe wrapped around your frame as you tiredly make your way to the fridge.
Katsuki is usually the one to wake up early and do this: he said he liked getting up before the rest of the world was awake just for you, just for the both of you to share those small moments before he was busy for the rest of the day.
It was routine for him to grind the coffee beans from the expensive bag he’d been gifted from his agency for Christmas, to put them into the coffee machine with two mugs waiting underneath, and start making breakfast while waiting for it to finish. Sometimes he’d make waffles or pancakes if he was up earlier than normal (or if he was just in a good mood), but more often than not he made scrambled eggs with half a bagel for both of you.
It’s almost as if you’re following a ghost of him, a figment of the times you were up early enough and got the chance to watch him while kicking your feet on the counter, as you go through the motions in the steady silence of the kitchen — a small smile rising up to your face. He wouldn’t be expecting this when he woke up.
When the coffee machine beeps that one cup is finished, your back is turned as Katsuki walks in — tired and grumbly.
You only notice his presence when he alerts you, a “Morning” grumbled into your shoulder as his arms find their place around your waist, heat radiating through your robe.
“Morning,” you lean your head against his, placing your coffee cup under the coffee machine while pushing his to the side. “Did you sleep well?”
“Not really,” he mumbles, his nose burying into your neck. “Got home super late. You were sleeping.”
“Go back to sleep then.”
“Can’t. Not without you.”
You almost find a grin cracking on your face from his words — even though it’s the same vice–versa.
He lifts his head up from your shoulder with a small huff as he grabs his coffee. “Thank you.”
now playing: melting by kali uchis
cold days with katsuki.
boots filled with snow clobber against the tiled floor as you shiver, swinging the door open to the house as snow comes swishing in. you hurriedly close the door, then taking off all your layers of clothing. you rest your work bag onto the island and walk further into the warmth of home.
you slip off your snow filled shoes after stomping them on the carpet before putting them on the rack.
you sigh in relief as you start to look around in wonder, katsuki wasn’t downstairs where he usually was. he was always down here waiting for you, reading a book or staring down at his phone.
“ katsuki?? are you here ? “ you shout, glancing around in wonder.
silence overcomes you as you rub your arms and start to ascend up the stairs and smile when you hear snoring.
the door slowly creaks open softly as your meant with the sight of katsuki bundled up in the blankets, looking cozy as ever. you walk over to katsuki’s side and stifle your laughter with a palm to your mouth.
his glasses are still on his face, crooked as he lays on his side with drool slipping out his gaping mouth as he snores loudly. you grin at him and climb onto him, wiggling under his arms and snuggling into his warm chest. you start to close your eyes when you feel him tighten his arms around you , muscles flexing.
you smile softly and glance up at him, chin on his chest. “
he groans and yawns, eyes blinking open tiredly at you.
“hey sweetheart, you’re home ?”
you stuff your head back into his chest and close your eyes,
“yeah baby, i’m home”
katsuki closes his eyes, putting his chin on your head. he pulls the covers over both of you, kissing you forehead.
“ ‘night kat. “
“oh yeah katsuki ??”
“your snores sound like someone choking on walrus—“
this one is so trash i’m srry…
bakugo w a quiet reader?? :D
Like the reader is always silent in class and just sits in the corner n stuff
If youd like me to change anything about what ive written, such as readers pronouns, etc, be sure to lmk! I absolutely do not mind editing it to suit you better!
Bakugou x Quiet!Reader - Too Good For The Rest Of Us?
He always wondered why you were so quiet during class. It was like you weren't even there. You sit alone in class, alone again at lunch, alone during breaks, and again, alone, you walk back to your dorms, where you spend the majority of your time in your room.
You probably spend all of your time in there shut away in the dark, he thinks, but he doesn't care. You're starting to piss him off with your 'holier than thou' attitude. What makes you so much better than the rest of them that even talking to your classmates serves as no interest to you.
You bet he's gonna call out your bullshit in front of the whole class, but as soon as the bell rings, signifying the end of class, he turns to you and you're already gone. What in the...?!
Whatever. He'll just come to you, then.
He huffs quietly as he collects his stuff together and quickly as he makes his way to the dorms and straight to your door, not even stopping at his own room to drop off his bag and blazer as his spiky blonde hair bounces with each step he takes closer to your room.
Meanwhile you sit on your bed with your laptop, typing away furiously in order to complete the assignment that you were very behind on, struggling to understand what it all means. Look, it's not your fault that words just don't stick with you as easily as they probably should.
It doesn't help that you really lacked the confidence to make friends, so you had noone to ask for help when things became a struggle. Your thoughts are harshly interrupted by a quick and thunderous knock on the door, startling you and almost sending your laptop crashing to the floor in your sudden panic.
"U-Uh-... Gimme- gimme a sec..."
You curse yourself internally for stutterring like that. Heroes don't stutter like frightened children. How idiotic.
You open the door looking dishevelled and unorganised, and your classmate probably thinks you look like a dumbass right now, but you press on, refusing to meet the angry blonde's eyes.
He's confused by this, having expected some rude or overconfident remark from you for almost knocking your damned door off its hinges, but when he's met with nothing but a shy and quiet "uh- what can I do for you, Bakugou?...", he's left feeling very much confused, and very much like an idiot.
For the first time ever, you see him thrown for a loop, but he carries on with the same arrogance and annoyance as before, but not as much conviction.
"What's up with that attitude? What? Think you're too good to entertain us with your presence, hah?!"
"N-no! That's not it at all-...
You're cut short by your own yelp as someone a few doors down opens their door and you grab Katsuki's hand to drag him into your room, slamming the door shut to hide. You breathe a sigh of relief until you remember the fuming blonde about a meter away from you, his cheeks burning as he rips his hand out of your now loosened grasp.
"What the fuck are you-MPH--"
Your hand is over his mouth in seconds as he starts to yell, panicked and begging with your eyes as you tell him not to be so loud, making the blush on his face even worse at your proximity.
"Look, I don't like to draw attention... I know you probably think it's lame, but I don't handle being talked to very well... I'm getting there... okay? I know I can't still feel this way and be a hero, i'm working on it... but for now, could you please bare with me? I really am sorry, Bakugou..."
The boy may be impulsive and brash, but he's not a horrible person, and he scoffs but gives you a curt nod, able to see your anxiety for what it is. He still thinks it's stupid, of course, but it's not his problem so he doesn't bother meddling with it.
His eyes dart around your obviously dark room, your lights off except for the fairy lights on your headboard and your laptop, which holds your own assignment.
"Tch, what? Struggling with the assignment? That was piss-easy, so if you're struggling you really must be dumb..."
You stand in the middle of your room, dumbfounded by the quite frankly rude remark, not realising that he's using it as an excuse to help you out, the blonde sitting down in your bed without permission and typing on the keyboard like he would if he were helping out Kirishima or Denki.
"You know, what you've written already isn't half bad, just stop waffling. You take too long to complete your sentences and you end up digressing. Stop that, it's stupid."
You're still equally as confused as you were earlier, if not more, but you shake your head and just think to not question it. Bakugou does what Bakugou pleases and if you want to keep your face then you'd best let him to his own devices.
You can't say you don't appreciate the help though, so when later that evening, after Bakugou had left and it was now dinnertime, you present him with freshly made spicy soba, he looks at you in mild surprise and gruffly, awkwardly takes your gift and drrags you into his room to finish it with him.
You could've never imagined him doing anything like this at the beginning of the year, but you now realise how much he's grown as a hero since then, and that inspires you just a little bit. You don't let him know that, though.