In the story of My Hero Academia, Izuku Midoriya enrolls at the prestigious UA school to learn the ways of a hero's life. But he's not alone; Izuku is in a class of 20, and his classmates come in all shapes and sizes. All kinds of quirks are tailor-made for a hero's career, and that includes the quirk of Eijiro Kirishima.
Just who is he? Eijiro Kirishima rarely steals the spotlight, but all the same, he's a tough and dependable classmate and trainee hero to have around. His quirk allows him to harden his skin like metal, and this makes him a powerhouse in melee combat. Let's learn some more about this promising hero trainee!
10 He's a man's man
What does it mean to be a proper man, anyway? This differs somewhat based on who you ask, but there are some ideas that often rise to the top: responsibility, protecting others, dependability, compassion, courage, selfless sacrifice, and more.
All the boys and girls of hero class 1-A are ready to launch a future career as defenders of justice, but Kirishima, in particular, is confident in his masculine image. He's tough and confident, but also optimistic and a good friend, which is a winning combination. He sets a fine example already, and in the future, Red Riot will be the kind of hero any child can look up to.
9 He's a hand-to-hand fighter
The students of UA are a varied bunch. Some of them, such as Yuga Aoyama or Fumikage, like to fight from a distance and support their teammates. Others, such as Ochaco or Kyoka Jiro or Koji Koda, have unique quirks to add flexibility to any hero team.
Then you get the fighters! Someone has to get up close and personal with the villains, and Kirishima will be right there in the thick of things. His courage, martial arts skills, and most of all, his hardening quirk make him a fine scrapper. Back him up, and he can punch his way through nearly any problem.
8 Two of a kind
This wasn't a mistake on the author's part. Hero classes 1-A and 1-B each have a melee fighter with a skin-hardening quirk! Those hero classes have a distinct rivalry, and that extends to these boys too. Eijiro Kirishima meets his match in Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu, whose iron quirk is very similar.
These boys also have the same hero statistics in the guide books, and they also both have sharp teeth and a similar personality. Ultimately, they dueled in the UA Sports Festival and broke even, so an arm-wrestling match decided things. Eijiro came out on top, so he advanced to the next round. Tetsutetsu was a good sport about it too.
7 Best buds with Katsuki Bakugo
Not anyone can be friends with the explosive and self-absorbed Katsuki Bakugo. In fact, by this point, it seems that Izuku's friendship with him has become one-sided, and it's tragic to see. But Eijiro is a different story.
Both boys get along fairly well, and Eijiro is probably the closest thing to a friend, or a trusted peer, that Bakugo has at the moment. Still, this didn't dampen Bakugo's vicious attitude during the UA Sports Festival, and Bakugo finished off his red-haired classmate with zero hesitation.
6 He tests out
While Kirishima is not a spotlight student like the genius Momo or Shoto, or the dark horse Izuku, he's a pretty solid student, and don't count on him washing out of training. In the UA entrance exam, he placed second, and in the quirk apprehension test, he came in at a solid 8th.
He's a more mixed bag elsewhere, but he shows promise. Kirishima ranks 15th in the class for grades, though he did pass the written midterm just fine. Unfortunately, he did fail the practical midterm along with Rikido Sato, as neither of them could handle Cementoss' constant concrete walls. He'll have to figure out something for next time.
5 Rough middle school days
The students at UA came from various middle schools across Japan, and in middle school, Izuku felt terrible, being the only student without a quirk to call his own. Kirishima, meanwhile, didn't feel much better.
In those days, Kirishima wasn't nearly as confident in his quirk or combat skills, and he doubted that there was a hero inside. He was impressed that Mina Ashido stood up bravely to bullies, but he felt that he couldn't live up to her example. Fortunately, time has been kind to Kirishima, and now he's on track to become a true manly hero. No going back now!
4 Good quirk, or not?
Get this: for a time, Kirishima felt that his quirk was useless for a hero career! This ties into the above fact: for a time, Kirishima was sure that he was not cut out for being a hero, whether on the inside or outside. He wasn't gutsy or cool, and his quirk just made him tough.
Kirishima was in Mirio's position for a time, saddled with a quirk that seemed pointless for saving lives with. Maybe he can stop bullets, but that's all. But Kirishima turned this around and started using his hardened body to make him into a serious melee fighter, and as he proved on the job with Fat Gum, he can take a blow in the place of a more vulnerable teammate.
3 He looks like an ogre
Seriously, in a different context, Kirishima almost looks like a villain! There are a few heroes who actually do look like monsters, and Kirishima makes the list. He's called Red Riot, and he's got a simple, scary-looking outfit to make his quirk easier to use.
With his pointed red hair, mouth of sharp teeth, hard skin and claws, and his brawny appearance (and some iron themes), Kirishima is oddly reminiscent of ogres in Japanese mythology. These beasts have horns, fangs, and iron clubs, and are often red. It's not confirmed, though, whether Eijiro actually meant to look like an ogre when wearing his costume.
2 He styles that hair
Whoa, Kirishima has some pretty scary hair! It's blood red and sticks right up. What's amusing to note is that his hair does not naturally look that way, as some flashbacks reveal.
Rather, Kirishima was born with black hair, and it hung loose, kind of like Shoto's hair. It was like this in middle school, but right before enrolling at UA, Kirishima dyed and styled it into what we see today. Pretty rad!
1 His name
The names of many characters in My Hero Academia were chosen carefully so they could match an aspect of each character. Rather than choose randomly from a baby name book, the author assembled names with meaningful kanji in them.
For Eijiro Kirishima, his first name is made up of two kanji: one for "cut," and one for "sharp." That sounds like swords or knives, but it also applies to the sharp, hard edges of Kirishima's hardened skin, not to mention his teeth. After a point, he started wearing sleeves on his hero uniform so that he wouldn't accidentally cut civilians while carrying them.