Midoriya Izuku wants nothing more than to become a hero. Not only does he have the desire, but the determination to see it through — too bad he doesn't have a Quirk. But that's a disadvantage, not a dealbreaker, right? Lots of professional heroes have managed to succeed while despite not being able to apply their quirks to every challenge they face...
Like Eraserhead. Which is why Izuku turns up on his doorstep in order to ask for his help after spending weeks tracking him down. Aizawa wasn't exactly looking to take on some second-year middle schooler as a student, yet here he is.
Erased Potential contains examples of:
- Armor-Piercing Question: When Katsuki approaches Inko for the first time in years, he initially catches himself when about to call Izuku 'Deku', only to slip up later. Inko calls him out on it, and when he tries to defend it as 'just a stupid nickname'...Inko: "You started to call him that name when you first got here, but you cut yourself off. Didn't you? If you didn't think there was anything wrong with it, if it was really just a silly nickname, then why would you do that?"
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Izuku's observational skills are part of why Aizawa agrees to start training him in the first place, and some of his mental exercises include honing his ability to quickly gather information.
- Backhanded Apology: Downplayed. When Nedzu manipulates Toshinori into revealing Izuku's status as a recommendation student to Class 1-A, all Izuku wants from Nedzu is an apology. While Nedzu does just that, absolutely no one buys the idea that Nedzu actually regrets his decision. Especially because Nedzu first tries to dodge out of it.
- Bothering by the Book: One of the ways Aizawa intends to get revenge upon Nedzu for his 'logical ruse' is by making staff meetings 'a living hell'. How? By not intervening to stop Hizashi from running his mouth when he normally would have stepped in.
- The Chessmaster: Nedzu. Once he becomes aware of Izuku's existence, he immediately starts weaving plans around him, setting several events into motion and bringing him to Toshinori's attention. Later, he neglects to tell Toshinori that Aizawa and Izuku were trying to keep his position as a recommendation student a secret so that Toshinori would unwittingly reveal it to Class 1-A, reasoning that it would be better if they knew this sooner rather than later.
- Condescending Compassion: Upon learning that Izuku is Quirkless, Tenya goes straight into this. Izuku's having none of it:Tenya: "I do not mean to overstep—"
Izuku: "Starting your sentence that way means that you're definitely going to overstep, and that you know you're going to before you even say anything."
- Conditioned to Accept Horror: Denki. Izuku and Mei are horrified when he casually mentions how overusing his Quirk fries his brain, with Mei immediately declaring that he's inspired a new project: preventing that.
- Cruel to Be Kind: Yoshida-sensei appears to think he's being this when he asks his second-year students to list off their plans for the future specifically so he can try and convince Midoriya to give up on U.A., as he considers that a waste of his time and talent.
- Domino Mask: Izuku incorporates one into his hero outfit as a homage to the comics that inspired him.
- Entertainingly Wrong: Rave mistakenly believes that Izuku and Inko are Aizawa's secret family, whose existence he supposedly denies in order to keep them safe.
- Entitled Bastard: After learning what Izuku's been doing, Bakugou decides that he wants in, expecting Eraserhead to automatically agree to start training him as well. Suffice to say, the lesson he receives instead isn't exactly what he anticipated.
- Failure-to-Save Murder: Outrage over this drives two people to villainy, as Rave holds Aizawa personally responsible for his sister Atsuko's death during a Hostage Situation, and drags their brother into helping him get revenge.
- Grew a Spine: While Izuku was already determined enough to hang onto his dreams in the face of others constantly telling him they were impossible, under Aizawa's tutelage he gains the strength to stand up for himself more often. Bakugou and the rest of his middle school classmates first become aware of this shift when Izuku calmly shuts down their teacher's attempt to humiliate him into giving up on U.A.
- In Spite of a Nail: Though the circumstances surrounding it are very different, with Nedzu pointing Toshinori towards Izuku and all, Toshinori still offers Izuku the chance to become his successor.
- Innocently Insensitive: Toshinori means well, really, but his decision to offer Izuku One for All comes off as a slap in the face. Best summarized by Izuku's thoughts on the matter:Every word from All Might had been well intended, but they sat ice cold and burning in the pit of Izuku's stomach. All Might didn't believe in him. He had watched him, had seen what Izuku was already capable of, and had decided that it would never be enough.
- Ironic Echo: Nedzu uses one of Aizawa's favorite turns of phrase against him when he pulls off a 'logical ruse' of his own: falsely convincing Izuku that he'll lose his recommended spot if he can't beat all of the students Aizawa expelled.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Izuku is well aware that being Quirkless is a natural disadvantage. He also privately acknowledges that someone like Tenya, who grew up surrounded by Pro Heroes, would be very familiar with just how dangerous their line of work is and have plenty of reason to be concerned.
