Kirishima Eijirou initial impressions on me indicated he could appreciate manliness, had a bit of a one track mind and was a tiny smidge of an idiot who rushed head first into fights. But as I got know this character those first impressions were not exactly true but also true. Let me explain.
While yes he appreciates manliness he does not go overboard in his devotion, during the hero’s vs. villains training exercise he mentions that an ambush is “unmanly” but Deku running from Bakugo while still unmanly is forgivable. This shows that he understands the situation that Deku is in and his only option is to run. Showing the first instance that he has a brain between his ears and if this was a one off insight I would have brushed it off but this is merely a taste of the brains that he has. The sports festival arc where he convinces Bakugo to be on the same team with him using logic and a well thought out plan on how their quirks can complement each other for this task. He predicts that Sero will win race training. He brings night vision goggles when they go to rescue Bakugo knowing that they will need them and many more instances far too numerous to recall.
That is why Kirishima is one of the most intelligent characters in the show and unlike others of high intelligence he has emotional common sense, just look at his interactions with his classmates. When talking about studying for the mid year exam Kirishima bates Bakugo to help him study, not to say with malice, he’s just a really friendly guy with genuine pure motives and because that people help him and in return he helps out whenever someone asks him too, always being a team player. In the sports festival arc Bakugo’s temper is cooled by him, as he explains why he needs to keep a calm head during the calvary battle which Bakugo actually listens to an this ultimately leads to Bakugo calling Kirishima by his name for the very first time in the series, giving us a indicator of where Bakugo puts Kirshima in his circle of thought even if he can’t admit what he is to him, at least at that point in time.
It comes to a head during the rescue arc as Kirishima is the only person who can reach out to him, as being saved by a friend wouldn’t hurt his pride. By accepting his hand the friendship is not one sided anymore but reciprocated and acknowledged. Repays him in the form of money for the night vision goggles, not using big explosions in the provisional license exam as to avoid hurting Kaminari and Kirishima, to cheering Krishima up when he’s feeling down, all are done after the rescue arc.
But this ends up with me asking why Kirishima even started the relationship in this first place, how did it begin? All roads lead back to the USJ attack, when Kirishima saw him using a rational calm approach to the situation at hand and what he assumed was his belief in there other classmates that they could handle the villains. It was within this small moment that he became manly in his eyes. Thus beginning their friendship and I’m surprised it lasted. Krishima’s relationship with Bakugo was always strange to me. For all accounts they should not get along, with their friendship exploding in a matter of weeks but it’s actually quite a simple reason why they do. They compliment each other in terms of personality.
Where Kirishima hated his quirk when it first activated as it harmed him and was quite generic in nature and ends up outraged when someone has a similar quirk which led to a brief rivalry with Tetsutesu from class 1B that didn’t end until Kirishima beat him in a arm wrestling match, while on the other hand Bakugo loved his as it was powerful and unique to the point that during the time before he entered high school his classmates worshiped the very ground he walked upon. They are what each other lacks or what have too much of, Kirishima with his inferiority complex and Bakugo with his superiority complex.
For those who don’t know an inferiority complex is described as a “lack of self-worth, a doubt and uncertainty about oneself and feelings of not measuring up to standards. It is often subconscious, and is thought to drive afflicted individuals to overcompensate, resulting either in spectacular achievement or extremely asocial behavior.” It seems really odd though for such an upbeat guy in an anime to have an inferiority complex but he does.
It isn’t apparent until the later chapters but there are some clues in the earlier chapters that do allude to his condition. The first sign was on the way to the USJ where he was putting himself down saying “My hardening’s strong against others, but unfortunately, it doesn’t look like much.” This is line is muttered at the very start of the series and again about a hundred pages in. “Even now I’ve been nothing but lack luster. When you’ve all become pros what should I do to keep pace?” After all the fights he has been apart of, all the improving he’s done to himself, he’s ended right back in the same place. It’s all been a long line of self deprecation with him unable to break this never ending-cycle of inferiority.
Kirishima cannot fight through his feelings of inferiority as he is kept being shown that he isn’t enough, that his quirk is not enough, even when shown evidence to the contrary that he is a great hero (When he gets a newspaper headline about Red Riot’s heroic act). It’s washed away in a stream of inferiority against the raging tide of his other classmates (or other people in different classes at the school) whether it be now or in the past.
