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Bakugo From My Hero Academia Was Almost Completely Different

Kōhei Horikoshi's "My Hero Academia" is like a Shōnen love letter to superhero comic books. With its unique label of superpowers as "quirks" and intriguing villains for the young heroes to face, it's no wonder the manga series has sold over 50 million copies so far (via Crunchyroll). But besides super feats and massive battles for justice, the series does a stellar job of introducing some memorable characters.

This, of course, includes the series' resident bad-boy Katsuki Bakugo, whose superiority complex is about as explosive as his nitroglycerin sweat. In a tweeted, fan-translated interview from Cinema Today, Horikoshi noted that Bakugo is a polarizing guy among fans. And although the author said that the hero would never venture into the dark side and become a villain, it still doesn't deter from the fact that he's a bit of a punk. However, if Horikoshi had stuck to his original concept for the character, we could have experienced a vastly different version of Bakugo.

Bakugo started off as a kind genius

If we indulge in a little Marvel Multiverse theory for "My Hero Academia," there's probably an alternate universe where Bakugo sports an innocent smile instead of a wicked grin and uses his brain way more than his explosive brawn. At least that is what would have happened if Horikoshi stuck to his original concept for the character. In Volume 1 of the "My Hero Academia" manga (via Viz), the creator provided some original concept ideas and sketches for some of the series' main characters, including Bakugo. 

Kōhei Horikoshi said that he originally intended Bakugo as a kind genius who unintentionally insults other people. He also provided picture proof, with Bakugo sporting a wholesome smile and a can-do attitude that transforms him into the manga version of Beaver Cleaver. Honestly, the original concept image is somewhat unsettling. 

Thankfully, this characterization bored Horikoshi, which is why he went the opposite direction. "So I went the other route and turned him into a nasty guy with an explosive personality," he said. "I'm glad he came out so unlikeable."

While it took Horikoshi a few tries before he got Bakugo right, it seems he didn't have too much trouble with Deku. In the same manga volume, the creator explained that Deku started as a character from a manga one-shot that didn't get picked up. But he liked the character so much that he made him the star of "My Hero Academia."