Character Explained: Ochaco Uraraka

Female shounen characters are often portrayed as either violent guy obsessed cry baby’s who get others to do there work for them or while strong in in power levels are often lacking in character and could be described as a bowl of rice for how interesting they are. There are few that can be called a well put together or complex character in this genre, there are few and far between. Ochaco is one of these characters, strong, smart and as intricate as a spaceship. Despite what you may think there is more underneath the surface of this smiling face but make no mistake our first meeting with this character reveals half of what she.

Ochaco Uraraka’s introduction with Izuku is a real meet cute. She stops him from falling flat on his face, displaying that she cares about other people even though she is competing with him from a spot in the hero course, her overall appearance is presented as cheery, bubbly and she can seem a bit of a ditz due to her overall positive attitude and later on during the entrance exam we get to see her exhibit her brains and brawn. With the nature of her quirk she found the most effective method of dealing with the robots within a short time frame collecting 28 villain points in just under 15 minutes and reveals her weakness showing off how she becomes nausea’s after using her quirk to much or exceeds her weight limit over 3 tons. In the same chapter after the exam finishes she actively seeks out Present Mic volunteering up some of her points to Izuku because he went out of his way to save her. Although she later learns that it isn’t necessary. In one chapter we have a steady framework of who this cherry, bubbly, bit of ditz, nice girl is. As the series progress we see her personality unfold, with her exaggerated facial features, her amusement at peoples personality traits and quirks and because she’s strong with a through understanding of her limits and how to rectify the situation using support items she’s not someone you actively route against or have the desire to punch in the face plus her support of Deku is incredibly sweet. I find her joyful to be around and I must admit whenever she pops onto either the page or screen she lightens the mood of any situation with her comical antics. So when her attitude does a 180 our eyes start opening to the side of Ochaco which we don’t usually see, you begin to ask who is the real Ochaco and is the bubbly girl we know just a lie? Well no. She is not lying but there is a facet of her personality that does not appear at the beginning of us meeting her and only emerges in the light of the Sports Festival Arc.

When the sports festival is announced Ochaco is pumped causing her classmates to be taken a back by her behavior with Kirisihima remarking, “Yeah but talk about inconsistent characterization.” At her presented actions, again Ochaco has always been shown as the bright, bubbly bit of a ditz character. Never exhibiting such an intensely driven attitude. This is a part of her personality that has been tucked away. Ochaco hides her ‘’darker” emotions under a façade of a smile, she hides her pain because she loves her parents and wants to relive as many burdens of theirs as she can but at this moment all she can take from them is her own pain. This façade has also transferred into her school life and manages hide these emotions well with no one seeing through she is a master at hiding her pain and stay focus on her task at hand but with her bubbly feelings that well inside of her they manage to shine though with people such as Mina knowing what she’s feeling to Ayoma correctly guessing who is on her mind. Izuku can stir the well of stagnate emotions inside of her because to her he is amazing.

Ochaco respects Izuku and has faith in his judgment and decisions, voting for him to be class president and joining together in numerous endeavors together, helping him by re-branding that awful nickname Bakugo gave him. She’s his support and throught the time they have spent together this respect for him has grown and has turned into love. With her running away whenever they’re alone together, her reaction to Aoyama when he asked her if she liked him, being jealous of Mei and fake Camie when they got close to him, it’s clears daylight that she likes him but doesn’t know what to do with these feelings. During the provisional license exam her emotions rise to the surface as she see’s him being his amazing self and because she does not know how to process these  emotions so she does the most logical thing, she pushes them down, ignoring them. If she just accepted these feelings then they wouldn’t way her down causing her to circle him. It’s laughable that moment she started forming as a planet she was knocked off course into Izuku’s orbit causing her to become merely a metor.