He and Mina went to the same middle school though they never interacted. She was in the spotlight while Khrishima was in the background, she was a blinding shinning star that was on the worlds stage where everyone had to look at her because she was simply amazing in a word, because of this he felt self conscious of his own appearance and personality, these feelings were worsened when he could not stand up against a figure who was threatening his fellow students and he would have given up on being a hero if wasn’t for Crimson Riot who came in his time of need, his All Might, for the way he looked up to the man the one key difference is that Kirishima never met Crimson Riot so he became an untouchable idol that was on top of a pedestal that he wants to grasp, his style appears to be in homage of but I see it as imitation and this is not the first time he’s imitated his hero, naming himself Red Riot, the costume similarities, personality changes and the bull headed battle tactics (which led him to fail the mid year exam) were to imitate him so he could become the hero he wanted to be. Too bad this metamorphosis has led to the opposite effect.
Repeating Fourth Kind’s words in Fatgum’s office that boils down to his key personality trait. “Having a rambunctious guy in the office raises morale.” He never wanted to be that person, he wanted to be more than that guy cheering on the heroes from the sidelines encouraging them to save the day as they inspire others to join the amazing profession of herodom. He wanted to be someone like Crimson Riot, a stand up hero who fights to save the innocent even when scared, as illustrated by Kirishima being the first to say they should go and rescue Bakugo, he wants to prove himself as a real hero and see’s the perfect opportunity to test his resolve and save his friend, but more importantly deep down he want’s to make up for what he was unable to do when his classmates were attacked in middle school, as deuk’s words echoed his long ago thoughts from when he stood still. But he cannot redeem himself in that way as what has happened has happened and sometimes nothing you do can make things better or make yourself feel better nor can he be someone like Crimson Riot, as such with imitation of a person you have only seen from far away as they never show the full picture of themselves and trying to imitate them will always lead to failure as you both have different life experiences and little quirks that make you up, in the end your copying a picture and while we learn from imitation, that is all you should do learn not become.
And like with any imitation piece when you look hard enough you can pick out the faults and sure enough Mina spots it right off the bat when they re-meet. “How are you going to say sayonara when you’re still pulling that gloomy face. When you’ve actually overcome yourself deep down, come and tell me okay.” He is still the same person even with a new window dressing, which proves you cannot throw away a part of your self as a person is made up of so many different components and he must except all, the good and the bad.
With the soon coming foreclosure of the his emotional roller coaster in the Eri arc indicates he shall awaken to his lowest point, with his inability to protect Fatgum, a character such as Kirishma will take drastic measures to improve on himself and not in a positive way.
When is Hadou speaking to Mina about a student who dropped out of U.A, Kirishima is presented in a darkened manner with an oddly focused look on his face staring right at her. This could indicate that he knew the person who dropped out but as we have seen in his back story it is not credible instead it leads to foreshadowing a possible destination where he drops out and peruses a sidekick position with Fatgum which is not the worst decision someone has ever made but this new environment will not help him, his issues are deeply ingrained inside of him so going in another direction will not help him they will just follow. What he needs now is someone who understands what he’s going through someone with a similar view on his position.
The person who may convince Kirishima to come back and help him with his inner hurdles would most likely be Asui. He was the first to comfort her when she admits her feelings of cowardice and regret for not going with them to rescue Bakugo. Kirishima opens up to people who admit there own weakness and shortcomings whether it be other hero’s or even villains. She may very well break this never ending cycle of inferiority he has stuck himself into as Asui is straight forward and won’t mince words getting to the heart of the problem.
The person he wants to be and person he is are too different creatures, once he stops imitating Crimson Riot and comes terms with his past self he will be able to transform into the person he so desires to be, a person who lives his life without regret. After all change cannot be forced with a bit of hair dye. I wish it was that simple.
Here’s a small segment I like to call. “Things that I couldn’t put in this post because they are not appropriate but at the same time appropriate for this situation.”
Kirishima’s friends used to call him Ei-chan which was adorable to me.
Kirishima’s natural hair colour is black.
The author describes him as “One of the social butterflies of class 1-A. The other is Kaminari.”
He came second in the entrance exam, right underneath Bakugo (Wiggles eyebrows suggestively).
After Word With Weird
The art you see at the top of the page was done by lowaharts, you can find him on tumblr. http://lowaharts.tumblr.com