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Izuku and his friends. From left to right, Kensei Katsura, Hitoshi Shinsou, Megumi Yamato, and Izuku Midoriya. note 
"I don’t need a different Quirk to be stronger. After all, all I need are these ten grams."
—Izuku's thoughts on his Quirk
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Izuku Midoriya, an aspiring Hero with a useless Quirk, is heartbroken when his lifelong idol tells him to reconsider his options. He doesn't know what else to do but cry in the park until a husk of a man offers him ice cream. The man, named Toshinori Yagi, tells Izuku that he might still have a chance: If he worked hard and entered Yuuei's General Education program, then he could potentially transfer into the Hero Course if he won the Sports Festival.

With a new path forward and a mentor to guide him, Izuku takes a very different road towards becoming a hero.

All it takes is a boy with a useless Quirk and a Hero with a slightly healthier body to lead them both down on an entirely new journey.

Juxtapose is a My Hero Academia fanfic by readerdreamer5625. It is a For Want of a Nail fic that explores the ramifications of Izuku being born with a "useless" Quirk instead of being Quirkless.

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Juxtapose contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Name Change: In regards to hero aliases, due to some For Want of a Nail events:
    • Since Tensei Iida remains alive and well as the hero Ingenium, Tenya follows his brother's lead of taking Italian car-associated names, and names himself Cambio, the Gear Hero ("Ingenium" being Italian for "excellence", "Cambio" being Italian for "gear" or "change").
    • Katsuki decides on the name "貘壊", read as Bakuha, which means "shockwave". See Meaningful Name below for his reasoning.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • Katsuki feels genuinely guilty for having treated Izuku poorly after overhearing the latter's talk with All Might. Because of this, he swears that he'll get Izuku into the Hero Course somehow and angrily attacks anyone who thinks otherwise.
    • Toshinori manages to make peace with Sir Nighteye after coming to the realization that his life as Toshinori Yagi is as important as his heroics as All Might. Because of this, Sir Nighteye happily agrees to mentor Izuku during his one-week work experience session and they're generally far more cordial with each other.
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    • Shouto doesn't encounter or is influenced by Izuku during the Sports Festival, so he takes the name "Frost King, the Absolute Hero", since he still doesn't want to be associated with his father's flames.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Katsuki of all people becomes this after realizing how Izuku admired him despite the abuse Katsuki dealt him over the years. Because of this, Katsuki becomes fixated on helping Izuku become a hero and instantly flies off the handle when someone suggests that Izuku can't.
    • Sir Nighteye spends his introduction in the original series trying to rip apart Izuku's self-esteem and convince him that One For All should have been given to Mirio. Here, he makes peace with All Might and happily agrees to foster Izuku's development during the one-week work experience session. He's also fully supportive of All Might's decision to make Izuku his successor and wants to prepare Izuku for the day that it happens.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Class 1-B gets more focus during the Sports Festival. The author even gave Monoma a backstory.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: After Izuku uses his Quirk to cripple the villain Tsuchigumo in a desperate attempt to keep his friends safe, he becomes terrified of his own destructive potential. He manages to get over it after he Recovery Girl brought him to treat a man with painful kidney stones who would otherwise require expensive open surgery, seeing his Quirk as the tool it is.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In chapter 30, Shigaraki realizes what Izuku does not- that Izuku is All Might's disciple, the one who he's chosen as his successor. So, while holding onto Izuku's neck, he tries to use his quirk on him... only for a cliffhanger to happen as Izuku uses his power on Shigaraki's hands.'
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Izuku questions if Shinsou's power can work if someone responds non-verbally and when Shinsou questions how someone could respond non-verbally, Izuku sticks his hand out for a handshake. Shinsou is shocked and admits he never considered body language.
  • The Atoner: Turns out Katsuki has found himself as this - as despite all the abuse he heaped on Izuku for having a worthless Quirk, despite all the bullying, despite him acting precisely the opposite of the hero both he and Izuku want to be... Izuku still looks up to him. The realization of the true application of Izuku's power is what finally turns him around, and he does everything to try and fix that and get Izuku into the Hero Department, by searching for Izuku when he gets into General Education, challenging him at the Sports Festival, singling him out as his Rival, and hoping to meet him in the finals. When he gets knocked out of the tournament, he ends up breaking down in front of Kirishima.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • Izuku seems to be able to come up with creative uses for any Quirk aside from his own. He also sees through Momo's use of a dust explosion against Katsuki and tries to warn him before it's too late. After realizing the true potential of his own Quirk, he starts brainstorming ideas that not even the Pros could have imagined like banishing a large volume of air in front of him to propel himself forward.
    • As an information gathering specialist, it's no surprise that Sir Nighteye is this too. He quickly comes up with uses for Izuku's Quirk that Izuku never dreamed of, refining his control by having him treat patients at the local hospital and eventually teaching him how to fly. Later on, he realizes that a panicked civilian who ran up to him was actually an impostor when he recognizes the civilian's face as the victim of an assault that appeared on the morning news.
  • Bad Powers, Good People:
    • After Izuku realizes the true destructive potential of his Quirk banishing parts of people's vital organs, everyone present is glad that it's in the hands of someone as morally upright and kindhearted as him.
    • Hitoshi has his canon issue of his power potentially being very villainous, but overcoming it.
