My Hero Academia is one part superhero action and one part school life, as the title suggests. The protagonists, especially Izuku Midoriya, have natural talent and guts, but they still have a long way to go before they can truly mature and call themselves pro heroes. Shoto Todoroki and Momo Yaoyorozu, both prodigies, have a long way to go.
The students of Class 1-A are all up to the challenge, and one fight after another, these student heroes learned valuable lessons about heroism, their Quirks, and themselves. Katsuki Bakugo, for example, once believed he could coast on his powerful Explosion Quirk. Bakugo then went to work, pushing himself to learn and grow as a hero one bitter fight at a time.
When Bakugo & Izuku Became Formal Rivals in the Battle Trial Arc
Growing up, Bakugo was one of Izuku's worst bullies, mocking and belittling Izuku for being Quirkless, though he generously allowed Izuku to nickname him Kacchan in return. When they became UA first-years together, Izuku and Bakugo fought for the first time, and it was a learning experience for them both. Izuku learned to face his bully and overcome his fears, while Bakugo realized that Izuku had become a truly worthy rival, not just someone to pick on. A shocked and suddenly insecure Bakugo decided to view Izuku as a true shonen rival from that moment on, though the rivalry wasn't too healthy just yet. Still, it gave both of them a goal to strive toward.
When Bakugo Assisted Izuku in Defeating All Might in Their Final Exam
Following the UA sports festival tournament, classes 1-A and 1-B had final exams, both written and practical. Bakugo passed the written exam and advanced to the teachers-versus-students battles, where he would fight alongside Izuku in the tenth and final match. Bakugo was at his worst at first, a self-centered and harsh student who pushed Izuku aside so he could have the glory of defeating his idol, All Might, alone. During that desperate battle, however, Bakugo finally learned to recognize and accept Izuku as a partner, even lending Izuku one of his explosive gauntlets from his costume. Bakugo took his first step toward becoming a true team player, and his risky move paid off when Izuku got the chance to carry him to the finish line.
When Bakugo Fought Izuku Late at Night and Discovered the Truth
After All Might defeated All For One to rescue Bakugo from the League, Bakugo was wracked with guilt. If he hadn't gotten captured, he reasoned, All Might wouldn't have exhausted One For All rescuing him. That, combined with Izuku's close relationship with All Might and Bakugo's intense pressure to be the best, drove Bakugo over the edge. He confronted Izuku one night on UA's campus to demand the truth and vent his frustration. The rivals came to blows, and after a bitter fight, Bakugo narrowly won, though victory didn't help him at all. Then All Might arrived in his skinny form and explained everything to Bakugo, who finally accepted the truth and his role in everything. With all that out of his system, Bakugo renewed his rivalry with Izuku and made it somewhat healthier, allowing him to grow from a petty, insecure antagonist to a proper antihero who truly respected his rival.
When Bakugo Was in Charge of His Team in The Joint Training Arc
The joint training battle pitted classes 1-A and 1-B against one another, and many students on both sides, including Hitoshi Shinso from the gen-ed department, grew a lot in the process. Bakugo teamed up with Rikido Sato, Hanta Sero and Kyoka Jiro in the fourth battle, and class 1-B's own team actually counted on Bakugo being uncooperative and disruptive. Instead, Bakugo stepped up as a true leader, gruffly but smartly coordinating his entire team to counter class 1-B's tricks and return fire with reckless speed. It was risky, but Bakugo pulled it off, defeating Setsuna Tokage and her teammates in barely five minutes' time. Bakugo may not be a leader on Momo's or Itsuka's level just yet, but he made serious personal strides all the same and proved that he can juggle several people and their Quirks at once rather than constantly attempt to fight the entire world himself.