The Shounen duos of past and present

Naruto and My Hero Analysis


Adiranna Goodwin, Entertainment Editor


What is Shounen? 

Shounen is a subgroup in Anime, starring a young male as the lead, that attracts an audience between ages 12-18. It consists of action with a storyline that emphasizes the  “coming-of-age” of the character, allowing the fans to relate to it. Two of the most popular shounen are Naruto and My Hero Academia, usually compared within the Anime fandom. 




Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha


In the show, Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha have a complex relationship. They were fated to be rivals, despite their attempt to avoid it, due to them being reincarnations of the original Shinobi’s Indra and Ashura. Although they seem like opposites, as Naruto has an eccentric nature and Sasuke a calm demeanor, they are two sides of the same coin.


“The thing that really sets them aside how similar they are when you get to know more about the characters from them being orphans to prodigies to the only saviors of their anime universe,” senior Sofian Jagne said. “You get to see the same people just in different bodies.” 


How are the primary protagonists from My Hero Academia and Narute similar and different??


Naruto and Deku

Both of the primary protagonists from My Hero Academia and Naruto are similar due to being outcasts, so they understand what it feels like to stick out like a sore thumb. Despite this, they refuse to give up on their dreams. They both gain support from their peers, fueling their determination to be better. Their different childhoods and how they were ostracized are what differentiates them. While Deku was easy to bully due to him being “quirkless,” Naruto was feared by those around him due to him keeping the Jinchuriki that killed his parents

Deku and Bakugo 

Their relationship is simple for the audience to understand which makes them more relatable. After Bakugo learns of his frightening power, he sees Deku as a nuisance as he has no power at all, and uses it to harass him at any chance. However, he is shocked by Deku when he  rescues him from danger. Instead of thanking him he chooses to provoke Deku into a battle where he discovers his power which results in Sasuke’s defeat,  leaving him in disbelief. Their strained relationship, in the beginning, is a result of Bakugo’s jealousy and envy of Deku, but after it blossoms into something more. 


“I love Bakugo because he’s confident that he will be the best in his field, and although he does have a temper and a superiority complex he’s working on it,” sophomore Shelbi Doak said. “With Deku being his rival, he knows his flaws and is trying his best to fix them so he can be the number one hero.”


How are the secondary protagonists from My Hero Academia and Naruto similar and different?


Sasuke and Bakugo

Sasuke and Bakugo relate to one another because they were once on top, but their rivals surpass them at alarming rates. A trait that is emphasized in them is their crushing powers and the drawbacks they have. With the Sharingan, Sasuke has an extended visual prowess, but depending on which Sharingan and Uchiha obtain it can result in gradual or immediate blindness. With Bakugo’s powers, he is constantly in a state of stress in order to remain alive. These two differ in their rivalry with their counterparts. Both are extremely important, but Sasuke devotes his life to avoiding Naruto, his rival, at all costs; while Bakugo devotes his life to berating Deku every chance he gets.

How do the two duos compare and contrast?

In the beginning, the pair of two are young men slowly mature and grow as the fans watch.  


“I really love the storylines that all of the characters have, and you start having an emotional connection with them,” junior Benet Waddell said. 

Fans get to watch the characters develop over time and begin to feel like they know them. The pairs are also similar because while one of the characters is very caring and warm, the other tends to be very cold, distant, and aggressive. They contrast a different sense of tone in the show. While the show Naruto is more mature from the beginning, My Hero Academia is laid back. 

A lesson we can take from both of these shows is that everyone has room to grow into a better person and learn to bond with those they disagree with. Overall, both pairs of protagonists are great examples of what it means to grow and learn from mistakes and experiences, which makes for a great anime that people can love for a long time.