    • Katsuki is a... special example. His power is making explosions, which is all well and good, but his Quirk Counselors were not good at their jobs and told him over and over again that his power was only good for destruction, which is implied to have contributed to how Katsuki's personality came out so... prickly. That being said, Katsuki does want to be a hero, and does care for Izuku in his own way.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After the Sports Festival, with the Hero Internship arc coming up, Toshinori is seen giving a call to Gran Torino and thinking about how Izuku will love his internship. The following chapter, Izuku and Toshinori meet Gran Torino and Izuku is excited about the internship, but Toshinori clarifies that Gran Torino isn't mentoring Izuku, he's mentoring Katsuki and Shouto. Instead, Izuku would be mentored by Sir Nighteye and Mirio.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: When Katsuki and Shouto quarrel outside the room, their new mentor Gran Torino goes out to discipline them. When Izuku and Toshinori poke their heads out a moment later, he is dragging the two unconscious boys away.
  • Berserk Button: One of Principal Nedzu's buttons is hit when Izuku tells him that because his grade school thought his Quirk was so useless, the teacher passed Izuku off as Quirkless and never assigned him a Quirk counselor. Because of how fundamental Quirks are to a child's growth, this constitutes nothing less than child neglect, and Nedzu is all but planning to bring the school up on every charge possible for that.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Inverted with Tamaki and Momo. Despite being a few years older than her, Momo sees Tamaki like a little brother.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Class 1-A's reaction when they hear what Izuku's Quirk is.
  • Blinded by Rage: Momo pulls off some pre-game Trash Talk before her match with Katsuki and fights a game of keep-away, keeping him so distracted and frustrated that when he finally gets a blind blast off, he does so in the middle of a cloud of aluminium dust. Cue dust explosion. Though admittedly, blinding Katsuki with rage isn't exactly hard...
  • Body Horror:
    • Izuku all but dismantles Tsuchigumo's insides, 10 grams at a time.
    • Later, Stain gets turned into a Noumu.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: In Chapter 2, the teachers discuss the tendency for students who rely only on their Quirks and in doing so, ignoring their physical conditioning. Later on, Izuku and his friends enforce this trope by training under Toshinori for physical conditioning, and later, Aizawa for weapons. Later on, Izuku goes to Recovery Girl to learn more about human anatomy in order to learn how best to use his Quirk non-lethally on people.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: All Might breaks Izuku's heart by telling him that he can't become a hero with his limited Quirk. While speaking with Izuku as Toshinori, Izuku says that he doesn't resent All Might for saying that because he knows that the hero only wanted the best for him. But that's when Toshinori tells Izuku that if he worked hard enough, he could apply to Yuuei's General Course and get the recognition necessary to enter the Hero Course by winning the Sports Festival.
  • Break the Haughty: Katsuki is on the receiving end of this after Momo manages to curb-stomp him, leaving him borderline catatonic and he begins calling himself worthless for being unable to have the fight he planned to have with Izuku.
  • Broken Pedestal: Hitoshi doesn't take it well that his idol, Eraserhead, just accused his friend Kensei for being a spy. He gets better about it later.
    • This actually becomes important, as Toshinori's tomfoolery becomes what differentiates him from All Might, which is what solves his miniature identity crisis.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Kensei, which is really not helped by his Psychometry powers enabling him to know everything about a girl's body when he touches them. Thankfully, once he has something to talk to them about, he's generally fine, as demonstrated with his match with Mei, or sharing blueprints with Momo. Izuku is also this at first, barely working up the nerve to speak with Megumi until they start talking about Quirks.
  • Cliffhanger: Chapter 30 ends with a captive Izuku Scalpeling off Shigaraki's hands.
  • Character Development:
    • The Sports Festival arc is this for several people, most notably Neito Monoma, Katsuki Bakugou, Momo Yaoyorozu, and Toshinori Yagi.
      • Surprisingly averted with Shouto, who gets none of his canonical development with the way he and Izuku never end up crossing paths in the Festival.
    • In chapter 30, Mineta gets some and examines his issues, with the author implying that more will come in the future.
  • Combat Breakdown: Over the course of the Sports Festival's tournament, Izuku and Hitoshi both lose or damage their weapons and overuse their Quirks during their fight, causing their bout to devolve into a brawl.
  • Combination Attack: Izuku's, Kensei's, and Megumi's Quirks are practically made to work with each other. Kensei scans the exact structure and condition of a target with a touch, Megumi transmits this information to Izuku, who can then delete any part of the target at will.
  • Continuity Nod
    • When Izuku ends up having to asking for rescue when Tsuchigumo popped up, he does it by the use of his cellphone to share his location like during the Stain Arc in canon while he played as distraction. However, Tsuchigumo, having been warned about Izuku's intelligence beforehand, ends up seeing through it.
    • Momo's internship with Fatgum also has them discuss ways on dealing with opponents with non-standard biology. Fatgum's response references the manga by mentioning how he had to fight such opponents a few years back.
    • Mineta's internship with Kamui Woods also shows signs of this, referencing Kamui Wood's traumatic past from his character notes.
  • Cool Teacher:
    • All of the teachers at U.A. are respected Pro Heroes who care deeply about their students. Toshinori is this in particular to Izuku, Hitoshi, Megumi, and Kensei, becoming almost fatherly towards them (particularly towards Izuku, which Hitoshi repeatedly lampshades).
