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Fanfic / The Saint and the Sinner

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The Saint and The Sinner is a My Hero Academia Alternate Universe Fic written by TheTwins1-2 and is centered around Izuku Midoriya and Minoru Mineta. The story follows the childhood friends in their efforts to become heroes.

The author has stated that one of the main reasons for writing the story was to do something they saw few other authors do: Try and make Mineta likable.

The story can also be found on Archive of Our Own here and is updated on a weekly basis.


The Saint and The Sinner provides example of:

  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Thanks to his training from Aizawa and his negative qualities being toned down, Mineta is more perceptive and competent in a fight than he was in canon. Case and point, he almost singlehandedly won his team the match in the Hero vs. Villain exercise using careful timing and planning. He also makes it all the way to the two-on-two matches in the Sports Festival. His increased bravery is also shown in his interactions with Bakugo, as he's more willing to call him out on his attitude and disparage him. He even starts learning Balintawak martial arts during his internship.
    • Thanks to some advice from Mineta, Midoriya unlocks Full Cowling before the events of the Sports Festival. This even shows in his performance during the Sports Festival. He defeats Kirishima without too much damage to his person and fights Todoroki to a stalemate resulting in a double ring-out. Unlike canon, he only breaks one arm instead of nearly all his bones.
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  • Adaptational Heroism: In canon, Mineta's only motivation for being a hero was to get popular with women. Here, he's motivated by a desire to help Midoriya become the best hero he can be... and get popular with women. Also, unlike canon, where it's implied that tricking the girls into putting on cheerleader outfits was his idea, it was Kaminari's idea here and he goaded Mineta into doing it along with him. He's also shown to feel horrible about it.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Mineta's canon hero name was Grape Juice. Here, it's Grape Shot.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • By the very nature and concept of the story, Mineta and Midoriya have been best friends for the past three years, even attending the same middle school.
    • Likewise, Katsuki was also a bully for Mineta like he was for Midoriya here.
  • Animal Motifs: While he doesn't carry the physical resemblance of one, Mineta is often associated with rodents. He tends to scurry around and has a knack for annoying his opponents in ways that a rat would, and Bakugo frequently calls him rat based insults. This is also a case of Ascended Fanon, as his out-of-universe nickname among the fan-base is "Rat Bitch". invoked
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  • Ascended Extra: Mineta, thanks to him being the main character here. He also gets to take part in the Hosu incident and rescues Iida from Stain.
  • Berserk Button: It doesn't take much to set Bakugo off, but he will beat the shit out of you if you imply that he doesn't want Midoriya to go to U.A. because he's genuinely scared that the "Quirkless loser" will be a better hero than him.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Mineta is pretty goofy and hard to take seriously, but he is also highly intelligent and has proven his cunning in multiple situations. When Mina called Todoroki Mineta's minion, he gave her a Death Glare and calmly told her to leave, even frightening her with how serious he was.
  • Be Yourself: When everyone's checking out each others' dorm rooms, Kaminari's is derided due to trying too hard to seem cool. His interest in western literature gets a lot of praise because it better reflects who he is as a person rather than an attempt to seem more impressive than he needs to be.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Chapter 17, Mineta and Kaminari find a dirty magazine with all its original content covered with random numbers and writing. It makes a return in Chapter 36, where it turns out all those markings are actually clues to the location of a treasure.
  • Childhood Friends: Mineta and Midoriya, as per a major part of this story's divergence from canon, have been best friends and partners since middle school.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Both Mineta and Bakugo are deemed this by the author due to having fatal flaws that prevent them from being true heroes. In Bakugo's case, it's his pride and wrath, while Mineta's are his lust and cowardice. The story focuses on the latter and the main point is for him to have the chance to become better in spite of his flaws.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Mineta more or less needs to be this due to how physically inept he is compared to the rest of his classmates. In the Cavalry Battle of the Sports Festival, in addition to using Shoji's body as a protective shell, he uses his sticky balls to glue the headbands they collect to Tsuyu, preventing anyone from taking them. Aizawa also considers it better to be this, since honor and valor can't save hostages without casualty like pragmatism can.
