When you start watching the hit anime series My Hero Academia, you're not only going to witness the rise of Izuku Midoriya, the hero in training but a whole class of teenagers aiming to be heroes. Izuku is in hero school, after all, not just private tutor sessions with All Might or Gran Torino.
Anime loves a good high school story, and we get that in spades here. Hero class 1-A at UA is a diverse one, from the brooding genius Shoto Todoroki to the girl-next-door type Ochaco Uraraka to the tough guy Eijiro Kirishima. At first, the blond lightning boy Denki Kaminari seems like total filler, since he's not that powerful and he's got the worst grades in the entire class. Still, Denki is giving his education a sincere effort, and we've seen him come a long way. Let's get to know him a little better.
10 One-Punch Denki
Whoa, Denki is the total class clown here, isn't he? What's with that face? Bear in mind that many characters and quirks in My Hero Academia are references to Shonen manga and to Western comic books, and Denki is no different.
He is a tribute to One-Punch Man, a contemporary series. In fact, Denki was born in Saitama Prefecture. Sound familiar? What is more, he makes a trademark, goofy face when his lightning power has fried his brains, much like the default goofy face of a caped baldy we all know and love.
9 A Little Restraint
Denki isn't especially aggressive, and he's not the type to leap right into battle. However, his quirk suits someone who does, since it blasts electricity all over the place, no matter who is standing close to him.
This is a double-edged sword since this allows Denki to launch attacks in a wide area, but friends get caught in the blast as well as foes. This lack of control puts a damper on Denki's combat power and his confidence, but that problem will soon be solved.
8 Control at last
Hey, what's that on Denki's wrist? Mei Hatsume of UA's support department is a busy girl, and she makes gadgets for more students than just Izuku (though he seems to be a favorite of hers). Denki wants better control of his quirk, so he turned to Mei and got some new toys.
As we see in the provisional license battle, Denki now wields a wrist-mounted power channeler, and he can launch projectiles that attract his lightning power in a straight line. With this newfound precision, Denki delivered a serious zap to Seiji Shishikura of Shiketsu high school without causing any collateral damage. Doing that totally turned the tables.
7 He's starting from the bottom
Okay, that's a lot of text. Long story short: Mina Ashido and Denki have the worst grades in hero class 1-A. What's interesting about My Hero Academia is that Izuku, despite being born quirkless, is not the only student who has some ground to cover. Denki settled right to the bottom, and he's determined to change that.
It's inspiring to see a low-ranked student like Denki steel his resolve and take responsibility for his education and training (Mina, too). He can only go up, and boy does he climb the ladder fast. Even if you fall short today, well... tomorrow is another day.
For the most part, Shonen manga artists don't really play up any love stories in their comics, since that's not really what the genre is about. Still, some artists have fun hinting at pairings, and fans will take whatever they can get and let their imagination do the rest.
The world of anime shipping is a robust one, and sometimes, the fans bring Denki and Kyoka Jiro (right) together. Jiro acts cool and detached, but she sometimes has a good chuckle at Denki's antics, and there was one time she had a blush on her face while doing it. Maybe she likes goofballs?
5 He likes the ladies
Remember that pool training episode? The girls of class 1-A got permission to use the school pool during summer break, and at once, both Mineta and Denki got some ideas. They pictured all the lovely ladies in bikinis by the water's edge, and they convinced Izuku to secure permission for the boys to use the pool, too.
At once, Mineta and Denki made a mad dash for the pool to visit the maiden paradise... only to run right into Tenya Iida. Some tough training followed, and the girls were in their school-issued swimsuits on the pool's other side. Alas, there's no time for fun when there's training to do.
4 He becomes braver
Early on, the students of UA got an unexpected taste of battle when villains, led by Tomura Shigaraki, invaded the USJ building in force. Lots of villains big and small were all over the place, and the students scrambled to defend themselves until the teachers could arrive.
Denki, having little control over his quirk and no combat experience, panicked nearly as much as Mineta did. He had to be shoved right into the ranks of the villains, where he let loose with his electricity on instinct. Fortunately, Denki learned fast, and by the time the UA School Festival took place, he was 100% confident in his prowess. He quickly lost to Ibara Shiozaki in a duel, but at least he's got some guts now. That counts for something.
3 He has bland taste
Later in the series, all of the UA students were relocated into dorms for their own safety, and they had a license to decorate and furnish their rooms as they liked. Why not have a personal space to call home? Izuku loaded his room with All Might stuff, and Fumikage's room was a pit of Gothic darkness.
Denki, though, has a pretty plain and generic room. One could say that he just grabbed whatever random stuff he could and put it in there, from a dartboard to hats that we've never seen him wear to car license plates. Maybe he ought to get an interior decor catalog for new ideas?
2 His upgraded costume
Pictured is Denki's first hero costume, which he designed himself. Every hero student designs their own costume to accentuate their quirk and stand out, but Denki's is so plain at first, it hardly looks like a costume. Jist a black jacket and white shirt, and black pants and boots, plus that thingy on his ear.
The students are free to upgrade and modify their costumes, though, and this includes Denki. He has a utility belt, not to mention stylish blue eyeglasses and the wrist-mounted electricity guidance system that Mei built for him. Looking good, kid.
1 He's chill
Denki is probably the most laid back student in all of UA, and he's never at a loss for a funny topic of conversation or a witty remark to make. He's outgoing and likes being included, which makes him easy to get along with.
This applies in combat, too, once he gets over his initial fear of fighting. Even when facing down the fearsome Seiji in combat, Denki isn't above teasing Bakugo or lecturing Seiji about judging people prematurely. Maybe it's just nervous energy, but it's funny to see him blab nonstop.