    • Sir Nighteye becomes this post-Character Development. After making peace with All Might, he becomes a stern and demanding yet reasonable teacher to Toshinori's protégé. He offers criticism when necessary but also heaps praise on Izuku for his accomplishments. He's happy to congratulate Izuku when he succeeds and planned on inviting him to an expensive yakiniku dinner party until the Stain Noumu reveals the League's plans to wreak havoc in Musutafu and assassinate All Might.
  • Cue the Sun: Izuku meets Toshinori for the first time, not All Might, during a sunset. He meets Tsuchigumo at night.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: During the Sports Festival:
    • Katsuki vs. Momo ends up going this way - with Katsuki on the losing end. Thanks to Momo borrowing the knowledge of some of Mei's inventions via Kensei and Megumi, she has all the maneuverability to stay out of Katsuki's reach, and uses a cloud of aluminium dust to turn Katsuki's explosions back on him with more force than he can take.
    • Then Momo is on the receiving end from Itsuka Kendou - troubled by her victory over Katsuki, she is in such a bad headspace that Kendou eliminates her in the next round.
    • Like in canon, Sero is this by Todoroki, though for slightly different reasons. For one, this time around it was done on purpose, with Shouto revealing in his narration that he intends to the same, only slower, to Hitoshi just to spite Endeavor. He ends up losing due to Underestimating Badassery.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: A few.
    • Kensei was raised by the villain Tsuchigumo and taught to be a criminal; it was only later that he was rescued and re-adopted by Detective Tsukauchi.
    • On account of being bullied as a kid, Monoma Neito was obsessed with getting the Quirks of powerful heroes (via their hair) so that he'd always have some form of power on hand, which only got worse after he accidentally copied a villain's Anger Point Quirk and went berserk, culminating in a full-on Never Be Hurt Again mentality. It comes to a head when he obsessively searches for Izuku after seeing his Quirk take down a Zero Pointer robot - only to enter a Heroic BSoD when he finds out what it is.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Momo knew that her potential had increased by getting Kensei and Megumi's help in understanding extremely complex objects and materials, but she wasn't ready to be in command of that potential after she eliminated Katsuki from the Sports Festival via extreme overkill, leaving her in a bad headspace. As such, after the Festival, she asked for Power Loader and Mei's help and use of the Support Department's facilities to gain a better understanding of her creations and learn restraint, in exchange for providing them with more exotic material.
  • Determinator: Stain is still the raving lunatic who won't stop until he's either killed or sedated. Even being turned into a Noumu isn't enough to destroy his mind and sense of self, breaking free and escaping to try and foil the League's plans to assassinate All Might.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Since Tsuchigumo is stopped before he can manipulate Kensei into delivering the plans for the USJ facility, the USJ villain invasion never occurs.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Wild Wild Pussycats show up earlier than canon to help with the Sports Festival while Hawks appears as a spectator.
  • Fainting: Sir Nighteye is knocked unconscious after seeing a horrifying prediction of the future when he uses his Quirk on the Stain Noumu. Mirio has to use specialized smelling salts to wake Nighteye up.
  • Fantastic Racism: The discrimination against Quirklessness that happened in canon is discussed to be not a commonly accepted belief. Indeed, it is approached the same way as normal sexism and racism - something that isn't socially acceptable, but happens anyway. Aizawa is both shocked and suspicious when he finds out how entire schools like Izuku's grade-school have managed to persist in this kind of attitude without being noticed.
  • Foreshadowing: Plenty, as the author loves to use this trope.
    • During the first chapter, Izuku uses his Quirk to clean stains from his clothes. This soon turns out to be what causes Katsuki to begin his atonement, as the realization of Izuku's potential makes him realize what kind of villain he might have unleashed if he kept up with his bullying.
    • Most of Kensei's scenes in the early chapters reveal some very suspicious things: he knows how to break into places, offhandedly mentions that his position in Yuuei hadn't been his choice, and upon being targeted by Hitoshi's Quirk, also says that he has had prior experience with such Quirks. As it turns it, this is because of his past as a former criminal under the Arc Villain Tsuchigumo.
      • Another piece of foreshadowing is when Kensei shakes hands with Toshinori. With his Scan, was there really any surprise that he figured out his identity?
    • The first time we get a scene of Shigaraki in the Sports Festival Arc, the scene ends with Kurogiri asking Shigaraki if he wanted to meet 'him'. At first, one might think that Kurogiri is talking about All for One, but then Shigaraki says:
      Shigaraki: Sensei did say that he had this special Noumu waiting just for me, and how could I resist his invitation? Not when I’m such a big fan…
      • As it turns out, Stain is the Noumu Shigaraki is referring to.
  • For Want of a Nail: A major theme in the fic, as per Word of God, is the divergence from canon events due to small changes butterflying into major effects. Several of these changes include:
    • The USJ Attack never happening because of how Kensei's kidnapping was prevented, something that was greatly implied to have happened in canon and a crucial part of what led to the Attack happening in the first place. This then leads to...
    • The Sports Festival's second stage changing due to the availability of a higher budget combined with forewarning of the increasing Villain threat.
      • Said second stage has Nedzu pulling in Kamui Woods and Pixie-Bob to help creating the battlefield, and as a result of meeting, the two start dating afterwards.
    • All of the above culminate into the League's large-scale invasion of Musutafu, having none of the experience from USJ to make them move cautiously and spending much more time preparing with little unchecked ambition.
