My Hero Academia’s Deku and Bakugo are two life-long rivals who are training to become the top heroes in a world chock-full of them, while Dragon Ball’s Goku and Vegeta are adversaries-turned-partners who are constantly trying to one-up each other with new forms and unique powers, with the former finally accomplishing something these Z-Warriors can’t: real emotional character growth!
Idolizing Katsuki Bakugo and only wanting to be his friend, Izuku Midoriya aka Deku, was bullied by Kacchan in a fairly antagonistic way for years, yet it never ended up changing the way Midoriya felt about his buddy in the long run — two attitudes that carried Bakugo and Deku through their time at U.A. and beyond, only just now coming to a head.
Similarly, Vegeta started as a literal antagonist of Dragon Ball, almost succeeding in killing Goku and his pals more than once until he began — ever so slowly — to realize the error in his ways. Still never outright addressing, apologizing, or otherwise talking to anyone, especially Goku, about his more villainous tendencies or his eventual transition into a reluctant hero, the only time Vegeta came close to any true self-realization as a friend, father, and husband was when he sacrificed himself to kill Majin Buu — a kind of character milestone Bakugo has just now reached himself.
Deku and Bakugo Put Vegeta and Goku’s Relationship To Shame
As seen at the end of My Hero Academia Season 6, Episode 136, “Deku vs. Class A,” this particular episode follows a weary and self-destructive Deku as he tries to escape from his former classmates that are trying to knock some sense into him after he refuses their help in his war against All For One. Trying to subdue and contain Deku without fighting him, “Deku vs. Class A” spends almost all of its runtime hitting fans in the feels as each of Deku’s friends attempts to talk him down from the metaphorical ledge by recalling events where Deku helped or positively effected them, culminating in a much-needed therapy session with Bakugo who proceeds to spill his heart out for all to see.
Telling Deku that he’s sorry for bullying him in the past as it was more of a defense mechanism to help Bakugo not feel lesser to Deku as a person, Bakugo goes on to say that Deku needs to allow Class A to help him and continues to talk in a candid way that helps him grow as a character while also strengthening his bond with Deku tenfold. Meanwhile, Vegeta’s relationship with Goku has the same adversarial dynamic, motivation (to be stronger than the other), and attitude as what Bakugo has with Deku, except Vegeta has never taken that next step in putting all that negativity aside and becoming better for it.
Vegeta Needs To Take A Page Out Of Bakugo’s Playbook
For Vegeta, actions speak louder than words as he’s never respected Goku more than when he fights by his side, but for a guy that’s progressively been getting more in touch with his emotions as a father, husband, friend, and most importantly, lover of humanity (rather than a destroyer of it), he really needs to let it all out and have a heart-to-heart with Goku, no matter how quick, stunted, and awkward it might be. Sure, Vegeta has a quiet and mostly unspoken respect for Goku after all these Saiyans have been through, but he’s never pulled off what Bakugo has done with Deku here, despite badly needing to.
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