Few shows can offer a cast with as much strength of character and unanimous chemistry as that of My Hero Academia. Indeed the show’s central draw, through both the heavy hitting and lighter themed arcs, is that the characters will keep you coming back, regardless of how you feel about a particular storyline or plot twist. With that in mind, we’re celebrating My Hero Academia by asking a few of our writers to rank class 1A from worst to best. Wanna know who came out on top? Then it’s time to use your reading abilities… plus ultra!
20) Yuga Aoyama
Naturally a character like Aoyama would find himself at the bottom of this list. Not just smugly self-assured and arrogant to a fault, Aoyama is also one of the least developed members of Class 1-A.
However, even arguably the weakest character on this list has had some great moments on My Hero Academia. His classic pomp and fabulous nature have led to at least a few laughs throughout the series, particularly the early season 4 moment that sees him posing with a rose in his mouth when a reporter comes to do a story on class 1-A.
Still, Aoyama’s finest hour came during the practical exam in season 3, when he volunteered to sacrifice himself so that Iida might pass the test in his place, offering to use his belly laser as a decoy so that Iida could secure victory. Though he was spared from failing at the last minute, the fact that he offered to sabotage his future for the sake of his classmate shows that there’s a lot more to Aoyama than his pompous exterior might suggest. (Mike Worby)
19) Rikido Sato
Rikido Sato, the Sweets Hero: Sugarman, is one of the My Hero Academia characters that helps move the plot along, but largely melts into the background, confined to side-character territory.
Rikido helps by providing backup in important fights, pushing through tough situations with sheer muscle power. He shows his fighting power when fighting alongside Kirishima during the final exams, and even though they don’t pass the test, Rikido shows just how powerful a fighter he can be.
Even in scenes where he only pops up for several seconds, he’s likely to be delivering a powerful blow to an enemy (during the training camp, he deals a severe uppercut to a massive monster in five seconds). While Rikido Sato is a helpful character to keep things moving, he’s given little screen time to develop further as a person. He’s kind, earnest, a definite gentle-giant type, but he needs more screen time to become a truly fleshed-out character. (Katharine Booth)
18) Mashirao Ojiro
Okiro arguably has the most lackluster quirk in the entire class: an extra limb. Unlike Shoji who can use his limbs to heighten his senses, though, Okiro’s tail doesn’t have any special abilities; it’s just a One might think this would make Okiro one of the weakest of the bunch, but that couldn’t be further
As a Martial Arts Hero, he excels at close-quarters combat and can use his tail toimprove his mobility and disorient his opponents. In fact, his masterful control of his tail helped him. Though Okiro is one of the few students who hasn’t gotten much time to shine during My Hero Academia so far, his kindness and strong sense of right and wrong still break through. He dropped out of the UA Sports Festival (missing the chance to be seen by potential hero agencies) because he didn’t want to take credit for winning a cavalry battle that he didn’t recall fighting. Defining moments like those are what make him memorable despite his lack of airtime. (Brent Middleton)
17) Toro Hagakure
Toru Hagakure, or the Stealh Hero: Invisible Girl, is at this point one of My Hero Academia’s side characters that pops in the frame for plot convenience and little else. She’s upbeat and kind, but has very little screen time to develop her own character.
While some side characters help the story by providing extra fighting muscle in important fights, Toru more so helps push forward more social plot points: she suggests the class-wide shopping trip that leads to Midoriya’s fateful encounter with Tomura Shigaraki, and suggests the girls’ swimming pool trip, leading to the obligatory anime swimming/bathing suit episode.
However, she has the potential to be more than this. During the tail-end of the provisional license exam, she shows off a powerful move all her own, “warp refraction: say cheese.” While obviously not meant to be taken too seriously, the move itself is both useful and powerful. The moment passes quickly, but proves that she could shine as a character and hero in future episodes, if given the chance. (Katharine Booth)
16) Hanta Sero
Sero’s had few moments to really come into his own on My Hero Academia. He teamed up with Bakugo for the Human Cavalry Battle, but (unsurprisingly) Bakugo stole the show. He was also promptly conked out by Midnight in his Final Exam, leaving Mineta to take the glory.
Oh, and he also got his ass well and truly handed to him by Todoroki in the U.A. Sports Festival tournament.