    • Katsuki loses badly to Momo in the first round of the third stage of the Sports Festival. Because of his loss (and with the boasting he did earlier, not to mention the nature of the loss), many of the potential Hero Agencies that did submit requests for him in canon (he got the most of anyone in 1-A) form the opinion that he's a volatile loudmouth who has no business being anywhere near their agencies. What's more, the League of Villains also loses interest in Katsuki, preventing his future kidnapping.
    • Todoroki loses his match against Hitoshi, and a big part that causes it is what happened above with Katsuki. Because there wasn't an All Might-lite in his class, due to Izuku being in Class 1-C, Todoroki had fixated on Katsuki during the Sports Festival. When Katsuki lost against Momo, Todoroki did not take it well.
      • Thanks to Katsuki and Shouto losing, the League loses any and all interest in their original plan to steal the Sports Festival winner and convert them to their cause, since the "Top Hero Kids," were taken down by General Education students, and thus weren't impressive.
    • Thanks to them not being more humble and careful after their loss in the USJ (which didn't happen in this fic), the League of Villains decides to go big and captures Stain to turn him into a Nomu.
      • As such, Tensei isn't crippled, and instead shows up at the Sports Festival to cheer his brother on.
    • The aftermath of the Sports Festival sees a few Class 1-A members choose different hero aliases; see Adaptation Name Change above for specifics.
    • A talk with Kensei leads Toshinori to reach out to his old colleagues like Gran Torino and Sir Nighteye earlier.
    • With some insight into the Todoroki family dynamics, Toshinori wants to keep Shouto away from Endeavor's agency while the investigation is going on, and with Katsuki receiving no internship offers due to his behavior in the Sports Festival, Toshinori decides to fix both problems and sends both Shouto and Katsuki to intern with Gran Torino, someone who even Endeavor won't argue with.
      • Izuku in the meantime, gets sent to intern with Sir Nighteye.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Izuku and his Four-Man Band fit well into it.
    • The very friendly (if a bit awkward) Izuku is Sanguine.
    • The excitable Kensei is Choleric.
    • The aloof Hitoshi is Melancholic.
    • The quiet Megumi is Phlegmatic.
  • Fights Like a Normal: None of Izuku's three friends have any damaging component to their Quirks at all, so they make up for it with martial arts skills and handheld weaponry. To a degree, this also applies to Izuku, because his power is lethal if used directly, and as such, he learns to rely on a staff come the Sports Festival.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Katsuki realizes early on that Izuku's Quirk has far more potential than he knows, but refuses to tell him because it'd be pointless if he didn't figure it out himself.
  • First-Name Basis: Hanging out with the lax and rough Kensei has gotten Izuku to drop the formalities around his friends, insisting that they call him by his first name rather than his last.
  • Flight: Izuku learns how to fly by the time the Work Experience Arc comes in. He achieves this through Sir Nighteye, and later, Inko's guidance.
  • Formerly Fit: Inko used to be a much slimmer woman before the stress of raising Izuku alone got to her and she started stress eating. Now that he's at U.A. and chasing his dreams, she's started exercising and performing community service with Thirteen's help, slimming back down.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: As per canon, Mei is this. However, to a lesser extent, Kensei applies, with predictable results when they meet.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Twice.
    • First is during Tsuchigumo's Breaking Speech on Izuku. When asked why, Kensei answers:
      Kensei: Of course I just did! I warned you to not listen to Tsuchigumo, to ignore what he says, and what do you do? You listen to his nonsense anyway!
    • Second is on Monoma by Tsuburaba.
      Tsuburaba: Smack-The-Stupidity-Out-Of-Monoma Punch!
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: After exhausting each other of their creative options, Izuku and Hitoshi's match ends up as this, much to the amusement of the audience.
    Present Mic: The finals of the Sports Festival… has now devolved into a mere fistfight from the combatants!
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Recovery Girl makes a passing note to a certain incident involving Bubble Girl and a pyrokinetic during one of her narrations. Apparently, the pyrokinetic had requested "the smell of methane" from Bubble Girl, making her explode - both literally and figuratively.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • "Vlad King" Sekijiro Kan is a little salty when he hears that both new entries into the hero department, Izuku and Hitoshi, will be going into Aizawa's class instead of his. Though he is mollified by the proposal of more frequent inter-class activities.
    • Downplayed with Mirio. He tells Izuku it's very difficult to not be envious of him when Izuku has accomplished in one year what it took Mirio three to do - make his weak Quirk strong - but he's still just as supportive of his kouhai as ever.
  • Happily Adopted: Kensei thinks this about his adoptive father, Detective Tsukauchi.
  • The Heart: Class 1-A isn't shown as much in the earlier chapters, but Izuku's canon status as The Heart of 1-A is shown to be missing. There's definitely more tension between different members of said class, with Ashido openly mocking Katsuki, or Tenya being his pre-entrance exam levels of stiffness, or Todoroki not developing as he would have if he'd known Izuku. Changing this is the reason why Nedzu wants Izuku in this class by the end of the Sports Festival Arc, much to Kan's dismay.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: As a theme, this applies to Izuku and his friends, as well as several other characters in the story.