- Like Mother Like Daughter: Just like Mei, Natsumi refers to her inventions as her babies.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Deliberately averted with Inko. One of the first conditions Aizawa sets before he agrees to train Izuku is that he has to get his parent's permission first, and he keeps Inko well informed of all developments.
- Aizawa also defies this once Toshinori gets involved, being highly unamused by Toshinori's attempts to justify approaching Izuku to discuss some kind of secret without getting clearance from his mother or instructor first.
- Loophole Abuse: There's no laws forbidding someone without a quirk from applying to U.A. or becoming a pro. It's simply never happened yet.
- Motive Rant: Rave and Asahi both get one about why they're after Eraserhead; their dead lil' sister. However, Izuku takes advantage of Asahi's attempt to explain his motives by attacking before he can finish.
- Not Helping Your Case: When Toshinori first approaches Izuku here, he unintentionally sets off his 'stranger danger' senses, and his poor choice of words keeps making matters worse. Once Aizawa arrives, Toshinori manages to make an even greater mess by completely failing to read the room or the dangerous vibes coming off of his fellow hero.
- When Tenya approaches Izuku to express his doubts about his ability to pursue his chosen path safely, Izuku cuts him off before he can start. Tenya's refusal to accept the out gracefully and back off only makes Izuku more annoyed with him.
- When Izuku tells Nedzu that he wants an apology for his behavior, Nedzu's immediate response is to imply he didn't hear him, followed by a non-apology, making clear that he considers his actions completely justified. This leads to Aizawa threatening to quit outright, with Hizashi and Toshinori backing him up.
- Rage Quit: Aizawa, Toshinori and Hizashi threaten to quit should Nedzu continue manipulating them and Izuku after he tricked Toshinori into revealing his recommendations status to Class 1-A.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: All Might proves to be one. As soon as he figures out that he's done wrong with Izuku when he asked if Izuku could be his successor, he immediately starts asking what he should have done, and apologizes to all relevant parties. He then visits Izuku personally and lays out his reasons for wanting Izuku to be his successor, apologizes again, then says that he'll help Izuku anyway at UA because he does think Izuku has great potential to be a hero. He even specifically mentions that Izuku has made his choice and he won't offer again (although Izuku suspects that All Might still wants him to take on the power anyway).
- Refusal of the Call: Played with in regards to the whole situation with All Might. Izuku wants to be a hero, but rejects Toshinori's offer of One For All, having already revolved to become a hero without a Quirk.
- Secret Chaser: Bakugou pretty much immediately realizes that Izuku's hiding something, and sets out to determine exactly what it is.
- Secret Keeper: Izuku selects Kaminari Denki as the first among his classmates that he wants to reveal the truth about Aizawa being his sponsor to, making them into one of these. It isn't just about trusting them, though; Izuku wants to do this so Denki might be willing to trust Aizawa more, and open up to him about his Quirk's side effects.
- Skewed Priorities: It really says something about Bakugou that his reaction to interrupting a kidnapping attempt is to attack Izuku demanding to know why somebody considers him worth kidnapping.
- Tranquil Fury: Aizawa goes into this quite often, such as when All Might attempts to offer Izuku One for All.
- Trickster Mentor: Nedzu. Deconstructed in that while the means the best, his manipulations mean that by the time school starts, Izuku is now paranoid over what will and what won't be some test or manipulation by Nedzu. After Toshinori is tricked into revealing that Izuku is in UA on recommendation, Nedzu's own staff start distrusting him as well.
- Unwitting Pawn: Toshinori is repeatedly manipulated by Nedzu in his efforts to use Izuku to his advantage. As of Chapter 40, this has led to Toshinori joining Aizawa and Hizashi's threat to quit U.A., with Aizawa resolving to keep Toshinori in the loop to make him harder to trick.
- WTH, Costuming Department?: In-Universe, Aizawa does not approve of the Canonical uniforms, seeing them as emphasizing marketability over function. He's especially disgusted with what they offered for Yaoyorozu. This is blamed on Yuuei branching out and working with other suppliers; when Aizawa contacts their original supplier, they're just as horrified, and help salvage what they can while completely redoing others.
- Xanatos Gambit: Nedzu sets up one when he pits Izuku against the latest batch of students Aizawa expelled. Whatever the outcome, he gets plenty of footage to show the school board in order to secure and justify his recommended spot. Oh, and Izuku's spot was never in question- what was was the opportunity for the expelled students to come back. So either those students would shape up and prove themselves worthy, in which case U.A. wins, or they don't, which means that U.A. still wins for not having awful students, and either way Izuku shows off his stuff to people, which justifies his placement. For Nedzu, there wasn't a "Lose" scenario here. ...Save for losing Aizawa and Izuku's trust and respect, anyway.