However, the tape elbowed hero does get a spot in the limelight during the Provisional Hero License Exam. Linking up with Midoriya and Uraraka to pull off a nifty tape ‘n’ gravity combo, his talents as a budding pro hero are clear. (Harry Morris)
15) Minoru Mineta
Almost certainly the most divisive character in class 1-A, Mineta’s horny hijinks have earned him goofy laughter and disgusted derision in equal measure from fans of My Hero Academia. Though he rightfully finds himself in question for his often inappropriate behavior, this has never seen viewers cast aside a character before. Like Homer Simpson or Eric Cartman, moral failings do not disqualify a character from being able to make us laugh, and Mineta might be the funniest character on the whole show, one note though he often is.
Still, even casting aside viewers’ opinion on his hormone-fueled teenage endeavors, no one can deny his skill and versatility on the battlefield. Having one of the seemingly weakest quirks in the class, Mineta still manages to make excellent use of his sticky head globs. See the final exam of year one for just one such example, where his quick reflexes and strategic thinking saw him overcome Midnight almost single-handedly. Even so, he still dragged Sero to the finish line, showing dutiful loyalty, despite his failings in err… other, more sensitive moral areas.
Viewers may also recall that he was able to back Midoriya and Tsui extremely well when the League of Villains first attacked UA. Though he may split fans of My Hero Academia, Mineta is still a valuable member of the class, and he’s proven it time and time again. (Mike Worby)
14) Koji Koda
It’s hard to dislike someone as quiet and soft-hearted as Koda. He hates violence, is horribly shy, and is so quiet that his classmates originally assumed he was mute. His quirk, Anivoice, is reminiscent of Aqua Man’s powers in that it allows him to speak to and control animals (including insects).
It’s in nature when Koda really comes alive; it’s a delight to see how much happier he is when he’s surrounded by critters.Like all students in Class 1A, Koda also knows how to push himself when it counts. During his final exam test, Koda managed to overcome his fear of insects and command them to attack Present Mic in what’s been one of the most disgusting scenes in the anime thus far. Anivoice is clearly more effective n nature than in a city setting, however, so it’ll be interesting to see how he’s able to put it to use going forward. (Brent Middleton)
13) Mezo Shoji
Shoji covers much of his face with a mask for reasons unknown. But beyond this mysteriousness, the Dupli-Armed hulk of a figure is one of Class 1-A’s most reliable members. His standout moment thus far was saving Tokoyami when Dark Shadow engulfed him during the Forest Training Camp. Refusing to abandon a friend, Shoji (with the aid of Midoriya) went to great lengths to resolve Tokoyami’s peril.
From collaborating with Hagakure to fell Snipe in the Final Exams, to cradling Asui in protection from the cold during the Provisional Hero License Exam, Shoji’s consistently supportive nature beams through time and time again. Let’s hope he gets more moments to shine in the future! (Harry Morris)
12) Denki Kaminari
Kaminari thrives off of his likability and knack for comic relief. His jovial personality makes it easy to forget that he boasts one of the most powerful quirks in the class, Electrification; he could probably stand right alongside Midoriya, Todoroki, and Bakugo if he took his studying and training more seriously. Instead, Kaminari struggles in class and finds solace in bumming it out with the likes of
As a matter of fact, Kaminari gets along with most of his classmates. Be it cooking up perverted schemes with Mineta, bantering with Kirishima, or getting teased by Jiro, he’s always at the center of some kind of commotion. His attempts at smooth talking are endearing, and seeing him in his short-circuit state never gets old. Gag characters can often wear out their welcome quickly (looking at you, Mineta), but Kaminari manages to consistently keep the mood light not just for My Hero Academia viewers, but for the rest of the class as well. (Brent Middleton)
11) Mina Ashido
If there was an award for ‘the most optimistically high-octane member of Class 1-A’, Mina would win in a heartbeat. The only people who actively dislike her character are miserable people, weirdos, and miserable weirdos. While she regularly ranks bottom of the class in her grades (alongside Kaminari), her endearing enthusiasm is unshakeable.
Season 4 has offered a glimpse into her past, her friendship with Kirishima, and her long standing mastery of infectious glee. Naturally, it’s only served to make her more likeable than she already was. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, she’s a big supporter of Midoriya and Uraraka’s gradually blossoming romance! (Harry Morris)
10) Kyoka Jiro
Another testament to the strength of the writing team of My Hero Academia is their knack for finding a myriad of uses for even the most seemingly useless quirks. If Jiro doesn’t prove that, no one does.
When your quirk is merely the manifestation of headphone jacks on your ears, you’re not exactly being set up for success. Still, Jiro managed to make it into the best class in one of the most prestigious hero schools in Japan. Expanding her move set from the simple ability of being able to listen in on rivals and enemies to blasting out full on sound waves, Jiro has proven herself as a strong attacker as well as an invaluable member of any reconnaissance team.
