My Hero Academia features an ensemble cast of exciting, lovable characters who are both superheroes and students, meaning they still have much to learn. Pro heroes like All Might always win when they fight criminals and villains on the streets, but trainee heroes are still figuring themselves out as fighters and tend to lose more often.
These student heroes might make mistakes or suffer self-doubt that will cost them a fight, but it’s not always a disaster. Even if student heroes sometimes fail test battles at school, they also might surprise their teachers with sudden bursts of strength and creativity. When this happens, Izuku and his classmates can turn impending defeat into a hard-won victory.
10/10 When Izuku & Katsuki Bakugo Fought All Might
Izuku and his childhood friend Katsuki Bakugo had to fight their mutual idol, All Might, during the teachers vs students training arc in My Hero Academia. This was the last and most brutal of those ten fights, since All Might didn’t know how to hold back against his younger opponents.
Worst of all, Bakugo was fighting not just All Might, but also Izuku, because he wanted the glory of winning solo. This lack of teamwork cost Bakugo and Izuku dearly, and for a time, it seemed hopeless. Then, Bakugo finally cooperated and gave Izuku a chance to claim victory for the team.
9/10 When Tsuyu & Fumikage Battled Ectoplasm Together
Another teachers vs students battle pitted the froglike Tsuyu Asui and the spooky Fumikage Tokoyami against Ectoplasm, a hero who can clone himself. Tsuyu and Fumikage could destroy Ectoplasm’s clones with their attacks, but they couldn’t defeat the real Ectoplasm or reach the gate.
Ectoplasm had his two foes on the ropes with his giant clone, and it seemed they couldn’t escape. Then, Tsuyu retrieved the special handcuffs from her stomach, and Fumikage used Dark Shadow to secure those cuffs onto Ectoplasm. The two of them won at the last second.
8/10 When Minoru Mineta Outfoxed Midnight & Escaped
The pervy Minoru Mineta slightly redeemed himself when he gathered his courage in a hopeless situation and found a way out of it. Minoru’s teammate, Hanta Sero, had already fallen victim to Midnight’s sleep-based Quirk, and Minoru was soon cornered.
Minoru reminded himself why he fights and bet everything on his last gambit. He secured Hanta’s tape over his nose and mouth, then rushed past Midnight and used his own Quirk to trap her in place. Minoru finally slipped through the gate and achieved a bloodless victory against all odds.
7/10 When Momo’s Team Outwitted Saiko Intelli’s Squad
During the provisional hero license exam, Class 1-A was challenged like never before when facing students from other hero schools. The brilliant Momo Yaoyorozu faced her counterpart Saiko Intelli in one such battle, with Saiko springing a well-crafted trap on Momo’s small team.
Saiko had all the advantages, including numbers, but Momo didn’t give in. Momo turned the tables on Saiko, and then Momo’s team’s power of friendship allowed them to finish the job. Saiko wrongly thought Mezo and Tsuyu were being foolish to rescue Momo, but she had to admit defeat.
6/10 When Shoto & Inasa Fought Gang Orca To A Standstill
The kuudere Shoto Todoroki faced his bitter rival, Inasa Yoarashi, in the provisional hero license exam. They kept clashing even when the pro hero Gang Orca arrived as a false villain in the test, and it turned out badly. Shoto and Inasa both fell prey to Gang Orca’s sonic Quirk and nearly lost.
With the last of their strength, Shoto and Inasa combined their Quirks to fight back. They didn’t even have the strength to get up, but they could hold Gang Orca back with blistering-hot winds to dry out his whale-like body. Shoto and Inasa didn’t win, but they also staved off certain defeat.
5/10 When Izuku Protected Izumi Kota From Muscular
One of Izuku’s closest fights took place during the League of Villains’ vanguard raid on the forest training camp. The deadly villain Muscular cornered the helpless Kota Izumi and threatened to kill him, only for Izuku to intervene and fight that villain for Kota’s life.
Izuku very nearly lost, since he couldn’t beat Muscular’s raw strength and endurance with his usual attacks. Izuku got his second wind when Kota verbally cheered him on, and Izuku performed an incredible 1,000,000% Smash to defeat Muscular and win the fight. Izuku was in no shape to fight other villains after that, however.
4/10 When Momo & Shoto Faced Eraserhead In Mock Combat
The tsundere teacher Eraserhead personally fought Momo Yaoyorozu and Shoto Todoroki, both of whom rely heavily on their Quirks to fight. Momo was helpless without her Quirk, and she was also plagued with self-doubts stemming from her weak performance in the UA sports festival.
Momo and Shoto got separated, and Shoto even got tied up and suspended from a great height. Finally, Shoto and Momo pulled themselves together, reunited, and hit back. They devised a clever scheme to trick Eraserhead and then defeated him with a replica of his own capture ribbon.
3/10 When Izuku Fought Overhaul To Rescue Eri
Izuku’s most brutal fight pitted him against the masked villain Overhaul, who wielded a terrifying Quirk capable of reshaping all matter with a touch. Mirio Togata and Sir Nighteye had already fallen to Overhaul, and it seemed impossible for Izuku to win when they had failed.
Izuku was very nearly beaten, only for the young Eri to offer a solution. At great risk, Eri used her Rewind Quirk to constantly heal Izuku while he used One For All at 100% power. Even then, Izuku’s victory was a narrow one, and he easily could have died fighting for Eri.
2/10 When Kinoko Komori Defeated Fumikage With Spores
The petite dandere Kinoko Komori took everyone by surprise with her mushroom Quirk in the joint training battle’s second fight. Her team fought evenly against Momo’s, and at the last moment, Fumikage seemed poised to claim victory with his enormously powerful Quirk.
Then, Kinoko surprised everyone with her final attack. She used spores to form tiny mushrooms in Fumikage’s throat, incapacitating him at the last possible second. Kinoko stood no chance against Fumikage in a contest of strength, but her clever tactics and sharp timing made up for it with victory.
1/10 When Izuku Defeated Flect Turn
In the third My Hero Academia movie, Izuku fought an incredibly tough battle against the Humarise leader, Flect Turn. Flect’s Quirk allowed him to redirect an enemy’s Quirk or energy right back at them, hence his villain name, Flect Turn.
Izuku tried many times to force his way through Flect’s defenses with Smashes, only for Flect to batter Izuku with One For All’s redirected power. Izuku was pummeled well past the point of giving up, but he hung on, went Plus Ultra, and claimed a painfully close victory in the end.
NEXT: Jujutsu Kaisen: 10 Closest Fights the Heroes Almost Lost (But Didn’t)