Deku: The Meaning Of A Name

Spoiler Free

Staring at a math problem for hours on end your mind starts to wander and somewhere between thinking about what you want to eat after school and your soon to be extersential crisis, you come up with your hero persona, you think about the awesome powers, the fantastical costume, the ever important tragic backstory that is always needed in a tale like this, but the most notable part of this process is the name and honestly how deep a thought goes into it’s creation. Look at any of your standard hero names and tell me how deep did they reach down to create it as they are in fact either basic or the reasoning behind the name are just hilarious.

Eraser Head was a suggestion by Present Mic.

Spiderman, Spider+Man.

Ironman, your starting to get the picture here aren’t you.

Captain America, patriotism porn.

Bruce’s original reason for naming himself Batman are just comical to me. ”Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot,” Wayne remarks, “so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible…” As if responding to his desires, a bat suddenly flies through the window, inspiring Bruce to assume the persona of Batman.

It’s as if someone is reading the diary notes of an edgy rebelling 15 year old who wears black lipstick and listens to Linken Park.

I can’t personally say this process is incorrect as the purpose of a hero name is meant to describe who the hero is and what they promise the public, along with how merchandisable there is name is of course, but a deviation from the norm is expected and with Izuku’s hero name while is still standing to that naming foundation it also diverges from this regular path. The history of Izuku’s hero name is a complex turbulence of pain, misery, hope and the reason of why he chose this hero name while is true, “I didn’t like it until someone changed the meaning of the word for me and that had a huge impact on how I felt so now I really like it,” that is not the only reason. So let me delve into the despairing origins of how Deku came to be.

Origins Part One

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As children Bakugou and Izuku would play together either skimming rocks or playing ball and more often than not Bakugo would almost always succeed where is Izuku would always fail causing Bakugo to ridicule him and so he gave him the nickname “Deku” which means a person who can’t do anything. As the nickname came before everything, back when Bakugo was without a quirk himself back when he too was powerless, back to when their quirks were merely dreams, it reinforces the part that Deku’s desire about becoming a hero will remain but a dream. That name was constantly shoved in his face the moment he even thought about stepping up to the bullies or following his goals, he get’s knocked down by that name, even when he got a quirk and got into his dream school that name came with him haunting him at every turn, screaming at him that he couldn’t do anything that his dream about becoming a hero would never come into being, but that all changed when a certain girl said that dreaded nickname.

Origins Part Two

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Ochako comes along and turns the name on it’s head giving it a different meaning entirely all from the way it sounds. “ Dekiru it gives me a sorta never give up vibe, you know.” Once she says that a switch is flipped in his head and Izuku mumbles to Iida. “It’s just like when Copernicus flipped the paradigm.” Re-centering the universe so that Earth is no longer the centre but instead the sun, a firey hot star that cannot escape from anyone sights and even if you are blind you can still feel it dancing on your skin. With this new meaning Izuku takes the name Deku with for as spoken instead of written it sounds completely different and thusly he is able to stand up to Bakugo for the first time and eventually face him head on, what was once a weakness is now a strength, he has become the sun and it’s all thanks to one person.

In this tale of origins you may think Bakugo gave Izuku his hero name. Another may argue it was Ochako, but in actual truth the giver of his hero name is Izuku himself. The moment he shouted that name back at Bakugo, the moment he shakily wrote down his code name, he knew who helped to get where he is now and it’s all thanks to that name or in a different term his quirkless self.

He won’t let his past define him but he won’t throw it away either because doing so will erase everything and while some can do this he cannot, or more to the fact he chooses not to as his past was a stepping stone to who he is now.

Deku itself is a reminder that the only reason he is at U.A is because of that weak quirkless person, he didn’t give up in the face of bully’s, naysayers, or the people who couldn’t look past his lack of a quirk, he didn’t give up when his hero told him he couldn’t be a hero. That person while weak in body stood strong in sprit and led him to the place he desired to be. Deku is a beautiful thank you to the past for without that past there wouldn’t be a clear path ahead for the future, he knows what kind of hero he is, One That Never Gives Up.

3 Replies to “Deku: The Meaning Of A Name”

  1. Midoriya’s ownership of the name Deku is a powerful character defining moment and a very sweet one. Great idea for a post and just great post!

  2. I was legitamely thinking about Midoriya’s character development through making the name Deku his own when I stumbled across this. You put it perfectly in words 🙂

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