What’s more, and probably explains her place on the list: Jiro is super cool. Extremely passionate about music, with genuine skill for playing several instruments, Jiro’s punky look and snarky personality ooze charisma. (Mike Worby)
9) Momo Yaoyoruzu
As one of two students admitted to UA’s class 1-A on recommendation, Momo Yaoyorozu enters the school (and show) with high expectations to live up to. While she has both a high intellect and what should be an OP Quirk (“Creation”) from the get-go, she struggles quite a bit for the better part of the first two seasons.
Her biggest hurdle early on in My Hero Academia is her lack of self-confidence. She also has significant trouble playing catch-up to put both her intelligence and her Quirk to use in actual fights. In the heat of battle, Momo’s tendency to analyze and predict multiple scenarios at once often immobilizes her in the process. These issues can make her in-battle struggles difficult to watch.
However, she takes inspiration from her classmates (particularly Todoroki and Midoriya) and works hard to put her natural talents to use. Her bonds with the rest of class 1-A fuel her desire to help her friends, leading to great moments such as the first part of the provisional licensing exam, wherein her desire to help her classmates pushes her to use her talents full-force. At this point, her classmates begin to look to Momo for guidance, and she has started to take the role of a leader. (Katharine Booth)
8) Eijiro Kirishima
Kirishima’s gotten a hefty helping of character development in the first half of My Hero Academia‘s fantastic fourth season, and it’s been a joy to behold. As the lone member of Class 1-A to see past Bakugo’s explosive temper and form a genuine friendship with him, his ability to pal up with anyone and everyone is evident.
Season 4 explores his innermost doubts and fears, humanizing him in the most relatable of ways. Seeing him conquer his demons and step up against Tengai and Rappa with the aid of Fat Gum is glorious. No doubt there’s more in store for the spiky red-haired Red Riot! (Harry Morris)
7) Tenya Iida
Tenya Iida, the exemplary “class rep” of class 1-A, is one of the most important secondary characters of My Hero Academia. While first-time viewers might expect Iida to be pigeon-holed into this “class rep” anime trope, Iida quickly fills the role in a unique way. He shows two sides to this persona: on the one hand, his morally uptight manner often serves as comedic fodder, while he also shows a more serious side.
He is genuinely devoted to his classmates, saying, “I’ll serve my peers to the best of my abilities.” The best part of his character arc thus far comes with his revenge-arc with the hero-killer Stain. Iida closes the gap between hero and villain, showing how problematic revenge and anger can be in the seemingly black-and-white hero culture central to My Hero Academia. While Iida comes back to the side of “good” and resumes his class-rep morality, his character arc is suspenseful because he doesn’t swing radically towards edge-lord territory in his rage. The cool, collected façade he uses as the moral leader for class 1A remains leading up to confronting Stain, making his struggle more believable and almost frightening.
Because of this, his business-as-usual class rep persona is deeper going forward, and he wrestles with his past actions while trying to lead his classmates in the right direction. This is particularly true when he sees Midoriya, Todoroki and others approach the border of vigilantism he knows all too well. In true My Hero Academia fashion, Iida plays the role of the anime trope “class rep,” but develops far beyond this, as a character, an integral part of class 1-A, and as part of My Hero Academia as a whole. (Katharine Booth)
6) Katsuki Bakugo
Every anime and JRPG seems to have at least one Bakugo (read: an arrogant, self-involved bully who seems to be set up to be the villain). Like Vegeta before him, though, there’s a lot more to Bakugo than meets the eye.
If any arc showed this, it was his abduction by the League of Villains in season 3. If ever Bakugo was going to switch sides, this would have been the time. Instead, he doubled down on his explosive abilities, fully willing to go kamikazee on some of the most dangerous villains in the whole My Hero Academia world.
Outside of his major abilities and strong penchant for justice, Bakugo has also made some personal growth throughout the series as well. Though he still sometimes acts irresponsibly and picks fights for no good reason, he at least has begun to open up to his friends and accept responsibility for his mistakes, making him a lot easier to both like and root for. (Mike Worby)
5) Fumikage Tokayami
With all the goofiness that pervades Class 1A, Tokoyami’s strong and stoic nature can often feel like a breath of fresh air. He’s reserved, self-serious, and rather mysterious compared to the rest of the class. In fact, Tokoyami’s personality is a perfect match for his quirk, the altogether terrifying and cool Dark Shadow.