    • Midoriya wins his battle with Kirishima by suddenly switching from Good Old Fisticuffs to using a submission hold.
  • Covert Pervert: Well, the "covert" part is downplayed, but Mineta is not loud-and-proud with his perversion like he was in canon, and while he muses a lot on the beauty and attractiveness of his female peers, he tries his best to keep it to himself. At this point, none of the students barring Midoriya, Bakugo, and Kaminari are aware of his lecherous thoughts (though he does have some close calls such as with Iida at the hospital), and he'd rather keep it that way.
  • Cowardly Lion: It's more apparent with Mineta in this story that he's completely afraid of anything that can threaten him (Bakugo, villains, etc.), but he still stands up and bravely fights back in spite of that fear. During the Obstacle Race of the Sports Festival, Bakugo threatened to make the rest of his time at U.A. a living Hell if he didn't stop hitching a ride on him, but Mineta persisted anyway. Tsuyu even lampshades that for someone who considers himself a coward, he tends to be a pretty big risk taker when backed against the wall.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: While Aizawa hates the more lecherous motivations Mineta has, he does give credit that he's a devoted friend who genuinely wants to help Midoriya reach his potential as a hero.
    Aizawa: ...At least half of you is in the right place.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Iida dislikes anything pornographic in nature, but he expresses disgust when Mineta shows him the scribbled and vandalized erotic magazine. He states that even regular magazines take a lot of time and work to create, so even if it's content is something he doesn't support, vandalizing it comes across to him as insulting to the effort put in to make it.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Kirishima and Midoriya's tournament match consists mostly of fist-fighting.
  • Guile Hero: Due to his lack of physical strength compared to the rest of his classmates, Mineta relies specifically on careful timing and planning to succeed. This can range from setting up traps and knowing how to lure his opponents into them, to taking advantage of someone's abilities to clear a path to victory for him.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Mineta has this issue in spades, often to the point where Midoriya comes across as more confident in his abilities. He frequently questions his worth as a potential hero and partner for Midoriya, thinks his Quirk is less than worthless, and also holds shame towards his perverted nature to a certain capacity.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • The fic largely plays up the aspects of Mineta's character that were mostly ignored or pushed to the side in favor of his lecherous attitude. He has a genuine interest in hero costumes (and not just the female ones) as well as the meanings behind said costumes and why the heroes went with those designs, even going into extensive detail on Thirteen's costume and its immunity to radiation, electricity, cold, and other environmental hazards. His intelligence is also more notable, as he pieces together the connection between Midoriya and All Might even before they told him, and gives sound advice that helps his friend learn how to use Full Cowling before being taught by Gran Torino.
    • Kaminari, despite his Book Dumb nature, has a strong knowledge on American literature. This helps to explain his knowledge on Ernest Hemingway and The Great Gatsby. He even states that he'd run circles around his classmates if U.A. had an English Literature course.
    • Midoriya reveals that for all his praise and admiration towards Bakugo, he's not blind to who he is and what a jerk he acts like, even admitting that he became a Broken Pedestal to him a long time ago. He actually admires his more positive qualities, even if they are rare.
  • Honor Before Reason: Aizawa criticizes this mindset during the Sports Festival. Having honor and valor are all good qualities, but they mean shit when your opponent exploits unfair advantages.
  • Hope Bringer: This is why Midoriya wants to be a hero despite more general occupations allowing him to still save lives while being better tailored to his Quirkless nature. People like the police may save others, but heroes do that and inspire hope for a better tomorrow. Midoriya even states that by this definition, Mineta is already a hero given how he inspires his friend and stands up for him against the odds.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Like canon, Present Mic sees Endeavor's gleeful adulation at his son using his flames as him being a doting father despite the maniacal nature of his praise. Averted with Jirou and Hagakure, who are easily able to tell that Endeavor is anything but a doting father.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: As part of his training with Aizawa, Mineta practices baseball throws, which later increases his speed and accuracy with his hairballs.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite their battle ending in a stalemate, Todoroki still moves forward in the tournament since Midoriya's broken arm means he can't continue.