During the third part of the sports festival, Izuku offers to help her in her up coming battle against Bakugo but she declines wanting to fight him on her own, not depending on Izuku to carry her the rest of the way, as she realized that she was leaning on him. She thought she was being friendly but she figured out that she was hoping Izuku would get through the day again as he often does, she feels ashamed of herself for that and wants to fight Bakugo using what she has. This fight is more than about winning it’s about proving to herself that she can stand on her own feet and prevail in the end. Facing Bakugo head on not shielding away from him she is fierce she is determined and she will not back down and the fight that proceeds can be determined as epic. Each opponent is using mind, body and quirk to try and outwit the other, no move is wasted it’s a ballet in it’s execution, but only half an hour long in length. Bakugo’s taking this fight seriously he’s not going easy on her because he’s acknowledging her strength by fighting her unabashedly and with her ultimate attack which nearly got him, that impressed him and uses her actual name in the heat of battel. Bakugo doesn’t remember names he’s uses facial features and creates nicknames out of that well except for Izuku but I will get into that later, at this point in time you can count on one hand who Bakugo respects/has friendship feelings for All Might, Kirisihima and Ochaco. What people may see as a fragile little girl being beaten up by the big bad wolf is in reality a fight between equals giving there all between one another because he does not know what to expect. He has yet to see her full strength but he knows that she is not weak. They’ve gone through similar experiences, she held her own against those villains at the USJ with no serious injuries sustained to her self. She went through each round of sports festival and came out victorious, to him she’s no dainty girl she is a dragon. As the dust clears from his assumed penultimate attack he’s ready to keep fighting with a grin on his face that’s from joy as he has found a worthy opponent to fight, someone that will push him and if he defeats her than he knows that he is the strongest but before he can charge in for another attack she goes down like a sack of potatoes as she has exceeded her weight limit, collapsing on the hard concrete below. Bakugo looks genuinely disappointed he wants to continue fighting her but cannot.

With the battle wrapped up he confronts Izuku about the crazy plan she was executing, insinuating that he was the one to instruct her on how to go about fighting him, because of the reckless abandon in which she attacked him, it has his finger prints all over it. In his Bakugo way he’s saying that he’s worried about her. Izuku’s response is clam without a tinge of fear in his voice as he tells Bakugo that’s not the case, the strategy was all hers and Bakugo is left speechless, you practically see his respect for Ochaco growing. An engaging fight that he almost lost, a plan she formulated all on her own that was made on the spot, she has earned his respect. So when Kaminari say’s he went to hard on such a frail girl Bakugo defends her verbally, no yelling, no screaming, just words in her defense as he recognizes her as a worthy opponent and should be judged as such. At this point in time Bakugo has a tendency to let his actions speak rather than words so for him to verbally defend her, that shows the level of which she pushed him. From that fight onward he calls her by her last name and no longer calls her Round Face. When we see Bakugo after there fight we can see he’s watching over her and while there fight gave Bakugo some character development the real star is Ochaco as this arc solidified her character. The fight itself is the catalyst for Ochaco’s character turning from 2D into 3D. A lot of the side characters, even the main ones can come off as laughter you hear far away but once you track down who’s laughing do you get a picture of who they are and why they are laughing in the first place. Before this fight we saw her as the bright bubbly cheerleader character but this fight shows us how far she will drive herself to achieve her goal. Bakugo is not lenient on any of his opponents he gives them his all, as he’s knows how strong they are, he’s not underestimating his adversary and overestimating his own skills anymore, that thinking led him to be beaten by Izuku in the Hero’s vs. Villains test.

Through this fight Ochaco may have lost but she has gained the respect of Bakugo and a better understanding of him, which is extremely hard to do as one of his fellow peers and has learned a valuable lesson that was better learnt in a class room situation than in the real world. She wants to be a disaster relief hero but knows now that learning to fight in close quarters is a crucial skill and chooses work experience with Gun Head to learn more about fighting in close quarters. She wants to become a better hero which I admire, although I find her reasoning for becoming one a bit distasteful. The reasoning is noble in it’s own way, rising from poverty is a difficult struggle for many, it is my opinion that I find faults in the path she has chosen for this task though her honesty is quite refreshing.