So far, Dark Shadow is the only quirk in the anime that lets the user summon a sentient being. It’s a double-edged sword; while Dark Shadow has powerful offensive and defensive capabilities, Tokayami still struggles to control that power when it surges in the darkness. Even so, it’s only thanks to his diligent training that he’s been able to make the most of Dark Shadow’s power; creating forms like Black Ankh to make up for his lack of physical strength is nothing but impressive.
His work ethic and naturally strong quirk not only make Tokayami one of the most powerful in the class, but also one of the students with the most potential (something Mr. Compress took note of after Dark Shadow decimated Moonfish during the Training Camp arc). Though Tokayami might not be one of the most eclectic characters in terms of personality, he’s certainly one of the most exciting to watch grow on My Hero Academia. (Brent Middleton)
4) Ochako Uraraka
Set up to be one of My Hero Academia’s best-girl candidates, Ochaco Uraraka flips several shounen anime/female supporting character tropes throughout her character arc. Her first major contribution to the show is functioning as a damsel in distress for Midoriya during their entrance exam to UA, but only after saving him from literally falling flat on his face on the way to the building.
Her motivation to be a hero is revealed to be a seemingly selfish desire for money rather than being a selfless do-gooder, only to then flip that on its head because her drive for wealth is meant to help her family, rather than herself. While she does take up a chunk of her screen time in fangirling over Midoriya, she also shows how she takes her training seriously. As a case in point, she goes out of her way to pursue an internship that focuses on combat training, to strengthen herself physically and strategically.
She uses everything she learns as the story moves forward, and often has moments where she surprises her classmates with her strategy and grit. While she is inspired by Midoriya’s own efforts throughout My Hero Academia, she goes out of her way to improve her skills on her own terms, and does her best to fight her own fights. (Katharine Booth)
3) Tsuya Asui
Asui is that loveable oddball we all want to be friends with. From the kick-off, she memorably established herself with this exchange:
Asui: “Bakugo’s always mad, so he doesn’t seem like he’ll be popular, though.”
Bakugo: “What the hell?! You wanna fight?!”
(Damn! Cue ‘The Next Episode’ by Dre and Snoop.)
And following, she showcased herself as a reliable source of combat and emotional support. From felling Ectoplasm with Tokoyami for their final exam, to comforting Uraraka during the forest training camp, her appeal as a fan-favourite character is unquestionable (and let’s not forget season 2’s filler episode ‘Everyone’s Internships’, which was dedicated almost exclusively to her).
Finally, if seeing her break down tearfully in season 3’s ‘Moving into Dorms’ didn’t hit viewers in the feels, they’re lacking any semblance of a heart. (Harry Morris)
2) Shoto Todoroki
Since the early days of My Hero Academia, Shoto Todoroki has been a strong fan favorite. It isn’t hard to see why, there’s a lot to love about Todoroki. From his unique look to his calm, cool demeanor, to his awesome dual powers of fire and ice.
What makes Todoroki really stand out, though, is his backstory. With one of the most thorough origins in My Hero Academia, Todoroki invokes both sympathy and compassion from viewers. Born in an abusive home, and raised with significant pressure to become a world class hero, Todoroki has managed to still come out the other side a good, decent person as well as an excellent hero.
From his path to embracing his fire abilities (inherited from his abusive father) to his fateful showdown with Stain in a desperate struggle for survival, Todoroki has been at the center of some of the best arcs of My Hero Academia, and his versatile powers come in handy in almost any situation imaginable.
In fact, there’s really only one character who could challenge him for the top spot of Class 1-A… (Mike Worby)
1) Izuku Midoriya
The growth of Midoriya throughout the last three-and-a-half seasons of My Hero Academia has been tremendous. His gradual climb from a quirkless wimp who used to get tormented by Bakugo into someone who can defeat the most powerful of criminals feels authentic and earned.
Despite receiving one of the most powerful quirks in the world, Midoriya continually puts his all into learning how to better himself and making himself as useful as possible.That said, it’s Midoriya’s flaws that make him so relatable. He’s timid when meeting new people, stumbles over himself when it comes to girls, and struggles with disparaging remarks made by people he respects. His uninhibited sense of justice can be both a good thing (helping to save Bakugo in middle school) and a bad thing (almost blowing the sting operation against the Shie Hassaikai).
More than anything, Midoriya’s shortcomings are a gentle reminder that he’s still a teenager at the end of the day. When it comes down to it, though, Midoriya is simply one of the best shounen protagonists in years. His dedication to learning and bettering himself is admirable, and his willingness to help someone in need without even thinking about it is undoubtedly heroic. The journey to see how he becomes the greatest hero in the world is truly shaping up to be one for the ages. (Brent Middleton)