Everything to know about Bakugo’s Quirk Awakening in My Hero Academia
Katsuki Bakugo in My Hero Academia Season 6 anime (Image via Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha)

My Hero Academia Chapter 388 anticipated the conclusion to the Todoroki family’s arc as Natsuo, Fuyumi, and Rei joined Endeavor in their attempts to not only stop the explosion but also save Toya. Although the chances of all the members of the family surviving is slim, fans still have hope since Chapter 386 showed Iida and Shoto traveling to Gunga from Kamino Ward.

As the villain Dabi’s end creeps closer, My Hero Academia fans have once again started hoping for an update on Bakugo’s condition. During his confrontation against Shigaraki, the Explosion hero experienced his Quirk evolving, a phenomenon which has been defined in the series as Quirk Awakening.

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for the My Hero Academia anime and manga.


Understanding the awakened nature of Katsuki Bakugo’s Quirk in My Hero Academia and determining what triggered it

Quirk Awakening and its trigger

My Hero Academia defines Quirk Awakening as a secondary evolution of an individual’s meta-ability, and is distinctly different from a Quirk Manifestation. In the series, anyone who “awakened” their Quirk did so during a time of intense stress, which in many cases proved to be a life-or-death situation. Several members of the League of Villains, including their leader, Tomura Shigaraki, experienced Quirk Awakening while fighting against Re-Destro’s army in Season 5 of the My Hero Academia anime.

While Himiko Toga awakened the ability to use the Quirk of the person she was transforming into, Shigaraki was able to use Decay without using all five fingers, or even by touching his target directly. The true nature of his Quirk Awakening became evident when the villain was able to disintegrate almost all of Jaku City using a single point of contact on the ground.

Everything to know about Bakugo’s Quirk Awakening in My Hero Academia
Endeavor differentiates between Quirk Awakening and near-death hysterical strength in Chapter 387 (Image via Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha)

In My Hero Academia Chapter 387, Endeavour clarified that a Quirk Awakening was different from the hysterical strength mustered by a person at death’s door, which Toya exhibited by manifesting his mother’s Ice Quirk to sustain his charred body.


Bakugo awakens Cluster in My Hero Academia 

My Hero Academia showed the series deuteragonist, Katsuki Bakugo, undergoing Quirk Awakening during their battle against Shigaraki at Jaku City. The hero awakened his Explosion Quirk while trying to save a heavily injured Deku from being attacked by Shigaraki whose consciousness had been taken over by All For One, getting stabbed in the process by the villain’s Rivet Stab. He managed to push the OFA user out of the way within the blink of an eye, feeling his body react before he could think about it.

Bakugo later realized that it was his desperation during a crisis and the very near possibility of Deku being killed which prompted him to push beyond his limits, subconsciously unlocking the ability to create more condensed, and thus, faster and stronger explosions. He used it a second time more deliberately to protect Best Jeanist from being attacked by Nomus and holding Gigantomachia down, realizing that the feeling of these “particle-like” explosions were different from his usual firepower.

Everything to know about Bakugo’s Quirk Awakening in My Hero Academia
Bakugo sees through Shigaraki’s attack and dodges it in chapter 362 (Image via Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha)

Bakugo used Cluster again during the second battle against Shigaraki during the Final War arc of My Hero Academia. The hero used the Strafe Panzer support item to bolster his ultimate move, Howitzer Impact, with Cluster, making the attack faster and deadlier. But Bakugo failed to observe a side-effect of using his ability in its evolved state for too long, noticing that compressing too much sweat within the glands in his palms had caused the nitroglycerin to detonate throughout his body.

This gave him a dramatic boost in speed and perception, enabling him to notice Shigaraki’s right-hand finger feint, and dodge it midair while rushing in to attack the villain a second time. But with his arm broken and body far beyond its limits, Bakugo could not dodge the villain’s next attack which tore his heart into shreds.

Everything to know about Bakugo’s Quirk Awakening in My Hero Academia
Cluster’s side-effect on Bakugo’s body (Image via Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha)

In conclusion

My Hero Academia Chapter 362 showed a lifeless Bakugo lying on the ground, moments after using his Awakened Quirk upon Shigaraki. The hero continued to chase after Deku until his final breath, wondering if he could ever catch up to his childhood friend, who he had envied, rejected, bullied over the years, before finally acknowledging, making amends, and becoming friends once again.

Considering the dramatic upgrade that Katsuki Bakugo received during his latest battle, it would be a waste if Horikoshi kills off Deku’s earliest role model and inspiration for becoming stronger, without letting the explosive hero reach his potential. Edgeshot’s sacrifice also suggests that Bakugo will be revived and will master the physical boost that Cluster has blessed him with, fighting side-by-side with Deku.

Arundhoti Palit is a literature post-graduate and an anime content writer at Spiel Times. A bit of a Japanophile, Arundhoti enjoys reading manga and Murakami during her spare time. Be it books, movies, manga or anime, she tends to dive deep into theories and background research, picking up weird trivia and info-dumping along the way.