    • Izuku's Quirk Minor Banishment is the core of the fic's premise. At first, with its ability to only banish up to ten grams of matter from things Izuku touches seems useless, but then Izuku realizes that he could use it to even banish people's internal organs. He can also bust nearly any kind of restraint by wiping the seams from existence, and gain temporary super-speed by banishing the air, though at the cost of doing damage to his own body. Sir Nighteye points out that Izuku could potentially slice apart an entire building if he refined his control to banish matter on the nanoscopic scale. He also plans on training him to use Air Step to fly.
      • Ironically, despite most of Izuku's peers in primary school thinking otherwise, someone who doesn't agree is Katsuki - who could see how strong Izuku's Quirk really is and singles him out as his Rival. Apparently, Katsuki had come into a realization of Minor Banishment's true power when he saw Izuku banish Toshinori's blood from his clothes. After all, if Izuku could banish organic matter from outside a person's body, there was nothing stopping him from doing the same thing with their internal organs. Which Izuku, Recovery Girl, Megumi, and Kensei figure can be used in combination with their quirks to get rid of unwanted objects inside the body without surgery, which they are able to do on the first day they figure it out (to remove kidney stones).
    • Megumi's Touch Telepathy also applies. See the trope below for details.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Neito Monoma is dumbstruck when he finds that Izuku, the guy who could take out a giant robot with zero effort, has the seemingly useless Quirk Minor Banishment. So much so, in fact, that he nearly falls off the Sky Garden.
    • To a lesser extent, Izuku and Kensei due to Tsuchigumo's Break Them by Talking.
    • Nighteye when he foresees All Might's death during the Mustafu attack.
  • Hero-Worshipper:
    • Izuku absolutely adores All Might, collecting all of his merchandise and looking up to him as the ideal Hero. He's devastated when All Might tells him that no, he can't be a Hero, but continues to look up to him regardless.
    • Sir Nighteye is obsessed with keeping Toshinori alive and begs him to retire peacefully, cultivating Mirio as the perfect successor for this purpose. Nighteye's appreciation for him goes so far that he's willing to leave Izuku in the hands of the League of Villains if it prevents a future where Toshinori dies.
  • Hidden Depths: Mineta of all people gets this. His perverted and hedonistic behavior is a consequence of his terrible self-esteem over his height, appearance, and having a silly-looking Quirk. He actively sabotages himself and acts pathetic because he's too scared of what would happen if he does try to act up to his full potential, predicting it just won't measure up. He's also self-conscious about his height as a result, resulting in his irritation when Mirio says that Mineta will be as big as him one day.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: During their Sports Festival battle, Momo keeps disorienting Katsuki and then dumps a cloud of aluminium dust over his head, such that when he finally gets off a blast, he consumes himself in an accelerated explosion that even he can't take.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • Tenya in chapter 20. Instead of taking the win because Izuku is holding back (so as not to accidentally seriously injure him), he decides to purposely hold back, talk Izuku into going all out and gets utterly thrashed by Izuku's new move.
    • Averted in the case of Hitoshi's match against Shouto. While he doesn't use Shouto's issues with Endeavor against him, he also doesn't try to help Shouto like Izuku did in canon.
  • Hope Spot: During the Mustafu attack by the League of Villains, All-Might has just beaten the anti-All Might Noumu... and then Kurogiri reveals they have three more just like it.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Stain Noumu is so monstrous that Izuku calls Tsuchigumo cuddly next to him. He's described as a hulking patchwork of creatures so enormous that he could easily kick a man's head off with one of his legs. He can also use his proboscis to suck his victims dry and take their forms to ambush others.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Izuku isn't Quirkless in this story, but his Quirk was considered so pathetic that he might as well have been while growing up. Because of this, he still gets called Deku all the way through middle school, is a Shrinking Violet without anyone to call a friend until he gets to U.A., and scribbled his way through more than a dozen notebooks of hero analysis. Toshinori is still planning to name Izuku the next successor of One For All.
    • Despite all of the changes it took to get there, when Sero fights Shouto, he still gets curb-stomped.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Uraraka initially asks why Izuku and Hitoshi care so much about the Sports Festival as it's mostly just for the heroics department, not knowing that they want to win so they can join the heroics department.
  • Instant Expert:
    • Defied hard with Neito Monoma's Power Copying Quirk. The fact that he doesn't gain any experience with any Quirk he copies has had a big impact on him growing up, like not getting any skill with his hero Best Jeanist's fibers, not being used to a villain's Anger Point Quirk and going berserk as a result, and not seeing any utility to Izuku's Minor Banishment Quirk despite witnessing it taking out a giant robot.
    • Downplayed with Megumi, who quickly learns martial arts through her Touch Telepathy. While she can learn it quickly, the knowledge she gains is more broad than deep, and she is mentioned to practice hard in her downtime to master the things she picks up. In the middle of a fight, though, the "Broadness instead of depth," more than makes up for it.
  • Involuntary Group Split: During the second stage of the Sports Festival, Izuku and his friends are split up by trees and the ground of the forming Sky Garden. Several characters later suspect that Nedzu did this entirely on purpose, as the team would've easily completed the stage if they hadn't been separated. As a result, Izuku and his friends end up prioritizing reuniting with the rest of the team before they actually make an attempt to clear the stage.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • During his match against Izuku at the Sports Festival, Tenya calls Izuku out for holding back against him. This is especially ironic, considering Izuku's own match against Shouto in canon.