When Izuku asks Ochaco why she want’s to become a hero she is honest and say’s it’s for momentary gain so her parents may have a comfortable life free of finical burden. She is embarrassed by this as Izuku and Iidas motivations are so pure next to hers and anticipates a verbal thrashing from them for going down this road but those expectations are quickly dashed with Iida refuting that there is nothing shameful about her seeking a comfortable life style and I agree with him. I just don’t agree with her method of becoming a hero for momentary gain is the right choice. Being a hero is different from let’s say a retail assistant where you are told to put out clothes you cannot go above the duty for that you cannot do more, you simply do the task and move onto the next one but the profession of a hero is different. Being a hero requires you to go above and beyond the line of duty and treating it as just a job or as a status symbol is damaging to the civilians and other hero’s around you.

We’ve seen hero’s like this in the illegals spin off with Captain Celebrity who is the perfect example of this.

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He would let a person die or become injured because the cops didn’t approve of him getting involved and as his power level stands he could take out a villain with a single punch but he has been shown playing around with a villain to show off to the public and improve his popularity ratings, treating being a hero as just a job is unacceptable as it leads to creatures such as Captain Celebrity. Morally bankrupt, high in popularity and a predator to the public. Her intent later changes after the death of Sir Night Eye death, she’s devastated, feeling as if she could have done more, filled with regret she speaks her mind and declares she wants to save people. As she doesn’t have thoughts of imitating Izuku on her mind at said time, I know this path she has chosen is of her own decision and not just following his path.

Imitation is not nessicsacrily bad as it can help a person learn and grow as an individual but the way the narrative of the story is telling us that for this character the path of imitation of Izuku is the wrong choice. During the sports festival arc where Ochaco faces off against Bakugo she loses the fight when she try’s to emulate Izuku. The mid year exam she’s fighting against 13, she is on the verge of losing when she try’s to imitate him again, with thoughts of how she should act like him are swirling in her head. It’s only when Aoyama guess what that stern look on her face is, shes shook, her mind goes blank and just acts naturally. Her body remembers Gun Heads training and end result she passes, she attributes this win all to luck and not her own skills meaning she’s still stuck on her idol Izuku which in turn, a repeat of the exact same situation at a later date.

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During the provional license exam, she’s copying his exact mannerism and doing what he dose suppressing her emotions to be like Izuku which is odd as Izuku isn’t doing that at all. Yet she perceives him doing that and copy’s, because unlike her we have access to Izuku’s inner monologue and we know he isn’t shutting himself down but instead pumping himself up getting serious channeling All Might but all she sees is him slapping his face and putting in a serious look, which she determines is shutting off his emotions which she does in kind and almost doesn’t get her provisional license as she rushes into the second part of the exam but is stopped by Momo in the nick of time, snapping her out of her Izuku train of thought and while Momo did right by her classmate the best thing she could have done was let her fail. In my hero academia’s narrative you find that characters cannot grow without failure whether it be small or big changes, for Izuku it was his lose in his fight to Todorki and he learnt he need to control his powers properly or risk losing his arms. For Todorki’s change he lost against Bakugo when he was unable to use his quirk causing him to visit his mother repairing their relationship and so on. If she didn’t pass I don’t doubt that she would have started to give up her Izuku line of thought as that would have been the reason she failed but because she didn’t she will is still trapped tightly in this cycle.

Afterwards Izuku tells her that the provisional license is proof that he’s actually growing and improving but Ochaco feels as if she hasn’t grown at all she still feels the same and lies making a face that is all to familiar. Ochaco is an imitator she wants to be like Izuku which is supposed to come off as cute and at first it does but Ochaco’s imitation of Deku is not cute. It’s serve and pathological. During the attack in the training camp arc Ochaco has Toga pinned but then she starts running her mouth saying, “You’re the same as me. There’s someone you love right. And that person, you’re thinking you want to see them right. I get it. I’m a girl after all. You want to be just like that person, right. It’s only natural. You wanna learn how to do all the things they can do. But then it just becomes harder to be satisfied, right In the end you just want to be who that person is it can’t be helped.” For Toga when she loves someone she becomes them? A twisted love if I’ve ever heard of one and for her to see that same love inside of Ocahco that same sort envy she has what does that mean, will she become as twisted as Toga or is she already twisted and just biding her time to strike.

