The smash-hit new anime My Hero Academia stars Izuku Midoriya, a quirkless boy who received One For All to become a pro hero like his idol, All Might. Izuku enrolls at the UA heroics school, and meets many other adolescents who aim to be heroes, too. One of them is Tenya Iida.
Tenya Iida quickly proves to be a good friend and dependable classmate, and he and Izuku definitely have each other's backs covered. Iida comes from a hero-inclined family, and he's determined to not fall behind. He's got his eyes on the prize just like Izuku does, and his career is off to a strong start. So, what are ten things any viewer should know about the one and only Tenya Iida?
10 He's like a coach
Don't be fooled by Iida's tendency to get a bit flustered at times. He can handle his classmates fairly well, and during summer vacation, he took things a step further. In fact, Iida has such a well-honed sense of responsibility, he acted as an unofficial swim coach!
Mineta, Denki, and Izuku convinced Aizawa to let the boys of class 1-A borrow the school pool, and while Mineta and Denki wanted to check out the girls, Iida organized some bonus exercises and training! There was some grumbling, but it was a day well spent, and shows what a leader Iida can be.
9 Just like his brother
Here's a scene from a few years in the past, with both Iida brothers side by side. Tenya is pictured with Tensei, his older brother, who is a pretty swell guy with a heart of gold. He's also a pro hero, and he donned the cape before Tensei ever did. He's got a solid career going, and we're rooting for him.
With family like that, it's no wonder Tenya was eager to do much the same, and Tensei's guiding light is a tireless source of motivation and inspiration for the younger brother. What a wholesome brotherhood this is!
8 He's got a reckless side
For the most part, Tenya Iida is composed, disciplined, and quite responsible. How could he not be, as a hero in training and as class 1-A's president? That's how we know him, but he's only human. Even Tenya may become reckless or emotional, and build up a head of steam and regret it later.
This first happened during the UA Sports Festival, when Tensei fell victim to Stain. Tenya got the news from his mom, and rushed off at once... only to need some rescue himself! Later, when the League of Villains captured Katsuki Bakugo, Iida joined the rogue students who went out to rescue him.
7 He's a diligent one
Iida is one of the best students in his grade and has a strong sense of leadership, but he's not just a motivational speaker or a bookworm. He's also good in practice, and he will never stop training to improve his quirk (Engine) and his combat skills. Complacency leads to defeat!
More than once, we see Iida's work ethic. For example, the pool training session, and during a training montage, we saw Iida jogging on a track while carefully timing himself. In his dorm room, we spotted many high-level books on his bookshelves, not to mention many spare glasses for the rigors of training. He's a Boy Scout: always prepared!
6 Merciful fighting
Tenya knows how to handle himself in a fight, for sure, but he's not bloodthirsty or reckless like some people are. In fact, he knows exactly how much force is necessary, and only uses that much to win a battle.
He did this during the UA Sports Festival, where he only used the full power of his quirk against the child prodigy Shoto Todoroki. Against Ibara Shiozaki of class 1-B, and against Mina Ashido of his own class, Iida did not deliver any heavy kicks, nor did he have to. Instead, he defeated both girls by running at full speed and pushing them right out of the arena.
5 Extra gear
Iida has a pretty heavy-duty costume, as opposed to some of his classmates who have more bare-bones outfits for heroics. His outfit includes a helmet that blocks strong winds from getting in his face, and the leggings suit his Engine quirk perfectly, having huge exhaust vents to fit over his natural ones. It's mostly for show, but it's also practical.
What is more, Mei Hatsume was ready to test all kinds of new gadgets ("babies") on Iida during their UA Sports Festival match, and all of it boosted Iida's abilities even further. Those were just prototypes, but perhaps one day, Iida could use them for real.
4 A sense of pride
Fortunately, Tenya Iida isn't given to extreme vanity or arrogance, and he's more down to earth than you might think. But he doesn't totally let his hair down, either! Iida is pretty strict and uptight to match his intelligence and leadership aptitude.
Iida disapproves of tardiness or goofing off, and he won't stand for anyone joking about heroics or their school. He also objected hotly when Mei revealed that their "duel" was really just a chance for Mei to show off her inventions to the audience. It was pretty awkward for him to realize that he was a mere test subject!
3 He's taken half-seriously
Okay, this isn't to say that everyone is giving Iida a hard time or doubting him. His classmates know that he's the real deal. Still, for comic effect, the story shows that Iida's classmates don't take his duties as seriously as he does. He fusses at them to be quiet or study more or stop putting their feet on their desk, but they usually gently snub him.
Iida gets a little annoyed at this, but he always bounces right back, ready to be a leader. Ochaco, to her credit, once comforted Iida when he felt embarrassed in class.
2 His original appearance
By now, we've seen plenty of images of what Tenya Iida looks like, both in his school outfits and in his stylish hero armor. He's easy to recognize, but he doesn't look terribly bizarre, either. He grabs your attention in a good way.
But Tenya didn't always look like that. Early sketches of him show that he was going to be much older, and not even a student at all. He looked a bit like a scruffy Aizawa, and laughing like a maniac. His original costume design was downright spooky, having an organic, lizard-like head. Let's be glad that the author went in a different direction!
1 His namesake
How did the author come up with a name like "Tenya Iida"? Many of the heroes and students in My Hero Academia have meaningful kanji in their names that reflect their quirks or other attributes. Tenya Iida is no different.
He is named after Idaten, or the Japanese name for a Mahayana defender of Buddhist shrines named Skanda. Idaten is a very fast runner, and is used as a symbol for anyone who can run fast. Combine that with the exclamatory "ya," and you get "Idaten-ya," or "Iida Tenya"! Name complete!