    • In Shouto's match against Hitoshi, this irony is even more exemplified by the match-up and the differences between the relationships Izuku has in canon.
      Izuku: Hitoshi-kun, don't lose!
    • In another moment between Shouto and Hitoshi, the latter drags the former to eat with his friends Kensei and Megumi, and Shouto makes clear that he just wants to see what's going on, not because he wants to make friends, in an exact parallel to how Hitoshi acted when Izuku dragged him in to make friends. Kensei is in hysterics at the irony.
    • While Izuku is struggling to use his Quirk to manipulate the air and fly, Inko gets him out of his Centipede's Dilemma by making him realize that his Quirk is a part of him and would not betray him. The words she uses? "After all, it's your power, right?"
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Before his Character Development, Monoma tries to lecture Tsuburaba on how to use his Quirk. When Monoma tries using Tsuburaba's Quirk the way he insisted, he finds his barrier is too weak to even slow Izuku down.
  • Laughing Mad: Monoma has a bout after he acquires Izuku's Quirk, believing it to be the strongest present, only to learn it's actually quite weak.
  • Level Grinding: Just like any muscle, using your quirk and training it over and over again will make it much stronger. When the story starts out, before Izuku starts training it, he can only banish 10 grams at a time. By the time of chapter 29, that limit has been increased to twenty grams, twice that of the original limit.
    • Another of these limits is that previously, Izuku could only banish up to 3 kilograms in total per day. That is, combine all the matter he banishes in a day, he banish 3 kilograms worth before he starts getting headaches. Like the limit stated above, by chapter 30 this limit has also doubled. It's to be known whether or not this kind of growth also applies to Izuku's range limit.
  • Logical Weakness: Tsuburaba's barriers are made with the air in his lungs, which not only limits the volume of air he can place in one barrier, but having to make several in quick succession leaves him gasping for air.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Katsuki's hero alias: "貘壊", read as Bakuha, which means "shockwave". It's a Double-Meaning Title in many ways: the first kanji, normally just the kanji for "explosion", means "tapir" in this case, which relates to the Baku, a Youkai in Japanese folklore that both consumes good dreams from people and keeps nightmares away. As such, Katsuki's alias could be interpreted as "The demon who destroys dreams" or "The protector that crushes nightmares". This all stems from his Break the Haughty and Character Development during the Sports Festival, where he finally came to terms with how he bullied Izuku and tried to crush his dreams, and how he's starting to see beyond his Quirk which he once thought was only good for destroying.
    • In a lesser extent, also Shouto and Tenya's Hero Aliases. As per one of the author's notes, Tenya's name as "Cambio" also refers to the change in his and his brother's fate from canon. Shouto's name, on the other hand, is about his lack of the character development he had in canon, with the double meaning of "Absolute Hero" being an attack to both Endeavor's fire and his less-than-heroic actions despite being a Pro Hero.
  • Mistaken Identity: When she first meets them, Ochako comments to Hitoshi that she believes that Toshinori is Izuku's step-dad (while the latter two are absent), and Hitoshi doesn't correct her. A week later, Ochako tells the same thing to Izuku, and the infuriated Izuku immediately goes after his three friends for not correcting her before clearing up the misunderstanding.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Izuku can use Minor Banishment to clean stains from clothes. Izuku using this is later on revealed to be how Katsuki manages to figure out Izuku's real potential. Later on, he refines his control enough to perform non-invasive surgery, banishing everything from kidney stones to brain tumors.
    • Maybe a bit more fantastic than normal, but Mei employs Uraraka's help to put a satellite in space.
    • Gran Torino reveals that when Endeavor was his sidekick, he used to make Endeavor heat up his tea for him to teach him to control his Quirk. Endeavor found this and many other mishaps to be so humiliating that he quit a few months later.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Izuku has this response after he deletes parts of Tsuchigumo's eyes and internal organs. The Villain happily points out that Izuku could easily become a mass murderer with a Quirk like this. It ends up taking Kensei to smack him to get him back to normal.
    • This is Momo's reaction after she curb-stomps Katsuki, through Trash Talk, explosive accelerator, and extreme overkill, leaving him a scorched, unconscious wreck. It leaves her in such a bad headspace that she loses in the next round. She later clarifies that she talked to Recovery Girl, and found that Katsuki, if he doesn't get treatment, will carry scars from what she did to him.
    • To a lesser extent, all of the people who helped Momo also have this reaction. Even Mei is left speechless.
  • Mythology Gag: Uraraka, when fighting Sero in the Sports Festival, comments that she's glad she's not fighting Katsuki, as "That would have been messy." In canon, she did exactly that, and it destroyed the ring in a man-made meteor shower.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: What fuels Monoma's motivation after he goes on a rampage after absorbing a villain's Berserker Quirk.
  • Noodle Incident: Gran Torino shares several stories about Endeavor's rookie days with Shouto, such as "the time with the tractor and the soggy cat".
  • O.C. Stand-in: After Chapter 199 of the manga, Kuroiro of Class 1-B is effectively this, with a different Quirk of the same name and a quieter personality.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: During the League of Villain's raid on Musutafu, Kensei and Megumi take out their fair share of Villains with nothing but their hand-to-hand combat skills and a few tasers. Mineta does the same with Inko's help.
  • People Puppets: What Tsuchigumo can do to his victims with his silk thread.