  • It's Personal: Because Mineta used him to hitch a free ride to make it above him in the Obstacle Race, Bakugo really wants to beat him to a bloody pulp.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He's inarguably a dick, but Bakugo does have a good point when questioning Midoriya's desire to be a hero. If he's only interested in being a hero to save people, then why doesn't he take up a job that better caters to that goal alongside the fact that he's Quirkless, like a firefighter, police officer, or doctor?
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Midoriya and Kirishima's battle. They both agree, with Midnight's authorization, on not attacking each other whenever one goes down, in which case they apply the '10 seconds knockout' rule from boxing.
  • The Mentor: While All Might trains Midoriya like canon, he has Aizawa train Mineta.
  • Might Makes Right: Bakugo's mindset in a nutshell. In his eyes, the best heroes are the strongest and the only ones who can be true heroes are those who face adversity head on rather than rely on trickery and subterfuge. This is a major reason why he hates people like Mineta and Aizawa; since they rely on tricks, he deems them worthless. It's actually so bad that during their Final Exam, All Might has to break character from his villain persona just to lecture him on how wrong he is.
  • Morality Pet: Midoriya is this for Mineta. While Mineta isn't a terrible person in this story, he desires to make his best friend proud and tones down his negative attributes (primarily his perversion) for him to be the best partner he can be.
  • Moral Myopia: Back in their childhoods, Bakugo planned on beating Mineta up because, in his own words, "That little shit [Mineta] was using his Quirk, which is ILLEGAL." The narration also points out that in that very same sentence, he was using his Quirk as a means of intimidation.
  • Not So Above It All: Midoriya admits that had he teamed up with Mineta, he probably would have used similar methods that his friend used to try and win the Cavalry Battle.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: After the whole fiasco at the Sports Festival, Kendo is still shown despising Mineta for it despite the others having moved along.
    Tsuyu: I think she's still upset over what you did during the Sports Festival.
    Mineta: (nervously) I know...
  • The Rival: Mineta and Hitoshi are becoming this. During the Calvary Battle, they both send each other a warning glare that only had one message: "Watch your back." It starts to become more of a Friendly Rivalry after their match and they talk out Shinso's issues.
  • Secret-Keeper: All Might and Midoriya confess to Mineta the secret behind One For All. He promises to help maintain it.
  • Shipper on Deck: Mineta is one for Midoriya and Uraraka, as he tries to help his friend out by putting them in situations where they have to interact with each other.
  • Ship Tease: Mineta and Tsuyu's interactions gain more romantic undertones in later chapters, especially in Chapter 82 where they comfort each other and Ochako walks in on them holding hands.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Mineta is the shortest student in school and he's shown to be highly analytical, using precise aiming for his hair balls and being able to piece together Todoroki's reasoning for why he won't use his fire abilities with only minor insight into the problem. He's also capable of complex mathematical formulas that he uses to understand people's measurements at a glance for the sake of creating model figurines of them.
  • The Stations of the Canon: The story is mainly the manga/anime from Mineta's POV, so not much from canon changes. The biggest deviations start coming in during the Sports Festival, where Mineta makes it much further than he did in canon. Another deviation comes in the form of Todoroki and Midoriya fighting to a draw in the Festival instead of Shoto winning by knockout. The side quest involving the magazine Mineta and Kaminari found is entirely original to the story, but it in no way interferes with or intersects with any canon material either.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mineta becomes more effective as a fighter and considerably braver over the course of the story. He starts out terrified of Bakugo, but by the end of the internships, he's pretty comfortable smack talking him and calling him out on his shitty attitude.
  • Worthy Opponent: It's subtle, but Bakugo is slowly coming to respect Midoriya's progress. Mineta notes that Bakugo openly stating that Midoriya has a chance at winning against Kirishima does show that he's actually acknowledging his former victim as a competitor. He even goes so far as to praise how he fights against Todoroki. In addition, he slowly starts giving Mineta a modicum of respect as well, as he reportedly cheered for both him and Midoriya during their match (in his own way at least). After the final exams, he's much more respectful with Mineta.


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