There is enough evidence that Ochaco might possibly be the traitor. Her initial motivations of becoming a hero and her weird talks with Toga but I find Ochaco to be a red herring rather than a potential traitor. She is a family centered character, when the class is choosing their code names Ochaco decides on Uravity a combination of her family name and her quirk. A hero’s name is there advertisement to the public, what they promise to the world and describes who the hero is. The subtext of hero name basically explains that her family is important to her and the reason she’s fighting is because of them, the reason she uses her quirk is for them. While many would say that she would sell out class 1A to the villains for cold hard cash that is false statement, during the Sports Festival Arc where Ochaco is recovering in the prep room crying her eyes out as she is listening to her father he tells her, “Either way I know my little Ochaco is goanna be a great hero someday.” While her motive at this time is money based she would never want to disappoint or hurt her parents because there happiness and comfort is what she is fighting for. The only way this character would ever tread into villain territory is if they were held hostage by the villains or something happened to them causing her to go rouge and off the path of a hero. She views her future as a path out of poverty and she won’t jeopardies it for anything.

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As the rescue squad for Bakugo forms she pointy refuses to come along, not because she doesn’t want to rescue him but because she knows that Bakugo is an extremely prideful individual who would feel insulted to be rescued by people he looks down upon and would need someone who is a friend to save him. From a few interactions that she has had with him she understands his character and what it takes to reach him, the chances are slim with what they have and she does not want to jeopardize her future at U.A but once it’s revealed that she would have been expelled to for doing nothing as she still knew about the plans she feels ashamed of her actions or rather her inaction but doesn’t want to say anything.

This character likes to keep the status quo, I chalk this up to her turbulent childhood of not knowing where money was coming from or if they were going to be homeless, at this point I’m speculating on her past a bit but I assume she has at least gone through something like this due her financial situation. When Ochaco helps Asui gathers everyone from Bakugo’s rescue squad, with Asui confessing frustration for her own cowardly behavior for not going with them and has this conversation with them to return things back to normal. Ochako responds saying “Everyone was feeling worried and uneasy, and wanted to wipe those feelings away.” She then goes on about the whole room king debacle was something that everyone wanted to do, so they could go back to how things were like before. The return of the status quo. As I’ve mentioned before Ochaco buries her feelings and has a tendency to pretend everything is all right when its not, I feel her answer is half arsed and even she doesn’t really know what to say. Ochaco is brazen and frank, but when it comes to her deeper feelings she cannot admit the truth. She’s so used to hiding them that even when it’s important she can’t say what’s really on her mind, she has effectively blinded herself and when she is confronted with these strange feelings that once spoken will change the status quo she pushes them down and goes forward. There is a tragerdy brewing for Ochaco. When Izuku was imitating All Might he almost permently lost the use of his arms and because Ochaco’s imitation is similar to that of Izuku’s it all adds up her getting badly hurt or at least maimed if she does not start actually relying on herself but that won’t happen until she is hurt but the one who may very well help her is Asui as they are quiet close friends, comforting each other in moments of high stress, Asui when she confronted the rescue squad, Ochaco talking to Aizawa about her failure in saving Sir Nighteye but that won’t happen, not for along time. The only things that I know for sure is that Izuku and Ochaco are end game, her smile makes me warm and that the status quo is her god.

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.”

She came in third for the entrance exam.

Ochaco’s hero costume has two butons on it and so does Bakugo’s and these buttons also appear on Blue Snows outfit they are awfully similar…Horikoshi your such a perv.

The kanji in Ochaco’s name can translate to Tea-Girl and Pretty-Day with her last name being a homophobe meaning Beautiful.

Ochaco and Izuku both have bandages on there face in the exact same position during the sports festival and during the skill test Aizawa there names are side to side of each other. Maybe I’m reading to much into this but it is odd enough that I think I should point it out.

She ranks 13th in the class.

 

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