  • Power Misidentification: After the Sports Festival, Class 1-A, as well as many of the spectators, try and speculate exactly what Izuku's power is, on account of all it has accomplished including making it's user one of the festival's winners. Their best guess so far is matter manipulation since they remember it doing something with the air. And then Izuku just tells them.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Kensei's quirk has the potential to know everything about a girl's body if he so chose. Thankfully, a) he's a good boy and b) he Cannot Talk to Women and gets so flustered he'd never actually use it for that purpose. This is discussed during his match with Mei.
  • Pulled from Your Day Off: Just as Izuku and co. are about to relax and enjoy an expensive yakiniku dinner, the League decides to lay waste to the city with an army of Villains and Noumus.
  • Putting the "Pal" in Principal: Nedzu is the friendly and cheerful head of U.A.'s faculty who wants nothing but the best for his students. In this story, he's also a pronounced Papa Wolf who intends to sue and ruin the Quirk Counselors whose negligence gave Izuku and Katsuki their respective complexes.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The aftermath of Katsuki and Momo's Sports Festival spar is this: Momo beats Katsuki, but the means she had to resort to to do so and the broken state of her classmate afterward left her so mentally weakened that she loses in the next round.
  • Rule of Three: Three matches end up as ties in the Tournament. First is Megumi's match against Tsuyu, where Megumi wins but she refuses to move on to the next round to give Hitoshi a bye. Second is Kensei's match against Mei, where they barely even fight and just end up connecting over gadgets. The third? Happens during the finals between Hitoshi and Izuku, which ends up transferring them both into the Heroics Department.
  • Secret Identity Identity: Discussed and ultimately subverted when, thanks to his interactions with Izuku and his friends, Toshinori realizes that while being All Might is a major part of his life, All Might is ultimately just a facet of his real identity Toshinori Yagi, and not vice-versa. As a result, he begins reaching out to his old associates, like Gran Torino and Sir Nighteye.
  • Serious Business:
    • Quirk Counseling, since how a child grows up thinking about their Quirk (strong, weak, useless or otherwise) has a big impact on their personal development. So Nedzu hearing how Izuku was essentially written off as Quirkless because his grade school thought his Quirk was useless and essentially had his mental growth stunted is a big insult for him.
    • Mandalay of the Wild Wild Pussycats treats the existence of Megumi as this, as those with telepathic gifts (like hers and Megumi's) are very rare. She makes it a point to say that even if it's unprecedented and General Studies students aren't supposed to get a work studies internship, the Pussycats are going to extend one to her.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • Class 1-A had a running Side Bet over who could guess what Izuku's Quirk was, only for Izuku to anti-climactically tell everyone later.
    • After spending years grooming Mirio to be the perfect successor to One For All, Sir Nighteye ultimately decides to go along with All Might's plan to name Izuku his successor after seeing Izuku and his friends restore the value All Might places in "Toshinori Yagi" when Nighteye had failed for years.
  • Ship Tease: Every scene involving Inko and Toshinori just overflows with this. By Chapter 29, even Izuku starts to think that the two of them are getting together, and is understandably conflicted over the idea. In the end though, he decides to support them if they ever do get together.
  • Shown Their Work: If it involves science of some form, the author has extensively researched on it for the fic before including it in the story.
  • The Social Expert: Kirishima proves himself to be more socially savvy than he first appears when he helps improve Katsuki's social standing amongst his class after he makes an honest effort to change by means of spice, milk, and misdirection.
  • Spanner in the Works: Momo's victory over Katsuki is one for Shouto. He planned to do much the same as in canon, beat the strongest person in the tournament purely with his ice side to spite his father. Unfortunately, he chose to fixate on Katsuki, the other strong person in 1-A, who gets knocked out relatively quickly. Since the person he fixated on wasn't strong enough, Todoroki assumed that he could breeze through the remaining competitors, not even taking his semi-final opponent seriously to show how strong his ice is... which gets him knocked out of the tournament when Hitoshi takes him by surprise.
  • Spider People: The villain, Tsuchigumo.
  • Spock Speak: Sir Nighteye seems to be very prone to this.
  • Stations of the Canon: One of the very few fics that takes pains to avoid this as much as possible. Due to butterfly effects and For Want of a Nail, many canon events have been modified or even avoided entirely, such as:
    • From Chapter 1, due to Toshinori having better health than in canon, he doesn't hurry to leave as much and Izuku successfully convinces him to stay and talk as All Might. As a result, his secret identity remains intact and Muddy doesn't get away.
    • Due to Izuku heading directly to the General Education Department at Toshinori's behest, the Entrance Exam, Quirk Apprehension Test, and Battle Trial Arcs have also been skipped.
    • The USJ Arc is replaced by another conflict entirely. See For Want of a Nail above for details.
    • Izuku doesn't have One For All, meaning that he doesn't get trained by Gran Torino after the Sports Festival. Instead, Sir Nighteye happily agrees to foster Izuku's development after making up with All Might. Gran Torino instead teaches Katsuki and Shouto.
  • Super Empowering: As a result of Kensei and Megumi downloading so many schematics and object properties into her mind, as of the second interlude, Momo has overcome most of her Quirk's limits, which she demonstrates by creating graphene sheets with next to zero electrical resistance, rolls of ultra-tough, ultra-light spider silk-like cloth, and a cube of diamond in quick succession to the support department.
  • Super Loser: This is the opinion most of the public and many of the Hero Agencies have developed about Katsuki during the Sports Festival. On account of his loudmouth boast at the start, followed by his loose cannon personality during the Sky Garden round, and ending with a crushing Curb Stomp loss to Momo, a lot of them now think he has too much bluster and too little heroism potential to have as an intern, with the result of him getting zero offers afterwards. Even the League of Villains has lost interest. Much to Izuku's dismay.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Izuku and Hitoshi entered the U.A. Sports Festival believing that only one of them could be the winner of the tournament and thus gain entry into the Heroic Department. When their final battle ends in a draw, All Might reveals the secret judging protocol of the school and enters both of them into the Hero Department.
  • Telescoping Staff: Izuku has one of these designed by Kensei. Its purpose is as follows: it allows him to fight without having to use his bare fists, he also can use it to fling himself and/or teammates to places, and it conveniently extends the range of his Scalpel.
  • There Are No Therapists:
    • Subverted. Quirk Counselors are a major part of a child's development in this world, and keeping a growing child in a good headspace about such a fundamental part of themselves is very Serious Business. Thus, it really puts Principal Nedzu on the warpath when he learns that Izuku's grade school had deemed his Quirk so worthless that he was treated as Quirkless and given no counselling.
    • Revealed to have been played with Katsuki's own childhood Quirk Counseling later on. As it turns out, even though he did get his own counseling, Adults Are Useless had been in play. Not only has Katsuki been left believing that his Quirk - and by extension, himself - was made for violence, their failure with Izuku has left Katsuki skeptical of counselors in general. It had earlier been revealed that these are the same counselors that Nedzu is pursuing lawsuits against for their treatment of Izuku, and Nedzu had speculated that they were just as bad to other kids.
  • Throwing the Fight:
    • Kensei and Megumi throw their respective matches after forcing ties in order to give Izuku and Hitoshi a better chance of reaching the top of the Sports Festival.
    • Is later revealed to be what Katsuki had planned to do if he ever came to fighting Deku in the Sports Festival finals. Kirishima is surprised when he finds out, especially considering Katsuki's obsession with winning.
  • Too Clever by Half:
    • Izuku is so convinced of his Quirk's worthlessness at the start of the story that he never thinks to explore it even when he's able to find countless new applications for the Quirks of others. It takes him unusually long to come up with ideas for it that others easily point out to him simply because he's too focused on the fine details rather than the larger picture.
    • Nedzu admits this of himself, as when he declared Kensei a traitor due to his past of being raised by a villain, he fell into the trap of those with Super Intelligence Quirks to make the evidence fit their theory instead of the other way around.
  • Took a Level in Badass: A bit of this and Adaptational Badass for a lot of characters.
  • Touch Telepathy: Megumi's Quirk. However, as it activates itself whether she wants it to or not, early on the story it causes her some issues. With her friends' help however, as well as the encounter with Tsuchigumo, she soon realizes that her Quirk has more uses than what she had previously thought.
    • For one, combined with Kensei's Quirk, this allows Kensei to scan objects before Megumi passes the blueprints to someone else, with amazing synergistic effects with certain other people such as Momo and Izuku.
    • It also later lets her learn her opponent's martial arts to Instant Expert levels.
    • While only briefly shown, she can use it with multiple people at once to temporarily create a miniature Hive Mind.
    • She can use her powers to transfer information to other people, best shown when she copies plans from Mei or Kensei and transfers them to Yaoyozoru for her to create.
    • And then she combines her Quirk with Mandalay's thought transmission and Ragdoll's Psychic Radar to form a real-time dispatching service during the Mustafu attack.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Shouto does this to Hitoshi. It's because of him playing with Hitoshi instead of ringing him out immediately that Hitoshi is able to beat him.
  • Warrior Therapist: Kamui Woods is trying to be this for Mineta during the Work Experience Arc. Not only does he take in Mineta as an intern with the intention of trying to rehabilitating Mineta, he also correctly pinpoints that the core of Mineta's issues lie with his self-esteem problems. In the end, he calls Mineta out for this, saying that as a Hero, Mineta couldn't continue what he was doing.
  • Wham Line: The author loves leaving these at the end of certain chapters.
    • In Chapter 6:
    Izuku: Toshinori-san, Kensei-san is missing!
    • Followed by the next chapter:
    Midnight: Principal Nedzu! We’ve found something in Katsura Kensei’s dormitory room!
    Nezu: "What did you find, Midnight? Is it something that we can use to pinpoint Katsura Kensei’s location?
    Midnight: No, it’s a withdrawal letter from Katsura-kun on how he is leaving Yuuei!
    • Which is then followed by:
    Tsuchigumo: Come to my web, said the spider to the fly.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: A recurring theme in the story is that many Quirks, even those that seem useless on the surface, can be powerful or even devastating if used with enough ingenuity and effort.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: A conversation in Chapter 27 has everyone jokingly discuss a manga series with Izuku as the main character.
  • You Leave Him Alone!: Mineta, up until that point doubting his own effectiveness as a hero, finally steps up when he and Inko Midoriya are confronted by villains in Mustafu and Inko, a civilian and the mother of the boy he looks up to, suggests that he, a Pro Hero in training, run and leave her behind. This prompts him to finally stand his ground and hold them off while she runs, only for her to declare she'll stay to protect him as well.
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